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Sunday, May 10, 2020

Netflix Review: Her Private Life

Have you ever been a KPop fan? I loved listening to Super Junior, 2NE1 and Big Bang back in the day, but I was never as big a fan as some people are today with BTS.  Still, as someone who used to fangirl for local celebrities, I totally understand the world of being a super fan. The Netflix series Her Private Life focuses on the life of a young woman working in an art gallery in South Korea who is secretly a fangirl for a KPop star/idol. 


I was not expecting to like the show. I was initially watching when I discovered that Kim Jae Wook, who played the Waffle Guy on Coffee Prince, is the lead in this one while I was browsing through suggested shows on Netflix. As I went on watching the show, I became hooked because of the comedy (it was so funny my family would turn and look at me when I suddenly laughed out loud), the love element (because the chemistry of the lead actors was so good) and the fact that the female lead was doing a job that I once wished I could do: curating art. It was also amazing to see how she was able to do that job, be a fangirl (who managed her own fan site) and still be an independent woman who also helps her family (and other people when they need it). She deserved all the good things that eventually came her way because she worked hard and was a good person.

One of my favorite parts of the show was when she spiked his drink with coffee, which as it turns out he was allergic to. That was the ice breaker that started their relationship for me. A romance that started with an allergy…reminds me a little of how the characters first got together in another Korean drama called Lie to Me. I also cannot forget to mention the scene where they told each other how they felt! Considering most KDramas I've seen have very conservative kissing scenes, I was surprised to see that!

The supporting cast for this one had their own stories that were part of the show. I liked that they were included without getting in the way of the main story but at the same time it did not feel that they were just stuffed into the story just for the sake of it. How both lead characters lived their lives around their friends, co-workers and family were as much a part of how their story and their love developed as anything else that they did together. I would love to see a spin-off of Si An's character, the little brother who was a KPop idol. Like how he could find love even if he was a star or something like that.

I have watched a couple of other Netflix shows from Korea but aside from Crash Landing on You (by far the best I have seen so far), this is one that I consider my favorite. It has such a good mix of drama, romance and comedy. It was not a tearjerker like Crash Landing on You, but it did have its touching moments. Mostly, I love how it showed a couple while they are in a relationship. How you accept each other’s personalities and quirks, how it is not always perfect, how it is a partnership that you need to work together on and all that. 

Most Korean male lead characters end up too dominant to the point of being problematic because of how they treat the female lead but in this one, I did not think it was the case. Sure, he was your typical grumpy, bossy guy. But he was never out of line when he did so. With what he had been through when he was abandoned as a child, you could understand why he was the way that he was initially. 

The character Ryan Gold is probably one of my favorite male lead characters in a KDrama. As the art director who used to paint but lost his mojo, Kim Jae Wook did a good job playing this aloof character. He could have coasted on just being the hot guy of the show, but he gave depth to his character in this one. There was more to him than brooding and looking pissed off all the time.

Another thing I loved about this character was that he went out of his way to help Deok Mi even when she did not ask for it.  As grumpy as he was, his heart was always in the right place. I think that was what drew him into a relationship with her, when he just wanted to help her out of her “scandal.” He also showed a very secure side of him when he supported her as a KPop fangirl. He did tease her, but he was supportive to the point of giving her a special gift on her birthday related to her idol. I remember thinking that he was such a sweet, mature and very secure boyfriend when he did it. When he let her do her thing in New York, it proved even more that he was the ideal, supportive boyfriend. I was half expecting him to ask her to stay with him and miss out on her opportunity, but he ended up going with her and giving up his job instead. How many guys will do that? I wanted him to be MY boyfriend after finishing the show!

I hope that Kim Jae Wook does another show like this again with someone like Park Min Young (Deok Mi), who seems to do well no matter who she is paired with (and she has been in a few good ones already). I would love to see him as a lead in a rom com like this one more time. He is already nearing his 40s, I hope they still give him projects like this even if he is older!

If you enjoy KDramas and would love to laugh and feel kilig while watching a hot guy and a cute girl, I suggest that you watch this show. It is worth the time binge-watching it!
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