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[HanCinema's Drama First Look] "Oh My Ghostess"

2015/07/19

In a lot of ways, cable television has brought more daring concepts to Korean drama. What was once an age where any non-virginal female character was an antagonist or flawed existence has given way to even leading women who do not remain stuck in perpetual wish fulfillment for those in love with gender stereotypes. 'Oh My Ghostess' is yet another tvN series which tackles the s-word and it also cast stars who are talented and loved by audiences to do so.

One thing to start off with, which is also a small spoiler warning on the potential future of this series, is that this is not pure romantic comedy. Like with many current shows which still brand themselves as rom-coms, there are darker things happening here, which will likely play a big role. It is perhaps to be expected, given one female lead is a ghost, but this element alone does not necessitate the sinister nature of the potential upcoming twist.

Bong-seonSoon-ae

The consequences of an inept main cast or badly cast role is something fans of Korean drama are increasingly discovering through recent casting practices. This makes the effort of 'Oh My Ghostess' on that front an important decision. The actors cast are very appropriate for their characters and they are also talented artists. Park Bo-young and Kim Seul-gi are the heart and soul of this series and they bring humanity to their seemingly cliche characters. Park is channeling Kim perfectly during the possession. As the characters develop, these ladies will carry them wonderfully.

While there is not much happening in terms of plot progression, the series has set up interesting stories for its two main characters. Romance and comedy aside, both Bong-seon (Park Bo-young) and Soon-ae (Kim Seul-gi) are at opposite ends of the misguided spectrum. One lives like a ghost and does not respect herself, the other thinks that forcing herself on men is the only thing which will enable her soul to move on. There is potential for great character development for these two, who can learn from and evolve through each another. If the writing goes there, that is.

Aside from the main characters, there is really not much to speak of in terms of exciting material at the moment. The cuteness is there, there are some laughs, some problematic in terms of consent, but empowering exhibition of female sexual desire. There is just not much happening aside from the set up. Which might prove a problem. The series has shown too little of its possessed character, with ghost Soon-ae being focused on. Fans of drama know full well that no body means no certain death and it is possible this focus is due to a potential coma situation for her.

Soon-ae in Bong-seonSoon-ae and Seong-jae

If that is not the case, however, focusing on a romantic pairing with a dead woman only makes said pairing doomed and the series headed for the melodramatic. This is hopefully being addressed, as the other main character makes a return. Aside from this, the potential existence of a villain and a murderous one, no less, means this might be less of a warm drama and more of a rom-com/thriller hybrid. Not everyone is a fan of conflicting genres and they tend to mess up the overall story and its tone as well.

'Oh My Ghostess' is an enjoyable romantic comedy with some moving moments and characters who are likable and easy to follow. The cast is pure joy and there is great potential here. At the same time, there are elements which might lead to cheap drama and suspense over a more human and emotionally engaging approach. The creators can hopefully focus on the good parts and avoid that temptation.

Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'

 

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