Why Secretary Kim /
What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim
[김비서가 왜 그럴까] (tvN, 2018)
Written by Jung Eun-Young (until episode 5),
Baek Sun-Woo and Choi Bo Rim (from episode 5 onwards)
Directed by Park Joon-Hwa
Based on novel by Jung Kyung-Yoon
Production company Studio Dragon [스튜디오드래곤 주식회사]
June 6 2018 ~ July 26 2018 [Wed & Thur]
After working under the self-centered and narcissistic Yumyung Group vice-chairman Lee Young-joon (Park Seo-joon) for 9 years, star secretary Kim Mi-so (Park Min-young) tells him that she wishes to quit her job. Perplexed at why she would want to quit working for such a ‘perfect’ employer as himself, Young-joon sets out to discover what exactly is wrong with Secretary Kim, and does all he can to keep her by his side. — by Mich KDL
Yoo Jong Sun’s most known directing work would most certainly be Descendants of the Sun (2016). Before that, he directed Angel’s Revenge (2014), Marry Him If You Dare (2013) and Heaven’s Will: The Fugitive of Joseon (2013). He also directed the drama specials The Red Teacher (2016), Hair Day (2015), The Girl Who Became a Photo (2014) and the Drama Stage: Not Played (2018).
Park Joon-Hwa, who work exclusively for tvN, started out by directing the first eleven seasons of Ugly Young-A (2007-2013), before working on stand-alone dramas like Let’s Eat 1 and 2 (2013-2014 and 2015), Bring It On, Ghost (2016) and Because This Is My First Life (2017).
Note that this is not the full cast credits for this show — only those mentioned on KDL!
Yumyung Group vice-chairman
— — — — — — —
Lee Sung-yeon (Lee Tae-hwan)
Young-joon’s older brother
Kim Pil-nam (Baek Eun-hye)
Mi-so’s oldest sister
Go Gwi-nam (Hwang Chan-sung)
Yumyung Group employee
Bong Se-ra (Hwang Bo-ra)
Yumyung Group employee
Park Byung-eun (Park Byung-eun)
Mi-so’s blind date [E3]
young Lee Young-joon (Moon Woo-jin)
Young-joon at 9 years old
— — — — — — —
Park Yoo-sik (Kang Ki-young)
Young-joon’s best friend
Kim Mal-hee (Heo Soon-mi)
Mi-so’s second sister
Kim Ji-ah (Pyo Ye-jin)
Yumyung Group secretary
Yang Cheol (Kang Hong-suk)
Yumyung Group secretary
Jung Yu-mi (Jung Yu-mi)
Young-joon’s childhood friend [E14]
young Kim Mi-so (Kim Ji-yu)
Mi-so at 5 years old
FILMING LOCATIONS: OVERVIEW
Lots of fascinating locations to discover!
Search Why Secretary Kim on KDL for a visual look of all locations.
Last update: 25/08/2019
— Matsugaze Japanese Restaurant [마쯔가제] [E16]
— Cooking Lab By Young [쿠킹랩바이영] [E9]
— Liberty Night and Day [E2]
— The Raum [더라움] [E1+16]
— Sulwhasoo Flagship Store [설화수 플래그십스토어]
— Four Seasons Hotel Seoul [E4+8]
— Radio M [라디오엠] [E9]
— National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul [E4+9]
— Seoul Medical Center [E13]
— Seogang Bridge [서강대교] [E3]
— Kao Kao Pub [카우카우펍] [E7]
— Apartment Building Sangam-dong
— Daruma [다루마/だるま] [E6+15]
— Gaon Culture Park [가온문화공원] [E6]
— Hansabal Mapo Bindaetteok [E11]
— DMC Cultural Park [DMC문화공원] [E11]
— Seogang 8-kyoung [서강8경] [E11]
— Eoulmadang Street [어울마당로] [E3]
— Himeshiya — Seogyo Branch [E3]
— The Gastro PERMIL [퍼밀] [E14]
— Dongho Bridge [동호대교] [E1]
— Grand Hyatt Seoul [E1+2+16]
* * *
— Jung Da Woon Grilled Pork [E6+9]
— Apsan Observatory [앞산전망대] [E14]
GAPYEONG COUNTY [가평군]
— Jebudo Waterwalk [제부도 워터워크] [E10]
— CKU [국제성모병원] [E11]
Songdo IBD [송도]
— Oakwood Premier Hotel Incheon [E2]
Tanhyeon Township [Tanhyeon-myeon/탄현면]
— Café Zino [지노 파주] [TEASER]
— Gyeonggi English Village—Paju [TEASER]
— Homeo – Heyri Store [호메오 – 헤이리점] [E4]
— Artinus Farmer’s Table [파머스테이블] [E5]
— Gallery White Block [화이트블럭] [E7]
— Gallery Cafe Adamas253 [아다마스253] [E12]
— Hantangang Sky Bridge [E7/8]
— AK Plaza — Pyeongtaek Store [E12+16]
— Helsinki [헬싱키] [E1]
— Bus Stop AhnLab [안랩] [E6]
— CJ Blossom Park R&D Center [CJ블로썸파크]
TAEAN COUNTY [태안군]
— Pine and Sea Pension [해송과바다] [E10]
YANGPYEONG COUNTY [양평군]
— The Hill House [힐하우스]
In the evening, still in episode 4, Young-joon sits at home, and reads another part of the book: “In this heavy and confusing life,” he recites to himself, “While you deal with your business, you wonder what they are doing all of a sudden, and think of the person first instead of yourself. That’s enough of a reason to call it love.”
In episode 11, Young-joon again, reads in the book at his home library and this time the following part — which is probably the best summary of his love to Mi-so and of this drama in general:
My every moment was you.
When I loved,
and also when I was in pain.
Even at our moment of farewell,
you were the whole world to me,
and every moment was you.
I don’t think I can explain the story of my life so far.
SOCIETAL REFERENCES: RAMEN … MEANS THAT MUCH?
“Ramen … means that much?”
“Would you like to have ramen?” In Korea, there is a deeper meaning to that seemingly innocent offer of instant ramen/ramyun (라면) to a guy or girl. In episode 5, Kim Mi-so (Park Min-young) invites Lee Young-joon (Park Seo-joon) to stay on at her place for ramyun — which, in Young-joon’s words, is ‘instant food full of chemical additives’. Both think it is totally normal, till they understand the ‘real’ meaning behind it.
Park Yoo-sik (Kang Ki-Young) explains it to Young-joon like this:
“When a woman says: ‘Oppa, would you like to have some ramen?,’ that means: ‘When you have this ramen, we are dating.’ It’s the same thing as saying: ‘I like you.'”
He continues explaining:
“Ramen is just an excuse. When a man and a woman are in a closed environment, you want to hold hands, and you want to hold each other.”
Because This Is My First Life
Jung So-min and Lee Min-ki, the main couple of Because This Is My First Life (directed by Park Joon-hwa), appear as Mi-so’s parents in an episode 10 flashback.
Another Miss Oh
When Young-joon decides to stay over at Mi-so’s place in episode 12, she suggests watching TV to relax. Upon turning on the TV, however, the first thing they see is the hot kiss in Another Miss Oh, and a flustered Mi-so immediately changes the channel.
Another Miss Oh and Why Secretary Kim share the same production company, Studio Dragon.
Park Seo-jun won the ‘Rising Star Award’ for his lead role in Why Secretary Kim at the 13th Asian Film Awards (AFA13) on March 17, 2019.
Photos: Thom Musni & Mich KDL
Any other information to add? Or any thoughts about the drama and its locations?
Let us know in the comments!