I know. I know. The title is so long. But after many attempts this was the shortest title I could get. I can write the content pretty fast but I discovered I suck at giving a main heading. The perfect 2 or 3 words that summarise what I will say. My new year resolution was to write a review with a difference. It’s still January 1st and I wanted to make my first attempt now. So here goes.
By the way, if anyone has a shorter title suggestion, do let me know. I will try my best to stick through my resolution in as much future posts as possible. So here goes.
Country of origin: South Korea
Language : Korean
Genre: Romance, comedy, fitness, drama
Directed by: Kim Hyung Suk
Written by: Kim Eun Ji
Starring: So Ji Sub, Shin Min Ah
Number of seasons:1
Number of episodes: 16
Released: November 16, 2016
The story is about Kang Joo Eun (Shin Min Ah). When she was in school she was known as Daegu’s Venus as she was one of the prettiest girls in Daegu. She was found attractive by almost every boy in the locality. Eventually she started dating a national swimming champion, Im Woo Shik (Jung Gyu Woon ). They date for 15 years having a relationship with him constantly apologising to her. By the time the 15 years are past, Woo Shik is a manager at Gahong, a large conglomerate and Joo Eun has become a lawyer after struggling to pass the bar exam for many years. In between that her father passed away and she had to take care of her family. She forgot to take care of her body and eventually becomes obese and unattractive compared to how she was before.
It is at this time she meets Kim Young Ho. On a trip back from USA, she collapses and has Young Ho give her the treatment after ripping of her clothes and corset. They keep meeting each other and at each time, he happens to save her. Joo Eun finds that her boyfriend Woo Shik is dating someone else who happens to be her ex-best friend who was once obese but is now thin and beautiful. Determined to lose weight, she discovers that Young Ho is none other than John Kim a secret trainer from the States. Although hesitant he agrees and trains her to lose weight and gain her health from her hyperthyroidism . The rest of the story is about how she overcomes her problems and finds that there is more to Young Ho then what meets the eye.
As a drama, Oh my venus is a sweet and not-so-complicated love story. It doesn’t follow the typical korean drama kind of style with the rich boy’s parents being evil to the not-so-roch girl. And I liked that this revolved around a real problem. Obesity. Very few people can actually claim a healthy diet. Even the vegetables we eat are full of harmful chemicals. Amongst the many health problems comes obesity. So many people suffer from it. Some directly and some as after effects from other diseases, like how Joo Eun got it from her hyperthyroidism. In a lot of cases I noticed that all we need is that moment to realise we need to put our entire will into it. As far as I understand, gaining is easy. Losing those kilos are hard. I think its extremely relatable at this time with all of us having gained weight after this holiday season.
Another thing that I liked was that though the secondary leads were initially shown as more “evil” they weren’t forced to act as villains in this story. Rather they wove their own story in this plot. To an extent their relationship had as much depth and character as that of the main leads.
Despite that, Oh my Venus doesn’t boast strong enough plot to have us stay up all night to watch it. All the individual characters had their stories to tell but I feel it didn’t get displayed to the potential that it had. But despite that , I won’t ask you to cross this from your list because if you are looking for a not-so-complicated story that you could maybe watch over the weekend relaxed and with a smile, then this is the one for you.
Now coming to what I learnt from it is- the sad reality that how we look could determine so many things more than things that matter.
I have seen , read and experienced situations where we get pushed down just because of how we look. I have seen many talented people being labelled ugly and not worth recognising for their talent. Just like that. Some people even get it to their face. I mean how unfair is that, right?
I think the reason is just simply how our minds are built across that idea. Take the case of flowers and bees. We know flowers look and smell beautiful so that bees will come giving the plant the best chances for pollination. As an animal we can judge what may be good to eat or not by its looks. I think the way we classify people like that, is just a rather large extension of that.
Different cultures have different perceptions of beauty. What may be beautiful in one, is not in the other. So thinking as a whole, is there any solid distinction in what is beautiful and what is not? I am purposefully not using the word “ugly” here. That word just like, the word beautiful is purely conceptual. Sadly i see it being used in ways it shouldn’t be.
That was symbolised by this character Oh soo Jin played by Yoo In Young. During her school time she was obese and was best friends with the beautiful protagonist Joo Eun. One day Joo Eun sets a blind date for her but ends up being insulted on the fact that she is ugly and not worth anything. This happened on the day she passed the highly competitive bar exam.
Despite being the owner of a wonderful personality and being the smartest among that area, she was sad. She did not like herself. She never accepted herself. And ended up doing so much therapy upto a point it affected her health rather seriously.
So many people go to extreme lengths to be accepted based on their looks. Let us all try to understand that being beautiful or not, is simply a perception. If you really want to be beautiful, be the owner of a beautiful mind and character. Trust me, it’s worth more than what is on the outside. No matter how much we try, what is on the outside can fade in a matter of seconds or with age. But our character is not like that.
You could think of it the other way around too. Kim Young Ho was the embodiment of the perfect man, based on his appearance. But who knew how much of that is an actual blind to cover all the pain and illness he had-both physical and mental.
Another hard reality is that even the people deemed “beautiful ” might be more insecure or sad than those who are deemed not.
Strange, isn’t it?
Despite all the sad reality in physical appearances, I also see some wonderful stories of actual talent being recognised with no conditions. I hope that it keeps getting better like that. If you know anyone suffering from things like this, tell them to love and accept themselves . It matters.
Let me know what you guys feel in the comments. Thank you for reading and I hope it wasn’t a waste of your time.
Image courtesy : Google