I haven’t seen “Heal me, Kill me” despite its awesome review for me to know if Hwang Jung-eum and Park Seo-joon had killer chemistry even though they played siblings in the series, however, with this drama it looks like the chemistry will be legit and not entering the territory of yucky, incense radiating chemistry. With that said, I thoroughly enjoyed the first episode. Definitely funny and poignant and Jung-eum isn’t her loud, shouty, overreacting self. I will not be recapping this series, but I will write the highlight and focus more on analysis of each episodes.
Young Kim Hye Jin (Jung Da Bin/)Hwang Jung-eum) is the prettiest girl in school who comes from a rich family. Though, she’s rich, she has a humbling personality that radiates and makes her more beautiful on the inside. Then, there is Ji Sung Joon (Yang Han Yol/Park Seo-joon) who is unattractive, chubby and shy as a little boy. Hye Jin befriends him and these two look like they are each other’s first love. However, things change as they enter adulthood. Hye Jin’s luck changes when her family’s business goes under, not only that, Hye Jin lost her beauty in the process as she took her “ugliness” from her dad. She still retains her spunkiness and her humility even though, it seems like people use her beauty against her. Sung joon, on the other hand, turns out to be hot, you know, straight from the 1930’s French magazine with his hair all slicked back. Hehe!
Hilarity commences when Hye Jin and Sung Joon cross path, well not necessarily, LOL. Hye Jin and Sung Joon haven’t seen each other since Sung Joon moved abroad to study. On his return, he wants to reconnect with his first love. Upon their rendezvous, it seems like both Sung joon and Hye Jin have a preconceived notion about how they both will turn out to be as adult. It doesn’t turn out as expected, especially for Hye Jin, who decides to pull a “Cyrano” by asking her beautiful best friend, who’s an hotelier and her roommate, Min Hari (Go Joon hee) to pretend to be her to Sung Joon because she is afraid of his outcome upon seeing a beautiful swan turn ugly duckling. Hari is a really beautiful lady and it work as Sung joon sees the exact person of Hye Jin that he wants see. Thinking that to be the end of a bad night, it turns out that through a series of misunderstanding, Hye Jin now works for Sung Joon and though he doesn’t recognize the real Hye Jin, he comes off mean and poopyface towards Hye Jin. To round off the lead is Kim Shin-hyuk (Choi Siwon) who is quirky and free-spirited but it seems like he’ll be someone who accepts the real Hye Jin, frizzy hair and freckles, without any prejudice. Shin hyuk is Hye Jin’s direct supervisor at the editorial magazine, “The Most” (awkward name for a magazine).
Since this is episode 1, the highlight is a little bit longer as to set up the characters, so expect a shorter one after this. Anyways, I liked the premise of this drama. I was expecting a lot of superficiality, but was a little bit surprised when the series made me ponder, “What’s beauty?” the answer sounds easy to formulate, but it really is a complex topic to dissect. I read a little bit on Kant and Plato’s philosophical jargon on beauty, or rather, aesthetics. Those were one of my hardest courses as an English student because there was so much to analyze and the complexity of the topic on beauty had to be further analyzed by comparing other philosophers. A subject that was originally planned out for three weeks extended into the whole semester. So, while watching this episode, it took me back to my semester of intense analysis. Since this is episode 1, there isn’t much to analyze in that aspect, but as the series go on, I hope it continues to dwell on the topic which I know will not fail.
But, that aside, I just love how Hye Jin is being portrayed. Though, she is still beautiful, freckles and all, and I do love her Michael Jackson style of dressing, Hehe, I love that she knows her self-worth and she stands by that. Yes, it is hard not to feel down by the way she gets put down all due to her looks, but she doesn’t let that define who she is. She knows herself as a person which is the best thing a person should have. Her beauty radiates more from the inside, when she was still pretty and even in her present state. Also, what makes me root for Hye Jin is that her confidence doesn’t come out as fake. She has accepted what society has defined beauty to be as and since she doesn’t fall under the categories, she makes her beauty her own. She kicks herself and stands right back up when she sees that there’s no one to help her. She doesn’t play ugly-in-distress and that is someone to root for.
What I did notice is that Sung Joon’s notion of what he thinks past Hye Jin will look in the present is something that brought down her spirit. It is safe to say that even though others brought her down, she was able to pick herself up, but seeing Sung Joon more than happy to see the fake Hye Jin, aka Mari, made a little bit of her confidence to diminish and that was a sad scene to watch when Sung joon didn’t recognize her. That is not to say that Hye Jin didn’t have that idea of who she thought Sung joon was/is when they were about to reconnect, but I guess as an audience we sympathize with adult Hye Jin more because she then had to hide who she is in order to be someone she is not, a characteristic we hadn’t seen her do before then. What I believe would be an interesting turn out is that I don’t think Sung Joon would’ve cared to see how the real Hye Jin, it is all a matter of physical perspective to Hye Jin than the emotional connection she formed with Sung Joon when they were younger because to Sung Joon, she was the one there for him when he needed someone, a friend, the most. So, it is sad to see her lose sight of that. Then again, this is how society view her, so it does make sense for her to jump the broom so quickly. So, far Sung Joon’s can sense a little bit that his reunion with Mari/Hye Jin is a little bit off because he the real Hye Jin is someone whose personality is different from being timid and awkward.
So, we know that this is just the first blow of many to come for Hye Jin because Sung joon thinks Mari is Hye Jin. If she had read “Cyrano de Bergerac,” or watched the korean version, she would’ve realized her mistake, then and there. We can already predict that Sung Joon will treat Mari nice and better than the douches she hangs out with which will make Mari fall for him. Hopefully, this will not tear apart the awesome friendship/sistership/sismance/wife-husband relationship that these girls have with each other. They are so opposite in everything (Mari doesn’t believe in true love and Hye Jin thinks that dating is a luxury), but their personalities are similar. Mari is Hye Jin’s backup confidence and I like that opposite do attract. Being best friends since childhood is something I can appreciate, so that’s why there will definitely be heartbreaks, but no matter what, their friendship will come around because it is girls before flowers (manly context), right? Hehe! Well, there is one more guy in this equation, so that could even things out and that man is the awesome Shin Hyuk whom I am loving. I love the oddball who thinks he’s cool, but in reality he is the opposite of cool. Hehe! There is definitely more that meets the eye with Shin Hyuk, but I do like how he is not prejudiced against Hye Jin and is more intrigued with her personality than superficiality. Well, I cannot wait for episode 2.