The Queen of Asian Drama is Back with more Irreverent Reviews and Snarky Commentary.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Missing Korea

미싱코리아 (mi-sing-ko-ri-a)

Screenplay: Kim Yeong-eon (김경언), Kwon Sang-hee (권상희)
KBS Mini-Drama
Aired 2015, Nov
Episodes - 6
Genre: Aspiration, Pageantry



This drama establishes a hypothetical situation that the relationship between South and North Korea thaws in 2020 -- five years from now.  And a Miss Korea pageant with contestants from South and North Korea is held under the circumstances. ~KBSWorld (with edits)


I liked it.

And, if it is true that they run these mini dramas as a way to gauge potential interest in a full-fledged 16 or 20 episode drama, then this should be a winner in that contest.

However, when researching Missing Korea for this blog, I found the following on IMDb :

Miss Korea
South Korean television series

Miss Korea is a South Korean television series starring Lee Sun-kyun, Lee Yeon-hee, Lee Mi-sook, Lee Sung-min, Song Seon-mi, and Lee Ki-woo. Wikipedia
First episode date: December 18, 2013
Final episode date: February 26, 2014
Network: Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation
Number of seasons: 1
Number of episodes: 20

The information is completely different, but the images that accompany the above bit of news were all of the Missing Korea mini-series.

The six shorts depicted three young ladies from North Korea who work at a work house, and they got drunk one night, boarded a parked bus thinking it was the camp's bus, and fell asleep due to their having imbibed.

By the time they awaken, it is too late and the bus has delivered them to a South Korean hall where the rest of the contestants in a North-South Beauty Pageant are stationed for the up-coming contest.

It's funny, it's a refreshing concept, and despite the hints of Cinderella-isms involved, it isn't overdone and neither are any of the catty bitch instances that are standard issue when a group of Korean women are thrown together for anything at all.

The leading man, Kim Jeong hoon, is dough-boy and boy next door, but he is a good actor and sings well, too.

There was no time for a relationship between him and the leading lady to really take off or actually go anywhere since they're from two distinct 'nations' as it were.

But if this ends up becoming full-fledged, I can see where the writers would have some fun working out the kinks in such a relationship.

There was some chemistry going on, but again, it is too short a duration to really gauge how well these two work together or mesh decently in order to make that kind of a call.

And, like always, I had to wonder who made the decision to cast the three ladies as ug, ugl, and ugly.

Ug being the least.

My personal taste said that the tall, thin one with long dark hair was far more appealing than the girl the writers chose to play the lead.

the one in the middle

Anyway, it would be nice to see this drawn out and played up because it'd be a bit fun to understand and view the inner workings of a Miss Korea pageant, and to watch as the three of them slowly but surely transform from hum-drum to wow over time.

That didn't occur here, except to see the gal on the far left (above) have her moment in the sun on stage.

Human nature insists that it would be far more interesting to watch the gal in the specs transform, right?

A funny thing about these mini series is that for years I (and likely others) wanted the folks over in Hallyu la-la land to cut to the chase and stop forcing us to watch episode after dragged-out episode of the same thing before ever reaching a climax (that usually fizzled and died instead of grabbing us by the throat and shaking us senseless -- the way a good story should).

And yet every once in awhile, when something like this comes along, I wish it was for a little while longer.

One aside.

The guy who played the nosy reporter, who kept accepting leaked information as gospel only to come out looking like a fool?

Dead ringer for Gomez Addams if KBS ever decides to do a re-make of the original Addams Family.

Or maybe a remake of the Pink Panther series as Peter Sellers' Inspector Clouseau

 If you missed Missing Korea, give it a chance and let me know what you think.


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