I’ve been complaining about SM C&C signing Jung So Min towards the end of last year and then doing nothing with her. Happily there is some movement on its part and it’s been a good two weeks as a Jung So Min fan. First she joined the upcoming KBS drama Big Man as the second female lead with a crush on leading man Kang Ji Hwan while being the younger sister to second male lead antagonist Daniel Choi. Then this week she shows up in the SM produced drama Miss Korea on MBC with a neat cameo in the final episode 20. This drama is easiest going to be one of my favorites for 2014 and it’s such a shame not more people watched it either domestically or overseas. The beauty queen arc exceeded my expectations in both heart and intrigue but it was the fantastic interpersonal relationships and well-written characters that made this story come alive and touch me so deeply. Lee Yeon Hee impressed me from the first frame she showed up onscreen as the beautiful scrappy Ji Young, and her acting improved by leaps and bounds over anything I’ve ever seen out of her. She also seem to mature onscreen along with the narrative, making the journey of Ji Young from elevator girl to Miss Korea feel like the journey of Lee Yeon Hee from pretty vacuous flower vase to gorgeous young actress. Jung So Min’s cameo in episode 20 feels like a passing of the baton of sorts as she plays a striking gas station attendant who catches the eye of beauty queen maker Madam Ma. Jung So Min’s cameo character becomes the prime candidate to win Miss Korea 1998, thus putting a fitting end to Ji Young’s story and leaving the door open for the story of another girl’s quest for personal validation and hard won victory. While Jung So Min doesn’t quite have the natural beauty queen looks as Lee Yeon Hee, she’s stunning in her own way. I think this is a super clever cameo and a great way for SM to tap into its stable of beautiful young actresses. And if SM ever wanted to make a sequel to MK with Jung So Min’s character actually gunning for Miss Korea 1998, I’d totally watch it!