Hey chingus! Welcome to the very first edition of Tanya (of HallyuKnow?) and Zombie’s (of ZombieMamma) drama reviews. We’re very excited to be working together to bring you a weekly review of the latest episodes of KBS2’s newest drama, Pretty Man. The next eight weeks should be fun so let’s get to it, shall we?
So I have to say, the first two episodes of Pretty Man were nothing like I’d imagined them to be. I guess I was expecting a more typical beginning to a drama, with lots of backstory and character development (which was there to some degree) but in reality, what I got was a whole lot of drama and a bunch of crazy characters shoved in my face all at once. It’s been quite a lot to take in, really and I’m hoping that things will kind of settle down as the story progresses so I don’t spend the next eight weeks trying to push so many levels of crazy out of my face. *Fingers crossed!*
I should have known that a drama entitled “Pretty Man” which starred Jang Geun Suk would mean he’d be playing the worlds most conceited and selfish flower boy. It such a stereotypical role for him (and not one that’s at all farfetched from his “Prince of Asia” persona) which means he fits it perfectly but I’m a little disappointed in just how shallow Ma Te is. I was hoping for some depth in his character but two episodes in he’s solidified his position as Korea’s most shameless gigolo. He gets by on nothing but his looks which he uses (quite effectively) to sham whatever he wants from lonely, wealthy, older women. It makes sense Ma Te is supposed to use his looks to seduce ten different women in order to learn their secrets and therefore find the answer to his own but it doesn’t do much to endear him to me as the audience. I find him shallow and lacking in pretty much every way which is going to make it hard for me to cheer for him, unless, of course, he starts to see the error of his way and become a more decent person as the show progresses.
Unfortunately, Kim Bo Tang isn’t much better as the female lead. After two episodes she’s solidified herself as the silliest, nonsensical girl in the world who lacks a dream or ambition in life, other than being Ma Te’s wife, of course. How am I supposed to cheer for a girl who gives women everywhere a bad name? This girl has done nothing in her life but swoon over a guy who wants nothing to do with her. She has no job (well, nothing beyond part-time/temp jobs), no friends, no dream, which makes me wonder how she can live with herself. Doesn’t everyone need a dream of some sort in life? (And I mean one far greater than becoming a gigolo’s wife…)
And then we have a whole slew of crazy supporting characters…Bo Tang’s mother, the mysterious and fairly sinister Hong Yu Ra, Bo Tang’s brother, Ma Te’s first target and sugar mama, the priestess, Ma Te’s mysterious father…the list goes on and on. But that’s not all, we also have a warehouse full of socks, a multi-legged peacock tail for Bo Tang that I’m sure was meant to be funny but just came off a slightly creepy, and Ma Te’s mysterious secret code which he needs so desperately he’s willing to ally himself with a woman who’s been following him around for years. Humm…not sure he really thought that one through very well…
Honestly, the only part about this show that’s keeping me watching is the cast itself. I liked Jang Geun Suk in You’re Beautiful, I liked IU in You’re the Best Lee Soon Shin, I liked Han Chae Young in Delightful Girl Choon Hyang, and I liked Kim Ye Won in Who Are You (and yes, I’m happy to see her reprising her role as a priestess because she’s just too good at it). All of these dramas prove that these actors are capable of creating characters I love so I’m hoping the same will hold true in Pretty Man. I want to like this show, I really do, but two episodes in, I’m not convinced I will. Here’s hoping the next two episodes give us a little less crazy and a whole lot more character development. Once again…fingers crossed!