I don’t know what to make of this news. Does it make me happy? Perplexed? Strangely relieved? Trading one hot mess for another? I don’t know but I’ll be keeping my eye on this as it develops. First came news two months ago that Jang Geun Seok was returning to K-dramas through the Group 8 produced manhwa drama-adaptation of Beautiful Man. Then last month word on the street was that MBC was interested in picking it up for a year-end time slot of Wed-Thurs, thereby pitting Jang Geun Seok up against fellow near-age pretty boys Kim Soo Hyun in Man From the Stars and Kim Hyun Joong in Age of Feeling (Inspiring Generation). I actually thought that was a lock and all that was left was nailing down the rest of the Beautiful Man cast, which started to take shape when movie actress Han Ye Ri and K-drama regular Lee Jang Woo were in talks to join the drama. So this latest shake up took me by surprise, and I don’t know if it’s a blindside to the Beautiful Man production as well, but this weekend news outlets are reporting that the PD-screenwriter duo from the 2010 Gong Hyo Jin–Lee Seon Kyun drama Pasta is reuniting to bring a comedy drama to MBC airing after Medical Top Team. That would be the time slot previously in discussions for Beautiful Man. The new drama is called Miss Korea and is about a group of men in a small neighborhood who band together and try to make a girl from their neighborhood into the next Miss Korea. I…..don’t know what to think about this. Beauty pageants are veritable minefields for comedy, and this year the Miss Korea pageant got lots of international publicity when a gif of all the contestants in a row proved that the proliferation of plastic surgery and the same standard of beauty has turned every contestant into near clones of each other. It was hilariously sad. This Miss Korea production team did Pasta together, but each has their own other works that I also thought were pretty decent. In addition to Pasta, the PD helmed Golden Time, My Princess, and What’s Up Fox, while the he screenwriter did Romance Town and The Lawyers of the Great Republic of Korea. There isn’t a complete dud between them.
No word yet on the cast or whether Miss Korea is a lock for the post-Medical Top Team time slot. I do like something different and this sounds really really different. There have some entertaining and incisive beauty pageant themed movies in the past from Drop Dead Gorgeous, Miss Congeniality, and Little Miss Sunshine. It’s not a topic I’m particularly interested in but I’ll see who ends up in the cast and decide from there. Above is a picture of all the contestants for the Miss Korea 2013 pageant. About the mid-point is when my eyes glossed over because I seriously couldn’t figure out who was who or even render a superficial opinion of who was the prettiest. It’s pretty much the same woman modeling twenty different hairstyles and outfits. The only way this drama will work is by being blunt honest about the superficiality of the beauty pageant and then try to humanize those who participate and desire to win it.