An "inelegant" young woman who works as an elevator operator at a department store that lays off workers in the worst 1997 financial crisis ever to hit the nation crosses paths with macho Mr. Kim, a cosmetics firm CEO, whose company is on the brink of bankruptcy. With nothing to lose, these two people decide to join together to win the Miss Korea contest.
(Source: MBC) Add Synopsis In Spanish
Where to Watch Miss Korea
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Not since Dalja’s Spring have I felt that characters other than the main couple received as much loving attention as they did in Miss Korea. And, Miss Korea surpasses Dalja’s Spring at that (Miss Korea now has my favorite secondary couple in the history of Kdrama). But Miss Korea has so much more going for it than the characters, even if they are the best feature. Acting, writing, directing, cinematography, costumes, soundtrack, attention to detail and research – Miss Korea excels in all of these areas. Miss Korea might be, nay, IS the first Kdrama that I can say has no flaws. I wouldn’t change a thing – not one thing – not even the ending, and, as all us Kdrama lovers know, endings are usually the pitfall of every Kdrama no matter how good it is. But Miss Korea’s last episode is as perfect as its first and all the episodes in between.
In fact, there is only one problem with Miss Korea (I know I said it has no flaws, but hear me out)…
…NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE WATCHED IT! It is a travesty that this drama has not been more viewed domestically and abroad. Sure it was going up against the juggernaut of You Who Came from the Stars (or whatever translation you want to use), and that is a good drama, a very entertaining drama, but it’s not perfect (although Jun Ji Hyun is). But in the age of Internet and DVR, that’s no excuse! I wish more people in SK had watched this drama because I want more dramas like it, many more!
I want more Kdramas that feel this organic, with real characters going about their real lives and no makjang craziness! I want a rich, full universe that feels lived in with characters I love who have simple and beautiful hopes and dreams and are capable of achieving them using their own minds and effort rather than ridiculous dues ex machina and unrealistic plot twists. I want soundtracks that rock my world and perfectly match every mood and moment of the drama. I want good actors acting great and previously bad actors going above and beyond our wildest expectations. I want empowered women who are business owners and scientists. I want heroines that blow my mind with their personal strength and honesty and courage. I want OTPs that are honest with each other and even when one tries noble idiocy the other calls b.s. and there are no misunderstandings – EVER! I want careful attention to details and good research into plot devices.
I WANT MORE DRAMAS LIKE MISS KOREA! Watch it and you will too!
1. ZERO, let me say again ZERO, nada, nil, bupkiss, makjang. Twenty episodes with plenty of grim but no nonsense. The absence of time skips, noble idiocy, zombie spouses etc was so bizarre for a K Drama that its very sanity almost seemed makjang. It was the primary example of
2. The revolutionary idea that viewers might be intelligent adults, and treating them accordingly. Characters who behaved credibly, and stayed in character. When noble idiocy loomed, it was called out as BS, which it always is. Shite happens and the bad guys DO get away with it, but life can go on and happiness can still be found.
3. The music. Really intelligent and well thought out choices, from the best ever use of Mickey and Barbie Girl to the song that ALWAYS makes me think of Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi behind chicken wire - Stand By Your Man The music was note perfect and the use of so many English language songs really helped this old man feel the nostalgia feels.
4. The acting. Unlike many, I HATE Pasta to the the core of my soul with a loathing that will burn forever. It was the very first K Drama I ever dropped and I still resent it bitterly for wasting 9 hours of my life that felt like 9 weeks. I could rant about everything I dislike about that Drama for nearly as long as I could laud this one to the skies, which is what makes it relevant here. LSK's performance in this Drama showed that he's an actor, and becomes his character. From partway through Episode 2 I did not even think of him as the loathsome tyrant of Pasta once. A great performance as a real human being. I know that it was the same creative team too, which makes the credibility and humanity of the characters all the more remarkable to me. Oh Jung Se was as reliably awesome as ever, adding one more big black mark to the record of those criminals who wasted his talents in MHIYD
This is also the third Drama in a row where I watched an actress for the first time whose previous works had been panned but who delivered in style.Go Ara, Yoona and now Lee Yeon Hee had all been lambasted as pretty faces who can't act, but all three for me delivered solid performances worthy of commendation. I absolutely loved LYH's delivery of the "You're Mine, and I'm mine" lines, perfectly encapsulating the character she so ably brought to life. And of course, very much unlike Yoona, LYH got a good ...
5. Ending. Perhaps the most remarkable feat of this Drama was its conclusion. It took real courage to end the pageant when they did, but then to give a masterclass in how to wind down a Drama was equally remarkable. In her recap of Episode 18, koala talked about the K Drama fixation with the drama lasting until the last couple of minutes then a quick happy ending as the credits roll. Or a handshake and a smile, which in some parallel Universe apparently counts as a "happy ever after" ending. The alternative to this "cry, hurt, pain, anguish, separation - kiss,smile, fade-out" style is normally a soggy, pointless pile of sap that looks and feels like the fan service it almost invariably is. But here, even when the BIG drama was done and dusted, there were enough smaller dramas to make it feel like a real, ongoing story, even while it wound down toward a truly satisfying happy ending.
At times I reveal a tendency to be a bit hyperbolic in my reactions to negative characters. It's a tribute to the brilliance of the 3-4 episode wind down of this Drama that by the end, all that bile was gone, and I was OK with the two villains getting away with it, actually getting off scot free. Because the Drama eased off gradually and showed the OTP being so perfectly perfect for each other while still being believable human beings, I wasn't left ranting "you call THAT a happy ending, why aren't those two snakes being skinned alive and boiled in oil?" Instead I was (quite literally) smiling and clapping with delight at the ways the Drama surprised me.
I am so indebted to the soompi friend for never missing an opportunity to sing this Drama's praises, and completely understand why he referred to it as the new Gold Standard of K Drama writings. It quite unarguably is, and that is itself a real problem. Even though my tally of 60-something Dramas watched means I'm still a beginner, I'd already got used to lowering expectations and looking only for good characterisation and believable OTP chemistry in the Dramas I choose to watch. Now I feel like I've seen a glimpse of K Drama's own Asgard, where the Drama Gods sup on ambrosial shows we never get to see. The end of Episode twenty meant the beanstalk was hacked out from under me, and my brief ascension to the dizzying heights of this medium's potential was terminated, leaving only very happy memories and the sad conviction that "we will not see its like again" . Except, of course, when I watch all over again from the beginning, this time with my wife.