My Guilty Drama Pleasure: Oh My Venus
To your outer space. Boarding. Departing- Joo Eun
Oh My Venus quickly established that Shin Min Ah is really is a babe; fat or skinny.
Oh. My. Venus. I have just recently finished the drama and the first thing that must be mentioned as the highlight of the drama, would be the chemistry between So Ji Sub and Shin Min Ah. It has to be one of the most natural on-screen relationships since watching It’s Ok, That’s Love. While a certain arc in their relationship was set unrealistically ( I will be getting to that shortly), it is forgivable due to the eye candy of a couple they are. Between the positive message to get fit for your healths sake and turning into a ball of goo over the main leads romance; Oh My Venus really achieved what it set out to do; be an entertaining story about love and fitness. While it tried to add into the mix a twisted tale of chaebol heirs; which I felt it failed miserably at, I have to say it had achieved a few home runs for its humour and for being a simple romcom.
Story and Cast
17 Years ago, in the town of Daegu, South Korea. A school bus is speeding through, inside high school boys get into a frenzy as soon at the name “Kang Joo Eun”. 90’s Korean music blares as the boys clamour tightly together at the windows to see, the one and only Daegu’s Venus Kang Joo Eun– Envied by Women and adored by boys everywhere. Joo Eun, an outspoken and committed character, isn’t just your typical pretty face but has her heart set on becoming a lawyer, and She really has a heart for justice and this is set in stone when we learn her ambition is to become lawyer. From what her present is telling us she has a very promising future, right? Fast forward to 2014, our Daegu Venus has become a lot less Venus and a bit more Edesia. While she has achieved her goal of becoming lawyer, she has managed to gain a lot of weight in those years and has been stuck in a 15 year relationship with her boyfriend, Woo-Shik.
When Woo-Shik officially breaks up with Joo-Eun on the night of their anniversary in order to date Joo-Eun’s former best friend Soo-Jin. Joo-Eun sets her mind on finding the legendary fitness guru John Kim, so she can return to her former glory as Daegu’s Venus.
John Kim is an heir to a lucrative business but ran away to the states to work as a fitness trainer for some of Hollywood’s elite. After a huge scandal breaks out about him and an American celebrity, he returns back to Korea under his real name Kim Young-Ho and as luck would have it he encounters Joo-Eun on several occasions helping her get out of awkward or sticky situations. Being unable to turn a blind eye to those in need; he agrees to help Joo-Eun and thus begins our leads warm and comfortable romance.
Going into the first five minutes of Oh My Venus, I couldn’t help but think of She was Pretty; it wasn’t until we got the big reveal of her weight gain that it managed to subvert my thoughts away from the similar set ups. Starting the series I was worried that I wouldn’t get into all that much; however I don’t know what it was about a chubby Shin Min Ah that changed my thoughts and shifted my pre-judgements about the show. I really liked Joo Eun as a character, she was pretty down to earth and quite tough around the edges. Most of all, she didn’t fit into the ‘one size fits all’ of a reason to lose weight. She admits that it was to get revenge and have her ex regret leaving her, it was because she started to crush on Mr.dripping-with-sexiness and wanted to be sexy too, it was also because it was a very conscious decision to improve her health after discovering she has thyroids. And because of these reasons, it really sold me into her character.
Soo Ji Sub’s portrayal of Young Ho was nothing less of a delight. From his dead pan moments to facing the monster in the closet, his performance was quite strong and though he was playing the role of a chaebol (something the story really could have done without); Young Ho most of all felt normal and lived the typical life you’d expect of a fitness trainer.
And it was this notmality that made the relationship between our two leads believable and entertaining.
It would be wrong of me to not mention Henry who plays the Korean American comic relief, Ji-Woong and Sung-Hoon who played as Jung-Sung and gave us a really compelling side story of him trying to reunite with his estranged mother.
Joo-Eun, Young-Ho, Jung-Sung and Ji-Woong were even stronger for some reason all together. They bounce off one another and it is so cute seeing all their shenanigans.
As entertaining as Oh My Venus was it didn’t go without any faults. It picked up and dropped plot points, addressed certain issues only to hastily solve them. The year gap between Joo-Eun and Young-Ho with one sided communication felt baffling. Then the relationship between Woo-Shik and Soo-Jin (second leads) could have been better handled; they were another drama that could have been explored but came across flat or ingenuine at times, especially when Soo-Jon learns that she may not be able to have children.
So much to do but so little time, and it is becoming an annoying reoccurrence when a drama like this gets over ambitious, in a bid to be different but I say if it was always going to be the typical Tom com it should own it instead of throwing chaebol twists.
There are a variety of upbeat music and ballads in the original soundtrack as necessary for a K-drama; what is a K-drama without the spanish guitar instrumental, the love song ballads and the upbeat pop song. I don’t necessarily have a favourite song but there are a select few I like more than others such as “It’s Me” and the main theme “Beautiful Lady”. It’s a bit of a shame the OST doesn’t boast for a large selection of songs by only having 8 tracks. It’s Ok, That’s Love as a 16 episode series too had a track listing of 17 songs, with all the instrumentals and third party songs included it has 50 tracks.
Oh my Venus is a nice filler after a day at work and you just want to laugh and awww without much thought. The performance between So Ji Sub and Shin Min Ah is something to really come along for, they very much deserved their KBS awards for their performances.
I give the series 3 out of 5 Dumbbells. While it scares an average rating, So Ji Sub and Shin Min Ah’s romance is something to to be witnessed.