First Impressions/Review: Oh My Ghost ~ Episodes 1-4
Let’s be honest, Oh My Ghost was in my plans ever since i noticed Kim Seul Gi would be a part of it. I worship her to the extent i wouldn’t have a problem living in a village filled with Kim Seul Gi clones running around and turning my world into a playful hell. I follow her around with piety in the dramas she participates and she’s always a pleasure to my eyes with her charismatic temperament and explosive hilariousness. Even though it’s an odd period filled with (re)exams and anxiety i couldn’t say no to my arch plans. Oh My Ghost was a part of my drama notebook for a long time and the moment has arrived to turn to life before my very eyes. One thing is for certain, lustful ghosts must be the most frightening aspect dancing on the thin red line between our world and the afterlife, a thin red line that can break apart at times, filling the surrounding environment with paranormal desires!
~The Ghost Chronicles ~
After people pass away they usually cross the river which leads to the afterlife. The departure mechanism doesn’t always work and the cost is more than some of the living can bear simply because they indirectly interact with ghosts that refuse to bid our world farewell for the time being. It’s not because they are in strict denial, it’s all about unfinished business the hourglass of time didn’t let them fulfill while they were living.
Our ghost here was neither the victim of a serial killer nor an abused child which was beaten up to death by its sardonic father and now it’s back to take revenge in the most bloodstained way. Our ghost didn’t die in a fire and haunted the house and it wasn’t poisoned in order not to reveal the information it possessed while living. We are far away from the horror prism simply because our ghost floats in oceans of lust and craves to detach itself from its virginal prison!
It’s not something easy since intimacy between a ghost and a living entity can’t exist. She declined the ethereal plains’ invitation and was left behind to roam around the world of the living by possessing the bodies of young women in an attempt to cleanse the pale virginity of death. However, our lustful ghost devours all life around her and men are sent to the hospital with hypothermia after an unfinished passionate interaction’s crescendo. On top of that, she can’t remain inside a female body forever and not every body is compatible.
You may not be able to see her, but she may be around you partaking in your conversations even though she always goes unnoticed. It must be a very lonely form of existence, especially when the one and only goal is very specific and demands interaction! It’s not that unbearable though. Even if it’s rare, there are people with a very specific frequency which is utterly compatible to the ghost’s vibes and chances are high they may become the ghost’s carriers in this pleasure journey in search of the man of vitality bound to break the bond which still connects her to the world of the living!
Oh well, our ghost is Shin Soon Ae (Kim Seul Gi) and sometimes, just sometimes, there’s a slight chance she can partake in the world of the living as some form of invisible matter just like when she pushed away the basketball which would hit the baby. It’s probably because when she encounters pure human beings and her intentions are kind it’s slightly different. Funeral food is a ghost’s most important meal in order to maintain its energy and Soon Ae’s not alone, there’s a whole ghost society inside the world of the living which gathers and feasts at funerals!
They are not alone though, there are blessed shamans among the living who are able to see ghosts and chase after them when they break the rules of this invisible coexistence with the living. Suhbingo is a ghost-chaser ruining the ghosts’ funeral feasts and she’s quite a grotesque figure as a devoted mystic commando! She eventually manages to catch Soon Ae with her ghost buster pikestaff and places bells around her neck. It’s not easy living with a ghost even if you captured it and Soon Ae loves to roll on the floor like an ecstatic armadillo and enjoys to dance with the bells around her neck while Suhbingo is praying! It’s not easy to keep a ghost as a hostage either and Soon Ae manages to escape!
~ The Living Chronicles ~
Our lovely Na Bong Sun (Park Bo Young) is an introvert by nature who works at a restaurant as an assistant cook. She’s a lonely person who finds comfort in the humble room where she lives by herself and all hell breaks loose at the restaurant. The owner, Kang Sun Woo (Cho Jung Seok) is her secret crush and inspiration, but she would never confess her feelings or lean towards his direction for aforementioned reasons.
Her grandmother is a shaman and the environment she was living in made her capable of seeing ghosts. It’s not the most pleasant experience and every time she’s in her room she burns incense and she’s surrounded by a wide variety of talismans and a Joseon spear! A possible ghost appearance is one of the reasons why she can’t sleep at night and barely survives the vicious daytime which is always filled work. She gets into trouble quite often and her introvert nature won’t let her recognize right from wrong and she’s always apologetic whether she made a mistake or not!
In her free time which is no other than late at night after work she practices her cooking skills and updates her cooking blog with her own recipes which are always filled with heart and soul. The block apartment where she lives isn’t the most welcome place on earth since pretty much everything she does is not approved. Unaware of each other’s online activities, Sun Woo appreciates her blog posts since they bring happiness to those investing their time in her passion for cooking.
She works alongside the Sous Chef, Heo Min Soo (Kang Ki Young), and his helpers Jo Dong Cheol (Choi Min Chul), Seo Joon (Kwak Si Yang) and Choi Ji Woong (Oh Eui Sik). With some of them it’s easier to silently cooperate, but the Sous Chef is a quirky, megalomaniac and demanding figure making her fragile world an ongoing earthquake if she doesn’t comply to his instructions! On top of that, the man in charge is Sun Woo who is the charismatic dictator of his restaurant.
The only female figure by Bong Sun’s side is Sun Woo’s sister, Kang Eun Hee (Shin Hye Sun), who’s on a wheelchair and observes the restaurant under her brother’s lead. Her husband is a police officer, Choi Sung Jae (Lim Ju Hwan). Eun Hee’s the voice of logic when things get awry and if she can’t be of any help it’s his mother’s turn to make things right in her own superstitious way, Jo Hye Young (Shin Eun Kyung). She would like her son to always have with him the talismans she brought to avoid ghosts and bad luck since this year feels ominous, but he would never abide to her mindless rules; big mistake!
Everything in the kitchen works perfectly well like a clock, especially when Sun Woo’s around, but he can’t always predict what’s about to happen. One day a renowned food blogger passed by the restaurant to get pictures of the dishes and she brought her son along with her (i think it’s the same kid playing in The Greatest Marriage) who was running around and caused a minor accident with Bong Sun. Sun Woo was already enraged with her for reheating the food and the blogger’s unjust act while she was unable to discipline her own kid and her inhuman way of talking towards his sister made him kick her out of the restaurant.
He’s a difficult person to start with and he was like Bong Sun back in the days when he was a student. These are the days he doesn’t want to recall, especially since his mother was never around because she had to get her degree and work. He’s competitive and absolute when it comes to his opinion, it’s something that makes him inaccessible at times, but he loves cooking and he’s always cautious with the products he buys. He’s sincere to the point of making everyone a possible enemy. His last encounter with Bong Sun was after the incident with the blogger who defamed the restaurant and sued him. After scolding Bong Sun and trying to make her more combative in her introvert life she resigned.
~ The What The Hell’s Going On Here Chronicles ~
After Soon Ae ran away from Suhbingo she found a compatible person which was no other than Bong Sun. What she didn’t know was that Bong Sun was the person with the right frequency that could keep her in her body forever under specific circumstances. Once she tries to leave the body it’s beyond her powers and Bong Sun becomes an undercover Soon Ae and everyone starts noticing all these distinctive differences in her character!
Soon Ae finds her new environment challenging and she tries hard to adjust to the body’s daily routine, but she doesn’t know what to do on each and every occasion. However, she seems to enjoy it since she found herself among so many men and her first interaction with them was to inspect their crotches!
She looks like Bong Sun, but she’s not like Bong Sun at all and gradually her coworkers start thinking that she’s suffering from dissociative identity disorder, or even worse, intermittent explosive disorder, something that could put their lives in danger! Well, their lives are in danger, but for a different reason they are unaware of and they got just a slight glimpse of it while they were showering and she was checking their… dynamics!
Sun Woo tries to counter the negative sentiment against his restaurant due to the blogger incident and he leaves positive comments at her blog with IDs even my grandma would suspect: I Like Strawberries, I Like Chocolates, etc. He doesn’t want to come to an agreement and things are getting worse, even negative customers try to take advantage of the rumors! His mother settled for the agreement and his life and broken ego found some peace of mind even though he had to pay her back!
He’s not alone in his attempts to come back to the surface, Lee So Hyung (Park Jung Ah) is willing to help him by partaking in a TV program concerning food. She’s not just a friend to him, she’s his one and only crush since high school, but timing never let something mutual blossom between them. He tries to get rid of his newly found nickname, Gangche (from Gangster Chef), and with the precious help of Bong Sun under Soon Ae’s spiritual influence he emerges victorious with her idea to turn the cooking process into burnt rice pollack soup.
The more Soon Ae stays inside Bong Sun’s body the more memories she recalls and she eventually finds herself close to her father, Shin Myung Ho (Lee Dae Yeon), after a sudden encounter with her brother, Shin Gyung Mo (Lee Hak Joo). She also finds her first love who is no other than Sung Jae, Eun Hee’s husband, and the burden of that information is more than she can bear. She tries to help her father as much as she can and there are hints that point towards his deceased daughter, but he doesn’t pay much attention. She brings all the necessary products to make her father’s restaurant more vivid, but Sun Woo notices that many things had been missing lately!
A case of mistrust erupts and Soon Ae tries to take responsibility, but the Sous Chef points out he was the one to take the caviar, but only that. A quarrel takes place and Min Soo decides to resign after welcome amounts of hurtful truth and the restaurant starts sinking. Soon Ae’s brother returns back the products and Sun Woo can’t believe Bong Sun acted this way. She’s apologetic and Sun Woo brings Min Soo back to the restaurant. The whole team goes out to drink and celebrate and oceans of alcohol start flowing!
The landlord kicked Bong Sun out of her room and she doesn’t have anywhere to stay. One incident with Sun Woo and a colleague of So Hyung concerning his car keys gave her the chance to earn a place in the restaurant for the forthcoming nights! Not a good decision since one of the following nights Sun Woo got sick and in his feverish hallucinations he mistook Bong Sun for So Hyung and kissed her! It’s the moment she noticed he’s the man of vitality he was searching for, the one to break the virgin ghost grudge!
A love-making crusade begins and Soon Ae wants at all costs to do the woof woof dance with Sun Woo who struggles to find some peace of mind far away from her! Drunk with her own desires, Soon Ae appears tactless quite often since all she wants to do is to do it with Sun Woo just once without having to give him an explanation for her sudden urge to do it at all costs! He tries to evade her and he succeeds, but it’s only temporary because she always comes back as the flames of desire burn stronger every time!
However, all this time she thought Suhbingo would never appear in front of her once again! Sun Woo’s superstitious mother who wants Suhbingo to inspect her son’s physiognomy and eventually protect him from his malicious fate managed to bring her close to Soon Ae as well. Soon Ae is cautious so that the bells around her neck won’t ring and she evades the danger for the time being, but it’s not something she can do forever!
Sun Woo kissing Bong Sun made her fall ill and she burns with fever. She falls on the floor and the impact was strong enough to catapult Soon Ae out of her body. Sun Woo comes to Bong Sun’s aid while Soon Ae can’t believe he’s so close yet so faraway at this point!
Thoughts: The return of the good guy went to heaven with Cho Jung Seok’s character. Chef Sun Woo is an ice prince who bids farewell the nice guy and awakens the all time classic leading male figure with communication problems because of a great ego and a somewhat problematic past lacking maternal love and a warm environment. He may be charismatic as a Chef and a figure who unveils tremendous amounts of love when it comes to his cooking skills with his food being the personification of his inner self; unerring, but with love.
However, he lacks basic communication skills and he often appears as arrogant and bossy. It’s something that often encloses him inside his crystal tower where he’s the only one who’s right and everyone else is wrong. And communication should be a given for a public figure and a renowned Chef and he’s no other than a king in his domain with the whole world around him being hostile under circumstances.
Sun Woo’s love for So Hyung was there since their high school days, but it never blossomed mutually and it remained in the one-sided sphere of fantasy because he was postponing his direct interaction with her and the events were always one step ahead since he missed the timing. A stare without eye contact is never enough and his present self in the way he progressed his personality which is surrounded by a tough shell can’t take the brave step ahead which is required either for rejection or acceptance. It’s all about emotional intelligence.
The dog he found is his personal savior sometimes when it comes Soon Ae’s unending pleasure pursuit, but it’s also Sun Woo’s silent confessor where he can open up his heart and unveil everything that conceals his tranquility. The limited time they share is meaningful in its own way and it’s definitely one of the “interactions” i am definitely looking forward to, even if the dog’s time is mainly food-oriented! I am rather curious though, why does Sun Woo hate rice and avoids it like ghosts avoid incense?
As i have already stated, the truth is i came here for Kim Seul Gi, but i got entranced by Park Bo Young without neglecting my love Seul Gi not even for a second; she’s an axiom. One may think it’s easy depicting an introvert and shy by nature character like Bong Sun, but it definitely requires skills. There’s a vast ocean between looking like a useless potato praying it will never get fried and reflecting the struggles of an introvert character in a surrounded by people environment.
Bo Young is highly representative as Bong Sun, both at the restaurant and the outside world while still being a part of the surrounding environment but not looking like an outcast at the same time, just a humble introvert with her own inconveniences. You also have to love how lively she feels inside her own safe heaven, her room, especially when she updates her blog with all the love she holds within. Her silent crush on Sun Woo remains in the shadows and despite his austere attitude he still remains an exemplary Chef inspiring her own talent. Her one and only support has to be her beloved grandmother, even though the environment in which she grew up made her life ghost-oriented.
The fact that she feels sleepy during daytime derives from a wide variety of reasons. She can practice cooking and be true to herself and her own feelings only during nighttime which is her only free time. She wouldn’t sacrifice all that precious time for a welcome and much needed amount of sleep, even though she stutters, makes mistakes and gets misunderstood at work. Another reason has to be her special interactions with ghosts that visit her since she can see them. Bong Sun is an adorable character that deserves affection, but she also needs to set sail on a more extrovert journey in order to chase after her own dreams but also be able to stand for her own rights and herself.
If you expected a character who was supposed to be played by Kim Seul Gi but it’s being presented by someone else in a like-minded vein and with the same laughter aftereffects, but with a different face, then you guessed correctly. Bo Young is exceptionally quirky and adorable in an electrifying way as she interprets Soon Ae through Bong Sun’s body. If one would infuse Seul Gi’s soul in Bo Young’s body that’s the outcome he would have and that’s the one and only outcome we already treasure through Bo Young’s shining interpretation. She doesn’t only depict Soon Ae in the way she has to be as a character, but she also presents her in the way Seul Gi would do so while still preserving her distinctive air as Bo Young.
There’s an 180 degrees change from Bong Sun to Soon Ae after she found the right frequency in Bong Sun’s Body. She’s still Bong Sun to others, but deep within she’s Soon Ae and the distinctive acting as each character is omnipresent. The more Soon Ae gets to know Bong Sun’s world the more she tries to adjust to it, but the more she knows her environment the more she acts like Soon Ae, even though she tried to maintain a slight balance in the very beginning which was a failed attempt of course because they are diametrically opposite personalities.
You have to feel for Bong Sun’s absence and everything that happens while Soon Ae’s in charge of her body. The more Soon Ae relates to her past at the present the more heartrending it gets for her. The feels as she’s going through places she used to be when she was alive are powerful. She recalls everything except for the moment she passed away, i guess the moment she finds out the whole truth will be a crucial moment for her very essence as a ghost.
It’s not easy being one of them, an introvert by nature and a ghost who wants to reach a lustful climax by taking advantage of Bong Sun’s body. It’s an ethical dilemma of a ghost using her body in order to complete the act of desire she never had the chance to do so while she was still living. But then again, it’s a drama and then it’s a ghost using a body. Even though i find it wrong, it’s the possession of a body by a ghost.
In horror movies it’s fine, but here it’s morally debatable because it involves sex without the consent of the host while the parasite is at fault? Of course she’s at fault and Bong Sun is innocent, but i won’t invest more because it will ruin the way i enjoy this quirky drama. It’s all about a virgin ghost who doesn’t want to be a virgin anymore in a spiritual manner of speaking and there’s only one way it’s going to happen physically even though it’s vulgar for Bong Sun’s character even at the thought of it. It’s an ultimately fictional presentation of something that can never happen in real life and that’s how i decided to keep seeing it.
I love the way Soon Ae through Bong Sun’s body talks and jumps around with other ghosts and it looks so normal whereas all the other people think she’s alone by herself! That Joseon spear has a hilarious yet heroic essence dare i say as she wandered throughout the city with it on her back and eventually fought that vicious spirit inside the restaurant! I am curious about why does it feel like drowning in her nightmares, is it related to the memories that have come to the surface in collision to her previous devoid of past ghost state? She could finally get out of Bong Sun’s body once she fell of the couch, do these sudden jolts play their own part in distracting the perfect harmony between the ghost and the body’s common frequency?
Now that Soon Ae’s out of Bong Sun’s body it’s going to be tough for her because Soon Ae already managed to cause lots of trouble. At this point i want to see how the interaction between Bong Sun who is able to see ghosts with Soon Ae will progress and how the people around Bong Sun will conceive her drastic change from an electrified person back to her silent old self. Now that she’s back, Bong Sun will be unable to recall the recent memories while Soon Ae was occupying her body and she will probably go through psychological tests. I’m really curious how the drama will progress on that aspect!
One thing i’m also looking forward to is the moment when Sun Woo will find out the blog he enjoyed reading is Bong Sun’s and when Bong Sun will notice that the comments she received were coming from Sun Woo himself! I first fell for Shin Hye Sun in School 2013 and i am really glad i found her here as well, she’s an elegant young lady who used to be a ballerina as Sun Woo’s sister here and i want to find more about Eun Hee’s past and how it’s related to Sung Jae who’s an exemplary police officer, but he seems to be hiding something. Sun Woo’s superstitious mother who’s in search of earthly pleasures could definitely be Soon Ae’s best friend in another life and she’s a powerful combo with the grotesque figure of Suhbingo!
The acting is wonderful and especially Bo Young is exceptional. Almost everyone has his/her own priceless lines, especially Bong Sun, Sun Woo, Soon Ae and the Sous Chef. They are the quartet of pure lunacy in the world of Oh My Ghost, but the rest of the figures are representative in their own way. The cinematography is pretty strong and dresses the world of the drama in the way it asks for depending on the circumstances, the events and the environment. Whenever it has to, it’s warm and pleasantly greets your eye, when things get awry it darkens and i definitely enjoyed the presentation of evil spirits and ghosts in the world of the living.
The use of effects is pretty great and the instant appearance of Soon Ae through Bong Sun’s body as a blending of body and soul in a differentiating way was well-conceived and well-executed. The black and white world through the eyes of a ghost with glimpses of color whenever she notices her next target to get control of the body was expressive enough because it gave us an imaginary view of the world through the eyes of a ghost.
There are feels and humor and a welcome amount of quirkiness floating in the air and the extended sexual intercourse reference in a world of sexless dramas where sex usually happens only once in a lifetime because there has to be a baby could be considered as a satyric demonstration under a very specific point of view and without taking into consideration the specific background of the story.
Oh My Ghost was far better than i personally expected, but then again, i wasn’t expecting much because i couldn’t imagine how it would unveil its arch contours. The quirky introduction to the storyline was enough to point towards a hilarious direction, but the way it actually flows is more comical while at the same time it doesn’t neglect the feels factor. Oh My Ghost is a brave attempt bound to transfer your lungs inside your nostrils from laughter at the cost of losing at least one of them in case you blow your nose. It also possesses its own nerve-shaking aspects that not everyone can easily accept whereas at the same time it beautifully unveils all feels necessary somewhere between the world of the living and the afterlife. Are you possessed already?