Having a little gimmick to spice things up for the romance is quite common for romantic comedy drama. Be it time travel, serial killers or ghosts, they have been done before. As the word reveals, however, those elements are mostly used to frame the romance, rather than to define its characters or enable them to grow. 'Oh My Ghostess' does offer a fluffy romance, but also has some messages to convey.
Na Bong-seon (Park Bo-young) is a very quiet, shy young woman. The reason for her introvert nature is that she can see ghosts. Always battling with stress and insomnia, she works hard at her job, hoping to reach her dream profession of being a chef. Kang Seon-woo (Jo Jung-suk) is her star chef employer and also someone Bong-seon has a crush on. One day, virgin ghost Soon-ae (Kim Seul-gi) decides to posses her and relieve her grudge by sleeping with a man, complicating Bong-seon's life.
For those not too demanding with their romances and romantic relationship building, 'Oh My Ghostess' offers some fun romantic shenanigans. The drama is also on paid cable, meaning it is more realistic with its skinship. It is fluff, of the most entertaining kind and its cast carries it beautifully. At the same time, it is the relationship between the two women and their character growth which act as the main focus of the story and get time to develop. This creates a good balance and offers a more woman-centric drama without neglecting the men, who usually have the lion's share in exposure and focus.
As mentioned above, the cast really elevates their characters and the drama as a whole and it shows good choices do matter and they can make a difference when casting. Park Bo-young juggles two very different characters without a hint of a flaw and Kim Seul-gi manages to humanize an otherwise kind of bratty character to the point of creating great emotional investment in her Soon-ae. Jo Jung-suk and Lim Ju-hwan also do really well, the latter handling a very unique and complex character masterfully. Even the supporting cast embrace their roles completely.
The drama and its romance are sadly not without their issues and depending on what one expects, they can affect their enjoyment significantly or not at all. Purely writing-wise, the series drives itself to a bit of a corner by featuring ghost Soon-ae too prominently in the beginning. This not only leaves Bong-seon much less room for viewers to warm up to her, but it also causes issues with the pairings. The topic of who Seon-woo falls for is one the series handles, but its resolution is unfortunately too rushed, with the characters deciding what they feel, rather than that having been portrayed clearly throughout.
At the same time, Soon-ae's character's refreshing expression of her sexual needs goes well into sexual harassment and there are issues with how the character of Seon-woo is treated by both women. This is why the romance works as fluff, but will likely leave those looking for fleshed out emotions and normalcy struggling to connect. The darker parts of the series involving Soon-ae's death also make the final episodes a bit too dark, but this is something most viewers of recent rom-coms will be used to already.
'Oh My Ghostess' was a ratings hit and for good reason. With its pleasing romantic happenings, mostly solid writing, great cast and a story about growth and appreciating life and ourselves, it is a really pleasant and heart-warming experience. While still close to a typical drama of its type and therefore carrying some of their flaws, it is a great addition to its genre and one many will absolutely love.
Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'
Vasia, also known as Orion or Ori online, is currently doing opinion pieces and database upkeep. She has a love for good TV and a penchant for rambling in written form. Vasia can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Oh My Ghostess""
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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