A Collage of Better Shows: Nail Shop Paris Korean Drama Review
The good news about the drama Nail Shop Paris is that it's only 10 episodes long. The bad news about Nail Shop Paris is that I probably wouldn't have bothered to finish it if it had been more than 10 episodes long.
Since this is a short show, I'll also try to keep my review short.
OverviewIn one of the first scenes of the show, Hong Yeo Joo ("Bunny"), our female lead, complains that every time she starts to write a story, she finds herself repeating ideas from other books or movies.
Unfortunately, Nail Shop Paris is a self-fulfilling prophecy when it comes to writing. Nail Shop Paris, like its writer lead, seems to believe that basing a story around a male nail artist is enough to make something fresh. Once Yeo Joo finds her new muse, she proceeds to write an immensely cliche story that sometimes goes to a nail shop for no cohesive reason. That's exactly what happens to this drama. They draw attention to the novelty of an all-male nail shop and then proceed to write a tired story that doesn't bring anything else to the table.
The problem here is not only that they repeat ideas, but that they try to repeat too many ideas. It's like the writers listed ALL of their favorite shows and then tried to cram them all into 10 episodes. Rather than carrying out any of the conflicting stories to a satisfying conclusion, the result ends up being something of a convoluted mishmash without full development anywhere. You can't do justice to a gender bender AND a gumiho story AND every character overcoming inner demons AND a case-of-the-week show all in 10 episodes.
|You can't just wink your way out of this!|
A perfect example would be the ending. I don't want to spoil anything, but the last 15 minutes of a series isn't the idea time to turn your show into a supernatural thriller. And no, having the characters tout the virtues of an "open ending" doesn't really help much. That's just lazy writing.
So why did I keep watching? Well, to be honest, it wasn't ALL terrible. Even though Alex is, quite possibly, the most boring person on the entire planet, I kind of liked Kay, the grumpy corner of the love triangle. I genuinely wasn't sure how the whole thing would turn out, so I stuck along for the ride (and since I was halfway through before I realized how short that ride would be, it all worked out). Sure, Kay is grumpy and kind of looks like a gigantic praying mantis when he runs, but at least he's an endearing praying mantis. I also liked the way that they established flirtation in this show. It somehow felt more natural than what I've seen in a lot of dramas.
|Speaking of men who look better with facial hair...|
- Chalk this up to having to rush the plot along, but how on earth did ALL of the characters keep their cool like that with the ghost case? I mean, the lady says, "This woman is having unconscious sex with her dead boyfriend," and they all nod like it's totally normal and calmly go set up her exorcism? Uhhhhhhhh did we all miss the part where GHOST RAPE IS A THING? No. Nononononononononononoono. I will never sleep again.
- A note to the costume designers: If you want people to believe that this woman is a man, don't dress her in skintight pants all the time. I don't have the time to give you a full anatomy lesson, but suffice it to say that man parts and lady parts aren't exactly the same. Skintight leggings aren't helping your case. Neither is the lip gloss. Surprisingly, I found her most convincing in her manly role when she was dressed as a girl pretending to be a guy pretending to be a girl. something about the way she carried herself in that scene was pretty effective.
- Kay obviously took Beyonce a little too literally: "If I like this, I have to put a ring on it! RIGHT NOW!"
- Apparently, it's totally cool if some random young men walk into the third grade and start taking pictures of the kids. Creeeeeeepy.
- Was I the only one who found the nail art kind of grotesque instead of stunning?
|Seriously, so impractical! How are you supposed to dial the phone with those things?|
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