Wednesday, February 13, 2013

KDrama Review: Flower Boy Ramen Shop

Picture credit:
*Available on US Netflix Streaming*
The Gist: Yang Eun-Bi (Lee Chung-ah), teacher in training, thinks she’s found her man of destiny when she meets Cha Chi-soo (Jung Il-woo), hiding from his father’s employees in the girl’s bathroom. Heartbroken by a cheating ex-boyfriend, Eun-Bi works up her courage to ask Chi-Soo out. Only after she does this and is immediately shut down, does she realize that Chi-Soo is one of her students. That problem is short lived when her father passes away, leaving her to run his ramen shop. However, narcoleptic Choi Kang-Hyuk (Lee Ki-woo) shows up out of the blue saying that he is actually the owner of the ramen shop and Eun-Bi’s fiancĂ©. As Eun-Bi tries to sort out this problem with the still nagging feelings she harbors towards Chi-Soo, Kang-Hyuk hires him and two of his good looking classmates as part timers at the shop. Thus the Flower Boy Ramen Shop is born. Though Chi-Soo’s constant arrogance and lack of work ethic is a constant problem, Eun-Bi finds herself sandwiched between feelings for him and the nicer, more relaxed Kang-Hyuk.
Picture credit:
We might actually have a likeable character here!! The sleeping all the time thing is unnecessary in my opinion but Kang-Hyuk is genuine and sincere. He makes a good patriarch for the ramen shop, wiser and more observant than the other characters. He’s one of few characters that I want to succeed and be happy! Which, *SPOILERS* means I didn’t really love the end of this show.
2. Kim Ba-Wool
Picture credit:
Compared to Chi-Soo, Ba-Wool is just a better example of a tough guy with a heart of gold. He gets into scraps, but he really throws himself into things he cares about. Despite a short temper, Ba-Wool excels as a strong supporting character. You really have to feel sorry for him as he continues to care for So-Yi as she continues to play him.

1. Yang Eun-Bi
Picture credit:
Eun-Bi is our heroine and is one of few characters to really have any growth. She does mature and get slightly more likable, but she’s still an indecisive and somewhat obnoxious character. I think what she really needed was to take a break from being so obsessed about boys for a minute, but alas, somehow, the Eun-Bi at the end is still somehow eerily similar to the one we started with. I guess at the end of the day I’m pretty much just tolerating Eun-Bi.
2.The Ramen shop
Picture credit:
I like the fact that the ramen shop becomes a home for all these scattered characters, but I do wish that we saw more bonding between the little “family.” Things stay somewhat distant and disjointed between them even as the show progresses. At some point, it seems like a concept that just wasn’t well executed.
1.Cha Chi-Soo
Chi-Soo is definitely in the running for male lead that I like the least. The writers of this show seemed to miss the crucial factor of giving your bad boy any redeeming qualities. You expect to see some sort of growth throughout the show, but he really continues to be selfish, doing things with very little regards to other people. He only acknowledges Eun-Bi when he feels like it and does so forcefully, ignoring what she wants entirely. I feel like there was a real missed opportunity here to turn Chi-Soo into a better person, but as it is, I have NO idea why Eun-Bi continues to choose him when Kang-Hyuk is the worthier choice.
2.Cha Chi-Soo’s Father
Conglomerate head, Chi-Soo’s father indulges in work, grooming his son to take over the company. When Chi-Soo becomes involved with Eun-Bi, he worries that Chi-Soo is going to make similar mistakes to himself and forbids it. This character confuses and bugs me. It’s so clear that he wants Chi-Soo to be happy, but then does everything in his power to prevent his happiness. You keep hoping for some resolution between the two of them, but their relationship continues to get worse. He didn’t really need to be a villain in this show and honestly, his actions towards the end of the show just seem out of character. For someone who wants to be a good father, he does nothing but push Chi-Soo away. ACK! It bugs me so much.
3. Yoon So-Yi
Picture credit:
Ballerina and fellow student, So-Yi dates both Chi-Soo and coworker Kim Ba-wool (Park Min-woo) throughout the show, with their knowledge. Again, I feel like So-Yi is another missed opportunity for growth. She doesn’t take love seriously, which angers Eun-Bi, but that never really develops. Obviously, since Chi-Soo is our lead, he eventually ditches her, but she never really has to make a choice. At the end of the day, So-Yi is just kind of a ho, a puppet master ho. Other than being pretty, like Chi-Soo, she really has nothing likeable about her.
4.Eun-Bi’s Friends
Picture credit:
Kang Dong-Joo is Eun-Bi’s roommate and like So-Yi is a player. She is enthralled when a man we never see onscreen proposes and quickly goes about planning her wedding. That’s all good and well. She’s allowed to be shallow, but it just full on pissed me off when she starts hooking up with their old volleyball coach and is STILL ENGAGED. She should have just broken it up then, but no, she makes it all the way to her darn wedding day before she calls things off. That’s kind of a spoiler, but you shouldn’t watch this show anyway, so don’t worry about it.   
So… I just really shouldn’t have bothered with this show. It’s well acted, but the writing is terrible with characters you not only don’t care about, but actively dislike. All of my favorite characters get shafted by the end of the show. It’s not terribly original either, making me feel like I could have gotten something similar, but better, with another show. That said, this is, as always, just my opinion, and I know plenty of people really like this show.
Final Grade: D-

1 comment:

  1. The poster and title is really misleading in this drama. Ramen has nothing much to do with this drama and is used as a bad prop, which i thought was pretty disappointing. The shop comes into pictures much laaaaater in the show...