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

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Beautiful Gong Shim

미녀 공심이 , Minyeo Gongsimi

Aka -  Pretty Ugly, Beast's Beauty, Dear Fair Lady Kong Shim
Genre -  Romance, Comedy
Cinderella -  Oh, yeah
Writer - Lee Hee myung
Channel -  SBS
Episodes -  20
Released -  2016, May to July


Namgung Min                              Minah                                On Joo wan                           Seo Hyo rim


Love story of a mouse and two overly eligible men. The older sister has everything including a beautiful appearance, and the younger mouse has a warm heart. One of the men rents her rooftop apartment. The other man is from Chaebol. (w/edits)


Because this is about as feel good as it gets, I offered a half-star.

To an Asian Drama newcomer, this would be the stuff of got-me-hooked legend, but for a sixteen-year vet like me, it has the opposite effect.

And, twenty episodes seriously pushed the is-it-necessary boundaries to an annoyance level that ruined it for me.

No one in the writing/editing/producing departments bothered to spare an ounce of discretion here.

Every Trope you can think of is used in this drama.

ALL of them.

Intrigue to include a kidnapping that we figured out a lot quicker than 20 episodes.

A Cinderella plot with that edgy, she's pathetic but still able to make it on her own formulaic twist most writers have figured out and latched onto within the past few years.

The lovely older sister with an ugly personality.

A former beauty queen eomeoni married to a troll because he used to be wealthy, but then bankruptcy threw him a curve ball, so now she hates his guts and treats him like dirt.

A suspect chaebol family, complete with the stuck-up wife of a clueless husband, their martyred Prince Charming son, and a bitchy halmeoni whose only care is her kidnapped grandson.

Another Prince Charming, the one who is more deserving because he's the oldest.

And last but not least, we have three ... count them ... THREE hit n runs.

Brain tumor.

Memory Loss.

Alcohol-induced confessions.

Secrets meant to spare but that only make matters worse.

Tons more.

And on top of all this madness, we are forced to endure the Product Placement inclusion and outright intrusive plugging of at least two consumer goods.

Subway plug

Gotta wonder if Subway sales went through the roof as a result.

I'm not stupid and understand that advertising is a huge part of a studio's revenue.

I get that the constant and sometimes even unlikely product placement throughout a show is what helps pay the bills (if not the actor's salary).

However, this is a first for me ...

Nivea plug

... and just about the most embarrassing thing I've ever seen.

But let's stick to the story.

A mouse lives in abject isolation with a Queen Mother, Princess Sister, and the Dolt Male, so she occupies the rooftop apartment above their house, which is above a 7/11 turned 25-Mart.

She's artistic and brooding, ugly but sweet, and itching to set off on her own by saving up money to go to Italy and study art (even though she's pretty good self-taught but hardly what you would call a Michelangelo or Botticelli).

She's dumb, too.

Her poor parents made it impossible for Gong shim to attend college even though her older sister did and went on to pass the Bar to become an attorney.

Along comes a slob named Ahn Dan tae who is interested in renting the Rooftop because it's so cheap.

He and Gong shim don't hit it off and the episodes start with them as unwanted lessor/lessee who forever bump into one another until their feelings begin to mellow and change.

In between this, we have Prince Charming, who just happens to be the grandson of a prestigious chaebol Industry, where Gong shim lands her latest job as secretary to his father.

No one likes her because she's ugly, and the model-like employees gang up on her at regular intervals to act like middle school idiots.

Ahn Dan tae also happens to get a job there as the secretary to the Chief CEO, halmeoni.

He's already an attorney with his own practice, but because he keeps helping the homeless, desolate, and underachievers of the world, he's pretty much broke and doesn't live the upscale lifestyle his career could afford him.

Now, I'll admit that Namgung min did an impressive job of convincing me that he can pull off a comedy and a romance.

Especially since this is his first male lead role.

And while I found myself laughing most of the time, there remained that underlying suspicion about him as a person, or as a believable actor portraying someone else.

Always at some point I expected this guy to pick up a chainsaw and . . .

Namgung min as Ahn Dan tae

Not sure about anyone else, but I kept seeing his Kwon Jae hee (The Girl who Sees Smells) crop up to creep me out and make me wary.

Love the man's manly voice, though, and he's got a terrific bod even if he is on the short

Still, he makes me nervous so I'll have to dig into his profile and watch his earlier work to see if there is something I can use to counter his current negative, disturbing, and psychopath-ish vibe.

I thought these two did really well as a team and a convincing couple, but as for chemistry, no.

She was too sheepish, childish, frumpy, and unlikeable for me to gain anything by her becoming romantically involved with anyone let alone two potential stud muffins of the wealthy Prince variety.

What was more weird, though, was how different she looked in that stupid wig.

The wig reminded me of the porcelain dolls produced in a by-gone era.

Without the wig, Minah is rather stunning in a young, mod kind of way.

She's also kind of top-heavy, too, eh?

And while I can't say the chemistry was there or that Gong shim needed or deserved a romance, it did serve its purpose for this kind of tale.

Personally, if she had hooked up with the dude working at the 7-11 turned Mart-25, it would have been credible and more worth the watch.

So, that brings me to 2nd Lead Syndrome, which didn't occur for me, either.

Nice guy with the cute smile was okay.

On Joo Wan

Love his Ju on name, btw ;-)

His acting is on par with a lot of other 2nd Lead males, so there's that, and he's nice and tall, too.

Unfortunately for cool-name guy, I thought that Shin Soo ho beat him to the punch in every scene he appeared in.

Ahn Dan tae wins

The connection here is that the writer for Beautiful Gong shim is also the writer for Sensory Couple.

Same quirky attitude, and with a few of the same cast, but if you're going to compare the two, this one is a total miss.

The Soundtrack is unmemorable and not invasive, either.

The Hospital Scene Korean Drama Style

Gong shim ends up needing an appendectomy, and following the surgery, she's able to do a host of things anyone else in the same situation wouldn't want or be able to do unless they enjoy pain and suffering.

lies on stomach where sutures are supposedly at

lies on side where sutures are supposedly at

She also sits up as soon as Dan tae enters the room (hiss), is dressed in elastic-waist pants (ouch), and slips out of bed to don a pair of Crocs (ugh).

She sits up in bed with her legs crossed (I'm dying here), and leans forward a few times (Dang! Am I making my stomach hurt).

She's also able to walk at a normal pace and without the need of a wall or railing or a body to cling to while fighting against the agony that is freaking post-op pain!

Which occurs a lot in Korean Drama hospital scenes.

I guess because it is listed as 'minor' surgery, that means it is so minor that the invasion of ones body by incision and resulting flesh probing that is stitches aren't supposed to affect the human body in any way.

And of course, she's there for a few days after being rushed to the hospital via ambulance, but her parents and sister never phone to find out why she's not coming home nor visit once they learn what happened.

Finally, we have the nurse who mosey's on in at random holding her clip board to touch the IV and then ask Gong shim if she's farted yet.

See, until you fart in an Asian drama, you're not allowed to leave the hospital.

Over here, it's taking a dump, and then expressed/written permission from your attending.

Over there, the surgeon never shows up to check on their patient's progress.


I heard you Fart, Gong shim

wid -- it's gotta mean something, I just don't know what

Dearest Fair Lady


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