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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Miss Korea" Episode 15

2014/02/16 | Permalink

"Miss Korea"'s characters suffer huge fallout as their financial difficulties finally catch up to them. It happens in tandem with the "Miss Korea" competition, which is a great move in terms of tension buildup. "Miss Korea" seems to finally have a grasp on how to create tension and effectively act on it. Yes, there are still some overly indulgent scenes, but overall, this was the most engaging episode of the show's run.

It is a bit sad to say, but I'm glad to see that the repercussions for Hyung-joon's bad choices and his company's bad choices are heavy this episode. While they are heartbreaking, the consequences seem appropriate. "Miss Korea" has been holding off on real consequences for the better part of the show, making it rather plodding and unrealistic. What makes the current turn of events baffling is Yoon's role in it all. He's such a waste of a character save to make life difficult hard for Hyung-joon. His primary motivator still hasn't earnestly been revealed and makes his character difficult to like and impossible to empathize with.

The show is still making a habit of using long, transitional scenes to pass time. They are supposed to create a mood, but instead, they wear me down and bring me out of the revelry of the moment. Then, because "Miss Korea" spent so much time building up the pageant through these scenes, it ignores the tension of the pageant itself, which would've been a perfect compliment to Hyung-joon's company's troubles. To watch Ji-young and Hyung-joon travel parallel paths would've strengthened the drama. But Ji-young's struggles were lessened by strange editing.

Jae-hee's story has also been sadly mangled. She has a very intriguing issue: she's been neglected by her politician father because she is an illegitimate child. She wants recognition as his daughter. Ma Ae-ri is willing to help her do that. But the show rarely focuses on the storyline and usually only in conversations with Ma Ae-ri, rarely on Jae-hee herself or on her inner turmoil. It's just enough focus to keep her story in the periphery, but not enough to make it truly important; not as it should be.

It's also strange that the competitive spirit between the women in the competition has taken a backseat when there was enough time to show it in small moments. There is a lot of time wasted in this show that has to do with editing. The camera focuses on facial expressions for thirty seconds at a time, and that time could be used to run important dialogue, or focus on another character for just enough time to impart how that character feels or what that character intends to do.

I suppose this show does have five more episodes to pick up the slack. There was that hint that Ji-young may be too old to be in the competition and the issues with Hyung-joon's company must be dealt with. There are Ma Ae-ri's and Jae Heel's backstories to contend with. The question is: will this show address all of these issues adequately before its end?

Written by Raine from Raine's Dichotomy

Follow on Twitter @Raine0211

"Miss Korea" is directed by Kwon Seok-jang, written by Seo Sook-hyang and features Lee Sun-kyun, Lee Yeon-hee, Jo Sang-ki and Lee Mi-sook.


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