This, you guys, is a quick, cute, easily slurped-up little mini series. Just 6 half-hour episodes of light fluff, sprinkled with little nuggets of heart. It’s absolutely perfect for when Real Life gets really hectic, but you still want a drama fix. The bite-sized episodes are easy to make room for in your busy schedule, and the breezy content won’t add any strain to the brain either. Win and win!
This one’s also quite perfect, if you’re knee-deep in heavier shows, and need just a little bit of light, to balance out the dark.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
University student Mo Nan Hee (Kim Seul Gi) nurses a crush on her schoolmate, the handsome and popular Park Se Gun (Ahn Hyo Seop). Unfortunately, Se Gun only ever dates pretty girls, and everyone, including Nan Hee herself, does not consider Nan Hee to be a pretty girl. One day, Nan Hee receives a magic ring from her mother, which has the ability to make her look like the ideal type, of the person who puts the ring on her finger. Will Nan Hee be able to make Se Gun fall for her, with the help of the magic ring?
There’s some stuff that I feel would be helpful to keep in mind, in order to maximize your enjoyment of this little show.
1. Stuff leans simplistic, so don’t expect very robust characterization or character development.
2. Except for Kim Seul Gi who is, as always, very good, the acting of our other leads, Ahn Hyo Seop and Yoon So Hee, leans a little flat. They are both serviceable for the roles, but don’t expect amazing performances, is what I’m saying.
Unfortunately, the writing also doesn’t do Yoon So Hee’s character Mi Joo any favors. Sometimes Mi Joo seemed like such a Mean Girl, and sometimes, she seemed more like a friend. Coupled with Yoon So Hee’s not-so-nuanced acting, I sometimes felt like Mi Joo had a split personality. But, just rolling with it helps, I found.
3. Nan Hee is regularly referred to as “ugly” and is also regularly discriminated against because she’s not a pretty girl. That can feel rather jarring. I personally wished that she wasn’t crushing on a boy who only seemed to care about outward appearances. Hang in there, though. Show’s got a point, and Boy will learn to look beyond the Pretty.
STUFF I LIKED
1. I’ve had a soft spot for Kim Seul Gi ever since her scene-stealing turn in Flower Boy Next Door, and I was happy to see her as the leading lady of our story. She imbued Nan Hee with spirit and spunk even amid the insecurity, and delivered Nan Hee’s more emotional moments with a tender vulnerability that really appealed to me.
2. Beyond the “ugly girl” set-up, which didn’t sit well with me, I knew that Show was going on a trajectory to help Nan Hee be happy and confident in her own skin. I liked that, and was willing to look past Show’s imperfections for the sake of that outcome.
3. Show does sprinkle a few nuggets of wisdom into its simple story, and I liked that too. [MINOR SPOILER] I especially liked what Nan Hee had to say about ugly apples; essentially, that they have just as much value as pretty apples. [END SPOILER]
THOUGHTS ON THE ENDING [SPOILERS]
Show ends on a happy note, which in itself is entirely predictable, given its genre. Importantly, it’s a happy ending that feels heartfelt. Plus, I really liked the final message that Show leaves us with.
Long-time bestie Tae Hyun (Lee Tae Sun) confesses his feelings to Nan Hee, and is so supportive and sweet that I wanted Nan Hee to date him, just because he’s able to see her value and her beauty all on his own, without the need for a magic ring. But, Nan Hee wisely turns him down.
Meanwhile, Se Gun quite quickly discovers that he misses Nan Hee, and that Mi Joo (Yoon So Hee) may be pretty, but isn’t the girl that he fell in love with. Of course, he eventually finds his way back to Nan Hee, and learns to love her for who she is, and not what she looks like. I like that he apologizes to Nan Hee too, “I’m sorry it took me so long.”
One of my favorite things this episode, I must say, is the official reveal that Mom (Hwang Jung Min) never did need to wear the ring in front of Dad (Jun Noh Min). He’s been lovey-dovey sweet on her all this time, just for who she is. Aw. And I especially love Mom’s lesson to everyone this episode:
“You don’t have to be beautiful to be loved. When you love someone, that person looks beautiful to you.”
So very true.
And in the end, I got what I’d wanted from the start: Nan Hee decides that she isn’t ever going to wear the ring again, and that she’s going to live as she is, accepting herself for who she is. The fact that she gets a happy ending with the boy of her dreams, is just icing on the cake.
THE FINAL VERDICT:
Quick and sweet, if somewhat simplistic. A nice little serve of drama cotton candy.
FINAL GRADE: B
I couldn’t find a decent quality teaser that I could embed in this review, but you can view a HD teaser here.