- Overall 9.0
- Story 9.0
- Acting/Cast 9.5
- Music 9.5
- Rewatch Value 9.0
"It's the most fun drama I've seen since Fated To Love You."
The above was spoken by my wife, less than halfway through this drama. I wondered, at the time, if Oh My Venus would continue to live up to that endorsement. As you can tell from the scores I gave it, the fun never stopped until the final ending credits rolled (and even then, the fun kept going for a little read more longer).
Scarcely have I seen a better story in a rom-com. It's not a wholly original premise, of course, but the themes of Beauty, Weight, and Health and how those themes work together are still somewhat unfamiliar ground for Korean entertainment.
The main romantic pairing of Oh My Venus is, of course, the biggest attraction, as the story of how they meet and fall in love never fails to be gripping. There's really no end to the amount of "cute" moments that these two have on screen together. However, from a story perspective, the secondary romance is also intriguing, albeit without the cuteness. The secondary couple is comprised of the main character's ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend, a pairing that most audience members would be predisposed to hate. But the writers knew that would be the case and and built a rather interesting and sensitive arc around the two characters. In general, though, that subplot lacks importance in the main narrative, so even though it's handled cleverly, it can feel somewhat like a digression far too often. Oftentimes, when one of the second leads was on screen, I found myself thinking "Hey, remember THIS person?" Again, though, the fascinating love story of the main pairing of Kang Joo Eun and Kim Young Ho should keep any rom-com fan happy for 16 episodes, without fail.
One of the best things this drama does in the Story department is dedicate the last two episodes almost entirely to resolution. Too many dramas just end right at the climax, with no room to celebrate the ending or spend more time with the characters you've grown to love. Not so with Oh My Venus, as you'll get a very satisfying 2 hours to say goodbye. Going forward, I'd like to see more dramas adopt this approach.
Were it not for a small bit out-of-character writing for some major characters, which culminated in a tenuously-motivated cliché in Episode 13, and also the secondary romance, this Story would be a 10.
I can't even begin to describe how much I love this cast. Were it not for Jung Gyu Woon (who has literally one facial expression for the entire show) it would be a perfect 10.
I honestly don't want to write too much here, because the overall chemistry of the entire ensemble cast is something that needs to be experienced. But I would be remiss to not specifically point out Shin Min Ah and So Ji Sub. Min Ah outshines absolutely everyone here, superbly handling both comedy and melodrama and doing so in heavy effects makeup for much of the show (a talent that would not be appreciated by your average audience member). There's very little chance of a a viewer failing to be completely in love with Min Ah's character by at least Episode 8. So Ji Sub, on the other hand, is a special case: he doesn't exactly pop off the screen the way Min Ah does, but his subtle mastery of comic timing heightens all of the jokes, his easy dignity and strength give extra weight to his every action, and he saves his really brilliant acting for the little bit of melodrama that he gets to do.
Honorable mention goes to Yoo In Young, who's really good at being horrible jerk that for some reason you still sympathize with.
A lot of the incidental music here was lovely-but-forgettable, which is par for the course with kdrama. However, the vocal themes were great, with "Beautiful Lady" being perhaps the catchiest and most danceable vocal theme I've ever heard in any drama. Seriously, that song completely rocks and you'll want to move to it every time it comes on. My wife and I both found ourselves singing and humming some of the other songs as well, so if Music is a critical part of dramas for you, Oh My Venus will not let you down.
If I had to guess, I would say that every single one of the 16 episodes of this show has at least one scene worth rewatching. There is always something fun, hilarious, or emotional to go back to. Not only that, but the rewatch value is heightened by the main plot hook: going back and seeing the difference between how Kang Joo Eun looks in Episode 1 compared to how she looks at the end can be quite shocking! Some of the subplots hurt Oh My Venus in this category, but only just barely. When the final credits roll on this one, you'll definitely want to go back and see some of this again.
This is tied (with You Who Came From The Star) for the second best kdrama rom-com I have ever seen, and is officially one of my all-time favorite dramas ever. Even if you don't like rom-com, there's still enough of an interesting hook and story here that it's at least worth giving it a try. If you hate fun, then stay away, but if, like me, you enjoy having fun, start Oh My Venus tonight.