The drama follows the life of Kim Hye Jin (Hwang Jung Eum) who was known to be the most beautiful girl in her neighborhood and turns ‘ugly’ as she grows into an adult. She comes across her childhood friend Ji Sung Joon (Park Seo Joon) who changed a lot. Feeling insecure, she made her best friend pretend to be her. Ending up in the same office as him, she had to hide her real identity and thus began the complicated love square story called She Was Pretty.
Here are some reasons why She Was Pretty is known to be a classic K-drama
The love square:
While love triangles are pretty common in the K-dramas, the older dramas were known for love squares, in which the main couple like each other but the secondary characters like them too, making it messy and complicated. Ji Sung Joon liked Min Ha Ri (Go Joon Hee) when she was pretending to be Kim Hye Jin and she liked him back. Kim Shin Hyuk (Choi Siwon) fell for the real Kim Hye Jin while working together while Sung Joon hated her due to many misunderstandings. As the two men and Hye Jin began spending time together, Sung Joon also began falling for her after he found the similarities between her and his childhood friend. There are many jealousy scenes as well as the second leads getting left behind when the main couple comes together.
The confession of love in the last few episodes:
Another classic K-drama thing- the frustrating wait for the confessions of love between the main couple. It is painfully obvious how much they love each other but the layers of misunderstanding and interrupted moments lead to the confession happening last minute. Ji Sung Joon began loving Kim Hye Jin earlier in the story but because he didn’t know who she really was until the end. Even after they reconciled as friends and got rid of any misunderstandings, she pretended to be just a close friend because she did not want to hurt her best friend’s feelings.
One of the downsides of this drama and most classic K-dramas was caricatured characters. Kim Hye Jin is overly clumsy and loud while Ji Sung Joon is cold-hearted in the beginning and Kim Shin Hyuk is unpredictable but in reality, he is a prince-like gentleman. They are not really relatable or realistic in any way as compared to the characters today.
Despite the many flaws, it is still a nostalgic drama for many and can also be a good drama to understand the series’ released in the 2000s to early 2010s.