[K-DRAMA] She Was Pretty (2015)

warning: may contain spoilers

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Set in a fashion magazine’s publishing office, two childhood friends meet again after 15 years. Will they be able to recognise each other?

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Plot:

Kim Hye Jin was pretty and came from a wealthy family. When she was young, all the boys wanted to be partners or sit with her. Soon, her family’s business went bankrupt and she lost her beauty too. Meanwhile, Ji Sung Joon was fat and unattractive. Many kids bully him for being fat. He then moved to United States with his parents. After several years, Sung Joon came back to Korea to work as a Deputy Chief Editor for fashion magazine “The Most”, and he’s not the fat boy that he used to be. He contacted Hye Jin through email and they decided to meet. That night, Hye Jin came to the meeting place, but Sung Joon was unable to recognise her. She hid herself and asked her best friend, Min Ha Ri, to pretend to be her. Ha Ri is pretty, attractive ,and has good fashion sense. Ha Ri lied that she will go to London to study so this will be their last meeting. The next day, Hye Jin got hired at a company and she went to work. She was assigned to The Most magazine publishing office where Sung Joon was working at. Sung Joon didn’t treat her well as she was criticised and got mad at her for her clumsiness. She wanted to quit her job so bad, even though it’s so hard to find a job. Will she survive seeing her childhood friend mistreat her? And will Sung Joon find out about Ha Ri’s lies?

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Opinions:

Initially, this drama reminded me of two Taiwanese dramas namely Miss No Good and Hi! My Sweetheart. These two dramas also had ugly appearance as the theme of their drama and they were absolutely funny. I felt that Jung Eum’s appearance wasn’t as impactful as how Show Luo and Rainie Yang looked like, but I grew to love this drama as well. I simply love the storyline and how they didn’t make it so complicated. Not recognising your childhood friend is probably a reach in real life, but this is a drama so what can we expect? I just love how they tackled on childhood, friendships, and family. I’m not really a big fan of rom-com dramas, but I certainly enjoyed my time watching it. Although there were a few parts that were draggy especially the latter half, one wouldn’t notice it much. I started watching this with no expectations, but it really turned out good.

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Looks. Does looks really matter? When Hye Jin and a pretty girl were both newly hired, they didn’t notice Hye Jin much, but all the attention went to the pretty girl. Hye Jin is also the one doing the dirty and difficult errands. Also, when Hye Jin met Sung Joon after several years, she hid herself. If I were in Hye Jin’s position, I think I’d do the same and run away. I felt that I always want to leave a good impression to others especially to the person that I like. Many people are so insecure about their bodies, appearance and just about themselves that they go for botox or plastic surgery. I notice this most especially in Asians wherein we have to be white and slim to be considered beautiful. Korea is also so obsessed in beauty that many people resort to plastic surgery. I heard that the chances of getting hired by companies are higher if you’re beautiful or attractive. Many people also get criticized for being ugly and fat. But at the end of the day, whether one wants to undergo plastic surgery or not, it’s still his choice.. it’s his body anyway. Yes, it’s true that looks really matter, but we just have to embrace and be confident about ourselves. I also believe personality is more important over one’s looks.

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The chemistry. I thought that they looked like siblings and they also have a noona-dongsaeng relationship in real life. They also acted as brothers and sisters in Kill Me Heal Me, so I thought that it wouldn’t work, but I’m glad it did. I enjoyed most of their scenes especially when they were officially lovers. Seo Joon acted mature and Jung Eum acted cute and young. They were a pair that I couldn’t believe would have chemistry. I guess working previously helped as I couldn’t notice any awkward atmosphere between the two. Although I liked Hwang Jung Eum and Ji Sung chemistry so much better, but this couple is cute too!

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The supporting characters have done so well too. I mean, I have to give a standing ovation to Kim Ra Ra, the chief editor. I probably saw her in dramas here and there, but her portrayal here was simply the best. She made the drama more alive with her constant French/Italian/Spanish(?) foreign words. I don’t know about Western languages, but she seemed so natural in blurting out these random words. She’s also quite good in English as we can hear with her speech. I also anticipate her most-like fashion every time she appears. I also enjoyed other characters like Hye Jin’s little sister, who grew up to be so lovely and beautiful. I can’t believe she’s the little girl from Wonderful Life. I hope she can be a female lead in a drama too in the future. And also, Yoo Chun’s brother, Park Yu Hwan, who’s extra cute in this drama.

Characters:

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Park Seo Joon as Ji Sung Joon — I loved his portrayal in Kill Me Heal Me, but didn’t expect that he’d be a male lead so fast. I thought that he wasn’t ready to be a male lead yet. I feel that I’m underestimating him all this time, because he definitely didn’t disappoint portraying this character Ji Sung Joon. I also loved Sung Joon’s humour and cuteness. I know that the role can be easily portrayed by some actors; in fact I have a few actors in mind, but I’m glad that they chose Seo Joon. He has a fresh face and he’s still so young. I also liked his ‘image’– that he can do both comical and serious roles. He surely can do various kinds of roles. Definitely looking forward to another male lead casting next time~

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Hwang Jung Eum as Kim Hye Jin — Hwang Jung Eum has been on a roll these days for having many successful dramas. I admired her acting in Secret and she also did well in Kill Me, Heal Me. This time she acted an ugly duckling in this drama as Kim Hye Jin. I thought that her role in Kill Me Heal Me and in this drama were quite the same, as I can see similarities with her acting style. Nonetheless, she pulled off Hye Jin really well. I’m just a bit bothered by her face; it seems that she’s getting younger and younger these days. Signs of botox? Well, I hope she stops it since she’s already beautiful. Looking forward to another epic Hwang Jung Eum drama in the future!

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Choi Si Won as Kim Shin Hyuk — I’ve been a long time Super Junior fan, but I’m surprised myself that I haven’t watched any Si Won Korean drama. The only drama that I’ve watched was Extravagant Challenge which I couldn’t compare his acting to, because his voice was dubbed there. It was hard to imagine Si Won as Kim Shin Hyuk at first, but he did an amazing job in portraying the role. I didn’t know that he would have that crazy side of him. I know he’s funny too, but never thought he would be that crazy. I guess he learned it from his Suju members! I felt that he’s the saving grace of the show. I mean, Jung Eum is funny too, but she couldn’t handle it alone. Kim Shin Hyuk is really a memorable character and I’m glad that despite being the second male lead, he got to have a lot of scenes together with the female lead. It’s sad that when he’s gaining popularity through this drama, he had to go to the army right after. I hope he comes back with another striking portrayal soon.

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Go Jun Hee as Min Ha Ri — I’ve seen her in The Chaser and Queen of Ambition, but honestly  I forgot her acting from those dramas. It’s only because she joined We Got Married, that’s why I was familiar with her. This time, she acted as Min Ha Ri, the lead’s best friend. I simply love the friendship that they have. I mean, I know how friendships end just because of a certain guy/girl, and they didn’t made it happen. Hye Jin was understanding and Ha Ri realised her mistakes. I also loved how Ha Ri has her own difficulties; like she wanted to live independently, and not solely depend on her father. In the end, she finally has her  ‘calling’ to be a hotelier. I can totally relate with her, since I still depend a lot on my parents, but I’ve yet to have that ‘calling’. I still don’t know what to do with life. sigh Anyway, I think casting Go Jun Hee was also perfect since she’s the exact opposite of Hye Jin appearance wise and her acting skills doesn’t disappoint either.

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Ending:

By the last few episodes, we knew that problems have slowly been solved one by one. Since it’s rom-com, of course all the problems were resolved and I knew it’s going to be a happy ending. I was shocked that Ten is actually Shin Hyuk. I thought that he would be the vice president and Ra Ra would be Ten instead. They gave a clue last time that Ten was supposedly a 40 year old something Korean female, so I actually thought it was her. Also, the other male staff carrying the backscratcher all the time was actually the vice president. It was a nice twist and something unexpected. I made the wrong guess! It’s obvious that the last few episodes were just dragging, but Hye Jin and Sung Joon were just so cute together.

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Final Thoughts:

She Was Pretty is a cute drama with a wonderful plot. Although it didn’t have the most unique plot, but I certainly got entertained with how the story went on. I think it has the classic style of a K-drama with how the leads didn’t like each other, but then as time passed by, they fell in love with each other. I initially didn’t expect a lot from this, but I found myself laughing at several funny scenes. I’m not even a big fan of any of these actors, but they really brought the drama to life. Casting these actors was such a huge plus and they definitely contributed to the success of the drama. I couldn’t find anything wrong in this drama except for some editing errors. It’s really a well-written drama, it’s just that I didn’t have any post-drama attachment to it, thus the rating. If you’re looking for something fun, cute and just relaxing, I sincerely recommend She Was Pretty!

Rating: 8/10

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