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Why 'She Was Pretty' Is Number One With Korean Audiences

BY Adrienne Stanley | Oct 18, 2015 09:44 AM EDT


"She Was Pretty" continues to generate higher ratings, as domestic viewers tune in for Hwang Jung Eum as an intrepid intern at a top fashion magazine. The series bears semblance to "The Devil Wear's Prada" and "The Intern," mixed with the emotionality of iconic K-Dramas like "Secret Garden." 

The series continues to yield double-digit ratings, since breaking from the bottom of Wednesday and Thursday programming. On October 18, Xsports News published an article examining the appeal of "She Was Pretty." 

Xsports News cited what can best be described as the four-way relationship dynamic of "She Was Pretty" or its love square. 

In typical K-Drama fashion, Kim Hye Jin (Hwang Jung Eum) is a homely, but upbeat woman who attracts the interest of Ji Sung Joon (Park Seo Joon), her high school friend, who transformed into a handsome fashion editor. Hye Jin is also affectionately viewed by Kim Shin Hyuk (Super Junior's Choi Siwon), her co-worker at the Most, who likely has accumulated more wealth than he is willing to reveal. 

Love triangles are a staple of Korean dramas, but "She Was Pretty" diverges from the archetype of the second female lead in rom-coms, who is easily dislikable and has a penchant from destroying everyone but herself. Min Ha Ri (Go Joon Hee) is the best friend of Hye Jin, who is not an enemy, but naively became entangled with Sung Joon, after temporarily assuming her identity. 

The love lines of "She Was Pretty" are not cut and dry. While Hye Jin will most likely receive a happy conclusion with Sung Joon, audiences have been outspoken about their desire to see her with Shin Hyuk. 

The Xsports News writer went on to address the empathetic writing style of Jo Sung Hee, whose previous works include "High School King of Savvy" and "Kimchi Cheese Smile," a family drama that helped put Kim Soo Hyun on the radar of many viewers, before his breakout role in "Dream High." 

"She Was Pretty" continues the trend of "High School King of Savvy," which had some morally ambiguous points like a student who pretends to be an adult in the workplace, but the complexity of the characters makes it difficult for audiences to rebel against the main characters. 

The article concluded, after making several other observations about the factors that have led to the popularity of the series. 

Diehard drama fans embraced Hwang Jung Eum and Park Seo Joon as siblings in the hit psychological series, "Kill Me, Heal Me." They may not have readily accepted their romantic pairing in "She Was Pretty," but the premise of the drama, along with the Choi Siwon's compassionate portrayal of a comforting co-worker, aided with their transition towards becoming an on-screen couple. 

In addition, the sweet-natured personality of his character will serve as a lasting image for the Super Junior member, as his last K-Drama role before entering the military. His fan large base contributes to viewership, but he has undoubtedly gained support for future roles and music releases, through his positive portrayal in "She Was Pretty." 

Why do you like "She Was Pretty?" What makes it different than other Korean dramas? Comment below. 

Adrienne Stanley is a contributing editor at KDramaStars. She is also a contributing music writer at KpopStarz, MTV Iggy and other publications. When she is not listening to "Rhythm Ta," she can be found on Twitter. (@retrogirladdy). 

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