kooriyuki likens Ghost to Oh My Ghostess!. I agree that both shows (coincidentally from tvN) are similar somewhat — we have a ghost who lost her memories and a man who may be able to help her. Then again, nearly all ghost-human dramas will have this inter-dependent relationship, isn’t it? Otherwise, how to reconcile a ghost pestering a human, and the human accepting the ghost…if not to help each other? (think Arang)

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Main cast:

  • Ok Taecyon (from Who Are You?) as Park Bong-pal. A 2nd year uni student, he is standoffish, and very much the loner…thanks to his ability to see ghosts. I think his dad muz be kinda rich, cos he gets packets of money sent to him every month — which he chucks in his drawer. Bong-pal offers his ghost-seeing abilities as a paid service to earn his keep instead. And his goal is to earn 1m won.
  • Kim Soo-hyun (from Page Turner) as Kim Hyun-ji. Or at least that is what the name tag on her high school uniform says. Hyun-ji died 5 years ago, and is trapped in human-world cos she cannot remember why and how she died. An accidental kiss from Bong-pal causes her to have a memory flashback, so she decides he is useful to her search.
  • Kwon-yool (from Let’s Eat 2) as Prof. Joo Hye-sung. He teaches veterinary medicine in the uni Bong-pal studies in. (and Bong-pal is one of his students) At the moment, all we know of him is he is a popular professor (the looks help), and is an animal lover.
  • Kim Sang-ho (from Lucky Romance) as Monk Myung-chul. He used to have strong exorcist powers, which are kinda…lacking now. Bong-pal is both a friend and disciple to him, though he tells Bong-pal never to use his powers as a form of income. (too late)

Synopsis:

Full recaps: Dramabeans

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The introduction to Ghost is very lighthearted and fun, packed with a little bit of chills — from the heavily made up ghosts popping up on screen to “boo” at you.

Bong-pal is a university student, who has the ability to see ghosts. In the opening, we think he chases after a snatch thief, only to find out he is chasing a spirit who is running in front of the thief. Bong-pal uses his ability to earn his keep, and his target is 1m won. Which he mentions he will use it to “change” his eyes. Seems like he doesn’t like his special ability — ever since he detected a vengeful spirit pushing his mother in front of a Kdrama’s Vehicle of Doom…and afterwards is stalked by an angry ahjumma ghost. (no idea why)

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Bong-pal’s ability causes him to lose friends, since breaking down in front of people when you see things they can’t see isn’t going to earn you loads of friends. So he chooses to become a Lone Wolf. His only friend, and almost-father is Monk Myung-chul, who will visit him monthly and also help to deliver the packets of money Bong-pal’s father sent him.

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Bong-pal’s chance encounter with Hyun-ji comes about when she accidentally (?) sends him a text to capture a vengeful female ghost in Seoyi Girls’ High. Coincidentally, 2 of Bong-pal’s sunbaes in uni, Chun-sang and In-rang, (who are members of the Paranormal Club) are in the same school filming for…ghosts.

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All of them do meet the “female” ghost — who turns out to be a pervert ahjusshi who died in the ladies while trying to peep at a female student. Bong-pal and Hyun-ji fight and banish the pervert ahjusshi ghost, and Chun-sang and In-rang view Bong-pal as the means to increase their Club’s membership and prevent the Clubhouse from being taken away. Hyun-ji, on the other hand, accidentally had a lip-brush with Bong-pal. The kiss brings back a sudden flash of memory on how she died. Hyun-ji decides to stalk Bong-pal believing he can help her.

Despite his best intentions, Bong-pal and Hyun-ji end up working together to exorcise ghosts.

Review

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sab: Light hearted, and fun. An easy watch as well. Of cos, the basis that Hyun-ji has a memory gap also adds a dash of mystery to Ghost. We may (or may not) have a sinister backstory on her death — which at the moment appears to be a mundane traffic accident. Similarly, Bong-pal’s backstory on why he can see ghosts — it seems like the death of his mum is the first incident — may also be engaging. It may be the reason why he is estranged from his dad now. Interestingly, his dad obviously still thinks about him, but Bong-pal appears to be purposely avoiding contact with him.

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Of cos, the backstories may not be enough to sustain the entire narrative for Ghost. Thus, we have the ghost-of-the-day cases, where our ghost and human have to work hand in hand to resolve. And that’s where the fun lies. Plus, it is Kdrama’s tried and tested way to grow the romance between the OTP.

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For those who are up in arms over Taec and Kim Soo-hyun‘s pairing…well, you may wanna avoid Ghost entirely. Cos in less than 1ep, we have both of them in a major lip lock. (anti-Lolita fans…you have been warned) Imo though, despite the age difference, Taec and Kim Soo-hyun as a romantic couple is believeable. Cos the former does have a boyish air and the latter, a matured bearing despite her age.

kooriyuki:  I love this. It can be creepy at parts, especially when the ghosts appear, which reminds me of Master’s Sun, but mostly Show is hilarious and surprisingly action packed. I’m not in any case disturbed by the age difference between our leads (and frankly don’t understand what’s so icky about it), because the characters are supposed to be of the same age had Hyun-ji (Kim Soo Hyun) not died 5 years ago.

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So while she’s a ghost, the male lead Bong-pal (Ok Taecyeon) is a college student who keeps mostly to himself. He earns himself some money by exorcising ghosts (or simply beating the crap out of them), although if the spirit is too strong he’ll beg his way out and leave the ghost alone. The initial meeting between Bong-pal and Hyun-ji was anything but cordial, as they lock each other in what’s one of the best fight seen in K-Dramaland in recent years between a male and female lead.

But as they work together to exorcise a particularly vile pervert ghost in a female school, they acknowledge each other’s fighting skills and I’m sure they’ll work together to get rid of more ghosts. There’s also an unexpected peck on the lips, which seemed to awaken some forgotten memories for Hyun-ji, and that’s the setup for her to hover around him endlessly for another touching of lips so that she can relive some more of her living moments.

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Here’s where I thought the similarity to last year’s Oh My Ghostess begins, as both dramas have an amnesiac resident ghost, and a second male lead who has a secret to hide underneath that pleasant smile. Kwon Yul’s Professor Joo Hye-sung is our version of Choi Sung Jae (Im Joo Hwan) in Ghostess, although I don’t think Hye-sung is possessed (but I could be wrong). That’s one ugly spider like scar on his back and I’m pretty sure that’s linked to some nefarious secret.

I do enjoy the setup in the first two episodes (I’m half-way through Episode 2 though) and I hope the questions Show posed will get answered eventually. A friend wonders if Hyun-ji is actually in coma but not dead, because her soul is not fuzzy like that man-crazy ghost friend of hers, nor darkly colored like that drunken ghost Bong-pal’s monk friend Myung-chul (Kim Sang-ho) tried to exorcise. I also wonder if spirits that appear more malevolent are those that overstay their period on earth, or simply because they had been bad people while alive.

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Considering I’m pretty much a scaredy-cat, I thought Show was creepy but not overly so. There was no need to mute or watch between fingers when evil spirits come on screen (or when the comic relief ghost-busting wannabe duo goes on their video shoots). Will definitely continue watching this because it ain’t that common to have a female character who’s not afraid to literally kick some asses!

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