It is starting to become rarer for us to see pure classical rom-com Korean dramas and there are many reasons for that, and it seems to me that “Oh My Ladylord” checks all the boxes as to why many Korean broadcasting networks have opted for things with more substance and kick.
MBC’s “Oh My Ladylord” might’ve started out with intriguing questions but it has taken an odd turn and its been honestly disappointing to see.
Note: this is only a review of the first half of the drama.
Note: this is a subjective review. I will share my personal opinion while keeping in mind how others might perceive it. This is a spoiler review
Of course, this is a review of the first half and even though I didn’t walk in with high expectations, I was still disappointed and it kinda has to be bad for me to find it disappointing even though I didn’t walk in with high expectations
“Oh My Ladylord” feels like its been written by a screenwriter who was active in the early to late 2000s, it has that very old feel to it that you’ll be able to sense if you’ve watched kdramas from the 2000s.
Jo Jin Kuk is responsible for this script. He’s been active since 2005 which makes sense considering the writing style and direction. This type of writing would never work in today’s kdrama landscape. He also writes so far and in-between.
I dont want to sound harsh but while watching the drama I kept asking myself, ‘who okayed this?’ I am serious, making any drama is a very difficult task and requires tones of funding and hard work to even kick start the idea, how was this drama made with the initial draft? I am genuinely curious, this questions popped in my head at least 5 times while I watched this week’s episodes and its the motivation behind this review.
“Oh My Ladylord” uses a lot of classical kdrama tropes but some are done in reverse. Instead of a man trapping a woman with a contract as they decide to live in the same space, its the woman doing it this time. “Oh My Ladylord” is a plethora of the classical tropes that probably shouldn’t be used as much anymore or used cautiously.
There is this looming shadow of someone saving Bi Soo’s life, but its kinda abandoned and almost never brought up. The drama strikes me as odd and not for the reasons the writer wants. I am puzzled by the choices of plot points that get ‘kinda’ explored for a moment but then abandoned the next scene.
1How the characters behave
The characters are said to be a certain way but behave very differently and oddly.
Bi Soo is characterized as this career driven man who focuses a lot on his projects, so it strikes me as very odd how he’s completely and utterly shook to his core when he falls for Oh Joo In. If the writer had hinted at how he might be a hopeless romantic then okay, but it appears very odd how he’s almost now solely working towards winning her heart and doing whatever it takes to reach that goal setting aside his job. It stopped being about working on the script because its a project he wants to do and became instead this tool to use to win Oh Joo In’s heart. This strikes me as very unprofessional and I wonder if he’s ever been in a relationship, is this how he usually behaves? Its uncharacteristic of him.
Oh Joo In is also a very weird unrealistic character. She started out fine and the writer did a good job at showing her charms, Nana did well and made her special, however, in the recent episodes she behaves like an almost entitled weird woman and it doesn’t match her character description.
First things first, and I think many have already pointed this out, her reaction to finding out both men like her and saying she likes both back is very odd.
The way she behaves is almost like an entirely different woman. If she was characterized as an entitled manipulative woman, then okay. But she’s not. What I mean is, its very odd for her to say she likes both straight to their face and sort of pit them against each other for her to make a decision.
This almost never happens in kdramas and for a very good reason, its basic decency to sort out your feelings before telling two different people you like them, because even if you’re confused, its a bit scummy to flat out say it like that. Usually, in kdramas, the female lead would sort out her feelings and figure out whom she cares more for before even bringing it up, it is the ‘proper’ way to do it if the character is said to be a nice person.
Now if Oh Joo In wasn’t as ‘nice’ as shown, then fine. I would’ve actually found her approach rather interesting and her decision to say this would’ve been an interesting study on complicated women who seek attention and love from everybody. But I know its not that. The screenwriter would never make her an intentionally terrible character.
2The insertion of the love triangle- how it became disappointing
The two dates plot-line is just very odd. How it went from two adults falling in love into a high school themed love triangle is mind-boggling to me. Suddenly, the drama stopped being a mature rom-com but rather a childish competition. I chuckled here and there, but some scenes became very cringy.
A lot of people also pointed out how the insertion of the love triangle felt misplaced and out of the blue and I agree. For Nana’s character to be kissing Lee Min Ki’s character on the cheeks but two episodes later she says she likes both is so out of the blue. She was developing feelings for one person and then they just shoved a love triangle.
I like walking into kdramas with minimal expectations, because then, not much can shatter my perceptions. Of course, this is easier said than done because on paper some kdramas appear so epic but the execution turns out bad.
When I began watching “Oh My Ladylord,” I didn’t have any expectations, I didn’t even walk in expecting much because I knew it was going to be a classical rom-com. Not that there is anything wrong or bad about it, but its a genre that’s been exhausted, everything that can be said and done has been said and done at least 1000 times. Its not easy to impress with rom-coms, the best you could do is write a relatable story with unique characters.
If done right, “Oh My Ladylord” can stand out among other currently airing kdramas because its so fluffy and easy to digest. These days, we have many heavy kdramas dealing with heavy topics, a change of theme is nice at times.
As I was watching, I started to like it, especially the first four episodes, I saw potential and while I was worried about the episodes count, I was still enjoying the performances and where the plot was headed. But it almost feels like the screenwriter woke up one day and was like ‘to hell with it,’ and changed his direction.
I didn’t think it was going to happen but I became disappointed as I watched episode 5 to 8, I didn’t think it was possible considering what I said previously about not having any. Its very sad when such a thing happens, because if you build expectations and then shatter them, it becomes difficult to rebuild even if you want or can bounce back.
3The actors choices
Lets talk about Nana.
She is one of my fav idol-turned-actresses. I think she is a good actor with charisma but her recent projects weren’t up to her acting capabilities.
Choosing the right project is also very important because no matter how skilled you are, if you pair with a screenwriter that doesn’t have the best track record at writing interesting engaging scripts, in the end, it won’t be memorable and that’s bad.
If I were to give advice to Nana, it would be this: its better to participate in bigger projects with better screenwriters even if it meant she had to take on secondary leading roles, or a supporting role, because at this rate, she’s harming her career with her choices. Setting my personal opinion aside, the ratings for most of her recent projects speak for themselves. I think its a waste of talent because she can do so much better. I know she can.
Now onto someone who I am puzzled to see have joined the cast. Lee Min Ki is a very interesting actor. He’s versatile and very talented. He’s one of my favorite underrated actors. He usually picks interesting projects so you can imagine my shock watching this drama. I wondered over and over again, why did he choose this project?
Don’t get me wrong, everyone in this drama is doing their best and I can tell, it is just that I am shocked such a cast signed on for this drama.
In retrospect, “Oh My Ladylord” is arguably one of his least memorable roles to date.
Of course, this is only a review of the first half, if my opinion happens to change, I will be posting a review of the second half.
So these are my thoughts on “Oh My Ladylord”, so what about you guys? did you like the episodes? let me know what you thought in the comment section below.