Genre: comedy, romance, fantasy
Na Bong-sun has an extremely timid personality and low self-esteem, doesn’t have any close friends, and is constantly getting reprimanded at her job as an assistant chef at Sun Restaurant. She also occasionally sees ghosts, thanks to a shaman grandmother. One day, Bong-sun gets possessed by a lustful virgin ghost named Shin Soon-ae. To make up for the lack of romance in her short life and believing that only by losing her virginity will she be able to “resolve her grudge” and move on to the afterlife, Soon-ae is determined to seduce as many men as she can by possessing various women, and she finds the perfect vessel in Bong-sun.
Bong-sun’s boss is arrogant star chef Kang Sun-woo, whom she secretly has a crush on. Sun-woo hasn’t dated anyone since getting his heart broken by his college friend Lee So-hyung, who’s a TV producer. But when Bong-sun seemingly gets rid of her shyness and suddenly changes into a confident, dynamic woman, she finally catches his eye. Meanwhile, the mystery surrounding Soon-ae’s death involves Sun-woo’s brother-in-law, a kind police officer, Choi Sung-jae, who may not be what he seems.
This kdrama is surprisingly funny and filled with heart. You’ll crack up at the ridiculous things the ghost Soon-ae will do to snatch a man, what the rest of the male staff at Sun Restaurant will get up to when chef Kang is turned away, and just how the tangled web of romance will affect all of them. It is a drama that hits many high notes regarding friendship and the whole love going through the stomach thing. It may have some problems and the ending may not hit a high note but it is an enjoyable watch nonetheless. It also gives us a glimpse into the whole shaman culture in Korea and the various duties these women perform in society. The whole ghost lore is also very different from western one, so this drama may give you a small peek into it for fun.
We have many characters and some are more compelling and thought out than others, but they help move the plot forward while also entertaining us. Chef Kang and his interactions with the ghost are hilarious while the scenes with Bong-sun are sweet and supportive. I shipped him with Bong-sun from the start mainly because the ghost came off too much like a spoiled brat and a manic pixie. That changed though once we delved deeper into her tragic story and death. The whole mystery about the latter is a theme of the drama that steadily gains in prominence. You’ll soon love her just as much as Bong-sun if not more because Soon-ae the human is one of the best and selfless characters in the series. So be prepared to feel torn between the two like in a gender-inversed version of first and second lead syndrome.
I enjoyed the early episodes so much I binge watched them. The only thing that killed off my happy buzz was the decision of Bong-sun around episode 8 or so to let the ghost possess her when she had fought off the possession tooth and nail before. I was so angry and disappointed because we still knew very little about the ghost and who in their right mind lets another entity take over their life? Just what was she thinking? This hit all the wrong buttons. Bong-sun is shy and timid which seriously affects her romantic chances with chef Kang, but letting a ghost seduce her man for her is kind of counter-productive, don’t you think? I mean, if that were to happen to you would you want your crush to like YOU or are you prepared for him to fall in love with another woman possessing your body? Don’t we love the soul inside a body anyway? I admit I was angry enough that I did not touch the series for a few weeks, slowly healing my wounded heart with other dramas.
Yet my curiosity and previous love got the best of me and I continued to watch, albeit with a wary heart. The drama pleasantly surprised me by addressing my very concerns and Kang delivers an amazing speech about the stupidity of this thinking when he figures out the whole possession thing. Who is it that he dated – Bong-sun or Soon-ae? He was so done with both of them and yet he loves them enough to listen to their concerns and helps them out of some pretty tight places – the drama delves into darker waters too but that happens only in the latter part.
Kang is a good man but he comes off as this take-no-prisoners chef at times, which is basically his self-defence mode. He was just like Bong-sun as a child but he developed a hard exterior to deal with the world. He is the one person who truly gets her and the love they develop is a beauty. Bong-sun grows as a character with the help of Soon-ae and Kang, and Kang himself learns some lessons about the mystical and his sister’s accident. Characters who grow and are transformed by their experiences – this is what we want in our dramas. While the writing may be tighter and some snags ironed out, the whole effect gives us a solid performance. 😀