It’s finale week so we bid farewell with the beautiful, wonderful, and loving characters whose journey we’ve witnessed and supported this entire time. It’s bittersweet to have to say goodbye to the characters who started out as young, naive, and clueless college students. However, it’s safe to say that they’ve grown so much in so many good ways since this adventure and that there will be many more great things they accomplish as they grow older.
Note: I’d like to thank everyone who joined me in this journey of recapping ‘My ID is Gangnam Beauty’! It was fun, cute, and humorous, and there were many great things about this drama that made recapping so easy (can’t forget all the squealing and keyboard smashing that I did as well!). In the meantime, you can join me in my recaps for other currently airing dramas ‘The Ghost Detective’, ‘100 Days My Prince, and ‘Time.’
My I.D. is Gangnam Beauty Episode 16: Even Though We Don’t Know Much About Life Yet
After the surprise kiss, Mi-rae and Kyung-seok grab some sleep. While Mi-rae falls asleep in her bedroom, Kyung-seok sleeps out on the couch, but is awakened by an incoming phone call on Mi-rae’s phone. It’s Mi-rae’s Mom and she’s called to check up on Mi-rae. Unable to wake Mi-rae up from her sleep, Kyung-seok eventually answers the phone and talks to a worried Mom on the other end. After revealing to Mom Mi-rae’s whereabouts via a video call, Kyung-seok updates Mom about his relationship with Mi-rae. He’s Mi-rae’s boyfriend. Mom hangs up just in time before Dad arrives, but also tells Dad the same news. Dad gives Kyung-seok another video call and warns him to make wise decisions. There’s security cameras around the house recording everything. LOL.
The next morning, Kyung-seo asks Mi-rae about the CCTV cameras in the house, but Mi-rae answers that there’s no such thing in the house. Lol. On the bus ride back to their apartment, Kyung-seok grows worried that her parents might not like him. However, Mi-rae reassures him that her parents do like him. They’re just unsure as to how to react because they’re fascinated that she finally has a boyfriend. To catch up on some last minute sleep, Mi-rae and Kyung-seok lean on each other in the bus and close their eyes. Aww, they’re too cute.
Woo-young cracks down on the person who uploaded the photos of Soo-Ah online. It’s much more difficult than he thought, and he’s going to need the cooperation of Soo-Ah to erase the photos once and for all. However, Soo-Ah isn’t willing to come forward to help with the investigation. She’s afraid that more rumors will spread about her. Though Woo-young tries to convince her to participate, she refuses to.
Mi-rae and Kyung-seok make plans on the phone to get some dinner later on that day. However, their plans are postponed when Mi-rae receives a phone call from Yoo-eun who wants to meet with her to talk about Soo-Ah.
Yoo-Eun explains Soo-Ah’s situation to Mi-rae and suggests that they return to being friends again. Since Mi-rae went through a similar situation as Soo-Ah when she was also in middle school, the only person who can help Soo-Ah is Mi-rae.
Kyung-seok worries for Mi-rae after learning about her meeting with Yoo-eun. When Woo-young returns home, he asks Kyung-seok if he knows of anyone who stalks Soo-Ah. The only person Kyung-seok can think of Won-ho which everyone already knows about.
Woo-young finds yet more pictures and threatening tweets of Soo-Ah online. He fails to get in contact with Soo-Ah to warn her so he heads to her place right after. That night, Soo-Ah encounters Dong-won in her neighborhood who demands for an apology from her.
Yoo-eun and Mi-rae talk a little bit about Mi-rae’s relationship with Kyung-seok before Yoo-eun receives a phone call from Woo-young asking about Soo-Ah. He’s in search of her place, but he doesn’t want anyone else to get involved and possibly injured. Kyung-seok pieces the puzzles together and realizes that Soo-Ah might be in danger.
Dong-won confronts Soo-Ah and grows angry at her for leading him on. He feels humiliated and ridiculed, because he assumed that she had feelings for him when in reality she didn’t. Dong-won threatens to hurt Soo-Ah, but our trio arrives in the neighborhood in time to catch him. While Yoo-eun and Kyung-seok chases after a fleeing Dong-won and manages to take him down, Mi-rae checks up on Soo-Ah. She finds a crying and traumatized Soo-Ah on the ground in tears and attempts to help her, but Soo-Ah refuses her assistance. Mi-rae is thankfully able to stop Soo-Ah from hurting herself, but Soo-Ah still doesn’t want Mi-rae’s help. Why did she of all people have to help Soo-Ah?
Mi-rae grows fed up, and pleads for Soo-Ah to stop with her hateful comments. Soo-Ah’s always looked down on Mi-rae for getting plastic surgery, but is Soo-Ah happy herself? Mi-rae cries that she no longer wants to judge people for their faces or to return to her old, toxic ways. From now on, she’s going to focus on herself and devote her energy and time to whatever it is that makes her happy.
Soo-Ah is transported safely to the hospital. Mi-rae wants to stay by Soo-Ah’s side for a bit longer to help her. Though Kyung-seok is hesitant because h’s worried for Mi-rae, he ultimately allows to let her stay with Soo-Ah in the meantime. He heads home with Woo-young.
While staying in the room with Soo-Ah, Mi-rae wishes that the both of them would stop with their own ways and live a much better, healthier, and improved life. Soo-Ah wakes up the next morning to find Mi-rae asleep by her side while holding her hand.
Sung-woon, Won-ho, Ji-hyo, Jung-boon, and Woo-jin all have a conversation about Soo-Ah and Dong-won. They feel pitiful for Soo-Ah after all that she’s gone through and note that Dong-won was a contributing player in spreading rumors about Soo-Ah. Now that they think about it, he was a little weird and odd.
Soo-Ah meets with a counselor to discuss her next move. She admits that she wants someone to look after her for the time being, but is afraid that she doesn’t have anyone to lean on. After her meeting, Soo-Ah realizes that she does have someone who she can depend on and receive support from. It’s none other than Yoo-eun.
Yoo-eun reassures Soo-Ah that everyone has something that they keep to themselves and that that’s okay. She adds that Mi-rae was really happy to have been friends with Soo-Ah when they were still on good terms with each other. Maybe Soo-Ah can reconsider reviving that friendship.
It’s another year of school and Kyung-seok and Mi-rae is the talk of the town. Everyone raves over their relationship and are fascinated with the new couple. Speaking of relationships, Tae-young meets with Tae-hee to ask for another chance. Unlike Tae-young, Tae-hee doesn’t want to get back together with Tae-young. She’s moved on (YAAAAS).
Woo-young’s colleague attempts to set him up with a girl, but Woo-young isn’t interested. Instead, he takes Hyun-jung out for some drinks upon her request. They have a talk about relationships in which Hyun-jung expresses curiosity about who Woo-young will date in the future. Even he himself doesn’t know the answer to that question.
Mi-rae continually receives questions about her plastic surgery operation while tutoring a student. She tries her best to stay patient; she needs to make money so that she can buy Kyung-seok a birthday present. Lol. Kyung-seok continues to make his relationship with Mi-rae known. While at work, he wears a pin that states that he’s taken. Hahaha.
Mi-rae and Kyung-seok meet later on that night. He grows disappointed when he finds that his contact name in Mi-rae’s phone is ‘chemistry friend.’ LOL. He wants her to change it which she volunteers to do eventually. They make plans to meet that Saturday.
Woo-jin has a phone call with Kyung-seok and wants to hang out with him again. Before ending the conversation, Kyung-seok asks Woo-jin the timeline as to when girls start to get tired of their boyfriends. Woo-jin assumes the two are on bad terms with each other already, but Kyung-seok denies the accusations. Kyung-seok’s asking because he’s worried that Mi-rae’s forgotten about his birthday.
Woo-jin meet with Jung-boon to discuss his future. She suggests he work for his dad again so Woo-jin invites her to meet him at his workplace. They head to a church since Woo-jin’s dad is a pastor. Now Jung-boon understands why Woo-jin doesn’t want to work or live with his dad, lol.
Kyung-seok’s parents meet at a cafe to talk and clarify any misunderstandings. He wants her to give him another chance, but Mom isn’t interested. Lol. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Dad’s former assistant who he fired is now working for a Congressman and teases Dad to take good care of himself.
Though Won-ho hasn’t talked to Soo-Ah in a while, it seems like he’s beginning to miss her. Meanwhile, Mi-rae and Kyung-seok meet up in class. They find a perfume bottle sitting near Mi-rae, but it wasn’t Kyung-seok who gifted it to her. Who could have given Mi-rae the perfume bottle?
Soo-Ah visits Kyung-seok at his part-time job. She clarifies to him that she actually never had feelings for him once. Plus, she shares that she’s starting to wear perfume which she’s come to liking now. This could explain for the perfume bottle that she gave Mi-rae the other day while she was asleep in class. Kyung-seok grows relieved.
Kyung-seok pretends to be mad at Mi-rae for the perfume bottle and contact name, but he can’t play pretend for much longer. Mi-rae’s changed his contact name in her phone and he already knows the truth about the perfume bottle. They head over to a restaurant afterwards to grab some food and it’s there that Mi-rae surprises Kyung-seok for his birthday. She hasn’t forgotten about it at all.
Mi-rae sings happy birthday to him at the restaurant and they celebrate the special day. She hands him a sweater for his birthday and the couple takes a selfie together afterwards. Omg, they’re too cute!
The couple head to a park afterwards to spend more time with each other. Kyung-seok shares that he wouldn’t mind proposing to Mi-rae at the same exact spot they’re at many years later. Thanks to her, he now believes in love and marriage. Kyung-seok and Mi-rae give each other pecks on the forehead and lips and caresses each other tightly.
The two sport their couple sweaters at school and garners the attention of their friends. Mi-rae doubts whether getting herself the same sweater was a good idea or not, but Kyung-seok answers that it doesn’t matter. She can do whatever she wants and feels like doing. The two stare lovingly into each other’s eyes while walking off hand in hand in their couple hoodies.
Aww, I’m really really really going to miss our adorable and wonderful couple. Their romantic relationship bloomed a little late in this drama (which was totally okay) so we didn’t get too much of them as a couple so I’m really going to miss them. I was counting down the last few remaining minutes to the episode as I was recapping it because I just didn’t want it to end. I can watch Kyung-seok and Mi-rae spend time together forever, because they are truly just so meant for each other and complete each other in the most beautiful ways ever. They were soulmates from the very beginning, whether as friends or romantic partners.
There was just something about this drama that made it so breezy, easy, and satisfactory to watch. There was no unnecessary drama and angst, all the characters were consistent throughout, there were multiple plots and arcs that were interesting, and the drama was relatable. The drama overall was consistent and didn’t make a dramatic downturn out of no where. While I do think Dong-won’s appearance in the drama and his scene in this last episode was a little random, I understand why his character was necessary in bringing Soo-Ah and Mi-rae back together. While there were many minor characters in this drama which was a bit distracting and off-putting, the drama overall remained good, fun, and relaxing to watch.
This last episode did a great job in wrapping everything up and tying up loose ends. We learn that there could be a possible future for Hyun-jung and Woo-young since it’s clear he’s not interested in other girls and feels comfortable around Hyun-jung. While I feel conflicted in the drama’s attempt to redeem Soo-Ah the last few episodes, I admit that I did feel a bit of pity and sympathy for her with this last episode. When she visited Kyung-seok at work and clarified misunderstandings between the two of them, I saw it as her attempt to start all over and to live a new life. I interpreted the visit as her way of saying that she’s moving on from her past, is breaking away from the toxic lifestyle she used to live, and is going to live a life that she wants for herself. She no longer will worry about how others perceive or think of her and will do things for herself this time. So while Soo-Ah’s past actions and decisions were inexcusable, toxic, and unworthy of justifying, she’s unlearning those habits and is putting forth the effort to live differently. Her confrontation with Mi-rae was the catalyst in bringing forth that change. I commend Soo-Ah for taking these steps and something as small as her cutting her hair was evident of that effort. Thankfully, Yoo-eun and Mi-rae came around to believe in her when she was at her lowest and was so close to giving up. She had people there who cared for her when she thought she didn’t. Even after all that she’s done to people, there were still people who wanted to help her. Maybe Soo-Ah has found the will and beauty in living and realizes that it’s not others who are going to help you come to that realization. It’s up to you to find that beauty, and that starts by living for yourself.
I’ve attempted so many different times to describe Mi-rae and Kyung-seok’s relationship, but there’s really no words that can be used to explain them as a couple. They were so compatible and considerate of the other which are traits that originally stemmed from their personalities. They were originally thoughtful, kind, and considerate people to begin with, but just had a hard time expressing that. With each other, the two are able to transform in bigger and better ways and have changed for the better. If there’s anything that I especially love about the couple, it’d be the fact that they can now do things with each other that they might not have been able to do when they were younger. Mi-rae and Kyung-seok missed out on many normal things that others their age were doing when they were younger. They never got to hang out with friends, they were lonely and isolated, they had a hard time trusting others, Mi-rae cared a lot about what others thought about her, and they never truly knew the meaning of companionship and friends. They both had a difficult time during their childhood and in that sense, never had the kind of childhood that others their age might have had at that time. Since meeting and being with each other, Kyung-seok and Mi-rae were able to finally experiment and try all the things they’ve always wanted to do when they were younger. They support each other and help cheer the other person up when they’re down or drowning in doubts and concerns. Kyung-seok and Mi-rae are romantic partners, but more so than that, they’re best friends and they’ve always been best friends. They know each other best and compliment the other in ways that no one else has been able to do for them.
Mi-rae and Kyung-seok’s relationship didn’t officially form until episode thirteen so there wasn’t much time where we saw them as a couple. However, as much as I yearned for more scenes of their relationship, I was actually satisfied with the moments leading up to their formation as a couple. I had no problem watching the two awkwardly navigate their friendship before they became a couple, and I would even say that this was the best part about the drama. The drama was fun to watch all the way through and the two are absolutely adorable as a couple, but they were so great with the are-we-friends-or-not arc and I loved watching that. That could also explain for the lack of angst and fights that they had with each other when they did get together as Kyung-seok and Mi-rae already had fights when they were still friends. They figured their issues out and learned so much about each other as friends that by the time they liked each other, there was pretty much nothing to fight about.
It’s because they learned so much about each other as friends that their feelings for each other began to deepen. Kyung-seok knows and understands that Mi-rae still felt insecure and inferior to others. He listened to her and did what she was most comfortable with. Mi-rae too catered to his needs and was considerate about his situation with his family as well as his aloof and reserved personality. They always put themselves in the other person’s shoes and are very deliberate and careful in the way that they approach each other. Everything they do is genuine and sincere and they remain ever so considerate and thoughtful. I’m sure Mi-rae and Kyung-seok are going to go through arguments and fights like any other couple (they are still in the honeymoon phase), but just like they did when they were friends, they will be able to figure out as lovers any challenges that comes their way.
Kyung-seok and Mi-rae were our main characters in this drama and we watched them navigate their coming-of-age adventure as first year students in college. However, I have to give so much credit to all the other people they met along the way who encouraged them and supported them on the sidelines. I know Hyun-jung didn’t receive as much of an arc or focus other than her position as Mi-rae’s friend and Hyun-jung’s secret admirer, but can we just admit that she was incredible and amazing? She was there for Mi-rae ever since middle school, and it was Hyun-jung who lifted Mi-rae up and cared for her when no one did. Mi-rae even acknowledged that it was because of Hyun-jung that she was finally able to feel comfortable at school and that if not for Hyun-jung, she wouldn’t be where she is right now. Hyun-jung has played such a huge and immense role in Mi-rae’s life, and is the primary reason that Mi-rae hasn’t completely caved in. When no one believed in Mi-rae, Hyun-jung did. When Mi-rae felt like she didn’t have anyone, Hyun-jung proved to her that she was there for Mi-rae. Hyun-jung is such a great, caring, and kind best friend, and she’s the type of friend that I wish I could be for others and that I wish I could have myself. Mi-rae’s other friends, Yoo-eun and Jung-boon, are also great and noteworthy and while they weren’t shown doing much with Mi-rae, you could tell that they were also Mi-rae’s pillars and support system.
Our characters exemplified growth and improvement in many ways, but I really have to acknowledge Mi-rae’s growth in particular. When you compare her at the beginning of the drama to where she is at the ending of this show, you can just tell how much she’s changed and grown since. A part of it was with the help of Kyung-seok, her parents, and her friends, but a part of it was also just purely because of her. It was sad and depressing to see her not live the life and the childhood that she wanted because of her insecurities and doubts. It was sad to see her miss out on experiences that other people would do or to not be able to try normal things that others got to do. However, over the course of the drama, she changed from being a quiet, shy, and gullible young lady to a confident, out-spoken, and strong woman. While she hasn’t completely gotten over her struggles and insecurities just yet, Mi-rae’s learned to slowly become comfortable in her skin, to feel at peace with herself, and to listen to herself more often. She was able to advocate for herself and to stand up for what she believed in when before she would just stay quiet and listen to people talk about her. She grew immensely in this drama in so many different and beautiful ways, and it was so nice and relieving to watch this unfold. It was what made her character so relatable and realistic, and was what made you root for her. Our characters were great, but Mi-rae was just something else. She makes me want to love myself more as well.
The arc with the parents was probably my favorite part to watch in the drama. Mi-rae’s awkward relationship with her father early on in the drama was so difficult to watch, but so relieving to witness after they made up. You learn from their relationship and understand that a father’s love for her daughter will always be the same. It will never change. Dad might have been disappointed that Mi-rae didn’t consult him before undergoing plastic surgery or that she wanted to look differently, but he still loved her because it was her personality that he loved her for and not her face. Mi-rae’s face might have changed, but she was still the sweet, loving, and caring daughter that he raised and loved. Kyung-seok’s relationship with his parents was complex and complicated and another great part about this drama. Parental relationships are not always going to be smooth and easy and they too can be toxic. Even until this very last episode, you still don’t know if Kyung-seok and his family have a happy ending. Their ending is open-ended, but I do think the potential to reunite or at least to be on good terms again as a family of four is definitely there. Maybe they just need some time away from one another to heal.
When I first recapped this drama, I was a little skeptical and worried about what message or lesson the drama was going to express to viewers. We were treading carefully around the topics of plastic surgery, physical appearances, self-harm, and much more in a setting that was mostly light-hearted, cheerful, and upbeat. I wasn’t so sure what the drama was trying to tell us. Now that we’ve reached the ending to the show, I can say that I think the drama did a decent job in sharing with us the message that it wanted us to know through the use of the characters. Plastic surgery isn’t a bad thing and it’s totally up to an individual if they want to undergo such an operation. We see that with the case of Mi-rae. With characters like Soo-Ah who didn’t get plastic surgery and is rather judgmental about those who did get their faces fixed, we learn that she isn’t so happy with herself either. Plastic surgery or not, it’s unfortunate that society continues to place such a huge emphasis on looks and physical appearances. Plastic surgery or not, everyone’s struggling to love themselves, to be comfortable in their own skin, and to accept themselves for who they are – flaws and whatnot. The drama showed us that it’s not our looks that we should be fixated on fixing or that beauty is what makes a person. Instead, it’s what on the inside that truly matters and that dictates what kind of person you are. Someone as pretty and cute as Soo-Ah was still so deceiving, cunning, and evil. People poked fun at Mi-rae for undergoing plastic surgery, but she was one of the sweetest, most caring, and kind characters in the drama. Heck, that’s even why Kyung-seok fell in love with Mi-rae and eventually chose her. One’s personality is so important and crucial in determining what type of person you are, and it’s our traits and habits that we should work on improving, not our looks.
While there wasn’t a lot going on in this drama, ‘My ID is Gangnam Beauty’ was still so fun and easy to watch and I truly enjoyed all the arcs, themes, sub-plots, and characters that we were introduced to. Each character had struggles of their own that they were learning to deal with and overcome and it was this aspect that made the drama relatable. I’m definitely going to miss watching Mi-rae’s comedic and lovable interactions with her parents and Woo-young and Kyung-seok tease each other as roommates. At the same time, I’m super proud at all that they’ve accomplished and will accomplish in the years to come and I think this is what makes it a little easier to bid farewell with the characters. Everyone will go on with their lives as they’ve done in the past and they’re going to embark on new adventures and grow as individuals in the process. And, maybe, just maybe, Kyung-seok will eventually propose to Mi-rae at the same spot he hinted about in this episode. Time might pass and things might change, but their love for each other will remain everlasting.