[Review] Flower Boys Ramyun Shop – 꽃미남 라면가게


Yang Eun Bi (Lee Chung Ah) becomes a teacher’s intern at a high school only to encounter the arrogant son of the biggest food conglomerate in Korea, Cha Chi Soo (Jung Il Woo).

After Eun Bi’s dad suddenly passes away, Eun Bi learns that he had left his ramyun shop to a chef, Choi Kang Hyuk (Lee Ki Woo), who is adorably lazy.  Together they decide to revamp the shop.

Kang Hyuk also hires some part-timers to work the shop which include the hot-tempered Kim Bawool (Park Min Woo), the sweethearted Woo Hyun Woo (Jo Yoon Woo) and Chi Soo, of course.

First off, the drama is a nice bit of fluff television and honestly… what a nice visual.  Not too much depth and yet just enough heart.  With a nice cast, I think this type of mindless television is just what the doctor orders at the end of a hard day.

However, I do have a major bone to pick with the drama that I just need to get out of the way.  Eun Bi is a teacher’s intern and she doesn’t stop the advances of Cha Chi Soo who is the student.

Now, I know that they are only 5 years apart and you can argue that age doesn’t matter when it comes to love but I’m pretty uncomfortable with the fact that this is going on within the school setting.  So I’m glad that they were able to take this out of the school setting.  It also irks me that she’s so taken, so quickly won over by his status and cuteness.  I get it, Jung Il Woo is hot.  However, I hate heroines that are too easy.  It lessens the drama of it all.

Speaking of their age differences, numerically 5 years doesn’t seem to be much of a difference.  Having been through my 20’s though, 5 years is somewhat significant mentally.  Eun Bi wants a guy that she can rely on after being with a guy that got tired of her.  However, Chi Soo isn’t in that position to really know what he wants.  I’m glad that the issue was brought but I’m a little disappointed that it was only said in passing.  Am I seriously to believe that after his 2 years of military service, these two people are still going to want the same things and make this relationship work?

Perhaps that’s the stuff of fairy tales.  And that’s honestly how I accepted the drama.  The drama felt like a real-life manhwa with it’s different caricatures aided by the occasional sound effect.  These characters are exaggerated versions and that’s what makes the drama cute and bubbly.  I think if it weren’t for the actors it wouldn’t have had the same effect though.

I’ve seen this type from Jung Il Woo before.  It’s his, ‘OMG, I can’t believe you just said that,’-face combined with his arrogance.  Jung Il Woo pulls it off well without turning viewers off.  Arrogance is a fine line.  It can be cute or it can be annoying.  Jung Il Woo is definitely in the cute category.

And Choi Kang Hyuk.  Oooh Choi Kang Hyuk.

He’s the opposite of Chi Soo but he is by no means mature.  It doesn’t matter where he is, if he can put his head down and take a nap, he will.

How is this guy not a bum?  His kindness overrides his laziness though. And I can’t help going awww over his antics.

Chi Soo and Kang Hyuk fight over Eun Bi’s affections. And we all know that Chi Soo is going to win Eun Bi.

Are we really surprised by that?  Look at Gong Hyo Jin’s face.  She’s not in the least bit surprised.  So let’s move on.

Then there’s the other bromance of the group, Bawool and Hyun Woo.

Bawool, aka Crazy chicken, with his pompadour haircut, whose sole mission is to one-up Chi Soo by keeping his precious noona, Eun Bi, away from Chi Soo’s advances.  Hyun Woo, who is Chi Soo’s lifelong, loyal friend, is just trying to stay away from his dad’s debtors and make ends meet by taking up various part-time jobs.

He often irks Bawool with his kindness making Bawool think that Hyun Woo is into him.  Aww, I love how that inflated pompadour ego of his makes him think that.

Bawool is dating Yoon So Yi (Ho Soo), a bratty princess.  However, she’s also seeing Chi Soo as well.  She’s very practical about the whole thing.

She’s young and she likes both Chi Soo and Bawool so why deny herself the pleasure of seeing the both of them if she’s honest about it.  I love that as Chi Soo starts realizing his feelings for Eun Bi, Bawool plays a little hard to get.

And then at the end, she goes back to her old way.  Hahaha, I guess you can’t change her overnight.

To add to our cast of characters, we’ve got our supporting characters and Eun Bi’s friends, Kang Dong Joo (Kim Ye Won) and Coach Jung Gyu (Kim Il Joong).  They often provide her with advice about relationships but I really liked their story as well.  It was sweet albeit a ripoff of Love Actually.  I think it was the only part of the drama where I teared up a bit because it was such a long time coming.  Here, you’ve got two grown adults but the girl thinks she can do better than her first love so she finds another guy who wants to marry her.  However, you can’t direct your heart on who you’re gonna love.

Really this drama is all about how the actors play the characters because we’re not too concerned with the drama in the plot.  There wasn’t much to work off of anyway.  It was predictable and Chi Soo spends a large amount of the drama being a brat while Eun Bi spends most of her time pushing and pulling between the two main leads.

However, that’s what seems to be in these days.  Until they meet that one that changes their world, these male leads are a conceited, emotionless robot who genuinely don’t understand the concept of love.  I wish Chi Soo’s realization had come sooner but then maybe because he’s still a high schooler it just takes a bit longer.

Girls do mature faster than boys, right?  Or do we just mature first and then regress backwards.  So perhaps that’s where Eun Bi is at and they’ll just meet in the middle somewhere.



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