by Kim-Park-Lee, July 28, 2015

What’s better than a chilling ghost story on a hot summer night? No, for those of you that truly fear horror, no worries — Oh My Ghost can be like sweet chocolate (that's the name of the song Jo Jung Suk, originally a musical theatre actor, wrote especially for the drama), as well as touching and funny, although it isn’t without sadness, and does have an underlying darker tone. 


Introducing the main character isn’t as simple for this drama as it is for most: yes, she is played by Park Bo Young… but which one of her is the actual heroine? Right now, the thought that this is another split personality drama may have crossed your mind. Not quite. I think it’s fair enough to present Na Bong Sun as the female lead, because the show presented her as such, even though so far she’s had less “screen time” (as much as you can talk about “screen time” when it’s the same actress :p ). So, Bong Sun is a timid girl that is too considerate of others: she’s always saying sorry as if she were a nuisance to everybody— which, ironically, drives people away from her more than anything. It seems she is a talented cook because she anonymously runs a cooking blog that is quite popular, but in her real life she works as a bumbling assistant in a fine and trendy restaurant, run by star chef Sun Woo. Bong Sun secretly admires him, but is far from even hoping for anything given her complete lack of self-confidence, and her unpleasant relationship with him: of everybody, the confident Chef is the most irritated by her passive and constantly penitent attitude. Who can really blame her for being so distracted though? Bong Sun’s grandmother was a shaman, and it seems she has inherited the infamous third eye, so to speak: she is able to see the worst of what the living leave behind — ghosts! In this world, ghosts stay behind because they still have something to resolve on earth and…


…this is how Soon Ae enters the picture, played by characteristically zippy Kim Seul Gi. Soon Ae is a “virgin ghost”, and believes that what will free her from this in-between state and permit her to move in, is to get rid of her virginity. For this she possesses the bodies of beautiful women to make love to men, but unfortunately for her (and them), these men die from the contact. Because of the ruckus she is creating, she is chased by shamans. But Soon Ae has already been a ghost for two years, and if after three years a ghost’s reason to be kept behind is stil unresolved, they turn into “evil spirits”, which is truly a fearsome plight: it is said they are responsible for most crimes committed by humans. As Soon Ae tries to escape from a shaman, she hurriedly jumps into poor dozing Bong Sun’s body… only to discover it isn’t so easy to leave her anymore, as their “frequencies” match! This is when the true comedy begins, because Soon Ae’s personality is so radically contrary to Bong Sun’s — exuberant, confident, lustful… and yet all the people she knows suddenly see her becoming this outrageously different person! Now in a human body, Soon Ae also learns more about her life before her death, which she had forgotten until then… And with her brash attitude, she gets closer to the all-men crew Bong Sun works with, and especially… 


…Chef Kang Sun Woo! Despite his now conceited behaviour, he once was a servile boy that was bullied by his classmates — and he sees his past self in Bong Sun. Although to Bong Sun, it feels like Chef hates her, he’s actually grudgingly concerned about her from the start, and this only increases as the show goes on. He’s also a fan of Bong Sun’s blog (although of course he doesn't realise it's her), as he finds her cooking heartwarming and comforting. Jo Jung Suk plays his character with an endearing mix of arrogance fed by an underlying insecurity. Often left alone by his mother at a young age and friendless, he developed a skill that is truly his, and it seems his earnestness to be successful is driven by a need to put the most distance possible between his current self from his former life and self. He’s a refreshing character in a dramaland populated with cold and prickly chaebols that don’t really have a purpose. His haughtiness, for once, is somewhat justified, since he truly has worked hard to build a better life and feel better about himself, and yet in the process he hasn’t become cold and selfish: underneath his high airs, he’s attached to his sister, stayed in contact with his mother (despite a complicated relationship), kept close to an old friend he has always harboured a secret crush for, and genuinely cares for his crew (and maybe just a tad more for Bong Sun ;) ).


This all blends into a nicely balanced concoction of comedy — Soon Ae’s undisguised propositions for sex in Bong Sun’s body are hysterical —  mystery — is Soon Ae’s purpose only to do it, or is there more to her death, as the behaviours of certain characters she once knew seem to suggest…? — romance — it's exciting to watch Bong Sun see the man she had barely dared to fantasise about fall in love with her, and to see Sun Woo grow uncomfortable as Bong Sun alternately brings out his sweet side with her timidity, and his playful side with her cheekiness — and poignancy as we wonder how our three endearing characters will fare: will Bong Sun blossom into a more confident person, as she deals with the aftermath of Soon Ae's actions? Will Sun Woo find the kind of warmth he never knew in a home (it’s to be noted that he has the peculiarity as a Korean chef to despise rice, and it is well known that in Korea, rice is something of a comfort food, something a mom would cook) in a person he can care for and that will care for him? Will Soon Ae solve what keeps her on earth, and will she learn a little from Bong Sun’s excessive consideration for others, as she so inconsiderately possesses her body? And much, much more (suspicious characters and one sided crushes...), but then this article would be longer than it already is ;)


One thing that seems to concern many watchers, is that the love line is now blurry because of the switches between Soon Ae and Bong Sun, and yet Sun Woo does seem to be changing… but for who? Many people are attached to Soon Ae’s charming and sunny personality — which I love too — and find Bong Sun comparatively gloomy. As you may have understood from what’s written before, I do like Bong Sun. I find her insecurity painful to watch and her quiet ways sweet, and I’m sure she can develop into a very a gentle yet warm, likeable and talented person (in fact, in the latest episodes she's already made huge steps). Fighting Bong Sun...! But... fighting Soon Ae, too? "Aish", so complicated ;) !

I hope you may be tempted to watch this show, as its characters are charismatic and captivating, the acting is really wonderful (I didn’t mention, even though it’s what everyone is saying about this show, that Park Bo Young is an excellent actress whose return to drama land was much awaited, and is amazing in the way she impersonates Kim Seul Gi’s very particular mannerisms perfectly) and the story is heart-warming, clever and intriguing! Thank you for reading my first article!

p.s: most of my screencaps are from dramabeans, I was a little lazy :p

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