With all of the posts Hallyu Tanya and I have done this week to commemorate the end of Pretty Man, it only makes sense that this week’s drama would be none other.
For those of you who don’t know, Pretty Man is the story of an egotistical playboy, Dok Go Ma Te (Jang Geun Suk), who upon the death of his mother, learns that he’s actually connected to MG Group, one of the wealthiest conglomerates in South Korea. On a quest to prove his relation to MG Group, Ma Te meets the mysterious and vengeful, Hong Yu Ra (Han Chae Young), who promises to help Ma Te claim is place provided he can conquer ten women, who each have a lesson for him to learn. Desperate to find the truth about his past, Ma Te accepts Yu Ra’s challenge and starts down a path that will change his life forever.
While the premise of Pretty Man is fairly ridiculous, the show itself isn’t that bad, provided you can overlook the absolute insanity of the first few episodes. Kim Bo Tong (IU) is probably one of the most unusual leading ladies I’ve come across in all my trips through Drama Land and I don’t necessarily mean that in a good way. Her seemingly useless and highly Ma Te obsessed character makes her come across as ditzy and pathetic at first but as the show progresses, her character matures enough that by the end, you find that you’ve come to love her.
As crazy as Bo Tong is, her mom and brother, Dae Shik (Hoon), are some of the best characters of the entire drama. They may be a little rough around the edges but their genuine love for each other makes them absolutely adorable. You can always count on Bo Tong’s family to appear at just the right moment and to give Bo Tong the perspective and encouragement she needs to get through whatever hardship she’s dealing with at the moment.
Filling the shoes of overly sweet second lead is Choi David (Lee Jang Woo) and fill them, he does. You couldn’t ask for a more perfectly adorable second lead and while his unwavering devotion to Bo Tong is admirable, it comes as no surprise to anyone other than himself when Bo Tong chooses Ma Te over David.
And then there are the women… The ten women Ma Te must conquer in order to find the secret pass-code which is the key to his happiness. These ten women are as varied as they come, from an electric fairy, to a prosecutor, to a super-star, to a conglomerate chairwoman, each of them have a lesson to teach Ma Te and learn them he does (and there was much rejoicing).
As hard as it was for me to get into Pretty Man, I have to admit, it did grow on me. What started off as ridiculous, morphed into something a bit better and though the ending seemed to be a half-hearted attempt to tie up loose ends before giving everyone their happily ever after, Pretty Man was, over-all, an entertaining fluff of a rom-com made me smile but didn’t flutter my heart. If you’re a fan of Jang Geun Suk, IU or Hoon, you’ll probably get a kick out of Pretty Man but if you’re looking for a drama with depth and substance, I’d suggest you look elsewhere. Pretty Man is a light-hearted romantic comedy (which is actually funny, a novel idea, I know) full of the absurdities you can only find in a K-Drama, which I suppose, is part of its charm.
If you’re looking for something to brighten up this drab winter weekend, I suggest giving Pretty Man a try. If anything, it’s good for a laugh and if Hoon’s adorable character and Jang Geun Suk’s facial expressions aren’t enough to make you crack a smile, the fact that Ma Te’s hair changes with each woman he sets out to conquer, might. (Which, if you feel so inclined, you can read all about on Hallyu Zombie’s tribute to Ma Te’s hair. Enjoy!)
If you’ve already seen Pretty Man, or once you’ve finished, I’d love to know what you thoughts on it so be sure to share them in the comments below!