After the popularity of dramas like Boys Over Flowers, high school dramas have been a K-drama staple. Last year, director Kim Sang-Hyub turned the tables with Extraordinary You and used drama cliches to make something fresh and exciting. Now he’s back to sprinkle some magic on another high school webtoon True Beauty!
We’re so happy to report that True Beauty did not disappoint with its webtoon-like style cinematography and directing that even if you haven’t read it, you’d feel like you’re flipping the pages yourself. It still has the usual elements of the typical high school drama… but different.
THE TRUE BEAUTY HERSELF
Moon Ga-Young, after landing her first leading role in Find Me in Your Memory earlier this year, is playing Im Ju-Kyung – a seemingly unattractive girl (because of her pimples and glasses ha!) who becomes beautiful with the help of the transformative powers of make-up. Tired of being constantly rejected, bullied, and being made fun of by her peers, she decides she wants to make herself look beautiful to finally be accepted. However, she discovers that living the double life is not easy and later finds herself in the sticky situation of being found out by high school genius Lee Su-Ho.
The fun is actually in this initial premise because of all the hijinks that ensue – you name it, blackmail, pettiness, and most of the time pulling pigtails. Kidding aside though, what we’re excited about the most is how Ju-Kyung would finally be able to accept and love herself despite her looks. To be honest, with her sweetness and kindness, true beauty has already been inside her all along. She just needs to realize it for herself.
THE LOVE TRIANGLE
It’s no high school drama without the love triangle! This time we have #TeamSuHo and #TeamSeoJun to mix things up! And to add to the drama, they used to be friends before and had a falling out. So now we have the tsundere vs the bad boy – and both with a good heart!
Lee Su-Ho (played by Cha Eun-Woo) is considered a heartthrob at school because of his charmingly good looks as well as his genius. As one of the most handsome, the girl students adore him, and as one of the smartest, the teachers love him! He first meets Ju-Kyung in a rather unfortunate circumstance, but later meets her again at a comic book store where they shared their love for horror comics. Intrigued by their common interests, he becomes closer to her.
Han Seo-Jun (played by Hwang In-Yeop), on the other hand, is the bad boy in town. He’s well-known for his dangerously good looks and attitude, often being associated with gangs. However, he also has his own secret – he’s actually a mama’s boy! As he’s arch enemies with Su-Ho, he takes interest Ju-Kyung when he finds that their bond is getting stronger.
People can look at True Beauty and dismiss the plot as a mere love triangle between teenagers. However, the underlying theme of the show seems the fact that everyone has something beneath the surface. Though Ju-Kyung may not look the most attractive on the outside, she is sweet and caring towards everyone, even people she’s barely met. The same can be said about Su-Ho and Seo-Jun – though they both look tough on the outside, they also have their struggles and vulnerabilities they choose to hide.
So even if it checks all the boxes of a typical high school drama, it gives us that and more. They’ve given us so many heartwarming moments between our characters so far, so we’re excited for what other exciting aspects it can bring into the table. Not to mention, if it’s going to be faithful to the webtoon! Tip when watching episodes 1-4: watch out for the cameos, because they’re the best we’ve seen this year!Watch Episode 1 here!