Beautiful Mind Review – Guest Commentator – Jane Tilly
The comment sections for Beautiful Mind recaps were full of insightful thoughts and opinions. The passion for this show got me thinking. What if I asked a couple of the avid Beautiful Mind commentators, the same questions about the series, then constructed posts from their responses? Let’s find out…
Today’s Guest commentator:
Jane Tilly take it away and share your thoughts on Beautiful Mind…
What I Liked Best about Beautiful Mind
* Jang Hyuk. He is an excellent actor and seems to inspire his fellow actors to give their best as well. Some of my favorite Jang Hyuk moments of him portraying Young O include, but are not limited to:
- Debunking the lie detector
- The crosswalk collapse and subsequent getting his groove back, which seemed to be his watershed moment for his evolution into emotion
- Overcoming preconceived notions of his dysfunction, his father’s abuse and Min Jae’s vengeful attempts to destroy him personally and professionally.
- Cultivating Nurse Jang into an ally and then protecting her
- Establishing his Wi-Fi connection and coming up with reasons to use his “data plan”
- Diversions in anticipating Jin Sung rejection of him
- Reaction to Jin Sung’s kiss as her reply to how she felt about him
- The evolution of Young O into feeling emotion, specifically love, and desiring more
- Confronting and forgiving his father, especially the grazing caress of their hands
- The sweetness of the budding romance between Young O and Jin Sung
* I liked the story. Initially wondering who the “monster” and Frankenstein were and then coming to a conclusion, at least in my mind, Young O was not a monster and was in fact a victim. Sooo many other characters had far more “monstrous” actions than Young O.
* The writers started out with a compelling story which sucked me in with the first episode. I believe the writers were causalities of the KBS episode cut and genre change past the halfway point of the series. Despite all the network misdirection, I felt the writers came through with a solid final episode.
* It was a very short soundtrack, but Bernard Park’s “Dirt” (youtube link) is a beautiful and poignant song
What I Liked Least about Beautiful Mind
* STINKIN’ KBS cutting the episodes
* Lack of clarity of YO’s actual condition—too many inconsistencies from the perspectives of the various characters (YO, MJ, Dr. Lee, Dr. Oh, etc.). What was Young O’s actual dysfunction and its cause or causes? S-P-E-L-L it out please!
* The change of genre (from dark and foreboding medical mystery to a romantic comedy without a transition). I blame this on the network for changing the genre in attempt to increase ratings.
I wish they would not tell us this was a story loosely based on other stories, Frankenstein in this case, as it skews expectations. Young O, the designated monster in this story was a victim of Dr. Lee’s creation like Frankenstein’s monster
, ; but unlike Mary Shelley’s story YO made conscious efforts to overcome his circumstances with greater success as time passed. Frankenstein’s monster had a huge, frightening appearance, which prejudiced people against him before he could be judged for his kind words and deeds. After countess horrible encounters with people Frankenstein’s monster made the conscious decision to become the raging homicidal monster people expected from him based on his frightening appearance.
Would I Recommend Beautiful Mind?
Despite the network blunders, inconsistencies, and genre change Beautiful Mind was a compelling and engaging story that I would recommend. Waiting for the drama to start I thought the age difference between our leads might be a bit of an issue. Between the way the part was written and Park So Dam portrayed it, I was very happy with the way the story played out and found Young O and Jin Sung to be a naïve, yet credible couple. I was rooting for Young O to overcome his dysfunction and find happiness, which included forgiving his father and having an affectionate relationship. What can I say…I am a sucker for a happy ending.
Similar/Other Kdramas I’d Recommend?
* Angry Mom was another compelling drama with dark overtones. This drama dealt with abuse and school bullying of Oh A Ran (played by the talented Kim Yoo Jung) and her friend. After the friend’s bullying and death, Ah Ran’s mom (Kim Hee Sun) was at the end of her rope after unsuccessfully trying to mitigate the bullying at school by going through the proper channels. Mom goes undercover as a student to root out the problem at the school, which soon becomes clear, is not limited to students who bully, but administration as well. If you can get past the darkness of the first few episodes, the interspersed comedic relief helps to deal with the loathsome abuse/bullying some students suffered. Ji Hyun Wood plays a hapless teacher trying to make a difference and Ji Soo (a great young actor) plays a bully, who with a little TLC, begins to evolve. Like “Beautiful Mind”, there are several characters who take monstrous actions.
* It’s Okay, That’s Love was an interesting Mental Health drama that dealt with Jo In Sung playing a character that has OCD and delusions with Gong Hyo Jin playing a psychiatrist with her own emotional baggage. These two help each other work through issues and fall in love. YUP it was fodder for ethical dilemmas.