Beautiful Mind Review – Guest Commentator – Jane Tilly

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


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.

Episode 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | Series | A.D.DO! Review | Prettysup Review | Jane Tilly Review | Beez Review

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Posted in Beautiful Mind, Kdrama, Reviews
38 comments on “Beautiful Mind Review – Guest Commentator – Jane Tilly
  1. A.D.DO! says:

    Thank you, Jane Tilly, I really enjoyed your comments, especially your favorite JANG HYUK moments…its been so hard to let go of this poignant drama and I miss looking forward to it every week. We pretty much figured it out through a lot of back and forth chatter which I thought was very helpful.
    Hope we get to do the same on NEW SEA or whatever they will call it and let’s pray it will be as good!
    Til then, then…


    • kjtamuser says:

      I too look forward to the next JH drama. Even if the dramas aren’t that great, he always delivers.

      I’m rewatching Fated to Love You for another “hit of Hyuk” and he is terrific in that series.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Beez says:

        @ktjamuser – I know you know about all the meta in FTLY because I’ve seen you mention it before. But I wanted to point out in the first (maybe second) episode, he and Jang Nara Chase after a ring. He was also chasing a ring to get it from Jang Nara in Successful Story of Bright Girl. In that drama, he crashlanded on top of her while she was taking a bath outside (her family is really hick and live in the boonies) and lost his ring (In the tub, I think) and spent the next few episodes trying to get the ring from her. I’ve just never heard anybody else mention that bit of meta when they talk about the meta in FTLY.


        • kjtamuser says:

          Love that tie in too. Thank you for pointing that out Beez.

          I’m on the last 2 episodes of FTLY. It is a lovely series. I still dislike the separation phase. But JH and JN oozed caring as a couple. Plus I love JH’s hair in the latter third of the series.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Jane Tilly says:

    THANK YOU kjtamuser for your recaps, creating this forum for discussion and the opportunity to be a guest commentator!

    I really enjoyed this series and our “discussions” after kjtamusers’ recaps that helped to clarify some vague points and a place to rant about KBS.

    @A.D.DO! I’m also looking forward to Jang Hyuk’s next project!


    • kjtamuser says:

      JT, Beautiful Mind was the most interactive comments and I thoroughly enjoyed the discussion about this series. No one can deny Beautiful Mind was thought provoking.

      I loved your JH plus “Establishing his Wi-Fi connection and coming up with reasons to use his “data plan“”. This was a great concept that the writer conceived of and our leads implemented.

      “Despite all the network misdirection, I felt the writers came through with a solid final episode”
      * What a relief that the final episode was solid. We’ve all suffered through the missteps in the final episode. Thank goodness Beautiful Mind did not suffer this fate.

      “found Young O and Jin Sung to be a naïve, yet credible couple”
      * Well said. YO was emotionally naive so he was well watched with JS in that regard. Plus her positive interactions with him were like manna from heaven for YO who was practically starved for human kindness.

      I enjoyed Angry Mom and will have to put It’s Okay, That’s Love on my watch list.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Beautiful Mind!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Beez says:

    Totally agree with this:

    “Young O was not a monster and was in fact a victim. Sooo many other characters had far more “monstrous” actions than Young O.”

    JT, you and I are very much on the same page with our likes and dislikes: “SPELL IT OUT”, lol, especially since what you planned to say was cut short.

    As to this:

    “Frankenstein’s monster had a huge, frightening appearance, which prejudiced people against him before he could be judged for his kind words and deeds”

    I felt Young Oh had that in common with Frankenstein’s monster. Only instead of his appearance [yummmmmy. Sorry. Got stuck on Hyuck for a minute there] – instead of his appearance, the revelation of his “diagnosis” caused people to treat him how they expected him to act, and they responded to his tone and demeanor rather than looking at his actual actions.

    I’ve seen “It’s Okay” and it made me look VERY differently at Zo In Sung. Boy some if these actors are really good because in real life, I find him altogether too effeminate for my tastes. He brought the sexy in that show. The lead actress is always good and I enjoyed her in that, as always.

    I might check out Angry Mom, but I heard there’s no romance in it at all and bullying is such a serious issue so I’ll have to be in the mood to watch something that’s not my usual lighthearted rom-com. Then how, you say, did I watch Beautiful Mind? Simple – *in my best deep And-You-Get-A-Car Oprah Voice* Huccccck-A-Bucccccccck! 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • kjtamuser says:

      Beez, you make a good point “instead of his appearance, the revelation of his “diagnosis” caused people to treat him how they expected him to act, and they responded to his tone and demeanor rather than looking at his actual actions.”
      * I totally agree that folks interacted with him without always seeing what he did, instead labeling him and treating him according to their prejudice of the label.

      I watched and blogged Angry Mom and found it to be a gripping “darker than I expected” series that I would recommend. Bullying was not the central issue (as I expected when I watched it) rather it focused on greed, power and accountability in adults running a school for their own gains. There is romance for our Angry Mom and her daughter, though it is more subtle than a rom-com romance which is the focus of the series. I fell in love with Ji Soo who played a tough but vulnerable character.


      • Beez says:

        @ktjamuser – you and Jane Tilly are alllllmost convincing me about Angry Mom but, I gotta be honest, I know I’ll be catching up on the rom-com recommendations first. I’ll have to really be worn out with all the cute before I pick up something dark again…unless it has Jang Hyuck.

        Or Gong Yoo.

        Or So Ji sub.

        Or Sung Hoon.

        Oh, can’t forget Ji Chang Wook.

        Or Song Joon ki (who I was crazy about long before Ancestors of the Moon when he was just a WerePup (and even before that actually).)

        And, Joo Jin Mo.

        And of course my #1 oppa, (whom I’m older than but my introduction to Kdrama) Oppa Song Seung Heon.

        Oh, heavens to Betsy, I almost forgot Rain!

        Yep. No noir for me unless any of those guys are doing anything.

        P.S. If somebody convinces Lee Byun Hyun to come back to dramaland,then I’d watch something dark. Other than that… 😆


  4. Jane Tilly says:

    Beez I concur Young Oh faced prejudice due to his diagnosis; especially in the hospital where his condition was known.

    ROFL as I imagine your Oprah voice…:P

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Holly Moon says:

    I just want to say, I loved every thought you have put out there for us. I enjoyed reading each and every comment from each and every one of you. And I love these guest reviews, because yes, it helps with the Beautiful Mind withdrawals.

    I think we are all Jang Hyuk fans here, and even though the ratings were low, I think he picked up many more. So even though we didn’t agree on every issue, we all seem to agree on him.

    I will be back for more amusings with the start of another JH project. Meanwhile I am reading your Cinderella thoughts while I watch Park So Dam.

    I see you are watching FTLY again. Did you try Robbers?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jane Tilly says:

      The stories if the character JH played in Beautiful Mind and Robbers were bilsdungsromans (there’s that word again). Both Young Oh (BM) and Oh Joon (R) had significant moral and psychological growth. Self improvement is always a good thing! ❤

      I watched Robbers last week and enjoyed the evolution of JH's character. **SPOILER ALERT** He started out as a rear sphincter and became a better person.


      • prettysup says:

        i didn’t like Robbers, I think it’s because of the hair haha…


        • Drama Fan says:

          Oh! I love his hair in Robbers! However his hairstyles can drive me crazy in other occasions 😀


          • kjtamuser says:

            I am forever amazed that the fashion centric hair stylists can saddle good looking men with less than flattering cuts. That is why I comment when a guy has a good hairdo, because it is not a given.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Beez says:

              My issue is with the idol flower-boy haircut. I like it on the tulip boyz, but on men over 30, not so much. Even my biases, Song Seung Heon and Joo Jin Mo can’t pull it off. *you guys are not boys anymore* So glad I’ve never seen Hyukie in that style.


            • Drama Fan says:

              @kjtamuser Yup yup yup! So many “interesting” hairstyles these handsome men are subjected to :p

              Liked by 1 person

              • Beez says:

                @DF & kjtamuser The worst I’ve ever seen is Park Shi Hoo’s hair in Neighborhood Hero. The show is ranked among my bottom 3 but maybe it wasn’t that bad but I could not concentrate for being distracted by his awful ‘do.

                All I could think about was “No self-respecting black ops super spy would be caught dead…” And “the other super spies would’ve beat him up everyday after spy school.”

                It started out fine, but it got more and more pompaodur-y and then one curl over one side of his forehead,that then became two different length facing curls toward the end of the series.

                I can’t even find a still pic of just how overly coiffed it became but here is around midway through the series:


                It got even wavy-er and higher than it is in this picture. It took over the show for me. I barely finished the series.

                Liked by 1 person

          • Beez says:

            @DF Me too! Loved his Robbers’ hair. HATED his hair with a passion at the beginning of Searching for the Elephant. Although the scarecrow look did reflect his scattered manic mind. Loved it (possibly a wig?) at the end of Elephants. That man can rock an apple hat (he wore one in Robbers too).

            Liked by 1 person

            • Drama Fan says:

              @Beez Oh wow! I didn’t notice the change in Searching but it was sort of porcupine hair? I’ll double check. His hair in Tazza is kinda terrible! I didn’t love his hair in Thank You tho it “grew” on me :p (terrible pun intended) FTLY was purposely wacky and I thought it was so fun but not always flattering. His worse has to be his IRIS 2 hair. I didn’t love LYOs hairstyle but it kinda fit the character so I liked it in him :p He always rocked the mane of glory in sageuk except when it was too obviously a wig like at the end of TWDR.


              • Beez says:

                @DF – I haven’t seen Tazza yet but his hair didn’t stand in my memory based on the posters I’ve seen of it.

                I liked Iris2 hair, although not his best look for me.

                As to FTLY hair, I hated it but have to chalk it up to they were paying h’ommage (please pretend that I spelled that right) to the secretary in the Taiwan version and that FTLY is a cartoon come to life. Not that there was a cartoon version, that’s just my way of being able to go with the flow. FTLY did after all have cartoon/fantasy elements which made that easy to do.

                Whereas Neighborhood Hero was too serious a show for me to apply that to Park Shi Hoo’s hair.

                Liked by 1 person

      • Beez says:

        Annnnnnd supercalifragi-licious to you too,Jane Tilly!lol

        I looked up Bildun-whatever-ya-spell-it. I’d never heard of it before but, I think I’ll remember it for the gosh darn ridiculousness of how it sounds.


      • Jane Tilly says:

        Mmm…Jang Hyuk with hair long; Mmm…Jang Hyuk with short hair…okay the man simply oozes sexy!

        LOL @Beez–bildungsroman is a term I came across while reading a few months ago…I decided I better use it when applicable so I can remember it. Imagine me saying *in my best deep And-You-Get-A-Car Oprah Voice* “WORD POWER!” I freely admit to being a nerd.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Beez says:

          @JT lol at that “bildungroman” (probably still didn’t spell it right) reminds me of the name of a creature from Farscape. But I looked it up after you posted it and saw its a real word. lololol


      • Jane Tilly says:

        I wasn’t overly fond of JH’s in Beautiful Mind, but I agree it seemed to suit the character. I did not like his ‘do at the beginning of FTLY, but I ❤ it after it got cut–I think it is his best short 'do. Looking mighty fine Gun! Thanks kjtamuser for posting a pic!

        For longer a 'do I liked JH's look in Robbers and Chuno. What is it about his rough and tumble look that makes him look so manly and desirable? As I ponder that question my thoughts are getting nau…*ahem*…distracted.

        Liked by 1 person

    • kjtamuser says:

      I started Robbers but got distracted by what I’m recapping, then FTLY. There are so many dramas, when I’m recapping 2 shows, I don’t watch as much on the side. I have Robbers bookmarked and I will watch it.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. prettysup says:

    About your points:

    * Lack of clarity of YO’s actual condition— Yes I wish they will explain it properly too. Although I have my own theory about his, but many people in different forums are still asking the same question. A drama should be able to explain itself properly without viewers having to seek answers from elsewhere.

    * The change of genre (from dark and foreboding medical mystery to a romantic comedy without a transition) – I don’t think it became a romcom halfway through though. Although the romance did developed, but it certainly did not become a comedy. There were just a few light-lighted moments in-between but the general aura of the drama was still quite heavy, I feel..

    And I certainly like all your favourite moments! Esp the part about Nurse Jang and Papa Lee.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Drama Fan says:

      I agree that drama was mostly heavy and intense. The lighter moments were necessary or it would’ve drowned in darkness and intensity. Those lighter moments were sprinkled throughout the drama so I didn’t feel a change of genre.


  7. Jane Tilly says:

    Leaving a few things open to interpretation is okay, but the writers left it WIDE open. I concur with @Prettysup “A drama should be able to explain itself properly without viewers having to seek answers from elsewhere”.

    Okay @Prettysup, I will concede Beautiful Mind did not become a romcom, but the essence or flavor of the series had a dramatic change. I just started watching it again over the weekend with my eonni and the earlier episodes were distinctly darker and ominous than the later episodes.

    These early episodes dealt with the hospital murders and had very little, if any, comedic moments. There was evidence that Dr. Chae ordered the murders to cover up the defects in the stem cell research, but his minion, drug addict and anesthesiologist Dr. Kim, ended up taking the blame for these murders. BAM no more mention of hospital murder for the rest of the series even though Chairman Kang, Dr. Hyun, Young Oh and Jin Sung were aware of Dr. Chae’s deeds. The last few episodes, while they dealt with heavy emotion, did not have the sinister overtones of the earlier episodes and in fact had comedic overtones.

    It is my belief that while the heavy emotion laden core the show, Young Oh’s evolution with his dysfunction, remained intact, KBS dramatically changed the flavor of the series from a dark and sinister to a lighter-hearted drama with a sweet romance for the sake of ratings. If they would have had some of the comedic moments interspersed in the earlier episodes, such as some antics from the “Power Rangers”, it would have been a more credible change.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Drama Fan says:

      Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t JingSung scenes at the beginning provided that light feeling. And weren’t the gossipy Doctors aka Power Rangers always comic relief as well as Dr Yang. Nurse Jang wasn’t super serious either? But maybe my memory is mixing scenes up at this point. To me even Young Oh was amusing in his obnoxiousness in his first scenes. His scenes with his father were the most intense but not with the others? Also, I found the slow revelation of character’s layers and plot to be one of the strengths of the drama in terms of story telling. The fact that things were not as they seemed was imo, purposely done and in keeping with the drama’s message against prejudice, pre-conceived notions etc. Therefore the mystery of the first episodes was necessary and to me, actually one of the aspects that makes this drama special.


    • Drama Fan says:

      Btw thanks for your review and kjtamuser for this great idea of showcasing great commenters 🙂 I still miss Beautiful Mind and reading you all is a way to cope.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Beez says:

    I can’t let it go, it bothered me so much.

    If you were told you had no choice but to challenge one of these people to fight to the death, who would you choose?!AvE2-hpAQD16oVHbX_Fpa2MRCpy4

    I know I’d take my chances with Pompaodur Boy myself.


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August 2016

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