The Fangirls have watched almost all of the new airing dramas and we’ve come up with a WINNER. Beauty Inside is so aesthetically pleasing, with cameos out the wazoo, and such a fabulous main cast that we couldn’t pass up getting all chatty about it. Join us for week one of our latest chatty recap.This drama is based on a movie, and if you haven’t seen it (cough Kdrama Jen) you really should go watch it. The show hasn’t really captured the movie’s melancholy feel, but I’m totally okay with that.
On to the plot! Han Se Gye (Seo Hyun Jin) is a top star and has one minor problem. For one week out of the month she literally becomes someone else. She must disappear for that week, which makes filming a little tricky. Seriously, think of how grueling a drama schedule is, and then the lead actress suddenly turns into a little five-year-old boy or a grandpa. This didn’t start happening to her until she turned twenty, so we can assume she picked her profession before that age.
She has another body switch mishap and it causes her sponsors to want to cancel all their contracts. And one of those contracts happens to be with Seo Do Jae’s (Lee Min Ki) airline. Do Jae has a secret ailment of his own, which causes for some hilarious confusion for our leads.
Let’s talk about cinematography, baby!
Drama Geek: This director grabs your attention and sucks you into their dramas and Beauty Inside is one of their best opening scenes I’ve seen to date. Seo Hyun Jin took my breath away with how stunning she was when she goes to accept her award. Then her monthly hits, and she has to Cinderella run all the way to the privacy of her van. The color palette for this drama pops all over the place, and the lighting is gorgeous.
Kmuse: I have to agree that this director is doing a brilliant job of making her disease believable. I was totally enraptured as she ran away from the award ceremony before she switched to a new appearance. It was amazing how beautiful she looked every moment of that scene. Heck, it’s amazing how beautiful she looks every second she is on screen. I don’t think Seo Hyun Jin has ever looked better.
Karie the Maknae: My favorite is the montage of her different faces declare that she IS Han Se Gye–it really gives the viewer a feel for how many times she’s switched already in a beautiful way.
Clkytta: I’m going to second what everyone says and add that I love, love, love the use of color in this drama. I love the way the colors pop on the dog’s bows. She looks so beautiful when she is wearing her red dress, but also in the more neutral dress she has on when she isn’t quite herself.
Kdrama Jen: I may not be a student of film and lighting design, but even I can tell that they have done something to make these two actors just capture our attention from the very beginning. Lee Min Ki looking FINE in that white suit!
Drama Geek: We all knew there would be tons of cameos and I was squealing when Jennifer (okay, that’s not her name) was in the crowd at the awards. They have already established that not all her faces will be big name stars, and I think that’s good. The grandma she turns into the very first time it happens did such a touching job at showing her confusion and anguish.
Kmuse: The fact that Se Gye works in the film industry provides tons of moments for cameos without every person she changes into being someone famous. I really had a fangirl moment seeing Kang So Ra handing her the award. Two of my girl crushes on the same screen together! Now if they could just become besties and start doing BFF Instagram posts, my life would be complete.
Karie the Maknae: I was amazed by Kim Sung Ryung’s extended cameo. Avid k-fans will know her from Heirs (shhhhh, Jen! I swear I had to look it up!) and more recently as Nam Shin’s mom in Are You Human Too?. As she turned to Seo Do Jae for help in the airplane bathroom, I could feel the connection between them. I was also really affected by the elderly actress who played Han Se Gye’s first transformation. When she was sobbing her heart out in front of a closed door, my heart hurt for both her and the Se Gye that was trapped inside of her. I wish I could find that actress’ name. She deserves mad props.
Clkytta: I loved the Jennifer cameo! Also Kim Sung Ryung is so perfectly gorgeous and a great actress so I really enjoyed her cameo. She was able to seamlessly portray Han Se Gye, her motions and facial expressions just nailed it.
Kdrama Jen: I also called out to Jennifer in the audience. I really appreciated all of the cameo appearances. I really love how seamless some of the transitions were too. In most cases it really felt like it was the same person in a different body. There is some awesome chemistry here all the way around.
The best besties around
Drama Geek: Every girl needs her besties, and if you go around changing into someone else every month, you REALLY need a friend who can help you out. I love that Ahn Jae Hyeon is playing a very similar character to his brother from My Love From Another Star. He seems to feel really comfortable in this role. I love the manager/best friend and I’m hoping she ends up with the secretary.
Karie the Maknae: I’m glad that the writer didn’t choose to have Han Se Gye hide her condition from EVERYONE. How awkward would that have been? I’m adoring Ahn Jae Hyun’s snarky priest-in-training who is ALWAYS up for some mischief. It reminds me of Hyun Min, his character in Cinderella and Four Knights. Love me some snark. I also expect him to have a soft, gooey center under all that snark.
Clkytta: Her friends are the icing on the cake, the Alfreds to her Batman. I was watching with Kdrama Jen and we had the same idea as Drama Geek, Ahn Jae Hyun’s character reminded us of his role in My Love from Another Star. The manager bestie is the best though. She’s a serious mama bear and I love that.
Kmuse: I especially like how they understand how to deal with Se Gye’s stubbornness. That girl jumps first and thinks later and it is up to her besties to talk her off the cliff. Love them.
Kdrama Jen: I have to agree. We all need our besties to help keep us in line, drive the getaway van, and understand when we are not ourselves. I love how they are banding together to help Han Se Gye!
Seriously, is prosopagnosia the new amnesia?
Drama Geek: Even though it seems to be in every drama these days, it really works for this storyline. She changes into a different person, and he can’t tell people apart. Two halves really do make a whole.
Karie the Maknae: I have to admit that this is the first time I’ve run into face blindness in a drama, but I am the maknae for a reason.
Clkytta: Yes, the answer is a solid yes. I’ve watched a few dramas recently with this trend. I guess it’s pretty common, they mentioned Brad Pitt has it and of course, we looked it up and it’s true! I do like the two halves of a whole idea, but I’m a sucker for a “you complete me” romance anyway.
Kmuse: Face blindness and hottie priests are totally in right now. I actually really am enjoying how smart Do Jae is about his medical issue. He brilliantly lives his life hiding his disability and I am totally OK with that.
Kdrama Jen: My first experience with face blindness was with Apple Butt in Surplus Princess. I suddenly just realized how odd that would sound out of context. What we really need now is a robot hot priest with amnesia and prosopagnosia.
The odd couple (Secretary Jung and Do Jae)
Drama Geek: It’s one of the most used tropes in Asian dramas: an uptight boss with a fun sidekick secretary to even him out. In this drama, I’m not sure which one is more uptight or has the better dry sense of humor. Lee Tae Ri (formally the other Lee Min Ho, but his agency finally got smart and changed his stage name) is killing it as Do Jae’s secretary and I have a feeling I’m going to crack up constantly at these two.
Karie the Maknae: One of my favorite tropes is the dry-witted, long-suffering secretary. Our Secretary Jung fits the bill, and I love his banter with Do Jae–it feels like they’re on equal footing almost. His quiz for Do Jae to name all the fish in the tank cracked me up.
Clkytta: Again, I’m agreeing to what the other fangirls wrote. I really love a good hearted, cute male secretary who keeps the lead from his worst enemy: himself.
Kmuse: I love his secretary so much. I also love that he doesn’t look down on Do Jae’s condition. You can tell he isn’t just in it for the money and really cares about his boss and his friendship.
Kdrama Jen: It’s Lee Min Ho! No, not THAT Lee Min Ho, the one that was in Moon Embracing the Sun. Oh, wait. He has now changed his name. I can’t imagine why… It’s not like people confuse him with someone else or something. Anyway, I am always happy to have him on my screen. His connection with his boss is adding a fun bromance element.
Give me a butt grab, please!
Drama Geek: You know me and my love for strong female leads. I think being many different people has given our girl the guts to do whatever she wants, darn the consequences. I love Han Se Gye’s spice and fire. When she grabbed the sexual predator’s butt, I screamed in victory.
Karie the Maknae: I love it when Han Se Gye protects others–I hope that’s something we see throughout the drama. Her inability to keep up a pretense also made me laugh and gave me hope that there wouldn’t be a ton of secondhand embarrassment as she tries to make her personality fit her next borrowed face, but that instead, she would always be herself.
Clkytta: I squirmed in discomfort for that poor student. Then our heroine stepped up and the sass and spunk came out. I loved that she called him out for not being like a father because fathers are careful with their daughters. I think since she can barely keep her secret she is more in tune with other people’s struggles.
Kmuse: I love that when she feels something she lets her true thoughts burst forth. A very refreshing heroine. Although, I do wonder how she actually has made it in the film industry. Not only does she disappear for a week every month (how that would be possible while filming dramas I do not know) but she tends to blurt out any issue she has. In real life she would have tanked her career long ago.
Kdrama Jen: I definitely cheered out loud when she grabbed the man’s butt and then said, “Oh! Is that not how you treat your dad? I wouldn’t know since I don’t have one.” I laughed and laughed at her audacity.
Someday I may not be able to speak
Drama Geek: The tone of the drama is pretty light and funny right now, but there was one particular moment when Se Gye’s character uses sign language to talk to a client’s daughter that was touching. Even more so when Do Jae asks how she knows sign language and she responds, “Because someday I may not be able to speak.” It brought some gravity to the situation she finds herself in.
Karie the Maknae: Learning sign language showed a great deal of intelligence and forethought on Se Gye’s part. There is nothing I love more than a smart character who thinks about more than the present moment. Can’t wait to see how this plays out in the rest of the series.
Clkytta: When she uses sign language with the child it is so beautiful and so incredibly sad. She has learned to compensate for whatever body she wakes up in, so she can still have some control in her life. She’s incredibly talented and insightful, but she’s also scared and in limbo. It really adds to the complexity of her character.
Kmuse: This scene actually had me tear up a bit. I was glad that the moment came across so natural and not just another calculated business deal.
Kdrama Jen: Loved this scene! I wasn’t expecting it, so it felt like a little gift. It was just beautiful.
OTP Chemistry (even when she’s someone else)
Drama Geek: Can you have chemistry with a soul? Or maybe Lee Min Ki just has chemistry with everyone. The sexual tension between Se Gye and Do Jae doesn’t stop when she turns into Kim Sung Ryung. It made me want a Noona romance. LOL.
Karie the Maknae: I’ve already touched on this, so all I’ll say is, “Can I get an amen??”
Clkytta: I loved the sizzle between the two even when she wasn’t herself. We’ve already hit on how talented an actress Kim Sung Ryung is, but seriously, can someone cast her as a lead in a Noona romance?
Kmuse: I totally believed that it was the same person just two different bodies. Kudos to all the actors involved for making the relationship flow seamlessly despite there being multiple actors.
Kdrama Jen: My only complaint is we have not really had enough shirtless scenes. Oh, sorry. I still have Wu Ji from Fuyao on my mind. So, yes. I am completely drawn in by the chemistry.
Final First Week Thoughts:
Drama Geek: I am 100% calling this my drama crack. The story feels fun and fresh (even if he’s a prickly chaebol) and the directing is top notch. The couple has great chemistry and I think I’m going to love the extended cast as well (except for Lee Dae Hee‘s character, I can already tell she’ll need to be pushed off a cliff). I can’t wait to see all the cameos and the hijinks that will ensue.
Karie the Maknae: I’ve had to be ruthless in my drama decisions this time around, and Beauty Inside has made the cut! The pace is moving more quickly than I thought it would, so I’m interested to see what else the writer has in store for us.
Clkytta: I’m loving this so much and I’m watching with my kbesties. Of course I’m going to keep watching this one. I knew with this cast that this would be a great drama, but I didn’t expect this to be the drama I would drop everything to watch.
Kmuse: I am 100% on board. Sure, the rules of her transformation doesn’t really make sense. But I am willing to suspend the logical side of my brain and enjoy the ride.
Kdrama Jen: I am all in! This is the drama I am watching with others, so it is even sweeter to hear the echoes of my Kbesties’ laughter as we enjoy the hijinks together. If you haven’t checked it out, I definitely recommend it!
See you at the next transformation,
Drama With a Side of Kimchi