[K-DRAMA] Another Oh Hae Young (2016)

warning: may contain spoilers

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When another girl has exactly the same name as yours..

Plot:

Park Do Kyung works as a sound director and he’s the CEO in his own company. He was expecting to get married to Oh Hae Young last year, but the girl just disappeared on wedding day. A year after, he and his best friend Lee Jin Sang were having a drink at a bar when Jin Sang told him about a guy named Han Tae Jin who’s seated at another table. Han Tae Jin is going to marry his ex-fiancee Oh Hae Young. Wanting to seek revenge, they sabotaged Tae Jin’s business leaving him bankrupt and even sending him to jail. Do Kyung realises that the Oh Hae Young that Han Tae Jin was marrying isn’t his fiancee, but some other stranger with the exact same name! These two girls were actually classmates in high school and were called Pretty Oh Hae Young and Plain Oh Hae Young to differentiate the two. Tae Jin broke up with Plain Oh Hae Young without telling her the real reason. This left her very depressed. Soon Plain Oh Hae Young and Park Do Kyung crossed paths as Oh Hae Young moved into the storage room of the house that he was renting. They shared similar experiences with them both getting dumped on their own weddings. Coincidentally, Do Kyung has been seeing little bits of his future which includes Plain Oh Hae Young in it. What’s with his vision and why is Oh Hae Young in it? What’s Oh Hae Young reaction when she’ll find out that Do Kyung was the one who ruined her wedding?

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Opinions:

If you read most of my reviews, you’d probably know that I don’t like rom-coms, but I enjoyed action and revenge dramas more. I watched this with a light heart after having heard good reviews about it and I’m not expecting much. Unexpectedly, it was a rom-com that suits my tastes. It’s very similar to the drama, Marriage not Dating.. and I learned that the same team was behind these two dramas. I love the comedy more than the romantic part. Even though there were episodes that were sad and depressing, there’s still something funny to laugh about in every episode. The romantic part is easily relatable if you have experienced breakups, but if not it’s still fun since we have at least 3 couples to see. The storyline was well thought of. I kinda liked the flow of the story even though it was so ordinary and well expected. We also know that the writing is good when the dialogues and story make sense. Sometimes, it makes me think that rom-coms are so much easier to write than revenge or action dramas since rom-coms just need a few cheesy famous lines and ta-da! it becomes a hit. But, I’m glad that this drama is less cheesy but more funny. I think it was a mix of good writing paired with a good team of actors and staff. A great “teamwork” as quoted from Seo Hyun Jin contributed to the success of the drama.

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Frankly speaking, the story wasn’t anything special, but it was just two girls with the same name, and they somehow got in a mess with these two guys. I’m so glad that they added the futuristic stuff which makes it so odd and unique. I mean Park Do Kyung is not just your guy next door, but he can see the future lol. His job as a sound producer is also so cool. I thought that they would record sounds live most of the time except for slapping and fighting scenes. I didn’t know that they had to record the sound separately even those running scenes and all the slightest sounds that we barely notice. It’s such a tedious job, but it’s also a cool job to have at the same time.  This occupation is something new to K-drama land and we’ve learned something new through this drama.

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The supporting characters just made it so fun and crazy to watch. It wouldn’t be the same without them. Can I give props to these two crazy French speaking characters? I loved their characters individually, and Soo Kyung and Jin Sang wasn’t really a couple that I expected, but the outcome was great no? Even though it’s a noona-dongsaeng relationship, they still managed to accept each other. A lot of people were saying that they were actually good in speaking French and I had no idea at all. Seeing the two on screen made me excited every time! The other couple Park Hoon and Anna wasn’t that enjoyable in my opinion. I thought that Young Ji wasn’t suitable for the role, but I guess they portrayed the maknae couple to the fullest. I also loved Do Kyung’s employees-slash-loyal friends. Even though Do Kyung isn’t the nicest boss, they still respect and follow him. I find the scene wherein Do Kyung was so down and his friends just followed him to cheer him up. This drama emphasised on friendship too.

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It’s been a while since we had super supportive parents in a K-drama. Most of the time, they act as bad parents or often left as back burners, but this time parents have a bigger role in their children’s lives specifically Oh Hae Young’s. Being the only daughter, she is constantly showered with love and she doesn’t seem like in her 30s when she’s with her parents. Even though her mother always gets mad at her, her mother is always there at her lowest and saddest times. The difference between Asian and Western culture comes into mind too. In Western culture, after graduation or college, the child leaves home and becomes independent, but in Asian culture, he continues to live with the parents until he gets married. Coming from Asia, I can empathise with Oh Hae Young’s family and as to how she gets treated. The mother only wanted the best for her daughter. She doesn’t want her to get bullied, to get sick. She just wanted to protect her. Kim Mi Kyung portrayed the role really well. Aside from her motherly role in the Heirs, and super hacker in Healer, I guess this is another unforgettable role as well.

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Can we talk about the chemistry between the leads? It was unexpectedly great and natural. I don’t know if it’s just Eric’s magic that he’s able to have great chemistry with his partners regardless of the actresses? I also remembered that he also had natural chemistry with Jung Yu Mi in Discovery of Love. It’s fun that this was aired in tvN so we got real kisses instead of pecks which made the scenes more realistic and natural. It’s sad that Eric is getting married to a younger actress soon and they’ve been dating for a long time. Idols sure know how to hide well..

Characters:

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Seo Hyun Jin as Just Oh Hae Young — Watched this after Seo Hyun Jin was announced as Best Actress in Baeksang Awards this year. After finishing this drama, I really thought that it was well deserved. For all the cries, sufferings, and embarrassment that she underwent.. I like that her character was so relatable. She’s not perfect, but clumsy and there were too many embarrassing moments to mention. And she’s a silly girl who’s so in love with her man. Seo Hyun Jin really delivered the character well. She was just so loveable. At first, I was having doubts whether she could pull of this character since she didn’t stood out for me in her previous work, The Three Musketeers. I was all wrong, since she put so much color in the ordinary and plain Oh Hae Young. I guess this is the drama which is the turning point of her career. I wish she can continue to grow as an actress.

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Eric Mun as Park Do Kyung — Watching Eric in another rom-com is such a lovely sight to see. Although I could see some similarities with his character in Discovery of Love and in here. I loved his hairstyle better here and is he ageing backwards? He’s definitely much manlier and hotter that we can’t just help but fall in love with him again and again. His little gestures of showing affection during the start were just too cute. Although he may be a little passive and not being able to fully show his emotions, his eyes say so much. He’s a decent actor and I wonder how he juggles idol and actor life since he does a great job in both. I hope on his next project, he tries a different role and genre.

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Jeon Hye Bin as Pretty Oh Hae Young — I understand why she was casted as the ‘prettier’ Oh Hae Young. She may be darker, but she had such big round eyes and she’s curvier. Both are pretty in their own ways though. I loved Jeon Hye Bin’s portrayal as the pretty girl. She may come off annoying in our eyes, but it wasn’t exactly her fault. She was also jealous of plain Hae Young too. As a second female lead, she’s great in delivering her character. I think she can try female leads next time.

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Ye Ji Won as Park Soo Kyung — I remembered her small stint in the drama Producers. I think she’s a scene stealer there, and I didn’t expect that she’d carry over her exaggerated character here. During the first few episodes, I felt that that she was exaggerating so much, but as episodes passed, I kind of got used to it and actually like her character.  Her character is not annoying, but it actually complements the story well. I can’t believe she’s already in her 40s yet she’s still so flexible and active. The unexpected pregnancy was a big twist, but I liked it since she learned to be more lenient and less aggressive. I think this role will be remembered for quite a while too.

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Kim Ji Seok as Lee Jin Sang — As far as I can remember from his other dramas, he has quite a comedic character, but never this funny as Lee Jin Sang. He has quite a handsome face, but his role as completely let go of his cool image and just wanted to be purely funny. The effects of having different girls every day finally struck him and he learned to be responsible this time. I never thought Kim Ji Seok had this kind of humour in him. I hope he continues to get these funny roles since this image suits him, but I don’t mind a serious role too since he has the face and height too.

Ending:

I really like dramas which are relatable, realistic, and have life lessons to learn. This drama had a little bit of everything. I learned that we should live life to the fullest. Since Do Kyung kept seeing that he would die through a car accident in the future, he initially gave up on his life. I’m glad that he changed his mind and tried his best to avoid it and eventually future changed. Do Kyung was reluctant in everything, but he managed to say ‘I love you’ to Hae Young and just win her back. He finally realised to just live the moment. Like how others kept worrying that he might die, this is a rom-com so I’m sure that he won’t. Although there isn’t an exact closure to Do Kyung’s futuristic ‘powers’, it wasn’t much of a big deal since it wasn’t the main point of the drama. I still wondered as to how Do Kyung got into another accident by the last episode, but luckily he didn’t die.

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The couple got back together after the big revelation. Even though Hae Young was hurt with what Do Kyung did, she proved that her love was greater than the pain. I didn’t know that it was possible. I’m glad that they let go of their restraints and just follow their hearts. Hae Young also got the approval of her parents to marry and live with Do Kyung before marriage. It was heartbreaking for the mother especially when she didn’t want her daughter to be hurt once again. As for the French couple, I knew that they would end up together. Being the father of Soo Kyung’s child really made him manlier and responsible. Cleaning the clogged toilet for Soo Kyung is a sign of affection and it’s not easy! I hope they’ll make another drama with them as leads. lol

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Even though Hae Young and Do Kyung had great chemistry, a part of me still had this little thought that Hae Young and Tae Jin could’ve ended up together. I think that they looked good together. And yes, it was purely a misunderstanding. I came to realise that Tae Jin wanted to look good for her and it wasn’t just about pride. Maybe if I’m in Tae Jin’s position, I would also do the same and break-up with her until I’m ready for marriage again. I just don’t want Hae Young to be hurt and be tangled with the mess. But yeah, not telling the truth must’ve made Hae Young go through more pain. Well, at least give him a second chance. It’s this one thing that made me disappointed with Hae Young. But Tae Jin’s character development wasn’t that great either. I guess making Do Kyung’s business bankrupt is enough, but wanting to kill him is a bit excessive. Anyway, they were probably never meant to be.

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Music:

It’s been a while since I last talked about a drama’s soundtrack. The songs were just so fit and suitable for the scenes. I love Roy Kim’s song, “Maybe I” the most. His sweet voice is really perfect for the mood of the scenes. His voice is quite distinct, so after recognising his voice, I immediately downloaded the song and it’s been on the loop while writing this review. I also didn’t expect Seo Hyun Jin to sing a song. As expected of an ex-idol turned actress, she has a sweet voice. “What’s Love” serves as the opening theme and it had such a cute melody and lyrics. And Ben’s “Like a Dream” definitely hits home while it’s being played along with the sad scenes.

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Final Thoughts:

Another Oh Hae Young had such a usual story but it unbelievably garnered high ratings in Korea. I felt that the ratings was justified and it’s well deserved, and this is coming from someone who’s tired of watching rom-coms. I understood why it was so popular because it was relatable. It’s like watching a rom-com while riding a roller coaster. At times you’ll find the characters at their lowest, but the other characters lift up the mood and suddenly makes it fun again. The humours were pure comedy. I couldn’t find an episode wherein I didn’t laugh. Although there weren’t any favourite actors around, and it’s not my favourite drama, I’d still recommend this to a fellow K-drama lover for a great combo of writing and actors.

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Rating: 8.5/10

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