Here is another gem for this spring, The Beauty Inside, a modern fairy tale with an identity twist. If you are looking for a charming and lively drama to expunge all your worries like What's Wrong With Secretary Kim, but also one that leaves a lasting impression of a transcendent love like Goblin and You Who Came from the Stars, then this should be the perfect match for you.
Caution: Spoilers ahead so read at your own risk and not mine!
"I only take photos of myself. Taking a group photo is... I can't do it."
Han Se Gye, a prominent Hallyu star, is not only picture-perfect but also an outstanding actress. Yet, beneath all of the glamour, she is struggling through an identity dilemma where she would mysteriously transform into a random person for a week every month, regardless of gender or age.
"Did I become a butterfly in my dream or did I become me in a butterfly's dream?"
This strange occurrence may seem like the perfect basis for comedy at times, however, as the story progresses, we start to discover its darker side. Through its fictional and fantasy set-up, The Beauty Inside fully portrays how fragile, short-lived and ostentatious the notion of fame in the 21st century can be, where it can curdle and go sour at any given moment.
In Se Gye's case, the public admires her beauty and poise, but they're unable to help themselves to trolling and spreading scandals about her, especially exploiting the strange things that she has to do in order to hide her shape-shifting.
"Why do you care if I received plastic surgery or not? You're the one who needs plastic surgery."
Nevertheless, the situation presents the perfect opportunity to prove the importance of inner beauty as Se Gye battling her identity crisis in a society full of piranhas who constantly anticipate for her nemesis, all while saving the day in the most audacious way possible.
"My clothes are like faces to me. Although I can't recognize faces, I can recognize my own clothes."
Seo Do Jae, a man born with a silver spoon, is the director of the top airline in Korea and has an outstanding background. But he comes with a catch, Do Jae has prosopagnosia, the inability to recognize faces, ever since a fatal accident overseas. He lives in isolation, away from even his family whose he can neither recognize nor confide in.
"You must like being sarcastic. Is that how you became a Director?" (Se Gye) "You must like being in extreme situations. Is that why you became an actress?" (Do Jae)
Upon first encounter, this may appear to be the start of a diabolical romance as the two unlikely individuals come together to pretend to date in the name of trying to improve the image of the airline company. For someone who has an extensive history of failures in dating due to their peculiar circumstances, both have to be each other's partner in crime in order to put up the "couple of the century" act. Can Se Gye and Do Jae fake it until they make it? Will the princess be able to stop turning into a man? And will her knight be able to recognize the one he should be saving?
" I don't like bad people." (Eun Ho) "Same goes for me. I don't like good people." (Sa Ra)
Too often, the side couple plays as 'accessories' for the drama but for this instance, it feels like the pair is there to share the spotlight. Eun Ho is a priest in the making who works odd jobs and, because of this, he keeps bumping into Do Jae's ambition-driven sister, Sa Ra. The two strike on an endearing correlation where Sa Ra is continuously confronted by Do Jae's kindness and innocence.
"I hope that doesn't mean you'll take over my position." (Do Jae) "No way. My goal is not to become the top manager, but to get paid the most." (Joo Hwan)
The occasional bromance between Do Jae and his secretary evokes envies. Joo Hwan's absolute loyalty and constant mother-hen nagging might have been Do Jae's one saving grace to live after the accident.
Seo Hyun Jin is mostly known for her previous comedic yet introspective leading roles in Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim and Another Miss Oh. She can be funny, charming and definitely a Hallyu star, a combo that's absolutely vital for the success of this drama.
On the other hand, her co-star Lee Min Ki, previously starred in the slice-of-life Because This is My First Life and the notable box-office hit Spellbound movie, is ideal for a role that requires a calm and collected demeanor as well as a benign and almost adorable personality at times. Together, they exude the perfect chemistry for a powerhouse Hallyu couple but also the sweetness of a first love.
Having Ahn Jae Hyun just makes it all the better with his bubbly attitude and radiant smiles. It certainly feels like we haven't seen our favourite fairy floss prince for ages on the big screens, since the Blood couple's wedding. Similarly, Lee Da Hee also makes a stylish comeback since her last major main leads in I Hear Your Voice and Secret.
Here, we got Private Kim Gi Bum from Descendants of the Sun and the young Yeong Joon from What's Wrong With Secretary Kim making cameos to play Se Gye's shape-shifting roles. What more could we possibly ask for?
Otherwise, add this cute but highly accessorised little fella into the equation and you'll suddenly have even more incentive to see the show.
The line-up for OST is to die for with K.Will's explosive vocal, Davichi's wistful melody, (Red Velvet) Wendy's soothing voice and a slight momentous twist featuring up-and-coming artists like Rothy, Vincent and 2morro.
Enough said. It's time to dig in cause you'll never know if you never try. There is only a week left of airing with subs coming out on Tuesday and Wednesday. Enjoy!