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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Birth of a Beauty" Episode 17

2014/12/28 | 1917 views | Permalink

Like Icarus, "Birth of a Beauty" has attempted glory by flying very close to the sunny tropes that provide life to other dramas, but also can cause them to melt. And like Icarus, "Birth of a Beauty" has finally gone in too deep. The forces keeping Tae-hee and Geum-ran apart at this point are so contrived as to mostly just be obnoxious. Incredibly, Chae-yeon seems to be the only character not encouraging these two to just ignore each other. Mostly that advice is coming from people who are supposed to be on Tae-hee and Geum-ran's side.

I can appreciate that Geum-ran thinks Tae-hee is in danger. But it's a tad arrogant of her to assume that this is entirely due to her. Geum-ran has apparently forgotten the fact that Tae-hee is involved in his own huge corporate inheritance dispute. For that matter, she's also forgotten that he's rich. The reason Tae-hee got hospitalized was mostly because he stupidly decided to go to the warehouse himself when the man easily has enough cash on hand to bring along bodyguards.

There's also frustratingly little skepticism on Geum-ran's part regarding Min-hyeok's motives. The guy already admitted to having romantic interest in Sara, which ended up getting scuttled when she told him straight out about her relationship. Geum-ran really hasn't thought through how Kang-joon could plausibly threaten Tae-hee. He lacks the resources. But even if he did have the resources, Sara could just hold a press conference exposing her real identity and Kang-joon would be completely finished.

Bizarrely enough it's largely Chae-yeon who's making the drama interesting to watch right now. Chae-yeon making no missteps this time as she slowly closes in on Kang-joon with her own evidence. I note with some satisfaction that Kang-joon apparently thought Chae-yeon was joking about the blackmail. Now he's a character dumb and short-sighted enough that I can see how he'd get caught up in these kinds of goofy little schemes.

But the narrative turn lately has really done a lot of damage to the Tae-ee / Geum-ran relationship. I find myself thinking less that they're going to pull through in the end and more wondering whether their love has always been so shallow that Geum-ran can't just tell Tae-hee the full story. While this flaw has been present in the drama all along, up until now I thought this general inability to properly share information was actually going to get directly discussed at some point. The odds of that happening are looking increasingly dismal.

Review by William Schwartz

"Birth of a Beauty" is directed by Lee Chang-min-I, written by Yoon Yeong-mi and features Joo Sang-wook, Han Ye-seul, Jung Gyu-woon and Wang Ji-hye.


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