“Oh My Ghost” Final Thoughts: Love Is On The Outside

A fun and STRANGE ride. I try to be open-minded about dramas but have realized that I have certain ideas and beliefs about love in fiction that I can’t shake with one being: “It’s what’s inside that counts.”

I don’t know what message the writer is trying to convey but the leads pretty much ended up with people that they loved on the outside. So Hyung hooks up with her dead husband’s doppelganger, Eun Hee was married to an evil spirit and decides that she loves the host and our dear Sun Woo fell in love with a ghost and is now spending the rest of his life with the vessel.

WTF? I’ve long since been prepared to take the Sun Woo/Bong Sun romance with a grain of salt and pretend that liking a blog could mean the world but now we’re supposed to be cool with Eun Hee (especially) and So Hyung in a similar predicament?

Hmm. I’m not going to lie… the guy’s a cutie. Heck, I’d marry him twice, too. You go, So Hyung!

On a more serious note, why, Writer? Why? I’m baffled despite predicting this ending for Eun Hee.

But it’s the finale so I’m going to try to focus on the positives. I’m all ranted out and prepared myself not to dwell on the lack of development in the central romance but this stuff the writer threw in to give everyone a happy ending just pissed me off!

Breathe, Girl, Breathe.

I just needed to get that off my chest in order to be more positive because despite the gripes I have with this series, I was thoroughly entertained.

We finally dealt with Soon Ae’s murder. Yes! It was exciting and suspenseful. Great. But we also had characters doing stupid things for the sake of plot. Blergh.

Like Chef not telling his sister the truth about her husband. Yes, it would be hard to hear but she found evidence in the suitcase and instead of telling her to steer clear of the psycho, he lied to her.

Sun Woo sees Sung Jae drive off but doesn’t inform the cops. And while I get the urgency and romance, did he really need to do this in the middle of a busy highway?

But I liked that Bong Sun was proactive in saving herself.

And in the midst of this suspense thriller, there’s the random restaurant shenanigans with Min Soo and his colleague whom he now has to treat as a senior. I would have enjoyed these scenes if they weren’t so tonally different from the rest of the episode.

I never quite understood Sung Jae’s possession and still don’t. For the sake of the plot and some attempt at redemption, Sung Jae acted more like a person with multiple personalities than one whose body was completely taken over by a spirit. Did the evil spirit have the real Sung Jae’s memories and feelings? Because he kept switching back and forth in Episode 15. Weren’t we told that at this point, the evil spirit was one with the host and couldn’t exit? So what in the world was going on?

I think this summarizes this drama’s weakness. I commend the writer for being very creative and having a high concept but character development and overall characterization is what separates a fun drama from a great one. It was established from the start that a ghost completely possesses a host and that with perfect synergy, the host can become eternally possessed  – particularly after a long time. We were led to believe that Sung Jae was fully possessed but then because the writer wanted to tug at our heartstrings, the story changed. How much my heart would have ached for Sung Jae if it had been established that he was struggling and in constant battle with the evil spirit?

Then to top things off, he jumps off a cliff and survives, despite losing all his blood from the gash on his head. But somehow, these illogical scenes were touching because Im Joo Hwan sold the heck out of them.

Which is where the drama’s strength lies – the great actors. And the little scenes they sell with their hearts and souls.

One always wonders if closure truly comes upon learning that a loved one’s suicide was actually a homicide. Does it make things easier or reset their grief?  Soon Ae’s father’s reaction to the truth was relatable and I loved that his daughter saved him. Part of her mission was to heal her family and I’m glad that her dad got to see her one last time.  How wonderful to be reassured that his daughter is always watching over him. We should all be so lucky.

The girls’ goodbye was nice but didn’t pack the required emotional punch because their relationship wasn’t as developed as it should have been. The same also goes for Bong Sun’s growth into the bubbly girl her grandmother didn’t recognize.

I liked the goodbye scene between Soon Ae and Sun Woo. It makes sense that he only thanked her for helping with Eun Hee but I wish he’d manned up a little and thanked her for changing his life especially as he learned that sometimes, “it’s better to act impulsively than cautiously.” Regardless, saying her real name and the hug were nice.

The drama should have ended there but what’s a rom-com without fluffy fan-service?

The shaman was awesome this week. Not only did she vanquish the evil spirit, she was hilarious at the river bank and with her new found success on TV.  Girl, better stop your cons or you’ll get your powers suspended again. I may not have said much about their relationship but I appreciate how much she loved Soon Ae the three years she knew her.

I’m a strange bird who disliked the last few episodes of Coffee Prince because I felt it kept dragging so I’m glad that this was at least limited to forty minutes. I was a little bored because it was predictable and why the hell must people go abroad and not contact each other like Skype and WhatsApp don’t exist? In reality, “I didn’t call you because I missed you too much” is usually an excuse to hide infidelity but thank goodness this is fiction, right?

I loved seeing Seo In Guk but I wish the High School King of Savvy reunion could have been more interesting. Sung Jae doesn’t remember a thing about his marriage. So who felt bad about hitting Eun Hee and who ran over her legs? What was with the black CGI? Did the evil spirit exit his body from time to time? Because their final scene suggests he was possessed like Bong Sun, thus, the evil spirit didn’t leave (and no, I don’t believe the head injury caused amnesia). Which is it, Writers? ARGH!!!!!!!!

And Eun Hee stays by his side despite him not being the one she married. So basically, instead of this being the typical romantic message that what’s on the inside matters, it’s a more realistic message about commitment, that even if the person you fall for turns out to not be who you thought he/she was, stick with it.

Bong Sun matures and becomes her own person which involves taking over Soon Ae’s job at her father’s restaurant and becoming more like the lustful Soon Ae that Sun Woo fell for. It’s both cute and strange. Very cute because everyone is happy but also strange because it’s a few steps beyond filling the void that Soon Ae left like in one of those stories where a woman falls in love with her heart donor’s grieving lover.

All-in-all, these were 16 hours well spent. I loved the beginning, the middle and the end of this drama as separate entities. Everything was well acted and the writer is great at standalone scenes. I suppose, for me, this is one of those cases where the whole is less than the sum of all parts. It’s crazy because while I love the overarching theme of Soon Ae healing hearts and getting to both “live” and leave with no regrets, I’m not a fan of its execution. But it’s okay, though. I may not have gotten the bittersweet ending I wanted, but it’s good that the show ended on a high note.

Would I recommend this drama? Absolutely. But with one important caveat: leave your brain at home. If you’re searching for a solidly planned intriguing story with a swoony romance, look elsewhere. But if you’re in the mood to watch a well performed drama that makes you laugh your ass off,  absolutely watch this show. I love to laugh so for the most part, this was right up my alley. The crackling chemistry between Park Bo Young and Jo Jung Suk was a nice bonus.

Till the next drama.


  • Teleri says:

    I actually thought the writer did a good job of showing that Chef there liked BOTH girls (well, sides of Bong Sun’s personality) and that he preferred the quieter side to what he thought was the manic side. He says to her that he always felt drawn to her & protective of her, way before the ghostess showed up.
    So that did not bother me in the least.
    Now, this whole stupidity of going off for a year, 2 years, even 6 months & not PICKING UP THE PHONE – well that’s nonsense. At least in this one Bong Sun makes the attempt to explain it. But sorry – I’m retired Navy, I’ve seen couples separated like this & had it happen in my own relationships. You do NOT stop communicating – & if you do, there’s bad reasons for it (bad for the relationship). I totally do not understand why this is such a popular trope for dramas – it is ridiculous.
    As for Officer Choi there, I do believe that thruout the drama we got hints that evil spirit did NOT dominate Choi all the time. This got confirmed in episode 15 where he had the flash-backs & managed to 1) throw the spirit out & 2) throw himself off the building. Look at how Choi managed to stop the evil spirit from killing the adopted father that discarded him! That shaman did say that the rules were different for ghosts & evil spirits. I agree it wasn’t explained that well but I’m more than capable of filling in the blanks given the info we did get. As for Choi not remembering – I do believe that was partly because he wouldn’t remember anything evil spirit did, but also amnesia from that head injury. Or possibly even though his true self could surface from time to time while being possessed, the ejection of that spirit also erased his memories from the time he was possessed onwards. Or some combination. We really didn’t get any kind of explanation about that 🙁

  • Thalia says:

    Brava, Clockwatcher!

    I feel the same as you. In my words, the final message was “love is physical, who cares about the soul?” Your breakdowns of the last two weeks have said everything I’ve been thinking. This otherwise stellar drama left us with such superficial romances. Which makes me sad for both leading ladies. One person said it seemed Bong Sun possessed Soon Ae’s life. I say Bong Sun became a surrogate for Soon Ae.

    Either way, there are only two people in the drama who loved Bong Sun for herself, Joon and grandma. Everyone else cared for her only in the context of Soon Ae. And in the end, I found it slightly creepy to turn Bong Sun into a complete copy of Soon Ae. I felt the writer should’ve given them distinctly different personalities so Bong Sun could be loved for who she is.

    I also agree with you about Chef. Our wonderful hero became so unheroic in the end. He didn’t even try to protect his mother and sister by getting them out of that apartment when he realized his brother in law was capable of horrendous things. Even when Song Jae escaped, Chef didn’t check on his family or get them to safety in case SJ came back.

    I also question why Sung Jae wasn’t convicted, even if his sentence was a long stint in a mental institution. I so appreciated Eun Hee standing by him but there seemed to be no consequences for all the wrong he’d his body had done.

    I was happy to hear Chef call Soon Ae by her name as well. It was nice after a few episodes of her exclusively being referred to as “the ghost.” But again, like you, I questioned why Chef didn’t thank her for a lot more.

    I’ve got a lot more on my mind but I’ve ranted all over Twitter (merely because I loved the show so much). So for my last note I’ll say:

    The Seo In Guk cameo could’ve been so much more and so much more satisfying! I had to sit on my hands waiting for something beautiful to come out of that cameo. I envisioned Soon Ae being given a chef position on the other side, and guess who’d be the head chef in heaven’s kitchens? That’s right, the fabulous Seo In Guk! He and Soon Ae take one look and each other and go to work, with love not too far behind. Then we actually would’ve had a happily ever after for everyone.

    And perhaps that’s truly the final message the writer left us with, the character who gave the most happiness in this drama, the one who suffered the most, in the end sacrificed everything: her name, her hard work, and even her right to know she was loved.

  • maddymappo says:

    Great summary Clockwatcher. I agree, that the ending dragged because it was so predictable. I was a bit creeped out when BS started to act exactly like SA. It was weird and worrisome, sort of blurred the two together. I did tear up when SA passed on and I was impressed with SA’s father who did a wonderful acting job, my heart was breaking for him. You are very astute in picking up on how both Eun Hee and So Hyung also end up in the same situation, loving a physical replica of the person they married. Is this drama saying love is skin deep? As you say the stuff the writer threw in just to give us a happy ending, kind of frustrating and dumbed it all down. I do not know what the mechanics were of the evil spirit possession of SJ, but he tells Eun Hee that he remembers nothing about their marriage, so who did she marry? Still, there was great acting and some fun moments in this show. SIG looked great.

  • leila108 says:

    Clock you know me, sometimes I’m all about the romance. I loved that I swooned over Chef. I had a great time watching him fall crazily in love with Bong Sun and Soon Ae 🙂 Soon Ae is really a lot of fun! Without her, this drama is boring. Having said that, Chef’s heart loved Bong Sun too. It’s not just the start of falling in love that’s important, it’s accepting and maintaining the love that matters most.

    I think its better to marathon this, the anticipation of waiting for it weekly can cause one to think more. So your advice of leaving the thinking cap off of ones head, is a good one. LOL. I really enjoyed Oh My Ghost, thanks to you! I wouldn’t have given this show a chance if not for your great writing 🙂

  • Money Honey says:

    Bong Sun said it well to those in frustrating state (example, if you do not like it when everyone are having a happy ending), do the Shifu’s stance in kung fu panda – Inner Peace.

  • Marenmaren says:

    I agree with you, im not quite satisfied with the ending. The show did really teach us that love is based on the outside appearance. I was even preparing my heart for a heartbreaking final goodbye between chef & soon ae then the scene happened and i was just like “oh wait….that it?”

    For me chef is good but Han kang (49 days) is still the best swoon worthy character. And im off to watch it again. Bye 😊

  • paloma says:

    I too felt there were more than a few loopholes regarding Officer Choi’s story and ending; and felt the “let’s give everyone a happy-ending” feel of it all a bit disappointing.

    However, I actually felt the resolution of our “love-triangle” to be very satisfying. I think Chef was great at setting boundaries once he realized that it was indeed Bong Sun whom he loved and the goodbye between him and Soon Ae had a great combo of sadness, gratefulness and a twinge of awkward of knowing that person loves someone else.

    I think the scenes between Bong Sun and Chef after the focus shifted to solving the mystery really helped develop the fact that they were great together.

    And maybe I didn’t view Bong Sun showing this brighter side of herself as weird because in my interpretation of the show she always had it within her. There was a reason she and Soon Ae matched so well and, although I wish it had been developed more before Soon Ae’s departure, we did get a glimpse of it throughout especially with how she ran/communicated-through her blog.

    As a sidenote: I was actually fully expecting Seo In Guk to be a “love-rival” cameo but I was pleasantly surprised that it was so much better than that! I think it would have been too cliché and found his cameo a lot more refreshing this way! XD

  • Chococat says:

    I really enjoyed OMG as well. I think one of tvN’s strengths is taking a ridiculous premise and turning into something thoroughly entertaining, although not always as deep or serious as we would like it to be. In any case, I still ship Bong Sun x Joon, because Joon always cared for BS more than anyone else; unlike Sun Woo, who like you said really only fell in love with Soon Ae. If they had given BS more screen time this might not have been the case.

    I also thought the last episode was kind of weird. SIG was perfect (per usual) but they could have done more with the cameo; Eun Hee’s fate seemed a little tragic, and I still couldn’t tell what was up with Sung Jae. Did he remember? Where did the evil spirit go? What’s happeninggg?!?

    It’s nice that they brought So Hyung back (but kind of unnecessary). I really do wish there had been more character development throughout the series though, maybe in place of some of the laughs.

  • Akvile says:

    Great summary! Although I do have one note to make regarding Officer Choi. I’m not sure if it’s really the case and if it’s what the writer wanted to tell us, but the scene, where he hits Eun-Hee (I suggest you to watch it again carefully) appeared to me a bit different. The moment he steps out of the car and sees the body, he’s terrified with sorrow and fear. And at that very moment, we can see the evil spirit enter his body. And then his face becomes blank and he gets back into the car and drives over the body. I think it’s very important detail. As I understood it, it was the first time the evil spirit appeared. Before that night, he tried to kill his father and he couldn’t (if the evil spirit was there, he must have done it). But because of having such a huge grievance, I think it was kind of ‘easier’ for the evil spirit to enter the body and the car accident was the last drop. Again, it might be only my interpretation, but I wanted to share my thoughts with you!

    • maddymappo says:

      I am reading stuff about Officer Choi I did not notice. Maybe the language barrier. It was all lost me. Thank you for your observations and others who saw him battling with the evil spirit. The car accident scene was pretty weird, he did change his demeanor, but an idiot like me needs to see the black ominous smoke moving in and out!

  • ummi74_ says:

    Agree.., love is on the outside. But, for So Hyung and Eun Hee, they start a new with an old shell or someone like an old shell. Chef and Bong Sun just continues where Sun Ae left out.
    For me, this drama remain as a showcase for great actors to show their great acting.

  • Cianny says:

    Hah! I’m glad I found this blog. Nice to see someone else feels the same about Sun-Woo choosing Bong Sun instead of Soon-Ae. It doesn’t make sense at all !!! Soon Ae is really who Sun Woo fell in love with, as apparent by the transformation of Bong Sun to Soon Ae.
    I agree with people too that this drama should end with Soon Ae with Sun Woo and Bong Sun with Joon. They are the one who truly love each other. But, I guess it’s hard to justify how to make Soon Ae rise from the death….
    I finds it hard to believe Sun Woo loves Bong Sun just because of her blog! That’s like saying I fell in love with you just because you agree that the ending of this drama sucks.
    I haven’t even begin to rant about Sung Jae…they do make Sung Jae having a multiple personality disorder than being possessed by evil spirit. Regardless of the moment the evil spirit enters Sung Jae, there are moments where Sung Jae supposedly being kind which makes me have a hard time forgiving what he did since he does appear to know what he is doing……The writer should watch I remember you if they intend viewers to sympathize with Sung Jae. Gah!!
    That being said the episodes before Sun Woo chooses Bong Sun was a lot of fun and hilarious to watch.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *