Oh My Venus tells the story of lawyer named Kang Joo Eun (Shin Min Ah) who was stunningly beautiful when she was younger, but she ended up gaining some weight over the course of her life. Her boyfriend of 15 years, Im Woo Sik (Jung Gyu Woon), then dumps her for a former friend from their past named Oh Soo Jin (Yoo In Young).
Joo Eun eventually meets a star personal trainer, Kim Young Ho/John Kim (So Ji Sub), who agrees to train her and get her back into healthier shape with the help of his two friends Kim Ji Woong (Henry) and Jang Joon Sung (Sung Hoon).
Oh My Venus was certainly a pleasant watch. The first half of the drama was well executed, but nothing revolutionary. I enjoyed our main couple with Joo Eun being a strong and confident woman despite what the world may tell her, and Young Ho being a straight-forward and no nonsense kind of guy when it came to their relationship.
Shin Min Ah is a gorgeous woman to say the least. I love this girl, and she didn’t disappoint in Oh My Venus. She has such a talent at evoking emotion. And she is just about the cutest thing ever doing comedy. Even wearing her ‘fat’ suit, she still looked adorable.
So Ji Sub complimented her quite well. I’m in the minority of people who seem to find So Ji Sub pretty average. But I’ve enjoyed him in past dramas, and the same goes for Oh My Venus. He just comes off a bit stiff for my tastes, and I always found myself wishing he would just let loose and act like Ji Woong if only for a few moments. But So Ji Sub is a talented actor, and it showed in the drama.
Ji Woong was simply adorable and hilarious as one of our three trainers. I thought his frequent use of interchangeable English and Korean was humorous. And he was so cute always calling Joo Eun ma’am. We all need a Ji Woong in our lives.
Joon Sung was also a nice part of our trio of guys. He has a nice side story line of his own involving his quest to reunite with his mother.
But the bromance between these three guys was such a treat. Their interactions are fun and humorous as well as heartfelt. These guys have such a real and deep friendship, and their dedication and love for each other really shows.
Woo Sik and Soo Jin were interesting second leads in that they were never presented in a solely negative light. They were presented as real people. Woo Sik sort of grows apart from Joo Eun and moves on with Soo Jin.
Soo Jin was very overweight as a teenager and had been friends with Woo Sik and Joo Eun. A misunderstanding led her to dislike Joo Eun for many years. She eventually lost weight, but found that even though she was now beautiful, life wasn’t what she had expected. I actually really enjoyed this couple’s story and thought they had great chemistry.
In the second half of the Oh My Venus, I was pleasantly surprised when the drama introduced a plot point involving Young Ho and his struggle with psychosomatic illness stemming from a long struggle with pain and sickness as a child during a very stressful period in his life.
Kdramas have started to explore the topic of mental illness more in the last couple of years, and I thought this was a great addition. The drama clearly depicted just how real psychological pain can be on the physical body. Despite being completely healed from his physical sickness, Young Ho’s body had been through so much pain coupled with severe stress that it simply remembered the pain. Outside factors and stressful experiences frequently triggered the pain episodes he would experience.
The drama presented his illness in a very direct way that clearly showed how real and difficult this illness can be. It was so wonderful that Joo Eun was able to easily accept his illness without question and judgment. Of course as in many kdramas, the illness is cured quite easily through Young Ho’s accident. I can’t say that it would be impossible to cure this sort of illness in that way, it’s just not the norm. But it was still such a great plot point of the drama, and I’m glad they included it.
A few things I didn’t like: There was no bigger conflict running in the background to propel the story forward or an antagonist to keep things interesting. It was mostly about one woman’s journey through health and love. Luckily, it did succeed in portraying that element very well, which is what made the drama a good watch.
But without something else going on, the story felt a bit slow at times. It was also very evident at the end that they had run out of story to tell. Flashbacks were used excessively, especially in the final episode. I found Woo Sik and Soo Jin interesting enough that they could have even done a few more scenes with them to round out their story, but they didn’t.
They did try to give us some fan service by giving us a lot of cute moments between our couple, who yes, are adorable, but it really all felt like it should have wrapped up a few episodes sooner.
I also really disliked that Young Ho chose to leave for a year following his accident to recover alone. He said it was because he couldn’t stand to see Joo Eun cry over his condition, but it was really very selfish because he basically left her to still cry alone. It would have been beneficial for them to both go through that together. Joo Eun’s mother does later tell him that it’s better to be sick with someone by your side because it hurts less. Let’s just hope he takes that to heart in the future.
Overall, Oh My Venus was enjoyable, but it did seem to be lacking that special something that makes a drama amazing. The acting is great all around with lots of couple moments and a fun bromance. Characters are presented in a real sort of way that makes them relatable. So despite its flaws, it’s a pleasant drama that was a nice start to 2016.
My Rating: 7.5/10
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