Quiet, low-key and unassuming, Miss Korea is the modest little drama that could.
What Miss Korea lacks in big plot movement, it makes up for with attentive character establishment and development, which gives this series its almost-but-not-quite slice-of-life, almost-family-drama feel. Populated by earnest characters who feel ordinary, real and likable, Miss Korea is the kind of show that one develops a slow but enduring affection for.
Another helpful thing to know: Despite its title and premise, Miss Korea isn’t really about beauty pageants per se. It’s more about how ordinary people muster up their inner mettle, to face seemingly insurmountable challenges; not only to survive, but to pursue meaning and happiness in their lives.
Today’s post is inspired by a conversation with blog regular INTJ.
After I posted my review of Let’s Eat, we realized that our respective experiences of the show were like night and day, to put it mildly. While I enjoyed the drama a lot, INTJ did not enjoy the show. At all.
I’ve understood for a long time that as viewers, we all respond to dramas and actors differently. A drama that one person loves to bits could be completely meh to someone else. And, an actor that inspires love in one person could inspire irritation in another. We all approach the world with our own filters, after all.
What gave me pause for thought is a follow-up email that INTJ sent me after our initial thought exchange on Let’s Eat. In it, he mentioned that he’s heard people around him say many times, “all Koreans do in their movies is eating.”
Well now. I’d never seen it that way before. This piece of information definitely made me think. And that, well, brought about a bunch of thoughts.
Given that INTJ’s mentioned several times before in other comments that he’s deeply interested in learning about the differences between cultures, I thought it apt to share my perspectives in a post.
Fresh, fun and earnest, and backed by a breezy soundtrack that’s easy on the ears, Dream High ranks as one of my all-time favorite music-centric, high school dramas. Heck, it’s one of my favorite dramas, period.
Despite its youth-y premise, Dream High has a pretty universal appeal, with its emphasis on friendship, loyalty and finding & pursuing your dreams. What the idol-heavy cast lacks in finesse, they more than make up for with earnestness. And then there’s Kim Soo Hyun, Uhm Ki Joon and Lee Yoon Ji in the main cast, lending acting cred and nuance to the overall package.
The drama takes an episode or two to get into its groove but once it does, it’s cracky, delicious goodness.
A drama that’s got a light, frothy and often comedic outer shell, but harbors an inner core that’s poignant, stirring and heart-in-your-throat moving.
To be sure, if one put on a hard logical lens, this show’s flaws may be too glaring for one to overlook. But for those who can turn that logical lens to a blurry soft-focus, and amp up the emotional lens to a setting high enough to engage with the characters on a more visceral level, that touching inner core is the satisfying, gratifying reward.
Separately, Jeon Ji Hyun and Kim Soo Hyun are both truly excellent in their roles. Even better? Together, they are pure magic.
So I was determined that I would post something other than Pure Pretty, after unveiling 2 Pure Pretty posts one after the other. Y’know, so that the blog wouldn’t appear too frivolous and fangirly. *clings to denial*
But after a pretty exhausting work trip, followed by a long and hectic weekend, I just didn’t have the mental bandwidth to continue writing my review of You From Another Star. *contrite* When my brain’s had enough time to recover its drama-appreciating faculties, I promise that the YFAS review will be the first thing I tackle. *pinky swears*
While resting my brain, I thought I’d do some research for Pure Pretty. And we know how that’s gone before, heh. A little research soon turned into a sizable haul of pretty, which I couldn’t wait to share with you guys. And so I bring you Daniel Henney, who single-handedly commanded almost all the votes for future Pure Pretty that got floated after the first 2 posts.
Most of you are familiar with my 3 big k-loves. And although I’m currently spazzing over and lovin’ on Kim Woo Bin more — uunghh I wuv my Woobie ❤ — I love ’em each in their own special way.
If you’ve known me for a while, &/or taken a look at my fangirl motto on the side-bar to your right, you’d probably also know that having big k-loves — or major Woobie love, heh — doesn’t mean that I don’t have room to admire and.. appreciate (ahem) other talented k-men in dramaland.
In fact, I’ve got quite a few of those medium k-loves, at least a few of whom I plan on introducing to you guys this year.
First up: Kim Soo Hyun!
I’ve liked Kim Soo Hyun since his Dream High days in 2011, and have had my eye on him and his work ever since. Every time he’s got a new drama or movie out, I perk up and take notice. And now that I’m watching You From Another Star, my Kim Soo Hyun radar has switched itself into Mmmm.. mode all over again. Which, really, is the catalyst for this post.