Bel Ami/Pretty Boy(2013) Review by ChellyWood

Blurb:  The story centers around Dokgo Ma Te, a young man whose mother dies before she can tell him the secret code that allows him to meet with his wealthy father, Chairman Park Ki Suk of MG Group. Dokgo Ma Te encounters a cryptic woman (Park Ki Suk's daughter-in-law), who sends him on a quest to seduce 10 women. From each woman, Ma Te must learn profound lessons in life, like how to understand the heart of a person, the true value of money, and the importance of justice.
A subplot revolves around the girl who grew up next door to Ma Te durng their high school years. Her name is Kim Bo Tong. Although her heart is set on Ma Te (the Pretty Man from the show's title), another guy, David Choi (in Korean that would be Choi David), shows Kim Bo Tong kindness and takes her into his home as a boarder.

Review: Although I find many Korean dramas tend to follow a specific formula, I find myself wondering whether
Kim Bo Tong will end up with Ma Te or David Choi. At this point, since I haven't seen all of the episodes, I'm still in limbo. And I love that! The curiosity is what keeps me going back to watch the next episode.

Actors: As I've said in previous posts, I'm a fan of Jang Keun Suk, and he certainly doesn't disappoint me in this series. His comic lines are carried with hilarious facial expressions. In one scene (the scene at the manicurist's), I found myself leaping out of my seat in shock. I couldn't believe how he was able to keep a straight face and fulfill his role so professionally!
Lee Ji-eun (also called IU) is cute and expressive in her role as Kim Bo Tong. I definitely find myself feeling empathy for her character, which speaks to Lee Ji-eun's skill as an actress.
But the one actor who blew me out of the water in this show was Lee Jang Woo. My gosh! What a pleasant laugh he has! And that smile! Oh, golly, it melts a girl's heart! There's a scene where he has recently confessed his love to Kim Bo Tong. Embarrassed, he changes the subject to the fact that his Christmas lights won't turn on. It's a scene that swells with unspoken emotions. Lee Jang Woo's facial expressions, the way his eyes avoid Lee Ji-e's, and the posture with which he holds his body makes that scene a perfect picture of unrequited love! This is an actor I'll definitely be following on DramaFever for a while...

Recommendations: This show is suitable for teens only. I haven't seen the entire series yet, so keep that in mind, but from what I've seen so far, Ma Te's role as a seducer of women makes this show a little too naughty for younger viewers.

Biggest Drawback: I realize comedy doesn't always transcend cultures, so take what I say with a grain of salt. But my biggest gripe with Korean comedy is the hitting and slapping. It just isn't funny to American audiences. So when Bo Tong's mother slaps Bo Tong and her brother, I try to turn a blind eye to the fact that this is somehow funny to Korean audiences. To see what I mean, take a look at the link below called "The Start of Ep. 1" since the majority of this show's hitting and slapping takes place in that first ten minute segment. The rest of the show seems to leave that silliness behind, which in my opinion, is a good thing.

Rating: (*) (*) (*) (*) Four Stars (worth viewing several times)

This is a repost of Chelly Wood's review previously on
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I’m Chelly Wood, and I write YA books. My agent is the lovely and professional Liz Kracht of Kimberley Cameron and Associates.
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