Why men would love Secret Garden
Translation of an article by reporter Gu Dul Rae of Hangyoreh Red
Why they also suffer from the ‘Secret Garden syndrome’ …
Because amidst his explosive series of arrogant words , one finds the concealed poetic wistfulness · loneliness · innocence … of Kim Ju Won.
I watched Secret Garden’s ‘That Man’ because of my wife. Besides the drama, everything else disappears in her view. While holding a pork knuckle in one hand, a glass of soju in the other, my wife’s tears gushes out like floodwaters (while watching the show). But I admit, towards the drama’s eye candy ‘That Man’, I can only gasp in admiration. And he got me absorbed.
Hyun Bin’s (Kim Ju Won in the show) words are art –
‘While in your dreams, what is causing you to go through so much roughness?’
‘Because, in my dreams, you’re there.’
‘With me there, aren’t you happy in your dreams?’
‘But still, come to me.
Tomorrow too, and the day after.’
Towards a guy who came to look for her, a girl asks, ‘Why did you come?’
‘Because you’re here,’ he answers.
Despite laughing at the way my wife is crying so pitifully over ‘That Man’, I ended up being able to memorize his lines.
Where the ‘Ethics of Society’s Leading Class’ goes beyond typical conventions
We, men, have been revealed by this drama. Someone nicknamed ‘Heehee’ wrote in the Secret Garden Gallery – ‘I find it funny that men are getting hooked on this drama.” She continues…
“The men I know watch this drama religiously, what’s more, if they couldn’t watch it, they will ask online what happened, then download the episode and then watch it. Wah… I find this re—-ally funny and amusing. ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ And I’m talking about guys who’re in their 20s. ㅋㅋㅋㅋThis drama probably clicks with their inner code, I guess. ㅎㅎㅎ. I heard that even those in the military are watching it every week too. ㅋㅋㅋ”
In reply to this comment, somebody nicknamed ‘Coming Out’ declared that he watched it not only because of Ha Ji Won, but also because of ‘Kim Sa Rang’s body’. Another (guy) named ‘Ohoi’ stated his reason as – “We are diligently studying this role model for men”
How did Secret Garden, clearly a chocolatey-sweet ‘romantic comedy’, manage to capture the hearts of men? It can even be viewed as a ‘manhood’-challenged show. One guy with a twitter ID of @elvisoon tweeted dialogues live as the show was on air. He said he started watching because his wife said it was interesting. When his wife went ‘kyaaak’, his dialogue tweets will also scream, and the rest of the tweet-borhood combusts spontaneously. Originally with 6000 – 7000 followers, he garnered 2000 more followers, “99% of whom are women”. He is followed because of the drama dialogues.
His favorite tweet is the line, “Fly my chartered plane to Kaneda Airport immediately now”. He said,
“I feel a kind of vicarious (substitute) satisfaction from this. LOEL CEO Kim is a bad guy who treats women rudely. In real life, a man like this will never get a girl to love him. Flying your chartered plane to Haneda, that’s also impossible in reality. That’s why I feel a kind of vicarious satisfaction from this.”
As he rattles off the lines that he tweets so diligently, his wife chided him, “Who do you intend to say these lines to anyway?” He said, “To be seen through (by my wife) like this, it’s embarassing.” This guy is ‘Man’ indeed.
Novelist Kim Joong Hyuk did not agree that <Secret Garden> is a romantic comedy, and insisted that it is a “professional drama where many stunt scenes were shown”. He added, “This drama went beyond the standard (childish) fare we get from romance dramas and gave the viewers many ‘highs’ and enjoyment, that’s why it’s watchable.”
Cho Yoon Ho, who calls himself a ‘youth socialist’, says while there were scenes which he was totally disatisfied with, he continued watching <Secret Garden> because he was amused with how the rich did not try to conceal their identity in the drama.
“It portrayed the strange thoughts that only a chaebol like Kim Ju Won can think of. Even though he speaks of how he should carry out his noblesse oblige (obligations of the noble class), sometimes he gives the feeling he’s suggesting something indecent. Explaining how all things boil down to ‘Ethics of Society’s Leading Class’ vs ‘Ethics of the Underprivileged Fellow Neighbors ‘, it was interesting and enjoyable.”
The setting of soul swapping also made viewers feel the ‘Enjoyment of Parodox’. After changing souls, Gil Ra Im (Ha Ji Won) became a CEO and greeted people at work.
“Kim Ju Won was a person who didn’t even care to greet the people who work hard to help him amass his riches. But when Gil Ra Im (in his body) greeted them, the workers thought it was strange. They were workers who accepted the fact that their value at work will never be recognized but still continue to work anyways.”
That’s why he didn’t wish for a happy ending. Because he wanted it to be shown (realistically) as an impossible love.
“Didn’t Madam Moon Bun Hong say this – ‘Up to now, how much did it cost for you to enjoy those privileges of yours.” Whether it’s Kim Ju Won lowering his status in life, or Gil Ra Im raising hers, both would be impossible. Thus, I felt that the drama should have ended tragically.”