Saturday, February 06, 2016

'Oh My Venus' Is Amply Cute to Make Up for Its By-The-Numbers Flaws

Just finished watching my first Koreanovela this year: Oh My Venus.  It had most of its run during 2015 but its last two episodes were released last January, so I could be flexible about it and qualify it for 2016 TV (It’s my blog anyway; I make the rules. Lol).

Oh My Venus follows the story of a 33-year old lawyer named Kang Joo-eun (Shin Min-a), who used to be a heartthrob during her teenage years, earning her the nickname “Daegu’s Venus.”  However, at present time, she has gained a lot of weight, and is dumped by her boyfriend of 15 years.  She gets a shot at regaining her former glory after a fateful airplane ride lets her meet Kim Young-ho (So Ji-sub), a chaebol heir who happens to be harboring a secret life as “John Kim”, a mysterious and highly sought personal trainer.  Discovering this, Joo-eun obliges Young-ho and his friends to help her lose weight.  As Joo-eun and Young-ho labor for the former’s metamorphosis, they learn to fill each other’s emotional gaps and eventually fall in love.

OMV is a cheesy but cute by-the-numbers romantic comedy with a simple plot that doesn’t always make sense.  It lacks sophistication and thoughtfulness; in fact, among the Koreanovelas I’ve watched so far, OMV has the least depth.  If it had been another time, I would have hated OMV.  However, since my tastes have become accustomed to Koreanovelas, I actually found it entertaining and funny.  Being cute is its main redeeming factor – and it was surprisingly enough to compensate for most of its flaws.

If I have to sum Oh My Venus up in one GIF.

Furthermore, even though OMV doesn’t offer anything of profound substance or originality, it never pretends to be something more.  And I appreciate that.  Oftentimes, when a production aims for a loftier aspiration and misses, I find it pretentious or unsatisfying (*cough* Hyde, Jekyll, Me *cough*).  By avoiding doing this, I then had no disappointments with it.  And even though it’s pretty dumb, the amount of dumbness is within the acceptable dosage for what it is.

OMV does actually tackle a couple of weighty themes, but it does not make it a point to be unnecessarily dragged down by them.  It maintains being a light-hearted, upbeat romantic story despite some melodramatic moments which the genre mandates for.  It didn’t impress me much, but I did get to enjoy it in general due to its sincerity for what it is and its overall cuteness.

Miscellaneous musings:
  • I didn’t buy actress Shin Min-a as a high schooler.
  • I felt the character of Kim Young-ho was packaged as the “most perfect guy ever.”   Doesn’t make him the “most interesting character ever” though.
  • It’s the first time I encountered a “bed scene” in a Koreanovela. 
  • Next to the “dimple kiss” (see GIF above), Shin Min-a’s catchy “Rose of Versailles” ringtone is my most favorite thing about OMV.  I want to adopt it as my own ringtone, but I can’t find one (Youtube only has the original anime theme).    
  • The OST is also pretty catchy.   
  • Kim Young-ho’s grandmother reminded me of my former boss. Lol.
  • Here are the 2016 Koreanovelas that I’m looking forward to, though there’s no assurance that I will watch and review all of them: SignalNeighborhood HeroMadame AntoineDescendants of the Sun, and Goodbye, Mr. Black.

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