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We Need to Walk About ‘She Was Pretty’

Spoilers ahead for She Was Pretty around episodes 10 & 11. Stop now if you haven’t watched it yet. Or keep going and talk to me about it because of all the feelings.

The players:

Kim Hye JinKim Hye Jin (Hwang Jung Eum) – The Most fashion magazine’s highly efficient, yet not so experienced in fashion, assistant. Her first love and childhood crush is Ji Sung Joon, now her boss. After hiding her identity from him because she wasn’t the pretty lovely girl he knew of, things come to a complicated head when the truth comes out. Her feelings for him are there, but her loyalty to her best friend Min Ha Ri (Go Joon Hee) trumps them. For now.


Ji Sung JoonJi Sung Joon (Park Seo Joon) – Deputy Chief Editor of The Most and the boss of Kim Hye Jin and Kim Shin Hyuk. Now that he knows who Hye Jin is, he’s all in for a relationship. The sudden rush of feelings is very real for Sung Joon. He’s been waiting to be with Hye Jin for years after leaving her to go abroad when they were teenagers. Even though he thought Ha Ri was Hye Jin for a while, there was no doubt that he had feelings for Hye Jin even before he knew for sure she was THE Kim Hye Jin.


Kim Shin HyukKim Shin Hyuk (Choi Siwon) – Reporter Shin Hyuk is apparently the son of a chaebol* family, but keeps that hidden in a humorous facade. His wacky charm is infectious and annoying which helps build his friendship with Hye Jin. As he gets to know the web of lies spun by Ha Ri and Hye Jin to keep Sung Joon at bay, his feelings start growing. The once aloof Shin Hyuk is now wondering his place in Hye Jin’s life. And he doesn’t want to be just a friend.


When I watched episode 10, there was a scene when Shin Hyuk was talking to Hye Jin. His normally fun and silly demeanor turned on a dime. This is where Siwon just killed it for me. She Was PrettyHis face was suddenly vulnerable. He was going to tell her how he feels and wasn’t holding back anymore. When we we first introduced to his character, I honestly didn’t think he was going to go the route of being that second lead. You know the one. You’ve seen him in Shining Inheritance and You’re Beautiful, You wanted him to get the lead girl, but no, it wasn’t meant to be. You were crushed. Was Shin Hyuk going to be that guy? Did I want him to be that guy? I thought him and Ha Ri might have had a chance to be a thing. I wouldn’t feel bad for him if that happened. He’s now here and goes as far as saying he will still be there if she wants him to be. (Ugh, I’m here. Call me, Siwon.)

Then we have Hye Jin feeling like she wasn’t good enough. It was if the only person she had to be good for was Ha Ri. I get it. There’s a great and safe comfort in having your best friend by your side. My problem with all that was Hye Jin was still constantly sacrificing herself for people who didn’t appreciate it until she was gone. Shin Hyuk appreciated it, but she too occupied with Sung Joon to notice. When she did get it from Sung Joon, it was too much to handle and she had the mother of all deflections with him.

Now Sung Joon could have wilted away in some episodes, but Park Seo Joon can unexpectedly bring out a character. She Was PrettyHe’s done well here and I expect to see more of it. I just need to know more about Sung Joon. I’m not saying I need a lot. We know he’s educated. He lost his parents. He probably has an eating disorder. He has to save the magazine. He, for all intents and purposes, probably loves Hye Jin. As a leading man, I thought he had it in the bag. I have always liked the idea that you can reunite with your childhood love. I’m a sucker for fated love like that. Especially when it starts off as sweet and innocent as Hye Jin and Sung Joon. Then you have that puzzle piece. The meet-cute with her parents. I thought I was totally for it all.

Then Shin Hyuk happened. Then Ha Ri left.

There’s a very confused love triangle. There’s a best friendship that’s possibly in ruins.

I don’t know what to think anymore. I’m just confused at which male character I want to be the happiest because I want both of them to be happy.

Watch She Was Pretty on VIKI.

Ji Sung Joon or Kim Shin Hyuk or no one?  Comment below or tweet me @cherylfornia!

OhKDRAMA is my new column exploring Korean dramas. Regular posts Tuesday and Friday.

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Sources/caps: Dramawiki VIKI

*chaebol – A family-owned corporation head, like Samsung or Hyundai. Because of the family-owned nature of the business, there’s no direct equivalent in English. The chaebol (sometypes translated “tycoon”) is the founder of the company, so therefore many kdrama male leads are second-generation chaebols. The second-generation chaebol is a common kdrama character because he presents an easy Prince Charming figure – young enough to enjoy the spoils of wealth, but old enough to earn some respect working in the company.  [dramabeans]


California love.