The last episode of "Beautiful Gong Shim" was everything I had expected it to be and a little less. Each story was addressed, however awkwardly and the guy got his girl. The beauty of Dan-tae's weird character carried through to the end even if other elements did not.
Gong Mi's past is revealed, but not in the way one would expect. She takes it upon herself to confess with no catalyst or foreshadowing in previous episodes that this would come about. In fact, her confession is so random that I'm disappointed. I wanted to watch her learn and change; and I didn't want her to get Joon-soo. Their couple status is undecided, but it was obvious that the show was going to try and throw them together. I also wanted to watch her truly apologize to her sister and she never did. This random personality change also affected Joon-soo's uncle who went crazy in his denial of his involvement in the kidnapping and the subsequent crimes he committed to cover it up. Insanity used in this manner is a copout for lack of character development.
Gong Shim finally doffs her wig and adopts a classier sense of dress while Dan-tae (now Joon-pyo) remains his slovenly self after the year long time jump. The infuriating time jump. Dan-tae had absolutely no reason for contacting her and all of his excuses fell short. Why? Because the writers should not have put on in there in the first place. The only saving grace of the time jump was that Gong Shim was generally angry of Dan-tae's pitiful excuses and refused to forgive him. Had she continued that way, the writer's could've made a statement about the poor usage of time jumps in dramas. Instead, they had Gong Shim easily cave. The romance at the end was a bit flavorless because of it. Especially since Dan-tae has already disappeared once with no contact. It's his modus operandi and not a pleasant trait in a significant other or husband.
As for the drama overall, I do love that Gong Shim finds her calling and sticks by it and that her fervent support of herself draws in the support of her parents and those around her (save for her sister.) In the same way, Joon-soo learned to define himself as an individual rather than as part of his family unit. Grandma apologizes for the way she treated Joon-soo for the better part of his life, but the apology seems a bit lacking. She has the grandson she cares about back. Had she truly wanted to be earnest, she would've made the apology without Joon-pyo ever having been found. It was a resolution for resolution's sake.
The mystery was the downfall of the drama. Had it just focused on relationships and buffed out characters like Gong Mi and Joon-soo's uncle, the show would've been stronger. Watching a downtrodden woman build confidence in herself and find her way is always a winning story. It was mirrored with Joon-soo's journey in his oppressive household, and Dan-tae's search of his past. It was set up well, but poorly executed. The parents as oppressive figures dissipated with little instigation. But the romance is where "Beautiful Gong Shim" was strong. Bang Minah and Namgoong Min are such a delightful pair and just as delightful individually. Namgoong stepped away from his polished roles to take on slovenly Dan-tae and Bang Minah stepped away from her idol image with such panache and humor that I can't wait to see her in something else.
"Beautiful Gong Shim" is a breezy watch, but not made of deep stuffs. It's highly inconsistent, but equally entertaining.
Written by: Lisa Espinosa AKA Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'
Journalist, drama lover, and foodie, Lisa enjoys exploring Korea, speaking the language, and soaking in all that dramaland has to offer. Her Korean husband laughs that she knows more than he ever will about dramas and K-pop. Lisa Espinosa can be contacted via email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Beautiful Gong Shim" Episode 20 (final)"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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