2016 so far has been a year marked by producing K-dramas that really pull at the heartstrings of its viewers pertaining to certain characters suffering an incurable condition or disease. We probably got our first taste of such a K-drama with the Munhwa Broacasting Corporation (MBC) melodrama Marriage Contract starring Uee and Lee Seo Jin. In an attempt to make sure her daughter’s future is secure after finding out she has brain cancer, Kang Hye Soo (Uee) enters into a contract marriage with Han Ji Hoon (Seo Jin) who needs a liver to save his mother.
Later on, K-drama fans got back-to-back series, Uncontrollably Fond and Fantastic, in which the featured relationship is on borrowed time because one-half of them is suffering from cancer. In the former, famous singer-actor Shin Joon Young (Kim Woo Bin) is living on borrowed time after being diagnosed with brain cancer. He uses most of it to reunite with his high school love who is now a documentary producer, No Eul (Bae Suzy). In the latter, the concept is similar in which famous screenwriter Lee So Hye (Kim Hyun Joo) is living on borrowed time after being diagnosed with breast cancer. She lives her life to the fullest, which includes a relationship with a successful actor in China who can’t act, Ryu Hae Sung (Joo Sang Wook).
Now, the latest K-drama using the concept of a character suffering an incurable disease or condition has recently aired, Oh My Geum Bi. It will also pull fans’ heartstrings even more than the others because the character affected is a cute, smart girl.
For those who are unfamiliar with the latest K-drama to air on the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) starring Heo Jung Eun, Oh Ji Ho, Park Jin Hee, and Oh Yoon Ah, Oh My Geum Bi is at its heart a father and daughter story. According to the synopsis of the plot, Yoo Geum Bi (Jung Eun) is a 10-year-old girl who had to “grow up” fast due to her upbringing. Because of circumstances in her life, she ends up living with her father who did not know he had her as a daughter, Mo Hwi Chul (Ji Ho). As time goes by, their relationship as father and daughter grows to the point they are truly a family.
The concept of the plot seems to paint a beautiful, poignant story of a man and a child who happens to be his offspring truly forming into a loving father and daughter relationship. However, the catalyst that changes Mo Hwi Chul into a loving father is Yoo Geum Bi’s condition as she is diagnosed with childhood Alzheimer’s disease. Medically, the disease is not Alzheimer’s disease in how it affects the brain, but the debilitating affects such as dementia are the same. In short, Geum Bi is slowly and surely losing her mind.
When the signs of Yoo Geum Bi’s childhood Alzheimer’s disease starts to show, it will really hit K-drama fans emotionally. Right now, Oh My Geum Bi is pushing Yoo Geum Bi to be admirable and adorable at the same time. She is smart, believes in a sense of justice and what is right, and mature beyond her years, this can be seen in how she takes care of herself as well as reading tarot cards and playing Go-Stop. Yet, she is still a cute, little girl. With this in mind, KBS will definitely hit K-drama fans emotionally if they actually show what ultimately happens to any child who is diagnosed with children’s Alzheimer’s disease happen to Yoo Geum Bi and have her pass away.
Oh My Geum Bi has so far shown excellent acting by the cast, excellent direction, and an interesting plot K-drama fans will surely dive into. However, it is competing against The Legend of the Blue Sea which marks Lee Min Ho’s return to K-dramas since Heirs back in 2013. Ergo, many K-drama fans will more likely be interested in the K-drama featuring Min Ho’s comeback over Oh My Geum Bi as proven in the Korean viewership ratings provided by TNmS Media Korea and AGB Nielsen Korea. The former recorded a nationwide viewership of 5.6 percent for and the latter recorded a nationwide viewership of 6.5 percent, both for the second episode. Apparently, the viewership was too low for a rating for the Seoul National Capital Area to be recorded by either viewership company.
It is sad to say, but Oh My Geum Bi looks like it will suffer the same fate Please Come Back, Mister suffered when it aired on the same days and time as Descendants of the Sun. KBS might be prepared to handle the situation though and will do what they can to get by.
Oh My Geum Bi airs on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10 p.m. KST on KBS channel KBS2. For those who do not have access to Korean free-to-watch channels, Oh My Geum Bi can be viewed for free, with ads, on DramaFever, Viki, and OnDemandKorea pending region.
[Featured Image by the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS)]