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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Miss Korea" Episode 2



"Miss Korea" is slow coming out of the gate. It is clearly in set-up territory. Despite that, it still has potential. The stakes that have been established are ones that are easy to back and the characters are loveable enough.


The heroine, Oh Ji-yeong, carries the show and its potential on her shoulders. She is a strong heroine with insecurities about her appearance that don't seem to fit her rough personality. But she has enough potential to become Miss Korea for Ma Ae-ri to chase after her and for Hyeong-joon to fight his shame and approach her again. This journey will be about her growth as she strives to win. It will also hopefully force the jerky Hyeong-joon to change his nasty attitude towards women. As for Ae-ri, she seems to be constantly looking for something as she churns out "Miss Korea" potentials and "Miss Korea"'s every year. There is an earnestness in her connection with the candidates that suggest loneliness.

By this episode, the events that will bring our main characters together are underway. Everyone is looking for a way to make money and fulfill dreams, and that venue will be through beauty pageants. Rivals have been maneuvered into place: Ae-ri versus Hyeong-joon, and Jae-hee (Go Sung-hee) versus Ji-yeong. There is not much to say about Jae-hee save that she was introduced, which is a failing of the writing.

On the other hand, the older actors stole the episode. Lee Sung-min's Seon-saeng is endearing as a terrible loan shark struggling to make money and failing at every step of the way. His interactions with Lee Mi-sook's Ae-ri are hysterical and perfectly timed for the best comedic outcome. There is such finesse in the work of these senior actors that adds a lot to the show.

This introductory phase, however, was just too long. These first two episodes could've been condensed into one and would have worked perfectly well. The length of the introductions made the episode seem draggy. Let's just get into the meat and potatoes of the show now, shall we?

Written by Raine from Raine's Dichotomy

Follow on Twitter @Raine0211

"Miss Korea" is directed by Kwon Seok-jang, written by Seo Sook-hyang and features Lee Sun-kyun, Lee Yeon-hee, Jo Sang-ki and Lee Mi-sook.


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