Based on its synopsis alone – that this story is about a Queen who does everything she can, to protect her sons – Show could have been boring and dry, revolving around court politics.
In execution, though, Show is vibrant, engaging and absolutely compelling, and the secret to that, I think, is because our story is just so personal.
I love that this is more about a Mama Bear protecting her babies with all her heart, rather than about bearded men standing around and talking and talking about politics. THAT I can get on board with, and get on board, I did.
Our cast is solid, with some excellent stand-outs, but the one who stands out the most, for me, is Kim Hye Soo as our titular Queen. She’s commanding, yet vulnerable and full of heart, at the same time, I couldn’t help but love her, and by extension, her babies too.
Essentially, Show is a diamond in the rough; emphasis on diamond, and emphasis on rough, heh.
Show is rough around the edges, with one of those rough edges being a pretty scattered sort of approach to storytelling, but the warmth and community feels that it delivers are so good, and so strong, that you end up being more than willing to look past Show’s shortcomings.
The young cast really shines in this, and the adult characters are mostly there as sources of guidance and support, and that’s one of the things that I enjoy most about this show.
Our young crew is earnest and competent, and all-around believable, not only as their individual characters, but as the team that they form.
The stand-out for me, though, is Tang Joon Sang, whose character kinda functions as our protagonist. He really brings a lot of dimension to the role.
Wholesome and quite excellent, in spite of its flaws.
True Beauty doesn’t exactly re-invent the drama wheel in any sense of the word, but it’s fun and endearing, even while it’s being tropey and silly, and altogether, it works out to be a reasonably good time, especially if you’re in the mood for something that doesn’t tax the ol’ brain much.
As a bonus, thematically, Show manages to shine a bit of a spotlight on the importance of inner beauty, even as it plays with the contrast between our female lead’s bare and made-up face.
The acting in this show may not be the most skilled or nuanced, but our characters are generally earnest, well-cast, and pretty to look at.
Moon Ga Young and Cha Eun Woo are picture perfect as our story’s leads, and share decent chemistry as the sweet OTP at the center of our story.
It’s second male lead Hwang In Yeop who ended up stealing my heart a little extra, though. I do have a bit of a weakness for broody bad boys with hidden marshmallow hearts, heh.
Far from amazing, but a solid pick for a bit of sweet, mindless froth.