Hae Young (Seo Hyun Jin) finds an unlikely kindred spirit in morose sound engineer, Do Kyung (Eric Mun) in that both suffered the humiliation of being left at the altar. Little does Hae Young know, their lives are further entwined. Do Kyung’s ex-fiancée (Jeon Hye Bin) is the popular classmate who shared the exact same name as her, and made her life a living hell, and Do Kyung was responsible for the financial ruin of Hae Young’s ex-fiancé, Tae Jin (Lee Jae Yoon). A guilty Do Kyung attempts to avoid Hae Young, but finds himself having visions of her. Hae Young and Do Kyung find themselves repeatedly crossing paths until feelings develop.
Junggugeo Kaenada 중국어 캐나다: ★★
Only 만: ★★
Side dish: If you need to go on a road trip to avoid angry Kdrama fans who are outraged by your opinion of their beloved show, try a Chickpea Salad. It’s vegan and it is supposed to travel well.
Only: It’s been a long time since we finished “Oh Hae Young Again”. Now that you’ve had time to think about it, how do you feel?
Junggugeo Kaenada 중국어 캐나다: I was hoping that absence would make the heart grow fonder. That’s not the case. However, let’s start with what we liked about “Oh Hae Young Again”.
Initially, I liked the heroine. Hae Young was hilariously inappropriate, which became poignant when it was revealed to be a facade to hide the heartbreak of being dumped by Tae Jin. Plus, Hae Young was a good foil for the wooden Do Kyung so the lead couple had a charm in their early squabbling: her messy and unrestrained emotions versus his guilt and distaste for getting emotionally involved.
Only: I liked how varied the cast of female characters was. It was nice to see a group of women who transcended their stereotypes. For a change, Hae Young wasn’t the type of heroine who cheerfully accepted what the world threw at her, and just kept trying. And her nemesis, pretty Hae Young wasn’t just a shallow rich bitch ready to do anything to get her man, but someone with troubles of her own, who cared enough about Do Kyung to want to see him happy. Even Duk Yi, Hae Young’s mom, felt real, especially in her struggles to protect her daughter from her own worst tendencies.
Junggugeo Kaenada: I agree; the major female characters were appealing and well rounded. A standout was Hae Young’s boss, Do Kyung’s sister, Soo Kyung, who was fantastically bizarre while remaining sympathetic. When she was paired up with the equally weird Jin Sang, the comedic relief became the OTP of the show for me.
Only: I loved those two, both separately and together. Their weirdness really kept me going through some of the darker parts of the show.
Junggugeo Kaenada: Unfortunately, this was not a Kdrama about sisterhood like “Unkind Women” where romance could take a back seat to the fantastic female characters. Hae Young’s romance with Do Kyung was a big part of the show.
Only: I had trouble accepting the romance at any point, first, because of the lie that hung between them, and then later, because Hae Young’s entire happiness and sense of self-worth hung on Do Kyung’s feelings for her. The show tried to frame that as Hae Young’s bravery and passion, but I couldn’t buy it. I kept wondering if Hae Young shouldn’t be in therapy rather than in a relationship with Do Kyung, however cute they made it look later on. Though, not with the therapist depicted in the show, because that guy was a quack.
Junggugeo Kaenada: Speaking of quackery, the entire supernatural element, consisting of Do Kyung seeing flashes of the future involving Hae Young, felt pasted on and unnecessary. As if running into a woman with the exact same name as the fiancée who left him at the altar would not have been enough to give Do Kyung pause. Then, in addition to having to hide his complicity in Tae Jin’s incarceration, Do Kyung had to conceal his supposed impending death from Hae Young. These vision induced obstacles were just ridiculous and unnecessary when there was already so much drama inherent to the ordinary story lines.
Only: I think my main issue was Hae Young’s reaction to all the drama. When Do Kyung rejected her, Hae Young went from struggling to cope to an unwatchable hot mess. I’m not sure which was the lowest point for me: Hae Young calling in to the radio show, her repeatedly attacking pretty Hae Young at work events, her constant demands for some kind of emotional reaction from Do Kyung, or any of the rest. She just became more and more desperate, and it was really uncomfortable to watch.
Junggugeo Kaenada: The lead couple’s utter lack of chemistry was what killed “Oh Hae Young Again” for me. I know this is subject to debate, and I will concede that Hae Young and Do Kyung engaged in more adult skinship than the Kdrama standard. However, I never felt any heat between the couple, and I wonder if Eric Mun’s attempt to play restrained is to blame; passion failed to come through his wooden expressions. I witnessed him giving heat in “Que Sera Sera” so I know he is capable of it. Feel free to disagree with me in the Comments, but please keep the name calling to a minimum.
Only: I think what everyone can agree on is how good Lee Jae Yoon looked as Tae Jin. Finally, the drama gods smiled on him and he was allowed to have good hair!
Junggugeo Kaenada: Let’s create a positive final memory of “Oh Hae Young Again” for ourselves with a gallery of Tae Jin screenshots.