For my 114th K-Drama series, I decided to watch a webtoon-based series entitled Mask Girl. While I find the plot and premise to be overly dark, it’s undeniably a very unique work. Not one but three actresses play the main character Kim Mo-mi at different points in her life — Lee Han-byeol (pre-surgery Mask Girl), Nana (post-surgery Mask Girl), and Go Hyun-jung (way older Mask Girl). Be warned that this is a very mature show with sex and violence at its core.
Kim Mo-mi is a woman who has always dreamed of being a singer/performer ever since she was a little girl. When she was a kid, people thought it was cute. Unfortunately, as she grew up, she simply did not have the face for it. Thus she ends up getting ridiculed when she gets up on stage. Kim Mo-mi then becomes an ordinary office girl who’s a wallflower at work. But she develops a secret persona — Mask Girl, sassy streamer by night. Her provocative content has earned her a legion of male fans who shower her with attention, praises, and cash tips. But a colleague at work discovers Kim Mo-mi’s secret life. One thing leads to another and she becomes a victim of sexual assault which ends in murder.
Mo-mi undergoes plastic surgery to hopefully change her lot in life for the better. But let me tell you, it’s just so incredulous how BAD her luck is. She gets into one bad situation after another. She even becomes pregnant from the rape. Mo-mi eventually lands in jail. Ironically, having been something of a pushover most of her life, prison is where Mo-mi becomes the total badass that would not allow people to bully her. If it’s a fight you want, Mo-mi will give it to you. Her early years in prison is probably my favorite Mo-mi phase, portrayed exceptionally well by the incredibly gorgeous Nana.
Mask Girl goes as far as to do a time skip showing an older Mo-mi living out her sentence in prison. She plots her escape when she gets word that her daughter’s life is in danger. I must say, you have to really be jinxed to be unable to simply live out your sentence peacefully. I just couldn’t help but watch episode after episode because I HAD to know what happens next.
Mask Girl is one crazy series and it’s precisely this insanity that makes it worth checking out. I’d categorize it under the makjang genre with its outrageous characters and plot twists. The best thing about this drama for me is the acting. The three actresses make the exceptionally unfortunate Kim Mo-mi come alive in every era of her life. Though adapted from a webtoon, this series deviates a lot from the original material. The tragic heroine Mo-mi in the drama series is a more sympathetic character compared to the selfish Mo-mi in the webtoon.
Mask Girl is exclusively available on Netflix.
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