In-Soon is Pretty

D/L OST :  Uhn Je Gga Ji Na - Chae Dong Ha (SG Wannabe) [Megaupload]

After a string of 2009 disappointing drama series, it's a pleasure to re-look at the list of series I've missed in the past years and discover a true gem. I've learnt long time ago that rating has quite nothing to do with the quality of a drama, or if anything, it's a very poor indicator, and In-Soon is Pretty proves this statement right yet again. The rating never got past 10% when it aired in 2007. The low rating was likely due to it competing against the rating monster at that time, The Legend starring Hallyu star Bae Young Jun (Winter Sonata). Nevertheless, I'm glad I wasn't deterred by it and picked this one up, though I have to admit that the real reason I was interested in it at all initially was due to Kim Min Joon (Damo, Ireland). And good reviews I've read from those who did watch certainly motivated me further to make this into my Watched List. This is one of the rare dramas that is quite perfect in my eyes. Good writing, good directing, good acting, and makes me have a hard time moving on to another series afterwards.

The angelic face Kim Hyun Joo (Marrying a Millionaire) played the title character Park In-Soon, who is an ex-convict. She had spent time in prison after accidentally killed another girl in high-school. Upon releasing from prison she tried to rebuild her life, seeking jobs at various places, but was faced with rejection after rejection due to her criminal record. Despite encouragement from her high-school teacher, she felt rather hopeless and extremely down to a point where she decided to commit suicide by jumping onto a train track. In the process, however, she heard someone calling her name, which returned her to her senses. It was Yoo Sang Woo (Kim Min Joon), a childhood friend who moved to Canada when they were young, though she couldn't quite recall him initially. 

Sang Woo was very excited to meet her again, but In-Soon didn't share the sentiment. She was uncertain of how to respond to Sang Woo's inquiries about her life that she unintendedly lying to him about it. Sang Woo now believed she was a school teacher, which was once had been her childhood dream. One lie led to another and being an honest person, In-Soon felt very burdened by it, thus she decided to come clean and tell Sang Woo the truth.Upon knowing the truth, Sang Woo acted like the bigger man, saying that it's no big deal, though he was actually having second thoughts about befriending In-Soon and tried to run away.

At the same time, In-Soon finally met her biological mother whom she believed was dead in an accident when she was a-year old. All of a sudden she now had a half-sister. Surprisingly, her mother was very welcoming and expressed her regrets for abandoning her. In-Soon, longing for love and wanting to belong, unsuspecting, basked herself in the happiness of the new-found family. But some things are just too good to be true and In-Soon soon faced new trials in her journey to happiness and acceptance.

In-Soon is Pretty is a human drama that depicts people' emotions and prejudices surprisingly realistically that it always kept your feet on the ground. You didn't get an overly optimistic and goody-goody protagonist (although she IS a nice person, but you don't sense anything fake about it that could make you feel appalled),  nor do you get an angel for a hero, but someone unmistakably human, and some characters you just love to hate because they represent what you find hate-able in society. The major lesson learnt is that, you can't always have things go your way, but what you can do is make the best of what you have while stay true to yourself.

Also worth to mention is the awesome Soundtrack. I especially love "Uhn je gga ji na", with its soft tune and meaningful lyrics that merge well with the scenes in In-Soon is Pretty. I'm not particularly sure of the full translation, but I made do with whatever was written in the subtitle and so here you go:

Forever and always
you must cherish your tears
Rest ten times and then cry once

Whenever you want to cry
laugh one more time instead
So that happiness that graze by
can come into you

Forever and always
please remember
The reason the world has sent you
This love that is like life to a certain person
It is you

Forever and always
please remember
That I am by your side
This person who is truly happy because you exist
It is me

Forever and always

And a more upbeat song from the OST by FT Island:

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