I feel like I just got hit with a baseball bat, but I’m feeling good about it. Because, holy wow, what was that? Right now, you are probably reading this and going, “She’s lost her mind.” Well, I’m positive most of the characters in the drama I just started are about to lose much more than their minds, and I’m ready for the roller coaster ride.Review by Regina Ryals
Starring actress Won Jin-Ah as Yoon Song Ah and Kpop idol/actor Rowoon as Chae Hyun Seung, She Would Never Know is a Korean drama adapted from a web novel. It tells the story of a makeup marketer who aspires to create her own brand and the younger trainee in love with her.
I have never had a good sense of direction. I’m one of those people who gets lost even while using a GPS. At this point, even the accented voice programmed into my Maps app literally sighs before rerouting. She Would Never Know is a Kdrama that’s going to make people sigh, and it’s going to be interesting to see exactly how it plans to reroute a lot of messy situations.
As a fan of both Won Jin-Ah and Rowoon, I have been highly anticipating this drama. Won Jin-Ah could read me the dictionary in her low, husky voice, and I’d be in Heaven. Rowoon could tower over my four-foot eleven-inch frame, and I’d melt into a puddle. By placing these two in the same drama, She Would Never Know already had me hooked before it ever hit the screen.
Still, as much as I love both actors and their previous projects, it’s one thing to draw me in based on the cast; it’s another to keep me hooked.
She Would Never Know dangles the right kind of bait: angst. The more angst a drama throws at me, the more ensnared I become, and this drama does not hold back on the angst. If anything, it bombarded me with so much of it that there was this stunned “words fail me” moment in the end.
A tricky road lies ahead full of twists, turns, forks, and possible dead ends. If my GPS wasn’t so used to me and my misguided nature, it would take one look at this drama and ask for a mental time off.
Let’s talk about the trip to come …
If you are one of those “I won’t watch it if there’s a love triangle,” then I’m not quite sure what I should say here. While triangles aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, I love them. I wasn’t great at Geometry or math in school, so if there is a word for two connected triangles, that would be the best way to describe the romantic hiccups in She Would Never Know. Cue the unrequited love and unsuspecting girlfriends, and you’ve got one major future showdown coming.
It looks a little something like:
The drama doesn’t stop there. Mix in hints of family issues, heart-fluttering height differences, and jealousy, and you’ve got one complicated, “pass me the popcorn” show ahead.
She Would Never Know starts off innocently enough. KLAR makeup marketer Yoon Song Ah (Won Jin-Ah) is merely doing her job tailed by her tall, handsome young trainee, Chae Hyun Seung (Rowoon). Chae Hyun Seung is obviously infatuated with his senior coworker—boy has it bad—and he is trying hard to get noticed.
This is where things get complicated.
For a show that keeps warning against the pitfalls of office romances, there are A LOT of office romances going on. Covertly, I might add. One of the KLAR employees reveals she is getting married to a coworker she has secretly been dating for years, and the announcement starts a domino effect.
Hyun Seung—remember, he has it bad—invites Song Ah to an office dinner celebrating his birthday. The only present he receives that night is a broken heart. Upon following Song Ah outside, Hyun Seung discovers she is in a secret relationship with their boss Lee Jae Shin. He is crushed and considers letting go of his feelings, especially since she appears happy in her clandestine situation.
Cue the angst.
Now would be the time to refer to the poorly drawn triangle chart I posted above. An artist, I am not. Our boy Hyun Seung has a nasty habit of stumbling on dicey relationship situations. At least where it pertains to Song Ah. Shortly after discovering Song Ah’s dating secret, Hyun Seung visits his sister at the bridal shop where she works.
Lee Jae Shin suddenly appears with a woman that isn’t Song Ah, a woman Hyun Seung discovers is Lee Jae Shin’s fiancé. Their marriage is in two months. Boss man Lee Jae Shin gets around in a big, big way.
Chae Hyun Seung gets his own marked path on this crazy road of love because our infatuated boy isn’t going down without a fight, and he is undoubtedly prepared for war. Actor and Kpop idol, Rowoon, is indeed sexy, but he steps it up a notch as Chae Hyun Seung in She Would Never Know.
In the drama, Song Ah has a habit of applying a particular lipstick shade before she secretly meets with Lee Jae Shin. This habit does not go unnoticed by Hyun Seung. The way Hyun Seung wipes off Song Ah’s lipstick at the end of the first episode before telling her to never wear it again made my goosebumps give birth to goosebumps. He comes on strong, and I make no apologies for my reaction.
Maybe I should explain.
After seeing Lee Jae Shin with the other woman (the one who isn’t Song Ah), Hyun Seung decides he will no longer give up on his feelings for Song Ah. It’s literally game on for him. At work, he has no chill, giving Lee Jae Shin death glares and popping off insinuating comments that left me wondering how he didn’t get fired. There are some incredibly intense moments, yet no one seems to notice except Song Ah, who is confused about the entire situation.
Chae Hyun Seung gets a handle on his emotions, and there is a time jump. One month passes, leaving only four weeks until Lee Jae Shin marries the “other woman.” Hyun Seung makes his move, cornering Song Ah in the stairwell after a clandestine meeting with Lee Jae Shin. At this point, it’s no secret that Hyun Seung is aware of her relationship with their boss, and he’s ready to make his own move.
Hyun Seung sweeps his finger across Song Ah’s lips, smudging the color there, before asking her to never wear that shade of lipstick again. He follows this with a request for her time, as he has something he wants to show her. She refuses, but he insists, and the episode ends with an intense stare-off.
The chemistry and angst in this drama is electric! Unrequited love, love triangles, secret relationships, serious misunderstandings, heart-fluttering height differences, and family issues makes for an overwhelming first episode. I am in love!
If you love angst as much as I do, join me on this drama journey. When my full series review releases, find out if this trip ends at a satisfying destination or a disappointing dead-end.
Until then, grab the popcorn and let’s do this! As for our boy Hyun Seung, I’ll wear whatever color lipstick he asks me to put on … or maybe I’ll just keep putting on the wrong shade so he’ll keep wiping it off.
Game on, Hyun Seung! Let’s see what you’ve got.
You can find this drama on the iQiyi drama app or website.