Her Private Life (2019) — An Overview

Her Private Life (2019, episode 4)


HER PRIVATE LIFE [그녀의 사생활/Geunyeoui Sasaenghwal]
(tvN, 2019)

Written by Kim Hye-young, Directed by Hong Jong-chan
Based on novel by Kim Sung-yeon

Production company: Studio Dragon (스튜디오드래곤 주식회사) and Bon Factory (본팩토리)
Genre: Romantic Comedy
April 10, 2019 ~ TBA [Wed~Thur]
16 episodes

Art museum curator by day, fansite webmistress by night — such is the double life led by Sung Deok-mi. What happens when both her worlds collide in real life? — by Mich KDL


Sung Deok-mi (Park Min-young)
Senior Curator at Cheum Museum of Art;
fangirl of Cha Shi-an
— — — — — — — — — — — — —
Cha Shi-an (One/Jung Je-Won)
Lead singer of White Ocean
Nam Eun-ki (Ahn Bo-hyun)*
Deok-mi’s adopted brother
Lee Sun-joo (Park Jin-joo)
Café owner and Deok-mi’s best friend
Sung Geun-ho (Maeng Sang-hun)
Deok-mi’s father
Ryan Gold (Kim Jae-wook)
Director of Cheum Museum of Art
— — — — — — — — — — — — —
Eom So-Hye (Kim Sun-young)
Former director and owner of Cheum Museum of Art
Choi Da-in (Hong Seo-young)
Artist and Ryan’s good friend
Sindy/Kim Hyo-jin (Kim Bo-ra)
Intern at Cheum Museum of Art, So-hye’s daughter and fangirl of Cha Shi-An* Eun-ki’s role was first proposed to Lee Kyu-hyung. But he declined.


This drama was adapted to the television screen by Kim Hye-young (김혜영) — seemingly her first drama script — based on a novel by Kim Sung-yeon (김성연).

As for Hong Jong-Chan (홍종찬), he is a prolific K-Drama director who has directed some well-known dramas in past years. He mainly works for tvN; with the exception of 2018’s Life (라이프) that broadcasted on JTBC. Before that, he directed The Most Beautiful Goodbye (세상에서 가장 아름다운 이별) (tvN, 2017), Live Up to Your Name (명불허전) (tvN, 2017), Dear My Friends (디어 마이 프렌즈) (tvN, 2016) and My Secret Hotel (마이 시크릿 호텔) (tvN, 2014).

He started out in the K-Drama industry as an assistant director for The Legend (태왕사신기) (MBC, 2007) and Bichunmoo (비천무) (SBS, 2008). Hong continued to hone his skills as a producer for SBS with shows like Prosecutor Princess (검사 프린세스) (SBS, 2010), City Hunter (시티헌터) (SBS, 2011) and The Master’s Sun (주군의 태양) (SBS, 2013), while in parallel working as a co-director for such dramas as Tamra, the Island (탐나는도다) (MBC, 2009), Padam Padam (빠담빠담… 그와 그녀의 심장박동소리) (JTBC, 2011-2012) and Doctor Stranger (닥터 이방인) (SBS, 2014).


< Image from carpoint07 >

Her Private Life is based on the novel Noona Fan Dot Com / Nuna Paen Datkom (누나팬닷컴) written by Kim Sung-yeon (sometimes also romanized as Kim Sung-yun) (김성연), published in 2007 in two volumes by Yeoubi/Yeowoobi Publishing [여우비] and re-published by Haksan Publishing Company [학산문화사] in 2019.

In 2009, the novel was adapted to the webtoon Noona Fan Dot Com – Her Private Life (누나 팬 닷컴 – 그녀 의 사생활) with the cover illustration done by 비체성.
You can read the webtoon at Naver online here (Korean).


Her Private Life (2019, episode 1)

Search Her Private Life (그녀의 사생활) (tvN, 2019) on KDL for a visual look of all locations.

This overview will be updated when new locations are added.
Last update: 22/04/2020


Banghak-dong [방학동]
Dobong Top Judo [도봉탑유도관]
Balbadak Park [발바닥공원] [E12]

Yongdu-dong [용두동]
Neocure [네오큐어]

Daechi-dong [대치동]
Prugio Valley [푸르지오밸리] [E4]
Cafe M [카페엠] [E15]
Nonhyeon-dong [논현동]
Gyeongseon Jeonjib [경선전집] [E6]
Sookseongui Myeongga [숙성의명가] [E6]

Hwagok-dong [화곡동]
Kotileikit Furniture Workshop
[코티레이킷 가구공방] [E8]

Neung-dong [능동]
Children’s Grand Park [서울어린이대공원] [E4]

Wonseo-dong [원서동]
Vitoga Foto [비토가사진관] [E2,4]

JUNG-GU [중구]
Jungnim-dong [중림동]
Yakhyeon Cathedral [중림동약현성당] [E12]
Taepyeongno 1(il)-ga [태평로1가]
Bus Stop Gwanghwamun/Chosun Ilbo [광화문/조선일보] [E10]

Hajung-dong [하중동]
Seogang Bridge [서강대교] [E5]
Sangam-dong [상암동]
SBS Prism Tower [SBS프리즘타워] [E1]
Sangsu-dong [상수동]
Gonbap [곤밥] [E4]
Seogyo-dong [서교동]
Caferia [카페리아]
Eoulmadang Street [어울마당로] [E6]
West Bridge Live Hall [웨스트브릿지 라이브홀] [E6]
702 Recording Studio [702 레코딩스튜디오] [E11-12]
Gyeongui Line Forest Park [E16]
Sinsu-dong [신수동]
Hwasumok [화수목/花水木] [E8]
Yeomri-dong [염리동]
Gyeongui Line Plaza [경의선광장] [E9]

Yangjae-dong [양재동]
Yangjaecheon [양재천] [E4]


Hyeonjeo-dong [현저동]
Seodaemun Prison History Hall [E16]
Namgajwa-dong [남가좌동]
Myongji University — Social Science Campus [E13]

Seongsu-dong 1(il)ga [성수동1가]
Trimage — Seoul Forest [서울숲트리마제]

Seongbuk-dong [성북동]
Atelier VertVert Flower School [E8]

Bangyi-dong [방이동]
SOMA Museum of Art [소마미술관]

Ichon-dong [이촌동]
Dongjak Bridge [동작대교] [E14]
Itaewon-dong [이태원동]
Rooftop Apartment Itaewon-dong [E13-14]


JUNG-GU [중구]
Euljiro1(il)ga [을지로1가]
Lotte Hotel Seoul [롯데호텔서울] [E1]

SEO-GU [서구]
Simgok-dong [심곡동]
CKU [국제성모병원] [E4]
Unseo-dong [운서동]
Paradise City Hotel & Resort [E1]
Incheon Airport [E1/Teaser no. 3]

Dongchun-dong [동춘동]
Square1 [스퀘어원] [E7]
Okryun-dong [옥련동]
Songdo High School [송도고등학교] [E3]


Yakcheonsa Temple [약천사] [E16]
Café Zino [지노 파주] [E7]


Red Hook Stores [E1]


Her Private Life (2019, episode 10)

In episode 10, Deok-mi takes Ryan on a personalized Seoul Night Tour in an “open convertible car”, as she calls it; actually, their trusty ride is Seoul City Tour Bus, which they hop on from Bus Stop Gwanghwamun/Chosun Ilbo [광화문/조선일보].

During the first minutes of their tour, they pass the following Seoul landmarks (in chronological order):

Gwanghwamun Square [광화문광장](side)
— Dong-a Media Center [동아미디어센터]
Gyeongbokgung Palace [경복궁] (front – Gwanghwamun gate)
Sejong Center for the Performing Arts [세종문화회관]
Sungnyemun Gate / Namdaemun Gate [숭례문 / 남대문]
— Seoul Hall of Urbanism & Architecture [서울도시건축전시관]

The Seoul City Tour Bus tour that seems to be the closest to this itinerary is the Downtown Palace Namsan Course [도심고궁남산 코스] — ironically, it is not the Gold Night Tour (a pun the show passed up).



Snippets of the trailer for Her Private Life were shown before the start of Oh Yoon-seo’s (Yoo In-na) new drama in final episode 16 in Touch Your Heart. Her Private Life takes over the time slot from latter drama.


Deok-mi and Ryan watch the first episode of Encounter/Boyfriend (남자친구) (tvN, 2018-19) together on a romantic date at home in episode 12 and comment how it is beautiful as they watch Cha Soo-hyun (Song Hye-kyo) relax at Fort of Saint Charles [Castillo de San Carlos de la Cabaña].


Though centered around an art museum, Her Private Life comes with a lot of (missed) opportunities to showcase art works, artists or even timely theoretical perspectives on art and the work in an art museum; a field that undergoes enormous changes in recent years. This becomes especially obvious when Ryan Gold and a just-woken-up Sung Deok-mi have a sudden exchange on philosopher Slavoj Žižek’s conceptualization of the role of an art curator in final episode 16.

It’s highly probable that they referred to the following passage on page 337 of Zizek’s book The Ticklish Subject: The Absent Centre of Political Ontology (2000 [1999]):

“His [the curator’s] role is not limited to mere selection – through his selection, he (re)defines what art is today. That is to say: today’s art exhibitions display objects which, at least for the traditional approach, have nothing to do with art, up to human excrement and dead animals – so why is this to be perceived as art? Because what we see is the curator’s choice. When we visit an exhibition today, we are thus not directly observing works of art – what we are observing is the curator’s notion of what art is; in short, the ultimate artist is not the producer but the curator, his activity of selection.”


Casually named “collecting stones” in episode 1, the hobby that Sung Deok-mi’s (Park Min-young) father Sung Geun-ho (Maeng Sang-hun) cherishes is actually a pastime that dates back some thousand years. It consists of collecting and appreciating stones that are called Suseok (수석), or “viewing stones.” The appraisal of the stones relies on different criteria, according to Juneu Kim (president of the American Suseok Viewing Stone Study Group), from shape and color to its CHI energy. Spraying the stones with water helps “to be able to see the beautiful lines of the stone,” as Geun-ho explains to Ryan when he visits in episode 7.

Different types of stones are collected and are placed in different categories. In Her Private life, the “melon stone”, “Gwantongseok” and “landscape stone” (that “holds the view of a landscape,” as Deok-mi’s father shares with Ryan) are mentioned. Also, stones are divided in subparts like the “pedestal” and the so-called “hotdog” for the landscape stone as Ryan also learns from Deok-mi’s father.

Apparently, viewing stones also carry different meanings. The Gwantongseok (Kanto Stone/관동석), a stone with a hole naturally pierced through it, that Deok-mi’s father gifts Ryan means “good luck.”

The stones are usually collected from rivers or coastlines and sometimes in the mountains; Deok-mi’s father hence goes “on hikes throughout the country they say has good rocks,” as he explains Ryan who visits the family in episode 7.

< Suseok at Changdeokgung Palace, Photos by © Marion KDL >

Suseok has had, as every pastime, ups and downs in its popularity and in trends of which stones were preferably collected. Early on, for instance, mid-seize and often upright, perforated stones were preferred and are still found in traditional garden layouts of palaces. Apparently another rather continuous trend is to collect smaller stones and display them inside the home; just as Deok-mi’s father does it.

In more fundamental lines, Suseok is very similar to the Chinese scholar’s rocks and Japanese suiseki. One difference to suiseki according to Michael Reilly, an American suiseki collector, however, is that stones are not allowed to be altered in this Korean version of stone appraisal and the containers they are displayed in have to adapt to the stone’s form.


Locations: Marion KDL, Mich KDL, KDL Guest, Thom Musni
Photos: Mich KDL, Thom Musni
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