Welcome, everyone, to another edition of Drama Talk, your weekly roundtable discussion of dramas which are now airing. I’m your host, So Myung Woo.
As you know, we are not your regular talk show. Rather, we discuss specific drama episodes in depth and we invite the actors themselves into the studio to give their take on particular scenes. Tonight we are delighted to…
(audience starts screaming)
Wow, can you believe the commotion? Calm down, everyone!
With us in the studio tonight are the four young stars of the mania drama, You’re Beautiful. Please welcome Jang Geun Suk-ssi, Park Shin Hye-ssi, Jung Yong Hwa-ssi and Lee Hong Ki-ssi!
Thank you for stealing time from your busy filming schedules to be with us. I heard you are sleeping only 1-2 hours a day? But the four of you look so alert! How do you manage to look none the worse for wear, Jang Geun Suk-ssi?
(JGS is about to speak but PSH beats him to it)
Oppa has been eating so much lime, that’s why. It’s so sour it zaps every cell in him awake!
(peals of laughter from the rest; JGS makes a face at PSH)
Ah, I see. I must ask my wife to buy lots of lime then. Okay, the episode we are discussing tonight aired just three days ago and spawned an instant flood of online comments. Yes, we are talking about Episode 10.
Many netizens, and they come from all over the world, said it was the best episode yet. In fact, I heard that the most popular kdrama blog outside of Korea crashed when it posted recaps of Episode 10. It was getting thousands of hits within seconds. It’s an English blog. Do you know about it?
(the four look at each other and shake their heads; JYH speaks)
You could ask Jung Chan sunbae. His character, President Ahn, has been practising his English a lot so perhaps he knows about that site? In Kwon sunbae, Manager Ma, might know as well since his English is not bad. Do you remember him saying, “Mistake, mistake” in this episode? They had five NGs because Soo Eun unni, the coordinator, could not stop giggling. I heard they ate a lot because it was a cafe setting.
I see. Looks like there’s lots of laughter on the set. Of course many viewers love You’re Beautiful precisely because of its clever use of humor. But this episode was tense and highly emotional, wasn’t it? The tension starts right from the opening scene with Yoo He-yi confronting Go Mi-nam. It’s surprising that she yells so loudly, asking Mi-nam which of the three A.N.JELL guys she likes, and yet the guys do not hear her words?
We were actually across the hall, at the other end. Also, it’s too soon for the guys to know He-yi’s true colors. Tae-kyung is aware she’s a lot of hot air, that’s why he calls her Liar, but he doesn’t know the depths that she can sink to. Starting from Episode 9 where she triggered that waterfall on Mi-nam, He-yi is going to get more desperate and consequently more scary. You can see in this episode how rough she is with Mi-nam.
Yes, even Jolie whimpers when He-yi’s around!
Ah, speaking of the dog, you two seem so close, Lee Hong Ki-ssi. As a dog lover myself, I must say I really like seeing your bond with Jolie. Excuse my curiosity, but does Jolie like Tae-kyung?
(PSH, JYH and LHK chorus together)
Nooo! She hides when she sees him!
(JGS pretends to sneer at PSH, but she sticks out her tongue at him; audience bursts out laughing)
Coming back to that opening scene, He-yi pushes Mi-nam to the ground but then pretends that Mi-nam fell because she’s ill. True enough, Mi-nam falls really sick. I was impressed by how ill you looked, Park Shin Hye-ssi. You were so convincing.
(PSH blushes and then speaks)
Thank you. Truthfully this whole episode was hard on me, physically and emotionally. I’ve become so immersed in the Mi-nam character that when she’s sick, I feel sick myself. I actually felt feverish, like Mi-nam! If you recall, Mi-nam was drenched in Episode 9, but with the promo shoot and all, she didn’t have time to rest. Add He-yi’s threats to expose her gender, it’s no wonder she’s so stressed she falls ill. But the ill scenes are really special because of the way the guys take care of her. It’s really moving.
Yes, and we’ll come to the touching parts shortly, but wasn’t it funny how all three guys had the same idea to feed Mi-nam lime for her cold? Little things like that make viewers laugh and feel all warm inside. Jang Geun-suk-ssi, your character has such a strong pride he’ll rather suffer than expose his soft side? Just because he doesn’t want the other two guys to know he took the limes for Mi-nam, he pretended to eat them himself. The way you cringed was so funny. I guess that wasn’t acting but a real shudder?
(JGS starts to speak but LHK beats him to it)
Yes, you should see Geun Suk hyung’s face after each lime scene. As wrinkled as a dried prune!
Tae-kyung passed some limes to Pig-Rabbit, didn’t he? Does your character feel a certain attachment to that toy because he created it?
Actually Tae-kyung is a really misunderstood character. On the outside he is brooding and seemingly self-absorbed, because he’s obviously a top star, being the most popular A.N.JELL member and all. But he’s a doer and a giver. He buys a hair clip to replace the one that Mi-nam lost. He creates Pig-Rabbit for her, and you saw how much trouble he took. He’s a perfectionist, like many artistic people, and he’s got this creative side. His mind is constantly spinning, even if he looks so grouchy outwardly. After the hospital scene, even though he is exhausted caring for Mi-nam, he mulls over her fear about being discovered. That’s why he goes out and buys that set of clothes for her in case she encounters a similar emergency and needs to dress as a girl. He is extremely astute. Oh, I did not answer your question about Pig-Rabbit, did I? Sorry.
No, that’s okay because you brought up one of the most important scenes, the one at the hospital. Tae-kyung’s in the kitchen when he turns and jumps because Mi-nam has suddenly appeared. You really looked deathly pale there, Park Shin Hye-ssi. I would jump too if I saw you, thinking you were some apparition.
Mi-nam asks Tae-kyung for water and collapses in his arms. He carries her to the car and rushes her to the hospital. But once there, Mi-nam refuses to go inside because the physical examination will expose her gender. Tae-kyung insists and they start arguing. That was some powerful acting from both of you.
(JGS looks at PSH, tacitly encouraging her to speak first)
Yes, Oppa and I simply allowed our emotions to guide our acting. I imagined what it would be like to walk into that hospital, for both of us to walk in, and the staff there recognizing us. And then for the doctors and nurses to discover I’m really a she, not a he. At this point Mi-nam, or should I say Mi-nyu, really loves Tae-kyung. It’s unbearable for her to think of how the whole exposure will affect his reputation, his career, the whole of A.N.JELL. After all, when President Ahn was driving Mi-nam back from the photo shoot and He-yi was with them, He-yi insinuated the same thing, trying to scare Mi-nam. That’s why even though she can barely stand, she refuses to step inside the hospital. Of course that makes Tae-kyung mad, because he’s frantic with worry.
This scene was actually the most emotional scene for me in Episode 10. To see Mi-nam so ill, Tae-kyung’s only thought is that she gets well, he can’t think beyond that. So to have her refuse so vehemently, it just drives him crazy. And if she’s delirious and illogical because of her fever, all the more he must make the right decision for her. He’s always been this way, authoritative and even domineering, but that’s just that choleric side of him. Deep down, even though he’s not fully cognizant of it yet, he cares for her, possibly more than he cares for anyone else at that moment. So he yells at her, “Even if you are found out, you have to go. I can’t leave you alone like that!”
(the audience sighs collectively, moved and envious, in unequal portions)
Ah, Jang Geun Suk-ssi, you just quoted one of my favorite lines in this episode. There are too many memorable lines in Episode 10. How about this one, after Mi-nam tells Tae-kyung that she’s scared he’ll get hurt because of her? “This isn’t the time to worry about me. When I allowed you to stay, I had already taken all the risks into account. I can take care of myself so let’s just go to the hospital.” Ah, he was both angry and gentle when he said those words. My wife kept replaying what he said, that’s how I came to memorize the lines.
So Tae-kyung brings Mi-nam home…
In the car Tae-kyung says something that’s important, too. Before that, he puts his jacket on her to keep her warm. All this while Mi-nam is looking away, but he can still sense what’s on her face. So he says, “If you need to cry, cry. If you need to vomit, go ahead. Don’t clench your teeth and try to hold back.”
That’s a big thing for him to say, asking her to vomit in the car if she had to. Previously in an early episode when Mi-nam fell on him and her mouth was full of vomit, and her lips touched his, he was so repulsed. But now even that does not matter. You can see how much he has changed. He used to be so finicky about cleanliness and personal space, but he isn’t anymore.
Yes, the change in Hwang Tae-kyung is what makes You’re Beautiful meaningful for many viewers. But one character hasn’t changed and we don’t want him to change. Yes, I’m talking about steadfast Kang Shin-woo. Jung Yong Hwa-ssi, your character felt so helpless seeing Mi-nam ill, right?
Yes. He wants to take care of Mi-nam, but he isn’t assertive like Tae-kyung. So when Tae-kyung insists on caring for Mi-nam himself, Shin-woo quietly steps aside. This isn’t the time to be territorial or possessive; he isn’t even mad with Tae-kyung. What matters is that someone is taking care of her. But he stands outside and waits, so he’s awake as long as Tae-kyung. Also, Tae-kyung knows Mi-nam’s fever is subsiding, but Shin-woo has no idea. You can imagine the amount of self-control he must possess not to rush into the room.
Yes, Shin-woo doesn’t know what’s going on inside. He doesn’t know that Tae-kyung is saying more words to make my wife swoon. Jang Geun Suk-ssi, would you do the audience a favor, and this is also for my wife who’s watching at home. Would you please repeat what you spoke to Mi-nam after she awoke? After you stayed up till five in the morning, feeding her medicine, using ice cubes to break her fever, worrying whether the room’s too cold for her, making sure she’s hydrated, you topped it all by saying those moving words!
(JGS smiles, clears his throat and speaks)
“Listen carefully to what I’m about to say. Even in your extremely ill state, you still worried about me. That shows you still have loyalty. Moreover, from the way you bore your illness, you clearly have willpower. All this while I have rejected you and refused to acknowledge you, but after this ordeal, I accept you. I’m on your side now. From now on I have a duty to take care of you, to protect you, to take responsibility for whatever happens to you.”
(audience claps, some wiping away tears; PSH, JYH and LHK exchange high fives with JGS)
Ah, on behalf of my wife, thank you. Honey, I did what you requested, I got him to recite those lines. Don’t forget a delicious supper for your husband when he gets home!
For me, more than the words that Tae-kyung spoke, what was really touching was how he took care of Mi-nam the whole night. All the things that you mentioned earlier… They show a different side of Hwang Tae-kyung. He really is a kind and caring person inside…
I think Tae-kyung is actually a very consistent character. I mean, look at how he created Pig-Rabbit. He is just a meticulous person, a perfectionist. Everything he does, he does it to the best of his ability. Maybe because he was abandoned by his mom and he grew up feeling unwanted, he compensated for that by trying to excel in everything. I don’t mean that in a negative way, I don’t mean he’s competitive. Or maybe he is, to some extent. But the way he cares for Mi-nam when she’s sick, you can see how thorough he is. He prepares everything that is needed, almost like he’s a trained nurse.
Yes, I was impressed, too. Geun Suk hyung, you will make a fantastic husband!
(audience laughs; some sigh wistfully, imagining JGS as a husband…)
Yes, I think my wife will concur. Too bad she’s already taken! Okay, we must move on. The next day Tae-kyung goes to the departmental store to get female clothing for Mi-nam. This is important because the clothes will play a big role later in the episode. Let’s discuss He-yi’s reaction first when she finds out the clothes are not for her. Jealousy is so scary, isn’t it?
UEE unni was amazing in this episode. You could really feel her envy and rage. In the bedroom scene where she pulled the blanket off me and broke the glass of lime juice, wow, she was scary. It was so real.
Yes, He-yi just can’t stand it that the guys are so caring toward Mi-nam. When she asks Shin-woo and Jeremy what they will do if they find out Mi-nam is hiding something really big from them and they say it’s okay, that really makes her furious.
Hong Ki oppa, I love how you replied He-yi: “I’ll let it go. I really like Mi-nam. I like him so it’s all good.” Wow, such sweet words. Thank you, Oppa!
Everyone, are you drowning in the A.N.JELL warmth? Look at how close the four are to each other! Park Shin Hye-ssi, you are so lucky to have the three guys watching out for you at every step.
Yes, everything feels like a dream. I’ll be so sad when the drama is over and I have to wake up from this wonderful dream.
(audience shouts: We don’t want You’re Beautiful to end!)
Let’s go back to He-yi. First, she asks Tae-kyung to wear the couple rings from the MV filming but he refuses. She’s especially upset when he tells her that he does not belong to her. She is all the more determined now to expose Mi-nam. But then after testing the waters and seeing Shin-woo’s and Jeremy’s reactions, she changes her mind. Suddenly she is afraid of Tae-kyung finding out that Mi-nam likes him. Lee Hong Ki-ssi, normally your character is a little slow, but this time you were able to put two and two together and conclude that He-yi is pregnant. You interpreted her retching action correctly, but unfortunately she was just pretending.
Oh, Jeremy is not slow! He’s an adorable character. Right, everyone?
(audience replies as one: YES!)
Jang Geun Suk-ssi, your scenes with UEE are always fun to watch. Never a dull moment! I thought you were so clever to send that SMS to He-yi’s dad, telling the dad that she’s pregnant. That part was funny. He-yi really is no match for you. My wife was laughing so hard at the part where He-yi was frantically trying to convince her dad on the phone that she’s not pregnant.
In real life I think two people like Tae-kyung and He-yi would make a good couple, or good friends. They are like iron sharpening iron. Their senses are heightened in each other’s presence, they are completely transparent with each other. I can imagine the hours they can spend just talking, just going back and forth arguing and bantering. I enjoy that sort of conversation myself, it’s exciting. Actually Shin Hye and I do that a lot, too. Right, Shin Hye dongsaeng?
(PSH smiles and nods)
Yes, Oppa is an expert at teasing and clowning. Don’t be deceived by his moody Tae-kyung persona, everyone!
So, that He-yi pregnancy ploy is quickly exposed, fortunately for Tae-kyung. The guys comfort Mi-nam and ask her what she wanted to tell them. Of course they do not know that He-yi had called Mi-nam and told her not to make her confession until the day of the music video preview. Mi-nam is touched by the guys’ concern and gets teary. All the more now she is resolute that she mustn’t do anything that will hurt them.
So we come now to the rooftop terrace scene where she indirectly tries to prepare Tae-kyung for her departure. Jang Geun Suk-ssi, your character really has such bad nyctalopia? That is caused by a deficiency in vitamin A, right?
Yes, not eating green leafy vegetables and not drinking milk. Growing up he didn’t have a mother who ensured he ate well and perhaps his dad was also too busy? Anyway, I know Tae-kyung’s night blindness looks exaggerated and even comical, but I read that nyctalopia can be really severe, to the point that the person is practically blind at night.
Ah, yes. Okay, so Mi-nam is on the terrace talking to herself, wondering why she can’t see the stars clearly. Tae-kyung comes up behind her and tells her that she needs to turn off the lights to see the stars better. That’s funny, because now he can’t even see anything himself! Jang Geun Suk-ssi, my wife wants me to tell you that she really loves it when you squint in the darkness. She says it’s so cute and adorable. I must tell you, ever since You’re Beautiful aired its first episode, the words “cute” and “adorable” can be heard in my house a dozen times a day! Also, she’s started giggling a lot. Hmm, should I be worried?
Actually I can’t help giggling too whenever Oppa does the squinting thing. Suddenly he looks like an old man! Oppa, remember that scene after you got chased by the pig? You were walking like an old man in the darkness and you couldn’t even see my face clearly. Show us the squint again, Oppa. Please?
(JGS pretends to glare at PSH)
Okay, we mustn’t make grouchy Tae-kyung even more grouchy. Let’s see, they are on the terrace and he tells Mi-nam: “I can’t see you clearly. It’s frustrating that I can’t see you. In future don’t go where I can’t see you, Go Mi-nam.”
(with no prompting, PSH, JYH, LHK and the audience go “Awww…” together)
“Don’t go where I can’t see you.” My wife and many netizens say that’s the best line in this episode. Do you agree, Jang Geun Suk-ssi?
Yes, I think so. It’s a simple line and yet loaded with meaning. Although he may not realize it fully yet, he’s admitting that she’s very important to him and that he needs her. He doesn’t want them to be apart, he wants to be able to see her always. That has been obvious for several episodes already, hasn’t it? He gets restless if he doesn’t know where she is. So when she replies and asks him to pretend not to know her in future when she goes back to her life as a girl, he gets upset but tries to hide it. Until he realizes with utter clarity that he loves her, their signals are going to get crossed. She doesn’t understand the true meaning behind his words, and he keeps taking what she says at face value. Of course that adds to the dramatic tension.
Ah, you brought up the key word: tension. For many viewers Episode 10 was unforgettable because of the tension in the final scenes. It’s the day of the MV preview and Mi-nam’s supposed to attend it alone, without the other A.N.JELL members. Tae-kyung had explained to her that the limelight should be on her. So she leaves and the three guys wish her well. I remember now, that scene was funny. Shin-woo tells her not to be nervous, but Tae-kyung tells her the opposite: Be nervous. What was that all about? Jung Yong Hwa-ssi, can you explain?
That’s just how Shin-woo is, always gentle and assuring. He looks at her drawn expression and he thinks she’s nervous about facing the press and fans alone. Tae-kyung, on the other hand, is still smarting from her words about them becoming strangers after she leaves and resumes her old life. He also knows that it’s normal to be nervous. Remember how nervous and awkward he was at his own debut? That kind of stress can be helpful, because it makes you more careful and determined. So, in a way, he is encouraging her to be herself. It’s like in the car when he said it’s okay to cry or to vomit. Whatever her feelings about the preview, he’s telling her he understands. So you see, the two guys may seem like they are contradicting each other, but their intentions are the same. Jeremy is different, he’s not into cryptic word games. So he simply tells her to do her best and that they have a party planned for her after the preview.
Thanks for that explanation. Some people may think that You’re Beautiful is just a trendy drama for teenypoppers, but I feel that it teaches us valuable lessons on friendship, loyalty and acceptance. Certainly the A.N.JELL members share a strong bond that many viewers find moving and uplifting.
Okay, time is running out. Let’s move to that final auditorium scene. Mi-nam goes missing at the salon and Manager Ma searches everywhere for her. The auditorium is filled, but because Mi-nam is nowhere in sight, President Ahn asks for the MV to be shown first.
Before the MV starts, the three A.N.JELL guys arrive at the venue. Tae-kyung knows that Mi-nam is wearing the coat and skirt he bought for her because they are missing from her room and so is the hairclip. At the auditorium foyer, he calls and leaves a message telling her not to show up because it’ll be a disaster if she does. “I’ll take responsibility,” he says. Jang Geun Suk-ssi, you really rose to the occasion and took charge, just like what a leader should do. Park Shin Hye-ssi, what were your thoughts as you walked into the auditorium, dressed as a girl?
That whole scene was nerve-wracking. When you watch it with the music that was added after filming, you can feel the tension even more. As I was walking, I had to look determined and at the same time nervous. In Mi-nam’s mind, the time has finally come to put an end to the charade, but she doesn’t fully realize the repercussions. She pictures herself announcing to everyone assembled that she’s really a girl and the commotion that will ensue, but she thinks she can apologize and walk away and all will be okay for A.N.JELL again. Life will go on. That’s how simplistic she is. This whole fame thing is new to her and she’s not aware that her confession can blow up into a huge scandal.
Yes, but Tae-kyung knows the storm that will follow. That’s why he asks Jeremy and Shin-woo to look for Mi-nam quickly. It’s dark inside the auditorium and he can’t see. Lee Hong Ki-ssi, your expression when Tae-kyung told you and Shin-woo that Mi-nam is a girl… That was a huge shock, wasn’t it?
The biggest shock! Jeremy’s eyes were about to pop out. He’s finally at peace with his feelings for Mi-nam and it turns out he is a she? Wow, unbelievable.
Yes, and it’ll be interesting to see what happens when Jeremy gets a chance to speak to Mi-nam, but let’s go back to Tae-kyung. He runs back to the foyer and is searching for Mi-nam when he suddenly sees her in front of him and about to enter the auditorium. He dashes after her but once inside, he can’t see at all. So he yells out: “I told you not to be where I can’t see you!”
(audience swoons collectively at those words)
Mi-nam turns when she hears Tae-kyung’s voice and at that moment the lights come on. Jang Geun Suk-ssi, you looked really angry in that scene.
It’s really a combination of rage, fear and worry. He’s angry that she didn’t keep her promise to stay within a visible distance, he’s frightened of the confession fallout, and he’s worried for her. Just as she doesn’t want him to be hurt, he feels the same way about her. He wants to protect her, but now they are standing on a precipice and there doesn’t seem to be any escape.
Yes, but just as things look utterly bleak, Shin-woo comes to the rescue. Jung Yong Hwa-ssi, why were you staring at Tae-kyung when you pulled Mi-nam into your arms?
Well, Tae-kyung is standing directly in his line of vision, but it’s also more than that. When Shin-woo grabs Mi-nam and hugs her, it’s because his first instinct is to shield her and stop her from the confession. He doesn’t want anyone to see that this girl is Go Mi-nam, the fourth A.N.JELL member. As he holds her close, he stares at Tae-kyung. His expression is unmistakable: He is finally showing Tae-kyung that he’s not going to to be a passive spectator anymore, like that night when Mi-nam was ill and he had to stand outside while Tae-kyung nursed her. Things are going to change, he’s making his move. He likes Mi-nam and he wants her.
Yes, and indeed Shin-woo announces to the astonished press and everyone else in the auditorium: “She’s my girl, the one I couldn’t reveal before. She’s my girl!” It’s almost like he’s saying the words to you, Jang Geun Suk-ssi.
Everything is happening too fast and Tae-kyung can’t quite register it all. Since a couple of episodes ago, he thinks Mi-nam likes Shin-woo. That bothers him, but because he isn’t aware that he likes Mi-nam himself, he puts it down to just another of the many things that Mi-nam is always doing to irk him. He has no idea that Shin-woo knows Mi-nam is a girl. So, with Shin-woo’s declaration, what does that mean? Have Shin-woo and Mi-nam been carrying on all along behind his back? Of course there’s also the fact he just hates seeing Mi-nam in another man’s arms. He may not realize it, but his actions all along show how possessive he is of her.
Yes, things are going to get complicated between Tae-kyung and Shin-woo. With Episode 10 ending on that cliffhanger, Episode 11 is going to be so exciting. Moreover, and we didn’t have time to discuss this, Tae-kyung’s mom is searching for Mi-nam and Mi-nyu. Why is she so anxious to find them and how is she connected to them? What does that mean for Tae-kyung and Mi-nam’s relationship? Everyone, you can’t wait to see what will happen next, right?
(audience chants: Can’t wait, can’t wait…)
Right, we have run out of time. Thank you again to our four stars. We wish them well as they continue filming the last six episodes of the drama.
(JGS, PSH, JYH and LHK speak)
Thank you, everyone. Please continue supporting You’re Beautiful until the end. We love you!