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February 10, 2014
I guess I'm going into...
The Korean television show, SPOILERS
"You're Beautiful" is right
up there with greats like
"Coffee Prince" in WHERE_ANGELS_GO_NUN_FOLLOWS
popularity-- at least among
From what I understand, it actually
didn't get very high ratings in Korea...
but it *did* inspire multiple
different remakes in other countries.
While "You're Beautiful" is the
most common title translation, a The title "You're Beautiful",
much better one is the less has very little resonance
frequently seen "He's Beautiful": with anything in the story.
a nun-in-training crossdresses to
take her twin brother's place in The closest point is a
a boy band. throwaway line, where the
male lead's mother (a famous
The bit I want to talk star of years gone by)
about here has to do with enters a room, and someone
the back-story of one of greets her saying "Ah,
the main characters... you're still beautiful."
Let me try starting with
an inverted family tree:
Our heroine: Our hero:
A young nun-in-training, The lead singer/
with a twin brother who composer with
is a singer about to join that idol group,
an idol group... "A.N. Jell"
| | | |
Mother: Father: Mother: Father:
Folk A composer A famous A composer?
singer. of songs. singer. Or unknown?
The foreground story of this
The twin brother is hospitalized overseas,
his manager is worried he'll lose the slot
in the idol band if he's a no-show, and so (They do a fine job of
the manager hits on the solution of downplaying the
convincing his sister the nun to become an insanity of this,
"A.N. Jell"-- She passes herself off as a playing it broadly
boy to join the idol group, where she but not *too* boadly.)
gradually becomes romantically entangled
with the lead.
We eventually learn that the nun's father and the
lead's mother once had an affair in the distant Korean dramas often
past (I mentioned the insanity, right?).... coincidences like this to
the point where it feels
like a genre convention.
Getting the past events straight
is a little difficult: the love
life of this famous singer was
quite complicated-- she has a
reputation for promiscuity. It does seem that this
incoherence serves a role in the
And one of the main sources we have for story, it creates an ambiguity in
this woman's sexual biography is her own the stormy love relationship of
statements, and it's hard to tell how the foreround characters. Is
much we can trust what she says about it: there a possibility that they're
all we really know is that she was half-brother and half-sister,
involved with a married man (while his with the same father?
wife was pregnant), and that caused a
rift in that relationship, and then she The audience is supposed to
was involved with some other man, and be worried (or enthralled?)
bore a son by him, but ever afterwards that a brother and sister
she was obsessed with the first man (the is falling into an
song-writer, the nun-turned-singer's incestuous relationship.
father), and wanted to believe this was
reciprocated. In the tradition of
We don't seem to know much about unaware of the details
this second man, the father of the of their parentage.
male hero. He does talk on the
phone a few times with his "father" I have a complaint about
(who may or may not be his this (a common one with
biological father). me, though no one else
seems to care): this is a
We're told that this woman had concern the audience may
lots of boyfriends, and I have have, but it is not a
the dim impression that they concern of any of the
implied that the male lead's main characters: we know
father may be someone else (but more than they do.
don't remember in detail).
I got the impression that
everyone in this history seems
to die (tragically) once their
role has been played, but if
this biological father is dead,
we're told nothing about it.
And now, here's what I think is
the interesting thing: given Maybe this is a common solution
this tangle of relationships, when incest looms in Korean soap?
the fans of this show seem to "You're father is *not* that man!"
have concluded that the male But it's not needed in this story.
main character was the product
of a rape-induced pregnancy.
Perhaps there's another
This is not stated in the story, and genre convention: slutty
I don't believe it's actually women are always raped
implied... it looks like an attempt (punished by providence?).
at imagining a story more coherent
than this one actually is, perhaps an A friend of mine who
attempt at sanitizing the biography lived in Japan in
of this woman... the 80s described a
TV show she thought
There's very little in the story of as "the rape
that even hints at making this woman show", where in
a sympathetic character, though. every episode, the
I would've said that the author's same young women
intent was "nasty piece of work". would hang around in
nightclubs and end
Indeed, with all the major up getting raped,
female characters in this and the same man
story, if they're at all would step in to
intelligent and capable, save them, closing
they're also completely evil. with a finger-
See what happens
to Bad Girls!
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