Secret Queen Makers – Drama – Review

Secret Queen Makers-Poster-EXO-Chanyeol-2PM-Chansung-Hwang-Chi-Yeol-Go-Won-Hee-Super-Junior-Leeteuk-Lee-Joon-Gi-Sehun

Make me the Queen!

‘Secret Queen Makers’ – Synopsis

Secret Queen Makers tells the story of a woman who works in a supermarket with a very simple appearance. She then went through a change in order to look more beautiful with the help of six handsome men mysteriously present in her life.

Year: 2018
Country: South Korea
Language: Korean
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Romance
Cast: Lee Jun Ki, Go Kwon Hee, 2PM‘s Chan Sung, Super Junior‘s Lee Teuk, Hwang Chi Yeol, EXO‘s Chan Yeol and Se Hun

‘Secret Queen Makers’ – Review

Lotte Duty-Free does it again! It again brings a star-studded array of actors to star together in a short web drama. I loved the first season, 7 first Kisses, so I thought that I am bound to love Season 2 as well…. But! My feelings are a little mixed up this time.

Backstory

So Lotte once again brings us to the magical department store where fairytales come true for that one lucky girl (every season of course). It seems like Lotte is the playground for magical creatures from fairies to demi-gods to some of the most handsome and beautiful Korean celebrities of course (who many would consider having God status as well).

In this season, we again come across a girl, Ahn Gong Ju (Go Kwon Hee) who is not exactly considered pretty in Korea and she has always faced problems like becoming an outcast and facing bullying. In fact, she has now completely given up on herself and resigned herself to be ugly for the rest of her life. However, her life takes a 180˚ turn when he crashes into a dashing man (Lee Jun Ki) and accidentally exchanges suitcase with him (because they both are obviously the same model, colour and size). When she later realizes that she has the wrong bag, she chases down the man and follows him through a wall in an alternative Lotte Department Store universe. Here she meets several messengers of beauty or gods of beauty’ who help Ahn Gong Ju to transform herself into a gorgeous woman who then goes on to win a beauty contest (again at the Lotte Department Store).

YAY! OR NAY!

So seeing the number of times I have mentioned Lotte, it should be obvious by now that this web drama is part of a PR stunt and it definitely works! After watching two seasons I so badly want to go to the store even though I won’t be able to afford anything there.

Secret Queen Makers-EXO-Chanyeol-2PM-Chansung-Hwang-Chi-Yeol-Go-Won-Hee-Super-Junior-Leeteuk-Lee-Joon-Gi-Sehun

Yet, despite all that the drama is really well made. Even though every episode is just a few short minutes, they managed to peak my interest and developed the story quite well. The acting was also incredible for sure. Go Kwon Hee manages to take control of the show magnificently through her acting every time I see her. I loved eccentric acting here as well.

The other actors like 2PM‘s ChanSung, Super Junior‘s Lee Teuk, Hwang Chi Yeol, EXO‘s Chan Yeol and Se Hun and of course Lee Jun Ki were fabulous as well (even in their limited screen time). My most favourite was clearly Lee Teuk from Super Junior. His partly vain, partly arrogant sassy character with a flair for drama was played to perfection. I loved his portrayal of the character as well as his dialogues and dialogue delivery. If nothing, I am glad I watched this show for Lee Teuk (let me clarify that I am not a Super Junior fan and this is my genuine unbiased opinion).

However, this season did not feel as great as the first one. This season was missing the ‘oomph’ factor even though I can’t pinpoint exactly what it is. At times the story seemed rushed while at some points it felt that the show lacked a continuity between the episodes. For me personally, the crux of the story itself felt superficial. I was completely put-off by the propaganda that there is only one standard of beauty. I feel that in Korea, the beauty standards are too rigid. There is only one type of ‘accepted’ beauty in Korea – thin, long straight hair, white face and big eyes. Everyone else is expected to compete with this beauty standard.

I was sad to see that the drama did nothing to fight this stereotype but in fact, further reinforced the idea. I don’t know if you have noticed but whenever Korean dramas want to portray someone as ugly they always give that person big curly hair, large glasses and freckles. It like along with a set ideal for beauty, they have a set ideal for ugly as well. However, the message that I did like and appreciate in the drama was how the ‘other-realm’ characters talked about never give up and the fact that things will only change if one makes an effort first (you know something like the saying ‘God helps those who helps themselves’).

Also, despite the rudimentary beauty standards shown in the drama, most of these messengers of gods and other people from this mystical land propagated along the lines of ‘beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder’ which I completely agree and support. (Actually, this line suddenly reminded me of a wonderful Korean poem which I heard in ‘School 2013’ called ‘Flower’ by Na Tae-joo. If you haven’t read it then do check it out here.) So, kudos to the drama for this!

Another favourite for me was Go Kwon Hee who, like always, amazed me with her acting. I love her versatility and how she completely becomes the character. In every drama that I have seen her, I have seen her as a different persona. I hope to see her in a lot more projects in the future as well!!

Finally, I don’t know about the others but I found the music to be really cringe-worthy, especially the main OST, which after listening to some many times just makes me hate that song!

Verdict

So at the end of all that complaining and praising, I would definitely say watch it! It is a short drama with top-notch actors and high-quality cinematography, script-writing and direction! I would personally recommend it for Lee Teuk and Go Kwon Hee.

Have you seen ‘Secret Queen Makers’? If yes, then what do you think about it? If not then watch and comment below!

About Poornima

A Korea-phile by nature~ Love everything Asian and originally from India. Fluent in Korean language and knows Chinese language as well. Has Masters in East Asian Studies (with special interest in Korean culture and politics)

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Jyotirmoy Sarkar
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Very interesting plot, so far i can remember i have never watched any fim with similar plot, will love to watch if get dubbed version.