Coffee Prince (17 Episodes)
((summary taken from dramawiki))
The life of Go Eun Chan (Yoon Eun Hye) is not easy; she works many jobs to pay off debts and even gave up her feminine image. Choi Han Kyul (Gong Yoo) is the heir of a big food company, but his grandmother wants him to settle down, so she arranged many dates for him. After Eun Chan bumped into Han Kyul and was mistaken for a boy, Han Kyul decided to hire Eun Chan to be his gay lover in order to avoid the arranged dates. Desperately in need of money, Eun Chan had no choice but to accept. Han Kyul's grandmother also made Han Kyul in charge of a filthy coffee shop in danger of being bankrupt. Eun Chan begged to work at the coffee shop, and not long after, feelings start to spark, except, how would Han Kyul accept his "homosexuality"?
If I had to guess, I’d say it’s probably been five or six years since I’ve watched a drama I’ve enjoyed to the point of obsession. I mean the whole nine yards: missing sleep to watch new episodes (raw); being in a constant state of music-video-making heaven; hunting down wallpapers, graphics, banners; making wallpapers and winamp skins; downloading entire soundtracks from the series; writing lengthy episode summaries for this site, then erasing them (dramabeans has summaries on her site; so it was kind of pointless); re-watching episodes one after the other while awaiting subtitles. The list, sadly, goes on and on…
And now, after three straight weeks of marathoning, eating, and dreaming nothing but Coffee Prince, it’s finally over. At last, I can rest and get back to my life, lol. Yes, friends, I do still live… let us get together and catch up. ;)
Well, given my little introduction above, you probably already know where I’m going with this review. This is one of those series that hooked me from the very first episode, and kept me shackled to its side for the entire length of its airing.
But in this case, the obsession was truly well-deserved.
Gong Yoo and Yoon Eun Hye were fantastic in their roles of Han Gyul and Eun Chan. I haven’t seen chemistry like that in—in well, forever. (Excluding Que Sera Sera which could totally rival it…). And the kiss scenes—oh, man, this drama is worth seeing for that reason alone. Usually, you’re lucky if the drama has more than 2 kisses out of all its episodes… and even then, the actresses are usually tight-lipped and looking very uncomfortable. In Coffee Prince, however, this was not the case—and they shared just about every kind of kiss you can imagine: passionate, angry, playful, sweet, loving, fun, quick. Well, you get the picture—I didn’t mean to do a whole spiel on kissing, lol! But seriously… watching them together was like watching a real couple. It was so nice, so different… it’s really not surprising that I got so caught up in their love story.
Besides, you have to respect a guy who knows he’s straight, but starts falling for an employee he thinks is a guy. Watching his internal struggles—when he had to deal with the fact that he may be gay—that was some of the most thoughtful, deep, beautiful writing I’ve ever seen. I just hope future dramas can come close! And yes, I’ll admit, the story did slow down a bit after the big revelation that she was a girl… but I still loved the way they handled it. There weren’t any selfish, scheming characters on the sidelines, trying to tear them apart. The struggles they faced in their relationship were all internal, emotional, sexual… things real people face in relationships. And best of all, we actually got to SEE their relationship progress! In dramas, they're usually so busy trying to get together, that we don't actually get to see much interaction between them as a couple. With Coffee Prince that's definitely not a problem!!
Everything about this drama was impressive: the directing, and the way she set up her shots; the music, and the way they complemented the scenes so perfectly; the acting, with all the range of emotions it required; the story, and how they could get so much across in a scene that didn’t even require words; how they can make a simple scene where they’re doing dishes poignant and beautiful, I’ll never know. Just watch episode 9-12 to see what I mean…
And for once, even the side-characters were interesting—and I’m not even referring to just the Coffee “Princes”—though truth be told, it’s worth watching for them alone. Characters like Mr. Gu the butcher, the Manager Mr. Hong, Han Gyul’s Grandmother, Eun Sae… I really cared about all their stories, and wanted them all to be happy. Usually, in dramas, I care only about the main couple, and could care less what happens to the rest of the characters. Here, I cared about every single one of them—there wasn’t one person I hated. It was definitely a welcome change. ^_^
I’ll admit… I was a little disappointed by the final episode, even though it did end happily. I wanted more, somehow… something that would blow me away, like the ending of Delightful Girl Choon Hyung did… compared to that though, this ending was kind of bland. It didn’t take away my enjoyment of it, or anything… it just saddened me that they took the easy way out, and didn’t try for a fun, interesting ending instead. But that still doesn’t change the fact that it’s a fantastic drama that everyone must see!!!
…And I don’t even like coffee!! ^_^