KDrama Review: My ID is Gangnam Beauty

And so I’m back to the addicting world of KDramas! Well, sort of! I took a very long break from watching Korean dramas because I became really busy. It has been a year since I posted my review of Go Back Couple which happened to be the last KDrama I watched. I used to watch Korean dramas while expressing milk for Zayne. I stopped breastfeeding her, and I got distracted with other forms of entertainment like Netflix and vlogging. I just decided to give KDramas another chance after I experienced a series of medical issues earlier this year. I’m just not sure if My ID is Gangnam Beauty was the right choice for my “comeback” to KDramas.

My ID is Gangnam Beauty is the story of Kang Mi-Rae who was bullied all her life because her face does not fall into the standards of being beautiful. Despite being extremely talented and intelligent, she still grew up very insecure because of the non-stop teasing from the people around her. She hoped this would change by undergoing plastic surgery.

Photo from asianwiki.com

I tried not to have high expectations because of the mixed reviews I heard from friends who watched this. It’s either they hated it or liked it very much. The drama had a very promising start. There were a lot of moments between the parents and their kids that tugged at my heartstrings. But I felt like it went downhill after the first few episodes.

I honestly feel that My ID is Gangnam Beauty has its heart at the right place. I appreciate the fact that it tackles inner beauty and how each person struggles with his/her personal demons. The pacing was initially fine, and I was surprised that most of the secrets got unraveled during the first few episodes. Unfortunately, it got a bit dragging towards the middle. I felt that the conflicts were too stretched. I think I would have felt differently if the drama was just 12 episodes instead of 16.

I actually reached a point that I started contemplating whether I still want to finish it. Good thing that I was quite intrigued with how the story of the antagonist would play out. I know that Cha Eun-Woo is such an eye-candy, but it was really the plight of Soo-A that made me stick to this drama up to the end. Jo Woo-Ri is not only pretty, she also did an amazing job playing Soo-A. Bagay sa kanya ‘yung role! Maganda na nasa loob ang kulo tapos may sapak genern. Haha! Although a part of me thinks that the reason behind her madness was a bit shallow, the other part of me thinks that I might be underestimating the power of human emotions.

Lim Soo-Hyang, the actress who played Kang Mi-Rae, initially didn’t impress me at all. I felt like she was so stiff, and her reactions were very monotonous. But then I realized that maybe her face doesn’t show emotions because of all the plastic surgeries that she went through. Hahaha. I then researched and found out that Mi-Rae was really portrayed as such in the webtoon where it was adapted. So ayun, judgmental lang pala talaga ako kay Mi-Rae. Part naman pala ng role niya na iisa lang ang fez niya kapag masaya, malungkot, kinikilig at natatakot siya. Wahahaha!!!

Other than Soo-A’s fate, the other thing that made me stick to this drama until the end was the revelation of Mi-Rae’s face before she got her plastic surgery. This is why I was so disappointed when the drama ended without even a glimpse of Mi-Rae’s “ugly” face. My office mate said that she also felt the same when she watched it which prompted her to research it. She found out that the producers opted not to show Mi-Rae’s old face so the viewers would not make it as the standard of being unattractive. Again, it only shows that the heart of this drama is really at the right place.

I realized that Mi-Rae might have thought all her life that she was ugly only because people around her made her feel that it’s the truth. Her self-esteem was stripped away even if she’s talented and very smart.

My ID is Gangnam Beauty might be a bit dragging, but I appreciate the fact that this drama talks about the importance of self-worth. I know that it’s already a cliche but you should not expect other people to love you when you don’t even know how to love yourself. This drama also aimed to break misogyny as it showed how this society unfairly treats women as it gives more advantage to those who fit its standard of beauty. So dahil dun, mej napatawad ko ang pagiging slightly boring niya. Hihi.

7 comments :

  1. I'm not sure if my first comment was submitted :( I randomly watched several episodes of this K drama sa KBS yata. Hindi ko makuha masyado un twist ng story but medyo naging malinaw when I read your post. Parang may hawig un story line sa Birth of a Beauty, which I enjoyed. Yun lang parang medyo figurative ang effect ng ending nyan :)

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    1. Actually, medyo predictable 'yung twist nya pero nababawan ako sa root cause ng mga paghihirap ng mga bida. Hehe. Hindi ko pa napapanood ang Birth of a Beauty. Sobrang dami kong namiss!

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  2. Medyo lolabelles na yun Birth of a Beauty hahaha Matagal tagal na din siya, pero feeling ko parang ganun din sa Gangnam Beauty. May element ng shallowness un root cause, pero like all other Korean drama, yung saktong pakilig ang nagdalala hahaha

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  3. Sorry na, judgemental din ako sa part na walang emosyon si ate gurl! hahaha Gwapo din si koya pero nakukulangan talaga ako sa arte nya eh! Hindi ko pa to natatapos kc tama ka dun sa part na parang ang babaw naman kasi nung mga reasons. Nasa ABS na sya now nakatagalog baka iba ung dating kapag tagalog sya hehehe.

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    1. Actually, nakita ko nga 'yung trailer sa ABS tapos may konting kilig. Ewan ko nung pinanood ko naman wala talaga akong na-feel! Wahahaha!

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  4. Well well well, eto na ang mala-review ko na comment XD

    When I learned that it was based on a webtoon, I wonder how the plots would turn out in an hour for 16-episode format. Baka makukulangan ako sa story dahil on-going pa status neto which by the way, Season 2 just started. LOL!! I used to blabber a lot about this K-drama last year but never once watched a single episode! I took a considerable timeout to focus more on music and visual idols of K-pop, my good source of anti-stress. Just nowadays I have a free time to binge watch and thought of looking at the available titles on Netflix.

    Cha Eun Woo and Im Soo Hyang are my fellow Aries born. Wala. Feel ko lang to share that fact. Cha Eun Woo was universally known in K-pop as the "Face Genius" or a person na sobrang natural pogi talaga and a fully-trained idol. I think this kid can sold-out tickets to his own fan meeting because he can showcase all of his talents and that face is as good as an investment. Isa na siya sa mga visual idols ko panlaban sa stress hahaha. Im Soo Hyang was thought at first as a cold person but she likes how she could surprise the people around and to show the real her. She described that her personality is very close to Kang Mi-rae. Well I did my search and I was really surprised about her age. One would suspect that she went under a knife but I saw old pictures of her young self uploaded in the internet, the look is still like her between the old and now whether there were enhancements or not. I think she aged gracefully :D

    In that drama, there were familiar locations and it made me realized that I have walked by to those areas 2 years ago when I went to Seoul for personal vacation. I believe some parts of their shooting locations and scenes were taken from Konkuk University (I think homologous to Hankook University in the story). True enough, Konkuk University is close to Gangnam district which is only separated by Han River. Gangnam has its famous Cheongdam-dong area, nanjan ang mga high earners and also where to buy mga mamahalin stuffs.

    It is a popular belief that beautiful people gets good praise and often grants privilege. As seen in many K-idol groups where visuals as well as talents are keys to a successful career and increasing attention towards the group or to an individual. But sadly, beauty can be abused just like how it was subtly highlighted in episodes 5 to 6. It made an impact to me at some point but the heroes inside that scenes are the contemporary characters like Kwon Yoon-byul, Yoo Eun and Choi Jung-boon.

    For me, the issue underlies to social pressure about beauty standards. Well, I am not pointing against Cha Eun Woo and Im Soo Hyang but it is the society that thinks they are raising the bar for it. To an extent, some Koreans embraced plastic surgery as a long-term solution and they could have used Eun Woo or Soo Hyang as their preference. But as far as I have seen the last time I was in Seoul, we can still expect some Koreans with the likes of Chemistry students of Hankook University, a handful of beautiful, indecisive and brave individuals.

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    1. Yassss! Akala ko hindi ka na mag-comment dito. Hihihi. I totally agree on the last 2 paragraphs, and I think the drama conveyed those messages really well. Tama rin 'yung mga nabasa kong comments na maraming hindi makaka-appreciate sa character ni Kang Mi-Rae lalo kung hindi familiar sa webtoon version.

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