I avoided watching the second episode for a few days. My hope was that it would redeem the show. My fear was that it wouldn’t. Even if it didn’t, I know some dramas take a while to find their stride. If this episode didn’t uphold my desire for greatness, I promised myself to push forward and watch at least until episode five or six.
“Sun” – Francis (from the Flower Boy Ramyun Shop OST)
episode 2 – review
This episode delivered. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. The first scene had me giggling like a schoolgirl at Cha Chi-soo’s arrogance and royal hotness. He reminded me of Matsumoto Jun’s Domyoji – oh, hell yes. We’re off to a good show RAWRyum.
Before I continue, I just have to say that the opening sequence is just the cutest darned thing I ever did see. It hints at the anime quality I noted in my First Impressions with the adorable hand-drawn hearts and paperdoll-like clothes. I re-watched it several times to get my fill of cuteness (and Jung Il-woo in Shades. B)
We are finally introduced to the ramyun shop from the title and our graceful, swan-like second female lead. But where the hell is Lee Ki-woo? Show, bring him to me next episode! No…NOW!
*Ahem.* Pardon me. I got off track with my desire for more eye candy. (I know. I know. Raine, you already have TONS of eye candy. I don’t care. I WANT MORE!)
Now, back to the topic at hand.
I don’t know how what bugged me to no end last episode endlessly thrilled me in this episode. The Japanese high school dorama elements – dramatic ‘dos, mood swings, humiliation, arrogant man-children, former badass turned school teacher who has to take care of the troublesome children in class (*cough* GTO, Gokusen *cough*) – clicked into place with the teasers of back story we were given.
The insights to Eun-bi’s past really helped to balance her goofiness. This time around, I completely enjoyed her antics because they were grounded in a solid character. Watching too many high school j-doramas comprised only of over-dramatic fluff has turned me off to characters that have as much substance as cotton candy.
Flower Boy Ramyun Shop is NOT one of those.
It IS an overindulgent high school drama that has a dorky female lead with a bi-polar personality and a manipulative male lead who hurts others to ease his own emotional wounds.
It is also more than that.
If you take real issues and put a clown nose on them, you get Yan Eun-bi, Cha Chi-soo and our interesting cast of characters. The issues are there, but softened by the comedy – Jung Il-woo(f) pitches a hysterical toddler’s temper tantrum and follows it with a selfish ploy to get what he wants because he’s a spoiled, lost child. This juxtaposition is perfect for a light-hearted rom-com that still has a bit of meat on its bones.
I love how Eun-bi became an unsure, heartbroken woman with a dream she fears she can’t fulfill, who, at the same time, has an inner reserve of strength that keeps her going. Is she still ridiculously silly and far too susceptible to Cha Chi-soo’s sexual energy? Sure, but that’s okay because I see some hysterical retaliation against Mr. Chaebol in her future and I CAN’T WAIT.
Jung Il-woo’s Cha Chi-soo made me hate him and yet, he was so utterly appealing that I couldn’t help but love him as well. He had tantrums and melted hearts; he exuded sex-appeal and hurt like a little boy; he smoothly built people up and then brutally cut them down. The kid is a total douchebag whose single-mindedness makes me wonder how Yang Eun-bi is going to rock his world. He seems utterly disinterested in her save for playing with her like a cat would a mouse. (I repeat. Douchebag.)
How will you win him clumsy heroine?
Did I mention the chemistry between our leads yet? They feed off of each others’ energy in every scene they have together. I certainly want to see some more Cha Chi-soo/Yang Eun-bi moments. (That first kiss BETTER be killer. If she turns into a limp ramyun noodle, I will have a FIT.)
Although not much happened plot-wise yet, I’m okay with that. We got some fun, loveable, heart-wrenching supporting characters like Eun-bi’s father, her dongsaeng Kim Ba-wool (and his crew) and the quirky teachers she works with. We have the rest of the drama to explore the relationships and dynamics introduced in this episode. (Like Cha Chi-soo and Kim Ba-wool’s frenemy relationship. What is THAT about?)
Selfishly, I do hope they get to the juicy plot stuff soon.
And Lee Ki-woo. *cough*
Am I ready for yesterday’s episode to be translated so I can watch it now? YES!
Thank you, show. My heart break over the last episode is mended.
(Thank you MadDino for the awesome screencaps.)