IT WAS PRETTY
As kids, Kim Hye Jin (Hwang Jung Eum) was the pretty girl while Ji Sung Joon (Park Seo Joon) was the fat kid with the low self-esteem. He moves away and returns to Korea as a handsome and successful adult. He becomes the new deputy chief editor of Most Magazine, a fashion periodical, and hopes to reconnect with his old friend and first love, Hye Jin. Once a beauty and financially well-off, Hye Jin has face some hardships in her adolescent life. When Sung Joon doesn’t recognize Hye Jin at first, she becomes embarrassed of her appearance and asks her attractive best friend, Min Ha Ri (Go Joon Hee) to pretend that she’s Hye Jin.
There’s so much to like about this drama from the characters to the actors to the pace of the drama that it’s hard to decide where to begin. The thing that stands out the most in this drama is the chemistry of all the actors. I guess the most obvious place to start is with the main actors, Hwang Jung Eum and Park Seo Joon. Even though they played sister and brother, I first noticed their chemistry in Kill Me, Heal Me. It was their chemistry that really had a chance to flourish in She Was Pretty. Sure, in many ways, the plot isn’t that unique but the exuberant over-the-top acting is what made their characters so endearing to many viewers.
Si Won [Super Junior] – 너뿐이야 (Only You)
As for the BFF’s/roommates, it’s natural for Hwang Jung Eum and Go Joon Hee’s real-life friendship to shine on-screen. What I loved about their relationship is that even though Hye Jin and Ha Ri were of a different social status, that disparity was never felt within their friendship. It makes Ha Ri’s betrayal of Hye Jin all that much more painful and at the same time, it makes Hye Jin’s understanding and forgiveness of Ha Ri’s betrayal all that more significant. Their friendship is that much more unique and you understand why their bond is so tight.
One of the most fan favorite characters in the drama is probably Kim Shin Hyuk (Choi Si Won). I will never look at a pickled radish without thinking of him and will miss him terribly while he’s away at the army for the next 2 years. Sigh… For most of the drama, I felt that Choi Si Won was acting as himself but he certainly elevated the comedy, especially during the more of angst-filled moments of the drama, which was a nice counterbalance. We also learn early on that Shin Hyuk is withholding his own backstory. I liked that his story could have easily gone in two different directions and the reveal unfolded pretty nicely within the pacing of the drama.
Although I loved how Shin Hyuk’s backstory was revealed to us, I do think that the drama missed the opportunity to delve deeper into Sung Joon’s backstory. I think what was most interesting about the main characters is that they experienced a reversal of fortune but Sung Joon’s outwardly appearance is given as much scrutiny as Hye Jin’s appearance. There were moments when it felt like the writer was hinting at an eating disorder but it was never fleshed out. I really think this aspect of Sung Joon’s insecurity could have put him at the same level as Hye Jin’s insecurity when it comes to their outward appearance. It could have also made the drama more interesting as there were about 2 episodes that’s filled with fluff rather than substance.
She Was Pretty will always have a warm place in my heart as the cast and their wacky characters really made the drama hilariously entertaining and heartwarming. I still enjoyed the pace of the drama because the characters were people I would enjoy being around and hanging out with. And yet, I still feel that if we got a bit more backstory and plot development, it would have made the difference between a “some” drama and a great love of my life drama.