Oh My Ghostess

Overall Rating: Solid A
Subtitles : I watched this show on Netflix and I found the English subtitles to be consistent and very fluent.

Brief Synopsis (Kween version): A young woman is killed in a mysterious accident and remains on earth as a ghost to resolve her grudge for dying as a virgin. She finds a human with the right energy and tries to seduce him by possessing his kitchen assistant who happens to be in love with him. Shenannigans ensue, and eventually all of the people around the possessed kitchen assistant become involved in solving the mystery of the girl’s murder. Despite this premise, this is more of a workplace-inspired rom com than a crime show. Watch on Viki here or on Netflix here.

**Full show spoilers below the image. If you do not wish to be spoiled, do not proceed**

Ending Type: We’ll call this one bittersweet. Overall it was, indeed, a happy ending, but you get some feels that are not warm and fuzzy (I’ve found this to be true in all shows in which a main character is a ghost, because inevitably part of the conclusion is the ghost moving on which is a good thing but also a sad for obvious reasons).

Characters: One of my favorite things about Oh My Ghostess is the characters. The leads are awesome, with Park Bo Young as Na Bong Sun, a very shy kitchen assistant who is occasionally possessed by a very flirtatious and outgoing ghost, Kim Seul Gi as Shin Soon Ae, the very forward ghost who was a lovely and plucky teen before her death, and Jo Jung Suk as Kang Sun Woo, a socially awkward famous chef caught between the two. But Oh My Ghostess also has a phenomenal cast of side characters, from the mismatched crew at the restaurant to the hilarious shaman to Sun Woo’s charmingly crazy mom to Soon Ae’s father and snarky brother. Every character, no matter how little screen time they received, was vividly written and portrayed enough that you cared about all of them. Shoutout to the employee vacation trip to the cabin and the incredibly wonderful chemistry between the whole cast of the restaurant staff in those brief but memorable scenes.
EXTRA SHOUT OUT TO THE SHAMAN, BLESS HER, for delivering endless humor and also some of the most emotional and painful scenes on the show.
The only character I was not totally sold on was the villain, Choi Sung Jae, portrayed by Lim Ju Hwan. I think it might have been because his evilness was entirely the fault of a dark spirit possessing him so he was not given much motivation for his cruelty beyond a wild cover up of an accident. I am not saying he was not sinister or convincing, but it was one of those situations where the villain was just incredibly 2D and you just want him to be dead already. I prefer villains that I have to think about, and work to understand, and maybe feel a little sympathy for. While you can feel sympathy for the possessed Sung Jae whose life is eventually ruined by the spirit that possesses him, the spirit itself is just… you know… an evil spirit.

Relationships: ZING!!! So good. Definitely the strongest point of the drama. Let’s go by type, shall we?
The restaurant crew: Oh man such a good mix of characters. Chef Kang is a very rigid, not super socially adept (but not geeky or anything, just clearly not used to affection or the concept of friendship) kitchen genius who runs a small and famous restaurant with 5 underlings in the kitchen and his sister as the hostess. The crew, from the jerky sous-chef who just needs some love to the quiet Cordon with a crush on our lead Bong Sun, never cease to entertain. Their antics are hilarious and even when the sous-chef is being a jerk there is a familial feel to their relationship that keeps anything from seeming actually mean or menacing. This is a group of people who have each others’ backs and work really well together, as illustrated the few times someone leaves and needs to be replaced. Sidenote: when our sous-chef is gone and Chef ends up going to bring him back I got ACTUAL FEELINGS. Some of my favorite kitchen crew moments were around the time Chef and Bong-Sun-possessed-by-Soon-Ae started their relationship but were trying to hide it and all anyone knew was that something was up but they could not figure out what. I ADORED the drunken shenanigan scenes both on the company outing and in the city on the couple nights they had off together. The cast had excellent chemistry and the writing did a fantastic job of playing these characters off of each other and making you super invested in them as a group.
Family: Both Chef’s family and Soon Ae’s family featured heavily and had very different dynamics that were both awesome. Chef’s family was led by his single mother who was ridiculous and overbearing but had a heart of gold. His sister’s story was sweet and tragic, and I appreciated that, throughout it all, the siblings had a strong and caring relationship. The added tension of Chef’s brother-in-law being the villain that had killed Soon Ae and then was after Bong Sun because he knew she was possessed was great for the drama and it was done in a way that did not detract from the family dynamic, which was A+ overall. There was no sibling rivalry or distrust, simply understanding of a really unfortunate situation. Soon Ae’s family was very different, with her single father and moody teenage brother left behind after she was killed. She had been the glue that held her family together so it was heartbreaking to see her father and brother struggling both with their restaurant and their relationship with each other, but it was also touching to watch Bong-Sun-possessed-by-Soon-Ae bring life back to the restaurant and to the father and brother.
Romantic: To me, this is where the drama truly shines. Oh My Ghostess featured a love triangle in two bodies, as both Bong Sun and Soon Ae (possessing Bong Sun) fall for Chef and the question arises about which one of them his feelings are truly for. Meanwhile, Bong Sun and Soon Ae become friends and allies and learn to deeply care for one another, which is a dynamic that was beautiful and wonderful and very rare for K Dramas, in my experience. Especially when two women are pursuing the same man it is normally painted as a competition. For these two it was not–they were two women who were trying to help each other achieve their goals and when Bong Sun finally tells Chef the truth and he gets involved it was really an awesome thing. We got to see him grapple with that question of which version of Bong Sun he had really fallen for and in the end he and Bong Sun get their happy ending but he also shows genuine care and concern for Soon Ae and for helping her find peace. While this storyline was often hilarious, switching between the overly shy Bong Sun and the ridiculously forward and bold Bong-Sun-possessed-by-Soon-Ae, the writing and actors handled the delicacy of the complex feelings and relationships between the main trio in a wonderful, real, and respectful way. I can’t rave about it enough.

High Points: All of it, really, but in general the way relationships were handled and the comedy was woven in with the much more serious storylines.

Low Points: The 2-D nature of the villain, though I was impressed by the way the writers chose to resolve (///leave open, really) his storyline.

Final comments: Oh My Ghostess was my gateway drug to K Dramas. Considering that watching it has driven me to watch over 20 K Dramas in just over 3 months I’d say that should tell you exactly how much I loved it. At first I thought I loved it so much because it was my first one, but looking back after watching so many others I still feel this deserves a place as one of the top dramas of all time. I often recommend it as an introduction to the world of K Dramas, and I think both newbies and veterans alike would enjoy it immensely.

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