This drama was an easy watch. Unlike some of the heavier, more flavored dramas I’ve worked through, with meaty discussions to chew on and nuanced flavors, Let’s Eat slid down the throat comfortably. It was like the ultimate comfort food: delicious, heartwarming, but not something you eat everyday. Maybe this pun of metaphors has gone on for too long, but the drama was all about eating. And if nothing else, it really satisfied the foodie in me. It also made me gain five pounds… so maybe I should watch Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo when it comes out, lose it all? Haha but really–this show did give me a few thoughts about what place eating should take in or lives.
So I’m not entirely certain what the plot of the drama was, which tends to be a bad thing. I’ve watched some really good slice of life dramas, but those generally give a very poignant view of the world. Or a deep message about human connection. This one was just fun–and it really did have that going for it. The everyday scenes were unlike anything else I’ve seen before. Changing in a dry-cleaning shop? First time. Dedicating a few minutes each episode to eating and gratuitous filming of eating? First time. Provocative? approaches by a man wearing a heart apron and boxers? Yeah, first time for that too.
If not deep, the characters of Let’s Eat were at least terrifically unique. Even when dramaland makes a strong heroine, she’s not often so uniformly prickly. Not after the first two or three episodes, at least. I fell in love with Lee Soo Kyung, and would have loved to get more of her backstory (especially her failed marriage, what?). I also fell in love with her hero. Drama leads normally fall into very identifiable tropes: the jerk, the puppy, the lonelyheart, the awkward man. But Goo Dae-Young doesn’t match any of the stereotypes. Heroes aren’t usually easy talkers (ie. habitual liars) or perpetually dirty (seriously, you keep your closet at the dry cleaners?) or go off on long explanations of the best way to eat food. I feel like I understand his Let’s Fight Ghost cameo so much better now–I want to go back and watch it again!
It wasn’t just the OTP that was unique, however. The second leads really stood out with their personalities: 2D though they were, nobody could say they were cookie-cutter. Kim Hak-Moon was a hoot as the jealous, petty lawyer with a long time crush. And Yoon Jin-Yi was a breath of fresh air as the bubbly girl next door, who simply decided to be happy regardless of any trials. She wasn’t even a Candy, either–she was rich, but on hard times. Kind, but naive. So cute!
There’s really only two things I want to comment on with the philosophy of Let’s Eat. The first is the nature of all. Those. Eating scenes. It was really interesting to me the different way in which they presented different types of food. Eating became a social exercise, different dishes suited for different times. And I can see that in real life, too–when we’re planning a family reunion buffet build-able dishes are common (they’re easy to split up into assignments). And when it’s just me and a special someone, the food suddenly gets a lot more complicated. And it’s not just what you decide to eat that matters–it’s how you eat it. One of my favorite scenes of this drama takes place when the characters disagree over the concept of a buffet. One believes in getting the most bang for your buck, alternating eating to fill every cranny. The other thinks this is a bad idea–eat to fill and enjoy yourself. It points to an underlying theme of the drama: eating is a different act for everyone, but it is always meant to be enjoyed. And the final scene of the drama ties it nicely together, with a poem by Chun Yang Hee on the wall of their latest restaurant:
“To you who eat a lot of rice because you’re lonely,
To you who sleep a lot because you’re bored,
To you who cry a lot because you are sad, I write this down.
Chew on your feelings that are cornerned like you would chew on rice.
Anyway, life is something that you need to digest.”
Aaah, yes. Words to live by. Thanks, Let’s Eat, for the delicious ride–you might not have broken any records, but I enjoyed you completely!
My rating: 6.5/10