The first korean drama that I finished this summer was ID: Gangnam Beauty/My ID is Gangnam Beauty based on a webtoon with the same name. I have not read the webtoon so I am sure people that have read it will feel differently about the drama. The story is about Kang Mi-Rae (Lim Soo Hyang) gets plastic surgery before entering college and is hoping to create a new and fresh start among her peers. Unexpectedly she meets Do Kyung-Seok (Cha Eun-Woo) who was her classmate in middle school and he recognizes her despite her plastic surgery. She discovers that College is still full of bullies and obstacles despite her pretty looking face.
I think this drama started out strong with the different characters and the obstacles that Mi-Rae was forced to overcome and it really hooked people in. I have to say that people seemed to be a bit triggered by this drama of whether plastic surgery is good or bad. I think society feels like plastic surgery is something shameful and something you don’t talk about openly and yet people will do it because it makes them feel better. It is considered shameful because of the vanity of spending that much money on how you look. This must be a very prevalent topic in South Korea since they even have a name for people who get their faces done. By the end I really couldn’t tell if this drama was saying plastic surgery is good or bad. I think that Hyun Soo-A (Jo Woo-Ri) did a good job in acting out her role and was pulled in and got so mad at her. She played the innocent villain so well that it was frustratingly good.
In the beginning I found it absolutely disgusting how women were being treated in this drama and was hard to watch. It did get better but still it was so wrong and treating women like objects just was unbearable. I found at some point I was getting annoyed at Kang Mi-Rae’s character, she was just so weak and only had a surprised look on her face most of the time. I just felt like her character became so uninspiring and I got bored with her actions and thoughts. I also found Do Kyung-Seok’s character a little boring because he was so cut and dry and facial expressions so stiff. I get that it was probably what he was supposed to act like but I found it odd and somewhat lacking chemistry at times. I also found his character a little unrealistic that he would have preferred her original face, I wish this was true but I just found it unbelievable and maybe because I have a heart of ice and have become a cynical through and through I just didn’t find it believable. The ending was pretty decent but it felt like there did not get to tell the whole story and it felt things were just left without a proper conclusion. This may be because it is originally a webtoon and I am unsure if it has even reached a conclusion.
Overall it was a cute drama that will feel the need of wanting to watch a fun romantic comedy and still covers some intense topics and isn’t just fluff.
The second drama I finished was Thirty But Seventeen/Still 17. The story is about Woo Seo-Ri (Shin Hye-Sun) a 17 year old who gets in a car accident and fall into a coma and wakes up 13 years later and has to adjust to becoming a 30 year old. It also stars Gong Woo-Jin (Yang Se-Jong) who is also 30 years old and has faced a trauma and works as set designer and tries his best not to get involved in other people’s business. The two of them become inter tangled into each other’s life and doesn’t know how to deal his feelings.
I really liked the story line of this drama it felt somewhat fresh dealing with the problem of waking up a lot older and yet still feeling like a seventeen year old. It had a lot of humor and emotional moments that were truly enjoyable. It had a good full cast that really made it fun and interesting. I enjoyed the chemistry and the storyline although I think my favorite character was Seo-Ri she did a really good job in acting and the character was really well developed.
The only thing was that I wished she would have found out about her past quicker instead of in the last episode I think the drama could have focused more on her and what happened to her friends and family instead of the romantic story line. I think the romance was very predictable so I don’t think it needed as much time as her storyline and past. I wish they would have done a love triangle between her doctor friend and Woo-Jin although that would be pretty predictable as well.
Overall I think it was cute and enjoyable drama that had many funny and hilarious moments which was the best!It was a warm drama that made me feel good and satisfied when watching.
The third drama that I finished was Familiar Wife/Wife That I Know. It is about Joo Hyuk (Ji-Sung) who is unhappy in his marriage to Woo-Jin (Han Ji-Min). He is struggling at work and he is unhappy with Woo-Jin who is angered by everything he does and he becomes scared of her. He meets a man on the subway who gives him some coins and that he can go back in time and change his life.
This was an interesting drama and it felt different in the way the story was being told. It feels hard to root for anybody because the characters seem unreliable and you don’t want them to be miserable. Mainly it is Joo-Hyuk that seems to keep making mistakes and you don’t know what he should do, I found it hard to root for him and Woo-Jin. It definitely plays on your feelings and it is confusing because it strays from the norm as the main character is at fault and isn’t blameless but instead is flawed. I guess you could say that it a more realistic version of a character that shows his weak and ugly side such as abandoning his wife and children for someone new. This made me feel very uncomfortable as a viewer. It is harder to see such harsh actions.
I found it compelling even though there are parts I didn’t like but it is interesting watching someone get a second chance or more. I liked that it was different, and made me think a different way. Also being able to revisit the same story line a couple of times was interesting to see what changed or stayed the same. I did like the ending to the drama, I think they did a good job of wrapping it up and showing us how a relationship should work and how to be partners.
I think it takes a couple of episodes to get into and it does away from good to less good, it is not really a romantic comedy. The middle of the drama got a bit slow and a bit redundant but it did pick up again.
Overall it was a pretty interesting drama that seemed to show a unique perspective rarely shown in dramas. I think it was a pretty good ride in the end.
The fourth drama that I watched was Life written by Lee Soo-Yeon who also was the writer for Stranger which was very good. I first thought that this was going to be about doctors and there patients but it really is not. It stars Ye Jin-Woo (Lee Dong-Wook) who is an emergency doctor and has a brother Ye Sun-Woo (Lee Kyu-Hyung) who is a paraplegic and is a doctor but is working in the health insurance evaluation. There are changes happening in the hospital with a company buying the the hospital and a new President Goo Seung-Hyo (Choo Seung-Woo). The new President wants to run the hospital like a business which is complete conflict of how doctors want to treat their patients. The drama focuses on the politics within the hospital. The power struggle is front and centre within this drama.
Normally I wouldn’t find this subject matter very interesting or compelling but the writer brings so much depth to this drama. The bad guy is not just a bad guy he is also a good guy. People are not just bad or good. Sometimes bad guys do good things and sometimes good guys can do bad things. I think it focuses on the human condition and what drives everyone. Characters are not just one note they are treated as complex people that they are and some people may be surprised how interesting this drama can be.
I did enjoy the characters in this drama and found myself being swept away when I would start watching. I sometimes didn’t always understand the fine details of the politics but I did get the gist of what was happening. I was happy that there was some love lines happening although I wasn’t expecting much from this writer. I really enjoyed the cinematography of this drama as well. I think it was well written and acted out wonderfully.
I was a little sad that I didn’t get to see Lee Dong-Wook being more of a doctor and treating patients but I was happy to see him act again! At times it was a bit hard to follow with the paperwork and what the politics were all about. I feel like the problems were not resolved so I’m wondering if they are wanting to donate second season since it seemed like a cliffhanger ending. If there is not a second season I feel like it was a bit of a strange ending.
Overall it was a well written drama with interesting characters and good drama.
The dramas that I am watching next are:
- 100 days my prince: It is about a Prince that loses his memory and marries a peasant woman.
2. Devilish Joy: Also a memory loss drama with a man that wakes up with no memory of the past day after an accident. He reunites with a woman that he loves and he has no memory of her.
3. The Beauty Inside: It is about a top star woman who lives one week out of the month with a different appearance and a man that is unable to recognize anyone’s face except for hers.
4. Where the stars land: It is about a man that is smart and mysterious working at the Incheon International airport and meets a clumsy woman also working at the airport.
5. Room Number 9: It is a body swap drama, a lawyer changes places with a death row convict.