Rating:
Average user rating 4.4
102

Greasy Melo: Episodes 35-38 (Final)

It’s time to say goodbye to the beloved characters of Greasy Melo as they figure out what their lives are like now that Giant Hotel is no longer their enemy, but their new home. At least, it’s a new home for some of them, since Sae-woo’s parents will need extra special persuasion to let their daughter (and the rest of their staff) join Poong in the kitchen.

 
EPISODES 34-38 WEECAP

Poong tucks the exhausted Sae-woo into bed and starts to unbutton her chef’s coat. Sae-woo sleepily asks if it’s a dream, but Poong reassures her it’s definitely real, then says, “Sleep with me.” She seems to nod assent, but as he leans in for a kiss, he discovers that she was just nodding off to sleep.

He lets her sleep, but has to go to the kitchen do gulp down a glass of ice water. Might be better to just pour that over your head, buddy.

Poong steps outside for some fresh air and sees Sae-woo’s father arrive at the hotel. He introduces himself, and Dad asks where Sae-woo is. Poong awkwardly explains she’s in the “night duty” room and Dad insists on seeing his daughter.

Poong takes him upstairs, but in the time that Poong left the room, Sae-woo sleepily undressed herself. Poong hurries to cover her up, but Dad’s suspicious that there was some hanky-panky despite Poong insistance that nothing happened,

Not the best first impression, but Poong takes Dad to the hotel kitchen and explains that it’s a difficult environment for a woman and he originally didn’t want her to work there, either. But Sae-woo shows great potential and determination as a chef. She enjoys working with the wok, so it would be a shame for people to miss out on the love and care she puts into her food.

As Dad imagines Sae-woo working, he explains that the only reason Sae-woo joined the kitchen staff was because he went to jail, so he feels protective of his daughter. He’s also concerned that both Sae-woo and Poong are recently divorced yet pursuing a relationship together. Poong says that it’s hard work, but it’s something Sae-woo really wants to do, and asks Dad to let her stay a little longer. He’s not just talking about the kitchen, is he?

Chil-sung goes to the hospital to visit Gum Granny. She tells him to leave, but he stubbornly sticks around, making himself comfortable in the spare bed next to her. Gum Granny explains that she couldn’t tell him about the cancer because it would make her feel guilty, having abandoned him as a child only to have him realize she’ll be dying soon. She hid it so that she could still enjoy being around him as Gum Granny and not his sick mother.

She admits that discovering he became a gangster broke her heart and wonders if he can find a way to stop being a loan shark. Gum Granny promises that in her next life, she’ll do nothing except look after him, and he can be the one who leaves her at a Chinese restaurant. She won’t blame him for his heartlessness. Chil-sung turns away so she can’t see the tears in his eyes as she says that she doesn’t deserve Chil-sung’s forgiveness.

In the morning, Jung-hye wonders why Sae-woo isn’t at the breakfast table, and Dad awkwardly says that Sae-woo had to leave early — covering up the fact that Sae-woo slept over at the hotel last night. Seol-ja serves breakfast and launches into an enthusiastic explanation of how she and Geok-jung can make sure they can do their household work while also working at the hotel, but Jung-hye refuses to listen.

Poong wanders the empty, small Hungry Wok kitchen as Sae-woo arrives at the hotel kitchen early to practice for the new day. Sam-sun also arrives early and immediately starts ordering her around, but he gives her tasks that are difficult for even more experienced chefs.

Poong puts up signs telling everyone that Hungry Wok is closed, much to the disappointment of a boy and his father who came there specifically because they heard it had the best jajangmyun. Poong decides to open up the kitchen once more just for them and prepares their meal. He tells them that they can head to the hotel next time since he plans to serve the same food there, but the father is worried about the cost since fancy hotels are notorious for being expensive.

Chil-sung stops by a convenience store — at the same time Ms. Veterinarian is there. Her credit card isn’t working, and Chil-sung offers to pay for her items. He reveals that he actually remembers her this time. Ms. Veterinarian points out that they keep running into each other — if it happens again, she’ll think it’s fate.

Poong calls Sae-woo over to Hungry Wok so he could make her breakfast without the hotel staff finding out about their relationship, but he wonders if there’s a way to keep Hungry Wok open.

He also tells her that he met her father last night, who, despite being nicer than her mother, was more intimidating. Sae-woo insists that if her family really knew Poong, they wouldn’t be so against him.

Poong takes his precious ladle and wok and realizes that he originally had left Giant Hotel to seek his revenge and destroy it, but now he’s returning with the hopes of having more people enjoy his food. His mission is to make it accessible so that anyone — regardless of their status or wealth — will be able to eat there.

He informs his staff that starting tomorrow, they’ll be serving any dish that the customers want, such as jajangmyun — and they’ll sell it for the same price as the local restaurants.

There’s some pushback since this means they’ll only be making a fraction of money they used to charge the VIP clients, plus the other chefs want to make more gourmet dishes than mere comfort food.

Sam-sun is especially adamant that they’ll lose their reputation and VIP clients, and refuses to do it. Poong retorts that it doesn’t matter if you’re a chef in a fancy hotel or a cook at a cheap restaurant, what matters is serving food that people want to eat. Poong explains that they’ll make up the price difference in volume since more people will want to eat there.

Seung-ryong is a broken, drunken mess after losing everything, and I couldn’t be happier as he falls into a table after attempting to punch Chil-sung. He accuses Chil-sung of being a mere loan shark and gangster, but Chil-sung says that he’s giving all that up for his mother. Aw.

Poong and Sae-woo have a cute conversation where they’re on the phone with each other, but standing at opposite ends of the kitchen. Sae-woo says she wishes she knew how to change her family’s perception of him, and Poong confesses that it hurts him whenever Sam-sun scolds her while she’s working.

Sae-woo’s parents have gotten into Poong’s head, though, and he’s worried that he’ll never be good enough for her. Sae-woo retorts that her parents are worried because she’s not good enough and they want someone to cover up her faults. She reassures Poong that she won’t let her family separate them.

Chil-sung catches Maeng-dal trying to peel off the money that’s papered on Hungry Wok’s walls. Maeng-dal says they’re short on money to purchase Giant Hotel in the public auction, so they could use the million won that’s just being used as decoration. But Chil-sung tells him to leave it — this money has another purpose.

People have noticed the sign Poong put up, directing people to the hotel if they want their usual Hungry Wok jajangmyun and other food. However, most of the original hotel kitchen staff haven’t shown up to work due to their refusal to make Poong’s simple dishes.

The orders start rolling in at an overwhelming rate — and most people are ordering jajangmyun! Poong’s crew may be small, but they’re willing to work hard, and Poong barks out orders as he grabs a wok and starts cooking. Sae-woo is proving extra useful as she anticipates Poong’s needs.

They’re deep into the lunch rush when Jung-hye arrives and asks to speak to the chef. Poong is like, “Now? Really?” and then you can practically see his heart leap into his throat when he realizes who it is.

Jung-hye is determined to take Sae-woo home, and she’ll use force if she has to. She says that Poong must not really love Sae-woo if he so willingly lets Sae-woo perform difficult kitchen work. Whatever, Mom.

But she manages to persuade Poong, who orders Sae-woo to leave. Sae-woo doesn’t understand why he’d want her to go home in the middle of lunch rush when she’s the only one besides him at the wok station. Poong insists that he doesn’t need her and that she should go home with her mother.

Later, Maeng-dal tells Seol-ja and Geok-jung that Poong and the rest of the remaining kitchen staff only made it through the day by the skin of their teeth. With so many staff gone, they were barely able to get orders out, and some tables weren’t able to keep waiting for their meals. Maeng-dal worries that they’ll lose their loyal customers if things keep going like this, and begs Seol-ja and Geok-jung to come back to work.

Instead of going home with her mother, Sae-woo finally visits Buster! Yay! She takes the bus back into town and calls Poong, telling him to meet her at the bus stop. She demands to know if Poong is going to break up with her because her mother told him to.

Sae-woo wonders what will happen when she goes back to the kitchen tomorrow or the day after or the day after that. Realizing that Poong would try to make her go home again, she decides to break up with him. She doesn’t want to date someone who would rather try to please her mother than stay with her.

But when she gets home, Sae-woo finally loses her cool and yells at her mom to stop interfering with her life. Even if Sae-woo breaks up with Poong, she’s not going to stop working in the kitchen.

Sam-sun returns to the kitchen to clean out his locker and Poong has to break up a fight between him and Dong-shik, who found out that Sam-sun was having an affair with the gangster’s wife. Poong invites Sam-sun to have a drink with him, and as the two men get increasingly drunk, Poong reveals that he wants Sam-sun to stay because Poong doesn’t plan on being at the hotel forever.

After five years, Poong plans to open up a small restaurant where he can personalize dishes for all the guests and be able to see them enjoy it. He wants Sam-sun to stay as his right-hand person until Poong leaves, at which time Poong will give the hotel restaurant to him.

Poong is staggeringly drunk as he makes his way to Sae-woo’s house at midnight. They’re shocked to see him there that late, and he drunkenly tells Jung-hye that Sae-woo broke up with him, then turns the tables by adorably telling Jung-hye that it’s her fault he fell in love with Sae-woo because she gave birth to pretty daughter.

He collapses in his drunken state, so they carry him off to Geok-jung’s room to sleep it off. Sae-woo sneaks down to dress the split lip he accidentally got when breaking up Sam-sum and Dong-shik’s fight. Then she cheekily tells Geok-jung that if he’s not going to close his eyes, he can just watch her brazenly kiss the sleeping Poong. Which she does.

Poong eventually wakes up from his drunken slumber and staggers out into the kitchen for some water, then realizes in a panic that this is not his home. He cringes when he remembers everything he said earlier, and quietly makes a run for it. Ha!

Chil-sung and his boys attend the auction of Giant Hotel, but there are also a lot of other people interested in the buying the hotel. Chil-sung decides to put his building up for sale so they can get the cash to try and outbid anyone else. They’re worried that they won’t be able to outbid the rival gangsters who just want to see Chil-sung fail, but then Sae-woo’s father arrives to pay back her loan.

It’s wayyyyyy more than the actual amount Sae-woo borrowed, but Dad says he wants to invest in Chil-sung. It’s just the money they need to make sure they’re the highest bidder of the hotel.

The rest of the hotel kitchen staff have returned, but Poong notes Sae-woo is missing. He tries to hide his disappointment as he reads off the lunch orders. Except she’s not! Sae-woo was only in the back, getting ingredients. Yay!

Sam-sun continues to berate her for all her mistakes, and Poong once again steps in to show her how to do it correctly, reminding Sam-sun that they were once clueless lowly assistants themselves. Sam-sun eventually looks impressed that she’s a quick learner.

Chil-sung and his boys celebrate their win by eating at the hotel to have an expensive treat — but they all end up ordering jajangmyun and sweet-and-sour pork. Pffft. But it’s actually pretty sentimental, since those were the dishes he was eating when Gum Granny abandoned him as a kid and started him down the path of becoming a gangster loan shark, and now he’s starting a new life as a legit businessman and hotel owner.

Poong stubbornly insists on joining Sae-woo as she heads home for the evening. They have a huge fight about Poong ordering her to go home yesterday and then her subsequently telling him that they should break up. Poong reveals his insecurities, especially that he never went to college and his only skill is cooking, and Sae-woo reminds him he seemed pretty confident last when he drunkenly confronted her mother.

In the end, they drive separately to Sae-woo’s house, where Poong says that he’ll start working in Jung-hye’s kitchen in the mornings. That way she can scold him the way he used to scold her. Just like the four of them became part of his Hungry Wok family, he now wants to become a part of their family. Oh, and he’ll continue to sleep in Geok-jung’s room.

Mom is not thrilled Poong and Sae-woo will be in such close approximation and makes Seol-ja keep an eye on Sae-woo, especially since Sae-woo sneaks downstairs to be with Poong.

Seol-ja lieterally puts herself in between Poong and Sae-woo, but it’s not enough to keep them from ridiculously flirting with each other all night.

Even though Chil-sung will be moving over to the hotel, his building won’t remain empty, as he gifts it to Maeng-dal. That includes the rooms that are papered with money, which Chil-sung had intended to make sure would go to Maeng-dal since the first day they put the money on the walls. Aw.

Chil-sung visits his mother in the hospital, who seems to be responding to the treatment. She wonders if he’ll ever get married, since she assumes a woman would be scared off by all the knife-wound scars on his stomach. But Chil-sung’s more focused on the fact that Gum Granny will live a little longer.

Poong stays true to his promise and allows himself to be bossed around by Seol-ja, who’s the master of Jung-hye’s kitchen. Jung-hye is astonished that he’s still there, and despite him coming back day after day, she refuses to accept him (or his food). But eventually she breaks, although she stubbornly says that Poong can stay and clean the dishes like she used to at his restaurant. Pffft.

Maeng-dal proudly shows off to Seok-ja that he’s now the owner of the money rooms. She’s got dollar bills in her eyes as she realizes that this could buy a house for them, but Maeng-dal sweetly already has plans to use that money to pay off his debt and give to other friends who need it.

Seung-ryeon’s officially arrested for his role in the illegal loan, and Chil-sung makes his home at the hotel as the new boss. Everyone’s happy to have them as their new boss.

Sae-woo works late in the kitchen after all the other staff have left. She practices making sweet-and-sour pork and Poong catches her in the act. They get cozy as he helps her, which involves lots of yummy kisses. He pleads with her to stop working and have fun with him. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, if you know what I mean.

Some time later, the hotel restaurant is bustling and even has a line out the door. Everyone enjoys the simple-yet-tasty Chinese dishes. Poong watches in satisfaction as his kitchen runs like a well-oiled machine — and yay! Geok-jung and Seol-ja are there, too!

Chil-sung and Gum Granny get their portrait taken together. Aw, he poses like his father did.

Poong gives Sae-woo a fortune cookie, which reads: “The one before you now is your true love.” It’s a recreation of the fortune he threw away, the one from that night on the bridge and that she kept asking him about. Then he asks if they should get married. Sae-woo muses over getting married again, and then agrees in chef-speak: “Service!”

 
COMMENTS

Aw, how sweet. But, uh… that’s… that’s it? That’s the ending? I don’t always need every storyline to be neatly wrapped up, and I didn’t expect everything would get a perfectly explained happy ending just based on the multitude of storylines that have mysteriously dropped off throughout this drama. But… that’s it? Augh. I’m even annoyed that we have no idea if Ms. Veterinarian ever had her fifth fateful encounter with Chil-sung.

I’ve been trying to keep hope alive, believing that everything would somehow come together and make sense in the final hour. Instead, I’m reminded that this show is held together based on the chemistry of the main characters (and the artful, loving shots of delicious food that I want to reach through my screen and eat. When is that technology gonna happen, ’cause I definitely need it, like, yesterday). I didn’t hate the show — it’s genuinely given me a lot of joy the past couple of months. I’ve been happily sucked into the yummy world of Greasy Melo, caring about most of the characters (and all of the animals). Chil-sung especially will forever hold a special place in my heart.

But… sigh… it could have been so much more. I was utterly delighted by the quirky, off-beat, magical realism of the first few episodes. How many dramas are narrated by a talking horse?!?! But those slightly surreal, fairy-tale elements vanished as quickly as Dal-hee did (remember her? The impetuous for Poong’s revenge plot in the first place? Who was planning to open up her private practice in Chil-sung’s building and presumably would have provided some emotional conflict that was actually understandable?). I was so caught up in the charisma of the main trio and their adorable friendship that the weak script was just a minor blip in my enjoyment. This is the kind of drama that’s really saved by the strength of the cast, and I honestly don’t know if I would have loved Greasy Melo as much if it weren’t for the dazzling chemistry between Jang Hyuk, Lee Jun-ho, and Jung Ryeo-won.

Even with all its logical and structural faults, this show was a lot of fun to watch. The bromance was heartwarming, and I relished that we had two male leads who were both interested in the same woman, but who also deeply respected each other’s friendship. I loved the gangsters and their loyalty to each other. There were so many small moments of camaraderie between characters that felt lived-in and believable. I especially enjoyed the chemistry between Poong and Sae-woo, and all those moments of intimacy as they cooked and ate together. I think I even enjoyed those moments more than their kisses (which were exquisitely passionate, don’t get me wrong!) but watching them work side-by-side in the kitchen and simply appreciate each other’s presence helped to make their relationship much more palatable “they like each other because the script says so” kind of rom-com.

All in all, I’m fond of my Hungry Wok family, but I’ll forever wish the show had stuck to its quirky guns and given us something a little more spectacular than a by-the-book rom-som with annoyingly needless conflict that often didn’t even make any sense. It’s like the drama set out to be one of Poong’s creative foodie inventions, but panicked and stuck to the tried-and-true — in the end it delivered something that was comforting and tasty, but lacked that extra bit of seasoning to elevate it to a truly unforgettable feast.

 
RELATED POSTS

Tags: , , ,

102

Required fields are marked *

it surprised me this drama came from the same writer of Jealous Incarnate. Jo Jungseok excel as the lead there but Junho? I think he's not lead worthy yet, yes he got good acting skill but sometimes it feel bland seeing him compared to JJS.

3
12
reply

Required fields are marked *

I don't think it's fair to put the blame on Junho for crap writing lol. I'm sure there's room for improvement in his acting, but I hardly doubt a better actor could somehow make such erratic editing and ludicrous writing somehow more charismatic. And in fact, like Odilettante said, it was the actors that made this drama as watchable as it was. Junho did the best he could with what was given, as did Janghyuk and Ryeowon.

9
reply

Required fields are marked *

Nah, the odds were stacked against him from the beginning. There was already a backlash bc of Janghyuk being cast as 2nd lead (we saw a little of it in the international community too, but it got pretty ugly in Korea), understandable since he is pretty new and only had one lead role prior. Top that off with a much less sympathetic character compared to the 2nd lead's instantly likeable role, and the honestly subpar writing and uneven storytelling... the drama, despite being the mess it was, still managed to come up as the 2nd highest rated weekday drama and there was even a 2% spike midway that lasted to the end of its run. Despite everything, I'd say if anything this drama actually proved that Junho's ready to be a kdrama male lead lol. After a string of great roles in Chief Kim and JBL, one bad drama won't do him harm. You did a great job Junho, I really hope your next role will be better lol.

6
6
reply

Required fields are marked *

LOL 2nd highest rated weekday drama among 3 dramas can be interpreted as 2nd lowest too. And the 2% spike midway was due to the other 2 rival stations stopping their dramas broadcast due to World cup coverage, and the ratings dropped back immediately after the other 2 stations resume their drama runs.

2
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

It's among 6 dramas, I didn't say the competition was stiff lmao but they still rated 2nd among all weekday dramas from Mon-Thur, which considering the drama quality was definitely mostly thanks to the acting. Have you seen the ratings for Wed-Thur dramas? All three barely managed to get 5%. I'm not talking about the World Cup spike, they reached almost 10% during World Cup lmao that was clearly not gonna last, but the ratings fell to ard 5% midway and they went up to average around 7.5% after that so, yeah there was a spike in ratings.

2
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I thought it was pretty impressive it broke 10% at all, no matter what the reason. But then I'm used to loving dramas that struggle to reach 4%

5

Oic, so u were comparing Mon-Thur dramas, yes I agree the Wed-Thur ones were really bad lol... Anyway this drama first 2 eps average ratings was 6.1% and the last 2 eps were 6.3% (based on AGB nielsen national), so technically I really don't see any spike haha.. But of coz I am not saying that its ratings are bad, just that it maintained quite consistent instead of having any spikes excluding the World Cup weeks.

0

LOL, when I read your comment that second highest can be interpreted as second lowest I immediately thought, well that's really like deciding to see the glass half full or half empty. But for me, I think the drama managed to get a special place in some people's hearts, stable rating, and can't say that it's a flop.

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yah this is definitely not a flop, average 6.2% (AGB national) is not that bad.

1

I must be in a minority but I preferred Wok of Love over Jealousy Incarnate. I just didn't warm up to the leads in JI like I did Wok of Love.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Junho's romantic scenes with Ryeowon are practically the only clips raking in views online. I'm pretty sure his appeal as a romantic lead is actually one of the strong points this show had lol.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I thought Junho was great. His character was infinitely unlikable and irrational, and yet I still liked him and "got" him. That's the mark of a good performer under lousy conditions.

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Junho was awesome in Chief Kim. And then he was amazing in the completely underrated Just Between Lovers. He could do melo and comedy both. His current drama Confession shows that he can do investigative thrillers well too. Maybe the fault lies in how his character was written, and not due to his delivery. Heck, he even had me believing that he has had some culinary experience prior to working on this drama.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

It's a shame this wasn't the affordable gourmet meal we were promised but more like a rushed lunchtime bowl of noodles while we're trying to get back to work.

But Poong and Sae-woo remained adorable and sexy and wonderful and Chil-sung held a kitten every episode so I loved the show a lot. Every episode made me smile, even the later ones where I was wondering where the plotlines and characters went.

14
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

This is an apt description. I enjoyed the show despite it's flaws. It will have a special place in my heart.

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

Strangely, what makes the finale hour extra enjoyable and satisfying is the simple fact that Poong finally recognized Mom's ridiculous objection for what it truly is, and gamely tried to out-stubborn her with a reconciliation attempt that's just as absurd. I cackled in delight when everyone realized that Mom has finally met her match and they readily support our lovebird in their quest for love. I'm also happy that Chil-sung got his perfect ending with Gum Granny. Aww... Them wearing matching sunglasses is just too adorable.

Despite my disappointment with the overall storyline (I think this is the weakest of Writer Seo's drama), I'm satisfied enough that everyone I care about get their much deserved happy beginning by the end. I'm content to send them to their next crazy adventures (with lots of kisses, delicious food, and another strong friendship to celebrate), wherever that might take them. 😊

9
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

It's true they all came out of their respective narrative shadows and into the light.

I personally would have liked the Onion Princess to get a smackdown but I respect Poong is too smart for that. While I really disliked the whole 'disapproving mother-in-law' digression and felt it was cliched, I did appreciate the synergy of Poong conquering his in-laws in the same way he conquered the Finishing Touch - by infiltrating and coopting it.

7
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think the scene where she was being crowned Miss Onion was foreshadowing: she was destined to make us cry (tears of frustration).

I vote for the smackdown.

6
reply

Required fields are marked *

@gadis,

...Poong finally recognized Mom's ridiculous objection for what it truly is, and gamely tried to out-stubborn her with a reconciliation attempt that's just as absurd. I cackled in delight when everyone realized that Mom has finally met her match and they readily support our lovebird in their quest for love.

Thank you for stating this in a way that clicked when I read it. Sometimes I don't see the forest for the trees, and absurdity in particular goes "whoosh" over my head. Poong upped the absurdity ante to epic heights, and it worked.

I particularly cracked up when he arrived at Chez Dan crocked out of his gourd, and as he was making his pitch to Onion Princess, he suddenly started jumping up and down before falling over. He was so worked up he had to jump up and down. I know that feeling, I've done it myself. What a scene. ;-)

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I don’t ask for Chil Seong and miss Vet to be together, but at least show a scene where they meet each other for the 5th time! And why Sae Woo’s mom is still annoying and selfish as ever? I don’t know, I feel like she’s ungrateful. It seems like she never learned anything during the hardship when her husband was not around.

Anyway, I love the wink scene 😉😉😉 they’re so cute! Though I don’t understand why Sae Woo’s family treat her like she’s a child when she’s already 30+

5
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

@hannahmustafa hannaehh,

Thank you for reminding me about Poong and Ms. Shrimp winking at each other so "racily" all night and driving Cutting Part bonkers. The whole human winking versus other primates spiel that Poong had expounded upon early in the show was a hoot.

3
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I laughed so hard looking at Ms Cutting Part’s struggle face as she cringed so bad. 🤣 I love how Chef Poong and Ms Shrimp don’t care about what others think, they’re on their own world.

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I too wish that the quirkiness had lasted through the entire run. I loved the sweetness and chemistry of the three leads so much that I can forgive the meandering plot.

9
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Based on the first few episodes, I also expected it to be Writer Seo's quirkiest drama. Everything felt a tad surreal and magical then, and very intriguing. I agree with @odilettante about how they seemed to be panicked halfway and reverted back to the usual cliché romcom instead of the quirky and creative drama it set out to be. That's such a shame.

6
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I honestly thought they'd brought in a new writer, the tone was so different. I've been asked to review it for a different website so I rewatched some of the earlier episodes. It's so quirky and so surreal. As much as I love it, it could have been so much better.

8
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think your last sentence sums up at least half of the dramas I've watched.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Speaking of dropped plots, what was that whole weird scene of the Onion Princess dumping manure on the lawn and car of that random man in the beginning? What was that about?

6
8
reply

Required fields are marked *

I honestly still have no idea.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oh yes! What was that and why wasn’t it explained? Ugh! Pretty sure writers were changed.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I had forgotten about that! I'm not sure, but I think that was out of revenge for his role in framing her husband.

I was wondering about the scene in ep. 3 when she was worried about not being able to find a condom and had to go out and buy a box of them. We didn't know who she was at that point either-- I guess these were clues that her husband was Sae-woo's dad.

4
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes she had that weird moment where she was worried about "him" having another child. If you re-watch the first few episodes, Gum Granny makes some weird comments to Chil-sung as well that suggest she wasn't originally supposed to be his mother.

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

The couple where she dumped manure in their house and car was saewoo's in laws, if I'm not mistaken. I think she was angry with them for abandoning them or making oh jik a no show?

5
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Ah, not a dropped plotline then. Just a bit out of character for who she turned out to be. Then what was the condom scene about?

2
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oh yeah, it probably was the in-laws' house. But wasn't she trying to get Sae-woo back together with their son later? Pffft.

I'm assuming the fact that she was buying condoms for the first time in her life was an obscure clue that she was preparing for a conjugal visit. I kind of thought she was past the stage of needing to worry about getting pregnant, but some women are still fertile in their 50s. Also, I think she still sees herself as a young pageant queen.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yeah, that's why in the beginning I had 'hopes' for the mom character cos she had the nerves to dump manure on the in laws' house. Was hoping this was not your usual k drama mom character. I was proven wrong though lol

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

As much as the premise excited me the ending was that much of a ‘meh’ to me! I missed the quirky, whimsical writing in the first couple of episodes and then they dragged it with the back and forth cooking competitions and back stabbings. The worst was Seo Woo’s parents! Ugh! Unreasonable and absurd.

Chil Seong was the only shining light through the whole series. I am glad he got his ‘happily ever after’ with his lost lost mother.

Jealousy Incarnate is one my my top 3 dramas and it made me sad that the same writer was involved in making this soup. Maybe they had too many cooks behind the cameras?

6
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I love Writer Seo, but I agree that this is the weakest of her dramas as other users have said. I've read from comments that she caved in to viewer reactions and that's why Dal Hui was dropped early on, because people thought the ex storyline would be unnecessary. Ugh, I really want to see the original plan for this drama. I just want to write a letter to writers. NEVER! EVER! READ THE COMMENTS!

If your drama fails, let it fail, that's a part of life. But let the failure be the story you wanted.

Anyway, Junho was greaaat. Jung Ryeo Won was greaaat. And Jang Hyuk was greaaat too. I wish a lot of the story elements would have been introduced much earlier but I feel like the drama was trying to find it's footing (probably because of a change in direction). I will give it up to the writer to still being able to pull it off and create something decent and even worth a re-watch one day.

10
10
reply

Required fields are marked *

The reason why K-dramas adopt this 'live-filming' system is to enable writers to read the viewers' comments and make changes as required. I won't say it is the best way to film dramas, but then, they DO have to read those comments lol..

3
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Eh, I doubt they HAVE to and even if they do they don't have to put it into play. There have been writers who don't or make it a point not to. Viewers who don't have your vision or know what end you're going to shouldn't have a say in your story. Just watch the show or don't watch the show. Changing stuff up has never worked, just stick to the (original) script.

3
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

IMO, it doesn’t matter if the writer chooses to ignore netizen reactions if the director or the network doesn’t. I think it’s a bit naive to assume a kdrama writer usually (minus audience influence) has complete control over the direction of their script

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I don't. They were hired for a reason. Unless there is some kind of conflict behind the scenes or with an actor or certain circumstances beyond their control, I don't see why they wouldn't. Some writers have assistants or are more than one person as well. If this was the case many of the actually bad dramas would have probably improved somewhat over time.

1

I'm just glad she didn't cave in regarding the OTP. It was clear from the beginning who the OTP was and all clues led there. Had she changed it based on those early critics of first lead vs second lead, who got the best chemistry, the OTP was too forced, etc., it would've been unthinkable lol.

3
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

The travesty, the whole show would have been upended with no way of going back.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Another drama who fell prey to viewers' comments. I thought writers would have known better after A Poem A Day.

1
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Omg? What happened with A Poem A Day? O:

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

The writer changed the direction of the story because of viewers's comments. In particular, Minho was supposed to be the lead but the Doctor ended up with the female lead. Not complaining as I shipped the doctor but it made for an awkward ep 14-15 because the transition wasn't so smooth.

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Ahhh, I binged the show and don't remember any moment feeling too awkward to me. I plan to rewatch the show one day though. In any case, I liked this outcome! O: I really thought they were a better match. I think the writer handled that pretty well. But I also hope it's not a habit lol.

1

In hindsight, this wasn't the worst drama I've ever watched, but it's definitely not the best either. And looking at the lineup, I feel like that was what made Wok of Love such a huge letdown. This show had some of the best veteran actors, and I honest believe Junho is one if the best up and coming actors today, and just wasted all that talent with messy and aimless writing. I did kike how mature the couple was once they got together. Poong and Saewoo were equal parts cute and sexy, and had a surprisingly balanced and healthy relationship by kdrama standards. But somehow, I'm afraid that's also just a fluke that resulted from the Junho and Ryeowon's excellent chemistry AND the writer being too lazy to actually write in any real conflict that couldn't be fixes in 15 minutes. All in all, this is a drama I might still revisit in sexytime clips and food porn, but it definitely doesn't feel worth a rewatch.

3
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm slightly confused by the ending just because it doesn't feel like a proper ending. I know the show cut down an episode, but I'm sure they found this out like at least 10 episodes ahead, and this is the best the writer could come up with? I've been feeling like the writing for this show had been half-assed since the first episode, but I'm still feeling underwhelmed. There were so many episodes left for the story to be paced better. Anyway, I did like the way Poong handled SW's mom. At some point, it's just much more effective to understand how your opponent works and beat her at her own game than it is to be rational and sensible, and mom is honestly just too dumb to have a rational conversation with. SP and SW continued to be cute af until the end, even tho she did piss me off when she got mad at him for caving in to her parents' demands but they did clear that up rather quickly so all is good. I'm happy CS has a good relationship with his mother too in the end. I would have liked to see more CS-SP scenes, for a duo with quite the bromance, they were hardly on screen together. And I honestly loved that bit between Poong and Samseon (?), and Poong's dream of opening up a tiny little restaurant in the countryside. Honestly, they could have ended the show with a timejump and have us seeing Poong and Saewoo cooking together happily in their cozy but popular little Chinese restaurant, and I would have been happy. You already had that ending in your script, show. Why didn't we get to see it? All in all, the cast deserves a round of applause for holding up this sinking ship as well as they did.

4
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

@almond,

Yes, yes, yes!

I agree that Onion Princess got my goat because she was such a dim bulb, and an entitled one at that. And like you, I was peeved when Sae-woo broke up with Poong for caving in to her parents ridiculous demands. ARG!! He was outgunned and he knew it. As I suspected, Dad turned out to be much more reasonable than Mom. He just had to get the requisite Dad thing out of his system first. LOL.

I would have loved to have seen Hungy Wok 2.0 out in the boondocks five years in the future. That's one Kdrama finale time jump I would have actually welcomed. Especially if some of the loan sharks joined them. ;-)

4
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

Sequel!

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

My disappointments:-
1) Didn't get to see the 5th encounter between vet and CS or for CS' mum to meet her - I kinda wanted her 5th appearance near the hospital bench where both of them were sharing a private moment. It would be such a 'fated' encounter....
2) Didn't see much of happy ending for SW's horse. I expected to see 'him' talking to his pony kids at least (since we know he may be dying some time in the near future)
3) Didn't see the onion princess get her just desserts. She was so haughty at least let her eat some humble pie for once. Her choice of rich husband for her daughter the first time did not work out so well and yet she's still so nasty. Did not even see her acknowledge CS's role in helping her husband out of prison. Ungrateful indeed.
4) Where is Dimsum now that everyone is at the Giant Hotel. At least show the little kitty having his/her own place. Unless I missed it, we just got to see CS said Dimsum is going to the Hotel with him.
5) I may not like Chef Poong's ex, but to have her totally disappear is so very odd. At least show her moments of regrets or remorse for aborting an innocent baby.

1
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Beware of Spoilers
Part 1 of 2

@bizzybody,

I agree. Elements (situations and characters) were introduced, some of them very late in the show, only to be dropped in a way that would have gotten the transgressor kicked out of Scriptwriting 101. Resolution in the traditional Western three-act sense was lacking, and made the drama look and feel slipshod. Your comments (and everyone else's) have prompted me at this late date to propose that Writer-nim has pulled a fast on on us, and is using a plot structure and typically Korean cultural elements that are unfamiliar to many international viewers. I'll address that theory in a separate post.

I'm beginning to wonder if GREASY MELO was supposed to be some kind of experiment, as THE BEST HIT had been. (One that I enjoyed, BTW, while many viewers did not.) Instead of it being a case of ham-fisted writing, perhaps the characters and subplots that unceremoniously disappeared were merely plot devices that exited stage left as soon as they had done their jobs.

1. Not seeing the fifth “fated” meeting between Chil-sung and Ms. Veterinarian: It has been hinted at, so it will happen in the future, off-screen. The ending is open, which is par for the Kdrama course, but unloved in the West. Also, I suspect that uri golden-hearted gangster needed to resolve his maternal abandonment issues before he could move on. That has been accomplished, so score one for his hierarchy of needs a la Erik Erikson. Plus he acquired a brother who thinks the world of him (Poong) in addition to loyal first mate Maeng-dal and the rest of the tried-and-true Light and Shadow crew.

2. I can imagine why Writer-nim slapped a gag order on Buster. Is it maybe because he has been dethroned as Ms. Shrimp's King of Hearts? I suspect that Poong would be more than happy to horse around with the Noble Steed as long as he doesn't have to muck out his stall. It occurs to me that Buster was Sae-woo's main squeeze even when she was married because the man her mother pushed her into marrying was not the right one for her. She has since met The One, as foretold by his fortune cookie, and poor Buster is now being put out to pasture, literally and figuratively. Now that she is training to be a chef, Sae-woo has a new direction in life, and no time for the things of childhood.

- Continued -

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Beware of Spoilers
Part 2 of 2

3. I would have loved to see Onion Princess Mom get her richly-deserved comeuppance, but that would hurt Sae-woo and Dad, not to mention Cutting Part and Noodle Part. Now that Poong has demonstrated that he can be even more absurd and twice as persistent as she is, she'll get to stew in her own juices for the foreseeable future. That may be as bad as it gets for the entitled airhead – but from her point of view, that may be the end of the world. She can no longer simply banish him by royal edict. Sae-woo even yelled back at her, although I wish it had been more vociferously, as she is the one who has to go to bat for him. He will never argue with Onion Princess now that she no longer works in his kitchen. I can see him killing her with kindness and courtesy, and her hating every nanosecond of it. Har!

4. You're right. We should have seen Chil-sung carrying Dim Sum with him to Giant Hotel, perhaps peeping out of his breast pocket as he strides in to take over. But now I'm confused. Hadn't Chil-sung relinquished his role as Dim Sum's Mom to Poong? Sheesh.

5. Poong's former wife was just a heartless plot device. She went “Poof!” when she was no longer needed. Her having an abortion without even telling him she was pregnant was the final straw that broke them up so that he would be legally free to date and remarry his fated partner when he finally met (and recognized) her. He had to be dragged kicking and screaming from his misguided devotion to his late master's daughter, just as Sae-woo had to grow up and leave behind her first love, Buster.

-30-

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thanks, odilettante—your comments are right on. Like you an most of the other commenters, I have mixed feelings about Greasy Melo and am sad that it didn’t live up to its full potential. I actually found myself wondering if something was wrong with writer-nim, like if she was on drugs or something. The writing for her last two dramas, Miss Korea and Jealousy Incarnate, was much tighter and more coherent. GM was all over the place. The early episodes reminded me of a dream: There were a lot of disjointed vignettes, a talking horse, a smitten gangster seeing butterflies, an unknown quantity of Lee Mi-sooks wandering around. It was confusing, but also delightfully quirky. Later, the plot became less disjointed, but it kept stalling, threads were dropped, horses were forgotten, the quirkiness almost disappeared, and the disapproving mother trope reared its ugly head in a big way.

In both GM and JI, I was a little frustrated that writer-nim created some wonderful side characters, but they remained underdeveloped. When we were introduced to Seol-ja and Geok-jung and their culinary talent, I was excited because I was expecting a tale of a motley crew of wounded souls coming together, forming a found family, and vanquishing the evil Giant. I’d be fine with a different story being told if it were a good one—but this one wasn’t. Seol-ja never became the badass I hoped she would, and poor, previously-incarcerated, limping Geok-jung never even got a backstory.

I was especially disappointed with the way the final David vs. Goliath showdown went down. With EVERYTHING at stake, you’re telling me that Poong would choose to prepare a dish that only Seol-ja could help him with—even though he knew Seol-ja might not show up? That Poong wouldn’t have a backup plan and alternate assistants in case she didn’t show up? Okay, I’ll grit my teeth, roll my eyes and accept it because I understand the story needs dramatic tension. But then you tell me that Poong lost that round, not because Seol-ja was waylaid by the Giant Hotel goons (another eyeroll), but because Poong made his dish too salty? WHAT? And he won the competition because the other team’s chosen dish turned out too smelly because they ran out of time and had to skip steps? So neither team had practiced diligently even though their whole world was at stake? Sorry writer-nim, but you lost that round for having a stinky script due to insufficient preparation.

BUT! Fortunately, writer-nim has a saving grace: she excels at bringing the quirk and the charm. In fact the One True Trio and their interactions were so utterly charming and the quirky bits were so delightful that I never considered bailing on this show. And yes, the actors (especially the leads and the four-leggeds) deserve a lot of credit for making me fall in love with their characters to the extent that I was willing to put up with such a crummy script.

10
6
reply

Required fields are marked *

"an unknown quantity of Lee Mi-sooks wandering around"

This is what I was waiting for the explanation for. Long-lost sisters? Mother and daughter? Just doppelgangers?

5
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

This bothered me for a long time. I now rationalize it as giving Lee Mi-Sook two secondary parts to be paid as a lead.

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I don't think the writers ever planned to provide an explanation. I guess since none of the characters in the drama noticed a similarity between the 2 mothers neither were we.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes, @odilettante, I agree with all your comments. What? This was the ending? And where did all the quirkiness go? At least we got to see Buster the horse again, but that scene was kind of lame.

It's as though the writer took all the ingredients for a special dish, and rushed the recipe. You can still taste what it could have been, and it has some good points, but I'm not sure it would pass Poong's "service" test. He would probably send it back to be done over.

5
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

At least we got to see Buster the horse again, but that scene was kind of lame.

MTE. That scene with Buster really irked me. This drama has made it abundantly clear that Sae-woo and Buster are a package deal, and that he is as precious to her as her own child would be.

I was annoyed at Show for just dropping Buster like that, but I had to assume that Sae-woo was visiting Buster regularly, even if it wasn't quite as frequently as before, and that Show was just being too lazy to show us that (or maybe it was too expensive to hire Buster and his trainer). Anyway, it's inconceivable to me that sweet Sae-woo could abandon her baby who has cancer like that. Every day, she sees that giant picture of Buster and her that's in her bedroom, and she had to be thinking of Buster every time she was with Dim-sum.

Apparently Buster was either so traumatized or so angry that he has become mute. I wouldn't speak to her either if she abandoned me like that, then just said, "Sorry I haven't you in so long-- I've been busy. Don't be mad." I hope he knows that Sae-woo didn't abandon him-- writer-nim did.

5
reply

Required fields are marked *

@risaa risa,

I never considered dropping WOK OF LOVE, either. I never quite knew what to expect. That was part of its charm.

I could not suspend my disbelief at how slipshod each team's preparations -- and contingency plans (nonexistent) -- were for the cooking contest.

I was also distressed by Buster's abandonment. It really rankled me that he was dropped, and then quit talking. He was hilarious as a Korean MR. ED. I felt cheated when his role petered out.

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you for recapping this show, I just loved the three main leads. Junho is pure love.

3
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Wah, glad that I'm not the only one feeling the same about this drama. I was trying to figure what was missing even though i like the drama and odilettante have manage to explain it accurately.

Agreed with most comments that Junho's acting seems lacking in this drama compared to JBL. I would like to think it is because of the editting and writing. But the chemistry with Jung Ryeowon was explosive. Makes me think that they might be secretly dating. 😂

Jang Hyuk, on the other hand, was great! Knew he was a great actor because my sister watched Beautiful Mind but I never really watched in anything other than Successful Story of a Bright Girl. Only know him due to the variety shows he is in plus being Cha Tae Hyun's chingu. And yes, I was hoping for the 5th meeting with the Vet. 😕

5
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

Jang Hyuk was also the male lead in the Korean re-make of Fated to Love You. He was good there but way better in this one. I too felt cheated when the fifth meeting did not happen with the Vet- in part because it was clearly set up that it would happen.

4
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yup, the reunion drama with Jang Nara. I watched some episodes of the Taiwanese version so I didn't think I will like it even though I am a fan of Jang Nara.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I don't really understand why some people seem to think that Poong's characterisation and their feelings towards him is a reflection of Junho's acting? Junho did a great job, he brought Poong to life, his charms or lack thereof in the beginning was all part of his character. I feel like some people think he did a better job in the second half when his chemistry with JRW (and Janghyuk to an extent) began to explode, but to me that's just because Poong as a character had thawed out by that point and stopped pushing everyone away..

8
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

An excellent point! So can we assume that it is the writing and editing? 😂

From my amateur point of view, i think it is the editing and story. The first few episodes were kind of all over the place.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think Jang Hyuk seems to be the main lead here (despite not ending up with the girl). He is the one everyone depend on and always have a backup plan. I love his character here.
P/s I also suspect the romantic leads may be secretly dating in real life. Very much like Secretary Kim and her boss. Their chemistry in the show may lead to real life romance.

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I agree with Odilettante- It was the three principle actors who kept this going- despite plot weaknesses. It is possible that some of the lose ends were because the show lost 2 episodes due to the World cup. As an example of such a loose end: Chil-sung meeting Beautiful Patient/Ms Veterinarian at the convenience store. He just paid for her stuff when her card didn’t work. She tells him that they have met by accident four times- if they meet again its fate- so he had better avoid her if he doesn’t want that. I love that when Chil-sung asks her who says that she simply looks him in the eye and says “me”- this is clearly a lady who can stand up to him. Please note: she already has a ready reason for making the fifth time happen- It would be so that she can pay him back for what she just purchased. I suspect that had the other two episodes been completed that we would have been treated to just such a scene.

6
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I would have been happier if the show had dropped some of the mom/dad shenanigans and given us closure on the Chil-sung/vet storyline.

5
reply

Required fields are marked *

Maybe but even though an episode was cut, I don't see why they couldn't have put in a fifth meeting in this episode unless scheduling didn't permit it or something. I mean they gave Geok jung and the hotel chef a scene hinting at romance. They wasted time in having the gangster and wok handler fight over an affair that was revealed over a dozen episodes ago and never mentioned again. I don't buy time was a problem.

I didn't really care though because as much as I liked Chil Sung and wanted him to find love, I wasn't really invested in the vet since we never got to know her.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Comment was deleted

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

@oldawyer—I nominate you to write the fan fiction we need for Chil-Sung and veterinarian Ji-kyung. I'm sure there're a few Beanies who would appreciate it. ;D

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

*Sigh* Oh show, you started out so marvelously quirky and charming, what happened? It's too bad the plot is as non-existent as the cast is adorable. Dal Hee isn't my favorite character by a long shot, but it sort of irks me when writers suddenly make a character disappear half-way because the character isn't well liked when it's clear they had *plans* for the character originally.

Watching Chil Sung and Poong & Gang became 2 different plot lines, like they aren't even from the same drama. Also I just wish they ended Chil Sung being happy with his mom, since the Vet plotline is meh and wasn't even resolved properly.

I'm just going to keep the first few episodes with me and write the rest of the story my way I guess, lol.

4
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I couldn't finish it - the fabulous actors weren't enough to keep me invested when the characters they portrayed were written contrary and difficult to understand. I wish there had been more 'Greasy' and less 'Melo'. The food was the best part, like that competition for the best sweet and sour pork. Why couldn't there have been more of that?? Oh well. Here's to the next one!

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

2 parts that I loved! The part where they winked & the part where they cooked together, alone in the kitchen😍 So adorably hilarious in one & so sexy & intimate in the other. Love the chemistry of the main leads!😍

4
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

what happen to poong's wife , i really want to see regret on her face and another thing i really want to see is our chil songa happy ending in finding love. The vet girl looks quite potential character bt we didn't get of much of her either ,i mean if you are giving us 18 episodes there should be room for everyone not only for lead actors

3
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you so much for the recaps, odilettante! This was a fun drama even without much of a plot. I could have done without the future mom-in-law shenanigans, but that's pretty much every drama, I guess.

I'll go ahead and start working on inventing that food-coming-out-of-your-TV gadget. It'll be a while, but my goal is to have it ready by Let's Eat 5. Fighting!

5
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Let me be the first one to fund the kickstarter because jumping from this show to Let's Eat 3 means the food lust is real. Until then, I'll just have to create a kdrama food budget since I always want to eat everything in my house each week out of sympathy hunger pains.😭

6
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I just realized last night that you're recapping back-to-back food dramas. That's a real challenge if you have food lust-- Hwaighting!

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I agree that the writing of the drama was subpar, but the 3 lead actors more than made up for it. Overall, I found this to be an enjoyable drama despite it flaws.

I was also surprised by the various story lines that were just dropped (not that I'm complaining that I didn't have to see more of the ex-wife because I considered it a nice bonus that she just disappeared!) but I really wanted closure on the Chil-sung/vet story line.

One of my most hated tropes is noble idiocy (kills my enjoyment of a drama every time) and unfortunately way too many dramas feature this trope. So kudos to Wok of Love for avoiding noble idiocy and for giving us leads that remained great friends until the end.

4
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

The show started off strong, then began to fade with the revenge plot line to stumbling badly at the end.

Best parts of the show:
1. The food porn.
2. Jang Hyuk's performance of CS, as the gangster with a heart of gold sacrificing himself for the people he cares about.
Worst parts of the show:
1. The standard romance trope interfering with the initial quirky friendship between the three leads (CS, SW, P). All three were down on their luck but found hope and support from each other. But the writer cut out CS from that triangle to isolate him in his own thoughts and actions.
2. Major plot holes unfilled by viewer assumptions. Why did Poong's ex not open up her clinic in the Hungry Wok building? Why did SW's ex and his family apologize for the painful divorce after Mr. Dan was acquitted? (The sole reason was that SW was now poor; her ex wanted to stay with her but his family objected to it.) The ex-spouses return could have been more interesting (in character development) than the hotel revenge story line. What caused SW's mom to concede everything to SW (including the relationship with P?) The Dr. Vet story line was a complete waste without a resolution. CS's dream that his men learn to cook, get married, and open up their own businesses seems to have been lost in the hotel shuffle. They are poorer now (more debt) than ever before. Finally, does anyone truly believe that after 5 years SW, the chaebol princess, will go live in the countryside with P and open up a small restaurant?
3. Worst irony: SW's father did exactly what he was acquitted of when he loaned millions of dollars to CS, a known gangster with a criminal record and shaky credit standing to purchase the hotel.

I agree with other commentators that the performances of the leads made the show watchable, which seems like a trend for many spring and summer k-dramas (acting over writing).

4
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Couldn't agree more. The chemistry was insane (lots of flirty, sexy kisses , winks and what not), the bromance was epic and the show was fun to watch but it could have been so much more.

Tons of storylines got dropped (Poong's ex, One of the gangster disappeared along with Buster, The Knife Handler's crush on Oppa, ...). I think the writer wanted to make this show full of details and complexities and then ran out of time.

Anyhow, I still had a blast and I don't regret watching it for one moment. Thank you @odilettante for recapping this.

8
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

The finale was underwhelming, but I gotta say I laughed the hardest I ever did watching this show when Seopoong and Saewoo were flirtwinking with Seolja in the middle the literally suffering lmfao! They were cute but also dumb af, and Seolja just lying there absolutely flabbergasted while the two just carried on flirting like idiots kept me in stitches the whole way. Junho's apparent inability to actually wink properly just made everything so much funnier. I also love Poong's little drunk tirade as he demanded that dumb excuse of a mother to apologise to him lol! He may have regretted it sober the reactions of everyone around them was priceless. I like that Seopoong bended to accomodate Saewoo's family, but that he did it in his own way. It's pretty clear to see that once they've gotten that pesky lady's blessing the couple is definitely gonna go their own way. Hopefully far away to that remote little village to open up shop, somewhere down the road.

6
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

@lestrange, thank you for flirtwinking. What a great word. And an even better activity. I just about busted a gut watching that scene. ;-)

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

The finale was fine but like the rest of the drama there were missed opportunities and things that didn't really make sense. I don't have much to say other than I was disappointed that there were no real scenes with Chil Sung and Poong or SW in the last two episodes.

3
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Agree with you on the ‘Is that it?!?’ ending. At least I got to see Buster one more time.

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

“But those slightly surreal, fairy-tale elements vanished as quickly”

IMO, you can blame this on negative netizen feedback to the surreal aspects of the show.

3
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

*grumble* *grumble*
This is why I prefer to watch shows were nobody cares that it doesn't break 4% and the writers can be as experimental as they want.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Really? 😭Urgh, damn netizens. I liked talking Buster.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you for your recap and final summation of WOK OF LOVE / GREASY MELO, odilettante!

I truly enjoyed watching the exploits of Chil-sung, Poong, and Sae-woo, along with Maeng-dal. Buster the horse and kitty Dim Sum stole the show, along with Chil-sung's photographic murals from THE GODFATHER, his calligraphic quotation from Friedrich Nietzsche, and the "wallpaper" in the "Shin Saim-dang Room" at the Hungry Wok.

On the other hand, I grew to loathe Sae-woo's twit of an entitled Onion Princess mother. I know that she was the walking personification of melodrama, but still. GRRR! I wanted to wallop her with a wok. Lee Mi-sook did a great job in both her roles. (Her previous villainous turn in MONEY FLOWER, also with Jang Hyuk, was terrific. She was magnificently detestable.) There must be an "irritating gene" that Onion Princess passed on to her daughter because occasionally I just couldn't grok some of Sae-woo's apparent contrariness towards Poong, although maybe it was the subtitles I was reading.

I enjoyed the show most when it was surrealistic and cockeyed, when the underdogs were fighting the good fight against the odds, and when the kitchen crews of both restaurants were cooking up a storm. On the other hand, I couldn't help but notice subplots evaporating into thin air. Okay, chalk it up to being a character-driven drama. That almost works for me. Plus those doggone preemptions were a bummer.

The performances by leads Lee Junho, Jang Hyuk, and Jung Ryeo-won were top-notch, with the two gents being my main reason for tuning in.

I loved Poong's fortune cookie redux with a twist.

GREASY MELO wasn't the Kdrama equivalent of finding a cure for cancer, achieving world peace, or discovering a new planet. What it was for me was a mostly-relaxing vehicle for a talented cast and crew to work a bit of acting -- and cooking -- magic. I've seen a passel of dark and heavy shows since last fall. GREASY MELO provided a non-taxing diversion that hit the spot. And I've just segued into LET'S EAT 3.

Thanks again for recapping, odilettante! ;-)

3
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you @odilettante for the wonderful recaps! I loved our three leads so much that I will always remember Greasy Melo happily, as anxiously as I waited for anyone to take better care of Dim Sum 😾 (Who I think would have loved being perched atop Chil Sung's horse statue in his bachelor pad).

2
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

@bbstl,

Thank you for the shout-out to Chil-sung's life-sized horse statue. (Did it disappear just like Buster?!) It reminded me of the Bull and Monkey statues in HWAYUGI. ;-)

2
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes the horse imagery disappeared with Buster...

... was about to start on possible meaning of horse imagery but I will stop now. Show is done. I need a new love (or maybe I will go back to an old flame and rewatch INAR).

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Greasy Kishotenketsu: Secret Ingredients in Kdrama
Part 1 of 2

While commiserating with @bizzybody over the plot holes and character disappearances that riddle WOK OF GREASY MELO LOVE in http://www.dramabeans.com/2018/07/greasy-melo-episodes-35-38-final/#comment-3276842, it occurred to me that we may actually be feeling discomfited by kishotenketsu at work. That would certainly account for the squawks of disappointment and frustration so many Beanies have been uttering. Eureka!

As I went through my Kdrama notes, I realized that various aspects of Korean culture also come into play in the telling of stories, so I have included discussions from past DramaBeans threads below. Watch for mention of: Mugyo / Muism in relation to time (and the use of flashbacks and premonitions), makjang as an expression of han, nunchi (“eye measure”), dream record, etc.

Ki-sho-ten-ketsu (also rendered as kishotenketsu or kishoutenketsu) is the Japanese name for an adaptation of the classical Chinese four-line poetry form that is used throughout East Asia -- and serves as the basis for four-panel manga / manhwa (which I have only experienced second-hand through watching Kdramas). Once I learned about it and started reading up on the subject a couple of years ago, certain Kdramas became much more comprehensible to me, and I was better able to appreciate them on their own merits.

A drama structured with kishotenketsu might well be regarded as a character study in which the subject makes a single change. This can be a lot more interesting and dynamic than it sounds. Subtlety and nuance are, sadly, lost on viewers expecting overt action and an exciting progression of events.

As an English Literature major, it fascinated me to make the acquaintance of a dramatic form that is not based on Ye Olde Central Conflict and Western logic. A very kind Beanie gave me a pointer to the first kishotenketsu article below while discussing traditional Korean storytelling and Mugyo elements in the comments on OH HAE-YOUNG AGAIN and MIRROR OF THE WITCH / SECRET HEALER, and in Open Thread with regard to other then-current and recent dramas (BEAUTIFUL GONG SHIM, LUCKY ROMANCE, and OH MY GHOSTESS).

http://www.dramabeans.com/2016/06/oh-hae-young-again-episode-17/#comment-2280371

http://www.dramabeans.com/2016/06/open-thread-453/#comment-2267748

http://www.dramabeans.com/2016/07/open-thread-454/#comment-2285032
Entire thread #30 Re: Cultural Insights into OH HAE-YOUNG AGAIN

http://www.dramabeans.com/2016/06/oh-hae-young-again-episode-16/#comment-2265200

- Continued -

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Greasy Kishotenketsu: Secret Ingredients in Kdrama
Part 2 of 2

Thank you, Kim Yoonmi for sharing your insights into Korean culture and prompting thoughtful, interesting discussions among fellow Beanies. ;-)

That very first pointer above led me to other sources, including informative Japanese videos with English subtitles made by an organization of manga writers from around the globe. I've posted a bunch of links on my fan wall, but they are very far down by now. At times like this, I wish I could pin them to the top or tag them for ease of retrieval. From time to time, I've also mentioned kishotenketsu in comments on other dramas. ;-)

Articles on Kishotenketsu

The significance of plot without conflict
http://stilleatingoranges.tumblr.com/post/25153960313/the-significance-of-plot-without-conflict

Robyn Patterson's comments on: The significance of plot without conflict – still eating oranges
http://robynpaterson.com/the-significance-of-plot-without-conflict-still-eating-oranges/

Plot structure all the way downhttp://stilleatingoranges.tumblr.com/post/53045164430/plot-structure-all-the-way-down

It's been a while since I've beaten the drums for ki-sho-ten-ketsu. If this is your first time hearing about it, I encourage you to familiarize yourself. It can only lead to greater enjoyment of Kdrama and its East Asian cousins. And that, in my book, is why we're all here at DramaBeans.

Kishotenketsu and Korean Cultural Elements in Recent and Currently-Airing Dramas

* Use of non-linear time, flashbacks: ABOUT TIME, COME HERE AND HUG ME, SKETCH, LIFE ON MARS, and WHAT'S WRONG WITH SECRETARY KIM.

* Han / makjang and revenge elements: LAWLESS ATTORNEY, MISS HAMMURABI, LIVE, ARE YOU HUMAN TOO, SKETCH, and MARRY ME NOW?.

* Internal growth of character(s): ABOUT TIME, MISS HAMMURABI, COME HERE AND HUG ME, SUITS, MARRY ME NOW?, LIVE, and ARE YOU HUMAN TOO.

Expect Kim Eun-sook to include kishotenketsu and the aforementioned Korean elements in MR. SUNSHINE, as she did in GOBLIN and her earlier works.

-30-

4
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

Wow, @pakalanapikake, that's a very long post of observation. Let this old brain of mine take some time to fully digest what you've taken the time to elaborate on.

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

@bizzybody,

See what happens when Beanies provoke my gray matter?! ;-)

I feel kind of doofy that I didn't think of kishotenketsu a lot earlier. Oh, well. Better late than never.

Take your time. It's a lot of information to absorb. Being aware of kishotenketsu -- as well as the indigenous cultural elements that often appear -- can only increase international viewers' comprehension and enjoyment of Kdramas. Once you know about them, you can keep them in your back pocket for future reference.

Enjoy! ;-)

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes. I love this. Thank you. The only way I've been able to describe the structures of the dramas I love is to talk in terms of Dickensian labyrinthine narratives that are so refreshing instead of the same old tired Western stories that are so predictable. I had no idea that it was kishotenketsu that I found so refreshing. I love how "still eating oranges" shows how the conflict-driven approach infuses everything Western. Ha ha Derrida. I can't say enough what a refreshing discovery these kishotenketsu structured dramas have been. I've completely abandoned Western productions. But now I'm going to look for and to compare the one against the other. I need to find out if this is what I've been responding to.

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

@jorobertson dramalover4ever,
I'm so glad the kishotenketsu links have given you exciting new insights into Kdrama. I, too, have become hooked on well-written kishotenketsu. I also have a metaphysical bent, so the Mugyo aspects that crop up in many Kdramas is another big draw for me. ;-)

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

One weak point about this show is the mysterious disappearance of some characters with no explanation. Dal-hee for one and one of Chil-sung's followers (the maknae - can't remember his name).. He had 5 followers and suddenly the last one just disappeared in the last few episodes...

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I love this drama
I enjoyed it
It just simple and good

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *