Noble, My Love | My Secret Romance
By: Caroline Frost · July 7, 2017
Noble, My Love: A young vet saves the life of cold-hearted CEO Lee Kang-Hoon (Sung Hoon).
My Secret Romance: Lee Yoo-Mi (Song Ji-Eun) becomes a nutritionnist at a huge company... only to find out the CEO is none other than Cha Jin-Wook (Sung Hoon), her one-night stand from three years ago.
I don't usually do this, but I chose to write a single review for Noble, My Love and My Secret Romance. While written and directed by different people, the former felt like a remake of the latter, although with another lead actress.
As a matter of fact, Sung Hoon plays a heartless CEO in both, with hilarious Park Shin-Woon as his assistant. Add to that tasteless relationships between the main couple and illustrations at the beginning of each episode, and the similarities keep piling up until you feel like you've watched this show before.
While Sung Hoon's defined features and the love scene in the car at the beginning of My Secret Romance had the show off to a good start, I was quickly disappointed by the love story. Maybe it was because of the unlikeliness of the base concept—although I consider myself to be a pretty open-minded audience, it was hard to believe that this rich and handsome man who has no doubt had his fair share of flings would cling to the memory of this girl he only spent a few hours with for three years. And besides, their dynamic quickly takes a turn for the unhealthy, bordering on stalking.
Which is actually also something that bothered me a lot in Noble, My Love—and seriously, why can't Sung Hoon get roles as a suave, considerate and respectful young man, instead of one who stalks and harasses the ladies unfortunate enough to catch his eye? In any case, his role in My Secret Romance is very, very similar to his role in Noble, My Love—one would almost say identical, except that he doesn't use the words "dominant" and "submissive."
(Interestingly enough, the year this show aired happens to be the one when 50 Shades of Grey came out in theaters... Coincidence?)
The worst part is that the heroine, who up 'til then seemed like a pretty reasonable person, just signs the contract without even batting an eye! I was expecting Lee Kang-Hoon to learn some respect from there... didn't happen. Instead, over half the drama passed with him consistently harassing and disrespecting her.
The same happened with My Secret Romance. I was so happy when I heard that the director of Something About One Percent, which had been my weekly sunlight, had another project airing.
But here's the thing: one of the reasons why Something was so good is that the characters respect each other so much, and their relationship is built on strong, healthy bases and sincere affection.
In My Secret Romance, Cha Jin-Wook seeks to soothe his wounded male pride by abusing his power as CEO to harass Lee Yoo-Mi while in Noble, My Love, Cha Yoon-Seo loses her clinic, her apartment and gets stalked, all because she had the unfortunate idea to save the life of the insufferable CEO the script wants her to end up with.
And yes, I did laugh at some of Cha Jin-Wook's childish antics and at the faces Park Shin-Woon pulls in both shows... but those are pretty much the only good things in the shows, and even Sung Hoon's flawless features weren't enough to fix the damage, and the ton of clichés piling up higher and higher. A pity, really.
Title: Noble, My Love / My Secret Romance
Country: South Korea
Starring: Sung Hoon, Park Shin-Wook, Kim Jae-Kyung/Song Ji-Eun
Aired: 08.23.2015 au 09.16.2015 / 04.17.2017 au 05.30.2017
Number of Episodes: 20/ 16
My grade: ★★☆☆☆