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Friday, May 14, 2010

Choi Si Won - review of Oh My Lady (prepare your heart)

Dear visitors, please consider to prepare your heart before read this review ..
first of all, let us give applause to our beloved Siwon Choi ... --Siwonn saranghaee!!-- siwonlover

Oh! My Lady
오! 마이 레이디
(Mar – May 2010)

who’s in it
Chae Rim (Powerful Opponents, Dal Ja’s Spring)
Choi SiWon (Legend of Hyung Dan, Super Junior – member)
Lee HyunWoo (Dal Ja’s Spring, Attic Cat)
Park HanByul (Couple or Trouble, Freeze)

what’s it about
Chae Rim plays a divorced single mother unable to make ends meet after losing a job that didn’t pay so reliably in the first place. With no source for steady income, she finds herself out on the streets. She’s forced to send her daughter to temporarily live with her douchebag ex-husband (who clearly has money even though the first words out of his mouth are “I have no money to give you!”). To scrape by, she provides housekeeping services and lands a gig managing the pad of A-List star but F-Quality actor Choi SiWon, who can be described as a celebrity only slightly less narcissistic than his own reflection.

When Chae Rim is presented with a rare opportunity to score a decent, stable job at Lee HyunWoo’s production company trying to put together a new musical, she’s willing to do anything. In a lucky stroke of fortune (as fortune tends to be defined as something lucky), this company desperately requires a Top Star to lead their new production…and their first choice is someone Chae Rim knows personally. Well, not someone she knows so much as someone she’s definitely had contact with (of the vacuum-whacking variety). If Chae Rim can get bad-acting but insanely-popular Choi SiWon to take the lead role, she’ll get the internship—this is the president’s offered deal.

Fortunately this may not be such a bad professional pairing after all because horrible thespian he may be, turns out the actor is a pretty decent singer, as evidenced when he showcases his voice (and abs) at a fan meet and concert (for us in the real world, no real surprise there as Choi SiWon is a part of idol mob Super Junior in real life).

Things really go awry when Choi SiWon and Chae Rim get a shocking surprise from the actor’s first love (well, the longest he’s ever dated anyone anyway, according to his friend)...and it’s delivered right to his doorstep...and it’s the kind of problem that cries and demands lots of love.

16 episodes


wildcard factor
Choi SiWon was surprisingly really great here as the egotistical actor that wasn’t completely the vain oaf he appeared to be on the surface. Now, I use the adverb ‘surprisingly’ only because of his relative lack of experience in acting, not because I’d expected him the fail. Well, okay, maybe I had a healthy dose of skepticism. Can you blame me? Pretty boy idols in dramas can be a hit or miss venture! For my own safety, I won’t go into further detail or point fingers elsewhere. Although, in a way, I suppose Choi SiWon had already been vetted when he starred in Legend of Hyang Dan. Anyhow, he’s like a gigantic log of good-looking ambling around your screen…he’s especially pleasing to enjoy in HD glory, I must say. What a darling little beauty mark he has on his nose.

And trust me, the next thing I am about to write is not penned lightly: He carried this entire disaster of a show on his shoulders all by HIMSELF.

Thank gawd they were very wide, capable and hunky shoulders.

first impressions
Oy, a dark-haired handsome younger man and Lee HyunWoo duking it out for ChaeRim’s affections—again? I had to give myself a cheek-smack and forcibly cast off the formidable shadow of Dal Ja’s Spring otherwise I worried I wouldn’t be able to give Lady a fair shake. Not to mention, I’d just finished another wonderfully done younger man/older woman drama called The Woman Who Still Wants to Marry and felt a tad wary of rebounding into another one so soon.

On the other hand, if it’s a good drama, it’s a good drama and I can watch the same story done a thousand times over—if done well.

When starting this drama, another concern for me was the similarity of the initial chords strung by Lady to the drama it replaced in the SBS time slot, Stars Falling From the Sky. The latter being one that I was not able to eek to the finish line. Generally speaking, the concept of an unlucky woman with no real marketable skills or credentials finding work as a housekeeper to support child(ren) and self while trying diligently to succeed at a job she’s under-qualified for but impresses everyone with her gumption and thereby inadvertently wins the affections of the tightly-wound and rich/handsome benefactor…etc, etc, to-ma-to, to-mah-to. But what Lady had going for it that Stars lacked (from my perspective) was the loveliness that is Chae Rim. I wasn’t sure if this character was going to be a good vehicle for her, but I knew this age-defying actress was capable of making this kind of role work.

Speaking of age-defying, seriously, did she find the Fountain of Youth? She looked fab. A little on the too-thin side, but still passably 5 years younger than her actual age!

Ultimately, Choi SiWon felt like he could be a good foe for Chae Rim, but I remained only cautiously optimistic because it wasn’t outstanding in its first few episodes. I wasn’t impressed by Lady after the initial tour of the set[up], but the second episode was much better than the first and with more characters to come, things seemed positively bent. Also, I loved Chae Rim enough to forge on and keep the faith! I sent lots of positive thoughts and encouragement to this drama.

gave up

snoozer moments
Unfortunately, all those positive thoughts were not able to traverse the wide gulf between the North American continent and the Korean peninsula. Looking at the whole picture, the boring parts of this drama far outweighed and outnumbered any of its good points...which were microscopic, at best.

You see, any good the actors did was quickly negated by the bad everything else.

Not really. Pretty G-rated. There were two little children on the show, after all...although they were conveniently put elsewhere (seemingly to babysit themselves) whenever the adults needed to do some late night emoting on their own.

what didn’t work
To be coldly honest? Chae Rim. Obviously she is a good actress but her take on this role was painful to watch. The character was a sad sack and always carried upon her face a droopy Snoopy expression. It got to be a tad annoying. What else was annoying? The heavy-handed progression of the storyline between the two leads. It was like watching two left-footed dancers trying to do the waltz. Clunk, clunk, clunk! There was absolutely zilch chemistry between Choi SiWon and Chae Rim.

When the curtain finally came down, I was left scratching my head at their supposed romance.

Let me put it another way. When we arrived at the final week of Lady’s scheduled run, I was surprised it was already the end. Not because I was loathe to see it go but because I was still waiting for some Big Event to happen and turn this drama on its head! But that wowowow moment never materialized! There was no real climactic drum BANG, only a bunch of minor cymbals clanging here and there. And where, I ask you, was the angst? There was nothing. A hike with no payoff. It was the most uneventful and banal kdrama journey.

As I watched Chae Rim week after week, I started to ponder the whys—as in why wasn’t this role working for Chae Rim? Why doesn’t she have any spark with Choi SiWon? Why does it feel like Chae Rim only half showed up? It occurred to me that Chae Rim neglected to demonstrate one important aspect of a divorced, single woman struggling to support a young child: SASS. Where was her fire? Her strength? Where was that sharp heel on the back of her foot that let us know she was a W-O-M-A-N? Where was all that shining inner charisma that had erupted out of her like molten lava in Dal Ja’s Spring? Honestly, I don’t think Chae Rim ever connected with her character. She didn’t bring this woman to life, this person representative of a very real and sober world, a place where mothers struggle to raise their children alone. I never once felt like I was watching Yoon GaeHwa - a housewife and divorced single mom. I only saw the pretty actress Chae Rim trying really hard to play a divorced single mom. You know?

There really is a difference between acting and becoming.

what did
Read if you want to be spoiled: [ Choi SiWon and his little daughter were like hot fudge and vanilla ice cream—a simply delightful match. They were freakin’ adorable. One particular scene comes to mind: while at a department store, the little girl gets lost and mistakes a life-sized cardboard cut-out of Choi SiWon as the real thing. When he finally finds her, one tiny hand is holding onto the cardboard cut-out of her father’s hand. I just about melted into pudding! It was the cutest dang thing I’d ever seen! The thawing of Choi SiWon’s coldness was the best part of the show. The small steps he took to allow this new little person into his life were truly heart-warming. The young father’s genuine delight while interacting with his daughter were the only honest parts of the whole thing.]

what made me want to gouge my eyes out
Well, I bring to the table two things:

1) Lukewarm actress Han Byul (remember her in Freeze and Couple or Trouble—blech). Her manipulative character had the potential to be really fun, but turned out to be a feeble gnat-like villain. I couldn’t even muster any hate for her. She was just so boring. If Han Byul had allowed herself to really enjoy playing the conniving, celebrity-hunting vixen, maybe even added some Cruella de Vil to the character and injected some exaggerated nastiness, it might have been a better part. It had me nostalgic for the more successful attempt in a similar role by UEE in You’re Beautiful. She was pitch-puuuurfect there as the two-faced, overdramatic witchress trying to nab a hot stud.

Han Byul was yet another bummer-rag in this show, but in all honesty, I can’t really fault her too much as she was just one out of a million other misses for this drama. I mean, you can’t blame the kitchen assistant for chopping the carrots incorrectly when the head chef doesn’t even know how to make the stew.

But for just one second, let’s speculate on how great it could have been...had at least the second lead managed some chemistry with our boy? Silly, yes, to have believed that Han Byul could have saved this sinker, but still, I always hope for the impossible…if we don’t hope for the impossible, what reason is there to live watch kdramas?

2) Chae Rim was such a disappointment here. I think I’ve said enough on that up above.

what kept me going
Choi SiWon’s goofy adorableness. He pulled the funniest faces. It was worth watching to the end just to see the myriad of expressions on the handsome actor/singer’s face. Possibly Suju fans are already familiar with the goofier sides of Choi SiWon’s charms, but it was new for me. I’d, of course, seen the Super Junior movie Attack on the Pin-Up Boys and thought it was enjoyable. My conclusion after watching the light comedy was that Dong Hae seemed quite a charmer, but aside from my passing familiarity with Super Junior’s music and the variety show activities of the various members, I’d never become a fan girl of Choi SiWon’s idol group. If you’ve read any of my other posts, it’s more than clearly spelled out where my heart firmly and forever rests. But because of Lady, I feel one step closer to Super Junior. Choi SiWon really impressed here.

Other factors:
predictability Yes. Yawn. I mean, they were making a musical or something and Lee HyunWoo was having some marital issues...blah di blah blah. Truly, at no point did I ever care about any of it.
engrish No
originality No
eye-candy ELFs, you can all rejoice, your boy did good...and looked good while doing good
hair and fashion Unremarkable

is it worth trying to find?
No (unless you love the Choi SiWon)

total enjoyment factor

Here’s the math:
2 points for Choi SiWon
2 points for Kim YeuBin who played YeEun; spoiler alert -->(his daughter)
1 point for the last episode, which was actually engaging

total disdain factor

why this review is completely biased
Maybe my expectations were too high…?
I should have checked them at the door when I was taking off the shoes of anticipation

could a non-kdrama fan like this

My biggest problem with this drama was its inability to make any part of the story feel even remotely natural. The whole thing came off as being completely forced. Not only was the scenario concocted to bring Choi SiWon and Chae Rim together completely unbelievable, there was absolutely no real reason why these two people would have fallen in love with one another even after being stuck together. He addressed her as ahjumma (similiar to ma’am) the whole way through and only near the very end did he switch over to her name...probably because the show realized it was running out of time and needed the two lovebirds to quickly commence with the googly eyes and ahjumma is hardly a romantic pet name for a lover. The sudden declaration of (read if you want to be spoiled)--> [marriage] <-- in the very last episode made even LESS sense. For global warming’s sake, the two barely knew one another!

Was it true love or an actor’s need for someone to manage the home? The drama insisted theirs was a sincere connection of the heart, but really, the way the story progressed, it felt more like an affection borne out of convenience, not a romantic ‘you’ve stolen my heart’ type of thing. I didn’t buy their love story and since Lady’s plot hung its entire fate on the romance between the two main leads, it was a total failure for me.

In fact, everyone in the show appeared to do a complete turnaround in the last episode—from Chae Rim’s douchebag ex-husband to Han Byul, the conniving girl who wanted to hook it up with a celebrity—not only were the change of hearts brought out of nowhere, they were completely out of character. Neither of these two people had shown a smidgeon of compassion for 15 episodes when all of sudden, they turned into care bears who wanted only the best for the main couple. They recognized true love between the actor and the housekeeper and that epiphany had them singing a different tune. Uh-huh. That cooked up nonesense aside, ironically, despite the fact that it made no sense, the last hour had more substance and emotion in it than all 15 hours preceding it.

But I tell you what, the show wasn’t completely unwatchable.

Why not? Why did I keep coming back for more? Let’s just say, I now look forward to Choi SiWon’s next acting project. He did alright. Cheesy as it sounds, he had clear and honest eyes...and he convinced me there’s some acting chops behind that pretty face. ---

truly, although this review was little bit 'spicy' .. still i want to repost it here. just to let u know, what people think about OML. It's sincerely review without intending to offend.
Let's pray for Siwon for his next drama/movie.. since people recognize his ability in acting...we will soon hear people say ...'please welcome... actor.... Siwon Choi'
and everybody ..... give standing applause..

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  1. aw. this hurt my feelings. you know.. before this drama.. Chaerim is really ok with me,. i knew she's a good actress. lots of her drama was aired here in the Philippines. and in OML.. she's really good :)

  2. i really liked it. i think it was a fresh and sweet drama. the couple chae rim/siwon was ubercute!

  3. i respect your opinion, but i'd like the way they delivered the story. i think they need more time to convince you. here in the philippines we always watch chae rim drama. i hope more project and give more time for their new project. Chae rim is one of the best actress in korea. i dont know super junior before only the name of chae rim.

  4. yup agree with u, chae rim is best actress in korea. in this posting, i just let visitors know, how people's thought abt this drama objectively. no offend about chae rim, because i full respect her.

  5. I really enjoyed watching this drama. I think Noella didn't get the message or missed the point of the story of Oh my lady. It's the story of a list star who became a father, Afraid of losing everything what he has. and at the end he realize that material thing is not important, but there is more important in life by embracing his daughter and love and respect for Keawha. Chaerim really portrayed her best as ahjumma. Please read the Recap of OH MY LADY at

  6. Chae Rim is cute. I think she can get away with it. I guess, the unconvincing side had something to do with how she looked in the drama. They "forced" to make her look old with that short hair. So it's weird to see her act in a cute way with that kind of hair you see in elderly women. That's the only thing that didn't convince me. But overall, she's charming and she can get away with it.

  7. i think the romantic relationship between minwoo and gwehwa was kinda forced in the last episodes. it's like the story went in a fast lane just to make it concluded. i don't see why gwehwa would fall in love with someone like minwoo. even if it was because of his daughter, yeeun, i still think that's not enough to develop a need to spend her entire life with him.

    well, that's only my opinion.

    i respect what the author of the above article wrote and am glad to know she applauded siwon's acting.

    way to go siwon oppa!