I hate to say it, but I’m ready for this cycle’s dramas to end.
My first experiment in watching two currently airing shows has been something of a failure: there’s always something new to distract my attention, so I don’t really think about the dramas as much as I do when I have to wait a full week for episodes. The shows I’m watching are also part of the problem: They’re fine, but neither has really run away with my heart and soul. I Need Romance 3 is turning out to be just another cookie-cutter love triangle drama with little of the quirky charm of earlier installments in the series. And while My Love from Another Star is glossy, fluffy fun, it’s a little too slick for my taste.
Next time around, I’m only going to watch one new show—jTBC’s romantic melo Secret Love Affair, the story of a worldly, married woman who’s embroiled in a steamy romance with a much younger man.
I’m a lover of Kdrama’s patented noona romances, which means this show pretty much had me at hello. The finest examples of this species—as embodied by What’s Up, Fox and I Do, I Do—twist the power dynamics between their leads. In the patriarchal world of Korean dramas, women are often at a disadvantage in their relationships. They’re the followers, not the leaders. But add into this equation an age difference, and things change—thanks to the traditional hierarchy of Korean society, the female lead is suddenly the one with the power, both in her romance and her already established, grown-up life. Instead of being a wide-eyed innocent who’s easily manipulated, a noona in love can be a person of power.