Coffee House production press conference
With one week till its premiere, the cast of SBS’s Coffee House gathered at the SBS company offices in Seoul for the production press conference on Monday afternoon.
The drama’s four leads were on hand — Kang Ji-hwan, Park Shi-yeon, Ham Eun-jung, and Jung Woong-in — as well as director Pyo Min-soo of Full House and The World The Live In. Even without the actor draw, this drama is built on two motifs that are among my most favorite things — books and coffee — so I was already primed to watch it. Add in Kang Ji-hwan and some romantic comedy hijinks and I’m hoping for a fun ride.
Kang Ji-hwan is a best-selling author who is fussy about his coffee, while Park Shi-yeon is his old friend, a publisher who runs a “book cafe.” The love triangle is rounded out by Eun-jung, who plays an assistant who makes the worst coffee in the world. (Ha! I like it already.) Kang’s relationship with Eun-jung seems to be the usual bickering kind, while his romance with Park develops as it goes between friendship and love.
Kang Ji-hwan’s no stranger to the romantic comedy, and he’s shown that he’s got pretty solid comic timing, so I’m hoping for a lot from him. (His dramatic chops are, of course, just as strong if not stronger.)
Park Shi-yeon is newer to the genre, having mostly been cast in thrillers like La Dolce Vita, Modern Boy, and Story of a Man. It’s strange how I didn’t like her for a long while when she first came on the scene (her weak debut in My Girl didn’t help), but now I’ve come around and am hoping that comedy suits her.
She explained at the press conference that she’s long wanted to do a rom-com (My Girl doesn’t count, at least not for her as she had nothing romantic or comedic to do in it), and “This bright, strong role is different from my previous roles and I’m filming happily.” She described going to work by saying, “Going to the set feels like I’m going on a picnic” and “She’s different from my personality in that she’s cool, and even though she yells when she gets angry she doesn’t hold a grudge, so it’s fun to play her.”
The drama will replace Oh My Lady and kicks off on Monday, May 17.
(The PD has explained that despite the title similarity, which has some people calling this a “House” series, this drama has no story connection to Full House. Some have been wondering if PD Pyo can recapture the ratings success of Full House, but personally I think the days of the 40% miniseries are pretty much over. Oh, you’ll still get serial makjang dramas and epic sagas occasionally hitting 40%, but consider how much easier it was to score big ratings when the only option for watching a drama was to catch its live broadcast or rent it from the video store. It would take a mighty exception for a 16-episode miniseries to hit those huge numbers again, imo.)