September 30, 2007

Have a Cuppa! The First Shop of Coffee Prince premieres on Fieldmarshal's Goggle Box

Something aromatic is wafting from my television screen. Sniff. Sniff. Smells nice, warm, delightful and a tad bitter. It reminds me of something. Oh yeah, it smells like a good cup of hot coffee made from the best roasted arabica coffee beans!

No, I am not behaving this way because of my coffee addiction, nor have I become a connoisseur of coffee, although I did have a stint of studying coffee consumption for an academic thesis before. The coffee-like 'aroma' comes from the new Korean drama - The First Shop of Coffee Prince.

The First Shop of Coffee Prince Poster. Don't Yoon Eun Hye and Gong Yoo make a lovely couple?

After much agonising, my wife and I finally succumbed to the temptation of catching this latest drama offering from MBC. Our original plan was to hold out till the release of the dvds, which usually means around a year, so that we can get the version dubbed in Chinese. Guess our need for a Korean drama 'fix' was just too strong.

Korean dramas were just not the same after Flowers for My Life, which, in our opinion, is still the best Korean drama out there.

The First Shop of Coffee Prince stars the ever bubbly Yoon Eun Hye (Princess Hours and The Man in the Vineyard fame) and the oh-so-delectable Gong Yoo(One Fine Day). The First Shop of Coffee Prince is MBC's response to falling viewership for its drama as competition heats up for eyeballs in Korea and other parts of the world.

Yes, they do make a lovely couple!!

Based on what I see in the first episode, also known as the "1st Cup", I believe that MBC has recaptured the magic which we saw in Princess Hours. Filmed in a style akin to the Princess Hours and Alone in Love, The First Shop of Coffee Prince, in all its HD (or high definition) glory, is a slick, stylish and beautiful made drama.

Images are so crisp, that it beat the signals I get from my cable service provider! Alone in Lovewas the only other show where the images were so crystal clear and sharp, and I watched that on dvd mind you. This is another reason why everyone should upgrade to a HD-ready tv and download HD programmes off the internet. Doubt there's any infringement of IP since the drama was shown on free-to-air MBC channel in Korea. Yay to technolgy! Yay to all the hardworking fan-subbers out there! Yay! Yay! Yay!

Image quality aside, Yoon Eun Hye plays the role of tomboyish girl - Go Eun Chan- really well. We all know that she's a girl and one can't help but feel amused that all the men and the women in the drama seem blind to her delicate feminine features. Their ignorance is played out to the maximum effect as Eun Chan and Choi Han Kyul(Gong Yoo's character) are put in some gender-awkard positions.

Yoon Eun Hye as the 'tomboyish' Go Eun Chan

As for Gong Yoo, he plays the role of Choi Han Kyul. Han Kyul is a happy-go-lucky epicurean who does nothing all day apart from partying and getting his mum and granny all worked up. Female fans would be glad to know that he has gamely bared (for the benefit of female readers and fans) his upper torso for a few scenes in the 1st Cup.

Gong Yoo as Choi Han Kyul. Ok girls, you can stop the drooling now :)

I have to hand it to Gong Yoo for maintaining such a well-sculpted body. As a guy, I can't help but admire a beautiful specimen of my gender within the species. Makes me wonder what I should do with the excess flab on my own body. hehe... ...

Anyway, I have not laughed so much, or so hard, for some time. The First Shop of Coffee Prince is a great drama to lighten the mood after a hard day's work. What's more, there's eye candies in the form of Yoon Eun Hye, for the guys, and Gong Yoo, for the girls. If these are not enough, the supporting actress - Chae Jung Ahn - is also another pretty face to look out for.

Chae Jung Ahn. Another pretty Korean girl. But I still prefer Yoon Eun Hye! Aja!!!

I am already itching and urging my PC to burn the next episode on the dvd. That way, I get to watch the drama on the big screen! Here's a toast to the drama that's giving me the reason to stay addicted to, coffee, well actually Korean dramas. I am already looking forward to the next serving of coffee.

Eun Chan! Where's my cup of coffee? I need it now!!!

(This post first appeared in my personal blog - Fieldmarshal. So don't be alarmed if you come across the same piece in 2 different blogs! Aja!!!)