K-Drama Review: The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

While it's been awhile since I've watched one all the way through, there's a special place in my heart for Asian dramas. I'm such a sap for a happy ending that even when the story line is ridiculous I'll still be sucked in. I think my friend put it best, American soap operas are designed to go on forever - no one is guaranteed happiness, but Asian dramas have a ending. People get married and you have the proverbial 'ride off into the sunset' feeling to keep you happy. And if any of you guys out there have noticed what I read the majority of the time, my love for Asian dramas is probably not TOO surprising.

The one I've been watching lately is1st Shop of Coffee Prince, or just Coffee Prince. And when I say 'watching' I mean spending almost my every waking moment frantically getting through the next episode or 2. Total the series is 17 episodes long, long enough that you get emotionally attached to the characters but not so long that you get sick of it. Synopsis from Wikipedia:

Choi Han Kyul, played by Gong Yoo, is the cocky son of a very rich family who runs a damaged food corporation. He doesn't believe in love and certainly doesn't want to get married despite his family's requests. On the other hand, Go Eun Chan, played by Yoon Eun Hye, is a 24-year old tomboyish female who gets mistaken for a guy quite often. She takes up every job possible — waitress, food deliverer, etc — and has the responsibility of taking care of her mother and younger sister. Eun Chan accidentally meets Han Kyul twice, once on a delivery and once during a robbery. During the robbery, Eun Chan's delivery motorcycle ends up being damaged. Han Kyul, not knowing that Eun Chan is actually a girl, decides to hire Eun Chan as a false "lover" so that he can escape the blind dates arranged by his grandmother. Meanwhile, Han Kyul's cousin, Choi Han Seong, is an established music producer and his ex-girlfriend Han Yoo Joo, who Han Kyul secretly loved for nine years, is a famous artist who studied in New York. The two were lovers for about 8 years but their relationship ended when Yoo Joo broke up with Han Seong. Two years after they separated their paths cross again when Yoo Joo returns to Seoul.

After getting an ultimatum from his grandmother, Han Kyul takes over a run-down severely damaged old coffee shop, later renamed Coffee Prince, to prove his ability, both to his grandmother and Yoo Joo. In order to attract female customers, he only hires good looking male employees. In a struggle with money, Eun Chan, whom Han Kyul has already mistaken as a boy, hides her gender to get a job at Coffee Prince. Soon feelings start to spark between Eun Chan and Han Kyul. Because he's unaware that Eun Chan is a girl, Han Kyul starts to question his sexuality.

Sounds great doesn't it? No cancer, amnesia, or other life threatening injuries. Yay! LMAO! You might think I'm exaggerating but seriously, with Korean dramas you never know and the most popular seem to have horrible things happen to their main characters. Coffee Prince though is pretty on the level and the romance between Han-Gyul and Eun-Chan is terribly addicting. They're just both so ridiculous! Han-Gyul is the rich, carefree bachelor and Eun-Chain the naive tomboy, frantically trying to work enough to support her family. When Han-Gyul mistakes her for a boy and decides to her hire as his pretend lover it seems like the perfect way to pick up some quick cash. Unsurprisingly things snowball from there and for her it doesn't seem like there's ever a good time to tell the truth!

SO MUCH DRAMA! Oh it was great! Is it bad to say that someone's a good crier? Well either way it's the truth because it was heartwrenching to watch Gong Yoo after he learned the truth. And then to watch Yoo Eun Hye be just as emotional in response....I mean there was just no way I wasn't going to enjoy it. The supporting characters are good too, though don't get me wrong, and without them I'm sure the show itself wouldn't have been such a hit. 

I HIGHLY recommend Coffee Prince, though make sure to grab some coffee and some tissues, because it's good enough to make you cry and keep you up all night.

P.S. - I watched Coffee Prince on CrunchyRoll.com and while the ads were many the site had all of the episodes with great quality.

**All the images I found on Google :) I own nothing

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