First impressions: My ID is Gangnam Beauty

I’m not dead, guys.


Synopsis

A self-conscious college student undergoes plastic surgery to improve her quality of life but discovers that bullies will always find another way to make fun of her appearance. When she meets an old classmate and befriends him, he may help her gain the confidence she needs.

Thoughts

I didn’t expect much going into this, and I’m surprised that I’m almost halfway through. There’s nothing extraordinary about My ID is Gangnam Beauty. The storyline is reminiscent of other rom-coms, and you can quickly identify the character tropes. But overall, it’s still entertaining. 

My biggest “issue” with the show is the romance between the female lead and male leads. While I enjoy the heart-fluttering, cheesy, romantic, whatever-you-want-to-call-it moments, I wish there was a stronger romantic premise.

Do Kyung-seok and Kang Mi-rae are middle school (junior high) classmates who meet again in college. Kyung-seok never paid attention to Mi-rae’s looks back then; she made him smile because he saw her “dancing” at the bus stop. Yeon Woo-young is Kyung-seek and Mi-rae’s TA. He notices her because of her looks.

Mi-rae’s dream is to become a perfumer, which is why she joined the chemistry department. But so far, we have never seen her show or prove her knowledge anywhere. I would have loved to see Mi-rae showcase her skills or expertise in a presentation or project, which ultimately makes the two male leads notice her. But instead of focusing on this, the show shows a bunch of forgettable shenanigans between the characters.

I get that the show focuses a lot on looks and how it’s become suffocating that people judge a person so quickly based on their appearance. And while I’m fine with Mi-rae’s initial mindset, it would’ve been better if the show portrayed Mi-rae as a progressive character that proves skills or hard work shine more than looks.

We get some nosiness in the show, where Mi-rae interferes with Kyung-seok’s personal affairs to–I guess–help him patch things up with his mother. While I didn’t really mind that, it feels very trope-y.

Soo-ah, the “antagonist” of the show so far, is a beautiful girl who gets all the attention. The show focuses a lot on her secret antics to bring Mi-rae down or harass her somehow. But since these two are in the same department, it would’ve been more entertaining to see them debate back and forth in a presentation or when they’re stuck for a group project together.

Overall, the show is cute and youthful. However, while it does tackle some important themes like appearances and bullying, it only scratches the surface so far. Its primary focus is obviously the romance, but the premise behind it is kind of weak.

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