My ID is Gangnam Beauty Review
This was never on my to watch list, as I’ve mentioned on my first impression of it. But it surprised me how a lot of people who watched it really loved the drama. I have heard a lot of good things about it and so I decided to check what all the hype is about. So finally, My ID is Gangnam Beauty Review.
My ID is Gangnam Beauty revolves around a college girl who went through with plastic surgery after having been bullied because of her looks all her life. At he heart of it, this drama really tried to be a representation of a lot of us girls who went through school life feeling not enough – not pretty enough. Therefore, feeling as if beauty is the only way to be like those girls we perceive as happy and appear to have it all.
The plot and the overall message of the drama was great and it was fun to witness our couple’s journey to falling in love. Though there were some rough patches here and there, especially with the range of acting the main leads have, the characters worked well for them in the end and they managed to deliver its message clearly.
That message and premise really resonated with me and had I seen something like this when I was still at school, I would totally be a lot more invested. AS such, the drama as a whole was light and breezy. It managed to address those sensitive topics (especially the prejudice about plastic surgery and physical appearance) in a sensitive manner. The main leads were lovable and as I’m a sucker for school scenes and this brings back old school feelings (which again reminded me of Go Back Couple). It was sweet how our main lead – Do Kyung Seok (played by Astro’s Cha Eun Woo) really came across as genuine with his feelings for Kang Mi Rae. Which intensified more despite him knowing how she looked before. That was really sweet.
They all felt familiar and people you are able to relate to, like looking back at your own school/college days. However, as sweet as I found Do Kyung Seok’s feelings towards Mi Rae, I couldn’t help but feel (especially in the beginning) that it was a bit contrived than I would’ve liked.
Here we have the most popular and good looking guy at school who supposedly liked you so much. I guess it’s a sugarcoated fantasy we all had back then of our unreachable crush liking us back. Though I have to mention that Kang Mi Rae said she didn’t like him since that perfume and laughing accident – which was all obviously a misunderstanding.
I found that bit quite idealistic and may harbor false hopes to younger people.
Cha Eun Woo as Do Kyung Seok was pretty perfect for his role as a tsundere character (if you didn’t know, tsundere is a type of guy who comes across as cold but actually cares for our female lead). He was pretty good at it but I have to say that the acting by the two felt quite limited. There were times when the camera would pan closer to Kyung Seok’s face and I feel like I should know what it is exactly he’s feeling/thinking about at that certain moment but I find I’m not exactly sure what it is.
Lim Soo Hyang was also perfect as Kang Mi Rae. I can’t imagine anyone else playing this character. If you didn’t know, she is 29 years old in real life and to have played a 19 year old? character was pretty impressive. She actually pulled it off really well and her acting really came across as that of a timid college student. You can tell she’s focused on delivering her lines a certain way. I liked her overall performance but there were a few times here and there I wished I’d seen more in terms of her expressions.
And ofcourse, the romance. That push and pull a lot of us at that age must have felt was palpable, making things more exhilarating and fresh. I really enjoyed the college setting especially with the array of characters we had. I just feel a bit disappointed that they didn’t manage to maintain this towards the end of the drama and focused more on the main leads. I found myself missing them being in the campus and around the other students.
I also appreciate the side stories of the students and Kyung Seok’s family. I liked how it was dealt with realistically and it made me love the characters more.
Overall, it is a pretty solid drama, a lighthearted one that somehow managed to raise and tackle quite sensitive societal issues. This is definitely something they nailed at.
I’m happy that I’ve seen for myself what the hype is all about and from what I can takeaway from this show, it’s that comforting feeling of having someone by your side and understand you. It wasn’t perfect and there were times that it did lose my attention (which is probably more down to me being in a drama rut) but I’m satisfied I checked it out. Out of everything though, that resolution at the end really stole the limelight from anything in it for me. That’s got to be my highlight. It told about confronting your problems and questioning whether the people you think have it all really feels that inside them.
Would I recommend this? Yes – it’s definitely got a unique take to things and there were more than a couple of genuinely heartwarming moments in it. It was a lot more heartfelt than how it came across at first and you might even be surprised at the central theme the story managed to impart in the drama.
And yes, it really deserves the love and attention it got.
My ID is Gangnam Beauty Review
*Spoilers ahead 😊😊😊*
Things I liked and want to remember liking
Mi Rae and Hyun Jin’s friendship
One word – everyone needs a friend like her. Her importance in Mi Rae’s life wasn’t highlight enough in my opinion. If you think about it, what a relief for Mi Rae to have someone to speak or play with when everyone else seem to not care about you. Just one person is enough.
Kwak Dong Yeon
I wasn’t sure about him at first as I’m not fond of love triangles too much (I just want the main leads to spend time as a couple together much more than give that screen time to a third party.) But he really caught my attention with how convincing he was as a senior and how mature he was to understand Mi Rae’s feelings. I loved his relationship with Do Kyung Seok too. Wishing they get to live together for a long time – I think they’re the perfect roommates. 😂
She really reminded me of how things were before. When leaders actually took their job to heart and cared for the welfare of others. She was the perfect representation of this and the actress who played her was the best choice for the role. She really owned it and I was just happy whenever she came on screen. She really felt like a reliable big sister who you’d feel safe just from knowing she’s around.
I loved her relationship with her parents especially her dad. He was really sweet and poor him who was really shocked about finding out his daughter decided to have plastic surgery. I really loved the couple’s relationship with each other too. So laid back but really believable. That’s such a sweet dad right there you just want to give him a hug.. 😭
Kyung Seok’s mum
I think one of the most nicely develop subplots in the drama. I love the slow but smooth transition of reintroducing herself to her children’s lives. And also how cool she was. She knew just when to not push the buttons and give her kids the space they needed. She knew her place and knew when to back off. I just loved how in those limitations, she managed to show just how she really cared for them.
50/50 (I disliked but I came to kinda like later on…)
I really hated her in the beginning and who wouldn’t get annoyed at that sickly sweet smile? It was evident from the beginning how manipulative she was and how she pretends like she’s innocent. I am actually satisfied with how much time we spent with her, I initially thought we’d get her being more intrusive and just illogically somehow ruining the main character’s life. But it wasn’t like that at all. For sure she was pretty obvious with her manipulative schemes but I think it all came down to Mi Rae and the other student’s reactions to her. I’m happy that Mi Rae was clever and confident enough to know when to finally stand up for herself. And how the writers didn’t make us stupid by also having the other students notice her behaviour.
- Chan Woo
This guy was just purely annoying from start to end. I wished they didn’t bring his character back after that mop incident.
- Seniors towards women
I knew they stood up for themselves but I feel like they could’ve done better. In this day and age, they really felt like it was okay to make rudde comments like that to others. I would’ve put my foot down the moment they said something like that.
My ID is Gangnam Beauty Review – Scene Stealer
This drama revolved around what the idea of beauty to each person is and as perceived in society. We think that those pretty and popular people seem to have it all but this drama tapped onto that, making u s question if this is really the case. In ep 15, we learned more about how Sua came to become the person she is now. We’ve always seen her prim and proper, always saying words to please other people. Behind this carefully calculated moves – we see a totally opposite when she’s alone.
I really appreciated how this drama attempted to break down stereotypes from both sides of the story – the one who seems to have it all because of her beauty, and the one left behind because of the lack of it. At the end of the day, it seems we’re all not that different to each other. Words carry more meaning and hurt than what you’d think and it’s this unreachable and unrealistic expectations we’ve set for ourselves that are basically tearing us down.
We were told we have to be more of that but not too much. I really, really liked this message below that was said by Sua herself.
For me the highlight of the show was when Mi Rae confronted Sua. She was a representation of most of us. And what she said was so heartfelt it felt like she was talking to us instead of Sua.
Fine. I am not pretty, so I had plastic surgery. I was unhappy because I was ugly, like you said. What about you? Are you happy? Why does it have to be this way? Why do we have to be like this? We are on a diet even though there’s no weight to lose. We throw up and have surgeries… as if we’d die if we didn’t get pretty. We judge faces… and fight with each other. Why do we have to do that? I… really don’t want to. I don’t want to do that any more. I… from now on I will concentrate in what makes me really happy. That’s what I’m gonna do.
My Id is Gangnam Beauty Review – OST
The OST for this certainly had a big influence on the drama’s mood. I really found myself liking it and it’s this song that gives it a laid-back mood.
One of my fave osts from this drama too.
OVERALL- My Id is Gangnam Beauty Review
I liked this series overall and though I didn’t get as hooked to it as I expected, I will really remember the warm feelings it made me feel and that last episode will stay with me. I loved that confrontation between Sua and Mi Rae. I was also hoping that somehow, miraculously, they’d end up meeting again and being friends even just distantly. I don’t know but I was strangely rooting for them too more than I did for Kyung Seok and MI rae. hehe. Must be because there was more dilemma between the two than our main leads.
Everything was really simple and straightforward which I really liked and appreciate. I think it’s such a nice feat to achieve considering that they tackled some pretty sensitive social subjects. Our leads characters were also simple and aren’t very complex which honestly worked well for this drama.
One more thing I appreciate though is the BTS pictures after each episodes and seeing the actors with the director. He seemed like such a kind father figure and it’s then that I’m reminded of the variety of people that worked in this behind the scenes. For them to be able to deliver a drama like My ID is Gangnam Beauty and capture those small but poignant feelings in it makes this drama have a special place in my heart.
The story of how Mi Rae finally felt accepted and able to do the things other more ‘attractive’ people can do highlights how wanting beauty is more than just because of the physical aspect. It is because achieving that means achieving other things too – fame, acceptance and the freedom to be who you want to be without the restrictions placed on not being beautiful,
Overall, nothing too complex or even a new plot but they executed it well out of the box. Though I did feel that ofcourse, someone like Do Kyung Seok would never really look at someone so plain in real life compared to him, I still appreciated what this drama wanted to say. And there were definitely a lot of material there that could potentially set it up for season two (Kyung Seok’s mum and dad, Life after college and a follow up between Woo Young and Oh Hyun Jung’s ‘something’ 😉)
I’m glad I gave My ID is Gangnam Beauty a try – another check for that resolution of trying something I wouldn’t try at first!