“She Was Pretty” Week Three Thoughts


What an interesting retelling of Cinderella! The OTP have a magical experience in childhood, part and our hero spends the rest of the show trying to find his princess.

But the princess has lost her shoe, thus, is unrecognizable to him and in her place, is her stepsister, strutting in those shoes. But the crazy thing about this adaptation is that her stepsister has the wicked stepmother.

As a fan of Ha Ri’s, I will admit that news of her abominable acts delayed my watch of Episode 6 but I didn’t find it that terrible. I love flawed characters and don’t think it’s realistic to expect anyone to always do the right thing. All I need is to find a character’s actions and motivations relatable and to see growth.

Regardless of the secrets Ha Ri is hiding from Hye Jin, it’s undeniable that she loves her like a sister. Which makes everything difficult. The wound of losing her mother hasn’t healed and in the past, she had indiscriminate sex to dull that pain.

But she’s learning that something else can make her happy and is now looking to Sung Joon to save her. So for now, she’s convincing herself that she’s only borrowing him for a little bit – especially if he’ll be gone in three months – and that it won’t hurt anyone in the long run because who will be the wiser? But as she learned with the huge anvilicious metaphor, this joyous feeling will be fleeting and her heart will soon start to bleed. And no matter how long she ignores the pain (or sneakily gives him missing puzzle pieces), the shoes will never fit because they are not her size.

Oddly enough, while Sung Joon isn’t her match, they are very much alike. He, too, is in pain and thinks the relief lies in his first love.

But strangely, it’s not working. It’s partly his fault because he’s not getting to know the fake Hye Jin as her present self and really just wants to continue the relationship with his first love, expecting everything to feel the same. But it doesn’t, which is why he did not complete the puzzle despite receiving the missing piece. And he’s not going to complete that puzzle till it feels right.

I am glad that they revealed why the rain is such a problem for him. And I think it’s interesting that he and Ha Ri associate rain with their mothers for opposite reasons.

I think the change in his attitude towards Hye Jin was a bit abrupt but I will not complain because they previously gave us very little reason to want them together. And if it means he now does things like smiling stupidly at onions, I’m all for it.

I really hope he takes his doctor’s advice and he stops living in the past and embraces his present. Especially if that means ending this thing with Ha Ri because it’s not fulfilling his needs.

Hence, while I love that his memories draw him to Hye Jin, I kind of want them to stop. I think it’s okay for them to be a reason he takes another look at her but not why he maintains his gaze. So I’ll be happy if we get less of them in the next week or two which is crazy for me to say because I think pre-teen OTP are jjang!

Our weird reporter provided comic relief but we didn’t get much from him this week. And I have to say the same for our Cinderella. Why isn’t she getting as much character development as Ha Ri? While her romance takes center stage, her own personal journey gets little focus. I hope this changes soon.

With that said, I hope they do the revelation of Ha Ri’s betrayal justice. I want to see how Hye Jin reacts to her selfishness and greed.

But while they may not be currently getting a lot of character development, our oppa-dongsaeng team are a fun combo and I loved how Shin Hyuk stood in for Hye Jin and took care of her man. But girl, you can’t keep letting others stand in for you, okay? You need to gain confidence and proudly be who you are.

Last week, I was all about the potential of a Ha Ri and Shin Hyuk love story and couldn’t care less about Sung Joon but this week, I hope Ha Ri doesn’t become evil and matures and learns that deception will never bring her happiness. The solution lies with her family. Her evil stepmother either needs to go or change her personality.

I now want to see Sung Joon fall in love with Hye Jin. The onion was cute as well as sitting on the train to help her sleep safely. These creative, cheesy, romantic moments are what keep me watching Korean dramas. His random jealousy at seeing her with Shin Hyuk made little sense but I’ll let it slide.

I still want Hye Jin to fall for Sung Joon without his strong tie to her past but I suspect it’s just a pipe dream as despite his awful treatment of her, she hasn’t been able to let go.

I also want them to delve more into Shin Hyuk’s life. I thought last week’s revelation would open his world to us but it didn’t. I suspect he uses jokes and weird behavior to mask his pain and can’t wait for his true self to be exposed. I hope I won’t die waiting for this.

They threw in some random storyline about a mysterious writer but are they alluding to it being their crazy boss?

While this show’s execution lacks subtlety, I really enjoyed this week’s episodes and I’m sure it’s largely due to my attraction to broken souls.

What will happen on the business trip? I hope it’s juicy and can’t wait for the selfish co-worker to find out that she’s barking up the wrong tree stalking that English-speaker. And he’d better not be another chaebol.

Till then!


  • Ironsky says:

    Nice recap. I too like flawed characters but I also react strongly to shows I care about hence might have screamed at the top of my lungs when Ha-Ri took that puzzle piece. I mean, in my mind I was like no Ha-Ri, do not cross over to the dark side, that’s a deal breaker for me if it was happening in reality and I was the one in Hye-Jin’s place. Then relaxed a bit because its a drama but I really can’t pity Ha-Ri. I understand her but I can’t pity her. She is an adult making conscious but wrong choices one after the other and her actions are selfish at this point. The writers so far have done a good job to explain her actions to us but sadly, I can’t say that its justifiable in this case.
    As for lack of Hye Jin’s character development, I disagree with you a bit on that. This is my take, Hye-Jin really isn’t a complex character. She is an average looking woman and lacks confidence mostly around Sung Joon but she doesn’t carry a lot of baggage. She grew up in a happy home and went through ups and downs of her life as best she could. Her character is endearing because she is a nurturer and her inherent kindness is her charm. Simplicity is her strength in my opinion. I strangely appreciate it. I don’t think depth of character necessarily stems from a complex background. I like that Hye-Jin is a lot more like the viewers. She struggles with her work, has loans to pay but can call her mom and feel better. She has a sister who is a teenage drama queen and they bicker so much yet I’m sure they don’t hate each other. Hye-Jin maybe over the top but she is more accessible in a way. Also, as much as Hwang Jung-Eum is good with physical comedy, her silent and more subtle emotional scenes are absolutely heartbreaking, its hard to not cheer for her. Ha-Ri on the other hand, her character is hackneyed. Rich kid who lacks love and has an evil step-mother sadly isn’t anything new. So, I am less invested in her. I like her far more than the other second lead characters in other dramas that I’ve seen but I can’t find excuses for her or her actions anymore. She crossed a line and she may never be able to go back now.

  • Rowanmdm says:

    While I also got mad at Ha Ri this week, stealing the puzzle piece wasn’t the point of no return for me. One my favorite aspects of this show has been the strong friendship between Hye Mi and Ha Ri, and strong female friendships are rarely highlighted in kdramas. When they do appear they are either idealized and never suffer any significant bumps or one of the girls turn evil and it completely falls apart. I want Hey Mi and Ha Ri to have a significant, serious conflict and then reconcile. I can think of several examples of guys who did that, but I’m really having a hard time thinking of girls who pulled that off, especially as something other than a final episode last minute redemption. How I feel about Ha Ri at the end of the show will depend on how she takes responsibility and atones for her bad choices.

  • NN says:

    Thanks for the recap! I like your take on this show, especially how you connect it to a re-telling of Cinderella.

  • nonski says:

    thanks for the recaps clock! your analogy on the cinderella story is perfect.

  • Dani says:

    After quite sometime, I finally found a drama that I did not click fast forward when I am watching it. I quite enjoy Hye-Jin’s character and her conversation. I never had the chance to dislike her, she is just charming to my eyes. Therefore when I saw the end of ep. 8 (watched it in raw) I was quite sad. I love her permed hair and her eczema, it gives her somewhat character. She is still pretty with those antics. Plus different outfit too? Here when I started to miss Coffee Prince, when they never really change the tomboy look of our heroine, just a little upgrade, but she still herself. Please let Hye-Jin still wear boyfriend’s jeans and jumper.

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