The Fangirls have been super quiet as a group. We’ve all been watching dramas, but rarely all the same one. We did find one that we did a group first impression, but it just didn’t land in our schedules at the right time for a group recap. We were all starting to despair that nothing would come along, but then Sung Duk Mi swooped into our lives, proper fangirl gear in hand, and we all knew we had the right drama. Join us as we try to keep up with the most talented fan to grace the screen as we recap Her Private Life.
The entire show hinges on one character (no, not the amazing and wonderful Kim Jae Wook). Park Min Young has landed another role that is sure to win our hearts. It’s not drastically different from Secretary Kim, at least at first glance. She’s a hard working curator and everyone depends on her abilities to pull the show off. She’s gorgeous, well dressed, and really knows her stuff. What sets her apart, and what makers her super relatable, is her fangirl persona.
Fangirling Like a Pro
Drama Geek: The entire show feels like an homage to people like us. No, most of us don’t buy really expensive cameras and scope out the perfect spot at the airport, but there is something about how she has to hide her love for her oppa because the workplace will think she’s silly. Or how much watching a new MV can make you smile. (I currently have a BTS smile on my face.)
Kdrama Jen: It’s not that I needed outside validation for my fangirling, but there is something comforting and, well, validating about seeing a Kdrama character with a professional job who is also a fan. I am kind of in awe of Park Min Young’s character and her dedication to both her career and her White Ocean love. I adore that she applies her intelligence to her job and to her outside hobby. Duk Mi knows exactly how to scope out the best spot and where to place her ladder. She fangirls like it’s her job, and as someone who maybe spent hours plotting the ultimate plan to snag BTS tickets (it kind of worked), I have to salute her. I also love that she goes from ultra professional to giddy fangirl in seconds. It just makes me smile in understanding. I want to touch my screen in solidarity and say, “Same, Girl. Same!”
Karie the Maknae: Yep, Duk Mi having to hide her fangirl love totally resonates. I have to admit that I’ve never been as intensely invested as she is, but I do own idol socks. Speaking of, where are her idol socks? I’m pretty sure that’s the only piece of merchandise she’s missing!
Clkytta: I find this drama so much fun because it feels like she’s one of our fangirls. Older fans with posters on the wall (or ceiling, but I’m not telling) and hiding it from her coworkers is so relatable.
Kmuse: I adored that they showed that Duk Mi is an extreme fangirl and then on top of that she has some hereditary addiction genes passed down by her parents. I suppose if you are going to be an addict, being addicted to an idol is the way to go! I fully love her addiction and how it fuels my love for my own biases. This character is totally relatable.
MiataMama: When I first started watching this drama, I messaged my K-besties and commented that never in the history of watching dramas, had I found a character more relatable! I’m pretty confident that I look exactly like Duk Mi sitting on her couch, grinning happily and squealing 귀엽다! while watching videos of her favorite idol. (BTS Vlive broadcasts make me giddy!)
Co-Conspirator BFF for the Win!
Drama Geek: Any friend that will lay down some cash just so you can stay in Oppa’s hotel room and take pics in the same bathtub he did, is a keeper. These two brought back LA memories of the Fangirls after the BTS concert. We may not try to spend $30K to make sure Oppa has the painting he wants, but we do love listening to some Kpop and watching dramas together.
Kdrama Jen: The sismance in this drama feels so real. There is just nothing quite like the Kbestie-bond! It’s hard to explain, but they do a great job of showing it. When you are friends who love the same thing, it creates a connection that leads to communication that is sometimes in the form of squeals and giggles. I feel like I can convey more to the friends I have met through my drama and Kpop world with a .gif of Suga or Gong Yoo than I can with 1,000 words. It’s just…that special bond. This drama does an exceptional job of illustrating this through the sismance. I could watch these two on my screen for hours!!
Karie the Maknae: I love Duk Mi’s BFF. Lee Seon Joo is the perfect amount of sassy and totally dedicated to her friend and to fangirl. I’m interested to see how the guy playing her husband does — I really hated his slimy guts in Go Back Couple.
Clkytta: I love her BFF so much. I feel like the kbesties here have that same unconditional love, or we would have if we had the $$$. There is something about having people to share the things you love that really makes it so much more special. When I’m with my kbesties and we walk into a kpop shop or attend a concert and I can just let that side of me shine through it really is the best feeling. So it makes me really glad that Duk Mi has a friend who shares her love of her idol.
Kmuse: I actually related a lot to Lee Seon Joo. Seeing her not being able to fangirl as much as she would like because of family responsibility was very relatable… I am always slightly envious of my friends that can pick up and run to a concert or Seoul without having to think of how it would affect the family long term. She also proves that there is room for fangirling even when you are a mother; it just is at a different degree.
MiataMama: For the longest time (6 years to be exact), I had no besties to share the Kdrama love with. Having someone who gets your passion and supports your dedication, often when your own family scoffs or questions your decisions in life?? That right there is priceless. Love Lee Seon Hoo!
Kdrama Jen: Ooh. I have been waiting for Waffle Guy from Coffee Prince to find a role that really showcases his potential. I think this might be it! He is an obnoxious and condescending man from the beginning, but with that broken little boy peeking out. Gah! I am a sucker for this type of male lead. I can’t help it. I am glad by the end of the second episode we are seeing more glimpses of his softer side. I also thought it was super sweet of him to give up his suite for two people he thought were trapped in a forbidden love. It made me like him even though he was so outwardly cold.
Drama Geek: I am with Kdrama Jen. When Ryan went back to his room and contemplated what he should do, I was a total goner for his character. Then when he discovered it was Duk Mi he mistook for being in the relationship, and never treated her any different, I was so happy. Hoping it doesn’t turn into anything like Strong Woman Do Bong Soon where it was just a joke. I also love how hard it is for him to adjust to Korea. Both the airport and subway scene show that he is just not used to this place. I will say that he was WAY more forgiving of her spiking his drink with coffee than I would have been. DO NOT put anything in people’s food or drink. You never know what they’re allergic to.
Karie the Maknae: Ryan Gold is cracking me up in his understated ways — this kind of dry humor is my favorite. And can I just say that I find it delightfully ironic of the writer to make someone who was iconic in a drama ALL about coffee (Coffee Prince) allergic to coffee?
Clkytta: Thank you Drama Gods! I love Kim Jae Wook and like everyone else, I have been waiting and waiting for him to have a lead. I love his grumpy Gus ways and his quirks. While she was wrong to spike his drink, I do think that telling someone you have a caffeine allergy is a smart thing to do and not a sign of weakness.
Kmuse: His character is the perfect foil for Duk Mi’s more emotional and energetic personality. I already love the bickering between the OTP (one true pairing) and I can’t wait for him to find out Duk Mi’s secret fangirling addiction.
MiataMama: Ryan Gold has your standard K-drama character tropes: cold, distant, handsome, rich and talented. However, a couple of his actions have already set him apart from the typical male lead. I was surprised (and pleased) to see that he was quick to admit his wrongs and able to forgive Duk Mi for her inadvertent attempted murder. But I’m most curious about his past – what’s going on there?
Sibling (?) Relationship Goals
Drama Geek: Her brother/childhood friend is played by the same actor who did Moo Myung from My Only Love Song. He’s the character who didn’t talk but you could hear his thoughts. Loved him! Anyway, these two have a very cute sibling relationship. I loved when they each took a parent and tried to get them to stop fighting. The norebang scene was super cute. Also, what can’t Park Min Young do? I have to admit that I didn’t read the synopsis so I didn’t realize he wasn’t her brother, and I am dim when it comes to OSTs, so I didn’t get the Reply reference. Now that I have taken a step back, I can see he might have different feelings for her, than she has for him.
Kdrama Jen: I love their sibling-like relationship. It is early in the drama, but after doing a TON of research, it looks like this might be a Reply 1997 or 1994 kind of thing. Eun Gi is a childhood friend who grew up with Duk Mi. The Reply 1997 comparison is underscored during the noraebang scene when Eun Gi and Duk Mi sing the song Seo in Guk and Eun Ji (from Reply 1997) sang together. There were a few longing looks from Eun Gi that might be just a bit out of place if he was REALLY her brother. Their scenes together have me laughing and sighing. I laughed out loud when he punched the cardboard cut-out of Si An. I especially loved how she flipped out! But, then, you could also see the caring relationship they have. It was subtle, but gave great insight into Eun Gi’s feelings, when he left his shoes outside her apartment door. That is the act of someone who cares.
Karie the Maknae: I’m loving the brother-like friend too — he stole my heart from the moment he left his shoes outside her door to keep her safe. And he made me laugh with his judo chop to the cardboard cutout in Duk Mi’s apartment. I probably would have done the same thing.
Clkytta: The “brother” is awesome. He is funny and caring and I love how he makes her pay him to keep her mom from going to her apartment. I need to know more about him, this actor hasn’t been on my radar and I think he should be.
MiataMama: Wait! He’s not her actual brother?? I totally missed that. So instead of fun sibling dynamics, I’m going to have to deal with heartbreaking one-sided, second-lead love? I don’t know how I feel about this. . . I will definitely be watching from a much different perspective next week.
Drama Geek: Kim Sun Young playing the old director is cracking me up. I’ve always loved her acting, but the last drama I saw her in made me see how sassy she can be, and she’s pulling no stops in this role.
Kdrama Jen: Oh, the bangs! Kim Sun Young is great in this role. I love her versatility as an actress. Since I have already made reference to Reply 1997 and Reply 1994, I feel it is just perfect that played one of my favorite characters in Reply 1988. I am sensing a theme, here, drama!
Karie the Maknae: I tend to love Kim Sun Young whenever I get the pleasure of watching her, and this is no exception. She could have gone over-the-top and screechy, but I like her more realistic approach to the entitled, embezzling director.
Clkytta: Kim Sung Young is always fun to watch because she has the best facial expressions. The artsy hair is appropriate for her role, she’s supposed to be edgy and intuitive as an art director. I love her pettiness and her dramatics, and I can’t wait to see what other shenanigans she gets our fangirl into.
Kmuse: I am actually enjoying watching Entitled Bangs CEO (those are truly the ugliest and most entitled bangs ever) go up against the ego of Ryan Gold. This is going to be a very entertaining showdown as they try to gain control of the art gallery.
MiataMama: I really like this actress!! I absolutely loathe those fake bangs. Seriously. I’m SO distracted by them every time she comes on the screen, that I’m not really appreciating her acting talents, as I should, in this role.
Drama Geek: For me this show is all about the characters. The directing and music aren’t necessarily standing out to me, or even the writing. I’m in this for Deok Mi and her journey. I think it will be a really fun ride.
Kdrama Jen: Park Min Young is my Kdrama actress bias. I am famous (among the fangirls) for being clear that I have no true bias among Kpop group members or actors, but I can unequivocally say that Park Min Young is my favorite actress. This is closely followed by my #2 favorite, Kim Mi Kyung. Lucky for me, they are BOTH in this drama!! This show is hitting all of my drama sweet spots, so I am just fully enjoying every second. I am not sure we needed to have yet another character in drama land with a touch of prosopagnosia, but that is really a minor complaint that is outweighed by so much awesome! This is the one I am sub-stalking.
Karie the Maknae: Great characters and decent plot? I am all in. This is gonna be a fun drama, and I’m looking forward to it.
Clkytta: I think this is going to be a great drama for a chatty recap. I’m pretty sure we will find more and more things we love about our heroine and that our hero will make us swear and swoon. Above all else, it’s something that we can all watch together and discuss and that’s the best part for me.
Kmuse: I am 100% charmed and can’t wait for next week!
MiataMama: Park Min Young as a dedicated fangirl? Perfection! I’m already loving this drama and can’t wait for the next episodes to drop.
Until Oppa drops something squealworthy,
Dramas With a Side of Kimchi