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Title: My Secret Hotel
Episode: 01
Watched: August 22nd, 2014

August 29th, 2014

Greetings from the cold North [a.k.a. Canada (even if it’s the summer and even if it’s pretty sunny out today)], everybody!
How are you all doing?

So, because I’m in love with Empress Ki‘s TalTal’s actor (said in a very casual manner when in fact it’s a huge deal because I never really obsess over an actor enough to follow him into not only one series (A New Leaf) but TWO), I started to watch this Korean Drama called ‘My Secret Hotel‘. It is released twice a week, but I fear I will only be able to release one post per week. So I will be behind compared to the drama. You can blame school or my lack of ability to make priorities (because that works out too).

Speaking of which, the day you receive this, I will be spending my first day at school… I’m so scared, hahaha, but yeah, without further ado (other than this Spoiler Alert), let us start!

I watched the first episode a second time with Charmander and Mewtwo and I must say that Charmander probably disliked the drama the most out of the three of us (of course it was just the exposition and the whole introduction of the characters, but she did call out to all of the cliches she could find [and admittedly, there were plenty, but who are we kidding here? We don’t watch dramas for the cliches! At least… I don’t think I do. I watch it… because… hm… I want to know what happens next? I want to see if my predictions are true? I want to see my ship sailing by itself and not sink into the bottom of the ocean?]).

Before we start, I just want to link you to this beautiful post about the original screenwriter of this drama on My Secret Hotel’s Facebook Page. My condolences go to her family and friends!


 Overall

Soundtrack-wise, I really enjoyed the fact that they put Time after Time in the background of one of the scenes [I discovered this song via Dengeki Daisy so it was nice to revisit the song]. Overall, Charmander did not enjoy the melody that they used; mostly because it was too light in tone and did not reflect the scenes at all. She even went as far as to say that the person who arranged it should be fired. I personally think that’s a bit extreme.

Unless the coordination between the scene and the melody was awfully off [because I don’t have the habit of paying attention to the soundtrack], I wouldn’t have been able to continue, but I was able to put it in the background, where it’s supposed to belong, and focus on the introduction. For those of you who wouldn’t mind, then I don’t think it should be an issue.

The Venue which they used to film everything was pretty nice. The chandeliers, the background for every location was really nicely chosen!!


The Introduction [Wedding Bout, as I will probably be referring to it] – Are every dramas supposed to use the trope of starting in the future, or is it just me, because I watched Empress Ki and this one [I’ll give you that, A New Leaf didn’t focus on the future as much, but then again, they didn’t do a good job with maintaining the series, in my opinion anyway]?

I liked that they were able to convey the tension between the “Ex” [or I’ll call her “Manager Nam“], Nam Sang Hyo, and the “Groom” [also, I might slip and call him “TalTal“, so please be warned], Goo Hae Young. They made Manager Nam pretty capable of managing the hotel venue and solving the issues at hand; it’s really nice to see such strong-ish female leads. To my eyes, right in the beginning, they made the Groom really seem petty (but I’ve never been married, I can’t tell you that I understand he would go drinking the night BEFORE his wedding; I still don’t condone it).

The old man who is the only one to notice the blood – I really hope that he’ll come back – because I really liked him. And I would also like the comeback of the hysterical Auntie [Baek Ji Mi, if she introduced herself, she must be pretty important, no?] who was pickpocketed. I wonder if – seeing as the pickpocket was an issue 2 weeks earlier (as Manager Nam researches about it) – the PickPocket will be important (what if it was the Ice sculptor man [Assistant Manager Hwang Dong Bae]?).

As for the murder, it was quite extravagant, to have someone crush through the window-ceiling and right in front of the groom. I wonder if the murderer (or murderess) has something to do with Goo. It was gruesome, too, to have the person bleed out before they ultimately fell. Was the murderer present or was he/she upstairs, pushing the man to his death, I wonder [This is my Detective Conan Reader mode triggered]? It was also interesting to see the camera shot of the man bleeding out onto the white carpet, and then the zoom into the Jealous Woman‘s face, smiling as she walked away.


= Time-Skip (2 weeks earlier) = 

Nam Sang Hyo‘s side: I liked the exposition of what’s happening behind the scenes in the hotel. The meeting between the managers and the Managing Director (as I’m going to call him) was insightful. To know that Manager Nam was not always as competent as we’ve seen before and to think that she has grown into such an important and capable manager in the span of 2 weeks is cool (although, granted, Managing Director did say that she had an impressive resume before coming onto the team)!

We learn that she joined the hotel 3 months prior to this episode and that she has an English name; Samantha Richardson. I wonder if her story about her adoptive parents is true, or if she just made it up so that he wouldn’t know about her past relationship with Goo Hae Young. We also find out that she used to be a waitress who worked so hard that she became manager in a Las Vegas Hotel, and she got into trouble with Goo Hae Young, so she moved to Korea.

I also love that behind the scene, every staff member is holding this wager (with money) about who is going to end up with the Managing Director (Manager Nam or Manager Yeo).

At the hotel, we see that there’s another conflict going on (as they usually happen in real life) between the Managing Director, whom I might call “CEO” from time to time [who is very serious about the fact that their hotel is no longer very popular] and General Manager [who argues that they are facing the off-season, which is when there will be less customers in the hotel].

Manager Nam later comments on the conflict, stating that the fact that the two are so cold to each other makes the team uncomfortable [which I agree, if I were in the shoes of one of them, I would also find it pretty uneasy].

It was really funny to listen to all of the gossip about the “curse” of the hotel, too, the camera shots were pretty well done in my humble opinion! It was due to a statistics report that Manager Nam conducted with the PR team (one of them being Manager Yeo, her love rival for the CEO).  I wonder if the leakage of such statistics was from Assistant Manager Hwang [there is a huge mystery about what this person is up to and what this person can do, after all] or from PR responsible, Manager Yeo Eun Joo [it wouldn’t make sense for it to be her though, since it puts her own job in jeopardy. And for what? To gain the CEO’s approval? To gain his trust? That sounds too risky!].

The character of the Managing Director (doesn’t he have a name yet?) is pretty funny. Charmander and Mewtwo may say that he’s a bit robotic, but I thought it was fine. Not bad enough to make me quit the series anyway.

He showed that he cared a bit for his employees, especially the ones that he scolds in front of the whole team. If his relationship with the General Manager in front of their team anyways changes thanks to his talk with Manager Nam, then it means that he’s also considerate of suggestions and can still improve. Ultimately of course, he fills in the spot of the “Nice Guy” (who might finish last, for all I know), it was very nice of him to consider marrying her, even if it was just to shut her up.

What makes me hesitate to give him that title is because he plays with Manager Nam and Manager PR’s hearts, since he asks them out to same restaurants but never calls it a date. As Nam Sang Hyo says, he’s very vague, maybe we could even consider him a player. I don’t know about the PR’s relationship with him, but he’s obviously very amused by Manager Nam [who wouldn’t be? She’s pretty cute and has a strong head on her shoulders!]. I look forward to seeing what lies in store for this ship!!

I’ll mention that he lost points when he failed to stop her from drinking and failed to console her from her “old maid’s hysteria” by cracking out jokes as much as he could… and even enlisted the help of Manager Yeo to help bring her back to the hotel [I guess you gotta say that he’s got a point though, with the rumors, if he brought her there alone and without Manager Yeo, but it really puts the latter in an uncomfortable position].
He does catch up with being considerate to her since she was drunk and he didn’t take her wedding proposal “seriously”.

Oh, we also find out that he lives at the hotel he manages. That must be pretty awesome. He was also recruited by a rival hotel, who offered him a big amount of money, apparently, and yet, he states that he chose their hotel for a “special reason” [is it Manager Nam? Is it Manager Yeo? Is it something else? Some gold treasure of some kind hidden somewhere?].

The question remains: Who is trying to target their hotel and why would they:
1) leak the document statistics report about the “curse” of the couples who get married in the hotel?
2) murder someone in the hotel venue in order to scare everyone away?
3) make use of a pickpocket to give the hotel a bad and unsafe reputation?
Assuming of course that it’s the same person or people. Is it because of some drug business? Is it because of some petroleum or some riches that the hotel houses which no one else knows about?

What is the relationship between General Manager and Assistant Manager Hwang that makes the former refuse to fire the latter, I wonder? What is the secret that they’re hiding, and are they making it on purpose that he looks and acts like some kind of maniac?


Goo Hae Young‘s side: Wow, they further developed the immatureness that is the character. The fact that he’s the President of his own company is a good thing, but I wonder how he achieved such a position, being as mean as he is with his employees, being as ruthless as he is to them (not letting them get out of work until they find a good architectural design), playing video games all throughout the episode… I must say though that he’s got a good memory if he’s able to say which building the designs resemble… so maybe that’s how he was able to keep his position; because he’s smart (after all, he’s a Harvard Graduate) (even if he’s somewhat spoiled).

[truly, this is another side of TalTal’s actor I had never seen before; in Empress Ki, he was pretty good and smart, the perfect tactician (until where I am anyway, I don’t know what happens to him… I should continue the series, I know) and in A New Leaf, he was this prodigy lawyer/judge who was quite cute and the NICE GUY, whereas here, he’s playing a really immature character… interesting leap between characters, I would say]

They furthered his childishness by making him wish that he could get back at her for so many things, while she’s simply trying to get her life together. He drinks a lot and gets drunk, too, which isn’t a very handsome trait, I wonder if his fiancee knows about this.

That lady who’s a stalker is totally a problem (not only because she’s had this unrequited love (of 8 1/2 years) towards him and keeps on stalking him enough to know about the “Las Vegas woman” [Nam Sang Hyo] and enough to be INVITED to his own wedding). Is she the one who murdered someone (Assistant Manager Hwang?). Let’s not forget that she was SMILING as she left the wedding premises after the victim fell in front of Goo Hae Young. She takes Yandere-ness to another level completely.

I wonder if she’s meant to represent all fangirls in every fandom. If she got compensation for what he did to her, I’d like to get compensation as well, please! Another note is that Goo Hae Young really managed that well, even if he was really cold and eventually pushed her out of his office.

His fiance is the daughter of a chairman called Jung (from the Beauty Cosmetics company of some kind). Her name is Jung So Ah. I wonder where she met Goo Hae Young, is it an arranged marriage? She looks really cool and she can stand up to Goo Hae Young, even going as far as to go behind his back and accepting to sign the marriage venue. I wonder if she’ll uncover the secret between Manager Nam and her fiance, seeing as she does about how they react around each other.


Nam Sang Hyo mentions that he must be feeling guilty about something. Does that mean that he’s the one who ended their relationship, I wonder? I think her drunken state is really funny to watch (I guess it’s another reason why he’s so entertained by her). I wonder if women all act like her… and can you really be so plastered that you don’t remember anything from the previous night, or is it that people simply take that urban legend in order to make people dismiss the embarrassing moments of their nights? [I don’t wish to try that out… omg]. It’s so ironic that she says she doesn’t like weddings but when she’s drunk, she really is desperate to be married.

While Goo Hae Young seems like he only wants to get a reaction out of her, it seems to me like he’s so immature, since he actually wanted to see her shocked expression. And what for? Because he wants to see her look like a rabbit? Did he say such horrible things about their wedding only to make her react, I wonder? Even going so far as to wonder if she was shocked? I wonder what motivates him into saying such mean things…

I applaud her for keeping her cool in front of him and his new fiancee!! She knows him pretty well too, since she was able to predict the fact that he would try and put the hotel venues somewhere else. I also wonder what made them divorce. It must have meant something for both of them if they still have feelings for each other [it’s pretty obvious, all right?].

Wasn’t Goo Hae Young going to change the venue without his fiancee’s consent in order to make up for making his ex-wife cry? And then, he childishly decides that he won’t, to get back at her for trying to marry her Managing Director… or is this merely a fit of jealousy?


As a sidenote! Completely unrelated, but… Jolteon watched this episode with me today (August 31rst 2014) and she really loved it. We’re even scheduled to watch the second episode soon today and tomorrow, the third episode!!!!

All right so those were my (messy) thoughts about the episode, what were yours? Leave them in the comment section below, I feel lonely being the only one watching this show!
See you later!!

image Ponyta’s out! image

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