Edited by Hwang Hong Sun
Translated by Jeon Gyeong Ju
A welcome face showed up in the tenth episode of Hi Bye, Mama!. Actor Kim Seul Gi, who portrayed a lustful virgin ghost in Oh My Ghost, made a surprise appearance in the drama. In addition, Lee Jung Eun, who had led the 2015 series with Kim Seul Gi, surprisingly appeared as Shaman in Seobinggo-dong, the scene stealer of Oh My Ghost, in tvN’s latest series. Why did these actors again play the same roles of Oh My Ghost in Hi Bye, Mama!? Solving the secret, let’s have a time to rewatch Oh My Ghost, which is still beloved by a lot of fans.
Does ‘Hi Bye, Mama!’ Share the Same Universe with ‘Oh My Ghost’?
Lee Jung Eun and Kim Seul Gi made the special appearances due to their relationships with producer Yoo Jae Won, who has directed Hi Bye, Mama!. Yoo Jae Won was a director of Oh My Ghost five years ago. Oh My Ghost is a story about Na Bong Sun, an assistant chef possessed by the virgin ghost Shin Soon Ae, aggressively wooing her boss and star chef Kang Sun Woo. Kim Seul Gi was recognized as a true actor through this drama, breaking her comic image shown in SNL Korea and drawing laughs and tears from the viewers with her serious performance as the virgin ghost Shin Soon Ae. Lee Jung Eun also gained big popularity with the role of Shaman in Seobinggo-dong and escaped from a long period of obscurity.
The two actors’ appearances for friendship add an unexpected fun to Hi Bye, Mama! because many viewers have commented, since the beginning of the show, it’s similar to Oh My Ghost in that both of the stories deal with ghosts and develop comically. These are not the only common features of the two dramas. Oh Eui Sik, the actor playing the comic supporting role (Lee Kyu Hyung‘s friend) in Hi Bye, Mama!, also appeared in Oh My Ghost as another assistant chef at Sun Restaurant. It would especially be fun to compare the two works that share their cast and storylines uncannily.
The Sweet Chemistry of Park Bo Young X Jo Jung Suk
Oh My Ghost ended with the third highest viewership among the tvN dramas, following Reply 1994 (2013) and Misaeng: Incomplete Life (2014), when it aired in 2015. Its huge popularity was attributed to the incredible chemistry between Park Bo Young and Jo Jung Suk, the lead actors of the drama. Park Bo Young, who was cast as a main role of a TV series for the first time, perfectly played the dual role of Na Bong Sun (a timid girl) and Shin Soon Ae (a lewd ghost). In particular, she made the viewers’ hearts flutter with her cute voice tones and behaviors. Jo Jung Suk, who had usually played the comic characters before Oh My Ghost, showed a different side of himself as the charismatic star chef Kang Sun Woo. He gave the viewers plenty of laughs, stammering or behaving awkwardly, whenever Sun Woo got embarrassed by Bong Sun’s charming words and actions. The two actors overcame the 10-year age gap and drove the popularity of Oh My Ghost with their natural performances as a sweet couple.
The Unexpected Fun Made by Cuisines and Mysteries
Enjoyment of Oh My Ghost doesn’t come only from a romantic comedy led by Park Bo Young and Jo Jung Suk. As most of its scenes were filmed in Sun Restaurant run by Kang Sun Woo, each episode, featuring the cooking scenes, made the audience drool. The dishes in the drama wasn’t just feasts for the eyes, but served as the catalysts to bring Na Bong Sun closer to Kang Sun Woo. With those cooking stories stimulating your appetite, the drama also gives you an unexpected fun as a detective thriller. Oh My Ghost carefully dealt with the process of revealing why Shin Soon Ae died, consistently providing this narrative as the tantalizing bait to the viewers and arousing curiosity about the next episode. This secret, disclosed in the latter part of the drama, surprised the audience since it was linked to another story as well as to the truth about Shin Soon Ae’s death. Thanks to its fun from various genres, Oh My Ghost became very popular both at home and abroad. It was later remade in Thailand.
The Rookie Days of the Star Actors
If you watch Oh My Ghost again, you can see the fresh past of some actors who are now familiar stars. Shin Hye Sun, who’s so beloved for her trustworthy performance in every work, starred as Kang Eun Hee, Kang Sun Woo’s younger sister, in the drama. Though she could no longer walk after a traffic accident, Eun Hee captivated the viewers’ hearts with her warm heart and smile. Kang Ki Young played the role of Heo Min Soo, the ostentatious sous chef of Sun Restaurant who’s become the victim of his own tricks, and gave the audience big laughs. Based on his comedy acting at that time, he played the scene stealers, who were responsible for laughs of the viewers, in the 2019 movies such as Exit and Crazy Romance. Kwak Si Yang, who’s proved his presence on the big and small screens, also made his name known with the role of Seo Joon, one of Park Bo Young’s colleagues, in Oh My Ghost.
Verdict: A drama that makes us fall in love with Park Bo Young’s cuteness (8/10)