Flower Boy Ramyun Shop: First Impressions

by: Raine


After the first episode aired on Monday, I had to wait for it to be subbed. During that unbearably long waiting period, I avoided reviews and recaps to keep my opinion unbiased. Whilst haunting dramabeans (and desperately avoiding spoilers), I did see that my fellow OT members dubbed the drama “Flower Boy RAWRyum Shop.” Ha! Quite a fitting alteration to the title that was already a strange amalgamation of words. In any case, the edible cast was reason enough for me to watch. So I waited patiently and was soon rewarded by dramafever.com and its excellent subbers.

“Happy”Yuria (from the Flower Boy Ramyun Shop OST)

episode 1 – first impressions

The teaser photos and trailers certainly had me hyped for this first episode. (Unfortunately, my lack of Korean-speaking skills has me waiting for the subs to the second episode.) Lee Chung-ah looked adorable in the photos and trailers and has an obvious talent for everything comedy.

Jung Il-woo(f) has that charming boy-next-door vibe and when he smiles, even the camera is enamored while Lee Ki-woo is just plain ol’ pretty (and TALL).

With all that hype, I expected greatness. Ramyun (yum!). Check. RAWRyum eye candy (HELL YES!). Check. Adorable female lead. Check.

So when the first episode reminded me of a Japanese high-school dorama, I deflated. There was a clueless female lead struggling to fulfill her dream. There was a hot, free-floating, chaebol student winning over all women within a half-mile radius with a wink and a smile. He was fighting against a disappointed parental unit and had just come from studying in America…like every other rich kid on the drama block.

Now don’t get me wrong. When Jung Il-woo appeared on screen as Cha Chi-soo, I felt bliss. He was charming, sexy, funny and the highlight of every shot he was in – the power of the “Jung Il-woo Effect” as javabeans would say. His three beautiful cronies – er, friends – definitely had me munching on eye candy.

Lee Chung-ah was wonderful in her role as Yang Eun-bi. She didn’t overact. I found myself comparing her to Lee Da-hae in the 2005 Hong sister’s drama My Girl. Lee Chung-ah definitely had that bumbling idiot down pat from the get-go, whereas Lee Da-hae took a few episodes to warm-up. Even so, I wasn’t immediately drawn to the character. Only when she asserted her sunbae authority did I sit up in my chair and say, “That’s right! You tell ’em girl!” It meant that the character wasn’t just an air-headed lead who stumbles her way into her man’s heart.

The chemistry between Jung Il-woo and Lee Chung-ah was fantastic. Together, they make a powerhouse comedic pair.

And yet, I had difficulty finishing the episode. I actually paused several times to do a few chores or have a cup of water. Maybe it was the fact that I could predict what would happen in every scene: a roommate who advises our hopeless lead about her love life. Jung Il-woo’s character being a total jerk with daddy issues. Our heroine being unceremoniously dumped by her traitorous (lecherous) boyfriend.

There were a few surprises, most notably Jung Il-woo’s comedic scene with his father and Lee Chung-ah’s moments of authority. Those were highlights for me and renewed my ability to sit through the episode.

Despite my disappointment, I’m holding out for the rest of the drama. The casting is fantastic and the actors did well. The scenes were visually stimulating. (Did you notice the anime-style cinematography? Rock on Jung Jung-hwa PD.)

Don’t do this to me again, RAWRyum. Please don’t make me hope in vain.

(Thank you MadDino for the awesome screencaps.)

Related Posts

Flower Boy Ramyun Shop: Review of Episode 2 and Thoughts on Episodes 3 & 4

23 thoughts on “Flower Boy Ramyun Shop: First Impressions

  1. JoAnne says:

    Raine ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~>

    I’m on Ep 20 of SI – just a couple quick notes:

    THE NECKLACE!!!

    And Mr. Pyo and the mom!!! I thought back at laundry in the backyard, hmmm…and then laughing, hmmm again…and now I’m thinking OH THAT WOULD BE PERFECT!!!!

    • Raine says:

      Unni,

      Ooooh lala. IMma about to hit up Sang-doo again.

      I know the necklace was the one thing that really made me yell at the screen (and anything with Eun-woo). RAWR!

    • Raine says:

      OMG episode 10 and I’m sobbing and asking WHY?! Tell her you fool. And You can kill the whole cast but the DOG?!!!!!!! In I am Legend I only cried for the dog.

  2. Raine says:

    14th Bitte – I’m the only one so far that doesn’t like it! The 2nd episode is out but I’m waiting til tomorrow to watch and I might put up a review for that. I know Villager liked it and javabeans!

    • Becoming Bitter says:

      Still though…I don’t want to build up false hope. By the way I have other requests and that includes the non-musical-make-a-series on Yoo Ah In. One more thing… should I tweet the MVs that I find from DJ Masa? Or would you like me to post them here?

      • Raine says:

        I will totally make a Yoo Ah-in series as soon as I see one or two more things he’s in because I want to be a bit better grounded in his awesomeness. I’m going to try to get in a few more PSH glimpses before my next post on him. Any YAI suggestions to get started on. I’ll probably post on him in a month or so. Maybe go to twice a week for PSH next week if I can. If not…oh well.

        And you can post them here. I can find them easier!

        • Becoming Bitter says:

          YAI dramas that come to mind are… of course Sungkyunkwan Scandal and Strongest Chil Woo. I know that he’s done more I just can’t remember right now. Okay I’ll post another video here within a few minutes…

          • thejawavillager says:

            ANTIQUE BAKERY…I really liked that film. though the straight guys falling for his Royal gayness, Kim Jae-wok was incredibly creepy yet funny as hell. YAI is cute, wish he had more scenes. It was the first Korean film I’d watched that wasn’t a rom-com, so I was really surprised. Do give it a watch if you haven’t already

            • Raine says:

              It’s on my watched list baby! I loved it. Okay, I’m going to be out ALL day so no online for me. I will watch the video and give all my replies tonight. ❤

            • Raine says:

              Kim Jae-wook. If I didn’t know better I would’ve said he was flaming based on that film. He was AMAZING…and hott! That dancing was so ….*drool* I’m a sucker for a man who can dance. Maybe that’s why I like Rain…

            • alua says:

              I feel he hasn’t had a real breakthrough role yet – like a drama or film where he is actually the lead and shine to his full glory (because in Antique Bakery he’s only sort of the second lead, and in Mary Stayed Out All Night he was woefully underused although he was some sort ‘lead’ as well). I found the statement he released before entering the army rather interesting – sounded rather reflective and realistic, which was kind of nice.

            • Raine says:

              I went back and re-read it.

              “When you read this, I think I will have already enlisted at the training center. I think I have received an extreme amount of love till now. I will never forget that.
              I almost think this is the best time to leave society. The celebrity world is a place where if you don’t pay attention at all times, you can ruin yourself. I think I have been losing a lot of important and sacred things as I continued living in that world.
              While I’m in the army, I will slowly look back on my 20′s. The mind that might have been rotting without me knowing, I will come back more awakened with that mind. I will see you two years later as a healthy person. Everyone stay healthy.”

              For any readers’ reference if you want to read it!

              I think he’s a really talented actor…and for me, the fact that he speaks Japanese is really hot.

    • alua says:

      I was okay with the first episode, but not the second (see my comment on jawaville’s blog). So you are not the only one who is feeling doubtful.

      • Raine says:

        I didn’t get to watch the second one yet. After my next lesson (that I have to teach in 15 minutes) I will finally have time to write a bit and watch FBRS and hopefully finish Sang-doo….maybe.

        I think…it could have potential. A lot of shows circle madly in the first 5 or so episodes and then finally stabilize. It would be bETTER if they didn’t, but we can’t always get what we want.

    • thejawavillager says:

      I found lots of things I didn’t like about the second one. 😦
      BUT I’ve made up my mind to not let it get to me. Silliness aside, it’s entertaining, and that in itself is OK with me.
      btw, so far I like that crazy rooster guy the most. Poor kid. Eun Bi being a gangster is waaay too far-fetched to be believable, at least at this point. And the last bit, when Chi-soo threatens to date her…THAT CAN’T BE WHAT GETS THEM TOGETHER. Please tell me there’ll be more! Like a plausible reason for them to be forced into each others company. Oh please.

  3. Becoming Bitter says:

    Hmm… your 1st impressions are making me not want to watch this drama. I’ve had this happen to me before. I keep holding out hope for the story, but it keeps disappointing me. Eye candy is good candy, but a predictable story is a boring story. I’m not going to start watching this drama just yet. I’ll wait until more episodes come out.

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