Her Private Life: Love, Laughs, and a New Perspective on Fan Culture

Her Private Life: Love, Laughs, and a New Perspective on Fan Culture

Her Private Life is the latest rom-com drama by tvN starring Kim Jaewook and Park Minyoung. The drama is based on the Korean novel Noona Dot Com by Kim Sungyeon and follows the exciting secret life of a fangirl.

Her Private Life is Park Minyoung’s follow-up drama after her previous series, What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim? The show, however, marks Kim Jaewook’s first lead role in a romantic comedy; therefore, his character is one that fans are anticipating.

Her Private Life: Synopsis

Her Private Life follows the secret life of Sung Deokmi (Park Minyoung), a fan of K-Pop group White Ocean who is also a dedicated fansite to one of the group’s members, Cha Shian (Jung Jaewon). Sung Deokmi is also a talented curator and works at the Cheum Museum of Art. She has to lie about her life as a fangirl to get the job, which therefore prompts her to do her fansite work in secret. Meanwhile, Ryan Gold (Kim Jaewook) is an acclaimed American artist suffering from Stendhal Syndrome, a condition that prevents him from creating art. He therefore moves to Seoul seeking a cure for his condition and takes on the role of director at the Cheum Museum of Art.

Ryan Gold first meets Sung Deokmi at an auction before accepting his job and the two take an instant dislike to each other after an aggressive bid over a painting. Ryan is not pleased to meet Deokmi as the curator at Cheum Museum, as he perceives her to be lacking in talent. While working together to prepare for the museum’s anniversary exhibition, Sung Deokmi gets involved in a dating scandal with her idol Cha Shian. Consequently, Cha Shian’s fans attack Deokmi, leading Ryan to offer help by pretending to be Deokmi’s boyfriend. Deokmi eventually agrees to the plan, and this helps stop the harassment from Cha Shian’s fans.

Sindy (Kim Bora), another fan of Cha Shian, however, does not believe that Deokmi and Ryan are dating. She gets a position as an intern at Cheum Museum in order to spy on them and prove that they are not really dating. This forces Deokmi and Ryan to keep up their dating act, even at work. Things further get complicated when the two of them start falling for each other.

Drama Review

Her Private Life focuses on the secret life of a fangirl, which is not a new concept. What makes it different, however, is that it dives deeper into the work of fansites. Through Deokmi, we are able to examine the life of a fangirl in a new light, and it is surprisingly not as easy as one might think. Things prove to be a little harder for Deokmi because she has to keep her double life a secret at work and from her parents, who are not keen on seeing their daughter chase after idols. The fangirl side of Deokmi is a huge part of her life, and having to hide it from everyone is not an ideal situation.

The drama is not all about praise, though, as it provides a subtle critique on fan culture. The show sheds light on some of the fan practices that most fans would probably not like to see, such as the instances where Cha Shian is stalked and mobbed by his fans or when the fans attack Deokmi after the dating scandal breaks out. These practices give a negative image to fan culture, and watching this helps us reflect on some of the things we do as fans.

Deokmi, however, changes this outlook by showing that fans can and do have a positive image. She is Cha Shian’s favorite fansite, and he loves the work she does while supporting him. Deokmi is also a voice of reason within the fandom as many fans listen to and look up to her. We are also able to see that her fangirling is part of her personality and something that makes her happy. Meanwhile, the dating scandal helps jumpstart Deokmi’s relationship with Ryan, and it is fun to watch them slowly fall for each other as Deokmi desperately tries to hide her life as a fangirl. This provides many funny and delightful moments, especially with Ryan as he is somewhat serious, and the comical scenes help crack his somber personality. Ryan’s relationship with Deokmi also pushes him out of his comfort zone and gets him to confront some of his inhibitions. The drama thus provides some intense moments as Ryan searches for his identity and the cure to his condition with Deokmi as his support.  

Her Private Life promises to give viewers a few laughs, probably a few tears, and a dose of fangirling that all are guaranteed to enjoy.

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