Thursday, November 21, 2013

Beautiful Man Episode 1

Jang Geun Suk and his hair are finally back on Korea's small screen for the drama "Beautiful Man" based off a 17 volume Korean manwha. It is about a beautiful man, surprise surprise, named Dokgo Ma Te (Jang Geun Suk). He knows that he is good looking and wants nothing more than to gain money using his appearance. He eventually meets a woman named Hong Yoo Ra (Han Chae Young) who sees his potential and decides to cultivate it and gives him the mission to seduce ten different very successful women. This all seems well and good, only a completely ordinary girl named Kim Bo Tong (IU) has had a crush on him for 10 years and is bound and determined to win his love.

Our opening scene takes place in a high rise apartment and we see a woman who is looking pretty fancy unbuttoning the shirt of a very bored looking Dokgo Ma Te (Jang Geuk Suk). As more buttons become undone she offers to buy Ma Te a car which brings him up short and he puts an end to whatever was going to happen on that couch.

He says that he's hurt that she thinks of him as everyone else does, someone who will do anything for money. Well, if the shoe fits. As he continues his walk out the door, in a final attempt to save her face, she offers to buy him an apartment like the one they are in.

With this offer he pulls a quick about face and turns her knees to jelly with a kiss and leaves with a smile on his face. You are a grade A human being, sir.

On the other side of the spectrum we have Kim Bo Tong (IU) who is making a wall paper of Ma Te's face only to be interrupted by her little bother (Hoon) in a taekwondo uniform and is obviously not impressed with his noona's choice in men. He thinks that men should have muscles like Kim Jong Gook while she is a fan of the skinnier Kim Dong Won. 

Next, they are interrupted by mom who is not pleased that her daughter is working at a samgyupsal place when she could be working at the family BBQ restaurant. Mom is also not pleased that her college graduate daughter isn't doing anything with her life and has no dreams. Bo Tong says this isn't true. She grabs herself a pad of paper and proceeds to write that her life goal is it to be "Ma Te's wife". I didn't know that Oh Ha Ni was cast in another drama. 

Bo Tong leaves the house to go grocery shopping and gets hot and bothered by everything from the butcher's manly fish cutting to the "naked" chickens wating to be bought. She also imagines herself swimming in Ma Te's perfect collar bones. I can't with this girl. 

At the bus stop she reminisces about the first time that she met Ma Te on a bus ten years ago. And may I say, she is not going to be winning any subtlety awards any time soon. 

 At home, in the middle of her fantasizing about the boy on the bus, her mom calls her out to meet some friends, and wouldn't you know it, it's the mystery boy and his mom. Bo Tang immediately begins bowing and scrapping only to find that Ma Te is a vegetarian. He says that to be polite he will eat the meat and he is either a lying liar head or the worst vegetarian on the planet because he puts those ribs away. 

At Ma Te and his mother's home, he asks when he will be able to go see his father. She says it is not time yet, but when it is she will give Ma Te a password to prove he is his father's son. Because that makes a lot of sense. 

Mom goes inside and Ma Te then notices a submarine scope peeking over a wall. He goes to investigate and finds that it is Bo Tong. She has brought him a container of meat to persuade him to the dark side. He very coolly sends her away, but tells her to leave the tub of meat. Classy.

At school, Bo Tong skips class to stare at Ma Te through the window, and she is not alone. Every girl in the classroom, including the teacher (Kim Seul Gi) stare longingly at him as he takes a drink of water. Bo Tong says her new goal in life is to become that bottle or water. She is the embodiment of every fan girl on the planet. 

Snapping back to the present, Ma Te's girlfriend asks what kind of furniture he would like to decorate his new apartment with and suggests that the furniture should be as beautiful as the owner. Oh, barf. Then, with his own mouth, he asks her if he really is pretty. Double barf. She then starts comparing that question to whether or not the earth is round or if kimbap is triangular. My eyes have rolled so far up into my head, I may never find them again. 

She is sad that all she has is money and is afraid that a young beautiful woman will snatch Ma Te away from her. He says not to worry because money is what is beautiful to him. At least you're honest. 

She is very happy to hear this as he pulls her in for a kiss and she gives him the keys to his new car. He walks down to the garage and tells the car that it should be honored to have a owner as fine as him. He then does a few fist pumps and hits the button to unlock his car.

While he is driving he receives a call from another female admirer, but this time it is his mother. She has taken some selca's of herself and wants him to choose the one that looks the prettiest. This should be a happy mother/son conversation, but she seems to have something really important to tell him, but doesn't. She also has a pretty hefty box of pills. I'm going to say cancer, we are in a drama anyways. 

While talking to mom, a woman in a red car pulls up next to him and they meet eyes and there is a spark or recognition. When the light changes, Ma Te tries to chase her down, but she is able to get away and I'm going to assume that this is not the first time that she has escaped him. 

The woman is Hong Yoo Ra (Han Chae Young) "the woman who appears and then disappears the moment I might forget her." Their first meeting was at a coffee shop when he first moved to Seoul. He saw her across the room and "acted natural" and it was anything but. 

She sends a glass of water to his table with a note that says "Drink this and get a hold of yourself." You might want to use that water to sooth the burn you just received.

Back in present times, Ma Te meets up with a friend and asks him why he would want to spend his life working at a host bar pouring drink for the ladies. The friend wonders if Ma Te is really that different from him. Truth. 

Ma Te's mother and Bo Tong go out together and Bo Tong asks if this person she is meeting is a friend. Mom says that it is someone that she wishes were a friend because then she could stay at their side for a long time. 

She meets with a man that is only called President. The two are friendly with each other and the man asks how Ma Te is doing. Could this be daddy dearest? 

 Mom and Bo Tong spend some time together in the garden outside the house and Bo Tong gifts mom with a bouquet or fallen leaves and mom marvels at Bo Tong's beautiful creation. Bo Tong blushes at the compliment and says that Ma Te is the beautiful one. Bo Tong is honest to Ma Te's mom about her feeling for him which I'm sure is no surprise to her. 

Mom asks Bo Tong that if she is ever not around, would she take care of Ma Te for her. Bo Tong agrees happily, but then worries. Is Ma Te's mom going somewhere? Mom replies that she is just speaking hypothetically and that Bo Tong shouldn't worry about anything. Famous last words.

Ma Te has been dragged to a reunion dinner by his girlfriend so that she can show him off. All the friends shoot barbs about him being a gold digger and he is able to deflect all of them without really saying that they are wrong about him. 

At Bo Tong's house, she becomes worried that she will have her mothers body when she gets older so she gets her bother to help her wrap herself in saran wrap. The funny antics are stopped though when mom comes running in saying that Ma Te's mom has been taken to the hospital. 

 Ma Te leaves the party and tells his girlfriend to never invite him to anything like that again. After she leaves he sees Yoo Ra step out of her car. He demands to know who she is and why she keeps appearing before him.

She says she doesn't know what he is talking about, she's just here for the reunion party. They are interrupted when his phone rings, it's his mother's phone but Bo Tong is on the other end. She says his mom is in the hospital with cancer and didn't tell anyone. 

Ma Te runs to his car but is stopped by Yoo Ra, she says that she can smell alcohol on his breath and that she will drive him. She makes me really uncomfortable. I suppose that is the point, but I don't like that she is going to the hospital with him. 

Back at the reunion, the ladies exit the building to find that Ma Te's car is still in the lot. The ask the valet about it and he says that Ma Te left with a woman the ladies realize to be Yoo Ra. They wonder if she is back in the habit of stealing boyfriends, but say that it shouldn't matter because she doesn't have any money after her divorce. 

Ma Te finds his mom and tells her to get treated so that they can go home. He also demands that he be allowed to contact his father and is angry and confused when his mother still refuses to tell him anything. 

The nurse comes in and warns mom about straining herself. Yoo Ra also walks into the room and Ma Te receives a call from his girlfriend. Yoo Ra tells him that he can leave and she will watch over his mom. No! Don't leave! She looks at your mom with a total creeper face! Something's about to go down.

As soon as Ma Te leaves the room, Yoo Ra turns on the scary and says that it took her a very long time to find them since they hid so well. That's not creepy at all. 

Mom begins to panic as Yoo Ra continues to say that Ma Te doesn't seem to know whose son he is. Yoo Ra thinks that it is about time that Ma Te figures everything out. Mom begins to struggle to breath and I'm pretty sure she is going to have a heart attack. What is happening? 

Outside, Ma Te tells his girlfriend not to call him for a while when he hears Bo Tong's voice coming from his mother's room crying for her to wake up. He's too late, she has died. What did you do to her you crazy woman?!

At the funeral room, Bo Tong's mom approaches Ma Te and tells him to change into his funeral clothes. Ma Te doesn't feel worthy to attend his mother's funeral because he wasn't there for her when she was alive. Bo Tong walks over with the funeral picture which turns out to be the photos that Mom sent him the other day to choose which one he liked best. Right in the feels. 

He goes to place the photo in the flowers but can't let it go and falls to the ground and cries.

After the funeral, Ma Te goes to his mother's house and stares at her shoes on the doorstep when Yoo Ra walks in. Go away!!!! He is beyond caring at this point that she seems to know everything about him. He tells her this much as well, but she stops him in his tracks when she mentions "the password".

She knows that he needs it and now he knows that she is the only one that knows what that word is. He asks who she is and all she says is that she is the one that knows the words that he wants to know. 

"Dokgo Ma Te, you're mine."


Wow, I was not expecting this whole mystery angle of the drama. I thought it would just be about this random woman who shapes Ma Te into the man that he could become but didn't know how to do on his own. I like it thought because Han Chae Young is awesome and it would have been too bad if she just stood their prettily and that's it. She is good and standing prettily though. 
Another reason this sudden turn of events caught me unawares is because the beginning was so light and fluffy. IU is adorable and Jang Geun Suk is (I'm sorry) a little ridiculous. I mean, he's a good actor but I just feel the waves of self love flowing from him and it is almost unbearable. I know that it is his character, but I also feel that Jang Geun Suk himself might be a little like this. I can't say things like that though since I don't actually know the guy so I'll just stop there.

I really like IU's character though. It's not like she has a lot of depth at the moment, but she is cute and the design team didn't make her out to be ugly or anything which always kind of irks me. I feel like she is the person that is always told that she is ordinary and nothing special and then actually begins to believe it. I found out that her name even means ordinary. That's like setting someone up to not go anywhere in life. I must say that I do like her clothes though. They are quirky and cute rather than extremely questionable like so many other heroines. 

I think that I am going to like this drama if it continues at the pace that it has set at the moment. We also have two drama staples in the works, one person has died of cancer and our male lead has some birth secret that is even bigger than we first believed. Let the games begin.

~ Alora 


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