As you might have picked up from suffering through the various different articles that I have been kindly allowed to contribute to Fandom Wanderers, I have a wide, and varying range of tastes. Now, some of these tastes are much easier to entertain than others, simply due to the availability of media at the time I feel like entertaining them at whatever period of time. As such, I’ve become very fond of when there are official uploads to sites like Youtube of different television shows, as it makes it very easy to experience new media, and gain a wider knowledge of just what is out there to be viewed. (And yes, before you ask, I am against region locking; I feel that, beyond other issues, it is just very frustrating.)
Now, the item in question today is actually a Korean language drama, that was made available to Youtube when it was uploaded by the network that aired it, to one of their channels. People made use of the ability to add captions to a video, and thus I was able to watch the entire show with English subtitles and bring you this review. The show? The 2009 drama You’re Beautiful.
So a basic plot summary? The Sound of Music meets Twelfth Night by way of an idol boy band. Yeah, as you might have guessed, this show is in part a comedy. We follow young hopeful nun to be Go Mi-nyeo, as she has to take her twin brother’s place, and cover for the fact he is away recovering from surgery, as he is due to start a new job as the fourth member of the extremely popular band, A*N. JELL. Go Mi-neyo finds life in the band … odd, to say the least. Lead singer Tae-kyung does not initally get on with her, and seeks to get her removed from the band when he discovers her true identity. However, through complicated matters, this does not happen, and the two grow closer together. Yes, it’s a romance as well. They really do pack a lot in these dramas.
So, apart from the basic cultural differences which tend to mean things being portrayed in a way that seems rather odd to me as a Western viewer, what did I think of the series overall? The word interesting comes to mind. In places, it seems rather like a parody of the idol singer life; something which research tells me really isn’t all that glamorous and can be rather gruelling for those in it. Of course, Korean pop music has become more popular world-wide, particularly after the immensely popular Gangam Style, so it is fun to see something that is – again, from research – making fun of the genre in a very fond manner.
Speaking of which, there are various musical performances in the series; and from my very limited knowledge of Korean pop music, I find the songs performed to be really quite enjoyable. Tae-kyung has the character trait of being a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to his music, being truly dedicated despite being in an area in which it’s usually left up to other people and not the performers themselves.
This does make one question how he has written so many love based songs, since personally the character is very stand offish and has not previously been in a relationship, but we can also assume that he knows what sells with his fans, and is happy to provide it if it means he can continue to make music. In a weird way, his dedication to music reminds me a little of the Phantom of the Opera. Just… with pop, and none of the insane murdering and stalking of a young dancer.
Hm, I’m trying to think what else I can say about this series. Go Mi-nyeo is actually very adorable naïve, in a way that makes complete and utter sense for her character, and the other characters in the show all provide entertainment and the ability to like them – which is a very big plus in my opinion.
Personally, I think I would need to advise that if you really want an opinion on this, it would probably be best to watch an episode or two of the series, and draw your own conclusions. I enjoyed it, but I will say it’s likely not to be to everyone’s tastes. But if you want a light little series, that has a lot of fun? Yeah, this would be a good one to check out.
Z McAspurren (needs her Crunchyroll account to let her have access to more dramas)
You’re Beautiful is available to watch here.