Her Private Life is a romantic comedy about an idol fangirl (Park Min Young) who has been passionate about her idol for many years. She works as a curator at an art museum and tries to hide her fangirl side, but her secret becomes in jeopardy of being exposed after a new director (Kim Jae Wook) arrives.
Her Private Life has been the hot drama lately, so I’ve been pretty anxious to see what all of the buzz was about. Thankfully, it hooked me right away and then just kept getting better and better!
Park Min Young plays our idol fangirl Sung Deok Mi. Deok Mi is classy, composed, and very good at her job as an art curator. But in secret, she is a true fangirl of Si An of the pop group White Ocean. Her home is decked out in all kinds of merchandise, she’s always ready to snap amazing pics of him, and she even runs a popular fan site dedicated to him. She is all in!
Kim Jae Wook is Ryan Gold, the new director of Deok Mi’s art museum. He’s a bit prickly and closed off, but of course he’s pretty great underneath that. And he’s got some trauma stemming from being abandoned at an orphanage as a child.
We also have some important supporting characters. Park Jin Joo plays Lee Seon Joo. She is Deok Mi’s best friend, and the two have a very close relationship. Then there’s Ahn Bo Hyun as Nam Eun Gi. He’s our second lead who has been like a brother figure to Deok Mi, but he actually harbors feelings for her.
Then rounding things out is the oh-so-sweet object of Deok Mi’s fangirling, Cha Si An (One) of the popular band White Ocean, as well as the trouble making sasaeng Cindy (Kim Bo Ra) who is well known in the fan community and bit of a rival of Deok Mi.
With the premise of Her Private Life focusing on a fangirl and the life that comes with it, this is something that I’m sure many people will be able to relate to. Watching every video your favorite group or idol puts out, fantasizing about them, waiting for a new album to drop, collecting merchandise, meeting other wonderful fans online while also contending with toxic fans. It’s all too familiar to those involved in the fan community.
The show highlights many aspects of the fan culture in South Korea quite well. There are varying levels of it with some being very innocent with the simple joys of admiring an artist while other parts are very disturbing and can lead to obsessive and dangerous behavior. The drama worked all of this into the story so nicely.
I thought it was really cute how the drama depicted many of the happenings on social media from posting pics and info, to fans reacting, and how the information spreads. It was pretty accurate and done in a fun way.
Ryan and Deok Mi get off on the wrong foot with several initial encounters that end badly. Then he has some pretty humorous misunderstandings about her early on too. But as he gets to know her, he becomes intrigued by her. And when she ends up in the middle of a scandal with her idol, we get a good old fake relationship between her and Ryan to allow the pair to grow close while trying to make things better.
I just knew Park Min Young would be perfect for this role. She wonderfully showcases the duality of being a mature working woman with being a dedicated fangirl. I loved watching her try to navigate both worlds and the lengths she had to go to in order to keep her secret. And things get so complicated as Ryan ends up involved with each of her identities while not knowing she is actually both of them.
Ryan was quite unappealing those first couple episodes because he was just so callous. But once we start getting a window into his past as well as seeing that he is a genuinely good guy, things start to improve. Then things get really fun when he starts getting tangled up in Deok Mi’s fan life all while not knowing she’s actually a fangirl.
SPOILERS: But as he begins to fall for her, he soon discovers her secret fangirl identity. It was so much fun watching him infiltrate Deok Mi’s website by pretending to be a fan of Si An and then basically fanboying over her. He ends up being this perfect dream sort of boyfriend that actually doesn’t mind Deok Mi’s fangirling and completely supports her. It’s super cute for sure. END OF SPOILERS
And let me tell you, if you like a swoony couple, then look no further! Ryan and Deok Mi have some sizzling chemistry that just increases as the show goes on. There are those moments where the camera lingers on the couple as they gaze into each other’s eyes or while in a romantic embrace. And don’t forget all of the kisses this duo shares. Get ready, there are lots of good ones that will get your heart fluttering!
There’s more to this couple than just sizzling chemistry though. They have an incredibly supportive relationship where they are able to talk through their difficulties and be there for each other when challenging circumstances arise. Ryan has some particularly difficult issues to deal with later in the drama, and Deok Mi was such a kind and supportive partner for him.
This couple was pretty angst light and communicated very well, which is usually a negative for me, but somehow they made it work quite well, kept me engaged, and I really didn’t mind. See, occasionally, I appreciate a healthy relationship, hehe.
Her Private Life is exactly how I like my romantic comedies. It has a good amount of comedy, a sizzling romance, and a solid main story to push everything forward. There was also a mystery concerning Ryan’s past that was nicely touched upon throughout the series.
For me, many times this sort of “meatier” story is what really keeps me interested. But Her Private Life was unique in that not only did it handle that back story well, but it also executed the main story surrounding the romance and the secret fan identities of our leads perfectly.
For the most part, this show is pretty light, but it does get heavier towards the very end as we progress from the secret fangirl plot to the story surrounding Ryan’s difficult past and some other family problems.
There are quite a lot of issues to address, and things just get more serious. Although they could have spread this story out a bit more, it worked well to still have some story to tell to keep things interesting at the end.
Her Private Life was always completely engaging with wonderful pacing that never felt draggy. That’s frequently a challenge in romantic comedies, and I sure do appreciate how well this drama put everything together to deliver a very entertaining drama.
My Rating: 8.5/10