If I had to describe this drama special in just 3 words, they would be: simple; cute; prettyyy.
Unlike most other drama shorts that I check out, this wasn’t something that was recommended to me by friends, and neither was it because I had foreknowledge that an actor I like is in it (Hyun Woo’s in this, but that’s pure coincidence, I swears!)
Mostly, I was just looking for a quick, light and hopefully fun drama fix, and was intrigued by the title. I thought it sounded cute, unique and, well, tasty, which are all good things in my book, heh. So I dived right in.
I’ve come to have an appreciation for the simplicity of drama specials.
Because of their short running time, there’s not much time for padding, complications, or exposition, even. Which means that, more often than not, we are thrust into the thick of the story, and spend the hour exploring the story in a pretty focused manner.
With little exposition, and wrap-ups that rank relatively low on the Neat Bow Tie Scale, it almost feels like we’re watching an episode of a larger drama.
Or, as I prefer to think of it, it feels like we’re given a peek into these characters’ lives in a particular window of time, and even after we leave their world, they’ll continue to live their lives.
I dunno, there’s just something rather assuring about that thought.
In the case of The Taste of Curry, the premise is exactly that simple: Boy finds himself at Girl’s curry restaurant, and proceeds to challenge her to make her curry, her restaurant – and maybe her life, too – a little better.
There’s even a mild twist thrown into the works, which is a plus in my books, though some viewers may find the result a little disappointing. (Hint: this isn’t a romance, even though it reallyreally looks like one.)
With its zippy, boppy pace, its lovely acoustic background music that veers effortlessly from fun & light, to poignant & thoughtful, and its cute cat mews thrown in as timely sound effects, this show is just one tight little package of cuteness.
Oh, and if you’re wondering why cat mews, it’s coz the restaurant where our story happens is christened Cat’s Restaurant. Hee. Cute, right?
And then there’s Hyun Woo, who capably adds to the Cute Quotient.
I first set eyes on Hyun Woo in Pasta (2010), where I simply remembered him as one of the cute chefs; I only really grew a proper appreciation for him when I saw him in I Live in Cheongdamdong (2011), where he got to be more swoony than cute.
Boy’s got a distinctly dorky-swoony charm about him, and it’s put to good use in this drama short.
Here, have a taste – isn’t he So Cute??
Despite its small drama world, Show is very pretty to look at.
The intensity of its happy Spring palette, the quaint, cozy design of the restaurant, the loving shots of the various stages of cooking curry, and the good-looking leads themselves all add to the generous amount of pretty on our screens.
Exhibit A: Loving shot of food preparation
Exhibit B: Good-looking leads
Besides having an affection for Hyun Woo, I also like Jun Hye Bin. I thought she did a very nice job in Joseon Gunman, and was pleased to realize that she’s the female lead of this drama short.
I wouldn’t quite call the acting of our leads brilliant, but I wouldn’t hesitate to say they both did a very solid job. Plus, their onscreen chemistry ain’t bad either.
Here, have a taste of our pretty leads together in our pretty drama world, doubling – or would that be tripling? – the Pretty. Quite lovely on the eyes, yes? 😉
Also, just coz I can, here’s a little more Hyun Woo. This time, less dorky, more pretty 😉
CLOSING THOUGHTS [SPOILERS]
Thanks to my dramaland conditioning, I’d expected the dynamic between our leads to be romantic, so I was a little surprised when they turned out to be half-siblings who share the same father.
Show did dance a leettle close to the edges of fauxcest, with Girl getting a little hyper-aware of Boy’s presence. I mean, we even hear her heartbeat booming as Show tosses in a shirtless scene of Hyun Woo, like so:
Uh huh. That’s a hot ‘n bothered face if I ever saw one!
Thankfully, though, she isn’t allowed to dwell on her burgeoning hyper-awareness too long. And because the subsequent arc is about the new-found siblings working through what this new information means to them individually and together, and also because everything – from why she started a curry restaurant, to their curry connection, to even the title of the show – takes on added dimension and meaning from the reveal, I was happy to roll with what Show was serving up.
Yes, this show is about finding new love, but it’s not the romantic love we’ve come to expect from most of our dramas.
It’s more about finding familial love and moving towards mutual healing, which, I like to think, is plenty worthy in its own right too.
THE FINAL VERDICT:
Heartwarming sweetness, even without the romance.
FINAL GRADE: B+
WHERE TO WATCH:
You can watch the whole drama special, subbed and in HD, right here: