Out of all the summertime K-dramas coming out this year, it seems Mask is the one that is doing the best out of all of them. Both viewers and critics agree in unison that the K-drama is a blockbuster hit with its innovative storytelling, melodramatic direction, and strong acting. As a matter of fact, it is comparatively doing better than another K-drama that was expected to be a runaway success simply because Kim Soo Hyun is in it, Producer.
It should be noted that every television show — whether it’s from South Korea or the U.S., successful or a flop — is usually grounded in the foundation of another story. For example, the recently-concluded Revenge is grounded in classics like The Count of Monte Cristo and Hamlet. With Mask, its story is La Belle et la Bête, better known as Beauty and the Beast.
However, Mask follows the success formula by making its core story its own. Summarized, Mask succeeds by being a modernized and innovative retelling of Beauty and the Beast.
The classic tale by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont centers around two characters: Belle and the Beast. Taking her father’s place, Belle ends up living with the Beast in his castle for a debt her father was supposed to pay for the rest of his life. This core story is used in Mask but given a modern adaption, according to KDrama Stars.
Byun Ji Sook (Soo Ae) — who is “Beauty” — works tirelessly to help her father, who has racked up a tantamount debt he is unable to pay back. Choi Min Woo (Joo Ji Hoon) — who is the “Beast” — is the heir of a wealthy family who comes off cold, apathetic, and rude because he wasn’t shown such feelings of love.
Through circumstances (which will remain generic to avoid spoiling the plot), Byun Ji Sook and Choi Min Woo get married and live together in Choi’s mansion. As time goes by, Choi falls in love with Byun because she expresses feelings and emotions towards him that he never felt growing up. Byun’s marriage is also a means to get her father out of his crushing debt. Ergo, Mask is a modernized version of Beauty and the Beast. But what makes it innovating? Without spoiling anything, it is best to say that the mansion that the “Beauty” Byun Ji Sook moves into isn’t just occupied by the “Beast” Choi Min Woo, but by other “beasts” too.
For those who are suddenly intrigued by this K-drama, Mask airs on the Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS) on Wednesday and Thursday at 9:55 p.m. KST. For those who don’t have access to that system, it can be viewed for free (with ads) at DramaFever.
[Featured Image via Mask Promotions, Post Image via Screen Capture of Mask Episode 3 – “Best Choice, Worst Choice”]