Review: Oh My Geum-Bi

I can never figure out how to correctly write romanized Korean names. Commonly, Korean names are three syllables, starting with their last name, followed by a two-syllable first name. Is the second syllable in their first names capitalized or not? I know, these silly problems of mine!

335px-ohmygeumbiAnyway, Oh My Geum-Bi is a recently concluded Korean drama that aired from November 2016 to January 2017, spanning 16 episodes. The story is about a 10-year-old, Yoo Geum-Bi, and her (non-biological) father and the story of their life together as they struggle through Geum-Bi’s condition, the Niemann-Pick Disease (I won’t post a link to avoid spoilers, so read about this at your own risk!). Geum-Bi — portrayed excellently by Heo Jeong-Eun — is very mature for her age, and sometimes compensates for her dad Hwi-Cheol’s irresponsible ways. The character mix already got me interested because I know this will be comedy gold (I swear I will laugh at anything, blech), but the real reason I picked up this drama is because of Oh Ji-Ho, who plays Geum-Bi’s dad. I haven’t seen the actor since 2007 in Get Karl, Oh Soo-Jung! I know he has appeared in other shows, but those weren’t popular here in my country so it’s either I haven’t heard of it or I wasn’t interested in the story. So that’s that.

geumbiThe first thing I noticed after watching the initial episodes was Oh Ji-Ho’s hair. Like, what is that. LOL. The rest of the actors were all people I’d have seen for the first time, so I wasn’t expecting anything from them. Even Heo Jeong-Eun, who supposedly already has a big following from the fans of her previous shows, is unfamiliar to me. Despite that, she was quick to capture my attention, with her acting that immediately lets the audience know that she can pull off a starring role so effortlessly. In fact, as early as episode 1 I was already holding back tears, because WTF, why will I cry in the beginning of a show? That just doesn’t make sense. Hahaha.

geumbi1The story is paced just right. I was worried at first that the writers would sacrifice the quality of the story to be able to chronicle Geum-Bi’s life in just sixteen hours, but they pulled it off! I even liked the ending: not exactly predictable, but something that you were wishing would happen — and you wouldn’t even know that until you’ve seen it! It’s hard to delve into details without giving away most of the story. But here’s what I can tell you: I shed tears in all 16 episodes of this series. That’s how much emotion is packed in it. I don’t know, maybe it just affects me a lot because I’m a parent, too? But, no. I would beg to disagree. I believe anybody can be touched by Geum-Bi; this kid can cry wickedly well, it should be a crime!

Though each character excels in their own way, Geum-Bi is truly the star of the show. The supporting characters are supportive enough to let her shine. I want to give props to Park Jin-Hee, who plays Geum-Bi’s noona-turned-eomma and Hwi-Cheol’s love interest. Her character was a silent presence but it was certainly felt especially in the scenes where her pain and sorrow for the dad and daughter pair are overflowing. She’s not related to the main character but you just want to sympathize with her!

There are some plot holes, too, unfortunately. Some characters (both important and not) just disappeared from the story without an indication of what happened to their story arc, or if they’ll be coming back. It’s not that they were super important to the plot, but they’re just suddenly gone you can’t help but wonder where they went. Anyway, it’s NBD, but if you were to nitpick that would definitely bother you.

So that’s it. Bottom line, I recommend this drama. Anybody who’s an avid viewer of Korean dramas, go and watch this. It’s not your typical romantic comedy. It’s not your usual teenybopper. But still, watch this. Watch this with an open heart, an open mind, and lots of tissues!

Rating: 4.5/5 stars


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