Another Oh Hae-Young was a complete and total surprise. I was under the impression it was going to be a light romantic comedy. Little did I know I was getting a new drama to put on my “bests” list. I was truly impressed.
The day of his wedding, Park Do-Kyung was left at the alter by his fiancé, Oh Hae-Young. Of course he was crushed, having no idea why his sweetheart would abandon him at the last minute. A year later, Do-Kyung’s best friend, Attorney Lee Jin-Sang, tells him he found out Oh Hae-Young was engaged to marry a man named Han Tae-Jin. He suggests Do-Kyung take revenge on his ex-fiancé and stop her wedding by bankrupting Tae-Jin and sending him to jail. While drunk, Do-Kyung agrees on the revenge idea and the whole thing is carried out flawlessly, or so he thinks. When he finds out the woman Tae-Jin was engaged to is NOT the Oh Hae-Young he thought she was, he feels horrible about what he did and instructs Jin-Sang to find a way to get the innocent Tae-Jin released from jail. In the mean time, the woman who just had her wedding, and life, ruined through Do-Kyung’s botched revenge moves next to him. She is a kind woman with a broken heart and it pains Do-Kyung to see all the sadness he caused this stranger. But life sometimes has a way of fixing things we mess up and Do-Kyung and his Oh Hae-Young neighbor begin to fall for each other.
There are several characters who play major roles in this story…
Jeon Hae-Bin is the “pretty” Oh Hae-Young. She left Do-Kyung the day of their wedding but it wasn’t because she didn’t love him. After coming to terms with the reason she left Do-Kyung, she wants another try with the ex-fiancé she has never stopped loving.
Kim Ji-Seok plays the part of Attorney Lee Ji-Sang, Do-Kyung’s best buddy. He is a loyal friend and pretty much a member of the Park family. He loves to party and is a confirmed, bachelor with a different girl for each night of the week.
Ye Ji-Won is wonderful as Park Soo-Kyung, Do-Kyung’s older sister. She is a no-nonsense, prickly businesslady by day and a broken-hearted, unlucky-in-love woman by night. She turns to alcohol for comfort from her sadness.
Heo Jung-Min’s character is Park Hoon, Do-Kyun’s younger step-brother and employee. Although his father and Do-Kyun’s mother divorced, Hoon is still very much a member of the family. He secretly wants to be a screenwriter.
Heo Young-Ji plays the part of Yoon An-Na, Park Hoon’s girlfriend. Her free spirit makes her come across as immature but she’s really just optimistic and full of energy. She supports Hoon is his writing venture and loves him like crazy.
Lee Jae-Yoon is Han Tae-Jin, the man who dumped Oh Hae-Young the day before their wedding. He is still very much in love with her and tries to win her back after he’s released from jail. When he finds out it was Do-Kyung that ruined his life, and is in love with his ex-fiancé, he is out for revenge. After all, if Do-Kyung ruined his business and took Oh Hae-Young from him – turn about is fair play.
Eric Mun plays the role of Park Do-Kyung. It’s difficult enough for him to live with the heartbreaking feeling of being abandoned by the one he loved but his sadness multiplies when he finds out he has ruined the lives of two innocent people. He is genuinely sorry for the pain his selfish act of revenge caused and only wants to make amends for his hurtful actions. To make matters worse, Do-Kyung begins to have “visions” of the future, and they’re mostly about his relationship with his neighbor, Oh Hae-Young. Because of the visions, he seeks professional help and is apprehensive when the doctor tells him they may not be future events but memories he’s having while dying.
Seo Hyun-Jin is “just” Oh Hae-Young. She went to high school with the other Oh Hae-Young, Do-Kyung’s fiancé, and has hated her ever since. To tell them apart, the kids called them “just” Oh Hae-Young and “pretty” Oh Hae-Young. It was bad enough being compared to her in school but now “pretty” Oh Hae-Young is working in her office and she has a higher position than “just” Oh Hae-Young who happens to have been there longer. All she wants is to stop being compared to, and stop comparing herself to, the “pretty” Oh Hae-Young. She falls in love with Do-Kyung the second she runs into him (literally). She wants to ease the misery she sees in his eyes.
There is not one rotten main character in the whole show. It’s not difficult at all to feel for these characters and sympathize with the pain they are each having to dealing with. That’s one major selling point of this drama. The audience is emotionally drawn into each person’s life and truly wants the best for all of them. They’re our friends and the wonderful writing allows us to understand their hearts and actions even though we may not agree with them.
This is the first Kdrama I’ve seen that has a main character with the kind of career Park Do-Kyung has – a sound producer for motion pictures. What a fascinating job! It is so fun to watch him and his employees recording sounds to go with what is going on in a film. Do-Kyung is so good at what he does he’s able to hear sounds that would probably go unnoticed by most people. There’s one part of the show where Do-Kyung is critiquing what sounds Park Hoon has put into the film. He tells Hoon to add the sound of “sunlight” to the scene and then leaves. Hoon goes crazy wondering what sunlight sounds like. A little later on, we get to see and hear the results of Do-Kyung’s tutoring. A woman opens a window, sunlight pours into the room, and you can hear the sounds of kids playing and car horns honking! So cool. It’s also fun to watch Do-Kyung wear high heels and record himself running on a board as a young woman runs down a street in a movie. Do-Kyung and the guys that work for him take recording equipment and huge microphones to various spots so they can gets sound from every conceivable place for every conceivable situation. It is a very interesting part of the storyline. While watching this show I found myself wanting to be a sound producer. It was just like when I wanted to be a barista while watching Coffee Prince.
I really disliked the way this drama was filmed. Way too much of a scene’s main focus is in a bottom corner of the screen. And I can’t tell you how often an object cuts into the picture. It was irritating, extremely noticeable, and I kept thinking, “There’s a huge screen here and the action is only using up a tiny fraction of it. What’s up with that?” Is there supposed to be a philosophical meaning attached to that way of filming or is it just the director’s creativity? Whatever it happens to be, I don’t like it.
The writing is so fantastic it actually makes up for the rotten way this drama is filmed. Some things that are said are so profound, such as…
At one point Do-Kyung says, “She got her wings broken by the rock I threw at her. She’s like a bird that flew into my arms not knowing that truth. I want her to heal fast and fly away.” We can feel exactly what’s in his heart with those poetic words. At one point, “just” Oh Hae-Young calls into a radio show and pours out her frustrations about how she has always felt inferior to the “pretty” Oh Hae-Young. The guest tells her, “If you want to be miserable then hold on to your past. It’s your call. Who could stop a person who’s determined to be miserable?” That’s great advice for us all. There’s lots of excellent writing throughout the entire show and the ending is perfect. Three cheers for screenwriter Park Hae-Young.
Whoa baby! The kisses in this drama are some of the best I’ve ever scene. The actors and actresses move their heads, open their mouths, hold each other closely with bodies touching… they’re true kisses! One kiss takes place when Do-Kyung is defending himself after Hae-Young takes out her frustrations on him, physically. He holds her up against a wall to calm her down and then he kisses her, a real kiss! Another one is when Do-Kyung and Hae-Young are eating in a little tent-kind of restaurant. He keeps looking at her, longingly, and finally moves on what his heart is telling him to do. He stands ups, goes over to her side of the table, spins her chair to face him and then leans over and begins kissing her. (That one was actor Eric Mun’s idea!) And there’s an elevator kissing scene, not with the main lovers, that is quite…. well, you’ll just have to see it. Kissing score for Another Oh Hae-Young: A++
There are 18 episodes to this drama an two more which highlight behind the scenes things – interviews with the the actors, and information about the show.
Another Oh Hae-Young‘s soundtrack is nice. I found myself humming the opening credits song days after I finished the show. The song is called What’s Love and it’s sung by Seo Hyun-Jin and Yoo Seung-Woo. I just couldn’t stay still as I listened to it, snapping my fingers and swaying with the beat. Roy Kim sings a beautiful song entitled Maybe I. If you go to YouTube you can see him recording it. Little Miss Sunshine is an enjoyable song with a happy feel to it.
My favorite bits of scenery was Do-Kyung and Hae-Young’s evening in a field of what looked like weeds and their fun stroll along a quiet beach.
I loved almost everything about Another Oh Hae-Young. In my opinion it’s one of the best and most original Kdramas of 2016, thus far. Definitely worthy of repeat viewing! I’m ending this review with a quote from one of the bonus episodes…
“If our lives are just flashbacks we’re looking back on after our time has come to an end, then you shouldn’t avoid the situation in front of you out of fear. Carefully listen to what your heart truly wants, because our circumstances can change based on whatever we choose to do.”
Enjoyable original plot
Wonderful characters we like and can identify with
Original career for main male character
First episode was a bit slow