[Review]: Nail Shop Paris

K-Dramas have a distinctive glittery fluff that can be described as the cupcakes of entertainment television. Some K-Dramas rely too heavily on their cutesy content, while others steal bits and pieces from other K-Dramas in order to support their own production. But what happens when one K-Drama tries to do all of that? It ends up wrapping a big, disfigured mess and tying a bow around it. Hopefully, no one will notice the mediocrity.

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Plot:

Hong Yeo Joo claims to have met a gumiho when she was 6 years old and is now an online novelist of such stories. When her stories are deemed unoriginal, she decides she will base her stories on real people for inspiration. One day, she notices a handsome guy save a woman from an attacker so Yeo Joo follows him to his workplace in order to find out more about him. She discovers he works as a manicurist in Nail Shop Paris, an infamous salon where only handsome men are hired to work and help mend the women’s ailing hearts. Desperate to become closer to her new novel’s subject, Yeo Joo disguises herself as a man and begins working in the salon where she is given the nickname Bunny.

My Impression of Nail Shop Paris:

I won’t beat around the bush and sugar-coat my opinion so I don’t offend anyone. This drama is a mess. I refuse to believe that the writers of Nail Shop Paris were expecting their audience to take this drama seriously.

The plot is all over the place. There’s not specific direction that this drama is going, it’s a bunch of other K-Dramas pasted together. The best way to describe NSP is Flower Boy Nail Shop gender bender featuring a gumiho smut author and the F3.

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It’s funny because you can tell how original the drama is trying to be, but the only unique thing about it is its nail shop theme. The problem with relying on the set to pull the audience in, is that it doesn’t even FEEL like a nail shop. The house-like building is cute and cozy but it’s a little TOO snug. It made it feel like a comfortable place, but at the same time, the small spacing looked so impractical for a  nail shop. The props are so poor that it gives the salon a low-quality feel. There’s only a nail polish wall, the tables the manicurists use and a small amount of tools. There’s no indication that they offer pedicures so there was no foot-spa equipment that could have helped give off a more genuine nail salon feel by like 200%, and sometimes the way the boys were doing the ladies’ nails was dirty and unprofessional. It’s clear that accuracy was not their biggest concern.

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I said I wasn’t being sensitive to anyone, and I meant it. I’m very frustrated with this drama’s romance, it was ridiculous (you’re free to disagree with me all you want)! What the freaking crap were they trying to do with NSP’s OTP? For one, there was none! Bunny got to play around as much as she wanted with the poor boys that were only waiting for her to make up her mind. In the end, she picked the one I would have but the manner in which it happened made me actually feel bad for the ‘victor’. She also wasn’t really choosing him, eventually she could be with the other guy too. One is her husband, the other is her boy toy. That’s how it felt. I guess that’s one way to solve the relationship issues. Since all the fangirls are split in the middle between the lead and the second lead, why not let both of them have her? Ridiculous.

Even though I don’t think this drama was very good, I didn’t absolutely despise it. It had some cute moments that I really enjoy because let’s face it, girls love drama glitter. Even though it is entertaining during some of the cute moments of the ‘not really’ OTP, I still couldn’t ignore how poorly written this drama is. Pasting pretty faces on top of scraps is just not going to cut it for me this time.

Acting and Characters:

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It pains me to say it but my opinion of Gyuri as an actress is not good. She’s not the worst I’ve ever seen, but she can definitely use more coaching. She started off a lot worse, she got progressively better, or perhaps I grew accustomed to her acting. She made me feel awkward and uncomfortable sometimes. Her character was nosy and suspicious, I’m surprised no one called her out when they’d find her doing fish things and watching others in such a creepy way. For goodness’s sakes, she follows a complete stranger across town to his workplace.

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When I first saw Jun Ji Hoo, I had to take a closer look because he resembles Kim Dong Jun from ZE:A so much. Ji Hoo is gorgeous but his acting could also use some work. His character is kind-hearted, but at times it came off as fake and forced. He delivered his lines very simply and sometimes factually. I was waiting for him to improve but at least he didn’t get worse. The chemistry between him and Gyrui was practically non-existent, his character felt like a big brother, rather than a lover.

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I don’t only have negative things to say about this drama’s actors, Song Jae Rim who played Kei was the savior of NSP for me. His character was manly and cool, but sincere and affectionate to his lover. The acting was done quite well, and Jae Rim is a charismatic guy. He may have been playing the pessimistic lover, but I couldn’t help smiling when he was happy. He was a little rough sometimes, but a good guy. I hate how it seemed like he was shoving his affections onto Bunny because he was the only one that was getting s*** done. Everyone else was just waiting for opportunities to fall from the sky.

The last one I wanted to talk about was MBLAQ’s Thunder. Everyone already knows he’s a cutie, and his character fits him well. He did an awesome job as the cheerful, child-like Jin. Jin is a pretty straightforward character but he’s important. He’s not just the mood-maker but he’s a playful pal to Bunny who is trying to hide her identity. Although Jin doesn’t actively help in concealing the identity very much, he is the only one that knows the truth and in a way, is Bunny’s support in her workplace.

Drama OST:

Nothing particularly memorable

Rating:

5/10

I usually don’t rate dramas this low because I want to appreciate the effort, at the very least. This drama felt like the writers weren’t even trying. I can imagine them in a meeting room, cutting and pasting posters of other K-Dramas onto a nail shop banner and topping it all off with all the glitter they could find in the nearest arts and crafts store. It felt that counter-fitted.

Recommendations: 

Coffee Prince – Gender-bender where lead lies to get a job

You’re Beautiful – Gender-bender, comedy/romance, quirky, boys are hot hot hot

 

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