The 2020 spring KBS Drama, Welcome/Meow: the Secret Boy is a fantasy-based romantic comedy, based on a web-toon named Go A-ra. The story is about a girl named Kim Sol-ah in her mid-twenties and a cat who has the secret ability to transform into a human. What unfolds next in this drama, is a unique tale to tell.
Sol-ah is an art school graduate who works as a graphic designer as well as, is the creator of webtoons. Sol-ah is a cheerful and friendly girl who takes care of others. Her personality is that of a puppy who keeps coming back despite being pushed away, whereas, the people around her are like cats with indifferent personalities and no-care attitude. Her father’s personality is similar to a Persian cat. He remarries after Sol-ah’s mother dies, leaving her alone. Even the guy she likes since high school is similar to a Siamese cat, who leaves her without saying a word, though he has his reasons for that. Despite her dislikings for cats, Sol-ah agrees to keep her ex-lover Lee Jae-sun’s cat until they find a new home for it, as he is allergic to cats. She names the cat, Hong-jo.
Hong-jo is a cute cat with white fur that appears to be an ordinary cat but it isn’t. Hong-jo has the ability to transform into a handsome guy whenever he is near Sol-ah or her belongings. Over time, Hong-jo becomes more and more fond of Sol-ah. He listens to her everyday worries, protects her, and helps her in every possible way he can. He goes through a lot just to bring her a little happiness and proves that he will do everything he can, to stay with her no matter what he truly is. He even helps in clearing out the misunderstanding due to which Jae-sun had left Sol-ah and their relationship never worked out in the first place. Both Hong-jo andJae-sun are in the same boat and understand each other’s situation better. However, Jae-sun leaves Sol-ah, whereas, Hong-jo chooses to stay with her. With Hong-jo’s presence, Sol-ah becomes happier as she now has someone at home waiting for her when she returns from work in the evening. She falls in love with Hong-jo but is unaware of his true identity.
Kim Myung-soo known as L of the group INFINITE plays the lead role as Hong-jo. Since 2011, the actor has stepped up in his acting career with some impactful performances. His last drama Angel’s Last Mission: Love was a popular drama where a lot of people enjoyed his acting skills. The character of Kim Sol-ah is played by Shin Ye-eun who is a rookie actor under JYP Entertainment and the role of Lee Jae-sun is played by Seo Ji-hoon. The supporting cast in this drama is also amazing, with some solid performances of Yoon Ye-joo as Eun Ji-eun and Kang Hoon as Go Doo-sik, who have performed well. All the four characters in the drama have graduated from the same art school. The relationship between Ji-eun and Doo-sik is also very interesting which blooms further as the drama progresses. Ji-eun is a quiet girl who likes Doo-sik but is unable to tell him, whereas Doo-sik is a slow-witted guy who thinks that she hates him.
This drama has 11 OSTs. The title song, ‘Welcome’ by Umji of GFriend, OST ‘Again Spring’ by Yoo Ki-hyun of MonstaX and ‘Dding Ddong’ by Park Kyung of BlockB are the most popular songs. The OSTs of this show is one of the reasons why this drama is very popular among non-Korean/ foreign audience.
What I like the most in this drama is the way this story has a balance of emotions despite being a light-hearted romantic comedy. Will Hong-jo ever be able to manage in this human world? How will Sol-ah accept him when she’ll find out that the guy she loves is actually her cat? Will Hong-jo choose to stay or leave Sol-ah if his identity is revealed? My take away from this drama is that both humans and animals feel the need to be loved but sometimes humans forget to show their love and real emotions, instead animals like cats and dogs will always care for their master. If you are a cat lover, then this drama is something you may not want to miss. Do pen down your comments if you have watched this drama.