Enjoying Pasta

I had happily first met actor Lee Sun Gyun as the music producer, Choi Han Sung, in The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince. At the time, he was pining away for his ex‐girlfriend Han Yoo Joo played by Chae Jung Ahn and I was swooning over his deep, rich voice. My love for him led me into the basement kitchen of the restaurant La Sfera where I watched him play the hot tempered chef, Choi Hyun Wook, chased after by his pasta line cook, Seo Yoo Kyung played by Gong Hyo Jin, in the drama Pasta. Like its namesake, Pasta looked simple, was delicious, and turned out, surprisingly, to be quite complex. Though it had the typical ingredients found in a Korean drama, (i.e. love square, unrequited love, and a very determined heroine who despite all odds gets her man and fulfills her dreams), director Kwan Seok Jang did a great job freshening up the typical grab bag of Korean story plots.

In Pasta, Seo Yoo Kyung is an aspiring pasta chef. After enduring three years of being a kitchen assistant at LaSfera, her hard work finally grants her the opportunity to cook on the pasta line. This acknowledgement is shattered as the head chef is replaced by Choi Hyun Wook, who declares (very loudly) that he will not have any female cooks in his kitchen. So begins Seo Yoo Kyung’s tangled journey to not only have her pasta dishes acknowledged by Choi Hyun Wook but also her love.

Compared to a lot of other current dramas, Pasta is short with only 20 episodes and there are no sequences of dramatic events. The main character is not hit by a car and has amensia; please look elsewhere for that story plot.  So what is there? Well, there is a group of very talented actors who are provided characters with understandable motivations and personalities honed from their distinct backstories. So well developed that after setting the stage in Episode 1, director Kwan seems to simply allow the characters to take over the drama and have the events unfold as they may.

If you plan to start on Pasta, stock your pantry full with linguine and kiss that no-carb diet good-bye. About 70+% of this drama is filmed in the kitchen or around food and you will unwittingly find your lips coated in tomato sauce, slurping up linguine as you watch the charming cast toss about pasta, insults and themselves at one another.

Overall rating, yum.

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