Director/Writer pair Yo Je-won and Yang Hee-seong of "The King of High School Manners" team up again for what seems to be another strong tvN hit in "Oh My Ghostess". Despite the fact that this first episode was mostly set up, we get to know the characters and understand their aspirations and motivations along with some cleverly delivered exposition.
"Oh My Ghostess" has a fantastical premise - a virgin ghost sets out to get laid. It sounds hoaky, but the way the story is put together makes me anticipate the rest of the drama. The charming sex-crazed ghost is played by comedienne Kim Seul-gi who manages to make the ghost as loveable and adorable as she is dangerously focused on sex. The unfortunate host to this ghostess' otherworldly antics is Na Bong-soon (Park Bo-young), a hopeful young woman whose dreams are cut short by her ability to see ghosts. They prevent her from sleeping and functioning properly. Paired with her meek personality it is all she can do to keep up in the fast-paced kitchen of her successful employer, the handsome and adept Kang Seon-woo (Jo Jung-suk).
Although the premise of this drama is based on the ghostess' possession of Bong-soon, we do see moments where outgoing Seon-woo secretly relates to timid Bong-soon - she is the figurative ghost of his past; the woman who reminds him of himself. We see how his growth into his current strength gives Bong-soon hope and inspiration. That is mighty stuff.
We learn the backstories of the character through a lot of cleverly wrought exposition - ghosts and shamans scolding our leading ghostess; grandmothers and mothers checking in on their progeny; small peeks at photographs and surreptitiously filmed glances. It's obvious stuff, but a lot of dramas forget that they can work explosition into the action and deliver it in the most cut and dry of manners. "Oh My Ghostess" delivers it with humor to spare.
All of the main characters have something more than what was delivered in the promotional glimpses. The Ghostess isn't just a horny ghost needing action - she's also lonely, much like the other two protagonists Bong-soon and Seon-woo. Bong-soon genuinely loves to cook and use it as an emotional outlet. Seon-woo loves his family and banters happily with fishmarket ajummas, showing the camera a side of him he hides from his employees. Choi Seong-jae (Im Joo-won) isn't very well-developed save to say that he is a very, very nice guy who occasionally glances pensively at the world.
This episode is fast-paced or pensive in exactly the right places. The casting fits the bill and I can't wait to see how Park Bo-young takes on Kim Seul-gi's fast-paced talking and smart physical humor. There are so many stories to be told and this first episode has me looking forward to the next fifteen episodes and how they're going to tell them.
Written by: Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'
Journalist, drama lover, and foodie, Lisa enjoys exploring Korea, speaking the language, and soaking in all that dramaland has to offer. Her Korean husband laughs that she knows more than he ever will about dramas and K-pop. Lisa Espinosa can be contacted via email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Oh My Ghostess" Episode 1"
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