The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling

Flash Review: Oh My Ghostess

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If you’ve been watching kdrama for a while, you’d probably know what I’m talking about when I say that there is a particular brand of drama that draws you in with a fun, light, completely innocent sort of premise, only to pull out the rug from under you without warning, by turning dark & weepy all of a sudden. And then you’re left wondering, Waaaiit. Who are you, Show, and what have you done with my sparkly fun rom-com???

The good news is, Oh My Ghostess isn’t that brand of split-personality drama. But I must admit that there were distinct times when this show went a lot darker than the zippy, entertaining rom-com I’d signed up for.

The other bit of good news, I suppose, is that in spite of its darker streaks, there’s still a lot to enjoy in this show.

STUFF I LOVED

I will admit that by the last stretch of the show, I was a lot less giddy and in love with Show than I was at the beginning, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that there’s a lot of stuff that I genuinely enjoy about this show.

It also doesn’t take away the fact that for a good solid stretch from the very beginning of the show, I was, quite literally, giddily in love with this show. That, given that I’d started this show while in a bit of a drama slump too. That’s definitely Something, right?

So here’s a quick rundown of the things that I felt that Show did so, so right.

1. The Leads

In a word, this show’s leads are Wonderful.

Ok, so I don’t dig Im Joo Hwan‘s character as much, but I concede that he did a very solid job of his role. Whether he was channeling warm & helpful, or dark & mysterious, he was believable.

More up my alley, I have big love for Jo Jung Suk and Kim Seul Gi, both of whom I enjoy for their unique scene-stealing acting styles. They were both fantastic in their roles, and I honestly couldn’t have picked two more suitable actors to play grumpy-neurotic-but-lovable Chef Sun Woo and sassy-endearing-yet-lonely Ghost Soon Ae.

Quite possibly the most amazing of them all, is Park Bo Young, who got to display a seriously impressive acting range. Whether she was being Timid Bong Sun, or Possessed Bong Sun Who’s Really Soon Ae, she became the character. I was most impressed with Park Bo Young’s delivery of Soon Ae in Bong Sun’s body. Honestly, from her delivery of the lines, to her facial expressions and body language, I could practically see Kim Seul Gi in her. Which is nothing short of amazing. I would even believe that Kim Seul Gi was in there, controlling Park Bo Young’s body, she’s that good.

All this acting awesome not only did a lot to make Oh My Ghostess feel pleasurable to tune in to, it also made it feel like a cut above many other dramas.

2. Chemistry between the leads

Again, with the exception of Im Joo Hwan, whose character spent practically the entire show dancing the fine line between light and dark, and therefore never quite seemed to share a genuine chemistry with the other characters around him, all our leads shared sparky chemistry that sometimes felt like it was practically leaping off my screen to knock me over.

As our OTP, Jo Jung Suk and Park Bo Young share a fantastic chemistry that is at once electric to the point of almost feeling chemical (some of those kisses were hawt, y’all), and yet at the same time, also extremely comfortable. I mean, I really love that from her lying on top of him (rawr), to piggyback rides, to handholding and other more general skinship, I consistently got the sense that they were comfortable being in such close proximity to each other.

Additionally, I loved the chemistry between Park Bo Young and Kim Seul Gi. Although they shared limited screentime overall due to the fact that Soon Ae spent so much of our earlier episodes inhabiting Bong Sun’s body, I did find the two girls exceedingly cute together, when they were in the same frame. Not only are they equally tiny (so, so cute!), I love the sparky, easy chemistry they shared, and would’ve loved to have seen more of their friendship developing.

3. The Feels

From the very beginning, I loved how fun and zippy Show managed to be, while also being full of heart.

Although it’s marketed as a rom-com with a ghostly twist, Oh My Ghostess does so much more than just shine the spotlight on the OTP and their relationship milestones. I love that we also get many opportunities to understand our key characters more fully – from Sun Woo, to Bong Sun, to Soon Ae – and get a flavor for each of their inner pathos, beneath the broad strokes that we see on the surface.

Additionally, I also love Show’s care with teasing out and fleshing out the relationships between our characters. From Bong Sun’s budding friendship and sisterhood with Soon Ae, to Soon Ae’s unlikely bond with Shaman Seobinggo (Lee Jung Eun), to Seobinggo’s reluctant friendship with Sun Woo’s Mom (Shin Eun Kyung), to Bong Sun’s bond with Soon Ae’s Dad (Lee Dae Yeon), to the dynamics at work among the motley crew at Sun Restaurant (Kang Ki Young, Choi Min Chul, Kwak Shi Yang, Oh Ui Shik), we get a larger picture that’s carefully crafted from layering multiple smaller moments.

That textured fabric, of us being shown the relationships, instead of simply being told about them, made this drama world feel rich, like it was well-inhabited by real people in real relationships, ghostly twist notwithstanding, and I liked that a lot.

STUFF I DIDN’T LOVE

1. Uneven treatment of the body possession bit

I think it’s safe to say that I struggled less with the body possession stuff compared to many other viewers. When we spent a lot more time with Soon Ae than with Bong Sun in the early episodes, so much so that viewers started getting confused as to which female character was really the lead in this show, I took it all in stride, believing that:

(i) Show had a reason to be titled Oh My Ghostess, ie, Soon Ae was a lot more central to this story than a typical second lead normally would be, and

(ii) Show knew where it was going.

Even so, I do think that Show could’ve done a better job of balancing out the screen time we got with both female lead characters. Like, have Soon Ae possess Bong Sun’s body with more intervals in-between or something. Basically, just not let Bong Sun fade into the background as a character, like she did in the initial episodes. Coz that really did feel rather weird.

Additionally, I also would’ve liked Show to have been clearer about things like consent and appropriately decent boundaries.

[SPOILER ALERT]

I mean, I get that Bong Sun eventually is ok with Soon Ae borrowing her body, but there was a distinct point in episode 6 where I felt that Soon Ae really went too far.

I mean, I was ok with the original context of Soon Ae diving into Bong Sun and then getting stuck and then just making the best of it. And I was also ok with Soon Ae diving in again, in a moment of desperation to save her father.

BUT, the cutting up of Bong Sun’s blouse to make a sexier top, and the waxing of Bong Sun’s legs, which happens in episode 6, really feels like Soon Ae’s crossed the line between making the best of the situation, and taking advantage of the situation. I mean, there’s just a lack of respect in these actions, towards Bong Sun, whose blouse and legs it is, that Soon Ae is messing with, and it really bugged me. I kept thinking, Woah. *I* wouldn’t want to wake up to find that someone had cut up MY clothes and waxed MY legs!

[END SPOILER]

2. Uneven tone

The plot detail of Soon Ae not remembering how she died has shades of Arang about it, which I consider a good thing. I liked that this show mixed the cute and funny with the poignant and the pathos, because it gave our story and our characters an overall feeling of depth, and engaged my heart in a very solid way. It made me really care about Soon Ae.

The unfortunate thing, though, is that Show’s shifting tones between sparkling rom-com and dark mystery-thriller weren’t handled in a very balanced nor smooth manner. Which meant that we spent large early stretches of the show in rom-com real estate, with the mystery-thriller barely blipping on our radars, and then large chunks of the later episodes in dark mystery-thriller-land, where all the fun and romance was nowhere to be found. It literally felt like I was watching two different shows, almost.

Not gonna lie, as much as I loved the earlier episodes of this drama, I found the later episodes rather hard to watch. I mean, I cared enough about our characters to keep watching (writer-nim had made sure of that), but while dragging my feet through all the darkness, I sorta resented writer-nim too, y’know?

I would’ve much preferred a more balanced approach, so that instead of morphing from one thing into another, Show could’ve shown me both sides of its personality throughout its run.

3. The evil spirit thing [SPOILERS THROUGH THE END OF THE REVIEW]

So I know this show is one with a supernatural theme, but I really didn’t enjoy the evil spirit arc too much.

Not only was it unnecessarily dark, thus dragging down the overall tone of the show, it also wasn’t very well explained nor well resolved. I basically had to infer that body possession by regular ghosts like Soon Ae, and body possession by an evil spirit, worked on different rules, and then, whenever I encountered something that didn’t make sense to me, I just had to shrug it off as working according to a set of unknown rules.

In terms of resolution, I would’ve much preferred if Shaman Seobinggo had been given the power to actually obliterate the evil spirit. As it is, we’re left to infer that the evil spirit is still somewhere out there, ready to possess someone else and keep doing evil things like kill innocent people, which does cast a shadow on the happy ending that we do get.

On a sort-of related tangent, I found it extremely convenient that Soon Ae’s “evil tendencies” which stemmed from her almost reaching the end of her 3 years, simply disappeared from the story. I mean, from almost hurting Bong Sun at one point, she goes back to completely normal by the last couple of episodes. Yes, it does make for a much more poignant and meaningful send-off for Soon Ae’s character, but the plot-hole did niggle at me.

THOUGHTS ON THE ENDING

I must admit that this show’s finale left me feeling rather bittersweet, and also a touch underwhelmed.

The first part, which was all about Soon Ae and saying goodbye to her, was sad.

Yes, she resolved the mystery of her death, but as I mentioned earlier, thinking that the evil spirit was still running rampant in our drama world didn’t feel good to me. Also, even though non-evil-spirit Sung Jae was back in control of his own body, we’d been told that he’s always had a dark side (which is why the evil spirit found him a good match, right?), so Show making a big point about about Eun Hee (Shin Hye Sun) loving him forever disturbed me more than satisfied me, to be honest.

I did like that Soon Ae got to see her dad face to face, and that Dad comes out of the experience more peaceful than before, but it would’ve been nice if she hadn’t been so distraught during the encounter. Additionally, Soon Ae’s goodbye is a forever one, and that just makes me sad, coz it feels like she got a pretty sad deal, overall.

After Soon Ae’s send-off, the second half of the episode felt like a hodge-podge epilogue with a bit of an emphasis on Bong Sun’s growth and independence. It was.. nice, but it also felt tacked on, to be honest.

There were so many cliches swimming around in that second half of the finale, really. From Bong Sun winning a scholarship overseas, to her falling out of touch with Sun Woo in the last few months of her course, only to come back and surprise him, everything honestly felt rather forced, to me. It felt like writer-nim was rustling up as much dramatic tension as possible, out of basically nothing.

Still, I thought it was a nice touch for Bong Sun to step in and help Soon Ae’s dad get back on his feet with his eatery, and I appreciated the effort to show us that our characters had pretty much learned to soldier on and be happy in life. I also thought that Bong Sun’s final voiceover, acknowledging Soon Ae’s effect on all of their lives, was a nice poignant touch.

MY TOP HIGHLIGHTS

In the interest of ending this review on a lighter, happier note, here’s a handful of my top highlights in this drama.

Aegyo. I honestly have never quite seen the appeal of aegyo, until seeing Park Bo Young in action. She is adorable. It’s no wonder that Sun Woo can’t help but smile, when Soon Ae aegyos him.

E6. Soon Ae’s fantasy of Sun Woo propping her up on the counter and kissing her, is hawt. I had to rewind that to watch it again. Flail. Both Park Bo Young and Jo Jung Suk handle the kiss with gentle, unhurried nuance. The kiss is soft and gentle in movement, and totally hot.

E8. The towel kiss. Rawr. So hot, the way Sun Woo tugs on the towel to get within kissing distance, and then puts his arm behind her, to pull her even closer as they kiss. Swoooon.

E9. I love Sun Woo’s barely held-back smiles throughout the time that he’s around Bong Sun. He’s just so happy to be with her, that the smiles are just leaking out, and it’s adorable.

E9. Jo Jung Suk’s smitten face is great, especially when Sun Woo tries to go to bed after he and Bong Sun have made it official. His face is just exploding with smiles. Aw. Jo Jung Suk shines in particular, in Sun Woo’s nervous beats. The shifty eyes, the nervous swallows, the slight quivers in his voice, the nervous twitches. Fantastic stuff.

E13. The web of emotions that Sun Woo has to work through, and the heartache that Bong Sun has to endure, is built up to a wonderful payoff in the final scene. Jo Jung Suk is fantastic. All that nervous energy just melts away from Sun Woo the moment he and Bong Sun finally embrace. It’s like he’s finally home and he can finally relax. Aw.

E13. Kyung Mo (Lee Hak Joo) is hilariously misguided, poor chap. I find him quite hysterical.

E14. Sun Woo taking respite in Bong Sun’s arms is quite possibly my favorite thing ever. He really looks like he’s sinking into comfort, while all his troubles melt away, at least for the time being. Love.

WHAT I’D HAVE LOVED TO SEE:

You know what I would’ve preferred to see in the finale?

I’d have loved to see the original crew back together at Sun Restaurant, with Sun Woo still in charge, and Bong Sun back from her studies, rocking it as the tiniest and most aegyo-tastic chef ever. I just love seeing the boys fuss over Bong Sun and get excited for her when she does well. And I’d have loved to see Sun Woo continue to be the gruff star chef of his restaurant, all while leaking smiles and hearts around his beloved Bong Sun. ❤

AND, I’d have love-love-loved to see Soon Ae find some kind of wormhole from the other side, so that she’d be able to come hang out with her friends and check in on her family every once in a while. I mean, what’s the point in being a ghost if you can’t have privileges, right?

THE FINAL VERDICT:

Uneven in tone, but still endearing overall. Heartwarming and sweet, with a side of poignance.

FINAL GRADE: B+

TEASER:

MV:

Author: kfangurl

Proud to be a k-fangirl since 2007. Main diet of kdramas with movies and kpop on the side.

39 thoughts on “Flash Review: Oh My Ghostess

  1. I too enjoyed Oh My Ghostess, but found it lacking in many areas. While I enjoyed the comedy, I actually found myself drawn to the mystery surrounding Soon Ae’s death and especially Sung Jae’s character. I always perked up when he was on screen.

    Like you, I really disliked the uneven tone. I so wish they would have spread out the mystery and tension throughout the drama rather than cramming it in at the end. I’m one who actually liked the darker tone at the end, I just wish it would have been spaced better.

    And so many questions unanswered! I wanted to know so much more about Sung Jae and the evil spirit inhabiting him. In the end, there was a lot of cute and fun to enjoy, but I feel it needed a bit more story to carry the drama, which it had plenty to work with, it just didn’t use it appropriately.

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    • Wow~ you were more drawn to the dark stuff! Yet again, proof that drama love is such a personal and subjective thing! 🙂 I absolutely agree that there were many questions left unanswered! And I imagine that in your shoes, with your interest so much on Sung Jae, the evil spirit, and how that all works, you would probably be so much more frustrated with those unanswered questions than those of us who were more interested in the rom-com angle of the story!

      I feel like the writers were rather sloppy about setting up the rules of this supernatural drama world. We’re never told the rules by which body possession work, and how it differs between regular ghost possession and evil spirit possession. In that respect, I think a show like Arang did much better. That was way more consistent, and Show gave more answers to how the supernatural worked in their story construct. With OMG, we were left to figure things out – or rather, guess it out – on our own.

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  2. Chaebol! I hope you’re feeling better! ❤
    I’ve been looking at this drama for awhile now. But there were quite a few varying opinions that I figured I’d hold off for now. Though what I have seen made me think the hubs would like it. His third favorite drama we’ve watched together is My Girlfriend is a Gumiho. Just looking at gifs/pics it felt similar.

    I skipped over the spoiler bits lol, but I think I’ll probably add this one to my watch list! Excellent review as always! I love that your flash reviews are as long or longer than my average review hehe gives me something to aspire to.

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    • Thanks Jaime! I’m feeling better compared to last week, that’s for sure! 🙂 More tests in a couple of weeks, but for now, my main aim is to get stronger (& more coherent, ha).

      I can see why you’d find OMG somewhat similar to MGiaG, especially with Mi Ho having been the one proactively going after her guy. At the same time, I don’t find the two shows all that similar, now that I’ve seen both. MGiaG is a lot more consistent and ended on a much more satisfying note, for me. OMG is less consistent and less satisfying in its ending, but is still a solid watch that I’d recommend. Plus, the leads are just so good that it’d be a shame to miss out on their fantastic performances 🙂 I hope you and your hubs enjoy this one, it does have a lot to offer.

      Heh. Yeah, my Flash Reviews aren’t quite as quick as I’d originally intended. I think I need to learn how to be more concise. XD

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      • You’re welcome! 🙂 I’m super-duper happy that you are doing better. I’ll keep all my fingers and toes crossed that the testing goes well and you are all better very soon!
        My assumptions are based on twitter squees and gifs on tumblr lol, so I’m glad to hear from you the truth! I’ve put this on the list of dramas to watch with the hubs for now. Though I’ve recently introduced him to Running Man and he’s somewhat obsessed so that’s about all we’re watching together at the moment. Not that I’m complaining.
        You’ve been working on being more concise for a little while now hehe! Though we, your fanbase, don’t mind the in depth flash reviews at all!

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        • That’s so cute, that your hubs is hooked on Running Man! It’s a fun show, so I can’t blame him! I don’t watch regularly, but I’ve checked in enough to know that it’s a rare occasion that you don’t get a good time from tuning in 😉 Once he’s in the mood for more drama, then you can suggest OMG. Jo Jung Suk is SO good, and so is Park Bo Young. ❤ ❤

          And yes, this thing about being concise is a tricky one.. I do think I've become more concise (this review would've probably been a near-monster, in my earlier blogging days, for instance!), but I rarely ever put out a post that's truly short. I mean, even my Dropped posts usually average about 1,000 words. I think I'm wordy by nature? XD BUT, THANK YOU, for saying that I have a fanbase (I feel so famous! XD ), and one that doesn't mind, at that! 😀

          PS: I’m super happy to be seeing you around so regularly now, my dear. It’s good to have you back! HUGS ❤

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          • It is pretty crazy how addicted he is right now to Running Man, like to the point where he’s watching it alone to get caught up to the current episodes! I think soon I’ll be able to rope him into another drama watching session so I’ll keep you updated!

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            • That is so cute, that your hubs is that addicted to Running Man! And it’s so cool, that now your whole family has a common passion for the show – with so many episodes over its run, you totally have loads of family time mapped out! 😉 Of course, my soft spot is for dramas, so I’ll secretly be extra pleased once you start another drama with your hubs 😉

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              • For Christmas he made me a Ddakji, but specifically an exact replica of the Ddakji that can see the future from his favorite episode so far. Hehehe it is just about the cutest thing ever. The hubs has been looking into drama stories on his own haha, he wants to watch It’s Ok, That’s Love, Signal (when it airs), and Puck (when it gets subbed). Which is super exciting for me!

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                • Hehe, your hubs’ growing affection for K-stuff is beyond adorable! You’ve been a very positive influence, I see! 😉 I’m impressed that he’s looking into drama possibilities on his own – that shows that he’s owning the k-interest now, and isn’t just riding on your recommendations. If you had to influence just one person to join you in your k-interests, you definitely picked the right one! I hope you guys enjoy lots of dramas together this year! 🙂

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                  • The dramas that he wants to watch are Puck, Its Ok Its Love, and Signal. So that’s our plan, though for the moment he is absolutely addicted to Running Man so we’re working our way through the earlier episodes hehe. Agreed, he’s the best person to bring over to the K-Ent side!

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                    • Are there subs for Puck? I haven’t seen any.. Not that I’m looking very hard or anything! XD So happy for you, that your hubs is not only supportive of your k-passion, but is even getting in on the act and enjoying himself some k-ent too! 🙂

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                    • I believe both Viki and DramaFever have subbed Puck! I’m so happy he’s got the bug lol. It’s cool to rediscover K-Drama through him.

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                    • I couldn’t find Puck on Viki (think it’s not available in my region), but I’ve found it elsewhere 🙂 It’s not super high on my list, so I think I might wait for you and your hubs to give your verdict before jumping in. Y’know, that might deepen your hubs’ k-bug, even, knowing that someone’s curious about how he likes a show! XD

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  3. Excellent review! All valid points, but the largest problem I had was with the rapey vibe from the possession without consent scenes. Also, I was troubled by the ghost’s stalking and sexually harassing chef so relentlessly. This drama had all sorts of trouble with appropriate boundaries and consent. It soured the really charming chemistry and interactions between the characters a significant portion of the time.

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    • Aw thanks Brenda, I’m so pleased that you enjoyed the review! 🙂 And “rapey” is spot on! It did get a bit much at times, even though it was mostly played for laughs. Taking that – that it was played for laughs – into consideration, I managed to go with the flow a good amount of the time, but even then, it did manage to bother me. It definitely helped that by the second half of the show, Bong Sun and Soon Ae had become friends and that consent between them had been sorted out. I did cringe sometimes with Soon Ae’s relentless sex talk with Sun Woo. I couldn’t help thinking that I’d be so embarrassed in Bong Sun’s shoes, to have such harassment attributed to me! XD

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  4. Thanks for the review of OMG! I hope you continue to heal and get stronger, quickly – I’m sending positive energy to you.

    Re: the evil spirit. My interpretation was that the evil spirit had been “vanquished”. I recall the shaman stating mid way through the series or so, that the evil spirit was now bonded with Sung Jae and that Sung Jae’s death would be the end of both of them. My inference was that when Sung Jae fell from the roof, he actually died on the way to the hospital. He was then resuscitated but the spirit had already dissipated into never never land. This thinking also helped explain to me the way that Sung Jae acts at the end. He has amnesia because all of the life he lead after the spirit possessed him for the first time as a teenager, disappeared along with the spirit. He is now leading his own life again, but he is a teenager as far as life experience goes.

    I agree completely about the last half of the ending. It felt scrambled, like it was put together in a hurry to have the compulsory feel good moment, and so I found it unsatisfying. Having said that, personally, I liked that Sun Woo had opened a restaurant with, imo, the sole goal being to mentor Soon Ae’s brother and ultimately gift its chef position to him.

    I especially liked that Bong Sun became the “second daughter” and helped Soon Ae’s father’s restaurant to prosper once again.

    And lastly, as for the reduction in manifestation of Soon Ae’s evil tendencies: For me, I found that to be explained in the show. She had come to the awareness that she was at the tipping point of turning evil, with the actions she had taken. She decided that it was more important to never go near Bong Sun again, and risk taking an evil action she could not undo, than it was to resolve her own issue. For me, this struggle was shown by Soon Ae’s change in coloration (extreme pallor) and her increased languor. In the end, she decides to help, but is visibly different in behaviour and expression from the earlier Soon Ae; she is subdued, more aware of others. As a further inference, I took this to mean that while the three year rule exists, the choice to remain past three years and become evil is in fact a choice. Not an easy one, judging by Soon Ae’s transformation, but still a free choice up to the point of no return.

    As ever, I enjoyed this review. I am watching Secret Love Affair and finding it to be of unexpected quality. I will read your review of it after I have finished, and perhaps I’ll add some comments there.

    Take care!

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    • Hi michelle! Thanks so much for your well wishes, I’m happy to say that I feel like I’m getting better & stronger each day. Which is exactly my aim, for now, until more tests hit in another 10 days or so.

      Thanks for sharing your personal insights about OMG! Looks like you’ve put quite a bit of thought and analysis into the supernatural construct of OMG’s drama world. I don’t recall that the shaman said that the evil spirit had completely bonded with Sung Jae, but at this point, I’m happy to accept any interpretation that makes the drama feel more whole and cohesive! And I definitely WOULD like to think that the evil spirit is completely obliterated, rather than lurking somewhere in the shadows waiting to possess another suitable person.

      That doesn’t quite take away the fact that the show had set Sung Jae up as a dark character even from his much younger days. That’s why he got sent to the orphanage, right, coz his foster parents had found him threatening to hurt his new baby brother?

      I’d say that you’re much more generous than the average viewer, in terms of how you find ways to reconcile loose ends in your own way. I absolutely do think that generosity enhances your drama experience (yay you!). Just, I credit you, rather than the writers, on this one. 😉

      I do love your theory that Sun Woo plans to gift the chef position to Kyung Mo, once he’s whipped him into shape. That makes me think that once that’s done, Bong Sun would also be done helping Soon Ae’s dad get his eatery up on its feet, and then everyone can reunite in Sun Restaurant – coz that’s what I really, really wanna see! XD

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  5. The poor, poor drama has suffered from all possible TV series “diseases”: awful channel programme development, a fantastic cast but one terribly coward writer and lots (and lots!) of rabid fans who kept having all sorts of unreasonable demands in terms of plotline . For the rest of us (who had no problem whatsoever with the story, the romance, the uneven amount of time between the two girls- since it’s a comedy, right?-, the “relatable” characters on a super funny show ), it’s obvious we had the chance to watch the absolute “Excellent” of the genre, after a long line of less successful rom-coms, but we were deprived of that pleasure. That’s why the writers should ALWAYS ignore the madness of crowds…Because, at the end of the day, no one was pleased by that finale, Ms. Writer – you should take notes from “She Was Pretty” on how you suppose to handle the second lead, once you’ve made up your mind about who’s who, of course! The dark side of the story was sacrificed as well in the name of the last-minute romance and I had the feeling that everything was rushed by the end of the drama. Nonetheless, the physical contact was so refreshing for a K-dramaland project and, in a way, that reminded me of Heart2Heart: amazing acting and great interaction between the OTP combo! (never a sexual harassment , just sexual frustration, at least to my eyes and my libido 😉 )

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    • I absolutely agree that the external pressure from fans, ratings, sponsors and networks really, REALLY mess with a drama’s ability to stay on track. Writers are under so much pressure from all sides! I’m sure it’s just really hard to keep their creative vision, especially if they’re under pressure from powerful higher ups. In that sense, I try not to blame the writers too much, when things go awry. But I do give major props to shows that stay consistent EVEN WHEN ratings aren’t great. On a tangent, I was really impressed with Angry Mom’s writers for staying true to the story’s direction, even though ratings were low.

      As for OMG, I do agree that treatment of the dark & supernatural was sloppy. It didn’t feel very well-thought-through, and more attention was clearly given to the romantic angle. Even then, it did feel a little forced, by the second half of the finale. Still, I will remember OMG fondly for what it DID do well – the chemistry between Jo Jung Suk and Park Bo Young is FAB. I totally believe that he fell for her, at least a little bit, while filming this drama. I mean, who wouldn’t? She’s ADORABLE ❤

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    • You got me curious. What did the viewers demand from the writers? That the Ghost gets the Guy? I would also have liked that, although I know that it would have been impossible, given the premises. Because his excuse of “having liked the shy girl all along” seemed half-baked and an afterthought. Yes, he sort of cared and pitied her, he liked her in a friendly way, but nothing more. In reality, the woman he had fallen for and had made unforgettable memories with was no other than the Ghost.

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      • The viewers could not figure out what exactly was going on in that show. The writer had something very specific in mind which the audience failed to see. More than half of the show was dedicated to a very-well acted romance but with the wrong person. Tons of comments last year came from angry people who hated the actual OTP. They preferred the shy girl instead but their choice obviously was the third wheel. So what did the brilliant writer do? She changed her script halfway.
        Don’t get me wrong. I was among the very few who would be happy with either choice. Because first, the Ghost was a ghost and could never ever end up with our alive hero (my previous experience had already taught me that) and second, the living ones should have had a second chance in life under more favorable circumstances. The angry audience though didn’t help and by the end everything seemed rushed in order to please the majority which it didn’t. Everyone lost except the fabulous actors. Their talent navigated this whole show through the weird feedback.
        The current drama Bring It On, Ghost is less original but more focused to the actual story. No debates there nor angry comments.

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  6. Pingback: Year In Review: 2015 | The Fangirl Verdict

  7. Brilliant review (once again!). Couldn’t agree with you more on nearly every point you make about the drama, although for all its undeniable faults I would still give it A-, mostly because the acting was just so out of this world. I really believed in the characters throughout, even now they all seem so real, especially Soon Ae. The only episode I thought was weak was E16.

    I wanted to ask you a question about the tradition in so many of these dramas of a member of the OTP’s protagonists going abroad or separating for a long time away from their partner. I see it time and time again in k-dramas, not to mention in many Korean romantic movies. Sometimes, like here, it feels like a trope that’s been unnaturally and unnecessarily shoehorned into the narrative. But where does this originate from? Why do they seem to force it into the plot so often?

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    • Aw, thanks Munkondi! I’m so glad you enjoyed the review! 😀 And yes, I can see why you’d give this show an A- for the acting. The leads really are fantastic, and it’s so rare to see such talent and caliber all-around in a drama cast. Park Bo Young is so brilliant playing 2 characters, she had me legit spellbound. I’m so glad she took this role, coz thanks to her performance here, I realize that I ❤ her. 🙂

      As for your question about the enforced separation, here's my (unproven) take. 🙂 I think it stems from the Hallyu classics. When kdramas first made their splash, melos were all the rage, and staying up to watch your melo with a box of tissues, and crying all night, was actually a Thing among fans. Well, it was a Thing among the fans I know, at any rate. 😉 My point is, tears and angst were always par for the course, and the more tears a show could wring out of the viewers, the better it was – or so it seemed. Which is probably why Stairway to Heaven enjoyed such a rabid fanbase, even though it's a total sobfest. Part of that angst is the enforced separation, which is often portrayed as a means for the couple to "prove" their love for each other, ie, even though they're apart for a long time, their feelings don't change, and they love each other as deeply as before. I think that's how it became a norm and a trope. People – writers and viewers alike – seemed to lap up the idea of Enduring Love as desirable and romantic. Unfortunately, I think writers fall back on tropes way too much, without giving the whys and wherefores proper thought and consideration. So, the enforced separation is almost like shorthand for Enduring Love, in my head. Does that make sense?

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  8. Thanks so much for your reply, fascinating! It makes total sense what you say – I always noticed when I first started watching K-dramas and movies how shockingly cruel Korean writers could be with their audience’s (il.e. ours!) emotions.
    Do you know when the earliest example of the enforced separation might be? Or maybe I wonder if this is also a tradition in Korean romantic literature?
    I first discovered the amazing Park Bo Young in The Silenced, which is a certainly flawed movie yet most enjoyable (if you’re into supernatural horror), her character there completely different again from Oh My Ghostess.

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    • Heh. I’m glad you find that my hypothesis makes sense, Munkondi! 🙂 I don’t know exactly which show was the first to feature the enforced separation, but Winter Sonata was THE show that made a significant splash for early Hallyu, and that one featured an enforced separation at the end. The other show among the Seasons dramas that enjoyed a lot of attention was Autumn in My Heart, and that definitely kept our lead couple apart too. Even if these two dramas weren’t the first to feature the enforced separation, I’m pretty sure they contributed in a big way, to how popular that plot device became, given how hugely popular they were, back in the day.

      Thanks for the recommendation on The Silenced.. I usually avoid horror shows coz I’m a bit of a horror wimp 😛 But, I’ll definitely keep it in mind. Maybe one day I might have a weird desire to check out a horror movie, after all. Coz I’ve learned to never say never. 😉

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      • I really don’t enjoy Western horror and ghost films but have found many of the Korean ones so well written and acted, not just depending on cheap jump scares but often with very beautiful and powerful emotional pay-offs. Especially the ones with ghosts. So definitely worth checking out even if it turns out to be not your thing!
        Thanks for a couple of new recommendations there too 🙂

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        • Beautiful and powerful emotional payoffs! Those are words I never I’d hear associated with horror stuff, so you’ve got my attention, Munkondi! XD Thanks for giving me something to work with, in terms of working up the nerve to watch a horror movie. I am a total wimp about those, truly.

          As for Winter Sonata and Autumn in my Heart.. I liked them both, but I think you really need to be in the mood for Retro Melo in order to enjoy them. If you’re in the mood for retro but not-so-melo, I recommend All About Eve, as well as Beautiful Days. 🙂 My reviews of these 2 are here and here, if that helps. 🙂

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  9. I just finished this drama and i love it!! Damn, i am a woman myself but i find myself fall in love with park bo young. She made her character (soon ae and bong sun) lovable and i cant help but falling for her aegyo. No wonder i often find jo jung suk laugh (at least smile) when park bo young doing aegyo. And i love jo jung suk for he made me believe that sun woo really fall in love with bong sun, it made me believe that he is sun woo, not an actor who play sun woo’s character. Well, he made me love his character in king 2 heart too (i forget his name there). A great actor, i must say.
    I love OMG’s plot and i agree about the supranatural rule. I dont know how is the rule there, so much confusion here and there, and the tone gradually darker to some last episode and so much question in final episode that i cant get the answer. Like, how eun hee and sung jae meet after the hit and run accident? Why sung jae married her? Is it because of guilt feeling or what? Where is sung jae in last scene when he is amnesia? Prison? Mental Hospital? I mean, he kill at least 2 person but it looks like is okay and in peaceful place. Anyways, i love the potrayal of bong sun in this drama. With the help of soon ae, she grown up become more confident and love herself. And she open up to other people around her. I kinda envy this from her. Ah, i wish i can be more confident myself because seeing bong sun’s old self is like seeing myself right now hehe. And oh, one good quote from soon ae: Live your life to the fullest, be happy because you only live once and you will regret it once you no longer in this world without having good memories or doing the things you want in your life. Have a nice days, fangirlverdict 🙂

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    • Hi there San, I so agree with you that Park Bo Young is uber lovable in this role! I fell for her too, in spite of myself. She’s adorable, and her aegyo is so endearing. And I generally don’t even get the appeal of aegyo..! XD I also agree that Jo Jung Suk is very, very good. He completely brought Sun Woo to life. I absolutely could see him being bowled over by Park Bo Young’s cuteness too! Adorbs. ❤

      Also – I don't mean to be nosy or anything, but I do think that becoming confident in one's skin is all part of the growing up process. Some of us take longer than others, but I believe that as we learn to love and accept ourselves for who we are, we naturally become more confident. 🙂 Greater confidence is on its way to ya! Hugs!

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  10. I have to admit I did not finish the drama. There was something about how selfish Soon Ae was during the first nine episodes that made the drama unbearable for me:

    1. She took control of Bong Sun when Bong didn’t know, and knowingly used Bong’s body for her own gain without once really caring
    e.g. waxing of the legs, being way too forward about sexual relations with Chef, flirting with other guys, meeting her father that had nothing to do with Bong, and worst of all when Bong was sent to the hospital because of Soon’s carelessness. She didn’t even seem to care that she sent her host to maybe Bong’s deathbed herself. Plus when she was on the show!

    2. Because she took control of Bong, Kang Woo would fall in love with Soon Ae’s extremely extroverted character rather than Bong herself. I do not care that she is the catalyst to Chef’s lovely glances. I feel that she is wronging both Chef and Bong in this aspect.

    I have a lot of problems with Bong’s character and the sheer cowardice that she has at the beginning of the show, and doesn’t really pic up til 7 hours in. 😐 But the selfishness of Soon Ae was by far what ruined this drama, much less the unbalanced dark and light, that you mentioned, and weird pacing.

    I don’t even know if I can rate this drama, because it is unfinished for me, but even if I did, I would not give it a high score. As is everything, subjectivity is hard because different people have different lengths of tolerance for their principles. This drama just crossed the line for me. I read your review and I understand where you are coming from, and I agree for some of it, but I cannot agree with the lightheartedness of the show on consent.

    haha. This post is really long, but I felt that I just needed to put this out there for maybe a response from anyone that might feel the same, as I can tell I am in the minority for disliking the show.

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    • Hi there nah.. I actually agree with you, in that I felt that Soon Ae crossed the line with the consent issue as well. I cringed when she was getting ready for her date with Chef in Bong Sun’s body, and taking liberties with Bong Sun’s body and clothes. I guess for me, I was willing to close both eyes to these problematic issues, for the sake of enjoying the actors, who I thought did an awesome job of the roles. Jo Jung Seok, Park Bo Young and Kim Seul Gi were so good and so likable that I was willing to ignore the issues for the sake of the cute. So.. even though I enjoyed the show more than you did, I still agree with your points! 🙂

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  11. I am glad I came across this review! I’ve watched only 3 episodes but I was already having trouble staying connected. I love the female lead’s acting, but I didn’t like Bong Sun’s character completely disappearing so soon. And all the cutesy scenes are with Soon Ae in her body, so it hard to ship Bong Sun with Sun Woo!
    But your review gives me hope and I will keep watching for few more episodes

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    • Aw, I’m glad you found the review helpful, Ven! I think Show does a fairly good job of bringing Bong Sun’s back into the main storyline a little bit later in the show. By the time I got to the end, I felt like she’d gotten enough screen time for me to connect with her as who she was, rather than Soon Ae in her. I hope the show’s been working out for you, since there was a fair bit that I enjoyed in it. 🙂

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  12. Feeling kinda bummed about this show and have decided I’m not going to finish it. I watched through episode 9 and was really digging it, but the stuff with Sung-jae has me thinking, yeah, this is going in a direction I don’t want it to go in. On a positive note though, this was my first Korean show to watch, and I certainly liked it enough to try another show.

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  13. For me, I felt the last half of the last episode was necessary to put the relationship between our OTP on a more equal footing. There was definitely something uncomfortable for me in him being older and her boss and her mentor. There was a power dynamic in their relationship that made me feel it wouldn’t last. She needed to attain her independence and self-confidence. I liked that the ending had her achieve growth as a chef and a person on her own and coming back to him as more of an equal. While I loved the restaurant scenes with the gang, I did feel like Bong Sun really needed to prove to herself and everyone else that she could become a chef without the famous Chef Kang showing her favouritism.

    Apart from that, I agree with your review and found the amount of time spent on the murder plot at the end a bit tedious. A rewatch from me might just skip from adorable scene to adorable scene without all the crime thriller elements.

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  14. Finished this drama a couple days ago (it was my third after Ms. Perfect and Strong Woman Do Bong Soon). The reason I watched it was because I really disliked SWDBS- from the introducing of such a heinous plot line as women being killed (albeit accidentally), tortured, and kidnapped and then focusing solely on romance even though the whole point of the show is that Bong Soon could easily stop the villain and save the women at the drop of the hat, to the way that whatever-his-name…Min-Hyuk? kept forcefully grabbing her by her wrist and waist and forcing his feelings on her without much choice (which made me detest the “romance” between the two leads, to the way that Bong Soon spent at least sixteen different scenes staring at male characters with big dopey eyes which implies women are incredibly dumbstruck in love, to the fact that the show had a perfect opportunity to show female empowerment with Bong Soon’s strength but had her use it mainly to further the romance storyline, to the show focusing on the horrors of the kidnapped women then transitioning immediately to the lovey-dovey leads as if the viewers are supposed to go right from “how sickening!” to “awww so cute” (it appalls me that it seems like so many viewers did just that), and the simple fact that Bong Soon was selfish in only caring about saving her friend the time she almost was kidnapped and when she actually was instead of immediately striving to save all of the women right from the beginning (if I had a superpower, I would consider it my duty to protect others instead of saying “I should really go stop that kidnapper” and then doing nothing like Bong Soon)…. sorry for ramble but that show really annoyed me. Thus, I wanted to see Park Bo Young in a different role (bc she was the only redeeming thing of SWDBS for me) and I absolutely loved this drama. There were some plot holes and iffy things but I easily ignored them. Park Bo Young was just incredible as Soon Ae as Bong Sun and Bong Sun herself and I loved seeing the lead being gentle with her instead of forceful (like in SWDBS)..of course, Soon Ae in Bong Sun was very forceful but at least she understood no was no when he would tell her every time she tried (although that didn’t stop her from trying again). Ultimately, I was willing to forgive most of the faults in that regard by thinking of Soon Ae as being a ghost with nothing else to lose except trying desperately to get Sun Woo to help her lose her virginity. She was not a human so she did not think humanely or ethically until she started developing feelings. Overall, this drama was a 9.5/10 for me.

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    • Oh yes, Park Bo Young is wonderful, I’ve enjoyed her in everything I’ve seen her in so far! 🙂 She was THE bright spot for me in this show, and in SWDBS too. I absolutely agree with you on the jarring shifts in tone in SWDBS; that bothered me too.

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