Raise a glass to Terroir
Are you watching SBS’s new Monday-Thursday drama Terroir?
I admit not being that captivated after catching a bit of the first episode, but I don’t think I’ve seen enough yet to give it a fair chance. No doubt SBS is looking to re-create the success of Gourmet — first with the just-ended Tazza (since both were based on popular manhwas), and now with Terroir (since both are food-related. Or at least gastronomy-related).
After filming in France, the production is back on Korean soil. The story takes place around a restaurant called “Terroir” and pits a cheerful specialist in Korean traditional wines (Han Hye-jin) against a cold, haughty connoisseur of French wines (Kim Joo-hyuk). Classic conflict, or trite setup?
Although Tazza, the series preceding Terroir, was considered a modestly successful series (from a commercial standpoint), it did not hit Gourmet‘s high numbers. Something tells me Terroir won’t be able to, either. Its ratings were a disappointment, with Episode 1 bringing in a 6.4% — still higher than The World They Live In, but a lot lower than Tazza‘s 18.4% finish.
Episode 2 did a bit better, rising to 7.2%. (In contrast, competitor East of Eden pulled in a 26.9% and a 27.2% this week, while World managed a 6.5% and a 6.1%.)
And while we’re talking about Gourmet, I see two main advantages Gourmet has over Terroir:
(1) Food trumps wine. By this I mean that relating food to other, broader themes and issues (as I tended to ramble on about in my Gourmet recaps) is feasible in a way that it isn’t with wine. Plus, food porn is much more engaging than listening to characters gush over wine, since wine pretty much always looks the same.
(2) Kim Rae-won totally wins over Han Hye-jin. I don’t have strong feelings about Han, but I’ve never really felt drawn to her performances, and she seems to be really playing up the cute, “spunky” image here, which feels kinda forced. In contrast, Kim Rae-won is such a strong, natural actor.
But that’s just my preliminary stance. Must watch more of Terroir to get a better feel for what it’s doing.