curiously, peculiarly…what a beginning
Oh Hae Young Again is rather unique though it does give off similar vibes to Marriage, Not Dating. Tight directing, stylish cinematography and fashionable soundtrack. The drama sucked me in literally from the first second of the first scene. It was so whimsical, powerful yet emotive…and it sets the pace for the romance and story even though our OTP has not even met yet…at least not in the flesh in the real world. Above all, I have developed a newfound respect for sound production teams – they work so bloody hard. Let me establish from the get-go that Seo Hyun Jin is “HY1”, with Jeon Hye Bin being relegated to “HY2”.
Scene #1: We see Oh Hae Young 1 crying and running down the street, with Do Kyung intensely experiencing her every emotion remotely, while creating sounds to match her surroundings and her actions. We get punked at the end since the scene is replaced by a real movie scene that DK is working on. But we all know the earlier segment is to drive home the layered, convoluted supernatural aspect of the relationship between the OTP.
I only have one complaint so far – I’m a bit irked that the two Oh Hae Youngs share not one but TWO men at different points in their respective lives. URGH. Oh – and maybe I do have a second complaint – Eric’s character (Park Do Kyung) spitefully plots the financial ruin of the other man (Lee Jae Yoon as Han Tae Jin) to the point he goes to jail…just because of a woman… the other HY2 played by Jeon Hye Bin. Kinda far-fetched and childish since it takes two hands to clap (HY2 left DK at the altar for TJ).
But somehow, TJ somehow manages to find engage himself to HY1 whom he dumps the day before their wedding. BECAUSE he doesn’t want to drag her down with him – he heads to jail supposedly because of DK. Yup – go figure, people.
OK – now the good part. Instead of being annoyed by DK’s supernatural uncanny sense of deja vu, I’m intrigued instead. It doesn’t seem he has always been this way since he only seeks the help of a shrink like now. And why visions of HY1? I understand if he has visions of his ex and BFF (Lee Ji Sang, played by a delightfully dim Kim Ji Suk), but why HY1 whom he claims he has never met? Please don’t tell me there is some swapping of spirits between the two HYs… I’ll cook up my own sound production of crashing cymbals to display my outrage.
Thanks to his acute deja vu ability, DK is immediately attracted to HY1 since the poor man has been seeing her over and over in his mind. Despite their stranger status, there already seems to be an emotional connection – thanks again to that awesome first scene. There appears to be instant – albeit reluctant – gratification every time they meet. I like how the chemistry between Eric and SHY seems to be the following the arc of their relationship – now it’s tentative yet piqued with undeniable curiosity.
DK feels for HY1 since he has already seen her tears and anger in his visions, so seeing all those emotions manifested in the flesh is a triple sock to his already fragile gut. HY2 obviously destroyed him with her betrayal since he just the mere mention of the synonym of her name causes him to break into cold sweat, just the sound of her voice makes him green. She really did a number on him.
So much so he desperately bankrupts TJ, who was dating HY2 but ends up as the fiancé of HY1. He realises his mistake much later – discovering he unwittingly ruined the life of an innocent woman… which makes him throw up in self-disgust. Boy, this man is over his pretty bangs with emotional and psychological baggage.
Thus even before the OTP can start their relationship, DK already has one big fat red mark against him. Just imagine when HY1 finds out that DK is the one who caused TJ to call things off with her, and responsible for sending him to jail. Eeekks. I hope the writer settles that part early on and not late into the drama when the OTP are crazy in love with each other.
SHY is again absolutely winning as HY1 – a clumsy, bumbling, fumbling steel magnolia whose drama-mama antics are quite the scream. Eric plays hurt and insecure here with an almost maniac edge, but balances the madness nicely with a dose of gruff sweetness. Kim Mi Kyung is again faultless as HY1’s crikey mom.
The first two episodes set up the background of the story – we know how the main characters are interconnected though we aren’t too sure how DK’s deja vu-lnerability weighs in here or later. Is it a cosmic event because of the deep-seated entanglement between the two HYs? Or is it just Fate playing cupid and hinting to DK he had been after the wrong HY all along and it is time for him to meet The Hae Young? It is a little unnerving but at the same time, very fascinating.
Go watch first… and think later 😉