The Queen of Asian Drama is Back with more Irreverent Reviews and Snarky Commentary.

Friday, July 01, 2016

Another Miss Oh


Another Oh Hae young

Romanization -  Ddo Ohhaeyoung
Aka -  Oh Hae Young Again,  Another Miss Oh,  Misunderstood
Genre -  Romance, Melodrama
Writer -  Park Hae young
Network -  tvN
Episodes -  18
Released - 2016,  May - June
Cinderella Plot -  No




CAST




PLOT


Oh Hae young is dumped by Han Tae jin on the day before their wedding. She becomes despondent and reckless in an attempt to move forward when she knows she can't.

Park Do kyung is a popular sound engineer. A year ago, he was supposed to marry Oh Hae young (Jeon Hye bin), but she did not appear at their wedding. He became desperate and sets out to destroy the man he assumes took his place.

REVIEW

The five stars isn't a mistake on my part even if this 18-episode melodrama did have its awkward, confusing, and down-right implausible moments.

It is the story that deserves the accolades, along with the acting on the part of a well-rounded and in-sync cast, and especially the soundtrack that actually fit not just the story but the mood as well.

This was one of those rare charmers that could be labeled a sleeper (if it wasn't for Eric Moon starring) that took me by surprise as it started to unfold and kept me engaged throughout.

Yes, even when things started to go astray with the private lives of a few of the aside characters, and each time the director felt the need to rehash bits and pieces along the way.

Brilliant writing and a brilliant plot made this work for me, and I do hope for a lot of others as well, because at least one someone involved in the making of this drama deserves a bit of recognition here.

I could easily and sometimes embarrassingly identify with Oh Hae young #2, but it was still a refreshing delight to see a 'real' character portrayed for a welcome change instead of Little Miss Perfect, Poor Miss Picked On, and Wow, Ain't She Something.

Oh Hae young #1 was Miss Perfect but with a unique quality to her and only slightly flawed.

I want the giggle doll!
Oh Hae young #2 spoke to me in a way very few on-screen characters ever have because she was not just honest but also true to her inner and outer selves beginning to end.

She's different and she knows it, flawed and okay with it, and overly anxious to please as much as she hopes to be pleased.

A definite INFP-T personality type (just like me).

When the story opens, she's an adult working for a Food Distributor and preparing to get married to her handsome fiancé, Han Tae jin (Lee Jae yoon) when he breaks it off and disappears.


Hae young #2 is devastated and falls into a terrible downward spiral of misery for a time before eventually shrugging it off by pretending it's okay, she's okay, everything's okay so leave me the F alone kind of existence.

Then Eric's Park Do kyung enters the picture, and he's had visions of Hae young #2 in his head for awhile now, so when he watches her pass him by on the street, he becomes determined to get to know her better.

(This isn't a spoiler)

Turns out he's to blame for Hae young's misery since he was engaged to Oh Hae young (#1) when she left him at the altar, and when his best friend, Lee Jin sang (Kim Ji suk) points out Hae young #2's fiancé in a club, both men assume he is the reason why Hae young #1 broke up with Do kyung.

So, Do kyung decides to ruin Han Tae jin and it works, so Tae jin has no choice but to break it off with Hae young #2.

Then, and for the length of this melodrama, we watch as the interesting plot unfolds, and if you think this is another stereotypical and predictable story, you'll be surprised.

The levity scenes and aside stories could be partially labeled as such, but for the most part, the main story proved to be fresh, intricately woven, and far less foreseeable than expected.

Eric's character proved difficult to warm up to or like, which is a good thing, because that is precisely who he was meant to portray as Do kyung -- the aloof, unfeeling, inhibited man who doesn't even smile when it is called for or display any emotion even while in love.

Which is also why I can't quite say whether Do kyung and Hae young were good together or possessed on-screen chemistry because in character, they both had to struggle so hard just to warm up to the idea of a relationship that it sort of detracted from that chemical romance aspect.

Yes, they looked good side-by-side, I'll give them that, and yes, the kissing scenes were amazing, but as for their deserving to be together and wanting to root for them . . . it's hard to say.

Do kyung's father makes an appearance about mid-way through, and it was great to see Lee Pil mo acting the part.


Lee Pil mo

Gosh, do I love him.  


The premise behind Do kyung's character is that he is able to foresee his own death, and while discussing the issue with a psychiatrist, Do kyung starts to learn as much about himself as he does about life in general.

Even knowing he's going to die, Do kyung struggles to change himself in order to become happy with the only woman who really matters -- Hae young #2.

For a majority of the first half, I couldn't wrap my head around the suggested need to sympathize with Do kyung after what he'd done to destroy the lives of two perfect strangers, and it never occurred to me that Tae jin, at any point in the eighteen episodes, owed anyone an apology -- except to Hae young, of course.

Tae jin continues to apologize, though, and I continued to feel sorry for him and hope that something good would happen to him and not just to Hae young.

Perhaps the writer wanted me to accept the notion that men are made to suffer far worse and for far longer than a woman?

Poppycock and horse feathers.

Poor, sweet, and totally innocent Tae jin! (ㅠㅠ)

Lastly, we have Hae young's parents to thank for a lot of the marvelous, sublime, and over-the-top funny or self-indulgent scenes.



Whenever I see Kim Mi kyung in the line-up, I know I'm in for a treat (with the bitter exception of The Heirs).

Kim Mi kyung


STILL


There was enough TYPICAL going on with this story to let me know it was, indeed, a K-Drama, but I blame the director and not the writer.

1.  U-Turns are standard fare in any K-Drama, right?

So, when the You Forgot Your Wallet scene occurs, the U-Turn should have occurred but ...

2.  Family is ultra-important and super-high on everyone's list/mind, right?

So, Tae jin has absolutely no one on his side? No one when he's overnight destroyed and business ruined within days?

Hae young doesn't hear anything through the grapevine?

His buddies haven't got a clue?

Not even an omanee to cry and carry on like it's the end of the world?

3.  Everyone in Korea drinks to excess, right?

They drink, and drink, and drink to shit-faced oblivion sometimes, and then they drink some more -- which is okay!




To hell with your health, your liver, pancreas, & kidneys, your brain cells, or even your dignity!

Right?

And yet . . .

cigarette blur

a lit cigarette is blurred because that's a BAD thing.

4.  Skinship most-often occurs outside, right?

Producers of these dramas like to bludgeon us foreigners over the head with the idea that EVERYONE in Korea is excessive in modesty and fiercely guard their personal space.

Which makes zero sense to a foreign mind if EVERY so-called intimate scene (kissing, hand-holding, arm-in-arm strolling, etc.) actually occurs out in the open, in broad daylight, or in a narrow alleyway somewhere in and around Seoul.

Which actually says Koreans are not quite as excessive in modesty or personal space as they'd like us to believe.

However, in Another Miss Oh, the two aside characters are INSIDE when they decide to give kissing a chance (and, mind you, she is 45 and he is 35) when the very next scene offers us this little bit of WTF?





Wait. Wait. is right!

You guys were just inside the house, and now you're outside?

You left the house.

To kiss?

WHY??

5.  Cars and Wind and Hair; not a good combination. Right?

Yet, in every K-Drama, while driving along a country road, a city street, or a major highway, it is inevitable that the woman (always riding shotgun) will roll down the window.

And, in every single instance where this scene occurs, the woman's hair remains perfectly still, her eyes remain wide open (because no one wears sunglasses outdoors in Korea), and she is able to carry on a conversation using her inside voice.

Never has to shout above the howling wind while scrambling to gather her silken locks in both fists, while squinting in order to see with a modicum of ease.




Must be nice.


6.  Speaking of cars, there's always one available when you need it, and even if you hadn't used it in a previous scene, right?

Continuity error or directors gaff, I can't be sure, but this happens at least twice in Another Miss Oh, where the character starts out on foot and ends up behind the wheel with zero indication of the vehicle's having been somewhere within hopping in and taking off distance.

So, why were you walking in the first place?


THE SOUNDTRACK


The OST stunned me.

The same song wasn't replayed again and again, but the same tunes did repeat throughout the eighteen episodes for a nice change of pace.

It didn't matter, though, because I really, REALLY enjoyed them all and got teary eyed listening to the last one (below).

It'd be nice to learn that the artists receive awards for their effort because MAN, was this an impressive line-up!







The one that made me cry even when the scene wasn't sad -- just a really lovely tune




SCREEN SHOTS











Eric Moon



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