Lee Yeon Hee is Breathtakingly Alive as Miss Korea Soars into Awesomeness

I’m having a hard time writing about Miss Korea after catching up on the last four episodes in one sitting because its just that good I don’t even know where to start. I put this drama on the backburner for the last two weeks as I was traveling plus the first four episodes were extremely well done but not quite cracky enough for me to anxiously await each new episode. That’s all changed now. Oh. My. God. Is. This. Drama. Awesome. It’s so good it might be the best prime time drama airing right now in terms of writing, directing, and acting. And above all else, there is so much heart in the story and the characterizations. The Pasta duo have done the near impossible, which is to capture the delicious nuanced characterizations and chemistry of Pasta and fix the one thing that drama lacked which was an overarching purpose. MK is absolutely compelling and each episode makes me actually choke back tears because I hurt when the characters hurt. It’s not just the leads but all the characters are so dynamically rendered this is like a buffet where each item you pick up is something tasty. Lee Seon Kyun is fantastic as cosmetics company president Kim Hyun Joong who at the verge of bankruptcy and finds his high school girlfriend Lee Yeon Hee as Oh Ji Young in one last ditch effort to make her the next Miss Korea so she can endorse their magical product the ViVi cream.

Lee Seon Kyun being good is a no-brainer but holy freaking hell I am bowing down at the jaw-dropping performance of Lee Yeon Hee so far. She is so good she might be the best of the three SM actress transformations including Yoona in Prime Minister and I and Go Ara in Answer Me 1994. Just go back and read anything I wrote for Gu Family Book or Paradise Ranch and I’ve ripped her to shreds easily because her level of suck used to be incredible to behold. Take that level of bad acting and flip it around and that is how good she is here. I love Ji Young and Lee Yeon Hee’s steely and soft performance is the stuff she will be able to take to the bank afterwards as validation that no award can impart. Episodes 7 and 8 are especially funny, exhilarating, and tense all wrapped into one. The best part is how raw and dynamic this drama feels, taking the heightened world of beauty pageants and giving it genuine stakes for both Ji Young and Hyun Joong. Both of them are there for and knowingly using each other because neither have anything to fall back on. It’s this back to the wall guts and strength of the OTP that makes me gasp in pain when they face adversity and make tears come to my eyes when they stand up and move past a failure. I love all the supporting characters as well and I could write a paragraph on each of them alone. MK has it all and with the hot off the press release of the main OST containing three songs performed by Every Single Day (my fave being the soaring “New World”) and with half the episodes in the bank, now is the time to dive right on in folks.

The weakest parts of Miss Korea are probably the first four episodes. Its harder to watch all the leads struggling with such dire problems and without a team to root for yet. The drama starts off with Ji Young working a dead end job as an elevator girl for a department store, armed with a beautiful face and a backbone but forever degraded by a sleazy boss and the mind-numbing grind. But her life is at least a better that that of her high school ex-boyfriend Hyung Joon who is now the president of Vivi Cosmetics Company which is struggling to stay afloat with creditors breathing down his neck. His fate becomes intertwined with that of gangster Teacher Jung who has to collect the Vivi debt back at any costs. Hyung Joon sees a sliver of hope in the creation of the miraculous new invention called the Vivi Cream pioneered by his whip smart and take no attitude R&D head Dr. Ko. If he can get an investment into the Vivi Cream or a face to rep the new product then the company could be saved. His path crosses with Ji Young and he offers to turn her into the next Miss Korea. Unbeknownst to Hyung Joon, beauty queen maker and former Miss Korea Ma Ae Ri also has her eyes on Ji Young to take under her wing to avenge her lose of last year’s Miss Korea crown to a girl who came out of the rival salon run up the upstart Yang Choong Ja. Ji Young has the most wonderful family of all men consisting of a grandfather, an uncle, a cousin, and a dad she calls mom. After enduring yet another series of humiliations at work and life, Ji Young decides to gamble it all on her one last shot at doing something with her life. She accepts Hyung Joon’s offer to make her the next Miss Korea.

What makes this story a meaningful watch is how complicated this journey is to Miss Korea. Ji Young and Hyung Joon have a history together that is slowly revealed through flashbacks. They are neither friends nor foes and their conversations and interactions are illuminating yet the whole of their past relationship remains shrouded in mystery. They are like friendly exes and oppa-dongsaeng but its clear there is still something present between them. Ji Young’s first attempt at winning a local beauty pageant shows her its not about what she has to offer but who is behind her to shape her evolution. She ditches Hyung Joon’s ragtag bunch and throws her lot with storied queen maker Ma Ae Ri, a woman who has ice water in her veins but turns out to care about Ji Young and treat her with honesty and acceptable. Her candid suggestion for Ji Young to get breast implants ends up with Ji Young realizing that she wants to win but not at all costs. Ma Ae Ri lets Ji Young go and turns her attention to another prime candidate Kim Jae Hee, an illegitimate daughter of a powerful politician who is looking to step into the limelight after a life in the shadows. Ji Young returns to Hyung Joon’s side and decides that she’s going to use Vivi as much as Vivi is going to use her and they are in it together. Ji Young’s family is predictably outraged that she’s going to bare her body in a swimsuit and swan around on stage for some sleazy pageant and tries to bring her home but Ji Young’s determination wins out and she makes it onstage in episode 8 for the Miss Seoul pageant. She needs to be one of the top-3 finalists to enter the Miss Korea pageant and despite the odds she rallies through the pageant organizers getting orders to tank her chances as well as the other girls ganging up against her. Episode 8 ended on a major cliffhanger emotionally but narratively I know its not the end of the road for Ji Young and everyone at Vivi whose hopes hinge on her.

What I love about MK are the strength and resilience of the characters, taking me along their hard fought every victory no matter how big or small. Sometimes we watch dramas where the motivations of the characters feel so petty. They are making a big deal of what is really nothing all that dire and raising hell to achieve something rather inconsequential in the bigger scheme of things. Many times romance as the sole motivator is exactly what renders a drama much ado about nothing. MK is the opposite of that where romance comes naturally when people are forced together by circumstances and bound together by a common commendable goal. Ji Young and Hyung Joon are absolutely incredible together as they spark and hurt in the best of ways. A secondary romance is also blooming in the most unlikely of places between debt collector Teacher Jung and R&D research scientist Dr. Ko. Lee Sung Min is incredible to behold as a rough and tumble gangster who has a heart despite trying to do his job. When I look at him bluster and rage, I see a nugget of my beloved King Jae Kang in The King 2 Hearts shine through despite the complete void of refinement. The two queen makers played by the deliciously steely Lee Mi Sook and the delightfully airy Hong Ji Min are perfect contrasts in style but stand on their own as characters. Lee Mi Sook’s Ma Ae Ri defies all odds at being either bitchy just because or winning at all costs and instead turns out to have her own integrity in the midst of a no holds barred competition. Ji Young’s affection for Madam Ma and her understanding of Ji Young’s choices make for a subtle mother-daughter connection that rises above their being competitors. It’s good writing like this which makes MK such a mature drama to watch. We see both the cutthroat intensity of preparing for the Miss Korea pageant, including training and even the option of going under the knife, but everyone involved is fleshed out so they are not caricatures going through the motions but instead humanized so we connect with the desire to win for whatever reason.

Lee Seon Kyun is a phenomenal actor that needs no further validation and he continues to be delightfully fluid here, with the sole blip being it’s impossible to take him for a high schooler in the flashback scenes. Aside from that suspension of disbelief, he nails every bit of Hyung Joon’s personality whether it be his shyster nature to grab any opportunity to save Vivi from bankruptcy or his reluctant affection and genuine concern for Ji Young. I wanted to save the best for last and that is the ascendance of Lee Yeon Hee to an actress that I can admire and compliment without any reservation. She is naturally beautiful but that beauty has in the past felt like a shield to lessen the cringing over her bad acting. She was a bad actor not just in one way, such as over-acting, she was bad in every way. She would over-act, under-act, act inexplicably wrong for an emotion, look blank, look constipated, you name it, she’s probably done it before. She was like the second Kim Tae Hee, which now seems even more apt a comparison because last year Kim Tae Hee showed me she could act in Jang Ok Jung, Live in Love, and this year Lee Yeon Hee has done the same in Miss Korea. She is so on it’s not even funny. Her every expression whether it be happiness or sorrow is palpable, making Ji Young come alive as more than just a girl with a pretty face but no discernible talent or skill. This drama isn’t a character study the way a drama like Me Too, Flower! is in making two flawed and broken individuals try and figure each other other and in the process address their own pain. MK is a drama with a tangible goal – for Ji Young to win Miss Korea 1997 – and the execution follows in all the steps necessary to make that happen and in the process the characters change and grow together.

I’ve run down all the main plot and actings elements which make MK such a rare and satisfying human element drama to watch, and its worth noting that there isn’t a snappy line of dialogue anywhere that feels like it was extracted from the brain of a screenwriter trying to wow with wit alone. The drama comes further alive through one of the best OSTs in recent years mainly by indie band Every Single Day as well a track called “Moonlight” by Onew of the boyband SHINEE. From the first listen of the OST in the teaser trailer for the drama I was smitten, and the end product is even better than I expected evoking the same perfect synergy in music and tone that was My Princess. The cinematography has this patina of age to it ever so lightly, and the ending scenes always cut into an old VHS tape fuzz that reminds us this drama is set in the late 90’s before digital entertainment came of age. The 90’s fashion is nicely conveyed with both the make-up and attire but doesn’t distract from the story in any way. Setting the pageant around the time of the financial crisis of ’97, the sense of foreboding and desperation of so many of the characters becomes such an integral motivator that even something as superficial as a beauty pageant takes on added significance and deeper purpose. The contestants are not mocked for their shallowness and the road to becoming a beauty queen is as commendable as any goal in life if the sacrifice and stakes are this high.

Episode 8 is really the highlight of this drama so far, taking Ji Young and all her major competitors and giving them a preview of the Miss Korea pageant by competiting in the Miss Seoul pageant. The tricks of the trade are amusing to behold, but its counterbalanced by the deviousness and unfair playing field that also exists behind the scenes. Check out some snippets of the latest episodes courtesy of MBC.

Ji Young training with her Vivi oppas and then a game of rock-paper-scissors to decide who measures her curves:

[youtube id=”en4m9CEOyRE” w=”625″ h=”445″]

 

She tells her oppas they don’t need to do this with her but is told that the father of a famous golfer hit even more balls than his daughter when training her.

Ji Young is so nervous about wearing a bathing suit in public she practices in her oppa’s presence first, then comes a game of hide under the blankets when her protective family members come knocking:

[youtube id=”YL0F35zsv8k” w=”625″ h=”445″]

 

Ji Young decides to defy her protective family members for this one last chance in her life:

[youtube id=”utQsHfVMHhk” w=”625″ h=”445″]

 

Ji Young doesn’t make it to the top-3 and her dreams end here, or does it?:

[youtube id=”C7UoLIQCst0″ w=”625″ h=”445″]

 

The devastation of everyone who loves her and is cheering her on in the the audience is so heartbreaking. And the way Ji Young cries through her smile, and how Hyung Joon reminds her to keep smiling, guh it just kills me. Clearly she’s getting another shot since the drama has another 12 episodes to go, and a big spoiler is that the winner was secretly drinking malt water in the backstage which means she recently gave birth which would disqualify her from the competition.

Lee Yeon Hee perfectly captures the look on my face when I watch her act as Ji Young in MK. If I could plant a kiss on her I would. She’s amazing here and it’s a shame her metamorphosis isn’t getting a wider audience to appreciate the blood, sweat, and guts she’s pouring into this performance.

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Lee Yeon Hee is Breathtakingly Alive as Miss Korea Soars into Awesomeness — 52 Comments

  1. Thank you thank you for giving me an outlet for my miss korea love. Oh. My. Gosh. It IS so good. Its like i am raw when i watch this drama and near tears all the time whenver the two leads come on.

    Lee yeon hee blows me away at her characterisation of ji young and lee sun kyun must be loving her coz it shows in his face and its like he is wearing his heart on his sleeve like i am too.

    I just posted on my FB PLEASE SOMEONE WATCH MISS KOREA!! I need a squee partner. And you wrote this.

    thank you!! Squeeeee

  2. I’m not in love with any of the major characters. The show is compelling but the presence of Ma Ae Ri gives me bad flashbacks to Mi Rae’s choice which makes for a difficult time watching her scenes, even though the most compelling bonding for our girl, who is somewhat desperate for a mother, is with her.

    I do love Teacher and Head Dr. Lady. Something about the two together makes me love them. He’s good, he’s trying to save his little buddy’s life, but he goes about it in the “be scared of the big bad gangster” way. While all the guys fight him at some point, she takes no crap from him. It’s raw, understandable, and emotional. I wanted her to go to that theater but I knew she never would. I want him to tell her, but I know he’d rather she just hate him for the theft and blackmail.

    It’s pretty obvious that love line will just continue to grow, but I’m invested in it. If only to see another not date breakfast outing.

    • President Ma and Old Mirae are two different actresses. Old Mirae is Choi Myung Gil and Ma Ae Ri is Lee Min Sook. They are both good actresses, though. Hope you’ll give this a try because it’s awesome.

  3. I love MK,it’s such a amazing drama. I like how all the characters even the “bad guy” portrayed by Lee Ki Woo. (basically still hurt over the fact that he got rejected and that his friend got the girl)
    I’m amazed over Lee Yeon Hee’s transformation, she blew me away. When Ji Young cries I cries, when she laughs I laugh as well.
    It’s a shame that it is such a underrated show even though the story is deep, the characters great and the music is perfect.

  4. Maybe the keyword is “more experienced actors” as partners for this 3 SM actresses can bring the best acting from them? or maybe SM hired some acting teachers for their actresses so they improved a lot.. or they got the best drama team and story this time? ^^

    Well, Congratulation to Go Ara, Lee Yeon Hee and Yoona for a lot of echievement on their latest dramas..

    • I know why the SM actresses are all suddenly acting better, Lee Soo-man gave the girls a pep talk. I know you girls would like to eat on a regular basis, and date like every other regular 20 something year old, and maybe some of you would even like to renegotiate that part of your contracts which gives me full ownership of your soul. Well because tis the season and I’m a generous man I’m going to give you guys presents. 1 whole burger a year for the first girl to have a hit drama. 2 to 4 girls can come out as being human and dating, if rating is 10% or more. Lastly the girl who Koala declare most improved from completely horrible to very good, can reclaim partial owner ships of her soul. Like they say, all it takes is the right motivating tool.

  5. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for making a post on this delightful yet very disappointingly under appreciated drama. I knew as soon as I found out that MK would air at the same time as YFAS it was always going to be behind in terms of ratings. However my faith in LSK was enough to let me give this drama a chance and I’m so glad I did because anyone who doesn’t is missing out. For me the first two episodes were a little boring but by the time ep 3 came out I found myself anticipating ep 4 more than I thought and when ep 4 concluded I knew that I found something to keep me thoroughly engaged for the rest of its broadcasting period. Chemistry of the otp is sizzling, Oh ji young is a character I LOVE and lyh herself has improved immensely as you mentioned (although there were moments near the beginning where she was definitely overshadowed in terms of acting by lsk), side characters are for the most part endearing and being fleshed out in a way which makes them seem like they’re actually a part of the story rather than mere afterthoughts and the ost is PERFECT. Literally the only otherost I’ve witnessed in dramas which suit every single moment would have to be R1994. Anyway long story short I really wish more people would give MK a chance. Every new episode is one of the only things I’m looking forward to these days

  6. I voted Ms. Korea for best drama in a poll you held last year (solely based on the plot sounding most interesting compared to the other ones) so I’m happy to hear your praises for the show. Now I can’t wait for MK to be over so I can watch it in one go.

  7. Miss Koala, I love you and I love this show to pieces. You summed up so perfectly why it’s so great. It just gets better and better every week. These characters are fantastic, a combination of excellent writing and acting from everyone (including LYH, wow what an improvement). As much as I like Stars and PMAI (so cute!!!), there’s only room for one drama in my heart right now and that’s Miss Korea. I felt like crying with Ji Young at the end of episode 8, that scene was pitch perfect and executed so fantastically by the production team – the music, the ambiance, everything. You can feel her heart breaking and mine breaking along with hers. I’m so invested in this drama it’s just ridiculous.

    The love story (and LSK and LYH’s mad chemistry – the way he looks at her omg), the fantastic female characters, the music, everything is wonderful.

  8. why people are so easy with Lee Yeon Hee, nothing to be proud about her acting. Eacy character, easy for her. She still bleh to me.

    • WHY PEOPLE ARE SO EASY WITH LYH WOWW YOU ARE SADDDDD SHE IS PRETTY WORKING HARD IMPROVING THAT’S WHAT IS MAKING HER LOVELY AND GETTING MORE FANS IS NO THAT IS SHE IS BLEH TO YOU IS BECAUSE YOU ARE JEALOUS IS GETTING MORE POPULAR AND MOST LIKELY BECAUSE YOUR FAVORITE ACTRESS IS NO GETTING ANY JOBBBBBBBB ANY WAYSSSS SO SAD FOR YOU !!!!

  9. The reason why the show didn’t garner interest, the ahjumma are not that stupid, they don’t respect performances from actresses that they know that don’t have to work hard to get on everyhing. No one respect a girl from BIG DADDY companies.

    • wow… bitter much? relax. The girl has improved and she’s pretty that’s all anyone’s saying why do you have to start involving their backing? truth is everybody in the industry has backing of some type that’s why actresses may change or stay with the companies representing them depending on what that company is able to get for them. And yet the backing is not enough if they’re no good then they’re no good and people can discern that, but LYH has stepped up and probably worked hard to improve her acting and thus far is giving us a rather enchanting performance.

  10. Thank you thank you thank you!
    I thought I must be one of the rare few whom is rabid for this drama, easily my fave since TK2H!
    Even the Soompi and Tieba threads are rather muted and I’m wondering where I can spazz about the show, so thanks for this post!

    Very rich characterisation, storyline has a deep sense of purpose and stakes and I really love LYH here, she is just phenomenal and her chemistry with LSK is just so palpable with energy yet with unspoken lingering romance that it’s obvious both did not kove on completely after their breakup.

    Can I hope for your recaps of this drama?

  11. I started watching Miss Korea because I love Lee Seon Kyun to the bones. I super him loved his role in Pasta. And to be teaming up with Pasta team and Pasta actors again is just very exciting. This show is really good so far, it doesn’t disappoint. The conflicts are common yet extraordinary. I love the interactions with all the characters and Lee MiSook is really impressive as always. I have no bad vibes for this drama so far, I really hope it goes well till the end. I also love that they showcase the struggles and some mess just winning a title. And Lee SeonKyun and Lee YeonHee’s chemistry is very good too. She’s delivering the character so well, and I do hope she will improve further.

  12. Omg yay I was hoping you were still watching MK miss koala because I knew you would appreciate it and be able to capture perfectly why that drama is so good. MK really does leave you raw after every episode because you are so invested in the characters. Also I love the chemistry between the OTP, and the way LSK looks at her just perfect.

      • I read that malt water is supposed to increase breastmilk supply but I also heard the opposite, that it stops lactation.
        Whatever it is, it is clearly something a mother who has recently given birth would drink.

      • I’m guessing she would be using it to stop lactation, since that might end up being difficult to hide.

  13. I’ve been keeping up with “Miss Korea” and I agree. It’s a great drama and the lead actress has really improved.

    I’m really looking forward to the rest of this drama.

  14. I was sooooo happy that chick was drinking the malt water!! It made me not cry so much watching her smile/cry.

    PS I liked LYH in Paradise Ranch, especially when she was with JSW. THAT was a second lead pairing that should have been. Holy crow! They were perfect for each other.

  15. I can`t believe SM has to of the best dramas on the air right now in Korea. Both Prime Minister and Miss Korea are produced by SM and star SM leading ladies. We were used to judge SM for it`s lack of quality and bad drama production ,not to mention awful casting, but this time they proved they can actually play the game and made not one but two very solid dramas. Not only that, the dramas from two different genders, with different feel, different time frame and completely different OTP.

    I still don`t find Lee Yeon Hee likeable , she is gorgeous and improved immensely, but unlike Yoona and Go Ara ,i can`t seem to like her. That said i`m glad she got this project to prove the haters wrong.Her ,Yoona and Go Ara are strong roster of young actresses for SM, and we know we are lacking those these days.

  16. Thanks for giving this show some much-needed love (and publicity)! I started watching this before YFAS, and I have to say, this is the show that grabbed me. I absolutely love this show. The financial insecurity that nearly all the characters face due to the Korean situation in 1997 hits a little too close to home these days for this show to be considered pure escapism, but even though it’s a little stressful to watch a show that mirrors somewhat the difficult times in the US and elsewhere, I still wouldn’t miss it.

    Is it just me, or does Lee Seon Kyun, with his hair and trenchcoat, seem to be channeling David Duchovney circa early X-Files?

    • I don’t know about channeling David Duchovney, but I absolutely love the way he is dressed in this drama. No one rocks a trenchcoat like he does.

  17. This is just such a great drama, so sad it’s not garnering the buzz it deserves. Pasta was my first K-drama and LSK is as sexy as ever!! Can’t wait to see what happens!!

  18. I’m so glad that you are giving Miss Korea some much deserved love even if domestic audiences aren’t. I think it is amazing. It just feels so different from most dramas. I can’t totally put my finger on it, but I’ll keep trying to pinpoint it. Lee Yeon Hee is a total revelation. I have only seen her in Gu Family Book and although her character went pear-shaped I thought she was ok, but I had always heard that her acting was awful so to see her put on one of the best female performances in recent memory in MK, is such a treat!

  19. SO GOOD, RIGHT? I’m glad you love it too. It’s a show I just want to talk and talk about, and it’s hard when there’s no place to spazz over it. Such great acting, characters, relationships. My heart is more in this show than anything else airing right now, even though YFAS is totally awesome and an easier watch.

  20. Oh my goodness, Ms. Koala! Finally, a prominent drama blogger gave this drama some real attention. I have been stalking drama blogs out there and it seems like everyone was unanimous in their dismiss of this drama. A thousand thankyous from this fan. If you would consider starting a recap from episode 9 I would be eternally grateful.

  21. I love this drama. I love the love triangle that they are trying to form – it is clear that the two leads are in love with each other – but a tall, lanky, rich man is still eye catching. How cute if her family???? I could watch Granddaddy, Mom, Uncle, and Brother all night!!! They are so charming, caring, funny, adorable, and protective. Then you have the Vivi family – how cute are they???? They are so committed to their dreams, passions, and goals …and did I mentioned to each other. I am clueless why this drama is not bringing in the numbers – especially when Heirs was not 1/10 of what this drama is in terms of acting, writing ….and HEART!!!!

  22. Cool. I had neither a dislike more find liking for lYH… I thought she was very pretty although that does not really come through in paradise ranch. I actually watched PR at least two times through all the way, despite the bad acting. Just something about it was a guilty pleasure to watch bad drama crap. For me, she wasn’t ever a top urn off… If the storyline sounded like something I’d enjoy watching, I still watched it. So I am very happy to hear that her acting has improved. 🙂 I haven’t been ignoring it because I didn’t like it, just because I have limited time and had to pick and choose,. Miss Korea just seemed like a drama that I’d be better off marathoning. Looking forward to seeing it.

  23. Thank you for this post! I enjoy the drama too, but am sad that it’s not getting a very high viewership. The characterizations are so multilayered, and the subtleties in acting really add to this. One minute, I am angry and frustrated, and the next, I can’t help but want to give a character a big, giant hug.

  24. i hope lee min jung went to the same acting lessons as these three (yoona, lee yeon hee, and go ara) much improved actresses went to.

  25. YFAS is crack and fun to watch but MK resounds with me so much more deeply. I guess it’s because we’re experiencing hard financial times and I’m sort of in the same place as the female lead (or where she started anyway). I also really like all the characters. It’s a great show and boy am i rooting for the leads relationship. Thanks for talking about this show.

    • I wish this show was doing better in ratings because the creators and the cast are putting forth thoughtful, substantive, AND entertaining work, which I wish more dramas did. And while YFAS is zippy and easy to watch, I don’t think we’ll remember it a year from now.

  26. Thanks sooooo muh for this. I felt like I was the only one watching. This drama has heart and cuts deep with the emotion. Episode 8 tugged it in for me as I was rooting for Ji Young to be top 3. However, that was not the case and I find myself tearing up. Each character has substance, even side characters as you can feel each nerves and characters that they display. I feel angry when people are angry, I feel sad when people are sad. I am only disappointed that the viewing for this show is lacking as compared to its competition which I think the show is wayyyy overrated. it is nothing to have that huge ratings over, however, it’s not the case. Nonetheless, this is one of my fav. 2013/2014 drama.

  27. SO GOOD!! Everyone’s just wonderful. Am glad I continued watching even when the initial episodes were less than stellar. The OST’s great as well. I like the diversity of the female characters’… nice spectrum.

  28. Thanks for writing about Miss Korea. It has so much heart. After each episode I end up with an overflow of emotions I wish could share with other fans. I think this drama has the makings of a classic. It resembles a movie, rather than a trendy drama.

  29. I’ve watched Pasta and Golden Time (also done by the same people) and while Miss Korea’s story is more substantive, I’ve been finding it much harder drama to watch. I think a lot of it was that in the beginning, as you stated, I didn’t really know who to root for and LSK and LSM who I adore to pieces were really hard to like characters here. While Ji Young and the beauty salon owner were both fantastic characters from the getgo, it was really hard to root for Hyung Joon who went around calling Ji Young basically a slut behind her back and for Teacher Jung who thought nothing over using violence on people, including women.

    Having said that, this really is wonderfully written, directed and acted drama. I don’t have a particularly negative opinion of LYH apart from that I thought she was very bland in Ghost, but she’s definitely doing a good job portraying Ji Young.

    As for the “bad” actresses… May be it’s acting maturity, may be it’s acting lessons, may be it’s just the right role at the right time with the right co-stars, directors, writer… and a little bit of magic. I find drama/movies like that… sometimes you have all the “right” ingredients but it falls flat and sometimes, it’s off a bit, but than magic happens.

  30. This show has a lot of heart, and gets me emotionally invested in the characters’ journeys. That feeling of being scared and doubtful in something so risky, but you just have to buckle down and put your all into this, is something I can empathize with. These characters are brave, vulnerable, and rash, and I like that the show is going to dig deeper to explore issues, from different perspectives like the necessity of undergoing plastic surgery.

  31. Actually thought that LYH started to show her acting chops in GFB, albeit it was a short part, but she absolutely killed it in MK – a better performance than many actresses who are widely considered to be better actresses.

    KTH actually 1st showed her acting chops in “My Princess” – and with Go Ara showing her acting ability in AM1997, shows what a good script 9or the very least, good dialogue) and a good PD can do for an actress.

    But yes, MK has been the best written/acted drama of this year – much better than the highly rated but soapy YFAS.

  32. Ive watched LYH in Millionaire’s First Romance, etc, In MK she is simply fantastic!! I look forward soo much to her next movie/drama.

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