I am conflicted about this new drama. While Hwang Jung Eum stars in two of my most favorite dramas, Kill Me Heal Me and Secret Love, I am not feeling it right now with She Was Pretty. Even the addition of the amazing Park Seo Joon, who made a splash in Kill Me Heal Me with her, is just not tiding me over yet. For me, I think it was how her character is written that is not attracting my full attention. In this drama, she stars as Hye-Jin who was a gorgeous little girl that puberty turned the opposite way as an adult. Unfortunately for her, she only has a waitressing job and is ridiculed daily for her looks. With a frumpy appearance of frizzy hair and ruddy cheeks, she is not looked upon favorably and people are surprised that she has a really gorgeous best friend. Now her and her best friends have one of the most loving relationships ever, which may be one reason I keep watching the show. You rarely get to see good girl friendships in dramas, but they really watch out for each other.
Now, when Hye-Jin was younger, she made friends with and developed a crush on a little boy that was the opposite of her. He was not good looking and very rotund. However, they enjoyed each other’s company and liked to do puzzles together. However, that boy, Sung Joon later turns into a handsome young man who is now the editor of a popular fashion magazine after studying abroad. When he arrives in Korea, the first thing he does is try to find Hye-Jin. However, Hye Jin is too embarrassed to see him because of her looks. She had wanted to keep herself as a nice first love memory for him instead of showing him what she looks like now. After some thought, she decides to send her gorgeous best friend in her place and pretend that she grew up pretty. She coaches her friend through the night and tries to end the contact with Sung Joon then. However, luckily one day, Hye Jin finally gets a formal job at a editing company. Although she is only an intern that the employers look down upon and only use for her hardworking attitude, she somehow gets recruited by the special editing department for her great work. While settling down for her first day of work in the other department, she finds out that the new editor-in-chief is Sung-Joon!
So while the premise sounds catchy, I am not so taken with Hye-Jin’s character. I feel really sorry for her and wish she had some more pride. I realize that she has been enduring mean taunts for years for her looks, but I feel like if she puts in some effort in her appearance, it could have made things better. Frizzy hair can be straightened and ruddy cheeks can be covered up with makeup. What I am trying to say is that these are things that can be changed if she wants to look different. However, it seems she is passive about her looks. Now, I find Hwang Jung Eum to be pretty, so I realize that the drama is trying to “uglify” her, but the way they are going about it really doesn’t work for me. I don’t feel connected to the character at all. While I also know that Hwang Jung Eum can be shrill and screamy, that has not deterred me at all from her other amazing work. My ears are bleeding from her screaming in this drama which is even acknowledged by the other characters. So in the end I just don’t know whether to even go to episode 2 yet. I like the other characters and set up….but her character is just not appealing to me in the littlest bit unfortunately. What are your guys’ thoughts? I’ve heard good things about it on other places on the internet and even had expectations, but they have just not been met yet.