THE SHORT VERDICT:
Bursting at the seams with Pretty and Cute, Oh My Venus could’ve been a no-brainer shoo-in for cracky rom-com of the year. Especially since leads So Ji Sub and Shin Min Ah have been proven to possess a combined chemistry of the electrifyingly sparky sort.
Unfortunately, the writing derails the drama (in so, so many ways), and Show turns out to be more Underwhelming Mess than Intoxicating Brew.
Still cute, but far from satisfying.
THE LONG VERDICT:
There are times when a show manages to defy the odds and actually add up to more than the sum of its parts. Like Warrior Baek Dong Soo, which managed to worm its way into my heart in spite of its multitude of flaws.
With Oh My Venus, sadly, it’s the opposite force at work. Even though there are things in this drama that I genuinely appreciate, this show manages to add up to less than the sum of its parts, in the actual watch experience. It’s the weirdest thing.
Throughout my watch, I scratched my head and wondered why this show was falling flat for me instead of landing the way I (really, really) wanted it to. 16 episodes later, I think I’ve finally figured it out.
Before I get into why this show didn’t work for me, here’s a quick list of some of the things that I legit liked about the show. Too bad this drama didn’t end up working for me, but.. let’s talk about that later.
OST ALBUM: FOR YOUR LISTENING PLEASURE
Here’s the OST album in case you’d like to listen to it while you read the review.
STUFF I LIKED
1. Joo Eun’s personality
From the moment we’re introduced to Joo Eun, I liked her frank, no-nonsense personality.
I love that even when she was Daegu’s Venus back in high school, she never tried to coast by on her looks when everyone was falling over themselves for her.
Even better, I loved that even after the weight gain, she’s still the same person on the inside, and remains the same sassy, feisty, honest, straight-talking person throughout our story.
As a character, Joo Eun comes across as accessible and unaffected, whether she’s slim and pretty, or chubby and struggling with her weight. In a drama landscape and social environment where such a premium is placed on outward appearance, I found this very refreshing indeed.
2. The So Ji Sub sexy
To be frank, I wasn’t blown away by So Ji Sub in this role, coz the way he played Young Ho reminded me a fair bit of how he played Joong Won in Master’s Sun.
A little on the quiet side, and often speaking with dry humor and a furrowed brow. Or – more often than not – just being silent, with a furrowed brow. Or on occasion, chuckling sheepishly, with a furrowed brow. Heh. Do we notice a trend here? 😉
Still, So Ji Sub brooded and angsted beautifully when the occasion called for it, and I couldn’t help developing a soft spot for Young Ho, in spite of myself.
Of course, the So Ji Sub Pretty was a lovely bonus, whether Show was serving up oodles of So Ji Sub shirtless deliciousness:
…Or just allowing us to marvel at his magnificent bone-structure and sexy almost-smirks.
Such a handsome man, truly. ❤️ So Ji Sub’s brand of sexy was definitely one of the highlights of the show, for me.
3. The boys
OMG THE BOYS. ❤️❤️❤️
The 3 boys together, just being their affable dorky selves, was possibly my most favorite thing in this show.
Sung Hoon is a little stiff, but Henry more than makes up for it with his boundless eager-puppy energy. I’d seen Henry during his We Got Married stint, and it looked to me like he was just being himself in this show, except maybe on steroids, ha.
I found his hyper-energy endlessly amusing, and loved the enthusiastic bear hugs that he cheerfully and consistently gave Joo Eun, all while shout-crowing in affection, “MA’AM!!!” XD
In a show where so much didn’t work for me, the 3 boys together – well, and Henry in particular – were a welcome source of amusement.
4. The emphasis on health
Like almost every other drama before it, Oh My Venus makes some gross simplifications (and therefore misstatements) about a topic/occupation, and in this case, it’s health. It’s kinda disappointing, but not unexpected.
What I did like, was Show’s repeated efforts to bring across the idea that health is sexy.
I love that Young Ho is written to care more about health and well-being than actual slimness. It’s pretty great that we consistently see him telling Joo Eun to take care of her body, not in a derogatory “you-should-slim-down” way, but in a “this-isn’t-good-for-your-body” way.
We’re reminded again and again, that health is sexy, and health is pretty, and I liked that a lot.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK FOR ME
1. Sketchy writing
Seriously, if I had to pick the key culprit that tanked this show for me, I’d have to say it was the writing. Whenever I had a moment (or several) where I wasn’t feeling the show or enjoying what was on my screen, 9 times out of 10, it could be traced back to the writing.
Here’s my attempt at breaking it down in a somewhat coherent manner.
(I) Underdeveloped / jerky connections
A lot of the time, I found myself feeling bewildered at a character’s behavior because the writing hadn’t built the context around it properly (or at all), and the character’s motivation seemed unclear at best.
Ok, so I know that with heavy rationalization, a good chunk of stuff in Oh My Venus can be explained away.
But – and this is a Big BUT – no show should require its audience to work this hard and this frequently, to rationalize character behavior in order to make things make sense.
Well, not unless the show in question is some kind of artsy avant-garde sort of thing that is supposed to be inaccessible and weird. And Oh My Venus is definitely not that.
The lack of context around character behavior and motivation regularly made it hard for me to get behind the characters. Which, if I think about it, is one of the most important elements necessary to engage viewers with a show.
Essentially, it’s hard for me to care when I have to keep guessing why you’re behaving the way you are.
There’re lots more examples in the show, of course, but here are just 2 times that Show left me scratching my head and wondering what I’d missed.
Exhibit A: Joo Eun deciding that she wanted to train under John Kim.
Considering that when we meet Joo Eun in the beginning of the show, she’s a feisty opinionated woman who hasn’t seemed to crack under body image issues, I found it odd that she would suddenly jump at the chance to threaten John Kim into training her.
It’s true that we see Plump Joo Eun deflate a little at the thought that she’s no longer Daegu’s Venus, but she’s plenty confident of her intelligence and character, and is far from being defined by her appearance.
In fact, when Ji Woong (Henry Lau) talks to her in episode 2 about changing her life like Jennifer Anderson had, Joo Eun responds by ordering in an entire feast for herself.
Basically, I could clearly follow Show’s steps towards bringing Joo Eun under the coaching of John Kim, in a connect-the-events sort of way, but I found Joo Eun’s newfound determination to lose weight hard to understand.
Even harder for me to understand, is how Joo Eun suddenly went from being fairly content to keep living the way she was, to suddenly feeling ready to blackmail John Kim into being her personal trainer.
Writer-nim seemed to have forgotten to fill in a few extra dots to connect Joo Eun finding herself in a few embarrassing situations, to Joo Eun leaping at the chance to blackmail John Kim.
On a slight tangent, I also found the whole blackmailing thing out of character for Joo Eun.
Exhibit B: Joo Eun starting to view Young Ho romantically.
In episode 6, Joo Eun suddenly starts reacting jealously to thoughts of Young Ho being on a sexy rendezvous with his girlfriend.
Given that we’d only seen her respond to him in a manner that ranged from prickly to matter-of-fact prior, this sudden bout of attraction-fueled jealousy felt sudden and out of left field, for me.
I had to stop and think about it, and rationalize that Joo Eun probably feels that way because of their accidental kiss and all the flirty tension that they’d sometimes shared. But like I said, I was grasping at straws just to try to make things appear to make sense in my head, and that’s just not how it should be.
(II) Uneven tone
In this show, there’s Cute Stuff, and there’s also Serious Stuff, and the two don’t really get along. I get that writer-nim probably intended for The Cute and The Serious to balance each other out, but the overall handling felt a bit weird, for me.
Each tone sits at a bit of an extreme, and there doesn’t quite seem to be any in-between, with both tones. Both The Cute and The Serious tend to be served up in heavy-handed strokes, and the transition between the two tones often feels jerky.
Additionally, the cute sequences are protracted and therefore eventually feel out of place, whenever they make an appearance. I also found the cutesy music too cute for some of those protracted scenes of inserted cute.
Because of these factors, the entire show eventually feels like an uneasy truce between The Cute and The Serious, where the two agree to disagree while continuing to co-exist in the same space, but never actually blend to truly become one entity.
A shining example of this is the entire construct of episode 9, which focuses a lot on everyone’s pain – in particular Young Ho’s – and has weird stretches of cute inserted at intervals.
The entire episode feels carelessly written, like writer-nim decided it was time to amp up the angst, and put that into the hour first, and then filled up the remaining time with whatever cute she could muster.
Movement between plot points felt jerky at best, and I ended up just not feeling it; neither the angst, nor the cute.
(III) Stuff niggles
There’s a bunch of stuff that writer-nim serves up as positive or even romantic, that doesn’t sit well with me and therefore continues to niggle at me when I’m supposed to be enjoying the show.
Exhibit A: “Your body is mine.”
For a good chunk of the show, Young Ho repeatedly tells Joo Eun “your body is mine,” or more literally translated, “your body, my will.”
I think it’s supposed to come across as funny with an underlying layer of sexy, but it just so does not work for me.
It irks me that in a modern drama (rather than a sageuk about slaves and their masters, for instance), particularly one where our heroine is strong and sassy, a phrase like “your body is mine” is framed as being sexy.
I couldn’t believe my ears or my eyes, when Young Ho decides to kiss Joo Eun in episode 6 (which in itself is a bit of a contextually lacking head-scratcher), and utters the words, “Your body is mine, so you can’t say no.” WHUT. That is a terrible thing to say.
And it’s made SO. MUCH. WORSE. by the way it’s portrayed as romantic. Suffice to say that I found the kiss and its set-up far from romantic. Which totally messed with my ability to enjoy the show.
I concede that although the “your body is mine” remark is a recurring motif for a good stretch, Young Ho’s tone when he says it does become gentler and gentler. And the things that he insists on, for Joo Eun’s body, are all for her health and well-being.
Also, Joo Eun eventually does tell Young Ho not to say “your body is mine.”
But, my point is, why did we have to even pretend that saying that was romantic &/or sexy to begin with? No likey.
Exhibit B: The clean-up team
In episode 4, Young Ho and the boys show up at Joo Eun’s front door in order to clean out her fridge and replace all her bad food choices with good ones.
I’m all for helping someone learn to make healthy food choices, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that Young Ho and the boys approach it in a rather intrusive manner. There’s no warning, and they basically barge into Joo Eun’s house while she protests.
These are the little details which niggle at me. I know Show’s trying to be funny, but it’s not funny. It makes me feel that Joo Eun is being disrespected, and that’s not cool.
Exhibit C: Joo Eun’s Sweetness Of Life “gift” to the boys.
In episode 6, Joo Eun prepares a “gift” for the boys, to help them enjoy the “sweetness of life.” A big part of the gift is basically forcing them to eat a whole bunch of unhealthy food that the extreme-clean-eating boys wouldn’t normally touch.
Ok, so I get the heartwarming idea behind the plot point that writer-nim is gunning for (helping the boys to taste the sweetness of life), but as a person who likes to eat healthy myself, I actually cringed at Joo Eun’s “gift” to the boys.
To be forced to eat things that are high in oil, salt and sugar, when one’s tastebuds and body have not been attuned? You’d literally gag. And get a very upset stomach. It’s just how our bodies work, after all.
Speaking from personal experience, it’s honestly quite torturous (I suffered a very angry stomach when I once ate a small bag of chips, on a whim. My stomach just couldn’t handle the oil). 😛
From that perspective, I found Joo Eun’s gift ill-thought-out and even somewhat inconsiderate. Which is something that could’ve been avoided, if more thought had been put into the writing.
(IV) Logic fizzles
With roughly 245 kdramas under my belt as I type this, I’m more than a little acquainted with the need to suspend disbelief while watching most dramas.
Even so, the need to suspend disbelief in Oh My Venus was higher than what I’d expected – and sometimes by a lot, too. Given the already patchy writing, this didn’t help.
Here’s just a quick spotlight on times when I was surprised by just how much writer-nim expected the audience to suspend disbelief for the story.
1. I already alluded to this earlier, but I’d like to take a moment to talk about Show’s perspective on Joo Eun’s thyroid issues. Young Ho says more than once that if she works hard to take care of her body, she can even stop taking her meds.
And quite magically, by the end of the show, Joo Eun really is able to stop taking her meds.
I personally know people with thyroid issues, who work hard and hardcore with the help of personal trainers, and they aren’t able to get off the meds. Show’s take on Joo Eun’s thyroid issue is simplistic at best.
2. Young Ho’s psychological issues and phantom pain is portrayed as being extremely deep-rooted and quite serious.
When the pain strikes, he’s pale, sweaty and often barely conscious. Yet, at the end of episode 11, Young Ho is able to stride into the banquet hall, when just minutes ago he’d been pale and sweaty with pain.
And all it took to get Young Ho from crumpled up on the floor, crippled with pain, to being able to walk normally, without even limping, was a supportive pep talk from Joo Eun. Uh. Really?
3. In episode 12, Young Joon’s (Lee Seung Ho) drug overdose escalates mighty quickly into Uncle (Kim Jung Tae) taking matters into his own hands and literally chasing down Young Ho to kill him.
The whole sequence of events feels stitched together very roughly and clumsily, and left me scratching my head over how nonsensical and surreal it came across.
(V) Lack of depth
I don’t demand depth from all of my dramas, and am fully capable of enjoying a bit of nonsensical fluff (see Bride of the Century and Noble, My Love, for example).
The thing about Oh My Venus is, Show tries for depth, and fails to actually pull it off. Which results in a lot of stuff feeling random and fractured.
And because Show tries for depth that it doesn’t manage to achieve, the writing flaws become all the more glaring, unfortunately.
1. For a good chunk of the drama, Soo Jin (Yoo In Young) is portrayed as a potentially interesting character who’s all glamorous confidence and nasty bitch on the outside, and a bundle of miserable insecurities on the inside.
In the early to mid episodes, we often see Soo Jin brooding over all her insecurities, and we’re also shown many moments where her reaction to something belies something deeper and more complex underneath the surface.
I was waiting for Show to deal with Soo Jin’s issues in a more thoughtful manner, but most of it poofs away in episode 13, after one way-too-easy confrontation with Joo Eun. After all that build-up, that felt like a let-down, honestly.
2. Uncle’s supposed to have deep-seated grudges and anxieties over his sister’s (Jin Kyung) and nephew’s place in the family, which is purportedly why he schemes against Young Ho through most of the show.
Instead of teasing out Uncle’s burgeoning dissatisfaction and antsiness, and demonstrating how it culminates in him deciding to take matters into his own hands, Show keeps Uncle mostly in the background and limits our Uncle exposure to mostly scenes of him scheming against Young Ho.
Ultimately, it makes his decision to hunt down Young Ho feel random. Worse, he seems to come around to the stupidity of his actions just as quickly as he fell into them.
The writing around this whole arc feels incredibly jerky, and it feels like each milestone is inserted in sole service of pushing the story to where writer-nim wants it to be, never mind whether it’s been fleshed out properly.
3. At the end episode 12, we see Young Ho in a major accident, and by the end of episode 13, he’s completely rehabilitated and recovered. Wow, that felt fast.
Show’s decision to just skim through Young Ho’s entire recovery actually had the effect of, well, cheapening his recovery, in a way.
Not that I want him to be in pain, but the way Show just zooms through the entire process just makes the entire thing feel rather unreal and a bit superfluous, even.
2. The OTP cute
After witnessing the sizzling chemistry that So Ji Sub and Shin Min Ah shared in those Giordano ads, I was beyond excited to learn that they’d be playing opposite each other in Oh My Venus.
There were definitely moments during the show that their chemistry worked for me, but sadly, most of the time, I wasn’t feeling it. Bummer.
So Ji Sub and Shin Min Ah are definitely at ease with each other, and when the occasion called for up-close-and-personal skinship, both go for it with blithe gung-ho commitment.
Deeper into the show, when we get more muted interaction moments between our OTP, I actually found myself enjoying and even preferring the more sober vibe.
With a lot of the cute stripped away, more raw emotions were able to come to the surface, and I found it easier to connect with them on a heart-level.
(I) It feels hollow
There’s a difference between ease of skinship and having meaning behind that skinship. Despite both leads not having any hesitation with the required skinship, thanks to the sketchy writing and broad-stroked characterization, the OTP connection often felt hollow, to me.
For a good stretch of the show, I didn’t actually buy into the supposed depth of their relationship.
(II) Exaggerated cutesy-sexy
While both So Ji Sub and Shin Min Ah are fully capable of bringing on the smoldering sort of sexy (didja check out that Giordano ad?) even without the support of a narrative context, I feel like they were directed against it, in this show.
Oh My Venus was marketed as a sexy rom-com, and via its saucy teaser, promised to push the envelope in terms of how much sexy it would deliver on prime-time television.
Yet, I strongly suspect that it is the overtly sexy dialogue itself, that caused PD-nim to choose exaggerated cutesy-sexy as the way to deliver that dialogue – an effort to neutralize the overt sexiness, if you will.
All the times Joo Eun looks at Young Ho and supposedly lusts after him, it’s delivered more comic-funny than can’t-look-away-sexy, and it got old pretty fast, for me.
The sexy overtones in many of the OTP scenes feel exaggerated and put on for the camera, and by extension, even the OTP cute sometimes feels put on for the camera too, rather than organic to the characters.
I like my cute and I like my sexy as much as the next fangirl, but my heart doesn’t waver if it doesn’t feel real. And for me, there are a good number of times that the OTP cute &/or sexy doesn’t feel real.
Despite their excellent chemistry, I often feel like So Ji Sub, and Shin Min Ah in particular, are play-acting for the camera.
It doesn’t help that I often felt the banter between Joo Eun and Young Ho felt unnatural as well.
Again, I think it’s in the writing. The banter often didn’t flow naturally, to my ears. Rather, I felt that it sounded contrived and purposely constructed in a certain way in order to appeal to the audience.
Putting it all together, I felt that The Cute and The Sexy in this show came across as manufactured and therefore gratuitous, unfortunately.
The Separation Thing
I wanted to touch on another odd writing choice, which is directly related to the OTP. And that is, how Young Ho completely cuts himself off from Joo Eun after his big accident.
For an entire year, during his rehab and healing, Young Ho cuts off all contact with Joo Eun and refuses to even allow himself to check the messages that she sends him.
When he’s all recovered, he makes a Grand Entrance back into Joo Eun’s life, and it’s supposed to be heart-tugging and romantic.
I didn’t like this writing choice, at all. Yes, it can be rationalized that Young Ho’s uncertain of whether he’ll recover, and feels unable to make any promises, and that’s why he chose to disconnect from Joo Eun completely.
I can also buy the idea that he’s using this to keep himself motivated, but I do think writer-nim took it too far, in order to make it As Dramatic As Possible.
I mean, once Young Ho was sure that he was getting better, surely he could’ve allowed some measure of contact with Joo Eun, right? Especially since she was sending him so many messages. He definitely knew that she was thinking of him.
Additionally, I have a gripe about how writer-nim sets it up, with Young Ho insisting that he doesn’t want Joo Eun to see him in a bad state, and doesn’t want to see her cry.
How completely unfair and untrusting, that he can see her and help her when she’s at her weakest, but won’t allow her to do the same for him. And as we plainly see, Joo Eun cries plenty all on her own.
Which – unfortunately – makes Young Ho’s choice appear more selfish and self-centered than intended.
This all came together to make this OTP arc fall very, very flat for me.
3. Yi Jin’s crush on Joon Sung
In comparison to the other items on my Dislike List, this is a relatively small thing. But it did annoy me enough that I wanted to come out and say, I didn’t like the loveline between Yi Jin (Jung Hye Sung) and Joon Sung (Sung Hoon).
I mean, I found it mildly amusing at first, but her aggressive stalker tactics got old really fast. In a drama world where we’re shown it’s not ok for a man to stalk a woman, I found Yi Jin’s stalker ways invasive and very unfunny.
Joon Sung’s eventual change of heart felt unconvincing and sudden to me, and I deeply wished that writer-nim had never given him a loveline to begin with.
It’s weird, but I actually didn’t find myself feeling too disappointed with the last two episodes, which were basically almost all filler and no plot.
Maybe I’d finally come to terms with Show’s (in)ability to deliver, after 14 episodes of disappointment. And maybe I was just relieved that this show was almost done with its run.
Everything’s pretty predictable in the final stretch, and almost everything’s tied up in a neat (albeit sometimes inexplicable) bow. It’s all simplistic and fanservicey, complete with large chunks of gratuitous flashback filler, but it’s inoffensive and rather pleasant in its execution.
As for Show’s initial attempts to make a deeper statement about our value vs. our appearance, well, it pretty much dissolves part-way through the show. Sort of like how this raccoon’s cotton candy dissolves in the water; you can search for it all you want, but it’s gone forever.
THE FINAL VERDICT:
Like cotton candy: fluffy, sweet and mostly empty calories.
How much you like this will largely depend on how much cotton candy you can stomach, pretty much. 😛
FINAL GRADE: C++
I couldn’t disagree more. It was one of my very favorites. It’s funny how we all have such different opinions and that’s good. I loved it! No complaints whatsoever. Wish they would make a second
Good review with many valid points, yet, somehow I enjoyed this just as much as Bride of the Century, The Boyfriend, etc. I was hesitant to watch it with that KFG grade of C++ but because it is highly ranked on other sites I went ahead and watched the entire show.
What I really liked was that the ML was taken with the FL immediately and his feelings never wavered. Also liked that BOTH families were for their relationship. BOTH actors made this work, even when the uneven writing was hard to ignore.
My sister and I both give Oh My Venus an A++++. Yes, we are elderly, but really enjoyed the banter between Shin Min Ah and So Ji Sub. I felt their joy in making this drama. I did not like the uncle and the so called best friend, but forwarded through a lot of that. My only question in the show is, “Was Kim Ju Ann a virgin still after having a relationship for 15 years as she was noble and pure?” I would have changed the ending to her being toooo thin due to morning sickness and he scolds her for not staying healthy and then finds out she is pregnant with twins. I would love to see these two star in another romantic comedy. Shin Min Ah always brings out the best in her co-actors. I did not see any comparison with Master’s Son as he was too bland in that show. But, any drama So Ji Sub is in deserves praise as he gives so much of himself to making it work.
All of Fangirl’s criticisms are valid, alas. Also, I wonder if a big issue is the 16 episode Procrustean bed that creates the need for so much filler in so many shows. This was a 10 episode show at the most.
I could not enjoy this drama and must admit I dropped it in episode 10. The ML and FL are good actors, but the humour was quite off and the story not gripping enough. I did not feel any interesting conflict in the story and the weight issue was pretty grating too. I generally dislike dramas that deal with weight issues, because I find they never seem to do it with enough depth or honesty. Yes, ML here keeps saying that “being healthy is sexy”, but how convenient it is that the woman he is attracted to is getting slimmer… I personally prefer the approach the old drama “My name is Kim San soon” took dealing with this issue: In the end, the heroine never loses the weight she sets to lose and it doesn’t make any difference to her whatsoever. Also that drama had a fairly compassionate and thoughtful depiction of an actual eating disorder.
Health is not always attached to losing weight or having a reduced body mass index: Some people do store more fat than others and to be the “ideal weight” would mean for them to seriously starve themselves for life. For other people weight gain is often a side effect of overcoming other more life threatening conditions. And there are others that, after suffering an eating disorder, will struggle to manage their weight and sometimes are bigger than what’s considered “healthy”, when in reality they are so much healthier because they have overcome their eating disorder… These are the issues around weight dramas should talk about, instead of always coming back to the same “socially convenient” conclusion: “that being thin is healthy” and excusing fatfobia, instead of trying to understand obesity as a part of a metabolic syndrome (instead of bad habits and lazy lifestyle) and accepting that being overweight can be a perfectly acceptable sign of health in certain individuals.
As someone who has struggled with weight problems all her life (I have always been skinny and had people nagging me so that I would eat more) I am 100% in agreement with you. With the exception of really obese or anorexic people, we should finally realise that being 5 or 10 kilos (or more, depending on the person) over or under the “ideal” weight does not give anyone the right to pity or scorn us.
I also dropped this show mostly because of the male lead who I found uninteresting and, well, quite one-dimensional as an actor (sorry if you’re a fan), but mostly because the female lead seemed to lose her spirit and cuteness along with her weight.
I kind of dislike it when in dramas issues of appearance and weight come up. I know that kdramas are full of beautiful people, but the least attention the story itself draws to the issue of beauty or lack of it, the better.
As for people who are very obese and those who suffer from anorexia, they do not deserve pity or scorn, they deserve solutions that go beyond “go on a diet” and “eat more.” They deserve understanding, appropriate medical advice and treatment if their health is at stake, and to live in a society which doesn’t put pressure on them to blend in by looking a certain way, or doesn’t make assumptions about them because of the way they look.
New to Korean TV series here, mainly because of Netflix, and I must say I find it hard to see the attraction of it all. I had read articles in various newspapers in the UK about the cultural storm Korean series have created and for the life of me I cannot understand the reason why on the basis of this, Oh My Venus, and a few others I watched on Netflix. Other than being populated with extremely photogenic young (and youngish) people (and some of them can act too, e.g. my particular favourite Hyun Bin) what else do these series have to recommend them? Even as fluffy escapism they are hard work, in the sense that there is so much that is annoying and off putting about them.
‘Oh My Venus’ is a prime example of what I find wrong. The clumsy attempts at sexy rom-com fall flatter than a pancake. Rather than rom-commish they come out as infantile and tedious. As for the sexy, the less said the better. There must be some serious censorship, something like the old Hollywood Hayes Code, over what a couple can be shown to be and be doing on Korean TV. I cannot explain it otherwise (especially when it is not at all the case with Korean films that often appear at the London Film Festival. Some of the most interesting films of the last decade I have seen have come from South Korea. Great scripts, great acting, direction, and some of them are genuinely and profoundly erotic). In so far as ‘Oh my Venus!’ is concerned, it is bewildering to me that two people in their 30s behave like 10 year olds in their ‘bedroom’ scenes. Never have I seen people wear so many clothes in bed! And the kisses, for any age group let alone their age group, were cringeworthy in their fake chastity. Instead of awkwardness and vulnerability you get unfunny, childish ‘cuteness’.
The writing was very choppy, careless and at times downright bad (especially concerning the hero and his family. His step-mother in particular. One would expect a woman to be so subjugated, disposable and treated as rubbish in Saudi Arabia rather than South Korea, but there you have it! And the hero’s half-brother, with whom the hero has no interaction up until the end, is just a bad story filler rather than a character).
I also agree with another comment that takes up issue with the main story line that of the heroine wanting to lose weight (why? By European standards she is absolutely fine, yet she is called ‘obese’, clinically obese, FFS! And on top of that she is supposedly a confident, not easily bullied, intelligent woman who loves her work, has strong friendships and good family relationships and is not socially awkward). Moreover, while it is right to link bad eating habits with a host of health issues, it is not right to link health issues with weight. There are overweight people who are healthy and slim people who are not. There is a host of serious reasons why one is overweight (from depression, to lack of access to healthy food, to medication to serious medical conditions and so on) and dieting and exercise won’t make those reasons disappear. So the series was very flippant about the whole issue.
The lead actors were fine but they had no material to play with and ended up in appearing far too immature for their age and forced to spout nursery lines. Also, whose idea was to have the hero completely sever all contact with the heroine for more than a year? The script editor should have immediately binned that idea and demanded a rewrite. If the hero did not want to be seen in the state he was after the accident, he could have at least kept in touch through text or email with the heroine. As any rational being professing a deep love for someone would have done. It made no sense and it added no belated ‘conflict’ to the story (which is what the writers were aiming at, I think, only to miss by a mile).
Anyway, disappointing outcome and an utter waste of talent , in particular of the titanic appeal of super sexy Jo In Sub.
In defence of kdrama, I must say that there is a lot in them to love. I do agree that some elements in them, like their treatment of weight and beauty related issues and, on occasion, of sexuality, gender and race, do get a lot of things wrong (at least in my book) but that doesn’t prevent me from loving the formula and structure of these dramas and, most of the time, enjoying how the character and plots are written.
I do agree that the kissing and physical scenes often feel excessively naive and pure. I’m not sure what are the reasons for this… I can speculate and say that perhaps all these shows are made for the whole family and probably need to stick to strict TV broadcasting rules and age appropriate content. I do like the tension, mind you, that some of these chaste kissing scenes often provide… sometimes, less is more.
Keep trying with kdrama. You’ll find the story that will truly convert you!
I loved ur reply Victoria….I am very late to the OMV party but I agree with everything you said. This drama deserves a B if not an A. There were some loopholes but it was a feel good one. And the chemistry OMG! Outwardly truly. I am surprised they didnt fall in love in real life after doing such awesome scenes which so much skinship. It looked like they really have some connection. I was expecting some drama after the accident but I guess they needed to end it quickly so they just jumped quickly putting everything in place. I am obsessed with the songs and I’m rewinding every sweet moments the couple share
I dropped this show at ep. 10. It started off nicely and the female lead is endearing, but the male lead always had the same look on his (handsome) face, and a pained look at that, so I decided this wasn’t for me.
I enjoy reading your reviews. They’re so accurate that I’ve taken to reading them AFTER watching a show and I’d compare my own thoughts with yours. There are only around two of your reviews that I don’t quite agree with, but all else are eerily the same as mine…
I deliberately chose to watch Oh My Venus because I expected it to be a “brains not needed” kind of show. I had just finished binging on Flower Of Evil (now THAT was an exceptional one for me…) and needed something lighter to watch next. Thing was, Oh My Venus had obvious attempts at depth that I could not understand. For a while I was wracking my brain trying to sort things out until I gave up and just let the show coast along. I felt that this was its major flaw because there was a whole list of sub-plots that were meant to be deep but were hardly developed and thus ended up being unnecessary and confusing and eventually forgettable. Removing them could probably have given the writer more space to focus on adding depth and breadth to others. That whole thing between Joon-Sung looking for his biological mom was the biggest head-scratcher for me. As is the forced stalker turned girlfriend arc of Yi-Jin with Joon-Sung that I found more annoying than amusing. I’m surprised the writer forgot to add a sub-plot for Ji Woong. That whole John Kim thing was… so what was that about again? Oh yeah. Byung Wook ably and conveniently solved it. How did Byung Wook resolve that …? I forgot.
The accident and recovery arc could have been developed further, earlier, and used for… something. I found that an opportunity for a good pinnacle of sorts. But it ended up being: “Ok, Young-ho had a dramatic accident and recovered. Next.”
I found the OTP chemistry ok, except that the blatant sexual undertones and innuendoes eventually became a forced, tired bait. What romantic pair teases each other to no end (and they were not holding back on the teasing!), with lips less than a breath away from each other, shirts half-unbuttoned, or Young-ho wearing a bathrobe half open at the chest, only to end up with one of them sleeping on the floor and another on the bed? Or kiss with light smacks that one would give a toddler? SMH.
After the brief showcase of Young-ho’s recovery from the accident (with some hullaballoo about his knee being operated on yet again), things screeched to a halt from there. Senseless sub-plots were replaced with fillers. Two whole episodes of flashbacks and stretched scenes of home parties and pre-nuptial shoots had my fingers tapping on “forward” for the most part of episodes 15 and 16.
This is not a show that I’d recommend to any one. But it might be a show that one would stumble upon, be curious about, watch, feel good about, then move on to the next. And you’re right. It all depends if one can endure its shallowness (ok if you’re taking a break from watching a slew of serious series), lack of coherence, and just go with the flow.
I agree with a lot of what you’re saying especially regarding Soo Jin, At first I liked that she had things that added depth. However towards the end,it felt like all those underlying issues didn’t mean much.In relation to her eating disorder? (I don’t wanna misdiagnose)which doesn’t seem to be taken seriously,it would have ended the series better if she had actually started receiving treatment and making steps towards self improvement which would have made the ending so much more satisfying. Instead we get something that feels kind of cheap to be honest. I would’ve preferred an alternate ending.
I didn’t like the separation bit. I found it unnecessary and honestly I don’t know much about relationships but isn’t it about going through hardships together. Is that always gonna be the solution to distance yourself from your partner when you’re going through something tough?It probably hurt her even more to be excluded and to be apart from him.
Yeah, I agree, I found those things underwhelming too, in Oh My Venus.. Somehow it all sat very uncomfortably with me, especially the stuff to do with weight and diet. It all came across as not being very well thought-out at all, and insensitive, to boot. :/ I love So Ji Sub and I love Shin Min Ah, and I thought I would love them together, but.. this show was pretty meh for me, overall. 😔
I disagree with many of the things you pointed out here. One of my major disagreements is that although it only took one episode for Young Ho to recover, there was a one year time jump in that episode. Many things happened off camera. Ju Eun was all alone waiting for his return for one whole year.
Hehe I keep finding reviews of yours and I finally have a place to share my thoughts! I only started watching Kdramas a couple of months ago and this was recommended to me. You can expect me to pop up on some other posts soon 😀
It was really interesting to read your feedback although I found the opposite. I adored Oh My Venus and I really related to the lead and loved So Ji Sub’s portrayal which I thought was perfect for the character. The whole ‘your body is mine’ never bothered me – my husband and I say it to each other. It felt a bit dramatic 50 Shades unnecessary but it all depends on context. If it was some weirdo creep in the street cornering me in a back ally, or a DV situation, then nope. But here between trainer and client who wants dramatic weight loss fast, it made sense.
Where you’ve mentioned him recovering from the panic attack and phantom pain – it’s entirely possible. I have Bipolar, BPD and complex PTSD and you can switch very quickly from an extreme episode and then appear normal a few minutes later. I actually thought that was very well done how they portrayed it.
And I gotta say, I thought Sung Hoon was great. Another beautiful man (sigh) but I liked his approach to his role and it made me tear up to see him with his mum.
I sobbed at the hospital scene where she said good bye, that was beautifully done. Also I loved the bromances and Henry was super cute!
The thing that grated me was the hypothyroid recovery. Unless it was caused by pregnancy or some other illness, once your thyroid goes, it goes and you’re on medication for life. I have hypothyroid and watched in astonishment as she recovered. Unless I missed something, it was a gross misrepresentation of the illness. Correct me if I’m wrong?
Oh the other thing which I’m in complete agreement with is that ridiculous romance with Sung Hoon. Seriously, if my daughter ever behaves in such a stalkery, intrusive way with zero concept of boundaries or shame I’d feel like I’d failed as a parent.That is not the way to get a boyfriend. I hated how it depicted women, and also normalised that kind of behaviour.
The last thing that bugged me was her ex friend. I have found in Kdrama that most ‘bad’ characters end up having some sort of redemption and sometimes I just want to see them get their comeuppance. Here…..it was disappointing and poorly written.
And the plasters. That was not romantic or special. That was gross. I had to block those instances from my brain.
But overall, a really fun show.
Ah! Welcome to the wonderful world of kdramas, my friend! 😀 It’s great you enjoyed this one, even though it didn’t land so well for me. I know a lot of folks loved this one. I was definitely bucking the trend with this one.
Sorry to hear about your health challenges, and thank you for sharing – the fact that you say the panic attacks and phantom pain episodes were well-handled definitely holds more weight than my layman opinion, since you have personal experience with such things.
On another note, I completely agree that the thyroid recovery thing was definitely unbelievable, and that plaster thing was gross. 🤢
PS: If you enjoyed Sung Hoon, I do recommend you check out Noble, My Love. It’s a cute little web drama, and he’s romantic lead. I think you’d enjoy it. My quick review is here, if it helps 🙂
Wonderful, thanks for the recommendation! I’m a bit bereft as I’m running out of JCW stuff to watch 😀 so I’m going to check this out right now. I really liked Sung Hoon and I thought it was a shame he got paired off with that dreadful female in this show. What a waste of screentime because the snippets with his mum were beautiful.
Yes, I understand about running out of JCW stuff to watch. I attempted several of his earlier works, but I didn’t really love anything. Empress Ki has a diehard fanbase, but I couldn’t get into it. Plus, JCW plays a bit of a wimp, I think. That ain’t so sexy either. Warrior Baek Dong Soo is a weird one, in that it’s super flawed, but it managed to get under my skin anyway. If you’re kinda desperate, you might check it out. Ah! I know! You should go watch a drama special called Have You Ever Had Coffee With An Angel. It’s short and cute, and full of Ji Chang Wook. My quick review is here. 😉
But yes, if you’re in the mood for some Sung Hoon, Noble, My Love is a quick, light, easy way to go!
So agree wit you on the hypothyroidism–I have it and it never goes away. I wish they could have talked more about tje show’s concept of healthy seemed to mean attitude, but it wasn’t ever clearly defined.
Her glasses really bothered me too. Suddenly, her eyes weren’t that bad and wearing glasses had just become a habit. Sereiously?!? Then she wore them to look more intellectual…..
I really dont get this review. I LOVED this drama from start to finish(…almost finished).
Weightloss. She was always bothered about her weight. That’s why she took those pills and the corset incident on the plane. I mean, she’s is human, a woman for that matter. If you were some goddess before and you fell from glory, it doesnt matter how smart you are, a bit of insecurity will sip in. They didnt need to show her crying about it for us to understand(waste of time). A lot of people should have been able to sympathise.
I mean when the guy you dated for 15 years cheats on you and dumps you, it’s hard to believe that ones head can still be held as high as it was especially when you start feeling inferior because of your extreme weight gain. It would have been more unrealistic if she wasnt bothered about her weight despite how strong she tried to be about it. I love the fact that she took the opportunity presented to her. It made sense. She found a solution that had a high probability to not fail her unlike her other options(all the teas and failed diet attempts and “last suppers”). They didnt show your typical girl moaning constantly about her weight. And this was a solution that she had never tried before, “sweating it out”. Having someone to coach you is more motivating than doing it yourself, especially if that person is a famous trainer. She wasnt fixated on her appearance like the female antagonist but it still mattered. She let herself go and she wasnt feeling her best anymore. She knew it wasnt the solution to everything, but it was something she wanted. She was insulted because of her weight and looked down on(like in the police station and at work). Hardly any woman will be able to face all that without wanting change, whether they take a step towards it or not(It’s not easy and people can be lazy and stressed sometimes).
And there are guys like that. Guys who will say they love you to the moon and back and if anyone questions their devotion to you, you will probably need to be held back from slapping them. There are people who have dated for years and suddenly break up for seemingly “stupid” reasons. He fell in love with a goddess but got stuck with a “back in the day” beauty. Everyone has their ideals. Not everyones love runs that deep or on that course. Not everyone thinks the same or can put up for long with some things. People are different. We dont all have a heart of Gold. Not everyone thinks that ” it’s what’s on the inside that counts”… mainly. There wasnt anything surprising about it to me. I didnt question it. For someone like her ex, that wasnt a shocker. I mean it was obvious that that was going to happen from the start. Korean movies are predictable like that but we still love them anyway. It’s not a reason to be bothered by at this point.
And I loved her dimple. The dimple popping was amusing. I mean, in most korean dramas, the girl acts stupid a lot. This one was even toned down. At least she did it in private (God, I love Korean drama)
And the “you are mine” comment. Bah. Put aside the need to feel indignant at such a comment coming from a man. A lot of romance books have used that line and girls still squeal. The hot, rich, possessive, dominant guy(Typical K drama guy. There is a reason why K drama is popular amongst women) pushing you against the wall(not too roughly) and growling out sexily “you are mine”. It hasnt gotten old yet. A lot of the trending books on wattpad (werewolf, mafia, alpha male, you name it!!) and other sites with this line in them can attest to that. It doesnt mean you have crossed over to the dark side. The girl can say it to. Come on!!. Walk up to the guy of your dreams and growl out “you are mine” to him!!!!. Just kidding!!. Dont do that…
“And you cant say no”. How dare he!!. In this modern day and age!!!!. She OBVIOUSLY didnt want to say “no”. If she wanted to, she could have and he would not have forced her. He obviously wasnt the type to force a woman. If my boyfriend (I dont have one cause I’m not yet ready) says such a line to me in the right setting, I’ll devour his lips. Logically, he knows I can say no to his advances(I wont date a douche who would force a woman), but logic is put aside when it comes to love(in movies and all that) and it adds to the “sizzle”. It was sexy enough for me. The sexiness was toned down like in a lot of Korean dramas. I like it that way. Innocent and cute. It wasnt unbalanced to me. Maybe you wanted more kiss scenes or something, I dont know. But the chemistry was there. I have a thick skin when it comes to K-drama. So I can ignore a lot and watch on and squeal. I mean the heirs and boys before flowers were one of my first Korean dramas and I needed a skin of steel to watch it. Eventually, all those embarrassing and cringy moments couldnt faze me anymore…much…
Oh My Venus doesnt require a much of a thick skin to watch.
The three boys. Be still my heart!!!!. That I agree with you. I loved loved loved loved the eye candy!!!! ♥♥♥♥*^^*
I read some of the comments. I’m surprised by the amount of people who didnt really like this drama. Really. Everyone has their opinion though and maybe you wanted more of something…I dont know. But I love Oh My Venus. I dont think the problem is the drama though. It’s more of those “it’s not you(K-drama) it’s me(watcher) situations. I think Oh My Venus was judged rather unfairly.
Ok. This isnt meant to be too heavy. If she didnt lose weight eventually and her thyroid problem was too serious, it would have been a bit depressing. It isnt real. That’s why its a called acting. Things that are almost impossible are made possible. It gives hope. If I had thyroid and I watched this, I would feel pumped(I think I dont have thyroid). If she didnt lose weight and it seemed hopeless, I wouldnt have felt good. They showed that it wasnt easy. Maybe in real life, it takes years upon years to lose even a bit of weight, but it’s not like they can do that for the drama. It’ll draw it out. I didnt know much about thyroid until I watched Oh My Venus. It made me say “fighting!!” to all the people with thyroid. Ones weight is usually a sensitive topic. It’s hard enough to lose weight…having thyroid makes everything harder but not impossible. They showed that when Joon Eun exercised till she dropped but yet there was no result.
As for what Young Ho did to Joo Eun by ignoring her and breaking ties with her(I havent gotten there yet) it reminds me of what the guy in “fated to love” you did. Typical lovable K drama.
As for predictabilty, most K dramas are predictable. Rich guy, poor girl, love triangle, female antgonist…of course there are times when they change some of these factors but it’s still essentially the same thing in different settings or plots. There is this video on you tube I watched recently, just a couple of days ago, about what happens in most korean dramas. Predictabilty isnt an issue. At least not one worthy of mentioning if you have watched at least over five korean series you enjoyed. You can usually tell how it will end but you still anticipate it.
I did hate Yi Jin and Joon Sung’s relationship. I wish the ship never sailed.
I didnt bother commenting on some things. Oh My Venus was really enjoyable to me. It wasnt shallow. I dont think they intended to make it way too serious. It had just enough to still have me smiling even though it pulled at some heart strings. They got their point across and my heart remained light even though my eyes opened to a lot of issues eg how serious an issue thyroid is.
I think Oh My Venus deserves a B plus or A minus.
Glad OMV worked for you, Victoria. 🙂 It’s too bad that the show didn’t work for me the way it did for you, but that’s the beauty of dramas, isn’t it? Something that doesn’t work for one person will still work for another, and vice versa. I didn’t love OMV the way you did, but I certainly don’t begrudge OMV its fans. Hopefully we’ll agree on another drama some other time! 🙂
Wonderful reply! Felt the same way as you. Loved their moments together and glad that it just wasn’t at the end where they had a happy ending. But instead it was throughout the show.
I also loved how they depicted a strong and mature relationship as compared to many other main leads out there (guy being a douche until he realizes his feelings).
I can’t help but fast forward when I watch those typical misunderstandings (leads to stupid arguments) that take a few episodes to resolve, especially behind absurd reasoning. As such, this show actually ticked all my boxes and I’m glad that I read your spot-on comment compared to the review. (In my opinion of course 😉 )
Just wanted to reply to show that at least you’re not alone since most of the replies here generally agree with the review.
P.S Looking for more shows like this where the main leads don’t lose track of their relationship due to second leads and constant misunderstandings lol.
Great review though, I liked how the points were so easy to understand from another point of view.
This whole Yi Jin and Jung Sung loveline is what I want to see more in this drama. We know that Jung Sung showed a slight hint here and there in that pathetic few scene to express his fondness for Yin Jin. There are so much things to explore for these two lovebirds . They should focus on this couple instead of wasting the time on the second leads which to me is so boring!
Lol. I didn’t actually want to see more of Yi Jin’s aggressive pursuit of Joon Sung, but I think if they’d portrayed him being more into her, I might have enjoyed their romantic plotline more. I do agree that the second leads were boring tho! 😉
I had no preconceptions regarding the CF, because I didn’t watch it, but I felt like while watching that little holes were being poked everywhere and stuff wasn’t being explained. Now that I’ve ready your very thorough review, I can digest it all better. I really missed the romance component here, it was just not… well, it was just not there. The outtakes were more fun and natural.
You know, it’s so nice to know that we feel the same way about the romance in OMV.. Despite this show having its loyal fans, I just never quite felt it. I’m disappointed by that, because I have affection for both SJS and SMA. And I’m actually pretty sad that this show managed to erode some of my SMA love, even. :/ It’s so true that even when Show was selling the romance full-force, I never felt engaged nor convinced by the OTP. The cutesy killed it for me too. I suspect strongly, that it’s a directing fault. I feel that PD-nim had directed them to amp up the cute for prime time tv, and that just wrecked what could’ve been a much more fun and natural sort of romantic pairing.
Ok I forgot. I was okay with the “your body is mine” because of how it was said and everything, but when the words “you can’t say no” came out of SJS’s mouth I was pretty shocked. Just no. That is not anything any woman and certainly not the teen girls who are no doubt also watching ever need to hear.
Thanks for the great review. I decided to watch this after it completed its run and overall thought it was ok in the first half and faltered in the second half. I had many of the same thoughts as you, especially as regards to the tone of the cute versus sexy. With actors this age and certainly with the advertising done, I expected some intensity in their interactions and really there wasn’t much. I think we got caught in a bait and switch. The cutesy stuff is fine with actors in their early 20s but it just grates with characters in their 30s, one who had been in a 15 year relationship. I am NOT talking about anything explicit but, well, intense…don’t know exactly how to say it. There wasn’t enough there there. Don’t want to rant too much so I’ll say I wanted more info on why the boyfriend dumped her, I’m sick of chaebol story lines especially ones that have been done to death, and the writer did not know what to do with Sung Hoon’s character…he’s a fighter….he has mom issues….stalker girlfriend. Too much but nothing with any substance. The other young man grew on me around episode 3 or 4 when he calmed down a little but his exuberance makes Sung Hoon look even more flat (and I really do like him, I do!) The biggest misstep for me was what they could have done with the story line of Soo Jin. I would have much better appreciated the blow out between the girls earlier and for the drama to focus on one character dealing with being positive and assertive (I can do anything) in her youth and how that held her in good stead in dealing with her diagnosis and getting healthy and a story line with Soo Jin who was overweight and got skinny but she never addressed any of the issues (in my story world, she’s an emotional eater which is more reality for a lot of woman), and still sees herself as the overweight girl….which was a scene and one of my favorites in the drama because I think there are a lot of woman out there just like her. Instead they made her at first the mean girl and then the pitiful girl. And yet, there was stuff to like as you pointed out. I really don’t regret watching it though I definitely think it could have been done much better if they’d have done 12 to 13 episodes. That’s as much filler as I’ve seen in a drama since Sensory Couple. I will say that if I was new to k-drama world, I’d love this to death and I know it but as you indicated, once you have a certain # under your belt, it does change the way you see things. (I’m nowhere near your # yet !) Thanks as always.
Ah, I know what you mean about the cutesy vs sexy vibe, Kat! I wanted the same thing – not anything explicit, like you said. But something with emotional heft. Sexy backed by serious intent rather than only playful silly. That’s what I’d expected, and I can’t help but be convinced that SJS and SMA were directed against it, even though we know they’re both fully capable of bringing the rawr kinda sexy to the screen.
I so agree that we didn’t get an explanation of why Woo Shik dumped Joo Eun. Especially since he seemed to have some difficulty moving on. And yes, Sung Hoon’s character felt like it was patched together without much thought. The stalker girlfriend felt particularly random. Yi Jin just seemed to pop out of nowhere, and then she just refused to ever go away. Argh. Way to make a floundering show flounder more. 😛
And absolutely yes, there was so much missed opportunity with Soo Jin’s character. Show could’ve done so much more with her character, and could’ve possibly served up a much more meaningful, uplifting message for all the female viewers who struggle with their eating habits. They should’ve totally focused on that and mending the girls’ friendship, and they could’ve come out winning us over, like She Was Pretty managed to, with its uplifting messages. That would’ve been WAY better than spending time on drivel like “your body is mine.” And ABSOLUTELY, “you can’t say no” was a BIG no, for me. Gotta wonder what writer-nim was smoking, to even think that that was romantic in any way. 😛
You are totally fishing for errors dat dont exist in this movie you cant explain away the reason why a woman wanted to slim down after a failed 15 years relationship which ends with her boyfriend dating her ‘used to be fat ex_friend! Are u kidding! Wat woman can’t understand dat honestly I read your view and YOU HAVE NO POINT ….just admit it was an amazing movie and stop hating soooo much. UGH!
Believe me, Pretty roses, I wanted to like OMV. So I definitely wasn’t fishing for errors. I guess this is just one of those times when a drama doesn’t work for me, even though I want it to. I know that OMV has its fans (you’re clearly one of them), and I don’t begrudge anyone their Drama Happy. Good for you, that you love OMV. I’m just unable to agree with you on this one, is all. 🙂
I absolutely agree
Everyone has their own opinions. I loved it also, and was sad to see it end. I saw no flaws. It was cute and adorable.
a (much) shorter review: this drama is like a new samsung phone – powerful hardware, bloated software and a small battery.
Hahaha!! Nice one, INTJ!! And spot-on too! XD
I absolutely agree with you on this show. I went in really wary of how they would deal with weight and weight loss, and I was pleasantly surprised. Show won me over, then stomped on my drama hopes and dreams. with Noble Idiocy and just plain Idiocy. And the last scenes (no spoilers, I promise)? They just left me flummoxed and sad.
Oh yes, the whole premise being about weight and weight loss seemed like a subject that could go awry way too easily, so I was wary about that too. I liked the focus on health and wellness, even if Show simplified the issues a whole lot. It’s too bad so much else in the show didn’t land so well for me.
Those last scenes.. with the kids? That seemed weird and out of place for me too. It seemed so tacked on and unnecessary, really. Of course, by then I’d stopped caring, so it didn’t upset me much at all. I guess that’s a silver lining of sorts? XD
Loved your review! I was so excited about this drama. More So Ji Sub? Who can say no to that? But then I found my attention waning after a few episodes. And the romance for the OTP? Didn’t quite work for me. I mean they are both in their thirties, they are dating, yet she chooses to be a blushing virgin about having an “erotic night” with him? Huh? Where is the logic in that?
And of course, leaps in logic and plot whole and characters that just chose to do things without any rhyme or reason…
Loved the bromance between the three boys though. Those were the scenes I enjoyed the most. And Henry with his “Ma’am!”
I’m glad you enjoyed the review, Elena!! 🙂 Seems that we had similar experiences with OMV.. I was looking forward to it a lot, thanks to my affection for both SJS and SMA, but despite enjoying some parts very well, most of the drama was meh for me. And like you, the romance didn’t quite work for me, which is a pretty big deal, since the story focuses on the romance a lot.
Still, the 3 boys and Henry’s “MA’AM!!!” were my cute silver lining, enough for me to keep going with this one to the very end. 😉
Your review is spot on. No wonder I keep myself coming back for more of your review…I like how you structure your review.
Well for me I did not like this drama that much…I found my self fast forwarding it to the end. Despite the strong cast and hype the story really boreď me but then that only me…I see a lot of people love this drama.
Aw thanks Annandale, it’s great to know that you’re enjoying the reviews! It’s good motivation for me, to keep writing ’em! 😉
You hit the nail on the head – “hype” is the word. This drama was way overhyped, and failed to live up to that hype, at least for me. Even though there were a couple of bright spots, I was bored by this drama too, after a while, and found myself dragging my feet to catch up on new episodes. On the upside, it’s good to see that I’m not alone. And for the sake of the cast and crew, it’s good to know that there are folks who love this drama to bits. 😉
I turn to you whenever I’m looking for a new drama to watch because I believe in your judgment. Not this time though. Because I truly had a great time watching it. And I am actually re-watching it. For a newbie, I don’t agree that the Show is that bad. I specifically want to comment on how disappointed you were with how badly Young Ho treated Joo Eun based on my own experience. I had a boyfriend before that was really like that. People like that do exist. This is one reason why I enjoy watching k-dramas, they depict real human nature. No matter how impossible they sometimes behave. Because WE are like that. 😉
Hey there angela, it’s great that you’re enjoying OMV, and are on your rewatch already. We all have different filters through which we respond to our dramas, and even though our tastes might align a lot of the time, there will always be that small percentage where we have different opinions and respond to a show differently. 🙂
Also, just to clarify, I don’t think Young Ho treated Joo Eun badly. In fact, except for some prickliness in the beginning, I thought he generally treated Joo Eun quite well. It’s just that I didn’t like how he was written to consistently say “your body is mine.” More than that, I didn’t like how that specific behavior was positioned to be romantic, with him saying it just before their first kiss. I mean, shows should (and do) reflect real life in how they write human nature and human relationships. But the way in which a specific behavior is portrayed matters. I mean, beating up a child is something that happens in real life too. And so I generally wouldn’t have an issue with a show depicting a character beating up a child. UNLESS Show portrays beating up the child as a positive behavior. THEN I have a problem. It gives rise to all sorts of wrong messages to the audience, and like it or not, Show is always expressing an opinion, in how it portrays various behaviors; are they good/bad/romantic/repulsive etc. For the same reason, I didn’t like having “your body is mine” positioned to be romantic. It’s true that Joo Eun eventually tells him to stop doing it, but I just wish that Show hadn’t even tried to make it romantic in the first place.
On a tangent, I hope your current boyfriend has a healthier attitude towards romance and is treatin’ you right! 😉
Like a lot of others, I was so excited to start this show, and I’m about 8 episodes into it, my sis and I are watching together. I stopped for a long Asian drama hiatus, but I want to pick it back up now. But you’ve hit a lot of nails on the head with this review.
I’m sorry, I’m gonna go on a rant…imagine if I actually finished the entire drama! LOL
So I’m a big gal, practically my whole life, not gonna lie. And yes, a big part of that stems from women’s health issues that make it hard to lose the weight. I’m not the type to sit there and eat a pizza pie and whole Entemman’s cake and coke. I’m not AT ALL. It’s a vicious cycle of sugar cravings, etc. I’ve learned to deal. And I have a body shape similar to the one they gave her. So, I’m in good, full authority when I say this:
What in the world is up with her UGLY FLOOD PANTS??? OMG. I mean really! I have to dress similarly for my job with nice tops and slacks, and guess what, they FIT WELL, they don’t ride up to my shins so I’m forced to wear boots even in summer. They shape out nicely around the leg and bum and have a decent flare/boot cut (my choice of style) on the bottom and go well with nice heels, flats and boots.
I’ve tried to reason that because she was wearing a ‘fat suit’ they couldn’t get pants to fit properly. But no, this was a deliberate UGLY fashion choice that just made her look worse.
For someone like Jo Eun who was so sassy and confident, who probably appreciated nice clothes, etc. what possessed her to think she looked good like that? I’m no fashion queen, but I know when I look ridiculous in an outfit. And more than half the time she looked ridiculous.
I know exactly what you mean about Jo Eun forcing them to eat sweets even for one day. It can be a nightmare for people who have cleansed their bodies of junk food, carbs, etc. For the last 4 months I’ve avoided most sweets, sodas, juices, and drastically cut my carb count – no breads, pasta rice, etc. etc. The energy I had was amazing, I felt great emotionally, and the slow, but sure weight loss, etc. is awesome. It’s a health choice for life, not to fit into a little black dress.
Yet, This month I’ve struggled and kept ‘cheating’ – sneaking in sweets, diet sodas, and more carbs. And you know what, it HURTS! My body literally screams at me in the form of stomach pains, and sharp headaches, mood swings, exhaustion. So much so that I’ve decided to buck up and go back to the way it was. Dust myself off and start again. Now I know how great it feels, and how awful I always felt when I was eating all the junk and heavy carbs.
So I imagine those guys were rolling in pain the next morning if they actually ate enough of that delicious but junky food! LOL I don’t like that she kept coercing him to drink those sugar-laden coffees with whipped cream, etc. That’s just trying to bring down someone with you.
So I’m getting off the point. I think the scene of her forcing them to eat fatty foods was a ‘gift’ but also her “punishment” to them for making her eat nothing but protein and salad. Which frankly, these guys are so boring in their meal choices! I mean really, every stinking day, a piece of bland chicken and salad? No way. That’s diet torture. There’s a world of food choices and recipes out there for the health conscious. I understand if it’s necessary for a little while for medical reasons, but not for a whole lifetime. Way to turn someone OFF to losing weight, guys.
I admit to being startled at the “Your body is mine” line. My sis and I love So Ji Sub, so it was like, “ooooohhh!” But when you think about it with hormones in check, It’s a very degrading line for a woman. And I’m wondering what kind of Petruchio and Katherine Taming of the Shrew stuff is going on here? (Yet that’s one of my favorite Shakespeare Plays. ) She’s not a shrew, she’s a competent, intelligent, woman. A little bristly for my taste, but when I see what she puts up with, being the sole breadwinner in her family, dealing with a cheating ex, I can understand her.
That line puts their entire relationship in an iffy light for me. Your body is mine so I’ll take off for a year in hiding and watch you work out from my computer and phone cam. Weird and a little voyeuristic. Well, I guess this is the 21st century, people do business by video across the planet. Still, it doesn’t show a lot of trust toward their growing relationship.
I also appreciate that the focus of this drama is the health and not the “you need to look skinny and pretty’ angle. No one denies that she’s still beautiful even with the extra weight. Which by the way, they did a great job with the fat suit. (Pants aside.) She invested over a decade on this cheating guy, so what he did had to hurt bad. I get it.
But I don’t understand how that suddenly turns her into a stalking psycho threatening these guys to be her personal trainers either. As you pointed out. Using her position as a lawyer was not in good taste either.
And excuse me, WHO IS PAYING FOR THEIR SERVICES??? For all that extra attention? Are they helping because of the kindness of their hearts? Wow. Get on a plane to my house, guys! I mean it. I guess they don’t need to eat and pay rent. Because they’re with her 24/7 FOR FREE. If that was the case maybe they should find a severely obese person who is truly desperate. Otherwise, she should shut up and do what they tell her to do if she wants to lose weight, because in the real world, nobody would get this chance.
I can’t rant much further because I’ve only seen half the drama. And honestly, I’m so confused with all the backstory about his family’s company and the greedy uncle. It feels so out of place and random. And from the moment Yi Jin appeared on screen I knew they were going to force a relationship with Joon Sung. I’ve barely seen her get started but I’m the type of viewer that when a character is abrasive and annoying within 5 minutes, I’m done with them. So yeah. Done with her. I have made many exceptions and even wound up LOVING certain characters. But I don’t feel it with her.
I’ll finish the show. But your review put into words all the things niggling in the back of my mind. Especially this – The relationship feels hollow, they’re play-acting for the camera because everyone feels they have “great chemistry.” I believe they do, I saw the Giordano ads, etc. But it’s like all the OTP scenes are calculated, the silly poses, even the touching of the dimples. (I found it cute) And sure, I’d like a guy to remark how my inherited dimples and chin cleft are showing through now as my face is slimming down, but hey, don’t poke. LOL
Ahaha, your comment made me laugh, my dear! XD Those too-short pants were an eye-sore for me too! If it helps, later in the show, when she’s slimmer, there’s a scene where she’s still wearing that too-short length. So it’s clearly supposed to be a fashion choice (ugly fashion choice!), rather than something that’s dictated by her weight.
Good judgment on Yi Jin’s character – she really does stay as annoying all the way through. In fact, I grew more and more annoyed with her, since she kept getting in Joon Sung’s face in spite of his protests. I really wish they hadn’t done that with her character. Actually, I could’ve done without her character, period, since her only reason for existing was to bug Joon Sung to date her.
Absolutely, the “your body is mine” thing is degrading. It niggled me a LOT as I was watching, and it effectively ruined a lot of the supposedly romantic scenes for me. That kiss is a perfect example. Instead of swooning as I should be, at the OTP’s first kiss, I was shocked and aghast at the writer’s idea of romance. Ugh.
I honestly don’t know if it’s worth your while to finish the show, really. But, if you’re doing it for the love of So Ji Sub, well then, that’s a different matter. A fangirl’s gotta do what a fangirl’s gotta do – for the love of Oppa 😉
PS: ‘Grats on making such fantastic inroads on your health!! I know it’s not an easy journey, but it’s so great that you’ve made such good progress, and that you’re getting back on track. It’s not uncommon for folks to stray from their eating plans around the festive season, so don’t feel too bad about it. I’m sure you’ll be back in the swing of healthy eating before you know it! Fightinggg~! <3
I have to update I finally came back to the show after ANOTHER long drama hiatus. Maybe my mood’s shifted, but I actually enjoy them as a couple. I think I’m more swooning and missing so Ji Sub. Where has he been?? I’m very close to the end. The 2nd lead couple is still boring, but I understand them better. The family is ridiculous and I’ve seen robots show more emotion than SJS did father for his entire family.
That whole Xmas of Horrors was kind of ridiculous. Suddenly everyone is in the hospital. And no airbags in these cars! As usual in Kdrama. And Jeesh, the girl just wants to talk to him, but they don’t even give her a bit of privacy to talk through the door at least.
What did annoy me again…besides those stinking pants!….is the time jump and how he wouldn’t let her see him for a year. I just imagine when they’re old and he’s about to die hell send her to the market for some more bland grilled chicken and salad and he won’t have to see her crying and in pain.
I have to say So Ji Sub gave a fabulous performance. I am in love with his character and need him to come train me! Desperately. Lol The scenes where he’s in excruciating pain are hard to even watch because he makes them so realistic.
Haha! Wow! You actually came back to OMV! 😂 It does seem like your mood’s shifted, if you enjoyed the OTP in this. I found them cute at times, but most of the time, I found them too cutesy. I will concede that SJS is total eye candy (as usual), and was one of the highlights of the show for me 😉 And yes, his delivery of the pain scenes was very good. I did hate the fact that he wouldn’t contact her for a whole year – that annoyed me a lot. That, and a whole bunch of other things in the writing that just didn’t make this show sit very well with me, no matter which way I wiggled my lens. Oh well, the silver lining is, you’re back from your drama hiatus – WOOT! 😄
I rarely come back to dramas after an extended period, but I was missing SJS so much. I didn’t hate OMV, i just kind of found it blahhh. But it sort of picked up, and I liked the progression of the relationship.
Could not stand that annoying little bug flittering around Sung Hoon’s character. I didn’t see any love there, she just wore him down until he said yes, fine, whatever. What a waste of a great opportunity for his character to meet an awesome woman
SJS’ character was a terrific boyfriend, and loved his supportive attitude, but I personally couldn’t be with someone on my case every minute, micromanaging my every bite. I guess he’ll always be the “health nut” and while she’ll accept that, she’ll provide a bit of levity and sweetness in his life. She’s the added calories. lol
SJS character has to learn to open up and let others help him through that pain. And get over that other people cry and get their feelings hurt. He won’t be around forever to take care of her. But i mentioned that in my first comment too.
The ending was a little annoying. First, despite its 20 ep. I still felt a rush, and they shoe-horned the grandmother’s involvement in. Really? I did admire how she stood up to her though. Then grandma wants them to have babies before even getting married? Kind of dampened everything for me.
Then, all of a sudden when she’s chubby again, pregnancy gain, he’s already nagging. Of course now that she gained weight she has to wear the glasses? LOL.
And they never rectified the wardrobe, I’m seeing highwater pants are a fashion fad this year too. Ughhhhh. Nope to the Nope! Stop the madness! They’re worse than mom jeans.
Yes! Drama Hiatus officially ended when I started Pinocchio back in July. My lens is clean again. And I’m actually able to go back to dramas I skipped the first time around. Like Please come back, Mister and Cunning Single Lady. I ADORE them both!!!
Lol. I just reread your comment, and realize that you probably were using your IDCA lens on this show! 😆 Coz you clearly could pick out all the things that weren’t great about it, but you managed to enjoy it well enough anyway. Or perhaps it was all for the love of So Ji Sub? That can work wonders too! 😉 I’m paused on Please Come Back, Mister but I’ve found it rather heartwarming in spots, in spite of some weirdness in narrative choices. I will have to get back to that one. I did really like Cunning Single Lady tho – yay that you liked that one too! 😀
I did pick apart Oh My Venus like a turkey, didn’t I? I managed to find things about it and come to a deeper understanding of the characters and motives, even if I didn’t agree with them. And a lot of it was for So Ji Sub love! There was a combo of things. I agree, there’s plenty of weird narrative spots in PCBM, but more heartwarming, it made me cry a lot too. It’s been a while since I’d shed real tears for a drama.
Cunning Single Lady was more cute than annoying like I thought it’d be. You could see how much the main characters loved each other from the start, even when fighting and telling each other to bug off. The fact that he designed his house the way THEY wanted it, so melty! Now I have to watch Fantastic with Joo Sang Wook. Even if it turns Melo.
Whoops – be careful there with watching out of fangirl loyalty! I speak as one recently burned.. I lost all my Woob loyalty trying to get through Uncontrollably Fond. 😛 Maybe you want to tread carefully with Fantastic. Y’know, just in case! 😁
We agree 100% on this drama. Lots of cute, but it did feel hollow. It touched on some important topics, but wasn’t very realistic in their portrayal (I’m still glad dramas are touching on these topics more though). I hated the part where Young Ho selfishly left to recover alone and left her to be sad by herself.
I also really thought the drama should have wrapped up a few episodes sooner since it really lost steam at the end. There was also an excessive use of flashbacks, some quite random, those last couple episodes.
But it was a cute drama, and the stuff it did get right made it enjoyable. It’s just not one that will be very memorable though.
Heh. High five, Kay!! We are so in agreement, with this show! The hollowness niggled at me a lot, and I kept waiting for the hollowness to go away. Eventually it does seem to get better, in the last couple of episodes, but for me, it was too little too late.
You’re right.. I should be grateful that dramas are trying to touch on serious topics at all, even if they’re not doing a fantastic job of it. Hopefully they’ll get a better grip on it as times goes by. Experience is supposed to be an effective teacher, as they say. 😉
This drama could’ve definitely been shortened and we would’ve lost nothing from the story. It wasn’t much of a story to begin with. Maybe it ought to have been made into a drama special or a web series, instead of a full length drama? Who knows, it could’ve worked way better. 🙂
great review as always! i feel like the overall chaebol family feud was b/c the writer didn’t know how to fill 16 episodes w/ just talking about health issues, family issues and falling in love. You know, daily life issues are so not as thrilling as the struggles of the rich? And like you said, Show tried to dig into realistic issues but either missed the point or didn’t manage to bring out something to at least show how problematic or deep some issues are. I just enjoyed the OTP w/ all its flaws b/c I needed to enjoy something when I finally got the opportunity to see the SoShim couple… Oddly, I didn’t find them sexy. I liked when they were cute, like with the dimple love bullet and YH acted like he was touched straight tp the heart. But I agree the whole “your body is mine, you can’t say no” at episode 6 left me O____O. I was like why did he feel the need to say that to kiss her. The fact that we, as viewers, know she’s supposed to have feeling for him doesn’t make it okay for him not to care about if she reciprocates his desire to kiss her in this moment. There was a lot of potential for strong second characters. Like YH’s family issues and how he deals w/ his step-mom and his step-brother. Jin Woong was as much the energizer bunny as his character was hollow. I’m not quite sure why he needed to be a Harvard student who desperately wanted to join the Marines while he already as a job as a manager. Also, how can one be a manager of a Korean athlete in Korea without being able to say more than one full sentence in Korean in all of his scenes? Anyway, he was here to bring in the cute puppy vibe, so he played his part.
I couldn’t connect at all with Soo Jin and Woo Shik because I was left wondering why do they love each other. Sure, he protected her ONCE like 10 years ago but he was supposed to be in love with Joo Eun at that time, soooo why/when did he fall in love with Soo Jin and his love is so deep that he’s willing to build a future w/ her regardless of the future he hoped?
Anyway, OMV is an example for me of when actors can really rrrrreally keep me watching although the plot doesn’t make the watching that enjoyable. I’m not quite sure an unknown pairing of less famous actors than So Ji Sub and Shin Minah would have pulled it off.
Heh, I agree with all of your points, Sunny!! Yes, all that chaebol stuff felt unnecessary and boring, and YES, that “your body is mine” thing was NOT cool. I didn’t find the OTP sexy either, even though they were supposed to be. I honestly think the PD directed them to play it off as cute instead of sexy, even during the supposedly sexy scenes. I get why he’d do that, but it came off as too cutesy for my taste, and took away believability of the couple, for me.
Hahaha! Yes, there is no reason for Jin Woong to want to be a Marine, and the random English was definitely put on for laughs, since Henry’s Korean is actually better than that. But, like you said, he was cute, and that was what was important, with his character. He wasn’t a main character, so it didn’t matter that he was all fluff and no substance.
I absolutely agree on Woo Shik and Soo Jin. Writer-nim didn’t bother to build them a believable falling-in-love story, so the whole thing about how he saved her one time is all we’ve got to go on. And while I can still believe that Soo Jin would harbor feelings for him because of that and because she wanted everything Joo Eun had, I still don’t get how Woo Shik fell for her.
I personally stuck this to the end for So Ji Sub and the boys.. Sad as I am to admit it, much as I love Shin Min Ah, I didn’t think she was all that, really, in this show. 😛 I think the directing may be to blame. With all the hollow cutesy in the way, I didn’t feel her character as much as I would’ve liked to, and as I’m used to doing, with Shin Min Ah characters in general. Hopefully her next drama will be a much better one!
Yup, you said it This post contains more or less everything I thought about Show. I couldn’t have expressed it even half as well as you did. Thanks! XD
Aww.. You’re so sweet, Timescout! Thanks for the encouragement! I’m glad we agree on the show.. although, I’m surprised you even finished it. I mean, it’s not your usual cup of tea, AND it’s not even a good show. I’d have thought you would’ve kicked it to the curb early on, actually! XD
I was rather surprised myself actually. Maybe it was because Show wasn’t annoying enough to make me drop it once I’d started (the beginning was all that bad), just sorta inoffencively boring. I FF’d trough most of it and totally hopskipped through the last two epis. XD This drama is so unmemorable that I don’t even mind the time wasted on it. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have done anything more important during that time either, LOL!
HAHA! No wonder you managed to stay the course – your trusty FF button saved the day! XD OMV’s turned to be pretty unmemorable for me too, and I don’t foresee myself reaching for it ever again. It’s too bad, since I have affection for both SJS and SMA. Oh well. Maybe next time? 😉
Soooo, the main idea is that it had loads of potential, but in the end it was just one big fuss.
Even so, after I watched one of the CF (don’t know if there are other) I read that pretty much everybody is shipping for these two. And I’ll have to say they look quite good together and I am not a shipper of any kind :))))
I might want to give this drama a try, but only like I did with Bride of the Century (fast forward to the cute scenes :)) )
Btw, I finished My Girl and I enjoyed it quite a bit. True, it had some of the motifs of old Dramaland, but they worked quite well. Besides, the OTP’s chemistry was seriously engaging 😀 Now, on with DGCH 😉
Lovely review! Thaaanks 😀 !
Umm.. I wouldn’t even recommend this with the FF button, I’m afraid.. Bride of the Century was genuinely cute, but I personally felt that the cute in this was put-off and rather fake. Like they weren’t acting, but only play-acting. Still, even though the OTP chemistry hardly ever worked for me during the 16 eps of this show, there were a lot of viewers who managed to enjoy their chemistry, and you might just end up being of them! 😉 If you do check it out, I’d be curious to hear how you like it.
Glad you had fun with My Girl, Sabina! It’s Old School, but it works. It’s sort of the same way with DGCH, so if you’re in the mood for Old School fun, that would be the way to go next! 🙂
Per your usual skills you’ve summed up this show amazingly well. At first I wholeheartedly loved this show with all my fangirl heart! But as the episodes passed I found it more and more difficult to love. I found easy excuses to wait to watch the next episode until I was still had 6 episodes to watch 2 weeks after the show ended. Even now I’ve got 4 recaps still to write.
There was so much potential here and I think I’m dragging my feet so much because there’s so much I wanted out of it and am disappointed with the show as a whole.
Though I do have to say I have hyperthyroidism and have been in remission for 2 years, without meds. But I had to take my meds for 5 years, so the show did simplify the disease quite a lot.
Anyway Chaebol, you’ve an awesome way with words and such a sharp understanding of dramas I’m jealous heh. Thank you for accurately identifying what I was feeling with this show!
Aww.. *patpat* you’re not alone my dear.. I think many of us wanted and expected more from this show. With such a strong OTP cast, it felt like it would be hard for Show to go wrong. But, go wrong it did. Slowly but surely, I think we all deflated at our screens, with this show. 😛 Can’t say I blame you, for dragging your feet with the last few recaps.
Congrats on managing to get off your meds, Jaime! That’s a big accomplishment! 😀 My bestie’s wife has thyroid issues, and even though she trains hard with personal trainers, I don’t she’s where you are, yet.
Thanks for your sweet words, my dear – I’m glad this review resonated with you! (At least we know we’re not alone! 😉 )