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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

[K-Drama Review] She Was Pretty (2015)




Finally it reached the end. I’m really going to miss the quirky Kim Shin Hyeok-Kim Hye Jin pair and the crazy outfits and makeup of Kim Ra-Ra *O Sole Mio!*

She Was Pretty is a right choice for you who long for something light, cute, and pure rom-coms. The classic k-drama elements enveloped the whole 16 episodes. This show is somehow give similar aftertaste to Oh My Ghost, by looking at its sweet and cute touches, however story-wise, She Was Pretty has less shocking elements compared to Oh My Ghost, which has a unique premise. So, to sum it up, She Was Pretty is like a strawberry milkshake you used to enjoy long time ago and you know exactly what it taste like, but still give you that trilling and pleasant feeling once you sip it.

PLOT:


She Was Pretty narrates a story of a woman named Kim Hye Jin (Hwang Jung Eum) who used to be a pretty when she was a child but grew up as an unattractive lady. Meanwhile, her best friend and first love, Ji Seong Joon (Park Seo Joon) who used to be fat and ugly in elementary school grew up into a handsome man. Ji Seong Joon has been in love with Kim Hye Jin since they were a child and decided to track his first love whereabouts and perfected his almost-perfect life with his girl by his side.

FIRST IMPRESSION:


I love She Was Pretty! Actually, I’m head over heels for this drama after watched its first episode. The show definitely matches my taste.


The show has already showed obvious classic rom-com elements from its first episode. The comparison between the female lead who live a hard life and has an unattractive appearance and the second female lead who seems to have everything all girls want in this world – lots of money, attractive appearance, boys lining up for her, expensive gifts, etc. What interesting is that instead of taking a typical route – in which the female lead usually not friends with the second lead – the writer decided to put these two’s relationship in a cute and strong friendship. Even though an entrance of an almost-perfect man – Ji Seong Joon – will (for-a-moment) break the two’s relationship – which is cliché and guessable.


I must say that aside from an interesting premise, Hwang Jung Eum’s performance as Kim Hye Jin is the reason why I fell so hard for this show since its first episode. I didn’t know that she will put a hundred percent of herself to look really ugly. Seriously, the actress is really looking ugly in the first episode! I have to put my two thumbs up for her who is not afraid to look ugly and act manic – which I loved berry much. I know a lot of people hate her because she seems to be overexcited in everything she does, but I think that’s what differentiates her from other actresses, in a good way. Her cheery and fiery personality brightens up her character’s pitiful life.


Moving on to the second episode, my love expands for not only Kim Hye Jin’s character, but also Kim Shin Hyeok. Seriously, Siwon, if you have the opportunity to choose a role after you finish your enlistment, you HAVE to choose a role similar to Kim Shin Hyeok, because this role is PERFECT for you. This is another twist I love from classic-rom-com elements of the drama. Instead of putting an overly sweet second male lead, the writer decided to bring out a quirky second lead who will match a female lead’s odd personality.


I love the fact that the editor chose to put a cowboy-guitar-tune every time Kim Shin Hyeok was doing something petty or eccentric considering that in real life, Siwon also well known as male celebrity who has an American-feel.

Similar to Hwang Jung Eum, Siwon also not afraid to look ugly in the show – even though he will and always be handsome no matter what he’ll do with his face or appearance (seriously, Siwon, can’t you be more human-like?).

Anyway, despite of its easily guessed plot, the first four episodes of the show are attention-grabbing and succeed in making me crave for more.

STORY:

 

She Was Pretty offers a classic story with an exciting characters. The story is so guessable, but the characters make that boring elements into something delightful to watch.

Sure, the premise of someone who turned ugly when they grew up and someone who turned perfect when they grew up is new, but the elements along the journey of the two leads is familiar and as a viewer, I already knew where the story will go. There is hardly any surprising element of the story, which is something I regret the most because the characterizing of the show is amazing. If only the writer juxtapose the wonderful characterizing with the plot, then this drama will be perfect.


I feel like the story is dragging so much, though. The show will be perfect and beautifully ended with 14 episodes, but no, the director decided to drag it out to a 16-episodes series. I feel like from the episode 11 onwards, the show was going off course.

SPOILER ALERT

 

When Ji Seong Joon finally found out that Ha Ri is not the real Hye Jin he’s been looking for and the Kim Hye Jin he used to insult is the real Hye Jin, I’m afraid of where the story will go because the main story of the show is about how Ji Seong Joon accept the fact that his Hye Jin is not as pretty as she used to be and when he finally accept that, what’ll remain? Then my fear turned into disappointment when in the end of the episode, Hyejin though that Hari is leaving her because she can’t be around Hyejin anymore due to her guilty feeling of lying and stealing her best friend’s first love.


Thank God, in the next episode, I find out that Hari is going nowhere and decided to start a new page of her life with her best friend. Butttt…..what will happen with Hye Jin and Seong Joon? Well, of course they will end up together, since it’s a classic rom-com, right? Butttt….what will happen to the show if the two leads are finally creating their happily ever after ending? Create a conflict. An out-of-nowhere conflict. Shift the main focus to the workplace of the two leads and made up a story of how close they were to their colleagues. Oh, and add a marriage proposal and a short-separation (oh, come on! Another long distance relationship? Why?? WHY??). This, is why, I called the story is going off the track.


Oh, and I feel really bad on how the writer treated Kim Shin Hyeok character. Isn’t the writer was too cruel in episode 11 when Hye Jin left Shin Hyeok for Ji Seong Joon right after Shin Hyeok confessed his feeling to her. Dear, it’s mean. It’s really mean. I must say that I hate Hye Jin at that time. I really want to slap her face hard and shake her shoulder while saying “Are you out of your mind? Get sane, girl!” But what I really want to do is actually hugging Shin Hyeok and told him that he has tons of women lining up for his heart and chest (well, hello, second lead syndrome!). But it is not a kdrama without a super loyal second male lead and a slightly brutal (and dumb) female lead, right? That’s why I enthroned the show as having pure classic k-drama elements.

I’m not going to lie, but I’m beginning to bore with the show from episode 11 onwards. From my perspective, the show was really going off its course and out of its main focus.


Yet, the thing with Ten and the second son of the president director is a bit surprising. I thought Ten is Chief Editor Kim and Kim Shin Hyeok is the second son of the president director (just because he has the look and he lived in a hotel, hallla...!). Kudos for the writer who seems to succeed in tricking viewers with such twist. 


Oh, and despite of its off-the-main-focus fiasco, I love the fact that the writer closed the show with Hyejin’s narration of how a supporting character can have the best stories of all. It synchronizes perfectly with her opening narration of how she assumes herself as a supporting character that doesn’t have any presence and nice story to offer.


Oh, and I also love the side-story of Han Seol (Shin Hye Sun) and Joon Woo (Park Yoo Hwan). I’m not a fan of Han Seol, because she’s a typical office bitch I will hate, but Joon Woo is so cute. I would like to have a cute dongsaeng like him, please! Park Yoo Chun is a lucky man to have him as his little brother. I really hoped Park Yoo Hwan will follow his brother’s step and improve his career as an actor though.  I hope he will sharpen his acting skill earn himself a second lead spot, because he has the looks!

END OF SPOILER

CAST:

 Hwang Jung Eum as Kim Hye Jin

I love her!! She’s so original and deserved to be called as a rom-coms specialist! Hwang Jung Eum’s acting is no joke. I’ve already noticed her remarkable talent since watching her in Kill Me,Heal Me. She just stressed that she is that amazing in She Was Pretty. Overexcited actresses are usually irking me, especially when they tried to look cute, dumb and angelic at the same time. But Hwang Jung Eum is an exception. She pulled off the aforementioned persona perfectly. Instead of hate her, I’m in love with her. I’m definitely one of those fans who will support her manic performance, though I’d like to watch her act the total opposite of her hyper-signature-act.

Aside from acknowledging how amazing she is as an actress, through her character as Kim Hye Jin, I’ve also realized just how pretty she is. I never consider Hwang Jung Eum as a super beautiful actress. Sure, she is beautiful, but it’s an ordinary beautiful. Not amazingly beautiful. But somehow, through this character, her beauty shines, even when her hair is frizzy and her cheek is full of freckles. And she also has a killer body!

 Park Seo Joon as Ji Seong Joon

Park Seo Joon did put a solid performance as Ji Seong Joon. What I like about his acting is that he somehow likes to express what he feels inside through his eyes. The gaze he gave for Kim Hye Jin when he realized how much he loved her is a perfect weapon to make a girl lose consciousness (I know, I am). It is amazing. Why? Because that gaze is a hundred percent different with the gaze he gave to Kim Hye Jin when he still thinks that girl is frustrating and reminds him of his childhood. He looks as if Kim Hye Jin is something disgusting.

I also love the fact that he can change from an uptight, strict and annoying boss to a lovable and full-of-smile man when he’s on a date with Min Ha Ri (when he still think of Hari as Hyejin).

 Choi Siwon as Kim Shin Hyuk

Siwon, I don’t know that you are this good! Did he take acting lesson? Or did his filming experience with the mighty Jackie Chan have improved his acting skill? Whatever that is, Siwon is the real scene-stealer of the show. No, not because he’s the member of Super Junior or because he’s ridiculously attractive, but because he did a really really excellent job as an actor.


Talking about taking a risk and going out of a comfort zone, Siwon did his best! Not only abandoning his popular visual with a beard (that make him more human-like), he also throwing away that perfect guy character everyone expected of him.

To be honest, when I knew that Siwon is going to be a second male lead of the show, I thought that he’s going to be that typical second lead, who looks cool, super kind, and have an unconditional love for the female lead. Therefore, Kim Shin Hyuk character is a surprise! A good surprise!

I’m always excited when this character is showing up and doing his goofy thing. Siwon did a perfect job in portraying Shin Hyeok’s personality to the point that I believe that is no one, NO ONE, will do this as perfect as Siwon did. Congrats, Siwon, you set the bar high for another actor that will play a goofball character!

SPOILER


I also love the fact that he did not forget his peculiar persona after he comes clean about his real identity as a super popular novelist (and after he shaved his beard that made him back to his God-like feature). His imitation of Jang Soo Won’s robot acting with his famous line “Are you okay? Were you very surprised? I’m sorry” is one of my favorite acts aside from his wiggle wiggle rendezvous with his “doppelganger” gagman Kim Sang Hun.

END OF SPOILER

 Go Jun Hee as Min Ha Ri

I thought I’m going to hate her, but I’m not. Similar to her co-stars, Go Jun He also did a good job in portraying Min Ha Ri. As a second female lead, she reminded me of Wang Ji Won, mainly because of her fierceness and style. Just like I loved Wang Ji Won as the second female lead, I also grew to like Go Jun Hee’s character as the second female lead in this show. Though, I’m a bit pissed off with her when she stole Ji Seong Joon for a short amount period of time. I’m really looking forward to her next project (and her style).

 Honorable Mention: Hwang Suk Jung as Kim Ra-Ra (Editor-In-Chief)

She’s the real vitamin of the show! I love how the writer decided to put an individual character as the one who brighten up the mood instead of bringing out a bunch of silly sidekicks who will lightened up the show. The makeup and wardrobe team did an excellent job in styling and polishing this character. Oddly, I’m always curious oh how she will look like in every scene, what Most-like outfit she will wear, what hairstyle she will show, and what her “entrance” will be.


Hwang Suk Jung is perfect for this character. Same as Siwon, I also can’t think of another actress that will play Kim Ra-Ra character as good as Hwang Suk Jung.

Oh, and her character as a restaurant owner is also hilarious! I thought this character will show up again and not in one episode only, but turned out, it’s “exclusive.”

OST:


The OSTs are lovely and nice to hear. My favorite songs are Kim Min Seung’s Thumping and Kihyun MonstaX’s OneMore Step. I can’t stop listening to Thumping because the tune is addicting and it matched perfectly with the premise of the show. It also has that cute element.

SCORE:


Finally, I will put 9 out of 10 for this show.

MEMORABLE QUOTES:


“One day I had a thought. Heroines don't exist only in movies and dramas. That was what I thought. Like popped corn shoved aside like a bridesmaid for an appetizer that was the heroine, in real life some people are the main characters and some are the supporting cast. That's how life is. That was what I thought. Then I am probably Friend Number 3 of the lead in a supporting role. No. I probably don't even need and am not fit for the spotlight. I might be just an extra who doesn't have any presence.” Kim Hye Jin (Ep.1)


“They say you only see as much of the world as you know about it, and it may be the same for humans. Even someone you didn’t see when you didn’t know them. You start seeing them more clearly, as you get to know them.” Kim Hye Jin (Ep.3)


“When you’re young, many people ask “What is your dream?” However, as I mature, the number of people asking what my dream is gradually disappearing. Holding onto my dream until I become an adult isn’t easy in this world. When faced with reality, somewhere along the line, the fact that the dream seems way out of reach, and seems to have disappeared, causes me not to even remember what my dream was to begin with at any given moment. However, before completely forgetting my dream, thankfully someone asked the adult version of me again.” Kim Hye Jin (ep.16)


“One day, I started thinking about something. I started thinking that main characters are not only in dramas or movies. In reality too, there are people who live like the main characters, and some who live as supporting characters...kind of thought. But now, I have this thought. Maybe it was me who decided that I was one of the supporting characters...kind of thought. Giving up so easily by letting life dictate your path, wasn’t it me who turned off the spotlight that was shining down on me...kind of thought. People often say that life is not a fairy-tale. But sometimes like a child, and sometimes like a fool, how about dreaming of a life that’s like a fairy-tale? If you don’t turn off the spotlight, and if you don’t give up on your dream, maybe then, something that’s even more fairy-tale-like than a fairy-tale might happen. Such as the first love that was thought to never come true comes true, or a childhood dream which had been pushed aside into your distant memory comes true. Miracle-like things could really happen.” Kim Hye Jin (Ep.16)


2 comments:

  1. ohh I also love the couple Han Seol (Shin Hye Sun ) and Joon Woo ( Park Yoo Hwan ) . I like them both two, who seeing the instagram Yoo Hwan Park have several pictures together and even in real life they look good together . :)
    I even feel jealous urghhhh :(

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    1. IKR, they are so cute together. I can't help but to love these cute couple^^

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