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Series / You Are Beautiful

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From bottom: Go Mi Nyeo, Hwang Tae Kyung, Kang Shin Woo, Jeremy

You Are Beautiful, sometimes translated as He's Handsome or He's Beautiful, is a 2009 Korean Series Romantic Comedy about a girl named Go Mi-nyeo, played by Park Shin-hye, who is pulled out of a convent to impersonate her identical twin-brother, Go Mi-nam, and take his place in a boy band called A.N.JELL while he gets his plastic surgery fixed. Members of this boy band include:

  • Hwang Tae-kyung, the proud, arrogant and completely jerkass band leader (with a heart of gold). He's played by Jang Keun-suk.
  • Kang Shin-woo, the painfully nice guy. He's played by CN Blue's Jung Yong-hwa.
  • Kang On-yu, nicknamed Jeremy, the funny guy. He's played by FT Island's Lee Hong-ki.

As Go Mi-nam, Mi-nyeo has to hide her identity while trying to succeed as a pop idol. Comedy, romance and drama abound.

This is one of the most successful collaborations with screenwriters, The Hong Sisters.

In 2011, a Japanese remake of this drama was released in Japan as Ikemen Desu ne (美男ですね). Likewise, in 2013, a Taiwanese remake of the drama was released under the international title Fabulous Boys.

You Are Beautiful provides examples of:

  • Alone in a Crowd: Shin-woo and Mi-nyeo just miss each other in a crowded street.
  • Always Someone Better: Yoo He-yi feels that Mi-nyeo is on a higher level than her, and that makes her jealous of all the attention she receives, especially from Tae-kyung. At the end, He-yi accepts the fact that she cannot surpass her.
  • …And That Little Girl Was Me: Shin-woo tells Mi-nyeo some anecdotes that promptly end like this.
    • The first is the anecdote about this kid from the rural side of South Korea who talks in a weird dialect, and when going to the city he had to hide it at the end, that kid is revealed to be Shin-woo.
    • The love story of Shin-woo and this clumsy and Oblivious to Love girl he met, who is none other than Mi-nyeo.
  • Anyone Remember Pogs?
  • Apologizes a Lot: Go Mi-nyeo tends to do this to everyone, especially to Tae-kyung (and his annoyance).
  • Arranged Marriage: As part of his "legendary" backstory, Jeremy's past involves him being a member of the English aristocracy and that once he was engaged to a princess of England. When questioned about it, he only confirms that he still keeps in touch with her.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Yoo He-yi, a famous actress who is actually a selfcentered, spoiled and Green-Eyed Monster. When Tae-kyung finds out that everything about her is a lie, he nicknames her "Fake Fairy". When she finds out that the Mi-nam who is in A.N.JELL is actually a girl, she ends up menacing Tae-kyung with revealing Mi-nyeo's secret, and offers him to pose as her boyfriend, with pretty bad results.
  • Boy Band: A.N.JELL, the made-up boyband for the series. They even fit the boyband's appearance stereotypes:
    • Tae-kyung is the hearthrob and bad boy (and the face of the band) who is actually a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
    • Shin-woo is the "older brother" to Jeremy and Mi-nyeo (as Mi-nam, of course) and he is also the shy one, because of his passive antics.
    • Jeremy is the cute one, but he is pretty childish and oblivious to stuff that happens around him.
    • Mi-nyeo (when posing as Mi-nam) fits as the cute and shy member of the band.
    • The real Mi-nam is implied to be a mix of Tae-kyung, Shin-woo and Jeremy. That aspect alone makes him the most popular member of A.N.JELL, at the time he reincorporates in the band. The others are not really pleased to it.
  • Captain Oblivious: Due to being raised by nuns, Mi-nyeo is a little sheltered. She is pretty naive and dense, to put it mildly.
  • The Cast Show Off:
    • Shin-woo doesn't sing in the band and is (supposedly) the bassist. However, he sings and plays the guitar for Mi-nyeo in one episode which showcased actor Jung Yonghwa's skills as a lead singer and guitarist of his band, CN Blue.
    • Jeremy is also played by a real musician, FT Island's Hong-ki. He is also merely the drummer of A.N.JELL but he also has moments where he sings (albeit briefer) which showcases Hongki's vocal skills. Though for one of those moments, Jeremy is sobbing like a baby while singing because he just had his heart broken by Mi-nyeo.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Mi-nam's best friend had a crush on Mi-nyeo since they were students, and he was planning to propose to her once he completed his mandatory military service, despite the facts that he hadn't seen her in a while and that she was supposed to be in a convent. He never made a move when they were younger because she was his best friend's younger sister.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: A.N.JELL for a photo shoot.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Shin-woo as a Type B, who is the first band member to discover (and keep) Mi-nyeo's gender secret.
  • Epunymous Title / Pun-Based Title: The Korean title is read "Mi-nam-i-shi-ne-yo", which can be translated as either of the two examples at the top of the page, or "You're Mi-nam", which describes Mi-nyeo's situation in a nutshell.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: He-yi does not understand why Tae-kyung would save her from fans taking unwanted pictures of her with her nose bleeding.
  • Dumb Blonde: Even though he isn't a natural blonde, Jeremy fits as such to a T.
  • Fangirl: As expected from a boyband, A.N.JELL have lots and Tae-kyung gets very competitive about how popular he can get and how many fans he has. The official fanclub even camps outside the A.N.Entertainment's agency seemingly round the clock. The fans even write real-people fanfiction about the band members with Homoerotic Subtext.
  • Freudian Excuse: Tae-kyung's cold and jerkass personality towards others is because he suffered Parental Abandonment from his mother, the actress and singer, Mo Hwa-ran. She disowned him since he was a kid, and only looked for him as an adult because of A.N.JELL's popularity. The reason he abandoned him at first? She wanted to pursue her ex-lover, who happened to be Mi-nyeo and Mi-nam's father.
  • Gayngst: Jeremy. His body reacts as if Mi-nam is a girl (which she is), but his brain doesn't seem to catch on. This results in him repressing his feelings, interpreting things wrong, and pretty much acting as a mild Type B tsundere. Of course, the gayngst ends as soon as he finds out the truth... only to find out Mi-nyeo likes Tae-kyung.
  • Gratuitous English:
    • President Ahn will often say things in English, to put some "punch" in his phrases.
    • The lyrics to "Promise" includes some English words.
  • Half-Identical Twins: Go Mi-nam and Go Mi-nyeo.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • The fans eventually warm up to Mi-nyeo after she "saves" Tae-kyung's life.
    • By the end, He-yi didn't expose Mi-nyeo's secret, even though she is still rather jealous that Tae-kyung likes her better. She even accepted dating the real Mi-nam just to make Tae-kyung jealous, which, of course, doesn't work.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Shin-woo and Jeremy. Also, Mi-nyeo's childhood friend.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: Shin-woo tells Mi-nyeo about the concept of slash fanfiction in which the boys of A.N.JELL are involved in a torrid love triangle. Jeremy happens to enjoy them a lot, as well.
  • Hurricane of Euphemisms: The star euphemism is done to death, especially in the second half of the series. The reason? Mi-nyeo describes Tae-kyung as his favorite and most brilliant star.
  • Imagine Spot: They are used numerous times for comedy relief.
  • In the Blood: Manager Ma Hoon-yi's reason to look for Mi-nyeo to pose as her twin-brother, is because she also has a similar angelic voice as his. It happens to run in the family, since their long-lost biological mother had an angelic voice as well and happened to be a professional newbie singer.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Tae-kyung. He doesn't mean most of his bitching, and even in his jerkiest moments his intentions are usually good.
  • Just Friends: Virtually every boy Mi-nyeo meets has a crush on her. In the end, there can only be one.
  • Kick the Dog: Tae Kyung pretends to throws Mi Nam's Memento MacGuffin (a ring given to her and her brother by their parents) into a nearby stream and tells her to give up searching for her Missing Mom, prompting her to search uselessly in said stream all night.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Manager Ma says in Episode 15, "This is not a Korean Drama!"
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Jeremy sings an upbeat song about falling in love - while bawling his eyes out because he's just been rejected. The cheerful lyrics just make it so much worse.
  • Meaningful Name: Mi-nam and Mi-nyeo mean 'boy' and 'girl' in Korean, respectively. Go Mi-nam is also a pun on the Korean word for "pretty boy".
  • Nobody Poops: Averted. In one episode, Mi-nyeo hides herself in the toilet from the male back-up dancers/trainees and pretends to poop as an excuse. The guys are understandably disgusted.
  • Oblivious to Love: It's a miracle how Go Mi-nyeo doesn't notice that all the guys in the band (and even because they all live under the same roof) want her. A miracle.
  • Orbital Kiss: There's one with Tae-kyung and Mi-nyeo where the camera rotates all the way around... and back... and around again.
  • Orbital Shot: Used when Tae-kyung is searching for Mi-nyeo in a crowd.
  • Paparazzi: The persistent reporter Kim.
  • Pair the Spares: The real Mi-nam and He-yi hooks up at the end, though it's implied she still doesn't give up his feelings for Tae-kyung. And while Manager Ma and Stylist Wang were teased to eventually become a couple up as well, it's unclear if they really did have a very intimate encounter when they stayed in Okinawa.
  • Piggyback Cute: When Mi-nyeo got first drunk, Shin-woo carried her back to their house.
  • Product Displacement: Unless some labels and companies offered some sponsorships, expect to see storefront names and clothing labels as pixelated, and some duct-taped vehicles' logos.
  • Race for Your Love: An airport looking for a nun, a bus terminal looking for a band member, a mall looking for a girlfriend, etc. etc.
  • Real-Person Fic: Jeremy reads some bandslash of himself, Shin-woo and Tae-kyung, and he seems to enjoy it.
  • Remake Cameo: Jang Keun-suk (Tae-kyung's actor) makes a cameo appearance in "Ikemen desu ne", the Japanese remake. Park Shin-hye (Mi-nam/Mi-nyeo's actress) appears as Mi-nyeo in the Taiwanese remake, "Fabulous Boys".
  • Retcon: Shin-woo is stated to be the band's bassist, yet for their band performances that shown in the series, he plays the guitar instead.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Whenever Mi-nyeo stops crossdressing as her brother.
  • Shirtless Scene: After dance practice, Mi-nyeo has to pass through a locker room filled with naked back-up dancers. Lucky for her, Shin-woo comes to her rescue and escorts her out.
  • Shout-Out: There are a lot of shout-outs to other dramas and movies in South Korean pop culture, especially during the imagine spots.
    • Oldboy (2003): Mi-nam's manager imagines locking up Tae-kyung in a dungeon for 15 years. (Episode 3)
    • A snippet of Korean Idol Band Super Junior's song "Sorry Sorry".
    • In episode 4, Mi-nyeo is made to learn Korean Pop Music groups and the number of members, such as Girls' Generation, 2NE1 and Wonder Girls. She even correctly rattles off all 13 members of Super Junior properly!
    • The concept of a spy movie a la James Bond movies for the new A.N.JELL's MV. (Episode 8)
    • A music video for the drama Empress Myeongseong (2001), in Episode 10.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: Tae-kyung and Mi-nyeo during an argument.
  • Sleep Cute: Tae-kyung and Mi-nyeo at the movie theater.
  • Spanner in the Works: Go Mi-ja, Mi-nam and Mi-nyeo's aunt, is a real piece of work. In a few instances, Mi-Nyeo leaves to see her (interrupting previous plans) only for her not to be there. And then, Tae-kyung and Mi-Nyeo are alone in the country, and likely to get closer. Hey, why not call He-yi and give her the exact address of her house?
  • Spotting the Thread: Mi-nyeo's cover is almost blown because her brother's best friend noticed that the scar Mi-nam got from a motorcycle accident was missing and that their shoe sizes were no longer the same. Luckily for Mi-nyeo, he doesn't reveal her secret.
  • Stalking is Love: Shin-woo spends a whole day following Mi-nyeo and buying her treats and presents without her realizing it.
  • Sweet on Polly Oliver: Poor Jeremy. He's the only one of the band who just can't seem to figure out that the Mi-nam that is with them, is actually a girl. Doesn't stop him from being attracted to her, much to his own chagrin.
  • Terrified of Germs: Tae-kyung is a neatfreak who has an issue with hygiene. He's understandably horrified when Mi-nyeo accidentally kisses him (while drunk) and throws up on him.
  • Title Drop: Since Manager Ma is helping Mi-nyeo to keep her secret, he does a search of most popular hits in the net, and "Mi-nam" makes all the top five. Somewhere in there are the words "You're Beautiful" (Minamisineyo) which he's confused about.
  • Twin Switch: The premise of the series.
  • Unsettling Gender-Reveal: Most of the cast, but best played with Jeremy. He first looks very angry and is about to set off a rant - and then he grins, kisses her forehead and gleefully says, "So, you're a girl after all? I don't mind at all!"
  • When He Smiles: Tae-kyung. Mi-Nyeo is shocked when he first smiles for her.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Go Mi-nyeo when posing as her twin brother, Go Mi-nam.
  • You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: Tae-kyung changes mid-sentence from "Monkey" to "He-yi" during a serious personal conversation.