She Was Pretty (Q1 Review)

Warning: This post is merely a shameless excuse to post screencaps of Choi Siwon.

We’re four episodes into She Was Pretty and it’s time for a 1st quarter review: stay or go?

With a plot based on hidden identities and first loves, this MBC romantic comedy isn’t breaking any ground. But it’s a well-executed broad comedy featuring two great heroines and the divine Choi Siwon playing second lead. I wish the first lead (played by the excellent Park Seo-Joon) were as interesting, but that’s an unusual and welcome problem for a K-drama, where the men often have better developed characters than the women.

Our hero, Ji Sung-Joon, has a work-life balance problem. He apparently can only do his job—as deputy chief editor of fictional fashion magazine Most—by being a condescending jerk. I can’t overstate how stale this character feels. He’s a standard-issue K-drama hero of the traditional mold (below).

Luckily, Park Seo-Joon plays the role. After seeing him play the sincere, starry-eyed younger lover in Witch’s Romance and the goofy novelist brother in Kill Me, Heal Me, I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. There must be a decent man in there somewhere, right?

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When Sung-Joon returns to Seoul after a few years in the United States (where apparently we turn nice boys into impatient men), he has one mission in mind: find his old friend Kim Hye-Jin, the girl who was nice to him in middle school—his first love, of course. Hye-Jin (Hwang Jung-Eum, below) is less enthusiastic about meeting up again, however. She remembers him fondly, but thinks first loves should stay imaginary and idealized.

The central plot device is as simple as they come: back in school, Hye-Jin was pretty and Sung-Joon was overweight and homely. Now things have changed. Hye-Jin isn’t trying to stay ahead in the glamour wars: for this role Hwang Jung-Eum sports a perma-press hairdo reminiscent of her look in Full House: Take Two. While Sung-Joon is the kind of over-styled hero who works at a fashion magazine. I’ll bet you he shows up wearing an ascot sooner or later.

If you’ve watched K-dramas, you know that wearing fancy clothes signifies “good-looking,” while dressing casually signifies “ugly.” According to the publicity notes, Choi Siwon is “very ordinary” in this show. Perhaps because he wears jeans to work? In what universe does the average man look like Choi Siwon?

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In any case, Hye-Jin likes the casual look, and doesn’t want to spoil Sung-Joon’s heavily romanticized image of her, so she sends her glamorous best friend Min Ha-Ri (Go Jun-Hee, below) to meet him in her place.

This opening conceit is hard to swallow, because it isn’t an honest mistake. It’s a deliberate deception. Another thing that’s hard to swallow: Sung-Joon and Hye-Jin appear to have had personality transplants since their school days. The panicky Sung-Joon is now an iceberg of calm (is it our American pharmaceuticals?) and the once confident Hye-Jin now seems more interested in her own problems than in helping the people around her.

But the mark of a good K-drama is whether it rises above its contrivances. And if we can look past the implausible personality shifts, She Was Pretty does offer an interesting plot about remembering the past. Sung-Joon remembers things through such rose-tinted glasses that he doesn’t even recognize Hye-Jin in the present. He believes Ha-Ri’s charade, perhaps because she’s gorgeous and he wants to believe. Though he increasingly senses something isn’t right, he puts aside all rational thinking skills where she’s concerned.

Meanwhile, Hye-Jin is reluctant to meet up with Sung-Joon from the beginning. And when she accidentally finds herself working for Sung-Joon at Most, her first priority is to avoid discovery. She isn’t particularly interested in getting to know him in the present. The past is past. She wants to preserve her good memories of Seung-Joon by avoiding him.

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Sensible girl. Sung-Joon repeatedly asks her to do things that aren’t her job, then berates her for failing to excel. The fact that he’s unpleasant to everyone at the office just confirms that  somewhere along the way he took a turn to the dark side.

But She was Pretty is still a likable show, for reasons that have nothing to do with the leading couple. The friendship between Hye-Jin and her best friend Ha-Ri, for one thing.

These childhood friends and modern-day roommates rely on each other so much that they call each other “wife,” despite major personality and fashion differences. Ha-Ri is a glamour puss, while Hye-Jin embraces a frumpy look that goes well beyond having unkempt hair (unkempt by strict Korean standards, I hasten to add). She’s dressing for comfort. In her own way she rocks the comfortable, androgynous look. In the show’s best nod to anti-fashionistas everywhere, Hye-Jin’s colleague Shin-Hyuk takes to her calling her “Jackson” because her white socks with black shoes resemble M.J.’s classic look. Shin-Hyuk is more forgiving of her fashion sense than I am—those socks were driving me nuts—and I salute him for his broad-mindedness. (Note to self: doesn’t matter if socks are black or white.)

The way this odd couple support each other’s lifestyle and fashion choices makes them the most interesting pairing in the show. Hye-Jin and Ha-Ri serve as foils for each other, with Hye-Jin teasing Ha-Ri about her mini-skirt (“it’s the size of a sock”) and Ha-Ri suggesting Hye-Jin could stand to learn a little about cosmetics to advance her career (“don’t look down on fashion just because you don’t understand it”). But they love and defend each other.

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Ha-Ri is an interesting character in her own right, possibly more interesting than Hye-Jin. She’s a beautiful woman with a fashionable wardrobe, but you get the sense she’s not dressing up to impress men. She’s confident enough to be friends with the decidedly unfashionable Hye-Jin. This character feels three-dimensional, a woman caught in the contradictions of our time—she wants to look good, but should that really require her to fend off a bad pick-up artist with a pineapple?

Her stepmother calls her immoral because she parties with her male friends and her male friends themselves can’t seem to see past her mile-long legs. Though she wants to end her charade as Hye-Jin, she keeps losing her nerve and getting drawn in to Sung-Joon’s confidences. And because he’s Mr. Sweet with her, she’s starting to fall for him. She’s a character who wants better relationships with others, and that makes her compelling.

But the best thing about She Was Pretty is Choi Siwon playing Hye-Jin’s co-worker Kim Shin-Hyuk (above and below). “The team’s ace,” as Shin-Hyuk modestly introduces himself, he’s a staff writer and secret heir to a publishing company. (Every writer should be so lucky.)

K-drama has never seen a chaebol heir quite like this before. Shin-Hyuk is a charming pest, a shameless cadger with a cool motorcycle and a child’s delight in street vendor teokbokki.

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As with Choi Siwon’s hilarious performance in 2012’s King of Dramas (or even his cameo at the start of this summer’s Masked Prosecutor), you have to wonder how much of this character is scripted and how much is Choi Siwon’s own original lunacy. He throws his whole body into every gag. Sure, his sexy, mischievous journalist in She Was Pretty isn’t that different from his sexy, mischievous actor in King of Dramas, but who cares? Just try to keep a straight face when he does his impersonation of drunk Hye-Jin in episode four. And what about that scene where he convinces Hye-Jin that tails on a coin are actually heads? The guy’s dangerously good at getting his way. It’s fun to watch him smooth-talk his way into getting Hye-Jin to buy him food. (She thinks he must have big student loans.) It will also be fun to see what happens if he ever runs into obstacles he can’t overcome with a dimpled smile.

Until now, She Was Pretty has been ninety percent comedy, without much development of the relationships. Luckily, it’s funny, in a broad, zany way. Hwang Jung-Eum’s skills at over-the-top comedy fit perfectly with this role and she’s well-matched in Choi Siwon.

It’s hard not to get Second Lead Syndrome here, with so much outstanding comic energy in the Hye-Jin/Shin-Hyuk relationship. Sung-Joon and Hye-Jin’s relationship has been entirely antagonistic, and not even much fun to watch. And Sung-Joon and second lead Ha-Ri have the potential to be an interesting couple—except for that whole lying-about-her-identity thing.

And that’s the one problem with She Was Pretty. Even in episode four, the lie continues, despite a few hints to Sung-Joon that not all is right in First-Love-Land. And Hye-Jin dislikes him enough (for good reasons) that she doesn’t care to enlighten him. When can we move ahead with the Life Lessons?

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As a comedy, She Was Pretty is entertaining. (Bonus comedy points for the ubiquitous character actor Hwang Seok-Jeong hamming it up as a bizarre fashionista who speaks fluent gibberish, above.) As a romance, it’s already making me desperately hope the writers will try something novel. Why not let Sung-Joon learn his lesson about first love and then move on? Maybe this is his chance to grow up. Let Shin-Hyuk get the girl.

But that might not be in the cards. In episode four, Hye-Jin finally gives in to temptation and tells Sung-Joon off. Sung-Joon looks like he’s considering the possibility he’s not the person he thought he was. Perhaps he doesn’t realize how he comes across? When you’re a plump little boy, you can get away with being anti-social; when you’re the office hottie, your anti-social ways just look like snobbery.

Another serious note enters in episode four: a jarring disclosure from Shin-Hyuk—how can he have angst?—plus confirmation that he’s the Most staff’s secret chaebol. As he goes home to a lonely hotel suite, it’s clear there’s more to him than the teasing big brother he’s been playing towards Hye-Jin. Can Choi Siwon do serious? I don’t know, but I’ll stick around to find out. Whatever comes next might not make any sense, but as long as Choi Siwon occasionally shouts “Jackson!” I’m in. ♥

(Sorry Park Seo-Joon, I even gave Choi Siwon the featured image for this post. But it’s been so long since we’ve seen him, and he’s going into the army in a few months, and I have a ton of screen caps of you already, and—well, if I really have to be honest, ahem, CSW’s ridiculously hot.)

36 thoughts on “She Was Pretty (Q1 Review)

  1. You know I love me some comedy, but I say there’s a distinction between broad and zany and this is firmly in the former category which makes me sad. The only “funny” that’s working for me is Hwang Seok-Jeong which is ironic because I found her small role in Mask to be irritating. Here, she’s like a hybrid of Mrs. Bennet, Effie Trinket with maybe a dash of Auntie Mame and it is awesome.

    Choi Siwon needs to up his scruff game. He just looks like he came to work hungover. I love Ha-ri, am jealous of her hair, and feel a tad defensive at “wifeys” well-meaning condescension. Also have to laugh at the notion that “ugly” people are prudish. Romance so far is a no man’s land for me.

    As for our main leads…*shrug* “Sung-Joon is now an iceberg of calm (is it our American pharmaceuticals?)” Haha he’s on Xanax! Also, Park Seo Joon’s hair in this is bugging me out. His is not a face that works with “posh” styles I think. Characterwise, been there, done that, they may make it interesting, they probably won’t (enough). Same with Hye-jin, Hwa Jeong-Eum’s style makes her less of a doormat this character type generally is, but the plot holes in past vs present her makes it hard for me to like her since it boils down to not having common sense.

    Lastly, I hate the whole “I’ll tell you like it is…in my head” editing “humor” Phooey.

    I could overlook most of its flaws if I actually found it funny. It’d be more watchable during the dry season right now if I hadn’t rediscovered the joys of watching older shows in my own little bubble. Unless it does something fantastically unprecedented, I’ll just lurk on recaps.

    • Hi Muse! I find myself nodding with everything you say. The reason I give this one the benefit of the doubt is very shallow: my weakness for Choi Siwon acting like a dork. Otherwise, I’d be skipping it and simply checking recaps to find out what turned Sung-Joon into a jerk. I agree with you that the characters are extremely familiar. The only way this one works is for viewers who find it funny. And I can’t explain why I think it’s funny. I love your description of Hwang Seok-Jeong: “hybrid of Mrs. Bennet, Effie Trinket with maybe a dash of Auntie Mame.” I found her hugely irritating in Mask, and mildly irritating in Secret. And now she’s perfect. Whoever is choosing her bizarro wardrobe deserves a special award. But it’s definitely a good season to hunker down and catch up on the classics!

  2. Can I say, I agree with everything that you’ve written. This show has its fair share of flaws but Siwon makes me forget everything. I am in love with his character. I honestly came to the show for Park Seo Joon but ended up staying for Siwon. Do I sound shallow, well I can’t help it. Also I love the chemistry between the girls. I know the short term deception is becoming more complex as Ha-Ri fights with her own mixed feelings, I still hope this won’t damage the friendship that the girls have. I love how the friends are there for each other and also point out each other’s flaws. And, you have no idea how hard I’m praying for the second lead to get the girl in this show. I can’t stand Sung Joon. I don’t what happened to him in USA(Did he steal the dagger of the Dark One from Emma Swan) His double standard while dealing with the two Kim Hye Jin’s is infuriating. And he hasn’t apologized once to her for the airport fiasco. That was totally his fault and he should’ve apologized. Hye Jin as screwed up as she is tries to do things right but he is too proud to say sorry. So right now, Sung Joon and Hye Jin can both help each other grow and can become good friends again but I really don’t want them to end up together. For once, the non-jerk, quirky, nice guy needs to get the girl. Also, I love how Siwon makes Hye Jin buy him food like a beggar especially when he owns the damn magazine.

    • I almost never have second-lead syndrome, but this show is killing me. They’ve made Sung Joon such a jerk that I can’t stand him! Whatever happened to him in the States better be good. I was watching one of those publicity press conferences and Park Seo Joon said he was surprised at how mean his character is.

  3. Nice to know you watched this drama too…
    Siwon that constantly asking for money is more funny than the fact that he is a chaebol (it cracks me up in seminar today for no real reason, it just I started think about what to eat and remember that siwon had no money while living in suite room)

    I found this drama really weird because as much as I loved the comedy, I find it extremely real and deep (or maybe just for me),
    like how they antagonize the 1st love memorize while showing their unattractive side to each other blatantly and how the lies pile up every time they meet.
    I have a first love and ideal me when I was teen and that ideal person wasn’t me at this recent time no matter how proud I am with myself now,
    I did have some regret growing up and there always be a certain person that reminds me about that incident every time I met their eyes, it’s unavoidable.

    I fully understand where Hye Jin stands when she lied at the 1st time, – who wants to have a mess anymore, let this occasion slips cause who gonna have re-united love with 1st love anyway –
    I give sung joon benefit of doubt cause I once had junior that always do bad in front of me while her rumor is always around me, that repeated mistake did give strong bad impression,
    my mixed felling maybe due to sung joon being “crazy joon” to everyone and doesn’t scold hye jin when she did the work done, also work motivated, he did the job done but he still need a language manner,
    the way he snark people with mouth remind me about my boss in one department that said he never ask the same thing twice and it actually better if he yell than explode at meeting with all the unaccepted remark, there’s ability that makes the scolding sharp than blade and he got that one.

    I honestly love shin hyuk but I think it because we haven’t seen anything bad about him, not that I want it but at one point I have the feeling that he is an annoying co-worker, in romantic side with siwon is plus if you really going for the affection.
    He is constantly playing trick, never helps in the job, giving you more job, always ask for treat and just being friendly but burden in the same time. In the other hand he is nice, nice and treat you nice than the boss but not necessarily nice than every other co-workers if you meet them too, it’s really vague, yeah he is nice. Who doesn’t fall when see somebody that care for them?
    or because he likes the Hye Jin now? the hye jin who is deem unworthy by sung joon which is half true (she once thinks that fashion is only for show off then change her mindset – I think this is why she doesn’t take care much of herself )

    Hari on the other side bring such a worrisome moment, I like the girl but if she keeps on lying , it not just gonna hurt him, but also everyone, I knew she is kind but it’s like waiting period of disaster,

    This drama have a potential to giving the message about re-defining ourselves, we changes, people changes, we once on top, we have slump days, and how we can faced our greatest fear (being exposed to our failure) and take a step to move on and accept it.

    sorry for the long essay (again)
    I like the color of this drama and I hope the humor and bestie keep on going strong,

    • It’s true what you say about Shin-Hyuk being a super-annoying co-worker. He’s a total pain. But even though I would hate to work with him, I love watching him. I couldn’t believe when he convinced Hye-Jin that tails was heads on a coin! The way he keeps getting her to buy him food is shameless and hilarious. I keep wishing that Park Seo-Joon would get an occasional funny moment, since we know he can be just as funny as Choi Siwon, but right now all the good stuff is going to Choi Siwon.

      I’m ready to be sympathetic to Sung Joon, though, because I see him as someone who doesn’t realize how badly he’s behaving. The last time he lived in Korea he was a weird, overweight kid. Now he’s very young to have a large, difficult job. I think he’s overcompensating. Plus he’s bad at listening to people, so it’s easy for him to miss the hints that everyone hates him. Or maybe he’s used to believing everyone hates him, because he was an isolated kid. So he doesn’t realize he could get along with his coworkers if he tried.

      I haven’t given up hope on him–I’d like to see him turn back from the Dark Side–so I’ll be watching this one with you!

  4. I want to like this show more than I do. So far I often find the humour lacking. Stuff like Sung-joon walking into the door or drinking from the vase are not exactly funny but at least they are part of the story and not annoying. However stuff like Hye-jin’s horsey face and drunken lurching make me want to turn it off.

    It is funny that your post was all about the gorgeous Choi Siwon. I have never seen him in anything and had no idea Shin-hyuk was the second lead. I instantly found his character annoying. The only thing I liked about him was how close to ordinary he looks. It is very different than most actors we see in k-dramas. Once I read a bit about the show I looked him up and saw that there are many photos where he looks very handsome and I was extra impressed with whomever is styling him for this show. I am hopeful that I will like his character more as we are allowed to see below the surface idiocy.

    I love the friendship between Hye-Jin and Ha-ri. The two of them are great to watch. So once again I am annoyed thinking that ha-ri is going to date Sung-joon. This seems entirely out of character for a woman who loves her best friend and stands up for her all the time. I know they are trying to show how circumstances are leading her to not telling and ending up liking him but it seems a clumsy device to me.

    I like Park Seo-joon. But that hair has got to go. I think the cut is actually ok. I am pretty sure he had something similar in Witch’s Romance but with natural black hair. And I did not mind his hair colour in Kill Me, Heal me but here I dislike it a lot. But perhaps if I liked the character I would not even notice the hair. So annoying. It does not make sense to me that a fellow who was nice and appreciated the kindness shown to him by his childhood friend would be such an asshat to Hye-jin. Sure he stood up for her in the elevator before he knew her but after that he simply deserves a kick in the shins. What a pathetic excuse for an apology he gave after his hissy fit about going to the wrong airport. To me that is a man I consider utterly lacking and I would not want my daughter dating him. As much as I find Shin-hyuk annoying I believe I am going to have a serious case of second lead syndrome. The traitorous Ha-ri deserves to end up with the unpleasant cardboard Sung-joon.

    (I think I stayed on topic – or at least I did if the topic is “things I find annoying”)

    • Choi Siwon does play an annoying character, and I wonder why I love him so much even though he’s slouching around looking like, well, an American. I think it’s because there’s a meta-joke of sorts. Choi Siwon is a member of Super Junior, who are pretty gigantic as K-pop acts go. And they’re as slick, processed and flower-boy as any K-pop group. So it’s hilarious and endearing that Siwon plays slobs in recent dramas. Weird, eccentric, scruffy slobs. It’s not that I like his characters per se, it’s that I love he’s not playing polished chaebols.

      • Oh I like his character now. In the beginning I found him quite annoying but he has certainly grown on me. And even without knowing of Super Junior I enjoyed that his character was so different than the norm.

    • I am somewhat conflicted about this show. The actors are good and there are many sweet moments. They seem to have toned down the things that were bothering me most and I was starting to enjoy it but then a character did something I felt was truly out of character. But there will be no one turning truly evil and our OTP will be together happily at the end with plenty of fun moments for every character along the way. It is a pretty safe watch for a Saturday at home I think.

    • Episodes 5 and 6 drove me nuts. For the first four episodes, I felt like this show was flawed but watchable. Then in episodes 5 and 6, I shouted at the screen in frustration a lot. I think Erin and I are probably thinking of the same out-of-character plot twist this week, and it really irked me. I love a good mistaken identity story, but not when it involves outright deception.

      And about half an hour went by without a single appearance from Choi Siwon.The show’s weaknesses will be too much for me if we don’t get more of him. This is a frustrating show, because it has so many elements I like. But. Is this the best they can do?

      • It really is irksome that it isn’t better. But I am pretty certain I’ll watch it next week. And without giving out to much in the way of spoilers I think we are thinking of the same incident. The deception is bothering me for a variety of reasons but the theft pushed me over the edge. Very irritated with the writers. It is like they did not think through who the characters were before embarking on the script.

        • I know, aargh! We totally share a brain, Erin. I wouldn’t be so annoyed if it wasn’t a huge change in character. Why bother setting up credible characters if you’re just going to make them do whatever the script needs them to do? The one good thing this week was Park Seo-Joon’s touching performance at the end of episode 5. That was so well directed and acted, and reminded me what a good actor PSJ is. And hopefully the script will eventually let Siwon do something besides smirk. Still, irksome’s the word for it right now.

        • Well to help combat the irksome I can suggest Second Time Twenty. I found a few things to be irked about in the first few episodes but it has gotten better and better each episode. The two male leads are just great actors.

          Lee Sang-Yoon is a favourite of mine and the reason I watched. I think he started a little weak as his character has an endless number of infantile scenes. But he gets better at them and they also make more sense once context is given. But as we move into later episodes his eyes are simply so expressive.

          Choi Won-Young is so versatile. Here he is playing an utter weasel of a human being. He is utterly perfect doing so. He is quickly becoming another favourite of mine. What a great year for him.

        • I think this show takes it slow… maybe because there’s not so much for SJ to be develop and later they will did for shin hyuk,
          they like playing trick with incomplete scene from both point of view so might be later,
          I think I liked it because it more relatable (?), for me it’s not so out of character, it just not edit wisely, I tried to make recap and it makes the show better.
          Hari changes, it bounds to happen one way to another when there’s a promise of happiness in other side, and well I can’t (nor want to) defend Hari but I do understand where the idea comes from.
          This drama gives unsettling feeling because of their limited interaction with each other when viewer can connect the dots to possible (future) problem that haven’t happen yet. It’s like when you are a listeners in gossip room but you know what everyone did, who has relations, who is who and their affair but can’t said it out loud.
          The deception is the elephant in the room for viewer, it kills us inside when the character doesn’t realize that it ate them up too.
          That’s why I liked it, how it runs like a melo-drama for hari but rom-com for hye jin and their friendship gonna get tested, can they said the words to the friends? can they find their own life without others? is it really worth to risk for love? people often jokes about woman bestie, bromance and relationship as diff type of relation.

          Idk how they’ll make the plot progress without making Hari being the antagonist, it’s already started since ep 2, someone need to do a big turn around, either SH said he loves HJ, HJ falls for SJ or SJ falls for either girl.
          Turns out what really hurt is what really close to us, sometimes I feel it really a harsh truth. feels sad cause HJ is really nice, so does SJ and SH but then, the identity doesn’t matter for HJ anymore.

          @Odessa just make the rants, we always have that feelings when somethings doesn’t sits right, at least we can learn about people preference and how lies perception for different people

          @erin I watched 20 again but for me it really sweet for the OTP but not so much conflict in the OTP itself, Nora will ended up with the best guy without much loss because the show starts at the bottom of her life.
          then I find LSY character will not work if its not him, he constantly makes her do anything that unnecessary which is just why?? it helps cause he smiles and no-ra is kinda ahjumma but sometimes I don;t get the child behavior that just repeated by him.
          the show pretty much sets up on who to root and who to hate so I find it kinda flat, they just need to talk and it will solve almost all the problem, the moments are lovable, so sweet and romantic but it seems so simple, also I do really like the acting & college life.

        • @ erin: I thought of giving 20 Again a try. It sounds like a good one.

          @ anastasya: Thanks for understanding my ranting! I love reading your comments about this show, and I think the conversation around it is very interesting. Even when it annoys me, I still want to know what happens next.

  5. @anastasya. I enjoyed your post.In regards 20 again I can completely agree about it being simple and lacking much conflict between the leads. The early college life stuff made me a bit batty but otherwise I am happy with the simple comedy with what appears so far to be a clear directing. I like watching the characters evolve. Especially No Ra who, as you said, was at the lowest point and nearly completely shut down. Watching her blossom is delightful. But the others are all growing two except for Choi Won-Young’s character. I like to think of him as devolving.

    trying to get back on topic though (**spoilers**) – I understand where the deception comes in but I find it generally quite clunky. The thing I object to is Ha-Ri stealing the puzzle piece. This is for me completely out of character. She has to know this is a treasured item that Hye-Jin has kept since childhood. She is stealing something precious from her best friend. I did not feel that the character as written would do such a thing. If they were going to have her do that then they should not have written her as someone who cared about HJ as they have. I like your idea that this is a melodrama for HR but a comedy for HJ. And like Odessa I also want to know what happens next. And figure out who the nephew and TEN are. I think it is the fellow with the back scratcher and SH. But I would prefer it to be SJ and Kim Ra Ra.

    @Odessa – 20 again is very light. I think there will be some minor stress for our OTP coming up but I don’t expect much. I suspect you will enjoy the times No Ra puts her husband in his place with his own words. If you are in the mood for that then great and I hope to hear what you think. Though where that goes I am not sure. (note please that after our epic thread hijacking pranx got a place to discuss favourites but I got squat so you can’t scold me too much for my continued hijacking, but I am trying to be good)

    • @ Erin: Hee hee, I didn’t mean to scold you for hijacking, but commend you for stimulating discussion! Just tell me what question you want to ask, and I’ll start a thread. It takes me such a long time to write a post that it’s fun sometimes to keep it short and let people discuss! BTW, I did get the links to funny hats and I’m working on a funny hats post…

    • I just watched the recent 20 again and I get the vibe of shojo anime,
      definitely like that, it’s cute, forever for the heroine (not that it bad), it just remind me a lot of shojo-romance anime

      nb: sorry if you don’t get my reference,,,,,^^

        • yes!! thanks….. shojo-romance is my guilty pleasure when I just want to see a cute high school date, but the fantasy from shojo is so real, the guy is as perfect as it should be and the girl is the only one who can make him perfect than ever, oh yeah with strong resemblance of childhood interaction that seems last until now no matter how many people they meet after.

          haha contrast to SWP, sung joon has character flaw as mean boss which is somehow make me like him more, he’s not a jerk to society, he just a mean boss and yeah it fits, hye jin loud complaint can actually make him realize, who has enough strength to tied him if not hye jin? even though I don;t think that would make him completely be nice, just not mean anymore (like after the beach trip)

  6. I have finished my 4 episodes of this. Is this Korea’s take on Ugly Betty? On the positive side, this show does have its LOL moments. I should point out one thing that really stood out for me. No one in the Most editorial team bullies HJE for her appearance. Yes they do talk about her hair. But haven’t seen the mean bullying like in the management team or her waitressing job. I guess they are the ones who know best that beauty is skin deep.
    But it also has many cliched elements which i absolutely detest. With the current rise of well behaved drama leads (latest being YongPal) PSJ’s nasty behaviour is leaving a bad aftertaste in all scenes. I hope that improves. HJE is over the top too, with her perkiness. I’ve just about had it with bumbling stuttering female leads! But the Ha-ri Hye-jin sisterhood is really sweet. I can see the impending conflict coming (in 5 & 6) but I hope they fix it soon. Hari is sitting on a tower of lies and it has to come down crashing. I mean, he only has to glance at her ID right? I hope she owns up before he finds out, for her character’s sake.
    Choi Siwon is the best comic relief this show has. apart from that italian speaking editor (
    This is my first time seeing him but he seems made for that role. Like you, Odessa, I will continue to watch this for him.

    I am unsure of what this show wants to do with its lead pair. Have him transform her? Have her transform herself? I am not comfortable with either. Can they just let her be? Maybe just treat the hair, eh?

    • @pranx it is like you are in my brain. While you are there please make me a better writer 🙂

      While annoyed at the writers in regards the women’s friendship I have some hope about the transformation. I think it is coming, likely instigated by the fabulous Kim Ra Ra. She makes me smile every time she is on. But I hope that outer transformation is only temporary. There are some pictures of her looking lovely with her frizzy hair and SH has already seen her as pretty this way. I think SJ will as well. At least that is the way I hope the writers are going.

      (link to picture of them all looking very MOST-like –

      hmm not sure that will work but you all know how to copy/paste)

      • @erin
        There is nothing left to improve 🙂

        The reason I balk at the transformation is from what I have read about current Korean society and its extreme emphasis on physical beauty.

        Odessa, erin,
        Eagerly waiting for your thoughts on hats and gats 🙂

        • If this is the first time you guys have seen CSW, then I feel a posting about “King of Dramas” coming. My only comment about She’s so Pretty this week is that the characters have really bad problem-solving skills. I had to skip a few scenes to get to Choi Siwon faster.

  7. I think I finally figured out what is bugging me about this drama. The fact that the characters behave in ways that don’t meld with their personalities. As if they are puppets and the writer makes them behave in strange ways at times just to advance the story or create a conflict. Have never felt like this about other dramas. But still its the best from whats out there currently. Choi SiWon rocks!

    • Yes. The abrupt personality changes. Aargh. But oh, Choi Siwon. I’m also watching Sassy Go Go right now and liking it a fair bit, but it’s definitely a high school drama, with all that entails.

  8. Update: Unfortunately, even Choi Siwon couldn’t keep me watching past the halfway point. All the energy seemed to be used up in the first few episodes, and the series went flat. I’m following the recaps, and sadly it seems like not much is happening in this show.

    For the record, I don’t believe the rumors that it will all turn out to be a dream, or that everyone is actually dead! Although the show might be much more interesting if that were the case!

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