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Average user rating 4.6
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Oh! Master: Episodes 1-2 Open Thread

Drama slump: over! Our new drama Oh! Master sure scratches the rom-com itch. There’s nothing unfamiliar or mold-breaking in the set-up, but the characters are fun, their situations are relatable, and there’s just enough earnestness (oh, and silliness) to make this a strong start.

 
EPISODES 1-2 WEECAP

In its premiere week, Oh! Master sets right to its task of showing us how in the world a top actress, and the famous screenwriter she’s at odds with, wind up cohabitating. And for two episodes that have a lot of setting up to do, they’re actually really fun. We get such an honest look at both of our leading characters and their wants, needs, and hearts, that it doesn’t feel too tired or repetitive. Yes, their stories intertwine and we wind up right where we expected to be, but it’s an enjoyable little ride, too.

We first meet HAN BI-SOO (Lee Min-ki), the genius crime-thriller screenwriter who’s one part sweet and five parts neurotic. In my estimation, Lee Min-ki is the king of playing loveable (and here, also self-important) weirdos, and I don’t mind him in his comfort zone one bit because he’s such a blast to watch.

In his professional life, Han Bi-soo’s major problem is that he can’t find an actress he likes for the lead in his new drama. With one actress fired from the table read and another from the set, Bi-soo is as hated for his attitude as he is admired for his writing.

In his personal life, Bi-soo is neurotic enough in his habits that he’s forever closing drawers and straightening things. He’ll only use the bathroom at his family house (a lovely hanok we will see more of later on), and this is where his story intersects with the heroine’s — and the two get intertwined in both their professional and personal lives.

Our heroine is OH JOO-IN (Nana), and she’s such a refreshing change from the Hallyu star we usually see. In other words, she’s cute, she’s down-to-earth, and she’s kind. Joo-in is a rom-com queen, but she’s itching for something darker to sink her teeth into. She’s been trying to act in a Han Bi-soo drama for ages, but he keeps turning her down, creating some enmity between them.

Joo-in’s personal life is also well set up. She’s rich and successful, but lives in a tiny studio because she’s waiting for “that house” to be on the market. We soon learn she’s been waiting years to buy her childhood home back. Of course, this is the same hanok that Bi-soo is so overly-attached to, but ack, this whole angle of trying to get her family’s house (and thus, childhood happiness) back is really precious, and makes the drama so much richer.

In fact, that’s actually how I feel about the premiere week of the drama on the whole — they could have played it purely superficially, and just riffed on the personalities of our leads, and the resulting situational conflicts. Instead, each storyline has a whole lot of heart, too. And that heart is a lot about family.

Joo-in’s mother has dementia and lives at a facility, while Bi-soo’s mother is trying to bring her family back under the same roof after Bi-soo has become somewhat estranged. Mothers and sons, mothers and daughters, professionals and their managers, assistants, and CEOs — the drama has done a nice job of introducing the story’s many relationship dynamics. They’re characterized so well (or perhaps so archetypically?) you don’t even have to think about them, they’re just already them.

We leave our premiere week with the age-old contract arrangement being signed — Joo-in will allow Bi-soo to “rent” his old study (in what is now her house), on the agreement that he calls her “Master” (some cheeky wordplay on her name that’s both funny and indicative of the power struggle these two have underway).

The set-up is familiar, but what makes the drama so fun is that they’re both really likable characters. It’ll be interesting to see what the drama does from here, since there’s surprisingly little conflict, in a way, between our leads. I’d love for it to explore more of the drama-making mechanics (with Bi-soo writing and Joo-in tearing it up on set), in addition to the aforementioned family healing element, so I’m just going to send that wish out there into the drama wilds.

But Oh! Master also held a paranormal/fantasy element that I wasn’t expecting. Bi-soo is walking down the street one day staring down at his phone (thinking why Joo-in is a bad choice for his heroine lol) when he’s hit by a truck of doom. It was so sudden and scary that it had the same shock effect as the one we saw a few weeks ago in Vincenzo… except this one came with a free side of Shut Up Flower Boy Band PTSD (you won’t be able to convince me this wasn’t a thing)!

Bi-soo wakes up from a few day’s drama coma, and is completely fine. The doctors call it a miracle, and there’s nothing amiss, but naturally it’s plaguing his thoughts. When he was lying in the middle of the road, a man clad in all white told him he was getting a second chance at life. Bi-soo later sees the man a second time, in the hospital lobby, and Bi-soo is told his second chance won’t last long and basically that his death was only postponed, not averted. Choose wisely how you’ll live, he’s told.

I wasn’t expecting this element at all — and come to think of it, it felt much like the slice of fantasy that existed in Oh Hae-young Again. It’s either going to be the best thing about this drama, or the most forgettable. We’ll have to see where they take it.

Finally, I just need to get this out of my system: Nana is such a goddess! Every time I see her on the screen (yes, even in Kill It) I find myself just staring at her in sheer girl crush admiration. Throw in some boxing gloves, and I’m a goner.

This is a more glamorous role after her spunky heroine in Memorials, but it also really suits her. She gets to play up the glam star power, but she also gets to be soft, genuine, and a little bit crafty. So far, she’s a great pair with Lee Min-ki, and as expected demanded, I think each actor’s colorful screen presence is merging in a really fun way here. I already want more.

 
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Thanks for the recap @missvictrix

I love myself a good rom-com and this seems to tick all the boxes of the tropes I love in one.

I really like Lee min Ki in this. The only other drama I watched besides this was because it's the first time so I'm happy to see him in a more expressive role. Thank you to whoever casted these two together, they match each other so well visually and have sweet chemistry.

I'm glad we got to see a bit of warmth from both characters because I'm not huge on the hate/love relationship. They obviously haven't warmed up to each other yet but they'll surely get there.

I'm mostly watching for the cohabitation hijinks so I'm hoping they serve on that front if all else fails.

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I’m very surprised not to see @mindy as the first comment. 😂

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I'M SLEEPING I LITERALLY JUST CHECKED DB WHEN I GOT UP TO PEE

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🤣🤣🤣 I realized that after I posted my comment when I calculated the time in the US when this thread was posted.

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Good night Mindy.

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Same

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Hi Mugy @ndlessjoie *waves*

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👋🏼

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Thanks so much for the weecap, @missvictrix!

It's here! It's here! It's here!

This won't be a show that wraps around my heart and never lets go like Into the Ring and Because This is My First Life, but I'm okay with that.

This drama seems a bit oldschool in many ways, but what I love about it so far and what makes it stand out even among some recent fare is the dynamic between the leads and how there's a complete lack of a power imbalance. It seems like the writer took great care in making them perfectly matched, in both their career/lives and personalities.

These two have such great chemistry already, it could carry the whole show for me easily. And they're so expressive and fun to watch! I love how mature and level-headed Oh Joo-in is. So different from Goo Se-ra in Into the Ring, but still so fierce.

I'm actually fine with how cranky, grouchy, and rude Han Bi-soo is because he's just quirky enough, and just funny enough, and played in just the right way that he's hilarious instead of annoying. Some might think I'm biased but I'm honestly more critical of Lee Min-ki playing these types of roles than anyone else because I love seeing him be the nice guy so much (Nam Se-hee! Kang Tae-bong!). I dropped both Beauty Inside and I Really Really Like You when I first watched them because I couldn't stand seeing him play those characters.

Here, though, he just makes it work. And again, the fact that Joo-in responds to him so perfectly just makes them so much fun to watch together. I'm hoping we'll get more sweet moments with him soon, like him with his mom, him driving Joo-in to her mom, and the scene with the little girl in the record store. I'm shallow and want him to make me swoon, okay?! LOL. And Bi-soo's grouchy little peach butt hasn't made that happen yet.

I have a few problems/concerns with the show so far, namely:
1. The TOD. I really don't understand what they are doing with this? This wasn't in the plot description? It, frankly, makes me really concerned about the ending. So far it just seems random and unnecessary. A throwaway Shut Up: Flower Boy Band reference, LOL. If they made it into a classic "Learn how to be nicer to people with your second chance at life" message I could understand, but that doesn't seem like what they're going for. It's just ominous!
2. The... Toilets. Can we stop with the toilet humor. Mostly in episode 2. The SHOWER humor is amazing, though, please keep that up.
3. The looming love triangle. I don't even see the point of it right now, I think the drama's fine without it. I was glad the second lead wasn't in the premiere week episodes, to be honest.

I was impressed that despite some of the plot points (TOD, dementia, etc), the show managed to keep a light, breezy tone throughout. I think it's something that's been missing from dramaland lately, and I'm grateful to have it.

The show's far from...

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The show's far from perfect and the setup is familiar, but I think the leads elevate it to a point where the rest doesn't really matter. As long as they keep the focus on them, I'm in.

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You write everything that I want to write, esp the concerns, thank you.
Even though the show had many familiar scenes/tropes, the drama still fun because of the leads.

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My main fear about the TOD is that this turns into "it was all a dream", so I hope I'm wrong, but you are right that it came out of nowhere.

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IKR??? i was thinking i'm going to toss my laptop if it turns out that way or something... like jackson wang's new music video, LMLY (Leave Me Loving You).
: (

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I didn't think about it, but you're so right about the lack of power imbalance and how it makes the show more enjoyable. Joo-in may have made Bi-soo call her master, but the push and pull of who has the professional advantage, who is revealing more of themselves, etc is great so far.

The questionable things are, well, questionable as you say, but they are also weirdly... meta, especially in a drama about people creating dramas. It's like the writer is shoving the TOD in our faces plus all the attendant K-drama tropes like terminal illness and how it miraculously changes one's character and worldview. It can't be THAT old-school, can it? Can it??

I dunno about toilet humour, but I'm the kind of person who's most interested in kitchens and toilets, and Bi-soo has such nice toilets (in both hanoks!). I just hope his irritable bowel syndrome is merely a metaphor for his big mouth, not anything worse...

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The drama seems to have won me in the parents department. I love how Joo In's mom is so understanding of her daughter and her own condition. She doesn't seem to guilt trip her daughter and understands the hardships her condition can cause. I commend her for that. I like the absence of emotional blackmail. On the other hand, something tells me that Bi Soo's mom knows about her husband's cheating. The woman seems like a smart person. Also I love that even though Bi Soo seems like a prick, he is the person who is good at his job and expects everyone to put in their best too. Also I seem to be loving the traditional architecture of the houses. I was mildly with the TOD and all the foreshadowing. It put me a bit off. Also Nana is a goddess.

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I think the TOD was unnecessary. A person can change by the interactions with new people around them. Joo-in's personality is enough to change Bi-soo.

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I'm not convinced by it now.

Shut Up Flower Boy Band's memory came to hunt me! In this drama, he died and in this one he was in coma for 3 days without any other wounds? Who can leave the hospital like this after a such accident?

And the trope "anybody can sell your house without your consent" is still weird for me, I mean I never liked Full House...

I really like Joo-in as a character. I'm not fully charmed by Bi-soo, he was a jerk during a lot of scenes.

The cohabitation will be fun! And I love old korean houses! It was one of the best thing in You Drive Me Crazy.

Why Kang Min Hyuk wasn't in the first 2 episodes! It was funny to watch him with Lee Min Ki during the interviews, give me bromance!

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I think it's because the house is in his mom's name maybe?

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Thank you for the recap, @missvictrix!
we hop on a same train again after We Should Never Know ride :)

Oh Master really attract my attention after the casting news came out. Lee Min Ki - Nana pairing is a good thing because I think somehow their face or aura is similar. Idk how to describe it but they have a strong or unique (In a good way, of course) handsome/pretty face? and then Minhyuk happened between them with a soft puppy vibes.

Ep 1 - 2 are fun, we have familiar tropes/scenes but still make me want to continue because the leads. When they did press conference, everyone said the drama will give you warm feeling. So is it related with the TOD thing and 2nd chance of life?

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I had fun. So much fun. But then, I have the same "problem" with Nana that you have, I just love her on anything she is (yes, even in Kill It!!!).
I know the drama is not perfect, but I really need this kind of light and fluffy drama to fill in my days. Sure, I found the TOD a bit (A LOT) odd because I wasn't expecting this supernatural angle, but I'm ready to see where this leads us.

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Lee Min Ki, in his 70s, playing a haraboji and I’d be showing him to my grandkids and telling them “ This is Nam Se Hee I always talk about😍 ” because he will always be my adorable weird SH and I’m looking for him in every drama but I know it’s wrong!
Bi Soo hasn’t won my heart yet but my eyes search for him in every scene. He was adorable when that cutie came to buy a record for her grandma. He said “Hmmm” and stood up to make sure
grandma gets the present.💙
But Nana! Oh Nana! She is as lovely as I expected! Not just her look which is absolutely gorgeous but her character! We aren’t having good days and seeing how kind she is, how considerate, how caring and how she smiles makes me feel better.
I’m in, I’ll stay.

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The cutie in the record store, Jung Seo-yeon, played the adorable daughter in Flower of Evil. She's 7 now and already a marvelous young actor.

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Oh god! No wonder why she looked familiar! Love her^^

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this will be me in my 70s too calling lee minki nam se hee haha

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Shut Up Flower Boy Band PTSD is absolutely a thing and exactly what I thought of after that scene.

The drama's cute. The toilet humour is not so cute. But I'll stay because I need a break from the grimness of everything else I'm watching lol.

Also I'd have been very disappointed if that last screenshot was not in the weecap. So thank you 🤣

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@miso2019 There's no way I wasn't going to add that hahaha

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thank you for the recap..can't wait to follow this show via your notes:-)

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K-netizens were angry with the shower scene, but it was an effective way to foreshadow Bi-soo's vulnerability from his perfectionist personality.

Nana excels in her comedic expressions. This role suits her well. I also thought that the writer gave us a sneak peek into the reality of top rom-com actresses and how they choose roles with Joo-in's conversations with her female agency director.

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"it was an effective way to foreshadow Bi-soo's vulnerability from his perfectionist personality."

This is why I love Dramabeans. I never would've thought of it this way. Living with someone is definitely gonna be an adjustment for him and I am excited to see it.

Also, the knetz comments make me laugh because that was the least sexy and most funny shower scene I have ever seen. Which is pretty impressive when you have a guy that attractive... Cough.

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thanks for the review missvictrix! i love this show! i double love that there is not murder,blood,dark basements,severed fingers lined up,or heads bashed in. enough with the dark themes and on to the fun with two awesome actors! oh how i love lee minki!

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Well, @missvictrix and @mindy already said everything I wanted to say, so I guess I'll just say put it in writing that I really really like the chemistry between Lee Min Ki and Nana. And by gosh, it's nice to have a drama that is fun and there's no body parts left in boxes or other gruesome or sad things. Anyways, I'm going to ignore the whole TOD storyline, but if they try to kill him off or have some sort of TBI that results in having to go off for a year or so to be "cured" and Nana takes up knitting during that time, I'm gonna flip some tables.

I'm also slightly disturbed yet strangely validated that my own wardrobe is not unlike Bi-soo's baggy sweater and pants with sneakers and a long coat look. We won't talk about his compulsiveness...

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This seems like it'll be a fun show! My only concern is that TOD and the postponed death... I want my rom coms with a happy ending, not one that has me yanking my computer screen from the modem and throwing it out the window in the end. Hopefully, being a rom com and all, something will be figured out to keep him alive when the series is over.

Other than that, good start!

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This show is the cutest! I'm loving it! The first two episodes were super enjoyable to watch 🥰
The chemistry between the leads is my favorite thing. Nana is beautiful and talented as always and Minki is doing an amazing job. I never watched anything with Kan Minhuk, but I'm excited to see his apearence... I think his confront with Bisoo will be hilarious.
The only thing that is making me really sad about the show is the controversy (which is ridiculous)... This is so bad! It's bad for the show, actors and for the director. It will totally affect the ratings and the reputation of the drama in SK :( aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa I feel sad and angry at the same time.

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*Kang Min-hyuk

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Nara certainly cleaned up nicely after 'Into The Ring'.
This drama has an old-school vibe about it but its not a 'no' from me. Its like the concept had been assembled out of selected pieces of past classics. I think I even recognize the house itself from past K-dramas.
They may have added one concept too many with that death ghost (or whatever he is), but I plan to happily watch the series until the story implodes (which describes the fate of pretty much every series this year).

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I just started this drama and I am not sold on it yet. The situation is not different than what we have seen before. We have seen similar characters before. They are not entirely unique; they feel like bits and pieces of some other characters patched together. I am not sure about super natural elements too. Were they necessary?
Still, it just first two episodes and I liked it enough to continue.

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