The secret is out!
GMA7 will be airing Secret Garden, the top-rating drama last year in Korea this coming May 2. I enjoyed all 20 episodes of this already when it first aired in Korea so I’m giving you all a preview thru this post of what the drama is going to be all about.
Secret Garden stars Hyun Bin (of My Name Is Kim Sam Soon fame) as Owen, an extremely conceited and self-absorbed rich kid who has a nasty temper and an even nastier tongue. Owen has created a formidable image of himself: he always walks with head up high, he never speaks with anyone who he thinks is lower than himself in stature, and he always wears the latest and most fashionable clothes no mater how ridiculous they make him look (His signature style is a blue sparkly tracksuit! Ha ha ha!). Owen doesn’t believe in showing his weaknesses to anyone and always plays to win whether it’s with his enemies, his business associates, and even his friends and family. In Owen’s mind – he is perfect and his life is also perfect because he made it so.
All this will turn upside down when he meets Jamie as played by Ha Ji-Won, a hardworking stuntwoman, who is the opposite of everything that Owen represents. Jamie doesn’t care much about appearances. She believes that’s it’s more important to work hard and be nice to people you meet along the way than to really reach the top. For her, winning isn’t everything. Simply having the chance to do what she loves (being a stuntwoman) is enough. This gung-ho action star attitude captivates Owen – much to his frustration. He cannot even begin to understand how he could like such an ill-bred, unstylish, uber-manly woman. To find out whether he is just fascinated or curious because of their differences, he starts following her everywhere and uses his money and power to find ways that they would meet each other. All these he does with the disclaimer that he would eventually get bored with her.
Initially, Jamie is quite flattered that the rich-guy-in-a-hideous-what-were-you-thinking-sparkling-tracksuit finds her attractive. But this feeling doesn’t last as Owen tries to show in every moment how she is beneath him in stature. Theirs becomes an extreme hate relationship as they fight and argue every step of the way. But as we all know, the more you hate, the more you love. Their relationship grows even stronger when a mysterious force causes them to swap bodies every time it rains (yes, it’s weird and magical but trust me – this body-swapping becomes heartbreaking at a certain point).
What I love most about Secret Garden are the two leads. Their bickering is intensely fascinating to watch as they trade insult after insult in their attempts to hide their growing feelings for each other. Hyun Bin is amazing as always, as he makes what could be the most hurtful man in the history of Korean Dramas still appealing and fragile despite having everything he could ever want. On the other hand, Ha Ji-Won lends her character a certain quiet strength while retaining a girlish charm.
I know the body-swapping has been done before but the timing is the key difference here. Owen and Jamie get their bodies always get switched at the most inopportune time: (SPOILER ALERT) like when Owen needs to fight off a major takeover of their family business and when Jamie has to audition for a movie that could be her biggest break ever. This strengthens their bond with each other and creates a deeper understanding of each other’s own problems and way of life. It’s also a great way to keep the plot moving since it keeps us guessing when the next swap happens.
But don’t think that’s it’s all funny sparkly tracksuits and insults all the way. This drama actually has a lot of heart. It has such a heartbreaking ending when the whole plot finally comes together and the reason for the body-swapping is revealed.
I can’t wait to see how GMA7 adapted the tirades and crisp script of the original Korean version. One thing I don’t like as of the moment though is the ridiculous theme song that they are using. “Basta’t Kasama Kita” by Jake Vargas simply doesn’t match the tone of the drama!
Thanks to tiamaria0305 for the video.