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.
I especially liked what Nan Hee had to say about ugly apples; essentially, that they have just as much value as pretty apples.
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.
Doesnt anyone know where i can buy this in the states. I really wanna see this!!
Short and sweet. Loved it. Had to stop after the second episode to read your full review before I continued..it bothered me that the male lead was so shallow…!!! Good thing I did!!!
Glad you enjoyed this little show, absoluteposh! 😀 The shallowness of the male lead bothered me too, but I’m glad I stuck it out. I needed to see him learn the error of his ways – and learn to appreciate our Nan Hee just as she was. <3
Kim Seul Gi is one of the best actresses in Korea. I actually feel that in Oh My Ghostess she was a co-lead. But I agree she deserves a lead in a full drama. I will have to check this out. I adored the short Splish, Splash, Love.
And her singing in Oh My Ghostess was wonderful too! It made me wish to see her in a concert, especially a musical production.
Oh, I LOVED Splash Splash Love too! I have to say that this one isn’t as good or as cute as Splash Splash Love, but is worth the watch anyway, for Kim Seul Gi, and for Show’s ultimately sweet message 🙂 YES, I’d love to see her in a leading role soon, in a full-length drama! 😀
I watched this quite a while ago when I was looking for anything that Kim Seul Gi was in. I saw her in Oh My Ghost and thought she was great even with the limited role. I’d like to see her in a lead. I’m watching Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo this weekend (I know, I know, that’s not a certain Chinese drama I’m supposed to be watching) and I could see her in this kind of role.
The irony (considering the message of this web drama) is she’s such a good actor but I think she’s stuck in web dramas and second lead roles because she’s not supermodel pretty.
I also enjoyed this show for what it was. It seems a bit unfair to criticise low-budget offerings like this. But I do have a problem with the tendency of kdramas to have the main plot around the rehabilitation of male leads. I think women should aim for a guy that’s already great rather than be told they should find one and fix them. Because that literally never works in real life!
Also. I have seen Yoon So Hee in a few things now and girl cannot act. Maybe her character would have made more sense with a better actor to interpret it?
For what it was, this was fun anyway.
Ironically, I’m now near the end of WFKBJ and Kim Seul Gi just showed up! That’s so ironic. What a lovely surprise, especially after the Lee Jong Suk and Jisoo cameos. Very small part but she is delightful. She has such a good screen presence.
Kim Seul Gi DOES have excellent screen presence! And, it sounds like you are enjoying WFKBJ, which is great! Coz I loved that show <3
Yep, this was fun for what it was. Definitely not perfect by any means, but as you said, it feels unfair to criticize little shows like this which probably had very little to work with, in terms of budget.
I concur about Yoon So Hee. I’ve likewise seen her in a few things, and haven’t been blown away. So it’s possible that Mi Joo as a character might have made more sense in a more capable actor’s hands – no credit to the writer though! Coz it just didn’t make a lot of sense to me, even taking away Yoon So Hee’s delivery.
I have to agree HEARTILY with dramas tending to make the bad boys/jerks the male leads. I came across a Twitter conversation about how their newbie drama converts who were teenagers, got upset with shows and wouldn’t continue watching, if they found out that the girl doesn’t choose the perfect second male lead. I remember reading that exchange and thinking, “GOOD on those teen girls, for knowing to pick the nice guy!” We definitely need more dramas where the male lead is a decent, good person! 🙂
PS: If First Half isn’t working for you, it’s ok!!! I’m just glad you gave it a shot 🙂
Absolutely LOVED this little mini-series! Tfs, kfangurl!
Grace! <3 Thanks for stopping by! I know how busy you've been! I'm so pleased you enjoyed this little show – and I do remember your soft spot for Kim Seul Gi 😉 Glad you managed a spot of drama, even in the midst of your hectic schedule! 😀
I enjoyed this, loved the premise and you can’t go wrong with Kim Seul gi!
Alson thanks for the link because most of the previously old faithful streaming sites have become too buggy!
Yay that you enjoyed this one, beez! It’s a cute premise, and you’re so right, it’s hard to go wrong with Kim Seul Gi! She’s just this tiny package of awesome. 😍
Glad the link helped! 😀
where did you watch this? I can’t seem to find it anywhere! 🙁
No worries, here’s one place you can watch it. 🙂 Happy watching!
Thanks so much!
Happy to help! 😀
Kim Seul Gi is my favorite Korean actress. I wish she’d get a lead role in a full-fledged drama! She deserves it!!!
Yes, I’d love for her to be the lead in a full-length drama! She was great in this, and she was also fantastic in Splash Splash Love. Fingers crossed that she’ll get her leading lady role soon! 😀
Love Kim Seul Gi! Thanks for the tip! Short dramas are just what I need at times!
Yes, Kim Seul Gi is great! <3 Glad you'll check this one out – sometimes, short dramas really are exactly what we need! 😀
The one that I am looking forward to the most after work is Radio Romance. It is hard to wait the whole week. I like the heroine and am totally rooting for her. And, yes, intrigued by the hero. And I really want to know why he tripped her.
The other is Hwayugi. It is just fun even with some potentially high stakes.
Hi bev! 🙂 Yes, this one is pretty cute. Worth a whirl for when you’ve got a spare pocket of time! 🙂 Good to know that Radio Romance & Hwayugi are your favorites right now – I’ve yet to start on either one, but plan to check them out soonish! 🙂