[Revisiting Dramas] Falling for a first drama love all over again in You’re Beautiful
by Guest Beanie
I have a whole long list of dramas that I’ve loved wholeheartedly, and it felt almost impossible to pick one. I decided to go back to one of my first drama loves: You’re Beautiful. It was the drama that sparked my adulation for the cold, steely (but soft on the inside) handsome male lead and cross-dressing hijinks. Admittedly, it was the first drama that made me search Youtube like a maniac for all behind-the-scenes, interviews, and anything I could find on any of the main leads. I dare say Jang Geun-seok’s lead character, Hwang Tae-kyung, was my first K-drama love, with his guyliner and ridiculous hairstyles.
I’ve always had a very soft spot for dramas that are centered around music and bands (think Dream High, Liar and His Lover), because a show focusing on people creating good music just hits the right note for me. I like the camaraderie formed in a band, as the members spend time together and bond through music. Hearing Lee Hong-ki’s voice in the opening credits brought back all sorts of good memories, and when I heard the opening chords of “Promise” in Episode 1, I knew I’d made the right choice.
My first thoughts: Was Park Shin-hye’s voice always so high? My most recent memory of her was in Doctors where she was tough and sassy. Perhaps it’s because dramaland seems to have the trend of the strong capable woman now, but I’m not used to hearing such an innocently high voice any longer. I also wondered how anybody was ever convinced that she was a man with that voice, but it’s dramaland after all.
I guess comedy will always be comedy no matter how many years have passed for me, and I love me some good crossdressing hijinks. There are all sorts of hilarious misunderstandings just waiting to happen in a crossdressing plot. I found myself snorting at some of the funny scenes, especially the one right before Tae-kyung finds out the secret: watching Mi-nam and stylist-noona in a room on a webcam, being all touchy-feely and inappropriate; Tae-kyung spraying his glass of water all over his screen; and those glow-in-the-dark balls. On the other hand—birth secrets, annoying family members, and secretly bitchy national fairies? Meh. Those never interested me, and it seems that nothing much has changed for me in that aspect.
In the past, I loved how I felt this strong bond between Mi-nam and the other characters. I still do. Shin-woo is the typical sweet, quiet and understanding second male lead, and I expected myself to be more drawn to him this time round, but I guess my love for Tae-kyung still outshone all the tender gestures from Shin-woo. And dear, sweet, Jeremy, who was always a piece of sunshine. My heart still tore to pieces for him when he sang the song in the bus for her, his voice cracking with tears.
But more importantly than these unrequited loves, Shin-woo and Jeremy represented friendship and dare I even say, brotherhood, for Mi-nam. Thrown into a whole new world and having to crossdress must have been mind-blowing for her, and I relished those sweet little moments where Shin-woo hyung and Jeremy helped her to get through tough times with towels over her unglamorous sleeping face, treasure buses, and fluffy dogs. This show may be a light-hearted watch, but it leaves my heart full.
These a days, I don’t like male heroes to be like Hwang Tae-kyung anymore. A permanently annoyed face, lopsided smirks and a cold, hard exterior? No thank you—I much prefer the smiley, warm heroes. Give me Joon-hyung from Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju, or Min-hyuk from Strong Woman Do Bong-soon, any day. But even so, I have to admit I found myself falling in love with Tae-kyung again, something I didn’t think was possible.
The way he was so steely on the exterior, but paused to comfort Mi-nam when she was crying her heart out over the news of her mother. The way he helped her over and over again, even though he really didn’t have to. I thought I’d moved on from him, but seeing the big softie he was on the inside melted my heart all over again.
And that fake-punch-kiss scene? Rewatching it reminded me of how ridiculous it was and made me wonder exactly how Hwang Tae-kyung could have pulled off pretending to punch her and then surprising her with a kiss instead, because there was no way that it would ever happen in real life. The rational part of me was silently cringing on the inside. But guess what? The scene made the fangirl part of me squeal and swoon again, and clearly that’s all that matters. Mi-nam wasn’t the only one who saw stars at that moment. Eee!
Perhaps to me, Hwang Tae-kyung will always be the first-love-drama-trope that will never fade. I may forget about him as I move onto other dramas and other male leads, but when he reappears in my life, I drop everything else and fall for him again, with his guyliner and lopsided smirks that promise more heartbreaks. Ahh, first loves. A.N.JELL forever!