Well, that was… something. It took me 20 min to take interest and from there it was touch and go. For most of the first episode I didn’t plan on watching the second… but that ending!! Comedy gold, that. The second episode was better, but I don’t know if I’ll keep watching or just follow recaps. That’s not to say it didn’t have good moments–it did, great ones–but overall the execution lacked just a bit too much.
SBS Beautiful Gong-Shim poster from: soompi
What I liked:
- The sisters.While Gong-shim might not like her noona so much, I like that we as viewers do. She has a sucky boss (I hate let me repeat hate the objectification of a human–any human any age, shape sex or size) but needs money to support her entire family. By the same token Gong-shim has to deal with the idea that she isn’t enough and isn’t wanted.
- The name. DEAR HEAVENS the drama’s name. It hit me after watching Gong-shim deal with a nasty customer at work (a bit overdone, imo, but nasties do exist). Beautiful Gong-shim. Beautiful Gong-shim. She’s gotta feel pretty worthless, unable to contribute anything monetarily–reminded of that fact often–losing her hair (I have a friend with the same, it’s hard), and now this. Everyone needs to be reminded they are beautiful, and I hope the drama capitalizes on that.
- Nam Goong Min. I didn’t watch the drama Remember, but I followed recaps and watched discussions closely enough. The short version: Nam Goong Min killed it as a villain. So much so that netizens worried about seeing him as a romantic hero–I worried about it! But he does such a good job here, I’m really impressed.
What I didn’t like:
- The production value. It’s bit obvious, coming off a mite too ‘Disney channel’ for my tastes. I like me the crazy shenanigans, don’t get me wrong–I just also prefer my punches to not come directly at the camera in slow-motion (a la the first episode’s fight).
- Gong-shim’s attitude. At times. I know she’s had a hard life and all, but at times she comes off really whiny. That might be harsh with her low self-esteem… but if you’re unhappy with not just one experience but your whole life you need to work and fix it, not fight and whine about it! Not rebelliously or angrily, but kindly and so reasonably nobody can say anything back to you. At the same time, a genuine, down-n-dirty-I’m-standing-up-for-myself heroine is hard to find in drama land, so I can’t complain too much on how she goes about it.
- The writing. More than once in the two episodes I felt they used the lines to spoon feed the audience information. “You, my best friend for twenty years etc. etc.” “That’s right, we’re only a little related–I’m his grandfather’s blankedy-whatever relation”. It could just be translation error, but it still feels a little obvious.
To conclude, it was quirky, light and fairly well done… without the wow. In a drier spell, I’d definitely give it another episode (or two) but we’re pretty flooded with good dramas at the moment. Oh Hae-Young has gotten rave reviews, Mirror of the Witch is off to a good start, Dear My Friends is batter up on the list, and I’m still following Entertainer. If this one does fall through the cracks, should I pick it up later?
Official SBS Beautiful Gong Shim poster from: Soompi