The good stuff of "Miss Korea" is in the little moments. Problem is, there aren't enough of those little moments to make the time invested watching worthwhile. The plot currently has zero intrigue and can't seem to find it's footing.
This show is about making a "Miss Korea" and while learning about how ruthless the competition is and the situations behind each person's drive to win is slightly interesting, it lacks the ability to grip this viewer's interest. With everyone in the show feeling that they have something to prove, the characters and the plot should feel more urgently pushed forward, but they linger and almost flounder in the director's need to prolong everything. Arguments last a touch too long; cameras sit on single facial features a beat too many. The timing is so slightly off in the direction that it negates the excellent line delivery.
The other thing that is difficult to stomach is that the main men in this story are all jerks whose redeeming requalities don't really redeem them. Sure, Hyung-joon used to be a good guy as all the flashbacks tell us, but he is currently very selfish and unbearable. He will, no doubt, change into someone that Ji-yeong can stomach being around, but until then, I have to suffer through him (despite the fact that I adore Lee Seon-kyeon as an actor.) Park Ki-woo's Lee Yoon is no better. Only Jung Seon-saeng has the redeeming quality of currently being a total jerk and still doing a few nice things every once and while, especially where is comes to Hwa-jeong.
The flashbacks do have the power of making me wonder how the relationship changed so drastically, but it isn't enough. "Miss Korea" needs to step up its "winsome" factor.
Strengths, however few, still manage to make me interested enough to want to know what happens next. Lee Yeon-hee is particularly strong as Oh Ji-yeong and it is her acting that has me invested. Her connection with Song Seon-mi is heartwarming and is one that should be further developed. It's one of the strongest connections on the show besides the ones Ji-yeong has with her unusual family of all men.
Mostly this show is just slow. It needs to kick up the pace in order to shake up some interest. That, or, it needs to have some heavier character development to fill in the gaps.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Miss Korea" Episode 4"
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