The latest episode of TV Chosun’s reality show “Wife’s Taste” featured a new couple, whose faces could be rather unfamiliar to some people. “Wife’s Taste,” which juxtaposes married couples’ daily lives through dishes they cook for each other, followed the newly wedded couple to their friend-like relationship.
Yang Mi-ra and her husband Jung Shin-wook tied the knots in October last year, after dating for over four years. Although most of the millennials wouldn’t know who Yang Mi-ra is, everyone knew her name in the late 90s and the early 2000s.
Debuted in 1997 as the winner of a model contest, Yang Mi-ra had her prime year in 1999, when she was featured in the TV advertisement of Korea’s local fast food franchise, Lotteria. Her big eyes and somewhat inarticulate diction made her stood out from other models. Her uniqueness made her the face of Lotteria for years and Yang Mi-ra soon made her name known as the “Burger Girl.”
The Burger Girl’s main field was variety shows. Since the very early phase of Korean reality shows, which were concentrated on dating game shows, Yang Mi-ra showed her talents as a witty girl who has a character.
During the era when the definition of “female celebrity” was pretty much unified, Yang Mi-ra definitely stood out with her unprecedented charm. When now top actress Shin Min-ah debuted, she changed her stage name from Yang Min-ah to Shin Min-ah because of its closeness to Yang Mi-ra’s name.
However, her prime time did not last long. After “Match Made in Heaven” in 2003, she went on hiatus for more than three years. When she came back, the entertainment industry didn’t have much room left for her.
Yang Mi-ra’s recent endeavors include the appearance in the second season of “Tribe of Hip Hop,” in which she spoke about her honest thoughts about the past years.
Most of her recent TV appearances were only as a special guest. But through “Wife’s Taste,” she seeks to make regular appearances, which can possibly lead to a major comeback to the field.
Judging from much of positive feedback on her first appearance on the show, Yang Mi-ra might actually have a shot this time.
By Heewon Kim