The vulnerability of the lead characters in Another Miss Oh puts it a cut above the average rom-com confection
The K-drama Another Miss Oh opens with a lovely, mysterious montage of two people, a distraught woman in a cafe and a lone man in a studio, seemingly moving in sync with each other.
She (Seo Hyun Jin) walks out, spins around for one last look at something or someone, and breaks into a run.
He (Eric Mun) matches her every step, clacking along in high heels in his studio.
In fact, he may be a one-man orchestra on the soundtrack of her misery, rustling and shaking an assortment of objects around him in time to the wind in her face and the storm in her heart.
The sequence, as it will slowly become clear, signifies two premises of the show.
The two individuals, Oh Hae Young, a jilted bride (Seo), and Park Do Kyung, a sound director (Mun) who was abandoned at the altar by her classmate of the same name (hence the title, Another Miss Oh), will discover they are perfect for each other.
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But she might also find out that he had a hand in her unhappiness, having started a chain of events that ended with her former fiance ditching her on the eve of their wedding.
The love story at the heart of the drama will seem blindingly obvious when summed up like this.
But the show tells the story like a mystery, a clever trail of half truths, parallels and puzzling visions that stays just a little ahead of viewers.
The truth about Hae Young's wedding cancellation is revealed in narrative crumbs, which have to be sifted out from the lies she tells her family and friends - she insists she is the one who is sick of her former fiance, even the way he eats - to save her pride.
Do Kyung has a convenient medical condition in which he has flash-forwards to encounters with Hae Young before he even meets her, and the visions play like delicious teaser trailers for unexpected turns within the episode.
But what holds the show together, under all the narrative ingenuity, is a kernel of emotional truth.
Hae Young and Do Kyung are kindred spirits, it turns out, not just because both have been abandoned at the altar by partners for whom self-esteem comes first.
It's also because they are people for whom love encompasses pity, being able to be weak in front of other people and accepting other people's weaknesses.
And bittersweet realisations like these put Another Miss Oh a cut above the average rom-com confection.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 08, 2016, with the headline 'Bittersweet symphony of love'. Print Edition | Subscribe
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