My current pick this week: Oh Hae Young Again (또 오해영).
As the eponymous leading lady, Seo Hyun Jin (Let’s Eat 2) is carrying the series for me (in other words, the only reason I’m loving this drama). As a woman who lived under a ginormous shadow in her elementary school days (stemming from a classmate with the same name), Oh Hae Young has grown into an assertive, well-rounded adult with a career at a food company’s corporate office. She’s not afraid of dishing it out to her caustic boss (nicely played by Ye Ji-Won, the awesome office supply-warden from Producer).
But things get real from episode one: Oh Hae Young is dumped the day before her wedding. Cross that with the male lead, Park Do Kyung (Eric, from Discovery Of Love), who got dumped at the altar a year ago and still has no idea why his fiancee never showed. Do Kyung has yet to fully recover from such a devastating experience, and spends his time perfecting and criticizing his staff members’ work (he’s a sound effects designer).
And the fiancee that stood him up? None other than Oh Hae Young (Jeon Hye Bin) aka ‘Pretty Oh Hae Young,’ the girl that our heroine spent her childhood unable to escape from and perpetually compared to.
Seo Hyun Jin is, as you may have seen in Let’s Eat 2, brilliantly capable at playing the everywoman; as Oh Hae Young she’s got some of that girl-next-door-type approachability, except more confident and well-adjusted, and with a side of I’m-in-my-30s-now-so-just-fuck-it business. Which makes for a much more fun ride. Especially when Hae Young goes from Back Home Baller to renting out the adjacent room in Do Kyung’s house.
Supporting actors rounded out with many familiar faces, including Kim Mi Kyung, Kim Ji Suk (Cheer Up), Heo Jeong Min (Marriage Not Dating), and acting newbie Young Ji (of girl group KARA).
I have to say, I found Eric’s work a bit one-note from Discovery Of Love (maybe it was the writing and characterization more than the acting?), so we’ll see how this thing pans out. (Sidenote: why is his stage name just ‘Eric’?) Then again, Discovery Of Love chronicled a long term relationship in many of its tiresome conflicts, maybe it was just topical.
Oh Hae Young Again. Monday-Tuesdays, tvN. 16 Episodes. May 2-June 21.
Cast: Seo Hyun Jin, Eric, Jeon Hye Bin. Also Ye Ji-Won, Kim Ji Suk, Heo Jeong Min, Lee Jae Yoon, Lee Han Wi, Kim Mi Kyung, Heo Young Ji (from KARA).