Rating:
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Let’s Eat: Series review

Cable network tvN’s fluffy foodie rom-com Let’s Eat* just wrapped this past week, so it seemed like a good time to weigh in on the series as a whole and hear everyone’s thoughts on the show. The 16-episode Thursday drama was one of the network’s recent experiments with one-episode-a-week scheduling, which did make it easy to watch on the side, given a full drama-watching slate (that is, if you’re crazy and you’re me). But it made for a strangely paced story at times, and then when I found myself getting invested in the characters, suddenly one episode a week wasn’t enough.

Overall I’d call it a light, frothy watch that was at its core endearing and character-driven, despite the outward trappings of slo-mo food porn. It does need to be said that there was way too much screen time devoted to extended shots of people eating (it veered on voyeuristic, I swear), but if you were prepared with a bowl of food of your own or were blessed with the willpower of a thousand steely monks, then you’d eventually be able to look past the food to the heart of the show.

If you don’t want to be spoiled, stick to the Introduction portion and skip the rest; the Review section below that will discuss story points, though none of it will explicitly tell you how the show ends.

[*The title of the show is a funny pronunciation of the phrase “Let’s Eat,” that the PD adopted after hearing baseball commentator Heo Gu-yeon pronounce it that way in his regional accent. He later cameos on the show as the hero’s father, which ties together the show title and the hero’s blog, and doubles as some meta fun.]

 
SONG OF THE DAY

K Jun – “식사를 합시다” (Let’s Eat) for the OST [ Download ]

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INTRODUCTION

The drama focuses on the home and work life of our heroine LEE SOO-KYUNG (Lee Soo-kyung), a divorced woman in her early thirties who is content to live alone. The one thing she can’t quite reconcile is her abiding love of delicious food, and her inability to eat out alone.

She’s a foodie who enjoys trying every new restaurant under the sun, and avidly follows food blogs to feed her ever-growing appetite. Her favorite is a strange blog called Let’s Eat that only uploads photos of empty dishes—a sign that a place has to be scrape-your-plate-clean delicious in order to be worthy of a post.

Soo-kyung works as a paralegal in mostly a secretarial capacity, though she’s got a litigious personality to match her area of work. She’s highly distrustful of other people and keeps a rather tight rein on her hermit life, and only has one best friend she confides in. She’s a great bestie though; Lee Soo-kyung always seems to be blessed with great female friendships in dramas.

The heroine is a relatable everywoman, which is exactly in Lee Soo-kyung’s wheelhouse (the actress, since she uses her real name). She portrays the character with an eye for comedy—openly neurotic, uptight, hapless but proud—but grounded in realistic emotion. But then, I’ve always liked her and found her characters easy to root for.

Her next-door neighbor to the left is GU DAE-YOUNG (Yoon Doo-joon), a smooth-talking man in his late twenties who schleps around in sweats most of the time, and can be overheard telling a different girl each day that he’s two minutes away from wherever he’s supposed to meet her, even though he’s still standing in his hallway. Basically, Soo-kyung’s first impression of him is that he’s a liar and a playboy.

But the more we see of him, we find out that he’s mostly an oddball. He owns no furniture and has the bizarre habit of keeping all his clothes at the dry cleaners, and goes there to change every morning, ostensibly to save himself the trip to drop off dirty laundry. I totally admit to thinking this was a genius idea, and wished I lived close enough to a dry cleaner to try it.

The show purposely keeps his occupation a mystery at the start, but Soo-kyung eventually learns that he’s an insurance salesman. What she doesn’t find out for a very long time is that he’s also the author of her favorite food blog. He’s possibly the only person in the world more obsessed with food than she is—though he’s the connoisseur and she’s the rabid eater—they don’t mess around when it comes to the art of eating.

I was pleasantly surprised by Yoon Doo-joon in this role. I think it helps that Dae-young is a quirky character, and a guy with a sunny disposition and a quippy comeback for everything. He really has a lot of fun with the Angry Foodie segments—basically once every episode, someone fails to see the awesomeness of whatever dish they’re about to eat, and he looks into the camera and launches into this over-the-top lecture about why this food is the best food ever created, until your eyes roll into the back of your head. (Of course Soo-kyung is always well into her third bite before he ever finishes.) He totally goes for the comedy, which made me like him.

Soo-kyung gets a new neighbor to the right when a woman dies in the apartment next door (while eating alone, natch), and a bright-eyed bushy-tailed girl in her early twenties moves in. YOON JIN-YI (Yoon So-hee)—or Park Shi-yeon’s clone if you’re like me and couldn’t ever shake the resemblance—is a former rich girl who suddenly found herself penniless when Dad was sent to prison for corrupt business dealings.

This is her first apartment and she’s so new to life that everything from getting a utility bill to having neighbors is exciting to her. She’s so out of touch that it’s actually amusing, and despite the character sounding inane on paper, she’s played with such ebullience that you can’t help but wish her well (and cringe for the harsh lessons that lie ahead for her).

Jin-yi is the bridge between Soo-kyung and Dae-young, because she’s dead set on being friendly with her neighbors. She immediately develops a crush on Dae-young because he’s nice to her, though she has to whittle away slowly at Soo-kyung to have the unni-next-door friendship she’s always dreamed of. Soo-kyung reluctantly warms to Jin-yi in tiny steps, but remains as disdainful of Dae-young as ever.

Jin-yi desperately wants unni and oppa to get along, and finds the common ground—food—it’s the one thing Soo-kyung can’t say no to, no matter how much she dislikes Dae-young. So at Jin-yi’s request, they start eating out together and thus get involved in each other’s lives.

The rest of the players are people at Soo-kyung’s law firm, including Lawyer Kim (Shim Hyung-tak), a vain and petty boss who drives Soo-kyung absolutely crazy with menial tasks that send her reaching for emergency candy bars on a daily basis, just to stay calm and get through her day.

What she doesn’t know is that he’s getting his stupid petty revenge for the fact that she rejected him back in law school and can’t remember who he is, and has basically liked her for ten years from afar. He’s also really into the way Soo-kyung eats (her eating noises are vaguely sexual), and his crush veers into fetishistic territory, but he’s earnest and sincere enough that it doesn’t seem to be why he likes her. I hope.

Don’t get me wrong—he’s freaking hysterical, because we’re meant to laugh at his folly. He’s a funny sad sack. He’s just got a chronic case of foot-in-mouth, worsened by debilitating insecurity, and capped off with the emotional intelligence of a first-grader. But he’s played with this indescribable cheesiness that kills me, and does eventually show some depth that’s moving.

The other law firm characters are mostly around for comic relief, though I like that they have some layers and feel like people who have complicated lives of their own. The show also employs a great deal of cameos in exchange for having such a small core cast. The list is too long to name everyone, but a few favorites were Lee Sang-woo, who visits the law firm to ask about divorcing his wife while shooting his drama Warm Words, and Philip Choi as one of Lee Soo-kyung’s ex-boyfriends, because he played her boyfriend in Soulmate.

Last but certainly not least, Soo-kyung has a dog that she named after Che Guevara, though she calls him by the hilariously formal Vara-sshi (as if Gue Va-ra were a Korean name). The sole reason for the name is a pun—the way Guevara is pronounced in Korean is ge-ba-ra, or “look at the dog.” Dae-young teases the dog for what he thinks is a funny name, which Soo-kyung finds so insulting.

Because our heroine lives alone, she often talks more to her dog than anyone else, so he feels like an actual character with a personality all his own. My favorite thing is that she treats him like a little person, and when they fight, the dog runs to his cage and slams his door to show that he’s angry. Sometimes she even asks the dog for relationship advice, which might explain why she’s bad at romance.

 
REVIEW

You could mostly call Let’s Eat a slice-of-life drama about our heroine, and by extension the three neighbors who share a hallway. You could also call the show a commercial in drama clothing, though I’d only call it that if it forgot to tell a story wholesale.

The food sequences that were featured in every episode were highly indulgent (in story time, not calorie count, though it was that too), and often felt like we were taking a legitimate commercial break. I can see why CJ Entertainment wanted to experiment with this hybrid PPL sequence embedded into the show itself (CJ Group is a food company, so you just know they’re making a boatload in cross-promotion for something like this).

As commercials they were certainly effective, but I’d much rather have a clear separation between drama and commercial. Setting your drama at your home shopping network a la I Need Romance 3 is about as much brand promotion I can swallow without it taking me out of the story world entirely.

Let’s Eat regularly pulled me out of the narrative when we stopped to ogle at food, for what I eventually came to understand would be long enough to get up, take a bathroom break, and root around in the fridge. I like for my dramas to be able to pay their actors, but this show certainly walked a fine line between a commercial with a story and a drama with lots of commercials.

What keeps it, then, from becoming an extended food commercial is a thoughtful tone and an earnest portrayal of characters who are consistent and well-rounded. I found that despite feeling my brain disengage every time we broke for eating sequences, it reengaged when we got back to the story.

What helps connect all this is the way food is used as a language in the show—the writer makes as much use of this as possible, which I appreciate on a thematic level because it keeps the food relevant. Our heroine is someone whose emotional development is tied to food, whether it’s stress-eating or feeling inadequate to eat a meal designed for two all by herself. When she’s feeling downtrodden, she can barely muster the energy to buy a kimbap roll on the way home; when she and Dae-young keep getting their wires crossed, they both get plain triangle kimbap from the convenience store and eat it alone in their apartments—even in angst, their expression through food is the same.

It isn’t a particularly fast-paced show, and the single-episode format adds to the more languorous feel of the story. Overall it didn’t bother me too much, though it certainly keeps the show from being the first thing you reach for on your to-watch list. I felt that the romance was slow to start, and disliked almost everything about the neighborhood serial killer storyline, where the show decided to keep the lingering threat of a murderer overhead, while failing to develop it in any way.

Perhaps if the thriller element were executed better, I’d have forgiven the story thread for being such a glaring sore thumb. But it was a weird fit for a show like this, and for most of the drama it was such an afterthought that it was literally shoehorned into the epilogues as the credits rolled, to serve as a creepy reminder: Don’t forget, the serial killer is still around! We’ll get to it…someday! It was so badly integrated into the central story that I could never take it seriously.

Obviously there are romantic uses for the killer plot, in that Soo-kyung’s suspicious nature gets her into dicey waters when she jumps to conclusions about Dae-young, and then later when Dae-young worries about her being a potential victim. I do love how focused he is on her safety that he doesn’t even know he’s bleeding from a broken arm until she points it out. It’s a great moment in their story, but altogether it could have been achieved with a story device that was a more organic fit. The same goes for the mystery segment in Jin-yi’s story, which I could’ve done without.

The romance wasn’t one that had scorching chemistry or even a great deal of development, but it was squarely in cute and fun territory. I enjoyed the friendly neighborly bickering, and adored Soo-kyung’s fangirling when she discovers that Dae-young is the blogger whose taste buds she worships. Her sudden change in attitude is hilariously confusing for him, because he doesn’t see at all why she’d care.

Dae-young is an unconventional character, but that’s the main reason I liked him. He has this funny recurring bit where he invents a super dramatic backstory about waiting for his first love based on movie and drama posters in whatever café he happens to be in at the time, and feeds any new woman he meets that sob story in order to keep her at arm’s length. He doesn’t need to do this with Soo-kyung, of course, because she dislikes him already.

But when Soo-kyung calls him out on being too nice to all women and being the cause of all the broken hearts around her, he actually takes it to heart and starts drawing clear boundaries. He even roots for Lawyer Kim to confess his feelings for her, which prompts some of this:

Sometimes it’s nice to come across a romance that’s relatively angst-free, where the cute far outweighs the pain, and everybody in the love square (hexagon?) is likable or relatable in his or her own way.

What drew me to the story was its focus on singledom—not as a dating status, but as a way of life—living for one in a studio apartment, wondering what to eat every night, and the mundane concerns like what to buy at the grocery store that won’t go bad before you can eat it all. I liked that our characters were all middle class average people (or new to it, like Jin-yi), who had to worry about how to scrimp and save to keep the bills down.

What’s nice is that there’s a spectrum between all the characters, so that it’s not a blanket statement about living alone being lonely. In fact, our heroine never once regrets getting divorced and loves the freedom she has to do whatever she wants, as opposed to her best friend who’s married with kids and tied to her responsibilities. She enjoys single living, but her loneliness is real, and she thinks that she can stave it off by not relying on anyone ever.

Her new neighbor Jin-yi is at the opposite end of the spectrum, and is always a little afraid of being alone so much that she’s constantly trying to form new attachments to any warm body around. She’s naïvely trusting where Soo-kyung is deeply suspicious, which makes for a funny dynamic between the two girls. Dae-young is a happy middle ground, though his problem is more that he forms so many surface-level attachments that none are lasting.

The drama isn’t light or frivolous when it comes to that central theme, which is why I ultimately enjoyed the series for being more than its extended sequences of eating. It has a contemplative tone when exploring the characters’ loneliness and isolation, and is less about romance than it is about three neighbors looking out for each other and forming a family in their own way.

Little by little, they begin to lean on each other for small favors, then big emergencies, until they suddenly have people who worry about them when they’re not around. That familial neighborly love was more compelling to me than the romance was (despite enjoying the romance the whole way through), and the one moment that nearly brought me to tears was Soo-kyung’s best friend crying after her run-in with the killer because she was so worried that something could’ve happened to her. And Soo-kyung in turn learns to be a shoulder for Jin-yi to cry on and becomes a genuine friend to someone who needs her.

I really love that the triumph for our main characters is to form real attachments to people. It takes the common idea that family is just people you share a table with, and makes it literal by bringing three isolated people together over their shared love of food. It never mattered what they ate (sacrilege, I know!)—long after plates were emptied and meals were forgotten, friendships had already taken root and love had already wormed its way into guarded hearts.

 
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I honestly loved this drama! The only complaint I have is the grey hairs I have for waiting for each episode every week!^^ (seriously 16 weeks+ 1 ep a week = 4 months of my life ah!!)

I love slice of life dramas/movies because they just seem so much more real to me. While I love the awesome crazy dramas of 400-year-old aliens or super rich famous idols finding love there is something more tangible about this series. I can see myself actually learning a life lesson from this drama, and it was so much more relatable.

I also came to love Doo-joon in this. I have never watched him act before, I was aware he acted but never bothered to seek out any thing of his, and I was quite surprised. Maybe it was because Goo Dae-young was such an amazing character, but I loved every minute he was on screen. (I am pretty sure Goo Dae-young is my ideal drama guy now!!) I giggled every time he went into food lecture mode.

I found the romance to be refreshing as well, though I'm not really considered a noona I LOVE noona-dongsaeng romances (my appeal to INR3). I enjoyed how Soo-kyung and Dae-young's relationship seemed to creep up on me, it seemed like such a natural progression. Their dynamic was also awesome in that they had things in common which led to the relationship, not a stereotypical I really hate you, I don't know why I like you, it must be fate.

I will really miss this drama and all its characters, even little Bara!! I feel like this drama is gonna be my comfort food, pun not intended. I will for sure be re-watching this drama.

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RT @miguKandy "I also came to love Doo-joon in this. (I am pretty sure Goo Dae-young is my ideal drama guy now!!)" ~~ me too! came to love Doo joon because of this drama...

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@lechugas haha isn't it strange how one role can completely change an actor in your eyes!

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Simple, light, entertaining.

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Barrassi! First your able to close your crate doors now you can comment on blogs wow! jkjk love your name! after this drama I kinda want to name my future no [insert name here]-ssi haha

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Oh and the most important bit to the storyline that appears later on was the poem "RICE". I tried to google it or maybe I wrongly wrote the poet's name but that was sooooo beautiful!!!!!!
It just summed up the way to life in the most simplistic manner.
As you said GF, it had a realistic feel to the relationships between the characters amongst all the food porn (God, it made me hungry always!!!!)
I did wish you and JB had a drunken podcast to cover it though :D But thanks for it again :)

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I will never look at rice the same way again after hearing that poem!

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@coby Me too! who knew a poem about rice could be so amazing and life inspiring!

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I absolutely LOVED this drama, maybe even especially because of its one episode a week format. that being said, I never expected it to be fast paced or amazing (the promotional posters made it look like any other lackluster drama) but I got hooked from the start. all the characters were charming, the food was amazing, and each episode was better than the last.
that being said, I started rewatching the drama today with my friends and I was surprised at how slowly and choppily it began! shows how the one-episode a week format really helped production find the perfect pace, imo

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Thanks GF! I was so hoping you'd write something about Let's Eat. I knew while I was watching that there were puns and meta references that I was missing, so thanks for explaining some of them.

I loved this show from start to finish. Yes, I could wait until the weekend to watch YFAS, but I always watched LE as soon as subs came out. The character development made me always want more. Because it was so drawn out, I feel I forgot a lot of the beginning by the time we got to the end; but that's ok - just another excuse to marathon it some rainy weekend.

I had no idea who Yoon Doo-Joon was until this show, but now I will look for him in other dramas. He really made the show! I would have liked to see a little more development in the leads' relationship, with more cute and fuzzy scenes, him teasing her. I kind of felt a disconnect when they showed him moving in to kiss her in her apartment, and she screwed up her face as though she was embarrassed. Come on, she's divorced. It's not like she hasn't kissed a man before. This insistence in Kdrama that every actress act like a virgin gets a little annoying at times.

Also, there was never any explanation for who opened the packages and why. And for some reason the director or editors decided to play "duh-duh-duh-duhhh" music when the delivery boy started coming around. It was kind of overkill, and spoiled the surprise of uncovering who he was. And since he didn't turn out to be that deliberately evil, it really didn't sync with the storyline.

Finally, I've gained 10 lbs in the last 4 months. Let's Eat, I blame you! (But I still love you anyway!)

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Just wanted to de-lurk to provide some clarification....

The delivery boy was the one that opened Jin-yi's packages. He was snooping in order to find out more about her father's court case. And the serial killer was the one that was messing with Soo-kyung's mail because he wanted to get more info on her.

I loved this series so much that I didn't want this loose end to detract from your enjoyment. :)

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Sooooo glad girlfriday did a review on this. I caught this drama while waiting for You From Another Star week by week, so I luckily only wasted one month of my life waiting for it! hehehe

I swear in the one month that I waited for the weekly episodes, I gained all the weight I had worked so hard to shed last summer. I found it helpful to skip the eating-gasms for the sake of not gaining weight AND because they just took up too much time. Add to that Dae-young minute long speech and it felt like 30 minutes of the episode had just been taken up. I did like that with a few episodes left, it could poke fun at itself or gave the speech a twist, see Barassi's speech. :)

I am back and forth about the whole Idol to actor bit because we get our good ones and we get our WTF-why-did-you- add-this-as-a-career-move ones. I found Doo-joon to be quite likeable and his acting better than sub-par.

As I much as I like Dae Young, I must say Lawyer Kim was my favorite quirky character in this drama. My most memorable scene is of him placing Soo-kyung's candy bars on her desk and asking if doing so might bring her back.

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so happy you did the review for Let's Eat!!!

i thoroughly enjoyed the series. i do agree that the food eating sequences went slightly longer than it should have...but I didn't mind. I actually enjoyed seeing it and consistently sought out the same food the day after (or same day LOL).

like you discussed, the characters were what made me LOVE this show (and invested)! dae-young and soo-kyung were my absolute favorites. and i really like the fact that they are middle class people who are more relatable. i certainly would like to see more kdramas with middle class citizens... i'm kind of sick of seeing chaebols all the time (unless it is kim jae-wook - because i want to see him in anything ha).

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For another really good drama with middle class characters, I recommend "Nagareboshi". This is a charming and touching Japanese drama with heartthrob Takeunochi Yutaka in his best role to date. He's so low-key that he rides a bicycle :) Love the character he plays in this drama, as well as the whole story and the ending is beautiful.

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and how did you know i have a soft spot for japanese dramas?

though my watched list is pretty much little to nothing, i was looking for a good one to watch... i will definitely check it out (hopefully it has subs...) hur hur.

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One of the best dramas of this year!

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My stomach grumbles even when I am full when I watch this show!

I am still at episode 3 or 4, and I just love the characters. Even if I am easily annoyed with naive characters (in drama and in real life), I liked Jin-hyi! and whoa to Doo-joon!

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I actually really enjoyed this drama. Despite the awkward pacing and weird background music, overall the drama was just really easy to watch.

It's kinda like your eccentric spinster aunt who has a ton of cats. She's awesome, has travelled the world, can talk to you about anything, and gives you beer. Unfortunately she talks about her cats too much and shows too many pictures, but you can understand why; they are adorable after all.

I loved the characters in Let's Eat. They were each given layers and actual lives. Their character depth showed a simple everydayness, no tragic past of angst. Even the people who were very obvious cariactures (Lawyer Oh, married best friend, and Jinyi's backup boyfriend) were given throwaway lines that showed life outside the heroine. I was also pleasantly surprised with Doojoon who I thought did a pretty good job. I didn't know he was an idol until I read this post.

On another hand, did anyone suspect that the laundromat guy was the killer? Although he didn't match the person's silhouette, I felt that his location and easy access to Goo Dae Young's clothing was a shoe in for killer. I was pretty disappointed that they just brought a random chracter into the drama.,

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LOL, perfect analogy.

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I keep forgetting to ask, but does anyone know why Lee Soo-kyung the character has the same as her real life acting name? And why Lawyer Kim's first name (Hyung-tak) is also the same as his real name?

Were they just having fun with all the meta jokes?

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Good point, I didn't even notice this. I guess it gives the drama a certain environment of being grounded in reality and helps the actors relate more to their characters, thus bringing out a more realistic and natural performance. I felt this director was really going for realistic and natural, rather than dramatic. Reminds me of another drama I enjoyed called Shut Up Family that employs a similar method- I believe some of the character s are named after the actors themselves, and they all just shared the same surname since they were playing a family. I guess it helps them bond better that way, which seeps into their performance as well? By the way, I recommend Shut Up Family a lot, it's a great underrated drama.

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Sometimes it can be a coincidence, sometimes its to give more exposure to the actor

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It was certainly a very natural performance! I just had the impression that they did it for dramas with a bigger cast, but no biggies - just being curious!

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happy to see that most (if not all) of the commenters like this show. it was such a light, quirky andlovable drama!
loved all of the characters! hope to see more of the cast!

Feel-Dog is such a cutie pie and I have to say he's not bad in acting. Wishing him a good drama soon! (but jfc, can they change his name....)

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I read someplace that the show, for a cable one, was a huge hit because the viewers would watch whatever food the show had its five minute orgy about, then rush out and try it too lol, so I was half expecting a extention on its run. I also read it got hit with an offical govenment warning on content, though I can not think of why, unless it was making eating food to erotic :-)
I alway liked the lead actress so even though the read up on what the drama was about was rather misleading, I found the drama very watchable and fun.

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I love this show. And i love girlfriday for doing the review. Jjang jjang girl!!!

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Just finished watching it. I'm a FOODIE so I enjoyed the food porn. Everything looked so delicious that I wanted to go and eat Korean food afterwards!
Not use to the one episode a week format though.
Comedy/drama started slow, but the it picked up as you are drawn into their characters. Even Barassi!
Cute and refreshing change of pace because I was getting bored with secret births, nasty mother in laws, and amnesia story lines. The killer plot wasn't that well carried out compared to all of the food closeups. Didn't know Doo Joon was part of BEAST, a group that I liked.He did a good job. Sorry to see it end.

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Hi all, firstly I would like to thank you GF for posting Let's Eat review!
I agreed 1 episode a week is a long wait for me, but it is worth waiting! And now its has ended....
really like the 2 cast Soo Kyung(noona) and Dae Young (Oppa) on how they react on food and etc.. The drama even tells you what to grab when it comes to buffet. *thumbs up* for the production and crew too. Hope the cast and drama will win some award for this drama!!

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You know how the tourism promoting bodies showcase famous shooting sites of popular dramas? it would be great if they would showcase the different cuisines highlighted on this drama and the places which are famous for it, I would be the to visit Korea on a food tour! Up till now, korean food is , to me, bibimpap, bulgolgi and ramen..

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I loved this show, and when I read the review I was wondering if I found the serial killer plot such a sore thumb. The fact that people in the neighborhood only took notice of the existence of the serial killer when another case happened seemed so natural. Also in real life you tend to forget that the threat of crimes happening is constant. You only notice and become cautious when it already happened to you or somebody near you, and after a short time your alertness diminishes. So I found it really normal that the characters kind of ignored or forgot it, (and so did we the viewers) because they were more busy with the mundane aspects of their lives, - you cannot go on living if you are always conscious of threats, that makes a paranoid. Only the viewers were reminded time and again... that it will serve as a plot device later on.

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Thanks GF for the review. This drama is one of my favourites now. Loved all the characters and of course all the food made me salivate. I think this show did a great job of presenting Korean cuisine in the best light.

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I loved this show! Agreed that you shouldn't watch it on an empty stomach... I found myself Googling for recipes of the foods on the show. The meals that LSK ate with her mom were my favorite. Both the big spread and the bibimbap that GDY shared with them.

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love this drama!!! makes me crave for korean food!! yum yum!

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I love this show because it incorporated few of my favourite things - food and eating! :) It was such a torture to see them eating (even after I took a huge meal) though there were times I was grossed out by how piggish they looked lol...The story was uncomplicated and heart warming with quirky characters and their idiosyncrasies which was a breath of fresh air from all the current crop of melodramas and thrillers.
The contention is that the loveline felt a little forced. I would be perfectly happy if there wasn't any romance but just the three neighbours SK, DY and JY growing close together like a family. If I could change the ending, I would pair Attorney Kim with SK and DY with JY instead :)
Overall, I think the producers did a great job promoting lesser known Korean food to the viewers esp the international audience. I would have loved if there was a short description included every time they show the food that they were eating.
Thanks for the weecap GF! :)

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This drama never pretended to be something beyond--so it never had amnesia and thought it was something else all of a sudden. What I mean is, it didn't flirt with makjangs here and then drama there. It was a food drama with good camaraderie and light mysteries. I loved this drama. The cinematography was byootiful, the characters were lovable.

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Loved the show. Attorney Oh was the goofiest, most hilarious character ever. The love pairing was really good although I really felt bad for attorney Kim who was so in love with our main heroine. Too bad they didn't have like 24 episodes with more things happening and more food. Loved the food moments:))

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Thank you for the recap! It's nice to read other people's thoughts on this drama, especially as it wasn't much talked about.
I liked all of the characters which is really saying something! The 10 year unreqiited love story is so dramaland but it also seemed sincere and heartfelt. I was rooting for Attorney Kim for a good while - for him to get a happy ending at least, GDY and LSK are the cutest. And her dog. So much cute.
The only thing I was disappointed in was Lawyer Oh's character. She was basically used as a laughing stock because of her looks and that makes me really uncomfortable?
That aside, like some other commentors have said, this goes to prove that kdramas don't have to be dramatic. Just cute and heartfelt.

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:D I looooved this show :D it was nice to see such a difference to all the other ongoing dramas right now :D i srsly loved the comedy parts and I loved Shim Hyung Tak as Attorney Kim .. when he confessed to her while waiting for the veterinarian I was sooo *kyyyyyyyyyyaa* :D and his try to get over his dog phobia was so damn adorable :D :D :D i already miss it ..

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Yes Atty Kim's confession was touching.

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Loved It!!!

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Thanks sooo much for the review it feels like I'm watching the show all over again. And I nearly cried at the end of your review.
The warmth among those neighbors reminds me of Flower Boy Next Door which I also love. It's nice to see that strangers can eventually become family. At first SooKyung doesn't like her neighbors at all but then she becomes a great unnie-next-door for JinYi and even starts a relationship with DaeYoung. And DaeYoung has always been so nice to JinYi. I wish we got more episodes to see the bonds among DaeYoung-SooKyung-JinYi.
I appreciate that this drama doesn't have any character that I dislike, all of them are so likable and has their own charms. Even the cameos are so fun to watch like KwangSuk's Eomma, the killer which was appeared in Cheongdamdong Alice and I Hear Your Voice (he was funny in his previous dramas but manage to scare me here)
Special shoutout to the cutest DukYoung and Barassi whom competing to get JinYi noona's love
Sorry for the long comment I just still can't believe this drama ends already, gonna miss all the cute and warm and the food porn *sobs*

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This year's drama Daesang should go to Barassi kekekeke

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I didn't watch some of the first few episodes. But at some point I started watching it regularly. So I completely missed the Guebara part.

So when I read that it's pronounced as "Ge Bara" I laughed my ass off at the realisation. It's like realising the real meaning of a word your asian parents have mispronounced for decades.

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As a foodie I found the food sequences to be actual food porn. I did not feel they distracted from the story as much as girlfriday did, but I see her point.

Yoon Do Joon was pretty good in this. He has mastered that arched eyebrow head tilt to an almost giggle swoon worthy level.

Shim Yung-Tak I love you. Please do more comedy. Comedy that requires you to be shirtless. I beg of you.

Whoever did the wardrobe for Lawyer Oh - bravo. She had the BEST workplace fashion for a professional woman I have seen in a drama in a while.

Ok so there were a couple things I didn't like in this drama:
1) what the heck was up with office manager digging in his random orifices? Was it just a nervous tick...that NO ONE ever around him acknowledged?

2) More than that, I did not appreciate that the recurring joke for Lawyer Oh was to make fun of her looks. I thought she was pretty. And while I'm at it, why was she the only one left without a romantic prospect? Putting her in a floppy hat and sunglasses to bask in fame was like Mindy Kaling's "Elle" cover (in that when you lined the rest of them up, there was a glaring difference with hers). *sigh*

Pretty much agreed with everything else in the review.

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It was a the perfect side dish to all the dramas we watch. It was meaningful but light. I love food and dramas. So I loved a heroine who takes both seriously.

From beginning to end, the drama loved food the way I did. And the poem at the end was a lovely testament to the spirit of eating. Eating and life are things you experience and digest. Before this show, I suddenly lost the desire to look forward to my next meal. It was depressing and empty. I will never go on diets because I realised that eating is a mundane form of happiness.

The serial killer story was a little annoying but I closed both eyes with regards to it. It did shake me when cute Busan boy was a suspect though.

The food porn didn't affect me because I genuinely love looking at good food and thinking about how it'd taste. Cus my laziness to actually go out and get supper slams any desire to eat as a result of the drama.

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I did not know about the food company connection and just thought that some of the restaurant choices were quite modern. Cause normally we get more traditional choices in these kind of dramas (which I really prefer). Though I could go with the pizza scene because of the food porn factor with the cheese stretching endlessly, I found the choice of popcorn variations rather gross and distasteful.

In general, I loved to see and especially hear them eat because there really was a near-orgasmic quality going around in some of those scenes. The story quality was rather nice as well.

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This turned out to be a light and funny comedy and was enjoyable to watch due to the characters and the actor/actress portrayals.

Nothing far reaching or ground breaking but just simple fun.

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To girlfriday or whoever wrote this, what a great review. I think you nailed it on most counts...

I say most counts, because I am a little crazy with my love for food, and it was basically the only reason why I was hooked to this show. So as much as I agree with your comments on the commercialised side of all that food porn, I have to still say... it really got me going. I even cried a bit when Soo Kyung's mum made her dinner.

ps. wasn't there supposed to be a special episode wrap up? I tried checking the drama streaming sites but no luck. :(

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Thanks for highlighting this series, GF! I had such fun marathoning through it this few days though the extended eating scenes got a bit tiresome . Didn't realise Yoon Doo-joon is an idol boy until after watching the whole show and looking him up online. He was very natural and convincing as a 30 year old, surprised to find out his real age is 24. Wished there was more romance and skinship between the OTP though!

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I really enjoyed this show. It was my first time seeing all four of the main actors in a drama, and (as always) I started off ambivalent, but by the end loved their characters. I didn't even know that the guy who plays Dae-young is an idol until I googled him about halfway through the series. Now I know 3 of the B2ST people, all b/c of dramas!

Let me tell you, when it turned out that Pretty Secretary from I Hear Your Voice was the don't ask killer, it actually kind of freaked me out b/c I'm used to him being charming and nice and gossipy. He did the crazy look well - I think it was helped by guyliner. I compared Pretty Secretary as crazy serial killer to Min Joon-guk in IHYV; wonder if he consulted Jung Woong-in for lessons.

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started watching this a couple of days ago, and i'm loving it so far. i don't find the switch in tones at all jarring, because i thought it'd been well established from the beginning, and it's not so unrealistic. noona romances are always a plus, too^^

my only gripe is lee do-yeon's character, and how there are jokes about her appearance on every episode. her being overly confident about herself doesn't subvert any stereotype, but only makes it all the more painful and annoying. i couldn't help but think that it's cruel that she plays a character that is mocked not for the character's personality or history, but the actress' own appearance. no matter what people say, she is far, far, uglier than the average person and i wish she'd been replaced by a different character instead, that was also infuriatingly self-confident and annoying but not so ugly that the show felt a need to point it out so often. ugly jokes aren't funny, especially when the person is actually ugly.

so yeah, i really dislike that about the show so far, but otherwise, i love all of the other characters.

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Thank you so much for this review, girlfriday. While I didn't feel the same way about some things (I looked forward to the food sequences), I think you do a great job of summing up the great parts of this drama. This is definitely my favourite show of 2014 and one of my top dramas to date. I just loved how down-to-earth and realistic it was. The characters were all a little odd but lovable, it balanced humor and emotion quite well and it was just about these people learning to open up and let people in (but not too much like Jinyi often did). I love that the romance wasn't the main element or even the thriller/suspense - it was just about these people's daily lives and I loved the opportunity to get to know these characters and live in their world for awhile. I will miss this show so much.

Also I still want most of Jinyi's clothes!

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Korean food is not that appealing like a Japens bento box, Thai or Chinese for us, and Ramyun is high in sodium so off limits....This may be why I did not watch this drama even though I enjoyed watching FF and seeing its food porn. Different strokes...Thanks.

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*Japanese sushi or

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Just finished this show. I think it's definitely on my list of favorite dramas now because I loved everything!

I do think they could have done without the serial killer mystery and it would have been totally fine though, but even that I was pretty cool with. Since it helped to show how suspicious Soo Kyung can be. In a way all the darker stuff in the drama is what brought all the characters closer together, so that was nice :D

But ahh man! I just looooved everyone in this. Goo Dae Young is now one of my fave drama guys--he was awesome and hilarious and now I am a total Doo Joon fan (also loved the part in the drama where they did the little play on his name making it sound like a heart beat. Doojoon, doojoon!).

Everyone was great will definitely be looking out for more work from everyone--the cast and the writer and director,too. I miss the show already )':

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I really, really love this drama. I can say it's my favorite drama of 2014 after YFAS.

Does anyone here find the boy who fall for jinyi is so adorable as I do? I giggle every time the boy appears..

Anyway, I love Dae Young's quirky yet witty character and the way Doojon plays the character is just perfect.

I missed this drama already.

Jjang Jjang drama!

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And oh, I forget to mention that although I admire the character development and story line, I find several unnecessary scenes. For example, the one when the office manager was lining in a coffee shop and a ladies split the coffee for her boss. I just don't get what the scene has to do with the whole story.

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I first saw Doo joon in IRIS 2 (since I was doing Jang hyuk marathon). Surprisingly , his acting captured my attention. He has potential, so I started liking him. I got curious so dig his profile. and Tada! I ended watching his latest series "Let's eat" . Actually it is break for me to watch such kind of light drama series from those heavy ones.
I HONESTLY LIKE IT! Makes you laugh, and makes you hungry to the FULLEST! Somehow I felt I gained a bit weight while watching it (because I literally ordered food and eat with them :) ) I had fun !

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I think the main reason for the food sequences is because this is also a "meokbang" drama (meok-keo bangsong which means eating broadcast). It's trending heavily in Korea now.

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Thanks for the Series Review Girlfriday.

Loved Let's Eat and it's a kdrama gem that I enjoyed and looked forward to every Thursday it aired from November 28, 2013 - March 13, 2014.

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I really want to know where the food comes from if there's actual sources and places they ate at. If somebody knows, please please please let me know TT_TT.

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Seriously though, can we have a moment for all the shots of food porn in this entire drama? Thank goodness I don't live near Korean restaurants or I would probably go broke from ordering a dish every time it appears in this drama just because the actors make it seem sooo yummy and the food shots make it that much more delicious!
Currently craving: grilled mackarel with radish and grilled rib eye HAHA

Man, I would be okay if this whole drama was just them eating food! But the murder mystery is what makes it a drama I guess..

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I had the same feeling about the eating sequences, too. I understand that it was part of the show and they HAD to do that in every episode. But after three episodes, it just felt too long. So, I read or browse while it's going on but I'm glad that as soon as they stopped eating, I don't feel disconnected to the story at hand.

I didn't mind the mystery part so much (killer guy and Gwang Suk) if it had been executed better, as you have said. And it was just too starkly different to the show's overall tone.

I had hoped for more kissing scenes!!

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not sure why I started to marathon this drama. but it could be due to drama fatigue and waiting in between for the current episodes of Cheese in the trap, remember - son's war, moorim school and another happy ending to air. of course, also love Yoon Doo Joon's cheekiness and cute slanty eyes! fell in love with this drama and kept feeling hungry throughout watching it...hmmm... good thing it was only 16 eps or I bet I would have gotten heavier by the end of it! loved the way the theme of living alone was portrayed with dignity. and of course the utter sense of freedom! cue Dae Young's super messy apartment vs soo kyung and Jin Yi's pretty and house proud officetels (is there even such a word?!:P) something about how the characters seem to rely on each other for the smallest and most basic things - dog-sitting, having meals, ordering takeout etc tugged at one's heartstrings. found it a fun experiment in terms of the storyline and format. altho the noona romance wasn't realistic in this instance. yet couldn't imagine Dae Young gg out with a ditzy Jin yi type. Dae Young struck me as an old soul in a young man's body. anyway, the food scenes finally had me running for Korean fried chicken and a BBQ meat place in no time! yummy drama, fighting!

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