[K-DRAMA] Nail Shop Paris (2013)

warning: may contain spoilers



Nail Shop Paris isn’t only about nail arts and nail polishes…


Hong Yeo Joo is an online writer and is currently writing a love story about gumiho. People accused her of plagiarism and she decides to write a story involving the lives of real people. She goes to a subway station to observe and there she witnessed a guy who saved a girl’s life from a drug addict. She then followed this guy to his work place. She enters a nail shop called Paris. A guy working in a nail shop? It’s going to be a perfect idea for her story. Coincidentally, the nail shop is up for hiring, but it only accepts men. She decides to disguise herself as a guy and work alongside the guy who is named Alex. As she gets accepted in the job, she befriends Alex, Kay and Jin. Together, they work hard in the shop and also help their customers.



I decided to give this drama a try since it’s only 10 episodes despite of the bad reviews of this drama. Now, I understand why people think this way.

From the title of the drama, one could assume that it’s a romantic comedy filled with flower boys. Well, it’s not. Nail Shop Paris involves gumiho or nine-tailed fox. It’s hard to associate a nail shop with such magical myths. I wished they focused on the love triangle itself and just delete the things about the fan fiction and gumiho. The scenes about Bunny’s fanfic writing is really vague and weird. It’s hard to follow and it doesn’t make sense at all. Crappy writing it is. If anything could be weirder, it would also be how the nail shop workers treated their customers. I don’t know if they were just too kind to care about their customers’ lives or just being nosy or they’re just bored with their own lives. For every episode, there’s a customer who sought help from them and they would gladly help them. In real business, there’s no such store that could be as kind-hearted as them. The workers seemed to turn into detectives as the story goes. A girl disguises herself as a guy and new subplot for every customer or episode is not something new. The love triangle is really what I’m looking forward to in every episode as it’s really different from other dramas. It’s the second lead who’s apparently the bully or the mean guy. And for many other dramas, it’s the lead guy who usually have this kind of personality. I liked how the second lead guy stood out more than the first.


The setting isn’t also attractive. The nail shop itself is not well-lit and the room seemed dark. How could the staff do customer’s nails without having a decent lightning? The location of the nail shop doesn’t really catch the audience’s attention. I wished they could have at least done this part to make up for the bad writing.


Characters: The cast are not well-known as actors, but I guessed they’ve done their best.


KARA Park Gyu Ri as Hong Yeo Joo / Bunny — I was really having a hard time accepting the fact that Gyu Ri will play this role. Even after watching the drama, I still think that she wasn’t the best choice for this role. My image of Gyu Ri is very feminine and goddess-like. Other members from her group could be a more appropriate choice. If I were given a chance, I’d choose Nicole for this role as Bunny. Nicole has short hair and she’s one of the underrated member in the group. It would be nice to give her a chance to play a lead role. And honestly, I didn’t like how Gyu Ri portrayed the role. It was really obvious that she’s a girl especially with her voice.


Jun Ji Hoo as Kim Ji Hun / Alex — I couldn’t recall seeing him in another drama, I guess this would be my first Jun Ji Hoo drama. He was very attractive during the start. Among the three nail artists, I’d definitely pick him first, looks-wise. Alex seemed really nice and down-to-earth. During the latter part, he wasn’t given much importance. It’s as if he was shoved to the side which I thought was a waste. I could see a lot of potential from this actor, but then his introvert role didn’t give him much opportunity.


Song Jae Rim as Kang Jong Hyuk / Kay — He was the hired killer in Two Weeks and I got attracted to his skills in that drama. It was new for me to see him in a romantic comedy drama especially in Nail Shop Paris wherein he’s a nail artist. Seriously while watching his first scene in the shop doing a customer’s nails, I was really laughing. Song Jae Rim portrayed Kay as a bad boy who bullies Bunny but secretly likes her. He was even thinking about his sexual preference because he thought Bunny was a guy. Their scenes were cute though especially with the skinships that they have; obviously they didn’t have chemistry as it seemed like they were waiting for the director to shout cut. lol


MBLAQ Thunder Cheon Doong as Jin — I’ve always loved Cheon Doong as an idol and member of MBLAQ and I didn’t know he could act so well. His role as Jin was really perfect for him because of his jolly and happy image. His love line with Bunny’s roommate was an interesting addition to the story, but I guessed they used so much scenes for them. I’m not saying this because I’m biased, but among the main cast, Cheon Doong’s acting was the most natural and in my opinion the best.


Ending: (spoilers)

Here’s one of the endings that I don’t know whether I should be happy or sad. Bunny found about the real identity of the lady boss. The lady boss is her mother and Bunny is a half-gumiho. She also told Bunny that if she chose Alex, she would never be lonely since he is also a half-gumiho like her. In the end, Bunny married Kay and they had a child together. But Alex is still working at the nail shop together with them. Jin and her girlfriend moved to Japan. I really thought that Alex is the male lead in this drama, but then as the story progressed, it seemed like Kay was getting a lot more scenes. At least this drama proved that second male leads like Kay could eventually end up with the female lead. One thing that I couldn’t understand though is the vague love triangle among the three. It’s obvious that Bunny likes Alex more than Kay and Kay seemed to be a replacement or she just didn’t want to hurt his feelings. Bunny also kissed Alex first while this never happened to Kay. I don’t know if the writer just wants to please the audience because at the end of the drama, I liked Kay’s personality better than Alex’s. In a few words, the ending was wrapped up quickly with a few questions left unanswered. It’s also an ending that everyone would not be pleased about.


Final Thoughts:

Nail Shop Paris is really far from my first impression. So many complaints, and the only thing that I liked about this drama is the characters. The rest lacked standards. I’m glad it’s only 10 episodes. It’s definitely not a drama that I would recommend, but one should watch if you are fan of the actors. Well if you’re up for nail shop workers being nosy on their customers’ lives and a sprinkle of gumiho kind of story, why not give it a try?

Rating: 4/10



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Recommended Korean Dramas (2013) | My Asian movie & drama

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