[Review] Another Oh Hae Young – 또 오해영

OH HAE YOUNG IS MY SPIRIT ANIMAL

In high school, Just Oh Hae Young (Seo Hyun Jin) was always envious of Pretty Oh Hae Young’s (Jun Hye Bin) life as she was not only pretty but smart and nice.  Sharing the same name did not make life any easier on Oh Hae Young.  However, Hae Young has become pretty satisfied with her life.  She has a steady job, a handsome fiancé and she looked forward to their upcoming nuptials.  That is, until Han Tae Jin (Lee Jae Yoon) abruptly breaks it off the day before their wedding.

The truth of the matter is Tae Jin broke things off as he was facing jail time for corrupt business practices.  Using his connections with a powerful CEO, Park Do Kyung (Eric) was instrumental in breaking the happy couple up due to a slight misunderstanding.  He assumed “Oh Hae Young” was the same Oh Hae Young who left him at the altar one year ago.  Learning of the misunderstanding, Do Kyung begins to see visions of the future involving him and Hae Young.

Jung Seung Hwan – 너였다면 (If It Was You)

정승환 – 너였다면

What is so refreshing about this drama is how honest it is about people and relationships.  We all have that person in our lives that are our frenemies and social norms dictate that we must be civil.  And yet, it is completely normal to wonder what life would be like if your frenemies’ life wasn’t as happy as you perceive it to be.  As much as Hae Young tries to brush off all the negative feelings she has towards Pretty Oh Hae Young, it’s human nature to want to release that stress and she does so in hilariously wacky ways.

The way tackles her problems is what makes Hae Young so relatable.  She pretends that everything is alright because she doesn’t want to appear sad, petty and pathetic.  She’s a trainwreck but she’s not afraid to embrace that side of her and say what’s on her mind.  She only lets out her pain when she’s alone and because of the combination of these thing that make up Hae Young and Seo Hyun Jin’s ability express that raw emotion without pretense, we immediately take to her character.

Seo Hyun, Yoo Seung Woo – 사랑이 뭔데 (What is it About Love?)

서현진 , 유승우 – 사랑이 뭔데

As the second lead, I was also glad that Pretty Oh Hae Young had depth.  At first, she seems to come off as a happy-go-lucky character in which everything has been handed to her.  And yet, like Hae Young, she is also pretending by putting her best face forward.  She may not have done the right thing by leaving Do Kyung at the altar without giving him her reasons but the drama certainly does give her very good reasons for doing so.  And there’s something to be said for the optimistic demeanor she puts forward even in front of her haters.  Even though Pretty Oh Hae Young had a leg up on life, both Oh Hae Young’s discover that they are not all that different.

As for Do Kyung, I find it interesting that he is given the power of precognition.  Do Kyung is the kind of person who is a straight arrow.  When it comes to his sound design/ foley artist team which includes his younger brother, he demands perfection in regards to the work that they do.  Unlike his mother, he works for himself and makes his own success.  And yet, when he begins to have these visions, it challenges him to try and put his faith in something that isn’t so tangible: love.

As much as Park Hoon (Huh Jung Min) and Yoon Ahn Na (Huh Young Ji) appear irresponsible, they are also characters that aren’t afraid to chase their dreams.  I loved how the drama compared these two characters with Do Kyung as it showed that they could learn a lot from each other.  Do Kyung learned to take some risks and chase his dreams, literally.  At the same time, Hoon and Ahn Na learned to take responsibility for their dreams and feelings.

In a strange twist, it was amusing to see the unusual chemistry between Do Kyung’s older sister, Park Soo Kyung (Ye Ji Won) and his best friend, Lee Jin Sang (Kim Ji Suk).  As much as Soo Kyung is ridiculously comical in scenes when she’s drunk, she’s very similar to Do Kyung in that she is very black and white.  She is also the only person who is candid to her duplicitous mother.

As for Jin Sang, he may have a different woman on his arm every night but he’s got a good heart.  He always tries to look out for Do Kyung’s back.  Unlike Soo Kyung’s outlook on love, Jin Sang is so carefree when it comes to relationships, Soo Kyung has an immovable about her feelings.  Their “relationship” may be unconventional in that it may not be based on passionate love but perhaps it is enough to have it be based on respect and integrity.

One of the best things about the drama was watching Hae Young’s relationship with her parents.  As tough as Hwang Duk Yi (Kim Mi Kyung) was when it came to her daughter, she also loves her daughter unconditionally.  That meant believing in Hae Young when Duk Yi had her doubts.  Or not being afraid to get into a knock-down drag-out fight to defend her daughters honor.  As quiet as Hae Young’s father, Oh Kyung Soo (Lee Han Wie), in front of the two strong-willed women in his life, there was never any doubt that he loved them both unconditionally, especially when it came to helping them out.

As much as I loved the story and the cast, I was surprised by the news that the drama would be extended by two more episodes.  The writer stated that she originally had a lot more material but cut it down for time.  Now, it seemed like she’d be able to tell the story she originally intended.  Unfortunately, the additional material turned out to be a philosophical discourse about relationships and human nature.  While it was interesting to get an expanded analysis of the drama’s major themes, it didn’t add depth to the story and slowed down the drama’s pace.

Kim Yi Ji (EZ) – 흩어져 (Scatter)

김이지(EZ) – 흩어져

Still, Another Oh Hae Young is a delightful romantic comedy about people who unintentionally get entangled in each other’s lives.  Petty foolishness may have brought these characters together but as they learn to look past it, they discover what’s important when it comes to love, whether it’s a lover, family or friendships.  The awesome cast, relatable plot, smart characters and great soundtrack makes you look past most of drama’s imperfections.

Rating

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