Category: Must watch Kdramas

Unnie Recommends: Dinner Mate’s 3-course must-watch meal

Have you ever felt that it’s sometimes easier to talk to strangers about our problems? When you think about it though, aren’t all connections start from meeting a new person, a stranger, then you become friends or something more in the process? Dinner Mate kdrama relishes on this premise and serves a delicious treat of 2 random people who connect with each other through eating and sharing their personal stories with each other.

I know I’m really late in recommending this but it took awhile for me to start this korean drama. It’s already halfway in its run as of this week and I just bingewatched all the episodes in 2 days, haha. Without further ado, how about we join our titular characters for a meal as well?🍽

Appetizer – Side salad of coincidences and a creamed romcom soup

Accidentally meeting in Jeju Island, an online content producer named Woo Do Hee (Played by Seo Ji Hye) and a famous psychiatrist Kim Hae Kyung (Played by Song Seung Heon), end up having a meal together. Do Hee had just dumped her boyfriend who was cheating on her while Hae Kyung was there to meet with a patient.

Like any classic romcom formula, our unlikely duo end up meeting each other in random circumstances back in Seoul. Oblivious of each other’s personal identities, Do Hee and Hae Kyung decide to become meal buddies only by meeting up and having a meal together once in awhile. They can talk about their interests or problems if they wanted to share it with each other, but both are not privy to the other’s basic information such as their name, occupation, etc.

Main Course – Filet mignon served with heartwarming garlic mashed potato and roasted plot twists veggies

Eating a meal is integral to Do Hee and Hae Kyung as the former enjoys her own way of eating food while the latter views having a meal with someone else as a gesture that he/she is important to you. As they try to navigate their relationship being careful to not cross any boundaries (which of course they will), things get more complicated as their first loves want to get back together with them respectively.

I love both Do Hee and Hae Kyung’s characters, especially Do Hee, who is relatable in many ways. I like that she can be sloppy and frazzled at times but is confident on what she wants such as her eating habits and passion for work. I appreciate that Hae Kyung is considerate but not overbearing in his gentleman ways. Both their characters are cool and strong-willed; they balance each other’s quirks well that it’s so satisfying watching them get closer to each other❤️

Dessert – Slice-of-life Chocolate cake with mixed bittersweet fruits

Along with the romantic sparks that shine between Do Hee and Hae Kyung, bits and pieces of life lessons further enhance the show’s charm. How they will grow from being meal buddies to something more was such a slow burn, the pacing was not too fast as they organically got to know each other only by eating together. Dinner Mate serves up a tale of healing and fills our palates with hope that things will work out for us in the most unexpected of ways✨

Bonus Freebie – For all CLOY (Crash Landing on You kdrama) fans🥰

We’re treated to an imaginary epilogue for Seo Ji Hye’s character in Crash Landing on You, Seo Dan, as Do Hee tries a past regression hypnotism video at work. She dreams of being in a field and takes on a North Korean accent as she waits for a man in uniform, who happens to be Hae Kyung, walking towards her. This was such a nice nugget for fans of the show (Like me) who grew to love the feisty Seo Dan as her would-be lover passed away, but she was content in not having a partner in the end. Now can someone do a spin-off kdrama for Seo Dan and Hae Kyung’s military officer character next time?!😍

Unnie Recommends: Mystic Pop-up Bar

If dreams are thoughts and images that exist only in our sleep, can events in one still influence us to change in real life? Can ideas actually manifest and be brought to reality?💡 Mystic Pop-up Bar kdrama narrates the story of Weol Ju, a woman who has the special abilities to enter one’s dreams and solve a person’s problems while in slumber.

What promises to be a fun and adventure-filled kdrama is just what we need to brighten our days with laughter and good anticipation in these uncertain times. We all need a little magic in our lives right now yes?✨

Current Impression

Weol Ju was was born with her gift but due to an unfortunate incident, she ends up committing suicide and swearing revenge in those who have wronged her. Instead of burning in the fiery depths of hell, she is tasked with helping 100,000 people with their problems thru the dream world. In present times, she runs a pop-up bar (pojangmacha) with the help of another being, Manager Gwi, hoping that her customers spill their woes with her so she could help them, and in turn achieve her goal.

Business isn’t doing so well and as Weol Ju points out, people aren’t so easy in sharing their troubles like before. She meets a young man, Han Kang Bae, who also possesses a mysterious ability that when physically touched, they instinctively confess their problems to him. She enlists his help to accomplish her goal faster and he asks that she aids him in getting rid of his power. Kang Bae has had a tough life being an outcast because of his ability and doesn’t seem to have a family (At least until episode 2 because he lives alone).

The female lead character reminds me of Jang Man Weol in Hotel del Luna because they both have a short and bad temper (haha), they are being punished because of their past actions and have to atone for their mistakes, and are reluctantly helping out people (or ghosts for Man Weol) for the better. I like the premise that Weol Ju helps out people in their dreams and people take action in reality — it’s these moments coming from a random source that we need sometimes to snap ourselves back to reality⚡️

It’s been awhile since I’ve watched a kdrama without romance involved and I appreciate that Mystic Pop-up Bar korean drama seems to focus on self-love and a familial/friendship-based relationship instead. Ultimately, I hope that Weol Ju and Kang Bae get to solve their issues and inner conflicts along the way. Dreams are great and all, but an equally enchanting power is to heal from the help of your loved ones.

Unnie Recommends: Oh My Baby

It isn’t easy being a woman. Whether as a career-driven individual, a doting housewife, or a supermom, any path is filled with different but equally challenging life hurdles💃🏻 Oh My Baby focuses on a 39 year old woman, Jang Ha Ri, who is a successful manager in her workplace but is not so lucky when it comes to her love life. With age not on her side, she is pressured more than ever to fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a mother.

I didn’t think the show would tug at my emotional heartstrings but it has tearjerker moments that can hit you hard, especially when you can relate or even just empathize with Ha Ri’s situation. Oh My Baby still provides lots of laughter and good times between our main cast so expect the unexpected!🤗

Current Impression

Ha Ri works at a media company, specifically for the baby magazine department, but it must be hard for her to work on a topic that she loves but can’t necessarily have yet. She’s hardworking, spunky, and is open to the idea of finding a man even if it’s on her own initiative. I know I almost always say this, but I just like how romcoms portray their female leads to be likeable and you’ll end up rooting for them in just the 1st episode, hee.

Leading men from left: Han Yi Sang, Yoon Jae Young, Choi Kang Eu Ddeum

Ha Ri is teased to have 3 guys romantically linked to her (Potential baby daddies!) but whoever she ends up with, I hope they can depict well the guy’s feelings and response to Ha Ri’s needs of wanting a baby ASAP. Just because she wants a kid doesn’t mean her leading man will like it too, there are lots of ways to explore this topic so I hope both parties will come out happy in the end.

Yi Sang is a photographer who she has an awkward past with. They meet again a few years later, a little more mature, and have a cat and mouse relationship. They have the most chemistry and I’m excited to see their relationship progress into something special. Jae Young is Ha Ri’s friend who recently got divorced and is living in her family’s house with his daughter. At least until episode 2 they seem like just friends but who knows what we’ll uncover in the succeeding episodes! Eu Ddeum is her junior coworker and feels like to me the lowest probability that they’ll end up together but he is a jolly guy that I think could offer her a fresh outlook on life based on a younger generation’s perspective.

I feel bad for Ha Ri as someone who wants to have kids but can’t because she’s single and is nearing an age where getting pregnant is difficult. This is a sensitive topic for women but it’s refreshing to see a kdrama tackle this growing phenomena of women either still single, marrying, or getting pregnant in their late 30’s. I’m all for independent women being happy on their own but I don’t think it’s bad to wish for love in one’s life right?💞 If anything, I hope Oh My Baby serves as a testament that things will work out for the better no matter where you are in life✨