Flower Boy Ramen Shop – First Impressions

This is a nice, light, fluffy drama. There’s nothing to like or dislike about it. (OK – maybe there’s plenty to like, but…)

This is a drama that can – and probably will – be good, but will plateau in the middle and go nowhere, and then fall into angst-hood, and then finish off happily. That’s my guess, as that was the trajectory for Heartstrings and – if I want to really, really honestly admit it – You’re Beautiful. Nothing against those dramas – they’ve all had their writing pitfalls, but so does every drama once in a while.

Here’s a quick hash of the story: Cha Chi Soo (Jung Il Woo) is a spoiled kid, son of a food conglomerate, who comes back from the States having not learned one ounce of English, and forced to attend school like normal kids his age. He’s a ladies’ man, and acts as such. Yang Eun Bi (Lee Chung Ah) is a grad student studying to become a teacher and be respected. She works hard, coming from a humble ramen shop. She gets spectacularly dumped in a school carnival and runs off with Chi Soo, pretending like they’re a couple. She thinks he’s cute, if not somewhat perverted, but guess who’s the pervert when she hits on him and then realizes that he’s six years younger than her!

Lee Ki Woo hasn’t shown up yet (until episode 3, but I’m judging only on two episodes right now), and Kim Ye Won is Eun Bi’s smart aleck, super pretty, female-Chi Soo junior, who’s already a teacher.

There’s nothing that happens in the first two episodes that has made me fall in love with this series. Granted, I truly enjoy Jung Il Woo as a student; though he’s getting older, I believe he’s a lot more lovable and “in his element” when he plays a student/youngster. Even his character in 49 Days was of college age – and he managed to make Death seem cool. But Jung Il Woo also isn’t really getting challenged with this role, and he has greater range than this. He’s got to develop some more depth in the upcoming episodes.

As for Lee Chung Ah, she’s plain but pretty, and she’s charming enough to make you like her immediately. A little overboard, but I think on par for this drama (where everyone is overboard). My favorite though is her relationship with Ba Wool (Park Min Woo), AKA Crazy Chicken. I mean, they have the best noona-dongsaeng relationship because she beats him up!! I would LOVE to beat up a younger brother! And hit him so hard that he begs me to warn him before I hit him! I can’t wait to see her strong arm Chi Soo into doing things for her.

I also don’t understand why Ba Wool and Chi Soo are fighting over ballerina So Yi (newcomer Ho Soo) because she’s vacuous, naively manipulative (wow that’s quite a paradox) and has really big ears. I’m sorry – I don’t know what you’re saying – I’m staring at your ears… And then there’s Eun Bi’s relationship with her father. I love that her father is being played by Ha Ji Won’s father in Secret Garden, especially since he just showed off his comic side when serving ramen to a group of hungry boys. I’m disappointed that in the previews, he gets into the hospital, which forces Eun Bi to take over his shop. C’mon – can’t we give the guy a break and let him act without being dead or sick!?

Flower Boy Ramen Shop is easily a hit, and it follows in the heels of another feel-good drama, Birdie Buddy. It’s like a breath of fresh air amongst all the seriousness seen around it (Tree With Deep Roots, Vampire Prosecutor, Thousand Days’ Promise, The Musical, etc). I don’t hate the drama – there’s honestly nothing to hate about it – but I don’t like like it. Even though it hints that there are deeper issues that will arise in the drama, I don’t care. The tone and feel of the drama makes me not care. I don’t find myself wanting to know more, to watch the next episode each week and go, “OHMYGAWD PLEASE TELL ME WHAT WILL HAPPEN!!!!”

(That’s Tree with Deep Roots for me right now. With the killer episodes9-10, I’m dying for moar.)

But I’ll keep my eye on it.

Verdict: Easy, breezy, beautiful, Flower Boy.

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  1. Mara 9 November, 2011 at 14:19 Reply

    I love it and recommend for a good time. IJW is loveable as the immature lead, but is discovering there is a caring person inside
    him who has not been exposed to a selfless life. He doesn’t even
    know the meaning of comfort.

    Not sure how I’m feeling about the OTP being him and LCA not so
    much because of the 6 yr. diff., but due to their being at different
    stages of life/maturity. Definitely Crazy Chicken and her have a
    loving, caring bro/sis relationship and now, with the introduction of
    super fine LKW, we’ll have to see what happens.

    Episode 4 was so interesting.

  2. diorama 10 November, 2011 at 02:09 Reply

    Umm, I have to agree with you there. I know it’s meant to be light and fluffy, but I’m just not feeling it. I was so looking forward to this (Jung IlWoo! Coffee Prince-like setup!) but I ended up fast-forwarding the first two episodes. The only characters that halfway intrigue me are the hoobae and Crazy Chicken. Maybe it’ll get better…?

    • diorama 15 November, 2011 at 00:50 Reply

      Um, um…I’m going to eat my words now, kinda. I still really dislike the first two episodes: all fluff, no substance, a heroine that gets jerked around by the hero. BUT I just watched episodes 3 and 4 and I absolutely loved them. The drama has suddenly sprouted heart, emotional hooks, clever use of thematic elements, hilarious lines, the heroine totally pwning the jerk hero. I laughed and cried. The feeling of the drama is still sparkly and light, but there’s a real substance behind it now.

  3. endodo4ever 10 November, 2011 at 03:23 Reply

    Who says I can’t work on my paper AND read your blog at the same time? Boo-yah! Multi-tasking FTW.

    [Thanks for adding the email subscription thingy just for me. 😛 It pretty much seals your love for me, no? Jkjk, on both claims above. God, I feel high or something. Probably due to sleep deprivation.]

    I totally agree that FBRS is probably going to be one of those cute, but immediately forgettable dramas upon completion. It makes me wonder why You’re Beautiful was so cracktastic when other dramas in recent years that have tried to go for the same feel fall short. *ponders* On the other hand, I do adore the recaps over at DB, and it’s actually something that I look forward to now on Mondays-Tuesdays. Still, I don’t see myself being able to handle actually watching it. Life’s too short, especially when I’ve got stuff like Time Between Dog & Wolf, The Duo, Vampire Prosecutor, Flames of Ambition, Tree With Deep Roots — just to name a few — on my plate.

    “Verdict: Easy, breezy, beautiful, Flower Boy.” Did you steal that line from a Cover Girl commercial? Heehee.

    • kaedejun 11 November, 2011 at 23:50 Reply

      The director is Pyo Min Soo – he did Full House, World They Live In, Coffee House, and Heartstrings/You’ve Fallen for Me. So if you liked those dramas… 🙂

  4. Maricel 12 November, 2011 at 17:37 Reply

    I didn’t like this drama….mmm nope i didn’t like the main famale character in this drama she was too stupid to watch. The story is not endearing but might be acceptable if they don’t make a woman to look as silly as this one. It was too much XD ( i like the actors and actresses, though)

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