Missing Korea is such a good webdrama, it’s a shame it couldn’t be a full 16 hour Kdrama. The short hour and a half we get is entertaining, fun, and interesting. Original plot, natural progression of the storyline, pretty scenery, good acting, nice music, funny moments here and there, perfect ending… all the makings for a superb Kdrama. I wish it would have been more detailed and longer. I didn’t want it to end so soon!
The plot is simple and original…
North and South Korea are in the process of unification. As part of that undertaking, plans have been made to hold a Miss Korea beauty pageant,bringing girls from both countries together for one event. But when the women who are representing the “North Korean beauties” get off the bus they don’t look anything like the lovely girls who were expected. The ladies that were taken to the South got on the wrong bus and that’s how the mix-up began. Since the bus that was bringing the real contestants got into an accident, the fake beauties receive word they will have to pretend they are the ones that were supposed to attend the pageant in the first place. Ready… Set… Go! Let’s see if the girls that come from an industrial district in the North can match up to the South lovelies who have been groomed and trained to participate in the pageant.
I love “fish out of water” scenarios and this is a very fun one. It’s enjoyable watching these three girls going through the challenge of having a team of people put make-up on them, curl their hair, and wax their legs. In asking the girls if they have any kind of talent, one gets up, slams her shoulder into a wall, disconnecting it, and then bashes it again, putting it back in place. Another proudly explains how she can sew over 300 shirts in one day. Who needs tap dancing when you can sew?
Kim Jeong Hoon plays the handsome head of the Miss Korea organizing committee. They never once give us his name, only referring to him as “Mr. Director.” Amazingly, he keeps things together as what was expected crumbles right in front of him. He is a quick thinking individual who falls for Ri Yeon Hwa as he watches her deal with the difficult challenges thrown her way.
Sandra Park plays the main female role, Ri Yeon Hwa, who was just released from the North Korean army and still has that ridged attitude about her. She’s very strong willed and the other two girls look to her for leadership. She admires Mr. Director’s take charge attitude and appreciates all the individualized attention he gives her.
Kim Jeong Seok plays Kang Dan Jang, the man from the North sent to watch over the girls. Such a fun character.
Ri Yeon Hwa and Mr. Director’s chemistry is great. There’s a part in the show that reminded me of the comparing scars scene in the old American movie Jaws. Mr. Director gets hurt and Ri Yeon Hwa asks if he’s okay. He sort of brushes it off, telling her about an even worse injury he once received. She decides to compare his to one she got while serving in the army and the “one-up-man-ship” begins. They start showing each other their life’s battle wounds… You think that’s bad? “My left leg was broken, so I have a 20 centimeter metal bar in it.” When Mr. Director tells her a story of an injury he received as a child that made his mother worry about whether he’d be able to “perform as a man”, and she innocently asks to see it, you can’t help but giggle. The funny moments work naturally into a scene without a lot of effort which makes them real and not forced. Delightful.
I love good endings. There’s really only one good way for Missing Korea to end and the writer didn’t disappoint us. Hopefully, there will be a sequel with the North and South united.
The music is fine but the show doesn’t have very many songs. And the scenery is quite pretty. There’s a scene where Ri Yeon Hwa goes wandering around in the mountains, looking for the other two gals from the North. Mr. Director goes after her and Kang Dan Jang, the guy from the North who is responsible for the girls, goes searching for both of them. It’s very pretty mountain scenery.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed Missing Korea will be made into a full length Kdrama someday, written by the same person so it keeps the original feel. It’s just too cute to be so short.
Truly funny moments
Way, way too short
Not enough hints of romance