Juggling the life of a fangirl and professional Art Curator is what one woman does best in this new romantic comedy series.
Based on the popular web novel, Noona Fan Dot Com, the drama tells the story of Sung Deok-Mi (Park Min-Young) who is committed to her career and fangirl life, running an Art Gallery as a Curator while being a devoted fan of Cha Shi-An (Jung Je-Won). Her private fangirl life becomes threatened when the new Art Director, Ryan Gold (Kim Jae-Wook) takes over Cheum Gallery. A woman with a secret and a man full of hidden mysteries, the two become entangled in odd ways that will eventually lead to love and romance.
My sole reason to watch this series is Kim Jae-Wook and I’d be lying to the masses if I said it wasn’t. I was intrigued when he agreed to star in a rom-com and pleasantly shocked to see various facets to his acting. Ryan Gold as a character, has a complicated past most likely linked to early abandonment which led to his adoption (hence the English name) and it’s obvious that Ryan battles with psychological trauma due to his past as well as his self-worth in the art industry.
And for all these reasons, I can see why Kim Jae-Wook was casted…he has a knack for playing psychologically unstable characters, especially to the extreme. Ryan does fall under stoic male lead types but that’s mainly his socially closed off self having a hard time interacting with people. He surprisingly has a clumsy and awkward side when dealing with his developing feelings for Deok Mi and the misunderstandings he forms in relation to her, making Kim Jae-Wook’s performance all the more entertaining to watch as well as refreshing since a charismatic and sauvé casanova type would be expected of a good-looking Director. Too much icing on a cake becomes sickening all too quick. So thank you drama!
Park Min-Young on the other hand, won everyone over as the lovable Secretary Kim and it’s interesting to see how this series brings the professional demeanour of her previous character and combines it with more playful components of being a fangirl. I did expect far more hilarity in regards to her fangirl side but the show seems to be holding back on treading into Waikiki territory with its comedy and instead, gives us a bit of everything.
Deok Mi’s internal thoughts as a fangirl are fun to watch, but the show also addresses the issues of saseang fans and the lengths they’re willing to go to in order to place their idols on a pedestal. I was really hoping for some hard cold facts, for such fans to be confronted with the truth and to come to their senses, and learn to separate reality from fantasy but Deok Mi has a tolerance as a result of her own fangirl status. As irksome as that might be to viewers, it may also be the beginning of her coming out of the closet and differentiating between right and wrong.
Hopefully, a genuine encounter that leads to love will help her gain something more precious and meaningful but the flip-side to this is that a grown woman should be able to be an idol fan without malice or placing a dent to her name and career. It would be quite the watch if the drama manages to portray all these aspects and address issues many women face within the workforce, and a mere four episodes has already revealed quite a lot.
I like the pacing of the show so far and the chemistry is already giving me fuzzy feels, oozing with intensity at moments when I least expect it.There are however, scenes that aren’t really needed and do nothing to progress the story, like Deok Mi’s parents having a random quarrel, which takes up too much screen time or the need for a childhood friend with a one-sided love since both get tiresome and have been done far too many times to count. I’m hoping this is the Writer’s way of covering the groundwork of the web novel to give us some background while the show doesn’t invest too much time to either as it continues its course. Deok Mi’s childhood friend is sweet and the textbook definition of a true friend but as a love interest, its almost cruel at this point and really unnecessary.
I do appreciate the change in profession since K-dramas are still pumping medicals and legal dramas, and the show has a lightness to it that attest to its main genres. The sub-genres however, are compelling and contain all the secrets the show intends to reveal, forcing the audience to do some guess work which is a nice change and adds another layer of depth to this romantic-comedy. There’s quite a bit to cover in regards to Ryan and plenty of questions revolving around Deok Mi and the status of her relationship with Ryan once her private fangirl life gets dragged into the light. It’ll be a shaky romance and slightly topsy-turvy since Ryan will fall for girl who’s in love with her idol. And that’s gotta be rough!
After a great deal of anticipation, solid ratings, and a rom-com duo that’s pure visuals, Her Private Life might be the drama we’ve all been patiently waiting for. It has its flaws but it’s also full of charms, definitely worth a chance and may surprise us with all its potential and hidden secrets.
Release Date: April 10, 2019 (Eng Sub available on Viki)