Fall binge watch: 미녀 공심이 Beautiful Gong Shim (*spoilers, probably *)

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No, I’m not going to bother telling you the plot.

Oh, OK.  Rich kid is kidnapped by a corrupt relative and raised in secret by his Army buddy. Kid grows up poor, somehow finds time to attend law school and acquire some undercover martial arts superpowers which pop up occasionally to propel the plot, but are not otherwise dwelled upon.  As a lawyer, he serves only poor clients, drives a cab at night, and rents a cheap rooftop room (actually, the location looks fabulous for a single guy in the city).  The landlady is a cute girl with an ugly wig who almost drops a flower pot on his head.  20 TV hours later, they get married, happy ending, the end.

Most K-drama reviewers I googled hated this series and didn’t finish it.  There are numerous continuity failures, but it’s not that bad.  Bad guy hustles to a rendezvous in a cab and then arrives in his own car.  Another bad guy is whacked on the head with a fire extinguisher just before trying to kill somebody with large length of lead pipe.  Police are apparently not called, as he reappears 8 TV hours later to do another dirty deed, head uncompacted and person unarrested.

The supposedly prettier sister

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of female lead is a uniquely horrible and underhanded competitor of her supposedly uglier sister and suddenly acquires, for no reason, grace and self-awareness in the final 5 minutes of the 20 hour sequence.  Everybody is shallow and cute.  There is a lot of mother-worship going on.  Also much sincere pursuit of work ethic.

Toward the end, male lead abruptly leaves female lead for a year, and then returns, expecting everything to be the same.  Which it is, after a few plot minutes of reconciliation.  This happens a lot in Korean drama, usually in reverse: Typically it is the female lead who studies abroad for a year or 3 or 10 to achieve the passage to marriageable adulthood.  This time the male lead leaves while the female lead simmers and matures at home.  In other cliches, there is a brain tumor and a coma, but not of the male lead, rather just of  a MacGuffin character.  There are also numerous drinking bouts to achieve clarity.

Also, as I have noticed lately, an excessive number of trips to Subway.  Yes, that Subway.

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Massively popular in Seoul, I guess, and tres chic. Apparently it’s illegal to display car logos in Korean films (unless the make is Korean).  But you can blast the Subway logo into people’s eyeballs and make pretend rich people stuff themselves with tunafish on Italian rolls, to your production accountant’s heart’s content.

I can’t be bothered to resurrect the plot details in any linear order.  Overall it is a light mixture of generally stereotypical and non-lethal mayhem, on top of a generous serving of schmaltz.  If you like schmaltz, you will tolerate the mayhem which connects one episode of simpering and simmering to the next.  If you don’t like schmaltz, you will be one of those Korean drama reviewers who disapproved of this show.  I must have liked it, because I gave 20 hours of my life to it.

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