You’ve gotta give it to the MAN!

Bae Soo Bin

Secret continues to be crack crack crack! It’s SOOO ADDICTIVE! Yeah I do nitpick a lot, and this drama is not without its problems, but you’ve gotta give three thumbs up to the writer for being able to keep us at the edge of our seats every single episode o_0 it’s a predictable drama, we sorta know who will love who and stuff, but damn the execution, I’ve said it and I will say it again, we’re made to guess, we don’t even know the flow. We’re engaged and we want to know more! Thanks writer nim, though you’re totally spared of your constant use of K-drama cliches and tropes, I can overlook for the love of my addiction.

Highlight of this week’s episodes – Do Hoon and Do Hoon and Do Hoon! I love me Min Hyuk much don’t get me wrong guys, he gives me laughs with his occasional lighthearted moments, he can be such a goof lol (thanks to Kwang Soo I can relax a bit here). There’s this certain pull to his character being relatively un-smart or not as quick-witted compared to Do Hoon, the naivete in his character, I feel bad for him when he looses his battle of wits and words with Do Hoon. But I think his dad is right, he does need to grow up from the naivete and delusion of him that everything can be and will be settled for him. He’s had things too easy for him, the reason why he’s not prepared for things that don’t come his way.

Back to Do Hoon, yes oh Do Hoon what a dangerous man he is, conflicted and unfathomable, but so very sexy and alluring – can you look at his eyes and not FALL FOR THIS MAN? So FCKING GORGEOUS!!! <333 The appeal, no doubt, not just because character is crafted that way, but also because he is acted by Bae Soo Bin. This man is such a fantastic conveyancer, of emotions so layered and nuanced, of expressions that reach out to you, into you. He’s had so many brilliant moments in this drama, honestly overshadowing our main lead Ji Sung in most of their scenes together, but he deserves all the applause and accolades just for his performance in Ep 8 alone. The man is a powerhouse on his own, I remember, the exact reason I couldn’t hate his villain character in 49 days, I’m transported back to those days, he was such a sucker, evil to point of no return, but I loved him I loved him. He just gets to you

I knew writer would write Do Hoon evil or more than just a decent guy, otherwise how will Yoo Jung move on? How can she? BSB nails every bit of Do Hoon’s complexity with utter conviction. I mean it’s a given, he’s not the Do Hoon  we used to know, he should be eliciting such emotions from us. But don’t you think there’s just so much more to Do Hoon? The way BSB presents the distinctiveness of DH’s reactions when faced with different situations, it’s somewhat human and not unrealistic. In the context of drama you may hate him to the bone, but character wise, it’s kinda normal. Somewhat understandable? Not condoning his actions and will not ever forgive if he’s got something to do with YJ’s dad, but on character richness and actor portrayal, he’s up there, on top.

The actor also landed himself on the news for what he’d done up there, in the very last segment of Ep 8. I thought it was some effortless and brilliant acting by the actor there, it’s as if you could feel the actor was going through all those conflicted emotions himself, so natural and untainted by direction or script. I really loved it, and it’s no wonder many are showering him praises and compliments, well deserved!

Drama is ultimately about MH’s relationship with YJ, but I love that writer is devoting quite a bit to MH and DH’s relationship equally. It’s a very interesting dynamic, with things between so muddled complex and clear between them.  What I liked most about Ep 8, none other than the tension between the 2 men, and how they’re individually trapped in their own dilemma but are going all out against each other without reservation all the same. The more you know your enemy the easier to tackle, and but the question is always, how?

Things can only get worse if they became friends first no?


Now where is that preview of Ep 9? And why isn’t it Wednesday yet? T_____T

credits: photos as tagged



24 thoughts on “You’ve gotta give it to the MAN!”

  1. Did someone say *breaks into your house through the window and finds u* SECRET??? UGH this show is the worst like I first started watching for the mock factor and it’s actually pretty dang awesome? I can see how misleading the pilot episode is but that’s just the way it’s set up man, you think you know the show, BUT OH NO DON’T KID YOURSELF YOU HAVE NO IDEAAAA

    I am now looking for a remote that can FFWD the week to Wednesday.

    1. YAY all my hiding in the dark chinggus are actually watching this! And you’re so spot on, we’re literally in the dark over writer’s direction, on how things will pan out for the characters. I mean we can have a guess about the relationships, pretty obvious, but when and how, arhhhh, we have 8 more episodes.

      I’m starting to worry that 8 more eps might not be sufficient to tie loose things up, you know, to bring the OTPs together etc. But I also worry it’ll drag and more stuff will ruin the broth. It’s all set at a pretty nice pace right now, hope drama keeps it up.

      1. Gosh i hope the narrative will stay perfect as it is! Based on the first 8 eps, it’s definitely a deconstruction of the makjang genre, how it takes the tropes of what we know (debauched chaebol playboy, candy girl, spineless boyfriend, bitchy rich girl) and then as it plays out we see hidden facets of the character BUT still stay within confines of the trope, and that’s just been amazing to watch.

        So yeah, I’m definitely worried that the latter 8 will take a 180 turn to OTT Makjangville, but so far the writer has given me no reason to doubt it will be so. *fingers crossed*

      2. It’s makjang alright, but you’re also right about writer’s take on the whole structure and genre. Her setup isn’t new but she manages to make it a whole lot more substantial and heartfelt? The characters aren’t really cardboard cut out caricatures but actually do go through conflicts the way we do. Of course we still have the normal K-drama tropes, but like you said, it appears to be a deconstruction but a complete one. 😉

  2. Hi Rip!
    Love ur rave on Secret n BSB!!He s the swoon for the moment of many…I m a fan of JS though,so naturally I m
    rooting for him..
    Everything abt ts drama is intriguing n well deserving of all that brouhaha it’s been garnering from the 1st epi..each epi leaves us clamoring 4 more..
    Well written,brilliant acting n casting..I m hopelessly hooked.

    1. Thanks Queen, I love that you’re still following the K-drama scene silently!
      And of course I love Min Hyuk and root for him, his character is such a hoot of relief, love it as much when he goes all intense. 😉

      Intrigue is the thing, all we need is that one appeal, drama can swallow me hook line and sinker.

    2. Hi ripgal, the following is off-topic (sort of) so please feel to do what you want with it. It gives you an idea of how great a guy BSB is, and will explain why I am so grateful for articles like yours praising this oh-so-underrated actor).

      Logicalsong (great gal, set up SooBeenPortal with other BSB fans in 2006) visited BSB on the Secret set on Friday, 25 October. Here’s her account posted on Soompi:

      Hi there

      I’ve been to Secret set to cheer up our guy Soobin lasy night with two other Soobeen Portal members

      We met him and had a really long and detailed talk. I also told him that the responses of fans including yours, and he said many thanks to fans who enjoy the drama.

      Will drop a few pics here,

      (pics of BSB, Choi Woong, DH’s mama DH’s papa )

      As you might guess, the supporting event was held at late night. Due to the hectic and postponed schedule, we were told that we had only Friday night for the event on the day before yesterday. So we had to change our plans to the great extent. Thankfully we could arrange the coffee cart and picked up the sandwiches for 120 staffs, which got doubled on the very day. Anyway, that’s because the way K-drama is being shot.

      Greatest thing was that after his shooting, Soobin and his manager offered his van for three of us to go back home at that midnight. So we could fully enjoy more than 2 hours of exclusive talking with him. Ladies, I swar. It’s really, really special experience. I have been fortunate to meet him and talk in person because of his open minded and down to earth attitude, but going back home with him in the van where he needed a relaxation after 24 hours shooting and the next day morning schedule beginning at 5 am? I can preach to the world that he is such a great guy as well as great actor.

      I want to talk about our conversation taking more time, for I am still feeling like dreaming. It was such an insightful and great conversation and communication. I think I am really a lucky fan to have him as my star. I don’t want to boast of my luck or my rare experience as a manager of his fan site, But I want as many people as possible to know that BSB is a such a great actor, being such a nice and warm-hearted person in real life can portary such a villain so naturally. And he is extraordinary special person.

      Will talk to you later again. I brought the pics for you to share at FB BSB page and Baidu bar. Just keep the logo and the reference, please.

      There will be some other but similar Soobin’s pics on our site, soobeen portal later on.

    3. Tks Queen for saying all the thing I want to write. This is my first time participate in this post. I m all for JS from the first ep 1 to the kind hearted person he is now in the later ep.

  3. In a way I feel that Secret has two male leads – that’s how powerful BSB’s performance is <333333 I'm so glad I decided to start this drama, watching BSB makes it worthwhile.

  4. ripgal, many thanks for your awesome post about an amazing, under-rated actor. Will post more later and also send you a DM.

  5. Silly me – I think you need to approve my request to follow you before I can send you a DM. Has anyone watched the KBS Special Yeonu’s Summer? It’s written by the Secret main co-writer Yoo Bora and judging from the comments (it’s on Youtube), she is one hell of a writer 🙂

    1. I’ve heard of Yeonwoo’s Summer and plan to watch it soon. KBS Drama Specials are honestly more watchable than what we have these days TBH. Will def post when I get to watch it 😉 thanks for heads up!

  6. So true! All of it!!

    Totally agree that it is BSB’s portrayal that keeps us from wanting to flip the table he has set before us. If he were a tiny bit less sympathetic, we really wouldn’t be able to stand watching him. There have been a lot of bad guys that we were supposed to understand because of his/her circumstances, but we HATED.

    I was torn watching 49 Days. I wanted him to be good, to be better.

    Here, I have given up on him already. I don’t know how he could redeem himself now, but I still feel for him. He certainly didn’t start out as a monster, and even now, he’s a flawed one.

    If an anti-hero is a hero s “a leading character in a film, book or play who lacks some or all of the traditional heroic qualities,” DH would be an anti-villain, right? He seems to be lacking some of the traditional villainous flaws.

    And he is going to have to lose everything because of his actions. It is heartbreaking that this man who “crept over thin ice to get to where he is now,” will crash through, and will end up even lower than where he started.

    One aspect we haven’t witnessed yet, and that I still need to see from DH, is some grief over losing his son. Was he really that indifferent to San’s death?
    While I realize that fathers do not immediately bond with their children the way mothers do, the writers did give us MH’s tortured reaction to finding out his unborn child died.
    Is DH really that much of a cold-hearted person that he didn’t have any pain over losing a child he watched grow up to 2 years old? It is still a question mark for me.

    1. I think we all agree BSB adds so much to his character, he doesn’t just ham on the evilness and make us hate him to the core, the vulnerability he shows, just can’t ignore that. I still feel bad for the guy as I actually see why he’s acting the way he is, it’s not totally unjustifiable and MH does have responsibility here. I’m not very sure he’s totally irredeemable at this point, but very very close. Anw this drama is a secret in itself, we never know what really happened and it’s gonna be interesting to see how things will pan out in the end.

  7. Hi jomo143, I enjoyed reading your post (as I do all posts about BSB, unless they diss his acting). Re DH not suffering any pain over losing San – I went to watch Ep 5 again with subs. As he was comforting a grieving and screaming YJ, I swear there was a glimpse of tears on his eyelashes (the left one) – (06:07). Could that be grief over San or sadness for YJ?

    1. cynkdf –
      Hmmmm…a tear you say?
      So lemme ask this. Do you think he doesn’t seemed to grieve in a big way, because he knows his child is still alive, possibly? Nahh…there would be no reason for him to do that to YJ. He knew San was the most important thing to her. He was never that heartless.

      1. I believe DH has always felt guilt and remorse, and did grieve over the supposedly dead San (supposedly because I still think San isn’t dead yet) though very brief and not thoroughly emphasized. But jomo does have a point there, that he hasn’t really done much for the boy, or neither did he try to reach out to him while he was in jail with YJ.

  8. jomo – I was waiting for someone to confirm if the Secret logo pops up AFTER the scene containing a secret. That logo popped up after DH told YJ that his mum had scattered San’s ashes in the lake but he just couldn’t bring himself to visit that lake. So if there’s a secret in that scene – DH is obviously lying, what about I don’t know.

    In the K-wave magazine interview it’s said that Secret is a tragic story. Somehow I don’t think this will mean that one of the OTP will die in the end. For me, it could be that it’s the tragic story of a initially good-hearted man (according to the character description of DH) who turned evil due to the unfortunate decision he made on ” the happiest day of his life” (KBS Global website). His life will end in tragedy (death?) and it will be difficult for us BSB fans to see the anguish he will go through before he meets his tragic end (it’s a drama, I know but still …)

  9. Oh dear god, Bae Soobin is SLAYING me!!! He’s terrifying as heck. He has such hatred for Minhyuk (for good reason, mind you) and he is desperate to survive. Hatred and desperation can push you so far. I’m so impressed with BSB.

    1. Indeed he’s slaying all villains, I love that BSB doesn’t make DH just a villainous caricaturem, he goes deeper and gives more than that. It’s in the eyes and his acting, you see it’s all for a reason, misguided justification but yes, for a reason.

  10. @ripgal and anyone else who might wish to post a message of support to BSB:
    Logicalsong, BSB’s devoted Korean fan, is collecting messages which will be compiled in the form of a letter and given to BSB.

    Posted by Logicalsong on 31 October:

    Hi there

    Secret has now only two weeks left.
    So I’ll collect the supporting messages by the end of next week, which means we have 10 days of writing and collecting. It shouldn’t be necessarilly long (considering I need to translate them even though he’s good at English ;p) and plz leave the msg with your name & country, which can make him feel how various overseas fans support him at the moment. ”

    Normally I’d repost Logicalsong’s post in the Secret drama thread on Soompi but thought it better not to, since some people might find it hard to separate the actor from the character. If you wish to send BSB a message of encouragement/support, please feel free to post it here or if you have a Soompi account, it’d be preferable if you post it in BSB’s thread. Many thanks.

  11. I ADORE THIS MAN! I’ve been adore him since 49 days, but in here, OMG… speechless! I really hope that he wont turn to completely evil and completely miserable guy in the end.. hope can see more complicated side of him…

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