The new tvN show My Secret Hotel is well on its third week but I just recently got a chance to catch up with it and I really liked the first two episodes (3 and 4 still left). One can find romantic comedies in dramaland a dime a dozen but adding a murder mystery and that too in a classic setting of a hotel adds an intriguing dimension to the narrative. The show has a very atmospheric and different feel to it. There are lots of characters — pretty obvious as a whodunnit can’t be complete if we are not going to have so many suspects! Basically we have a divorced couple (Yoo In Na and Jin Yi Han). She works in a grand hotel called — wait for it — secret hotel (can there be such name for a hotel?). He is getting married again but feelings resurged as the two face each other as she is the one in charge for his wedding. Nam Goong Min is another manager there with Yoo In Na having a mild crush on him. As the groom finally approaches the altar, a body falls from above.
Yoo In Na is totally charming and I’m so, so glad that she got this role after some lame secondary roles, especially in You From Another Star, which did not do justice to this lovely actress. She owns this role and one thing I really like about her is that she doesn’t make herself restricted to a particular style and experiments different types of dresses as well as hairdos — just like any normal girl would do. Plus, her character is a great mix of confident as well as vulnerable person. Then there is our hero Hae Young who has a bit of an attitude but he is also not shy in expressing his feelings. They both still have feelings for each other and I think some misunderstanding made them separated as they blame each other for going away. But I like that he is not hard as steel nor is she soft as petal.
I’ve read several complaints that Nam Goong Min‘s role is akin to his I Need Romance 3 one but as I haven’t seen it, I’m going to judge depending on My Secret Hotel. And I like him and his character — he is attached to the murder involved and thus we can safely say he has his own narrative arc aside from being the requisite second lead.
I must say I’m really annoyed by Hae Young’s fiancée — she acts too cutesy for my tolerance level. But I’m totally loving Jin Yi Han (oh his voice!!!) and to see him as a groom gave a deja vu as he was also a runaway groom in Master’s Sun (which was the first time I saw him in anything) and also he had his first scene at a wedding in A New Leaf. Wow, that’s three in a row (well, not exactly as he also did Empress Ki in between). He acts with so much naturalness and depth.
As a huge mystery fan, I think this show will not make my brains do much exercises as it will not be as complex as the plethora of other films and novels I’ve encountered from the genre. But I can always welcome this set-up, even when it’s painted with lighter shades. I think the show will gradually open up layers as the police will investigate and side by side, we’ll also see what happened with our OTP that led them to divorce. And yes, I like the breezy music. The drama’s canvas is also very beautifully pictured with great quality.
In a nutshell, I’ve found my new drama to make me excited!