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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Birth of a Beauty Episode 1 & 2 Mini Recap and First Impression

Story Synopsis: An overweight and unattractive adjumma, Sara gets a full body surgery to become the perfect beauty. With the help of our hero, Sara is ready to get her cheating husband to fall in love with her... if our hero can stop himself from falling for her first.

Airs: Sat & Sun
Episode Count: 20

Brief Character Background:

Sara/Sa Geum Ra (old name)
(Ha Ye Seul)
An adjumma who is looked downed by everyone around her, including her in-laws, finally gets the courage to go through a full body plastic surgery when she finds out her husband has been cheating on her for the last seven years.

 Han Tae Hee (Joo Sang Wook)
Our hero, the heir to a large company decides to help Sara with her transformation so he can get the woman he loves (Chae Yeon) back.

 Lee Gang Joon (Jung Gyu Woon)
Sara's jerky husband who tricked her into thinking he has been working abroad for the last seven years while he has been working at Seoul enjoying a side romance with Chae Yeon.

Gyo Chae Yeon (Wang Ji Hye)
The beauty in the news broadcasting world. Engaged to Lee Gang Joon.

Episode 1 & 2 Mini Recap
The story opens with a beautiful girl in red dress and killer high heels walking on the street. Our heroine, Sara's beauty is so awe inspiring that every man and woman who set his/her eyes on Sara can't help but be amazed of her perfection.
Sara's outing is interrupted when a "stalker" start chasing Sara around. Scared, Sara all the sudden grabs the stalker and throws him over her shoulder to the ground. Surprised by her ability, Sara smilingly watches the stalker being hauled away.
By chance, Sara sees a tv program that offers it's contestant an opportunity to receive a full body plastic surgery. Enthralled by the sad life contestant Sa Geum Ran leads, Sara is heartbroken when she finds out Sa Geum Ran did not win the contest.
Upon Sara's further inquiry, Geum Ran's best friend tells Sara an even more tragic story of how Geum Ran died in a car accident after finding out that instead of working over seas like she believed, her husband Gang Joon has been in Seoul all along. Geum Ran goes to find her husband only to end up hiding in a closet while her husband has a romantic randevu with his girlfriend. 

Moreover, her mother in-law and sister-in law are all well aware of the affair while having the time of their life treating Geum Ran as a slave at home.
The stalker man finds Sara again and finally explains to her to that Sara is Sa Geum Ran herself. (Due to the after affect of the surgery if she didn't take her medicine then she will have illusions and forget her previous identity. I think it's only temporary.)

The night of the car accident, Geum Ran didn't die, instead she found her way to Han Tae Hee's house (the house of the doctor that preforms the surgery for the TV program) and begs him to help her.

With Gang Joo's help, adjumma Sa Geum Ran has a complete transformation into goddess Sara.
Medicine taken, and her full memories back, Sara is once again the obedient student to her savior Han Tae Hee. Of course, Gang Joo is not going to forgive Sara using her marital skills on him so easily and makes her sign a contract to do what ever he says.
While Sara is going through her transformation, her husband Lee Gang Joo has been busily enjoying his new promotion at work, and getting engaged to his famous girlfriend.
Not satisfied with only changing Sara's appearance, Tae Hee convinces Sara to also work out and fill her mind with information on all subjects.

During her work out, Sara suddenly hears a pop, and fearing it's her breast implant that has burst, she grabs Tae Hee's hand to have him check her breast out. Sheepishly, Tae Hee confesses that he is not a doctor but it was someone else that did the surgery on her.
Apparently, Tae Hee has an ulterior motive for helping Sara. Tae Hee is hoping that if he could help Sara to exact her revenge on Gang Joo, then maybe Chae Yeon (Gang Joo's fiancee) will accept him.

With their goal united, Tae Hee and Sara become partners.
Strategy #1: Sara wears a knock out dress to her husband's fund raising dinner and donates a large amount to attract Gang Joon to come talk to her. The whole thing was kinda working until Chae Yeon interrupts the two and walks off with Gang Joon. First plan: Fail!
Strategy #2: Sara goes fishing knowing Gang Joon likes to go fishing alone. With out fail, Gang Joon is surprised to see Sara and the two starts to have a cozy time together. While looking at Gang Joon's deceased grandmother's bracelet (the grandmother that Sara has been taken care of exclusively for the last seven years), Sara accidents flings it into the lake.

Without any hesitation, Sara jumps into the lake after the bracelet and Gang Joon watches with amazement.
That night, Sara and Tae Hee are both bouncing off the wall over their success in capturing Gang Joon's attention. As the two partners in crime swirl around in celebration, Tae Hee is all the sudden hit with the realization how beautiful Sara truly is.

Trying to remind himself again what their purpose is, Tae Hee tries to pump Sara up with the rest of their revenge plan. Sara's smile freezes when she hears Tae Hee's talk of revenge and confesses to Tae Hee that she doesn't want to destroy Gang Joon but would rather be able to marry him again. Completely unable to understand why Sara would want to marry a jerk the second time around, Tae Hee is nevertheless convinced when Sara tells him "This will be good for you too. If Gang Joon marries me, then you will have a chance with Chae Yeon."

An unexpected phone call from Tae Hee's friend from the airport sends the two scrambling to pack all their belongings. Turns out, the luxurious house they have been staying at is not Tae Hee's.

With renewed conviction to go after Gang Joon, Sara finds chances to befriend her ex-in-laws and presents herself to Gang Joon's family as their new neighbor.
Not being able to get Sara out of his mind ever since the fishing trip, Gang Joon sees as a sign of fate when he finds out his parents has also gotten to know Sara. Not being able to wait any longer for their date, Gang Joon ignores his fiancee's phone call and goes out to meet with Sara.

Tae Hee watches Sara's little meeting with Gang Joon and sees Chae Yeon witnessing her fiancee cheating on her on the other side.


Well, well, this is a different show than I expected. I guess I was kinda expecting a remake of 100 Pound Beauty (K-Movie, with similar premise) but this is no fluffy sweet show like that movie. It has plenty of comedian moments, but underneath it all, our two leads each nurses deep wounds.

I am not sure what Tae Hee's deal is yet, but his focus on Chae Yeon doesn't seem like the usual garden variety crush. It is interesting what the show has done so far with Tae Hee's character. They keep taking away his identity, ie a doctor than owner of that nice house, so you think all the wealth was just an illusion but then he makes the assertion that he is the heir to a mega conglomerate and indeed, without some serious money there is no way Sara can be out fitted the way she has been. 

As for Sara... I just want to scream "MOVE ON!" every time I see her chasing after her sorry excuse for a human being of a husband. However, I do kind of understand that even if Sara is completely changed on the outside, in her heart she is still that overweight adjumma who is just awed to be married to the man of her dreams. 

When Chae Yeon said "Don't you ever look in the mirror" and "Do you think you are fit to stand next to oppa?" to her, I think Chae Yeon is just saying the facts Sara has secretly kept hidden for so long. There was no anger towards her husband for leaving her for another woman from Sara, in fact, there was just pleading on her part that Gang Joon would stay. 

And now she has finally turned herself into the girl that is fit to stand next to her idol, Sara is not about to give up her dream of being the perfect wife for Gang Joon. In a sad way, I almost wonder if Sara truly loves Gang Joon since she is so mired by her own insecurities I am not sure she truly sees him for who he is or just this god like image she has of him. 

With 20 episode planned, I think the storyline will get fairly complicated and it will be fun to see how the writer using a fluffy premise as a back drop tells a heart wrenching story. 


  1. I get the impression that this show is really shallow and superficial from this recap. Is it?

    The premise itself is so silly. I'm all for people looking pretty with plastic surgery since it's basically part of modern Korean culture now, but when it is glorified and used as a central plot device to make an otherwise "ugly" main character "perfect", I can't help but roll my eyes in disgust.

  2. It is actually surprisingly packed with more depth than you would expect. You do have to over look the GIANT plot hole that plastic surgery can really change someone so drastically but that fact aside I think it does deal with the issue "You might change the outside but can you change the inside?" quite well. The heroine knows she is beautiful now, but underneath that beautiful exterior she really hasn't changed at all. Which means all the insecurities, and all the scars are still there.

    The first two episodes has really surprised me so far so I have high hopes that this one will actually have a great story line to it.

  3. I watched the first two right after the other. I think, too, that it'll be less about how important pretty is by the time we are through.
    There are many cool things:
    Han Tae Hee, without realizing it, created his perfect beauty. He picked out all the parts and put them together on her. Obviously he will be falling in love with her, but, again, not because of her outside. And what is his deal? I loved how he had the glass board up with all the forensic stuff. Not quite as skillful or intense as his scary character did in Ten. It is almost easy to forget it is the same actor. Does he have a job?
    Sara: More than once has said things would be easy, "Because I'm pretty," more than once already she has found out that isn't true. Just like anyone who loses weight, or has PS knows, your life doesn't get better just because you look better.
    Hubby: He did like his wife somewhere in his tiny little brain. I don't think it was as small as the .01 that TH claimed it to be. I think Hubby is a cheating SOB, but he did marry her once upon a time. I am curious as to why.
    The real plastic surgeon played by In Gyo Jin - He's so cute! I can't wait to see how he reacts to the new Sara, and what his relationship is with TH. DWiki shows them as different last names so I don't think they are really brothers.
    I hate the inlaw family. I wouldn't mind if they never appeared on screen again. But they will to torture Sara a me!

    Thanks and good luck with the recaps. It's nice to have a place to chat.

    1. Ha, you are totally right about Tae Hee deciding how to change Sara, so it must be what he consider perfect. That thought never occurred to me but the moment you said it I thought "That makes total sense!" I too wonder about his job but I think they are going to string us along a bit longer with that .