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.