“The Beauty Inside” Episode 1 and 2 Review

Published Categorized as Kdrama Reviews

“The beauty inside” is the newest JTBC drama that tells a different tale about an actress who changes appearance for a week every month and a CEO who can’t recognize people’s faces.

The premiere was both great and slightly worrisome, so today I decided to talk about the things I loved and the things I hated about the premiere of “The beauty inside.”

Things I loved

The performances

There is nothing I love more than a good performance. All the actors of this drama (the ones I have seen so far) are simply amazing. Lee Min Ki and Seo Hyun Jin are an amazing duo and amazing actors. Seo Hyun Jin can captivate viewers and make every character her own and convince you she’s that character every time, this is why I love her so much.

Lee Min Ki is one of my favorite Korean actors but is seriously underrated by the international kdrama-lovers community. He is exceptional and different from the oppas we’re so used to.

I have watched many of his movies since he doesn’t do dramas as much and he usually likes challenging himself by playing so many different characters in each movie. All his performances are top notch.

Every other actor and actress in this drama are amazing. I like ALL the cameo appearances by different actors and have a feeling that there will be more to come.

Judging from the director who happens to be Song Hyun Wook, I suspect there will even be more cameo appearances by various actors in the future. He directed so many dramas over the years and he can easily ask many of the actors he worked with to make a simply yet impactful cameo appearance, I can’t wait for that.

The ability Lee Min Ki and Seo Hyun Jin have to convince you they are their respective characters each time amazes me. The way they act sucks you into the atmosphere completely and you forget that this is the first week of the drama sometimes.

The Tension

We have a very unlikely duo who each have critical weaknesses that can potentially ruin their lives and careers. Han Se Kye is a popular actress that must disappear for a week each month because she changes into a different person, while Seo Da Jae can’t recognize people’s faces.

The first two episodes were tense and had me on the edge of my seat and I am certain this is how its gonna be for the remaining of this drama. The prospect and the core plot shall create those uncomfortable, nerve-racking and suspenseful scenarios.

A chaebol CEO son and a popular actress, there isn’t a pair that can be as challenging and entertaining as this combo.

This will help keep me and everyone else watching guessing and in fear of what will happen next. The actors’ performances, again, are so good that you’re even more invested in this drama.

The Chemistry and OST

I must emphasize just how much I love the chemistry of the cast. Aside from the good performances, I liked how comfortable Ahn Jae Hyun and Moon Ji In characters were with the different characters of Seo Hyun Jin.

Han Se Kye is so many things and this can be confusing and challenging. While the main cast can get comfortable around each other over time and relatively quickly as well, its not that easy when the main character is always changing.

Being able to treat Han Se Kye like Han Se Kye even when the actor in front of you is not Seo Hyun Jin will probably be the most challenging part the remaining actors have to deal with aside from Seo Hyun Jin herself.

So far, everyone is doing so well and I like how theyù mesh together, I am hopeful that it’ll stay like this in the future.

Also, a quick note, the OST is super cute and suits the drama well. Since the drama is so tense it needs the right OST to match it.

Things that I hated

The slave contract-cliché

Just when I thought that its been a while since I’ve seen a drama that uses that ‘slave-contract’ cliché to abide the female lead to answer to the male lead every wish, I get shocked.

“The beauty inside” unfortunately has this overly used plot point, they even sign a contract in the first week of the drama. I have always found that typical kdrama cliché too annoying and very creepy.

That contract the male lead makes the female lead sign because he ‘has to,’ and then he uses that contract to enslave her and boss her around and when he starts falling in love he uses the contract as an excuse to see her.

I find it pretty annoying.

This could be a minor thing but down the line it’ll play a major role in their relationship I assume. This is coming from my experience watching so many kdramas, the writer will use this point to the advance of the plot so many times.

The old connection from the past cliché

This cliché is probably the most used cliché of 2018 kdramas by far.

I wasn’t the only one who thought about it but a kdrama friend brought it to my attention and now I can’t stop thinking about it. I blame that friend for ruining my mood.

“100 Days My Prince” “Lovely Horribly” along with many many hit kdramas of 2018 all share one core plot point, the lead male and female share a critical past connection.

In the first episode of this drama, its made clear that they had met in the past and that he saved her life, and this is how he ended up with a problem not being able to recognize people’s faces.

This is just my own personal nitpick that I doubt anyone thought about yet. But I cant help but wish that the writer didn’t have to go there, it would’ve made things more interesting.

There is also a part of me that suspects this point will be used a lot in the future, and I believe there is more to that fateful meeting that flipped Seo Da Jae’s life upside down.

The actress premise

This is probably my biggest concern going in. and therefore I can’t say I was blown away by the premiere as I had expected I would be.

I enjoyed the premiere of the drama, there is no denying that.

However, I don’t like the core premise of this drama because it doesn’t make much sense.

I get that the drama will be toying around with the concept of ‘supernatural’ and how a mere human being who is trying to live her life has to go through this (changing bodies all the time) but I can’t help but find it concerning.

At this point it’s not clear when she exactly started acting, so let’s assume Han Se Kye started acting before that crazy thing happened to her.

Even so, the actress premise still doesn’t hold up in real life because its still 2018 Seoul, that’s why!

Let me explain!

“The beauty inside” is based on the movie of the same title but loosely, loosely I repeat! The drama might be based on the movie but major points have been changed, and as a writer myself I totally understand why.

“The beauty inside” core plot is amazing for a movie, not a drama because if they had wanted to use the movie plot for the drama, it would’ve been boring. This is why some major plot points had to be changed so it can be okayed as a drama.

If you’ve seen the movie you will understand what I meant by the sentence above. If not I recommend you watch the movie its very entertaining.

The drama premise is about a popular actress that’ll be involved with a chaebol, there is no bigger story the press in Seoul can prey on and use for clicks.

If I were Han Se Kye and had been acting for a while but one day I woke up and found myself in another human body and through time I realized it happens for about a week of every month. The first thing that comes to my mind is ‘I am done as an actress, who would hire me?’

Who wanna hire an actress with so many demands who isn’t A HUGE star? and even then directors would find work with me very annoying and restrictive. Because I would be absent for a week each month, I would miss shooting and halt activities for projects that count on me, I would also miss on award season because I would be so scared people would find out. I would become very selective about my projects and this will hinder my progress as an actress, it’ll also change the public perception of me.

I would also be terrified my secret is out and even more terrified of the rumors people would make about me. Now imagine a Korean actress in real life having to go through this, the press and netizens would eat her alive and her career would’ve been long gone before it even began.

Therefore the actress premise doesn’t hold up much, because every time she is in danger or in need of help I will always be reminded that she is stupid because she is the one putting herself in danger, why would you wanna remain an actress when you’re suffering from that condition?

Even Koreans know and pities the Korean actresses because of the standards they have to follow and how they must behave and whom they must interact with and such at ALL TIME.

Even the character, Han Se Kye, says that a couple of times during the first and second episode. The excuse of the CEO/driver (don’t even get me started on that) having to ‘survive’ is stupid and shouldn’t be why she chose to remain an actress.

I would be worried sick about myself, my mental health and well-being. Even if I decided to still be an actress, its almost certain fans would abandon me once they hear how picky I suddenly became.

Its like you crave attention and trouble if you suffer from such a condition and choose to stay in the limelight, deal with it, logically.

This explains why the major plot points of “The beauty inside-The Movie” had to be changed, because the movie version of the plot is only a movie version and is only good for a movie its interesting to watch that for 2 hours but boring to watch for 16 hours because there isn’t much to the plot aside from the changing-bodies thing.

The premise of the in-danger and in-need of help the actress needs all the time creates the perfect tension and the perfect storm, it is the basis of this plot.

I am skeptic of this drama because of this one major point. I need, desperately, a logical sufficient reason why she chose to be an actress despite all odds, I need it to be something sooooooooooo important and crucial because without that ‘reason/s’ the drama won’t make much sense.

Every time she’ll get in trouble she’ll either threaten retirement or be told ‘why did you become an actress’ repeatedly by many people throughout the drama runtime.

I bet this is the first time you saw someone writing about this and you’re probably shocked and think I am annoying (which is right). But I am a person who likes ‘sense’ I like to make sense of things and I am sure that 90% of people who watched this drama didn’t even think of that, yet.

The actress-chaebol combo is very interesting and nice, but I will love it even more if it turns out that there was a logical explanation for why she chose to deal with her very bizarre unusual case in such a drastic manner that no KOREAN in real life will even consider.

Retirement or finding another thing to pursue would be on the to-do list of the person who suffers from this unique condition.

A Korean actress running away from an award show mid-acceptance is basically a death sentence for that actress.

The writer is Korean and uses those difficulties celebrities go through (malicious comments/rumors, ect) to use when its suitable for the plot and abandons it when it doesn’t (so far).

Does this mean I won’t watch the drama? Not really!

Does this mean I hated the premiere? Not really!

Its just that I had bigger expectations of this drama going in, I read the outline but didn’t think it through and saw the teasers and the cast and got overly excited so much so I couldn’t wait for it.

When I thought about the plot after watching the first episodes last night it occurred to me.

This particular issue can come to bite the writer back if the writer chose to overuse and emphasize it a lot because the viewers will eventually come to this conclusion, ‘why be an actress with your condition?’

The writer of this drama is someone I have never heard of and its his/hers first project most probably.

But overall, the drama premiere was nice, and I am excited to see how the writer plans on spinning it.

Having voiced my concern over the ‘actress premise’ I can’t say the drama sucks since we’re only two episodes in. its only something that worries me, slightly.

I hope the writer has that in mind and plans on handling this part of the plot well.

Whats your reaction to this article?

By Jass K.

Hi, I am Jass k. I discuss some of the hottest currently airing kdramas on this site in form of reviews an/or recaps, join me in the discussion~


  1. 1. I did start watching this, and I really enjoyed it
    2. I personally think this is a discrete expression for gender fluidity (just my opinion don’t @ me)

  2. After the cliché contract plot at episode 4, I begin lost my interest. After 3 episodes, I feel the story turn out boring. The acting for the leads are so good, but the story so typical. Sigh. I’ll try some episodes more to decided to drop it or not

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