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Five Times Choi Si-Won Melts Our Hearts in She Was Pretty

Five Times Choi Si-Won Melts Our Hearts in She Was Pretty

Choi Si-Won, Shin-Hyuk, She Was Pretty

I never rooted for a K-Drama second lead as hard as I did for Choi Si-Won’s character in She Was Pretty. I found this romantic comedy after seeing the lead actor, Park Seo-Joon, in the historical drama Hwarang. This show is about Hye-Jin, a once beautiful girl who goes to work at a fashion magazine and ends up caught between Sung-Joon, her childhood love (who doesn’t recognize her) and a new friend, Shin-Hyuk (played by Choi Si-Won) who sees past her appearance. Surprisingly, it wasn’t Seo-Joon that captured my heart, but the second-lead, played by Choi Si-Won. If the first photo alone isn’t enough to convince you to watch this gem of a show, I’m going to highlight five times Choi Si-Won melts our hearts as the perfect K-Drama gentleman.

Related | Hwarang TV Review: Why You Should Check Out This Period K-Drama

SPOILERS! If you haven’t already seen She Was Pretty—first, you don’t know what you’re missing! This delightful K-Drama classic has it all: humor, romance, piggyback rides, and mystery identities. Second, this list gives away some major plot points.

Five Times Choi Si-Won Melts Our Hearts in She Was Pretty

(In Order of Episodes)

#1 Orabeoni, Interrupting (Episode 4)

The first thing we notice about Shin-Hyuk’s character is his sense of humor. He is energetic, charming, and goofy. Hye-Jin and Shin-Hyuk’s friendship starts out as an older brother (orabeoni) and younger sister (dongsaeng) relationship and he makes it his personal mission to pest her endlessly. One day, when she notices the sky is especially beautiful and goes to take a photo, Shin-Hyuk scampers over blowing a big bubble of gum in the middle of her photo.

Choi Si-Won, She Was Pretty

When Hye-Jin remarks how pretty the sky looks, he looks at her with a smile and says “Yes. It is pretty.” Aww. My heart just melted a bit. Or a lot.

#2 Shin-Hyuk Plays Nurse (Episode 6)

Throughout the show, Shin-Hyuk goes above and beyond for Hye-Jin. When she calls him, asking if he could drop off medicine for Sung-Joon, he begrudgingly agrees. He makes sure to emphasize it’s only because she’s his dongsaeng.

Choi Si-Won, She Was Pretty

Not only is seeing a concerned Si-Won mothering over Sung-Joon amusing, we also see Shin-Hyuk slowly reveal a compassionate heart underneath all that teasing. Also, this is just one of many hilarious bromance moments between these two actors.

#3 An Adorable Confession (Episode 7)

Despite his outgoing personality, Shin-Hyuk can also be adorably shy, as he is when he confesses his feelings for Hye-Jin.

 “I think I like you. A lot.”

Later, when he sees Sung-Joon with another woman over her shoulder, he keeps her feelings from getting hurt by distracting her the only way a perfect K-Drama gentleman can—by sweeping her into a tender back hug.

Choi Si-Won, She Was Pretty, Korean Drama, back hug

My heart has officially melted into a puddle.

#4 A Kind Heart with Freckles (Episode 9)

Shin-Hyuk proves to be even more of a sweetheart when he sees Hye-Jin’s new look. In shock, he asks her where her freckles went, insisting he misses her best feature. Shin-Hyuk likes Hye-Jin for herself, not for her looks—a refreshing breath of classic romance in a world that emphasizes appearance. Shin-Hyuk thinks Hye-Jin’s frizzy hair and freckles are beautiful because they are hers, just like her kindness to others, which he has seen over time.

Choi Si-Won, She Was Pretty

#5 A Knight on His Noble Motorcycle (Episode 10)

Even though Shin-Hyuk doesn’t express his love for Hye-Jin in so many words, his actions speak volumes. When Shin-Hyuk drops everything and races out into a torrential thunderstorm on his motorcycle to protect Hye-Jin, we see how deeply he cares about her.

Choi Si-Won, She Was Pretty

A heart-wrenching scene, he is crestfallen when he sees Hye-Jin already with Sung-Joon. As he turns to walk away, we see he crashed his motorcycle on the slick roads in his effort to get to her.

Related | Romantic Rain Scenes – 12 Moments That Will Make You Swoon

Bonus – Choi Si-Won Sings!

If these moments aren’t enough to melt our hearts, Choi Si-Won sings his own OST for the show, “Only You.” A K-Drama lead who’s funny, caring, a writer, and who can sing? Watch Choi Si-Won in She Was Pretty on DramaFever.

Did you find yourself falling for Choi Si-Won? Do you have any other favorite Shin-Hyuk moments? Let me know in the comments!

Photo Credit: MBC


About The Author

Natalya Carpenter

Speak up, take a stand and there’s someone to write about it. That’s how things get better.” ~Newsies. Natalya was adopted from Russia and has six younger sisters also adopted internationally with special-needs. A fan of classic English literature, Roseanna M. White, and historical drama, she loves stories with purpose and characters who invite her to think and feel deeply. Natalya is majoring in Creative Writing and Russian Studies at Bucknell University. You can find her blog at: where she writes about anything from orphan advocacy to her favorite K-Dramas.


  1. Jill

    SWP was my first Kdrama, and I quickly discovered what Second Lead Syndrome is after watching it! Most times I can understand why the heroine chooses the “hero” over the “other guy” but this time I liked the second lead so much and disliked the lead to the point where I was really disappointed with how the story turned out.

    I know now Si Won never stood a chance! Kdramas rarely break the mould too much when it comes to their romcom formula.

    • Yaroslavna Simdyankina

      Jill, I’m in your corner when it comes to being disappointed in this drama. The male lead really irked me in oh so many ways (although I have nothing against the actor). The only reason I watched this drama to the end was because of Siwon. He was perfection in an otherwise mediocre and unimpressive story. Ours is probably not exactly a popular opinion though. Ha!

      • Natalya

        Yaroslavna, I totally agree – Choi Si-Won brought so much to the show with his antics and sweetness! Have you ever seen Park Seo-Joon in “Hwarang?” I really liked his character there. Plus, it is a historical show, so it was funny to see him in “Hwarang” before “She Was Pretty.”

        • Yaroslavna Simdyankina

          I ended up dropping “Hwarang” early on since the actual formation of the Hwarang took too long and something just didn’t gel for me despite an all-star cast. After many years of dramas one learns to drop things that don’t speak to one’s soul even though others may well find something special in it for themselves 🙂

          I much preferred Park Seo-joon in “Witch’s Romance” and “Kill Me, Heal Me”. Although his best performance yet may be that in “Fight My Way”. He’s knocking that role out of the park at the moment!

          • Jill

            It’s good to know I’m not the only one who feels this way!

            Hwarang was a disappointment for me too. I think I skipped about 75% of the scenes because the leads spent most of the time moping and looking pained.I watched the end only to see the young king take his throne. Even the eye candy of the Hwarang themselves couldn’t save the show for me.

    • Natalya

      Jill, Yes – “She Was Pretty” was the first K-Drama where I truly understood Second Lead Syndrome! I It would have been the perfect show to switch up the K-Drama rom-com formula!


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