Miss Korea Episode 11 Recap

I worship Miss Korea so damn hard! I’m starting to clear out emotional shelf space for this drama and the only minor blip is not enough people to squee and swoon over this wonderful sweet story. Episode 11 was SO FREAKING GOOD I was alternating between laughing until my belly hurt (I can never not laugh at the awesome bitch smackdowns that happen in this drama) and crying while trying to type this recap at how much Hyung Joon and Ji Young love each other. A guy who will walk into a pool fully dressed just so you can take a critical swimsuit photo? That guy is gold and it’s even more satisfying that it comes from a Hyung Joon who has learned from his past inadequacies and is determined never to let Ji Young down again. At this point one has made a noble idiot move behind the other’s back while the other one is all in with a tender sweet confession without knowing just how much the other person has already sacrificed. The competition bits are so entertaining in a Rocky-meets-Pygmalion way, blending the competition of a sports movie with the thrilling voila moments of a makeover story. MK has done the near impossible job of making me actually respect something universally derided as shallow which is a beauty pageant. Just because the criteria is beauty does not make what these girls put into preparing and training for any less hard work and guts.

The execution is deft in both acknowledging the superficial aspects of the pursuit but also the sacrifices it takes to get there. I cannot stress enough how MK has turned out to be one of the best written dramas I’ve ever watched without coming across as too pretentiously self-important. Lee Seon Kyun and Lee Yeon Hee are incredible together but they are really adding the shine to what are fundamentally incredibly rendered characters. Ji Young’s determination and candor gives her such depth even when she doesn’t have a lot of schooling. She does what she believes is right and that is something no textbook can teach. What’s even better is that she is honest with herself and to those around her. I feel bad for Yoon because each time she tells him straight up with a smile and a thanks that it’s not going to work with her, it just makes him like her more. She is neither coy nor oblivious and that combined with her gorgeous looks just makes her catnip for the boys. At this point I think Hyung Joon would sell a kidney if it meant making her Miss Korea and the fact that she knows it and is there to stop her Oppa from sacrificing himself for her is the only reassurance I have that this OTP will go all the way. I thought it brilliant how the MK pageant has served to address every past and present issue confronting all the characters and then let them work through it. The reason for Ji Young and Hyung Joon breaking up has been carefully sewed up by Hyung Joon supporting Ji Young in her quest no matter what it takes.

Episode 11 recap:

The Miss Korea pageant contestants have all changed into their official Miss Korea red track suits and are standing in front of an auditorium of media and supporters while belting out the official Miss Korea theme song. It’s pretty cute. Madam Yang is directing the singing and Director Yoon whispers to Madam Ma that she was the one usually leading the singing. Madam Ma is poker faced as usual and says it doesn’t matter who leads it. Director Yoon starts swaying to the music and even Madam Ma can’t help but sing a chorus but when she turns to give him a stare he immediately stops.

Everyone claps when the song is done and I love how enthusiastic Teacher Jang is when he’s all in to support Ji Young.

He decides to snark about Madam Ma’s fur coat and pities the poor jaguar who got captured and skinned to make it. He asks if its maybe a fox? Or a lion? Madam Ma tells Teacher Jang he’s got no chance with her since he’s a low life gangster. Perhaps it’s a white tiger and perfectly suited for her. She scoffs at him and they go back to listening to Madam Yang’s speech about the new Miss Korea 1997 soon to be born. A well-dressed woman comes up to congratulate Madam Ma on producing two contestants this year and and whoever she is Madam Ma warns her that she never wants to see her again.

Ji Young says goodbye to to the guys outside the hotel and Teacher Jang who asks what her rooming arrangement is? Ji Young doesn’t know yet and he derides that she’s going to be rooming with a bitch anyways since the prettier the girl is the bitchier she is. Ji Young smiles and asks if that applies to her? Teacher Jang laughs and says of course. He sneaks at peek at the worried Hyung Joon and makes the excuse to go to the bathroom.

Ji Young asks why Hyung Joon looks like a guy about to enlist and saying goodbye to his girlfriend? That gets him to smile and then he takes out a bag for her. He tells her to open it when she’s feeling tired. As Ji Young is heading inside the hotel, the same woman who approached Madam Ma walks up to Ji Young and hands her a business card. She tells Ji Young to contact her when she feels tired or needs courage.

Ji Young drops off her bags in the hotel room for four. She runs into Sun Young (Madam Yang’s girl) and Soo Jung (Madam Ma’s girl) in the bathroom and glares are exchanged. Ji Young heads into the bathroom stall and the other two girls dart back into the bathroom and pour a bucket of water over the stall doors right on Ji Young’s head. What is this? Miss Korea Carrie? Heh. The woman who approached Ji Young and Madam Ma now approaches Madam Yang and hands her a business card as well.

Ji Young heads to the hotel room and asks who is the oldest here? She is the oldest but Jae Hee says everyone should use jeondaemal (polite language) with everyone else since its not a work place and they are all dispersing in a few days. Sun Young refuses to use it with an elevator girl and immediately asks Ji Young for a lighter using banmal. Ji Young says she doesn’t smoke but Sun Young says the rumors is that Ji Young sold cigarettes before she became an elevator girl. The organizer comes in and asks who is the room leader and Sun Young and Soo Jung sweetly says it’s Ji Young. After the guy leaves Ji Young asks when she became the leader but those two girls keep on being bitches towards her and saying they are not the same level.

Jae Hee puts on her eye mask and tells them all to pipe down, and then says the low class ones are Soo Jung and Sun Young. Those two toss a a pillow at Jae Hee and demand to know how she dares to deride them just because she won first place in Miss Seoul. Jae Hee gets up and calls out Sun Young for betraying her friend to the press and Soo Jung for being so insecure she’d cut up another contestant’s bra inserts. Isn’t that low class behavior?

The two girls call out Jae Hee for having a sponsor and that gets Jae Hee to start fighting with Soo Jung.

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Ji Young and Sun Young then get into it as well and it’s awesome the cat fight with all the hair pulling.

The organizer rushes back in when he hears the commotion and docks every girl in the room 15 points. Anyone docked 30 points is immediately disqualified from the competition.

The “parental units” are called in after the fight and it’s hilarious to see Madam Yang, Hyung Joon and Teacher Jang, and Madam Ma waiting in the conference room and shooting death glares at each other.

The girls walk in and everyone goes up to fuss over their own girl. Hyung Joon calls out Madam Yang but she throws the responsibility over to Madam Ma’s girls for starting the fight. Madam Ma says its Jae Hee who has a cast on her wrist now!

Madam Yang scoffs at the need for a cast and Hyung Joon asks if she’s got the attitude of a gangster now. Madam Ma asks if it’s not Hyung Joon who brought a real life gangster? Teacher Jang throws off his jacket and asks if all the bitches here want to fight? LOL. The organizer comes back in the breaks it up and warns everyone here to not create another incident!

Madam Ma and Madam Yang walk down to their car and Madam Ma is shocked to see that Madam Yang accepted the business card of that woman. She asks if Madam Yang is that needing money that she would send her girls to that “Madam” (i.e. she’s running a call girl business). Madam Yang says she doesn’t need it and assures her that she knows what that Call Girl Madam is asking for. Turns out there is an escalating asking price to introduce Miss Korea contestants based on their ranking to rich men and she was approached last year since her girl won Miss Korea. She turned it down and cursed the woman out. Madam Ma is relieved and tells Madam Yang to watch over her girls and not let them sell out for shiny things or let jealousy cloud their own path.

Madam Ma makes Madam Yang throw the business card away right now because she doesn’t trust her. Madam Yang throws it into Madam Ma’s car and asks if this is enough.

Ji Young can’t sleep and remembers the Call Girl Madam giving her a business card to call if she’s tired. She then remembers Hyung Joon handing her a bag to open if she’s under a lot of pressure. Ji Young tosses the business card aside and opens the bag with a smile. Inside is a box containing gum and she smiles and chews a piece before blowing her patented bubbles. This cheers her up immediately.

Hyung Joon goes to Ji Young’s empty bedroom and looks around. He finds the I Like Oppa baseball in a jar and picks it up to look at it with a rueful smile.

Kang Woo is with Heung Sam and Dr. Ko at the Vivi headquarters and he’s staring at a picture of all four of them when they were happy. Kang Woo wonders if Hyung Joon hyung really isn’t coming back? Dr. Ko wants to wait a bit because its not the same doing anything without him. Heung Sam says he’s gone and he was always only good for borrowing money here and there….and in truth that was such an exhausting job for him to handle.

The girls are getting lectured on the rules of the competition – the points in the preliminaries and on the day of the competition will be added together to pick the winner. Guys, smoking, and drinking are all prohibited. He then reveals that Bada Cosmetics is sponsoring this year’s competition and every contestant gets a box of cosmetics from Bada to use during the competition. Ji Young asks if they have to use Bada products because everyone came with their own cosmetics? What if they are allergic to Bada products? The director says its quality products so no worries about allergies. He hands everyone a contract that says the winner has to rep the Bada Cosmetics afterwards. Ji Young speaks up and says she refuses to sign because there is no rule that the winner has to rep Bada Cosmetics.

Kang Sik calls Hyung Joon and Ji Young in to meet with him and reveals that Ji Young is the only one who hasn’t signed the contract to rep Bada after the competition. Ji Young won’t since she’s already working with Vivi Cosmetics. Kang Sik asks if Ji Young wants to lose the competition then? Hyung Joon doesn’t want to save his company? Kang Sik comes straight out and says that if Vivi sponsors Ji Young then she is guaranteed to lose the competition. Then Vivi will also go bankrupt.

Bada has already invested a lot of money into this competition and has their own marketing plan ready after the competition. He will not sit by and watch Miss Korea rep another cosmetic’s company after Bada spent all that money in funding the competition. Hyung Joon asks what he will do if they insist on going down this path? Kang Sik offers to buy the Vivi cream at a good price then. That is a way to save Ji Young’s chances and a way to save Vivi. Hyung Joon asks if that really a way to save Vivi? If he sells the Vivi cream sample they can repay the debt but their employees will still be out on the street afterwards.

Kang Sik tells him to think about it. Hyung Joon tells Kang Sik that no matter what underhanded tactics he uses they won’t give up. Ji Young adds also that she won’t give up as well. Kang Sik doesn’t care and walks away. Ji Young is proud of Hyung Joon’s “won’t give up” and warns that she would have hit him right then and there had he said he would give up. Hyung Joon is devastated and says that she really may not have a chance to win Miss Korea. Is that okay? Ji Young turns it around and says Oppa may not be able to save his company because of her and is that really okay? Hyung Joon says yes and then Ji Young nods back yes as well.

Hyung Joon walks out of the hotel to a worried and waiting Teacher Jang. He knows Kim Kang Sik is not an easy guy to deal with. Hyung Joon just walks off while Ji Young sits inside the hotel brooding.

Teacher Jang and Hyung Joon return to Vivi and hears that they are picking a new company president. Kang Woo and Dr. Ko are happy to see Hyung Joon but Heung Sam pretends to pout but throws out that they are not firing him and he can come back later. Hyung Joon smiles and turns out he’s back to get his luggage.

The Miss Seoul Jin Seon Mi are all working out in the bedroom when Ji Young comes back with items she was sent to retrieve as room leader. She immediately gets into training as well.

Hyung Joon goes to see Yoon and accepts his offer of the full investment. The caveat is that he needs to support Ji Young’s Miss Korea dreams because she really wants to win. Yoon laughs that Hyung Joon really doesn’t know how to negotiate. Why should Yoon accept Hyung Joon’s revised terms? Hyung Joon says that once Ji Young wins Miss Korea then he will break up with her. Once she becomes Miss Korea then he will never see her again and that is his promise to Yoon. Guh, I can’t see through my tears. Oppa, Ji Young will beat you senseless for this noble idiocy! Yoon listens silently.

Hyung Joon walks out from his meeting with Yoon and Teacher Jang is outside waiting for him. Hyung Joon muses about the snow and the ladies having to shoot their swimsuit photos tomorrow. Teacher Jang points out that it’s an indoor shoot. Hyung Joon screams into the snow with a smile and tells Teacher Jang “YKK” to smile. As they drive home Hyung Joon reminds him that at tomorrow’s shoot they need to be ready to help Ji Young and not come unprepared again.

Yoon arrives at the hotel and calls Ji Young out to meet. He asks how she’s doing and reveals that he’s investing 100% into Vivi and that Hyung Joon is back as the company president. Ji Young smiles widely to hear this great news. She thanks Yoon Oppa. He tells her to not worry anymore and give it her all in the competition. He compliments her smile being so beautiful and Ji Young asks why his change of heart on the investment? Yoon smiles and says nothing so Ji Young doesn’t push him. She thanks Oppa again.

Yoon asks if she sees him as a man? Ji Young says of course and doesn’t Yoon have a crush on her? He cough and asks her not to tease him. Ji Young tells Yoon Oppa not to like her because there is a guy that she already likes. She is sorry but Yoon Oppa is just one step too late. God I love this girl.

Hyung Joon and Teacher Jang sneak into Ji Young’s room and takes out her tape of the previous Miss Korea pageants. Turns out she’s been recording it since 1990 and if they watch the last 7 years they can learn what to avoid and what to do. Teacher Jang loves this “research”. They start playing the tape and staring intently at all the pretty girls. Uncle and Mom arrive and join in the “research”, and then Oppa also participates.

Hyung Joon freezes the frame on a contestant in the competition standing by a fake poolside tree. He reveals that most Miss Korea winners pose by that tree for their swimsuit photos and it’s call the Miss Korea Jin Tree. It’s also the place with the best lighting and putting her hand on the tree presents her figure to the best advantage. The second best place is the steps leading down from the pool which shows off the long legs of the contestant. The third best spot is laying on a boulder. The fourth best spot is in the pool. The worst spots are where the girl gets sprayed with water. The worst luck is to get the spot under the indoor waterfall.

Suddenly Grandpa arrives and everyone scrambles up and looks scared as shit. Grandpa sees they are watching girls in swimsuits and takes out his stick to beat up the perverts. Hyung Joon and Teacher Jang sneak off while the men of the house try to explain it’s for “research”. Ahahaha.

Ji Young can’t sleep and then gets a call from Hyung Joon about his research findings with respect to the swimsuit photos. Ji Young looks really touched and Hyung Joon reminds her that she’s been docked 15 points already so her every move is like walking through Hell and one misstep and she falls into the fire. If she gets docked another 15 points and gets disqualified then she has nothing left. So even if it’s hard for her in the future then she needs to endure. And if there is something she needs to object to, she can let him handle it while she keeps her mouth shut.

Ji Young calls Hyung Joon reliable and trusts him on this. She asks if he doesn’t have good news to share with her? She reveals that she knows Vivi got a full investment and he’s back as president and Vivi can still sponsor her. Isn’t that great news! Hyung Joon asks if she heard it from Yoon and she says yes. He tells her that Yoon will be helping her all the way from now on. Ji Young blows a kiss into the phone and asks if he got it. Hyung Joon lies and says no so she blows another kiss. He still says he didn’t get it so she warns him that she’ll hang up the phone. Hyung Joon asks Ji Young not to blow kisses so readily from now on. In fact, don’t kiss anyone or anything going forward. Ji Young asks if Oppa doesn’t want her kiss anymore? Hyung Joon says yes.

Kang Sik hands the Call Girl Madam money and she refuses because she doesn’t reveal her client list. Kang Sik wants to know from her which of the girls at the hotel have used her connection to go meet a guy. Sun Young sits down across from Kang Sik who reveals he knows she met guy and it’s against the rules. He warns her that she won’t make the cut because it’s a smear on the pageant. But if she helps him do something then she will make the cut. All she needs to do is make Oh Ji Young miss the cut in whatever way she can. If Oh Ji Young fails then she will make the cut into the top-15.

Sun Young goes to meet with a guy to ask him for a favor.

The Miss Korea contestant bus pulls up in a parking lot and Sun Young tells Ji Young to get off the bus first since she’s the room leader. The moment Ji Young steps off the bus she is pelted by eggs and feminist protesters who are yelling for the competition to be cancelled.

The Vivi gang arrive in the van and rush over to find Ji Young walking behind the pack and all crusted with eggs. They all look so worried when they see her all beaten up. Gosh I love how much they care for her. Ji Young smiles to see they are all here for her. Teacher Jang is upset and makes the crack that if flour was added then Ji Young would be a pancake. He asks which bitch did this to her? Ji Young says it happened outside the bus and is no big deal.

Dr. Ko goes up and fusses over Ji Young who smiles to see her Unni back. She is so happy their team is back together again. Kang Woo is shocked at how scary women can be and Teacher Jang sneaks at look at Dr. Ko and can’t believe Kang Woo just learned this fact. Hyung Joon brushes her hair away from her face and looks absolutely crushed to see her so mistreated but Ji Young just takes out a piece of gum to chew and says she’s feeling better.

Everyone stands around as the organizer assigns the positions for the swimsuit pictures. Because room 3 got into a fight they will be penalized with less desirable positions. Soo Jung gets the place under the waterfall which makes Madam Yang snicker until she hears that Sun Young also got under the waterfall. Ji Young gets the swimming pool while Jae Hee gets the boulder. Teacher Jang thinks the boulder is great since its super sexy but Madam Yang laughs that of course it’s sexy, the results are super sexy in a cheap calendar pin-up way.

Photos start and all the ladies get their time in front of cameras. Madam Yang sprays Sun Young with teflon hairspray so the water doesn’t affect her makeup and hair. Madam Ma does the same for Soo Jung and both Madams remind their girls of the best poses. Soo Jung goes under the waterfall and she’s doing well until the waterfall shifts and starts drenching her. Madam Ma had told her to endure the water for just a minute but Soo Jung slips and Madam Yang laughs at her.

It’s Sun Young’s turn and Madam Yang directs her from the sidelines in a hilarious fashion. Her encouragement for Sun Young to flip her hair in a sexy way causes her to get hair all over her face like seaweed.

Jae Hee’s next and Madam Ma is putting make up on her injured arm. She tells Jae Hee not to lay down on the boulder and stand up looking like a female warrior. The boulder looks cheap so Jae Hee shouldn’t smile broadly as well. Jae Hee goes and she’s pretty fierce until she cringes because of her injured arm.

Ji Young stares at the raft floating in the pool and wonders if she can do it? Hyung Joon assures her that she can and she heads back to the team to get a final primping. Dr. Ko decides to put her hair up since if she falls in the water it won’t look too messy. The team does a huddle and all hands cheer and then it’s off to the pool Ji Young goes.

Ji Young immediately falls into the pool the moment she climbs up since that raft is tiny and impossible to balance. The Vivi team stare in worry from the sidelines but Ji Young is undeterred and keeps climbing back on the raft and she keeps falling into the pool.

The organizer goes to call Ji Young out of the pool since time is up. The Vivi team goes to ask for more time since Ji Young hasn’t made a pose yet. Teacher Jang gets angry but one look from Dr. Ko calms him down and he begs nicely for more time. The organizer warns them that she will be disqualified if they keep acting like this.

Hyung Joon suddenly walks into the pool and yells at Ji Young for being able to dance on stage at a nightclub and why can’t she pose on a raft. He holds the raft steady for her as she climbs up.

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Hyung Joon yells that she’s ready and then takes a deep breath before diving under the water. Before he descends he reminds her to YKK and Ji Young cracks a wide smile for the cameras.

The contestants are sent off on the bus and Ji Young keeps staring at Hyung Joon and the Vivi team as they are waving goodbye.

Back at the hotel, Madam Ma and Madam Yang notice Sun Young sneaking off somewhere and follow her. Sun Young meets with the Call Girl Madam to return earrings to her and that is when the two Madams rush over to confront the other Madam. She is unapologetic and says this is best for everyone and warns them to keep quiet otherwise Sun Young will get in trouble.

Madam Yang grabs the Madam while Madam Ma joins and together they beat up the Call Girl Madam. Madam Ma is walloping her with all her might as Madam Yang is so bloodthirsty and tells her to hit her harder! I love it! The two Madams warn her to stay away and if they see her around her one more time they will beat her face bloody.

Madam Yang drags Sun Young off and asks if she desperately needs money that bad? Sun Young says she is worried about how to return the money she borrowed to compete if she loses the competition. Madam Yang yells at her for worrying about losing already and where did she fierce drive go? Madam Yang warns her to never let this happen again, because if it does then forget about Miss Korea because Madam Yang will destroy her. She tells Sun Young to focus on winning the competition and get the prize money and a good job afterwards.

Hyung Joon calls Ji Young but she’s napping in the bus and doesn’t pick up the phone.

Teacher Jang drops off the Vivi boys at the company while Dr. Ko says she’ll ask him to drop her off at home since it’s one the way. He drives off and the two guys wonder why there is a strange mood in that van. They recall that Dr. Ko’s place is not on the way to Teacher Jang’s place.

Dr. Ko asks why Teacher Jang is hanging out with Hyung Joon and he answers that only by Hyung Joon returning the money can he also live. Dr. Ko feels uneasy since everything seems to be going well, they have the full investment and they can also sponsor Ji Young to become Miss Korea. Teacher Jang laughs at how complicated women are. Dr. Ko wants him to drop her off at the next bus stop but he wants to take her home like she told the guys. He asks if she wants to listen to music and reveals he likes movies and also likes to buy movie OSTs. He pops a tape in and then reveals that this movie is still playing in theaters right now. Dr. Ko looks out the window at the snow with a pensive expression.

The bus arrives at the hotel and all the girls get out except for Ji Young who is dead asleep. When she wakes up she gets out of the bus and wonders why she was left behind. She checks her voicemail and gets a message from Hyung Joon. He says “I wish time would pass faster so you can return home. No, that’s not it. I wish time could return to when we were still together.” Ji Young puts down the phone and says that when it’s tough it’s time to get an extra boost of energy. She pops a gum in her mouth and runs off in the opposite direction from the hotel.

Ji Young sneaks back home and enters Hyung Joon’s room. She lays down across from him and the gently prods him with her finger until he wakes up. Hyung Joon wakes up and asks if she’s crazy to be here? Ji Young shushes him and says that everyone is tired after a long day and no one will be keeping an eye on her. She knows that spending the night out is a disqualification so she’ll just be here for a little bit.

Hyung Joon asks if she’s lonely there? Ji Young pouts and says yes. He asks if she wants to be with him? She says yes. He points out that she said she didn’t like him anymore. Ji Young admits she said it but that’s not going so well. So she’s decided to keep liking him. She’s decided to keep liking him more.

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Hyung Joon smiles though it’s clear he’s holding back tears and strokes her face as Ji Young just stares at him. TEARS. MY TEARS BE COMING.

Thoughts of Mine:

This drama continues to end each episode perfectly, doesn’t it? What more could we ask for but two people openly loving each other without a lot of fanfare or direct assertions of such. When Ji Young said in the end that she was going to continue to like Hyung Joon, that was as pointless as saying she’s a beautiful woman. It’s clear to all that she loves him, and likely never stopped loving him despite their break up. It wasn’t that she was pining for him but more like that part of her feelings for him were tucked away by pride and immaturity and has been released once again. What’s lovely is that their love for each other is totally different this time around as it reflects their additional experiences in life. They tease each other the same way but the depth of what they would do for each other is different than when they had the luxury of dating for fun when life was less demoralizing. I thought Hyung Joon made the right choice to accept Yoon’s offer but ask that he make Ji Young into Miss Korea. He can save Vivi and keep Ji Young’s dreams alive, and he doesn’t have the power to be the support network she needs right now anyways. Life isn’t fair and what Bada and Kang Sik represents is reality and not some sort of evil force to be reckoned with. Everyone is out to win this competition for their own reasons be it financial gain or validation or both. Hyung Joon can’t live in a bubble and he’s choice speaks volumes about both his selflessness and how much he will give up for Ji Young’s dream. I still can’t hate Yoon because he’s simply given a proposition to Hyung Joon and it’s perfectly legit. I loved how Ji Young treats him, not as an antagonist but as an Oppa who she can openly thank for his support but give him not a chance with her heart. She continues to have a personality that shines as beautifully as her exterior beauty and it’s a credit to the great writing that she’s not painted as a perfect Madonna or a sacrificial Candy.

Madam Yang continues to be much needed comic relief but she also has a decent side that doesn’t exploit the girls under her care. Madam Ma rocked this episode with her smackdown of the Call Girl Madam and her chewing out Madam Yang before that for even getting within the same vicinity of that woman. I appreciate that the drama addresses the selling out of the pageant contestants and the seedier side of the beauty for show business. It’s exploiting woman who are lured with wealth and promises of security and at least the two beauty salon Madams are not in on the peddling. The two girl fights in this episode were both hilariously entertaining and I enjoy how this drama cross-cuts the hair pulling with the serious violence that happens around Teacher Jang at times. It’s not all fun and games even if we can take a breather here and then to have a laugh, much like how real life feels every day. I like the development with Vivi getting the financial investment from Yoon and still be able to sponsor. Yes, it came at the expense of Hyung Joon promising to break up with Ji Young after the pageant, but right now it’s a sigh of relief that we don’t need to watch Vivi dangling on the precipice. It’s also the lesser of two evils what with Hyung Joon and Teacher Jang’s life being on the line if he can’t repay the debt by year end. I’m sure we can cross the Hyung Joon’s noble idiocy bridge when the time arrives but I have a feeling Yoon will be the one to let him out of this promise. When the drama keeps giving me perfect Hyung Joon-Ji Young moments like it does in every episode, the obstacles they face don’t worry me because I continue to feel secure that this OTP has toughened up and wised up to the point that they would never walk away from each other without a fight.

Click here to watch Miss Korea.


Miss Korea Episode 11 Recap — 26 Comments

  1. I`m still in disbelief that SM is production behind Miss Korea and PMAI. What happened? How are they producing two best dramas of the moment imo?

    And who would have thought that Lee Yeon Hee and Yoona will actually be on par with their older(and much more experienced) male counterparts?

    This is our lesson in not to judge book by its covers.

    • Amazing, isn’t it?

      Now all we need is for Gu Hye Sun to suddenly learn how to act and have sexual chemistry with her male co-stars to decree that either the end is near or or we are living in an upside down universe now.

      I’m not looking a gift horse in the mouth. Lee Yeon Hee is spectacular here and I couldn’t be happier for her and as a viewer to get such spot-on acting out of a leading lady.

      Look at the talent around her though – Lee Mi Sook, Lee Seon Kyun, Lee Sung Min, Song Seong Mi, Hong Ji Min – if she’s not learning from those folks then she would be a hopeless basket case forever more.

      • Woah, just because someone is a bad actress doesn’t mean they are a basket case/crazy right?

      • Uhm…what? I’m confused by your entire comment. I agree with the sentiment but no clue what it is directed at.

      • “if she’s not learning from those folks then she would be a **hopeless basket case**(???) forever more.”

        I agree that whole drama is set up as a Lee Yeon Hee vehicle, SM hired the right leading man in Lee Seon Kyun – In Korea he is known as a starmaker and the perfect foil for upcoming actresses because though he is a charming actor with nice voice, he is not handsome enough to steal the limelight.

        The reason why ratings are so low in Korea is because the drama is formulaic, it is a repeat of the storylines in previous LSG drama’s Pasta(food drama), Golden Time(medical drama) and Triple(sports drama), just applied to the pageant industry. Even the supporting actors are the same. And it confirms a lot of outdated / shallow stereotypes about the pageant industry – PS, bitchiness, intense exercise, bimbo contestants – without bringing anything new to the plate. The supporting characters are quite forgettable and fade out next to Jiyoung, Yoon is so one-dimensional. Only Ma Aeri is memorable. SM’s media play is not very effective too.

      • @ inhee : I dont think it’s repeat storyline. And every character has multiple layers to discover. I think any competition has both sides, even scientific competition. I also love supported guys: dr Ko, teacher gangster, JY’s family, madam Yang, a girl who is eliminated..

      • Saw the first 6 episodes with my Sister(a LSK fan), don’t care for the plots involving Yoon, the gangster(yuck cos forcing himself on a woman and stealing her hard work is the way to get in a woman’s pants?), Jiyoung’s family(what happen to her mum? Who is her bro?) or even LSK’s character.

        It’s like the whole drama is set up to extract max sympathy for Jiyoung and show off LYH’s acting. SM didn’t even bother to hire teen actors for the flashbacks so LYH could act those out too, so Lee KiWoo and Lee Seon Kyun look like ahjussis in uniforms haha. It doesn’t feel like a premium or well-rounded drama.

      • lol totally right about gu hye sun but if she didn’t have sexual chemistry with lee min ho then she is lost, so sad because she is so talented

      • lol totally rught about gu hye sun bt if she didn’t have sexual chemistry with lee min ho then she is kind of lst so sad because she is talented

    • @inhee: The gangster didn’t steal the BB cream sample to get into the Dr’s pants. It was his attempt to try to save LSK’s life so he was trying to sell it to Bada so that he will get the money and LSK won’t be killed by the loanshark that he’s working for.

      Ji Young’s mom died when she was 3 and her brother is her real brother. He just made a comment to their dad whether their mom had an affair because his sister is so beautiful in comparison to him. That’s just it.

      Also, I don’t think they hired teen actors because there would’ve been a controversy in Korea, I guess if younger actors acted out scenes like in the first episode where she was teaching him how to smoke and also the scene where she was showering.

    • I think Ms Korea is good because of the team behind it. They are the same people who did other highly rated shows like Golden Hour and Pasta with the same leading man and supporting characters. I think SM only invested in the show.

  2. You are probably the fastest dramarecaper !! Thank you so much for recaping this drama!!! I always love to read your thoughts on this drama and it never fails to put a smile on my face when seeing that you also love this drama 🙂 Merci ^^

    pardon if my english is a bit wrong 🙂

    • Regardless of your English it’s always a pleasure to hear people share their love for dramas here. ^^ Keep commenting and never fear that your grammar or usage may not be perfect because I sure as heck am not a native English speaker and never hesitate to use the language.

  3. Thank you! From your recap it sounds like an awesome episode but just have to wait for the subbers to do their work..LOL at the two cat fights, can’t wait to see them in action 😀

  4. Thanks for the recap and the OTP is so cute lol. I’m not up to date with this drama yet but I’m reading your recaps after each ep. This is such a heartwarming drama that deals with real people and real situations.

  5. Thank you Miss Koala. I think it would be so awesome to have a love triangle between Teacher Gangster, Madam Ma. And the doctor, Total epic!! I love the three of them. Thank you for the recap.

    • Great idea a love triangle aomng teacher Gangster, Dr Ko, madam Ma.
      BUt i want to ship madam Ma with JY’s father. 😀

      Mrs Kola, I love your review so much. I often watch raw, then i read your review before i watch engsub. I blv this drama is so qualified that not anyone enjoy it. I still hope you will keep your will to revew so fast, so great

  6. I just love each and every interaction between the OTP, nothing too dramatic, sincere and grounded… and yes, the tears flow, mainly for how every happy and despairing moments touched my heart.

  7. Wow! Between this drama and The Prime Minister I have found a couple of great dramas. And your recaps are right on and so appreciated. Thanks so much. Looking forward to more!

  8. I am saving your recap till after I watch the episode tonight but I thought I would come by and tell you again how much I appreciate this service you are providing for fans of this drama. Is this a 20 episode drama or 16? Does the official site have this information?

  9. I’ve been reading your Miss Korea recaps without commenting so far, but now I realize how important it is for me to say that I love this show too! I haven’t been this invested in a drama for a very long time. Everything about it – the actors, the characters, the music, the story line – this is what a good drama is all about.


    Perhaps my favourite thing about this drama though is how well rounded the characters are. I mean, at one point I actually felt bad for the salon lady that got slapped by Director Ma! All she wanted was to stop living in the shadow of one woman and open up the competition, which I think is a real honest motivation.

    I felt even more sympathetic towards the loan shark man, who stole the BB cream sample in part to collect the money but also to save Hyung Joon’s life.

    And there are so many small moments that really complete this drama. I remember how at the beginning of an earlier episode, we get this small scene about the Grandpa drinking soju pretending it was water – which crops back up in a flashback when Hyung Joon gets drunk accidentally after drinking from the same container.

    Although this drama may not be getting the best ratings, it’s definitely number one in my eyes. Thank you Miss Korea for not treating your audience as if all they can handle are cheesy lines and empty plots.

  10. I looooooved this episode. LSK is so dreamy. Prior to watching I caught a glimpse of stills from this episode and immediately jumped to conclusion. I thought Ji Young must have had an accident at the pool and HJ came to her rescue and all day I felt a bit betrayed that the drama would choose such overused trope. But I was so wrong and couldn’t be happier. I have felt that I just connected with this writer when I watched Pasta so long ago and this drama just confirms that feeling. And Ji Young, what guts! But now I am all worried that someone is going to catch her not sleeping in her dorm room. Please no.

  11. Thanks for the recap.
    Even though LSK is the Voice, he really shines in moments sans dialog. He looked so forlorn saying good-bye to her when she climbed onto the bus. You’d think she was going into battle…well, she kinda was.

    What a good, even though formulaic, drama provides is characters that we can root for. There are moments that make us care, that feel important even if what is happening on screen is small or silly. Do I really sympathize with the poor beautiful girl (in a swimsuit I would NEVER ever look good in my whole life) just because she can’t maintain her balance on a little raft? Not really, but I do care that the person in the suit is being treated unfairly, and that a very decent man sees an opportunity to help, so he does.

    I love Team Vivi, who used to see JY as a vehicle for their future but now see JY as a teammate, someone they want success for for HER.

    Yes, I did LOL at the Ma and Yang beat-down. I am sorry, it was funny even though I am not sure how much that woman deserved it.
    Alls I know is, I wouldn’t want to be near a Lee Mi Sook who tells me to stay away.

  12. Ep. 11 was really, really sweet. I just teared up at that pool scene when he went under to hold up the float for her and the ending episode was sweet, too.

    Just a side note – they are saying “Waikiki” when smiling, not YKK. Kind of like “cheese” naturally makes your mouth form a smile.

  13. Thanks so much. I heart this drama. It become better and better. Even i hope for something more luvurious but this drama presentes something more grounded.

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