Now that the "Miss Korea" pageant has begun in earnest, "Miss Korea" the show has stepped up its game and has finally become truly interesting. There is juicy character development, complicated schemes of ambitious pageant competitors and a few good old-fashioned cat fights.
Not a moment is wasted once Ji-young is crowned third runner up along with a co-competitor for that co-competitor and her handler to turn cruel. This is the kind of bullying that happens behind-the-scenes that rarely gets aired. Ji-young doesn't stand there and take it, she fights back, but that doesn't mean the cruel words and the fighting don't get to her. It will be a struggle to get through the competition as a poor, motherless woman. Ma Ae-ri was in a similar position when she won "Miss Korea" in the past, and she should be a help, but there is only so much she can do against the secretive bullying.
Even Ma Ae-ri takes part in subterfuge as she steals a dress from her competitor, Yang Choon-ja (Hong Ji-min). The dress is for Jae-hee who has finally begun to show her true competitive spirit. It's taken a while for the show to develop her into something more than a secreted rich girl who is jealous of Ae-ri's preference for Ji-young. Finally we see her as an illegitimate daughter dying to earn her father's respect, struggling to walk her own path, and who has a fierce mind fueled by lofty ambitions.
Hyung-joon, on the other hand, is finally considering someone besides himself and learning to be a better person. The reason he and Ji-young failed in the past was because of his selfishness. He is replacing that with genuine concern. Because of that, this relationship can finally make some progress. Another person making progress with his woman is Seon-saeng, whose good heart is finally getting to Hwa-jeong, and, in turn, is visible to everyone else.
Someone who is making no progress, however, is Lee Yoon, played by the talented Lee Ki-woo who is woefully wasted. Lee Yoon is a one-dimensional character, a man who tries to buy everything in life, including Ji-young's affections. He effectively only does two things each episode: tries to buy Ji-young's love and then pouts when she gives Hyung-joon attention. While jealousy is a wonderful, natural character motivator, it needs to be used in a way that positively affects the plot and enhances the character.
The best part about the "Miss Korea" pageant finally getting underway is that Ji-young and Jae-hee have finally begun their rivalry in earnest. It will push them to new limits and perhaps make them do things they never thought they would do. In any case, it brings much needed life to this show.
Written by Raine from Raine's Dichotomy
Follow on Twitter @Raine0211
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] "Miss Korea" Episode 10"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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