"Beautiful Gong Shim"'s excellence rides on the quirkiness of Dan-tae's character, the depth of Namgoong Min's acting, and the refreshing Bang Minah as Gong Shim. The surrounding elements are clunky, but pale in comparison to the main couple.
The show's strength is also its weakness. The main couple is blindingly bright while Dan-tae's backstory, Joon-soo's family issues, the hateful Gong Mi's all around issues, and Gong Shim's Family issues pale in comparison. There is only so far Namgoong Min and Bang Minah can carry the show before its weaknesses make it start to crack. Gong Mi, the hateful older sister who lies with every breath and whose insecurity drives all of her actions, is difficult to empathize with. Each time she's on screen, I wish she wasn't. There is no residual pity for her job loss or her sad love life. Neither the writing of the character or the acting have given viewers anything to relate to. The typical K-drama scripting will have her paired up with Joon-soo by the drama's end, but it would be best if they weren't unless she makes a complete personality 180 and shows genuine remorse for being a spiteful, conniving human being.
As for Dan-tae's newest case that doubles as his backstory, it's overly simplistic, villain included. "Beautiful Gong Shim" is force feeding the viewers facts we already know without layering new interesting details into the texture. It fails to truly show Dan-tae's legal abilities and rather than highlight the sadness of a kidnaping case, it merely highlights the idiocy of those who worked on the case twenty-six years ago and missed the details Dan-tae works out.
Dan-tae, however, is the creme of the show. He's immature and completely socially inept in his strangeness and also in his attempts to become closer to Gong Shim. The character is endearing despite all, especially since he always gets caught. His behavior highlights the fact that he hasn't really had any real relationships of any sort. Gong Shim and Joon-soo are good for him in that they accept him and can probably educate him a bit in the ways of the world. I don't mind his lies because they aren't truly harmful and they're quickly exposed, but I do hope he stops using these methods to get her attention soon. Some is absolutely adorable. Too much means he won't be a good partner. He also resorted to a wrist grab at the end of the episode that I hope means the information he has to tell her is truly important, not just getting something off of his chest. It's really not okay to drag women around after they say "no".
Bang Minah is spot on as Gong Shim, the woman who cares but does not show it well. She takes pleasure in fighting with Dan-tae, which makes her sort of perfect for the childish man. The story should turn back to her and her feelings of smallness in her family and at work. The focus has been on the development of friendship, romance, and Dan-tae's family drama.
Written by: Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'
Journalist, drama lover, and foodie, Lisa enjoys exploring Korea, speaking the language, and soaking in all that dramaland has to offer. Her Korean husband laughs that she knows more than he ever will about dramas and K-pop. Lisa Espinosa can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Beautiful Gong Shim" Episode 6"
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