Who is in the mood for an old school kdrama romance? Drama Geek and Kmuse both watched the first few episodes of Chocolate and one of us is completely ready for this tissue train, and the other is on the fence. Come check out our first impression and see if you should watch.
Chocolate seems to have every trope in the book, and yet it is a very engaging drama. The music and food lull me into forgetting all of the chaebol and tragic past drama and focus in on these characters.
Yoon Kye Sang plays Lee Kang. A little boy who loved watching his mom cook, and fed our female lead as a little girl because he thought she was poor. Moon Cha Young (Ha Ji Won) wasn’t actually poor, she was just being starved by her mom before an audition. The kid couple’s meeting was pretty sweet. Then fate stepped in, and Lee Kang was found by his father’s chaebol family and whisked away to Seoul.
Years later, we find that Lee Kang is now in the family profession and is a doctor, and Cha Young has taken up being a chef. There is a shared tragic event (I’m guessing it’s the instance where that shopping mall collapsed) that seems to have killed Lee Kang’s mom and made it so Cha Young suffers from an anxiety disorder. Cha Young ends up in Lee Kang’s hospital and runs into both him and his cousin.
Through a series of pretty funny meetings, Cha Young discovers Lee Kang is her first love and follows him around spying on him, but before they can make a real connection, he’s sent off to a war-torn country where he almost dies. (His uncle really just wanted him to not outshine his not as competent son.)
Fate steps in again, and Lee Kang’s best friend is comforted by Cha Young and ends up falling for her. The day she finally says yes that she’ll date him, is the day Lee Kang returns, recovered and healthy. (His family really hoped he’d die, but they were not lucky that day.)
Which leads to angst! I don’t think Cha Young really liked the best friend in that way, but he was sweet and persistent. So when Lee Kang shows back up, it causes Cha Young to run for the hills. (Or Greece, if you want a picturesque place for the OTP to reconnect a few years later.)
A few years after the breakup, Lee Kang finds out his best friend is dying, and one of his last wishes is to eat Cha Young’s dumpling stew. This leads Lee Kang to hop on a plane to Greece and judge the cooking contest she has entered. She entered the contest to win a bottle of wine to replace the really expensive one her annoying brother broke.
Drama Geek: Ha! that is my rundown of the first two episodes. Now… can you guess that I’m the one on the fence about if I should watch? After three episodes I am left wondering why I still find it engaging even though I’m not even sure I like the two leads. Their families are both annoying and will probably spend the entire drama driving me batty! But… the show has a feel to it that is languid and beautiful. There was something about when the kids met that I loved, and then when Cha Young follows him around the hospital years later with an IV bag on her head, it was quirky and sweet. I totally enjoyed Yoo Teo as the best friend and was a bit worried I’d have second lead syndrome. I also feel for Lee Kang and really want him to flip the bird at his stupid family. He should open up a restaurant somewhere and rediscover his passion for cooking. Maybe he can run a clinic on the side where he saves random patients from death or something.
So… Kmuse, let’s hear what you have to say. 🙂
Kmuse: I totally agree that the show is languid and beautiful. Maybe it is the cinematography (I tend to really like this director’s work) or maybe it is the fact that it is surprisingly refreshing to watch such an old school style of drama. Whatever the reason, I’m totally hooked on this show. It is hitting all the Melo hot spots for me and I’m really invested. This is despite the fact that I’m not always sure what exactly is going on. They frequently use time jumps and you really have to pay attention to what’s happening. But if you don’t mind that and want something to give you some serious angsty feels, this might be the drama for you. I’ve watched through episode 4 and plan to continue onward.
I think when it comes down to it, everyone should watch one or two episodes. This is a show that I had totally written off and had no intention of watching. Thanks to a very slow drama month I decided to give it a chance and was surprised at how much this clicked with me. The same might be said for you.
If you do check it out, be sure to come back and let us know what you think. Is Chocolate a yay or a nay?
Til the next review,
Dramas With a Side of Kimchi