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:
Some of these drama specials are really nice ‘snacks’ when you don’t have time or just not in a mood to watch something longer. I haven’t seen this particular one though. The last ones I’ve seen are “The Tale of The Bookworm” and a 4-parter “The True Colours of Gang and Cheol”. Both happened to be sageuks and pretty funny.
Yes, that’s exactly it! 😀 Drama specials are a really nice drama snack when you’re pressed for drama time or just want a bit of a change without having to commit too much. I haven’t checked out any sageuk drama specials, so I should totally put those two that you mentioned on my list for later! They sound quite light, if they’re funny ^^ This one’s nice and light too, and I was quite happy to have checked it out.. Maybe worth popping on your list for another time? 🙂
Both of those I mentioned are rather light and fun but with some serious bits included. Oddly enough they have a similar premise too, both are mysteries/detective stories. 🙂 In the first one the protagonist gets hired to look for a stolen manuscript. In the 2nd one a runaway princess and a writer of popular novels (a former militry man), initally hired to look for her (discreetly), end up trying to solve a case of abducted females. High jinks ensue. XD
If you want to watch something absolutely silly and sure to kill some brain cells, try Hair Show. It was so baaaad it was almost good, LOL! I guaffed through all 4 episodes as it was so unintentionally hilarious. The romance was kinda cute, though. HyunWoo’s in it too.
I’ll keep The Taste of Curry in mind for the next time I’m in a mood for something short and light.
Haha! Why am I not surprised that both are detective stories? You definitely have a soft spot for mysteries, Timescout! XD They do sound cute though, especially the one about a runaway princess! I mean, a runaway princess, in a sageuk? I’ve not seen that scenario before, given how closely guarded sageuk princesses are!
And OMG Hair Show sounds terrible, but you have definitely piqued my curiosity! I will keep that one in mind too! Hyun Woo sounds like a perfect fit for that show, with his dorky charm <3
Yup, me and mysteries = a match made in heaven 🙂
Re. Hair Show… Hyun Woo is not the lead though, he is sort of second leadish but not quite. Oh, and the funniest bit was watching Kwon Hyun Sang as a pouty hair stylist wannabe… omg, LOL! It was a bit hard to get used to after having seen him in VP2 and God’s Gift as a sacry antagonist. Ah, the epic battle of scissors and hair spray…. XD
OMG that sounds ridiculously campy and low-brow, haha! And unsettling too, to have the Big Bad from VP2 battling with scissors and hairspray instead of vamping out with fangs and red eyes! This is definitely worth taking at least a look at, methinks! XD
Oh it was! Just leave your brain at the door and you are all set.^^
KHS’s characters was also deliciously catty. *g* (And I bet he was wearing more hairgel, guyliner and lipgloss than the spunky heroine, ha). Boy can act, wish he’d be doing more demanding gigs than playing two-bit baddies in dramas like Blood.
O.O! Big VP2 Bad being deliciously catty, while fortified with enough hairgel, guyliner and lipgloss to challenge the heroine?? HAHAHA!! It sounds hysterical! XD I must look for this piece of ridiculousness and store it up for a day when the ol’ brain needs a vacation! And yes, hopefully KHS gets his breakthrough role soonish, dramaland needs to show more love to the boys who can act, versus the boys who are simply pretty. Pretty + talented is more what I’m lookin’ for! ^^
Have fun! Just don’t expect anyone to blow your mind with their acting prowess. I have plenty of residual affection for Lee Seung Hyo (who is the lead) from his stint as the likeable Yellow Ranger in QSD, but boy is SO wooden in this one! Baek Jin Hee is kinda ok but overacts like a boss at times. Actually, it’s the 3rd tier supporting actors (like KHS) who do the best work with the little they are given.
Oh dear, HAHA! Thanks for the heads-up on that! It’s so ironic that it’s the supporting actors who are making it work, rather than the leads. But even then, that’s a silver lining for sure. At least SOMEONE is making it work! XD I will temper my expectations accordingly! ^^
Omg! LOL! I just realised I got my bad boys mixed up. It’s not Kwon Hyun Sang who’s in Hair Show but Ahn Yong Joon, who played the big gad in God’s Gift 1-2 (and a chilling scene teaser he was too). They do look somewhat alike. I’ve got them mixed up before too. XD
Tee hee! That’s funny! XD I suppose it’s easy to get your bad boys mixed up, especially if they’re both up-and-comers and both haven’t quite made a name for themselves yet. Thanks for setting me straight, Timescout! <3 Now I'll know for sure who I'm watching on my screen, when I do watch Hair Show! 😉