Welcome back to another episode of the ‘Korean Drama Throwback’ series. This series features reviews for dramas that aired 10 years ago. I look forward to sharing some of the great dramas of the past and it’s protagonists with you. Being in love with Korean dramas for well over a decade now, it is time for some official reminiscing. Fasten your seat belts and join me on this journey down Korean drama memory lane. The chosen drama this week is **drum roll please** ‘You’re beautiful’.
Original Release Date: October 7, 2009 to November 26, 2009
- Park Shin-Hye as Go Mi-Nyeo [Gemma]
- Park Shin-Hye as Go Mi-Nam
- Jang Geun-Suk as Hwang Tae-Kyung
- Jung Yong-Hwa (CN Blue) as Kang Shin-Woo
- Lee Hong-Gi (FT Island) as Jeremy
- Uee as Yoo He-Yi
Side Note: The main character’s name Mi-Nam is a wordplay on the drama’s title. The Korean title ‘Mi-nam-i-si-ne-yo’ translates to ‘He’s beautiful/You’re beautiful’.
Let’s dive right in, shall we?
Identical twins Go Mi-Nyeo and Go Mi-Nam are left to live in the care of nuns at an orphanage when they are about 6 years old. With only faint memories of their parents, they hope to one day be reunited with them.
Throughout their childhood and adolescence the twins maintain a close bond with each other. Although the nuns lovingly care for them, Mi-Nyeo and Mi-Nam become victims of teasing by some kids outside of the orphanage for not having parents.
While Mi-Nam decides to leave the orphanage in order to pursue music, Mi-Nyeo stays behind. Not knowing much outside of the orphanage and it’s associated Catholic church, she decides to become a nun-in-training.
From convent to K-Pop
Mi-Nyeo, about to leave for Italy for further studies, receives big news from her brothers manager along with a unique request. Her brother is about to achieve his dream and be accepted into A.N.Jell, a famous K-Pop boy band.
There is just one tiny little problem…Mi-Nam is stuck overseas healing from a cosmetic procedure. He sent his manager to ask, nay, beg his sister to take his place for just a little while.
The manager assures Mi-Nyeo, that all she has to do is present herself as her brother to sign the contract. After some convincing, Mi-Nyeo agrees and accompanies the manager to A.N. Entertainment disguised as her brother.
What should I do?
Not surprisingly, things don’t go as planned.
Hwang Tae-Kyung, the fierce leader and main vocal of A.N.Jell, demands to hear the new potential band member sing. He will not allow him to join the band unless approved by him, and the other band members…but mostly him.
Mi-Nam’s (Mi-Nyeo’s) voice impresses everyone and Tae-Kyung begrudgingly agrees to have him join the band.
However, due to a sudden change of plans by the CEO of A.N.Entertainment, things don’t end there for Mi-Nyeo. He decides that they shouldn’t wait to introduce the new member to the rest of the world.
Regardless of Mi-Nam’s manager’s attempts to the contrary, the CEO schedules a press conference for a short time later.
Mi-Nyeo now has to decide if she is going to fully commit to this scheme until her brother returns, or not. Having learned that Mi-Nam wants to become famous in hopes of somehow reuniting with their parents, Mi-Nyeo agrees.
She will do what it takes to support her brother and his dream. Even if it means pretending to be him and joining A.N.Jell.
The fame of boy band sensation A.N.Jell made its members Hwang Tae-Kyung, Kang Shin-Woo and Jeremy into popular celebrities.
The talented but often moody leader of the band. His fans love him because of his looks and his voice. His band members respect him for his musical abilities and put up with his rather brusque and sarcastic personality.
In addition to his fame as a singer, Tae-Kyung is on the fast track to becoming a sought-after composer as well.
Despite his popularity, he carries with him the loneliness and abandonment he experienced as a child. However, he has managed to hide his painful past. Not in the least by keeping everybody at arms length with his seemingly cold and rude behaviour.
The bass player and seemingly most calm member of the group. Outside of the bands public appearances, he likes to stay back and observe without getting involved.
To Shin-Woo, the addition of a new member proves to be very entertaining. Watching clumsy Mi-Nyeo as she tries to fit in as Mi-Nam at the dorm and in the band, initially causes him much amusement.
However, as time goes on, Shin-Woo’s amusement turns to interest. As a result, he ends up helping Mi-Nyeo instead of just observing.
The band’s drummer. Loved by his fans for his bright and bubbly personality, Jeremy is the glue that holds the band together.
Not affected by Tae-Kyung’s sharp tongue, and considering Shin-Woo an older brother, to him the band is his family. Jeremy feels fiercely protective of his fellow members.
Although he is happy to welcome Mi-Nam (Mi-Nyeo) to this family, this also means he has to give up his spot as the Maknae [youngest] of the group.
Mi-Nam’s (Mi-Nyeo’s) actions cause confusion and make Jeremy suspicious about the new members intentions towards them.
Go Mi-Nyeo is about to wreck havoc on the [formerly] organized dorm life of the A.N.Jell members. Her well meaning but utterly clumsy personality keeps getting her in many awkward situations.
Furthermore, it seems to always be Tae-Kyung at the receiving end of the consequences of Mi-Nyeo’s little stumbling accidents. Something he is not impressed with at all.
Contrary to Tae-Kyung’s initial opinion, Mi-Nyeo proves to him that she has what it takes to be part of the band. Even if her reasoning and approach to life in general may seem pointless to him, she refuses to give up.
Mi-Nyeo faces many struggles trying to hide her real identity and navigating life on her own outside of the protective convent walls.
Nevertheless, she leaves her mark on A.N.Jell and it’s members with her perseverance and her positive attitude.
“You’re beautiful” is one of those Korean dramas that stays with you forever.
Personally it marks the time I was first introduced to Jang Geun-Suk and he quickly became one of my favourite actors. Although the jury is still out on who I fell for more: Jang Geun-Suk or Hwang Tae-Kyung.
Furthermore, I also became a fan of Lee Hong-Gi’s amazing powerful voice that is sure to touch your heart.
“You’re beautiful” caused fans to experience some of the most serious ‘Second-Lead Syndrome’ I ever saw. So beware! 😉
Regardless of which side you’re on, prepare yourself to fall for the adorable Go Mi-Nyeo and become a Park Shin-Hye fan.
With the main characters belonging to a boy band, it should come as no surprise that there is plenty of music to be had. In addition to K-Pop idols, the “You’re beautiful” cast consists of actors that are good enough singers to be idols themselves.
Songs like ‘Without a word’, ‘I will promise you’ and ‘What should I do’ have become a permanent ear worm and I have no regrets.
Now go ahead and watch “You’re beautiful”.
If you’ve already seen it, we would love to hear about your favourite parts.
Thank you for sticking around until the end of this review.
P.S.: I continue to hope for the dramaworld stars to align one of these days and have Park Shin-Hye and Jang Geun-Suk pair up again.
Have a Korean Drama that you would like to feature? Leave us a comment below.
‘Korean Throwback Dramas’:
- Boys Over Flowers
- Brilliant Legacy/Shining Inheritance
- My lovely Sam Soon
- When it’s at night
- Goong/Princess Hours
- City Hall
- My Girl
- Heading to the Ground
- Coffee Prince