Starring: Cha Eun Woo, Moon Ga Young, Hwang In Yeop
Year Released: 2020
Number of Episodes: 16
Recommended By: Cha Eun Woo
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Format: Online Stream
Im Joo Kyung (Moon Ga Young) is a high schooler who is upbeat and positive about most things – except for her appearance!
She hates the idea of being seen in public without makeup, but fortunately has become a self-taught makeup expert, with a little help from a plethora of internet video tutorials.
What she has learned online has transformed her life. At school, she is known as one of the prettiest girls in class – although she secretly lives in fear of her schoolmates discovering what she looks like behind the makeup!
In fact, there is only one person from school who has ever seen her minus her “mask” – Lee Su Ho (Cha Eun Woo).
He is a top-grade student with impressive basketball skills. He is also dashingly handsome, and many of his female classmates have a crush on him.
However, Lee Su Ho harbors a few dark secrets from his past, and shuns attention in class.
Slowly, these two individuals become drawn together – and learn more about one another’s secrets!
This drama was based on a long-running web-based cartoon of the same name, penned by Yaongyi.
“True Beauty” is a 2020 South Korean drama series that was directed by Kim Sang Hyub.
I heard about this show before it came out so I was looking forward to watching it once it started airing and I didn’t waste any time once it started up. I will admit that I didn’t read the webtoon so I went into this drama without any knowledge of the storyline. Cha Eun Woo is an actor that I like and I was looking forward to seeing his fine ass in another drama.
True Beauty was an engaging and entertaining k-drama and I really enjoyed it. There were some parts of the show that I didn’t care for but overall, it was good. Let’s break down my thoughts about the bigger parts of the show, shall we?
Male Lead: Lee Su Ho
Actor: Cha Eun Woo
Like I mentioned before, I was interested in this drama because I wanted to see Cha Eun Woo in another show and this was up. His character in this show was a lot similar to the character that he played in the last drama of his that I watched (My I.D. is Gangnam Beauty). While he plays the reserved hottie very well, I was hoping that Lee Su Ho would be a lot different from Do Kyung Suk. Oh well.
As far as Su Ho goes, I liked his character. I liked that to him, Lim Joo Kyung was perfect just the way that she was. He liked her and because he liked her, she was beautiful to him. I liked that he never forgot who Joo Kyung was and that getting to know her now made him softer than the hard shell he carried around him at school. What I didn’t care for was the abrupt manner in which he cut Joo Kyung out when things got a little rough. I did feel for him when he wanted to come forward with their relationship and she wouldn’t let him and I even liked that he was understanding and let Joo Kyung call the shots where their relationship was concerned. It was more important that they were together than it was that people knew.
My heart hurt for him and everything that he went through in his short life. He carried around a lot of heavy burdens that made me hope for better days for him. I think that was why I was such a huge fan of his and for him getting the girl.
I didn’t understand why he took on so much responsibility for things that were out of his hands but I didn’t exactly hate him for all of that. It frustrated me that he took so long to explain his side of things with Seo Joon but on that end, I was more pissed off at Seo Joon and the way that he handled their whole estrangement than Su Ho. Overall, Su Ho was a great character that I was rooting for from beginning to end. Never did I not want him to get the girl, no matter how much I came to like Seo Joon, for me, I was always Team Su Ho.
Female Lead: Lim Joo Kyung
Actress: Moon Ga Young
I haven’t watched Moon Ga Young in anything that I can remember finishing though I did see her in Tempted and I didn’t care for her character in that show. I was a really big fan of her character in this show though.
Lim Joo Kyung has never been a beauty, at least in the eyes of her schoolmates. For as long as she can remember, she’s been made fun of and when she gets a little older, the bullying starts and it gets so bad that she wishes to transfer schools. She gets her wish when her socially awkward but very good-looking father gets their family into a bit of money trouble and they have to move back to their old house where she grew up.
The move brings about a transfer in schools and Lim Joo Kyung takes this as chance for her to start fresh and not be the school gofer anymore. I really enjoyed Joo Kyung’s character. She had such a bright personality that was only dimmed by her bullies. I liked seeing her really grow into herself. I did think that there were times when she was super extra about keeping her bare face a secret. There were plenty of times that I rolled my eyes down the street because she was super extra about a lot of things but I also understood where she was coming from. Her bullying at her old school affected her and we saw it so when she finally grew a spine and started speaking up for herself, I was so damned happy that I cheered.
I really liked her character, really cheered for her to come into her own and I just really enjoyed her being part of the show. She was my absolute favorite thing about this show.
Second Lead: Han Seo Joon
Actor: Hwang In Yeop
This is the first show that I’ve ever seen Hwang In Yeop in and I am super happy about that. I thought he was a fantastic second lead and though I never really cheered for him to get the girl, I did come to really like his character.
I struggled with his character in the beginning. The way that he treated Su Ho, the way that he felt justified in treating Su Ho the way that he did, pissed me off. Sure, I didn’t understand their history but I’ve never been a fan of lashing out to hurt others because you’re hurting too. I did feel for him once I started to get to know him. He lost his best friend and then he helped his sick Mom so I felt bad once started liking Joo Kyung because it was more than a little evident where her feelings were.
There were points in the show where my loyalty to Su Ho were tested. There were plenty of times when Seo Joon showed that his feelings for Joo Kyung were true and that I lingered over maybe thinking it was okay if the second lead won the girl in the end but those times never lasted because in my heart of hearts, I was a true Team Su Ho member. I did feel for Seo Joon but I was much more interested in him making things right with Su Ho. I longed more for the two of them to come to terms with their past so that they could both move on to more peaceful futures with each other.
Hwang In Yeop is a great actor and I felt every emotion he poured into his character in this show and I’m looking forward to more dramas with him in it.
The romance between Lee Su Ho and Lim Joo Kyung was a super cute one. I really enjoyed seeing both the past Su Ho and Joo Kyung and the current Su Ho and Joo Kyung. Su Ho was such a loner and needed someone like Joo Kyung in his life. Especially considering his home life and everything he went through on that front. Joo Kyung needed someone like Su Ho in her life as well. He was completely loyal to her and didn’t care what she looked like. He was so emotionally invested in her happiness that it made me happy.
The love triangle never really felt like a love triangle to me because Lim Joo Kyung loved who she loved and never once did she waver in that. Not even when Su Ho was being an ass for years. She was faithful to him and to their relationship, even when he didn’t deserve it…she was Team Su Ho. I completely understood it and rooted for the two of them to figure themselves out. She never had the chance to hide her true self from him and I loved that she never forgot it. He loved her no matter what her face looked like and even though Seo Joon did as well after a while, I always rooted for Su Ho and Joo Kyung.
The Supporting Cast
The supporting cast was a memorable one for sure. I think of all of the groups of friends covered in this show, my favorite was probably Su Ho’s friend group after he fell out with Seo Joon. I liked all of the boys but my favorite was Su Ho’s group because they were so freaking funny with how jealous they got of Seo Joon. Su Ho was theirs and they didn’t let anyone (even Su Ho) forget it.
Seo Joon’s squad was a loyal squad as well and though I did like them, I liked the nerds a smidge more. Joo Kyung’s new school squad wasn’t my favorite for obvious reasons and there were times when I wanted to smack some sense into Joo Kyung herself but every single time I thought that, Joo Kyung came to her senses. I loved that her personality never really changed throughout the show. She was just as kindhearted in the end as she was in the beginning and though she lost her way a time or two, she always came through and her friends benefitted from her forgiving nature.
Aside from the school friends, I also really enjoyed getting to know Joo Kyung’s family and the secondary romance between her sister and their teacher was a fun addition to this show. The teacher reminded me of how extra Joo Kyung was but they were both such charming characters that it worked in their favor because I was a fan of theirs throughout the entire show. I loved seeing Joo Kyung’s younger brother and Seo Joon’s younger sister bicker their way to becoming close and I really enjoyed seeing Su Ho and his father work on rebuilding their relationship as well. Lots of great characters for sure.
There was a lot to offer with this show and for me, personally, I never once got bored with what was happening. There are plenty of shows with slow beginnings or middles that drag but I didn’t find that to be the case with True Beauty. Each of the main characters shined in their own way and brought something different to the table that made tuning in every week a delight. I’m very happy that I gave this show a try and I’m looking forward to more acting goodness from this cast. I definitely recommend this show if you’re looking for a fun high school romance with charming characters and some deep plotlines that will keep you glued to your screen. This was a delightful k-drama and you won’t be sorry, I don’t think.