October 1, 2007

First Shop of Coffee Prince (MBC)

I can't believe it. Teddy and I finished watching the entire Korean drama, 1st Shop of Coffee Prince (17 episodes in all!) over a grand total of 3 days. It was, quite literally, insane. To achieve such a marathon feat, we were basically running a small-scale plant using the following resources: one PC, one laptop, and the full range of Just-In-Time factory assembly methods we have at our disposal (alright, I will leave out the details at this point).

Says something about the power of Korean dramas, doesn't it? I don't think I was ever so maddeningly obsessed by other diversions. Well, I hope not. It's not healthy lah.

But I have to say, it was worth it. :) Coffee Prince is the sweetest romance I have watched on TV as far as I can remember. Sure, there were times when it became inexplicably meandering; I even lost track of the plot towards the last second episode (but I'm inclined to blame that on the inhuman screening hours we put ourselves through). In the end, the whole thing hinges on the exceptional chemistry and quality of the cast, which is really bordering on the equivalent of a soccer dream team. Yes, the actors were that wonderful.

Then again, I'm probably biased. In my eyes, Yoon Eun Hye is always a gem. As Coffee Prince's heroine, Go Eun Chan, she truly shines. Just look at that cute, innocent face. This girl can't act evil in a million years. But of course, I could be wrong - her acting has improved by leaps and bounds since her debut in Goong (Princess Hours). See how I sneak in praises of my idol whenever possible? Haha.

Anyway the leading man (Gong Yoo) is a delight to watch too. Frankly, I never expected that much from this guy. I thought he was just a heartthrob - with a fantastic body. But he really got into the role and brought the cafe owner, Choi Han Kyul, to life, complete with his arrogance and boyish charm. I can just imagine all the teenage girls out there swooning over him.

Watching them, I can't help but feel the South Korean media industry is brimming with talent, almost unfairly so. Even their most typical 偶像派 is able to act so convincingly and sensitively. I don't mean to be blunt, but the top Singapore Star Award winners (whoever they are, cos I stopped caring years ago) can only eat their dust. How, in a million years, can any audience choose to go back to the bad old days after having their drama sensitivities teased this much?

To all non-Kdrama lovers, I can only offer, try a sip of this delightful brew. This is an easy, tender series to fall in love with. It doesn't demand much, and it has the magic to rekindle the embers of youthful romances in all of us. It reminded me, deep down inside, of what it's like to be very young and very passionate again. Both in life and in relationships. I relish that.