I was sadly disappointed with Nail Shop Paris. I had been looking forward to another “girl fools people in to thinking she’s a boy” drama but this one fell flat.
For me, Nail Shop Paris isn’t like an ordinary Kdrama. The episodes don’t follow each other like other dramas I’ve watched. They are more like individual shows with the same main characters throughout, kind of like a sitcom without the laughter. There’s something different happening in each episode and they solve the problem before the episode is over so the next one can be about something, or someone, entirely different. I’ve stayed up for hours watching Kdramas, going from one episode to the next. The end of each episode would leave me hanging so I had to go on to the next. This show’s episodes ended each time so it wasn’t difficult at all to just not go on and head for bed. It just didn’t have the feel of a “regular” Korean drama. That said, it wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t very good. Okay, it was good enough for me to watch the full 10 hours but this one falls pretty close to the bottom of my “Kdramas worth watching” list.
There are several Kdramas out there whose plot centers on a girl masquerading as a man. You’re Beautiful, Coffee Prince, and To the Beautiful You just to name a few. The difference between those three dramas and Nail Shop Paris is how well the girls pull it off. Even though none of them are masculine, we’re willing to go along with the cover-up because there’s something boyish enough about them. But the gal in Nail Shop Paris can only be compared to a boy in that her hair is short. You’d have to have on a blindfold to not realize Hong Yeo-Joo is really a girl. She’s just way too feminine for us to believe she’s male. She’s not a bad actress, she’s just a bad boy. It’s not her fault, it’s the casting director who goofed.
There’s not that much I can even tell you about because the only thing that is able to connect all the episodes together is a very shallow love story. Hong Yeo-Joo writes stories to post on the internet. She sees a handsome young man, Alex, in a subway station save a woman from a strange man and falls in love with him. She decides to write a story using him as the hero, but she first needs to find out more about him. She follows him to work, which happens to be a nail shop that only employs men. So, she decides to disguise herself as a man and get a job there to be next to him. Enter Kay, one of the other two guys that works there that just happens to fall in love with Hong Yeo-Joo, while she’s in love with Alex. Now let’s throw in a subplot about a gumiho (nine tailed fox). That’s about it.
Nail Shop Paris is Park Gyulee’s first try at playing the lead actress. She’s been in a couple other things but they were tiny roles, one just a cameo appearance. She was recently in Kara: Secret Love, seeming to be a little more at ease on camera. I guess practice makes… well, in her case, practice makes better. I’m not saying she doesn’t have talent, I’m just saying it might take some time and more roles for her to be more comfortable acting.
This drama was also Jun Ji-Hoo’s first staring role. Again, not too impressive. He’s a handsome guy that has some potential but it may take some time before we see him blossom.
Song Jae-Rim, who played Kay, is definitely a more experienced actor, and it shows. I thought his character was much more personable than Ji-Hoo’s and Kay certainly is the one I would have gone for.
There’s nothing special about the soundtrack and scenery. The music is okay – nothing irritating, nothing wonderful. The shooting locations are pretty ordinary.
There’s nothing that really makes Nail Shop Paris stand out among other dramas. I don’t suggest you never watch it, I’m just saying put it way down at the bottom of your list. There are tons of excellent Kdramas to see but, sadly, this isn’t one of them.
Song Jae-Rim’s character, Kay
Shallow love story
Episodes that don’t continue
No major stars