Alright, this is the IT drama for me right now. With the Wednesday/Thursday dramas yet to hanker my devotion, Oh My Lady is so far the winner. It might be dethroned in the couple of weeks to come when the other dramas catch up, but I’m really really liking this drama right now. This is the drama that I rewatch during the week and whose next episode I tend to anticipate the most.
Like I said before, Oh My Lady is nothing exceptional, nothing original. Basically nothing special. It’s got all the familiar (read: exhausted) elements of romantic comedy of this kind. There’s been a comparison with Last Scandal of My Life, which is justified because there are so many similar things shared between both dramas. Especially after today’s episode, the similarities keep popping up. But strangely, I don’t mind the similarities. Oh My Lady executes itself nicely and manages to not simply ‘copy’ the elements from other similarly themed dramas.
I also appreciate the little funny surprises here and there that keep things fresh. Like in episode 5, Yoon Gyehwa (Chae Rim) and Sung Minwoo (Choi Siwon) were in the car together and Gyehwa was upset over her husband’s ignorance toward their daughter. She was yelling and just royally pissed. Minwoo, who was a little startled, wisely kept his mouth shut. Gyehwa finished her rants and the next thing she said was to tell Minwoo to stop by the market because they were out of milk. It wasn’t hilarious ha ha per se, but it made me chuckle.
Then again in episode 6, Minwoo’s asshole of a manager stormed inside his house and created ruckus after finding out Minwoo had a child out of wedlock. This bastard is not a sympathetic character, as we have seen in the preceding 5 episodes. Today, his immediate instinct was to abandon the child alone somewhere, so we expected the worst when he was left alone in the house with the aforementioned child. But then we saw that this dude was also human when upon seeing the child, all he cared about was for the child not to cry. Just when I was about to rip his hair off, he became slightly more sympathetic.
The same thing with Park Hanbyul’s character Han Yoora who underwent just the slightest ‘improvement’. Yoora is a typical pretty girl know fully knows just how pretty she is. She fusses about the tiny hole in her stocking and tells people to buy a new right away for her. She’s pretty vain and despite Minwoo’s softer edges, they pretty much rival each other in narcissism. But for the first time, we saw Yoora in a funnier light. The reporter who had been trailing Minwoo got hold of Yoora and she was more than happy to tell him about her association with Minwoo, seemingly craving a little 15 minute-fame. She told him about the time Minwoo waited in front of her house for 5 or 6 hours and claiming how they were total soulmates. To the reporter who wanted dirty juicy details to make up a full blown scandal, this was pretty frustrating.
It’s the little things that make Oh My Lady endearing. The strength of Oh My Lady is in its witty dialogues and the small funny moments that make up the drama. Chae Rim nails the ahjumma character in the head. Likewise, Choi Siwon’s Sung Minwoo is a total hoot. They’ve got great chemistry and I feel a little guilty because I was so faithful of Dalja and Kang Taebong noona-dongsaeng love…
In Last Scandal of My Life, I thought the playfulness was taken too far, making the male character unrealistically childish. For someone who was supposed to be 38, mental age of 14 is really not good at all. And the fact that he only found out about his child late in the drama made his growth less credible. Oh My Lady moderates the playful factor. The banters are cute, but not overdone. The same with Minwoo’s immature traits, they’re there but Minwoo has more depth and other dimensions than just being childish.
And more importantly, the character development of Sung Minwoo revved up right away so we see him changing ever so gradually. He wasn’t a completely bad character to begin with, but he was selfish as hell. Now we’re starting to see flashes of compromises he makes in order to accomodate the new change (ie: kiddo) in his life.
Another thing I like is that there is a more equal footing between Gyehwa and Minwoo. He doesn’t serve as a knight in shining armour and likewise, Gyehwa isn’t Minwoo’s doormat. It bugs me to no end when the female character is shown as a receiver to the male character’s grandness and she makes changes according to his fashion. But I also don’t agree with the female character being the constant wisdom and sets as a law of the drama. It should be a give and take relationship. Everyone learns from each other.
Now, I feel Oh My Lady is in danger of having both. It’s like Yoon Gyehwa’s life might be a joke, but she’s everything right and she’s the giver, the ray of sunshine to everyone around her. In the other respect, because of their age difference, sometimes it feels like Gyehwa has to reposition herself in order to match with Sung Minwoo’s mental age. I might leave the drama if things escalate higher in the future, but just like the comedy and the banters, Oh My Lady does this in moderation and I see hopes that it will be a give and take relationship.
Gyehwa gives wisdom to the people around her but it is mostly through her failed marriage and her survival skills. She’s always had her own agenda (otherwise, how else can she pack her bag out of that hostel and shack up with one of the hottest stars in town??) and while she might be a good samaritan, it’s not like she’s Mother Theresa. Plus, right now is also her chance to develop herself professionally. I want to see more of her on the job, developing a late career. I want to see her succeed on her own out of her own perseverance.
Gyehwa and Minwoo is a unique pairing. Gyehwa is not a cool and sophisticated ahjumma, she’s a nosy one and can be seriously embarrassing when she’s at it. She pokes her nose into other people’s business, laughes and clasp in a musical like there’s no tomorrow, and speaks like a tacky lady. Moon Junghee serves as a total comparison to her. So it’s interesting to see how the tacky ahjumma and the diva superstar can work their differences. I don’t want them to fully change Gyehwa to become cooler and more of a match for Minwoo like what they did in Last Scandal. I want them to keep their personality but prove that love really goes beyond superficialities.
The fact that Gyehwa often treats Minwoo like a kid also made me cast a doubt whether this pairing is feasible or not. I still don’t buy the ultimate romance, but I am pretty excited to see how they would handle this.
And because I like spoilers: