Sunday Drama Review – Flower Boy Ramyun Shop

(꽃미남 라면가게) Flower Boy Ramyun Shop

Flower Boy Edition #1

Millie’s dream combination: Ramyun and Flower Boys

 Summary:

FBRS (1)“Flower Boy Ramyun Shop” is a cute and quirky romantic comedy about the interesting relationship between the independent university student Yang Eun Bi, and Cha Chi Soo, a rebellious spoiled teenager. And while these two live worlds apart, they end up both working under the same roof – at the good old fashion Ramyun Shop that Eun Bi’s father owned. But they both have to learn how to work with each other and with the rest of the staff: The excellent chef and “father” of the group Choi Kang Hyuk, the fool- in-love Kim Ba Wool and the sweet Woo Hyun Woo (both who are homeless teens). The crazy family not only learns to get along with one another but bands together when the Ramyun Shop is being harassed to be sold to a huge corporation that plans to tear it down and redevelop the area. Things get more complicated when it just so happens that the CEO of the company is Cha Chi Soo’s father and he has to pick between his blood family and the new misfit family that adopted him.

Characters:

FBRS (2)Yang Eun Bi (played by Lee Chung Ah) is a university student in her mid-20’s who has just finished her studies to become a teacher and manages to land a teaching job at her old high school. She is naturally tough and outspoken, and received a reputation from her unbelievable strength (from someone her size) and athletic ability. Eun Bi originally decides to shed this image and opt to behave more professionally now that she was an adult, but finds it hard to do so when her limits are tested while working with Chi Soo.

FBRS (3)Cha Chi Soo (played by Jung Il Woo) is an arrogant player and the son of a wealthy businessman. He was sent to study abroad for several years but comes back with the same, unchanged mindset that the world revolves around him. Chi Soo is able to get any girl he wants, yet he is somehow captivated by Eun Bi and her ordinary charms. This causes him to get a job at the “Flower Boy Ramyun Shop”, for he feels himself drawn to this strange woman and wants to know why.

FBRS (4)Choi Kang Hyuk (played by Lee Ki Woo) is the new owner of the “Flower Boy Ramyun Shop”, who moved from Japan to take care of the shop. He is a gentle and kind chef who takes in all of his employees and treats them like family, even calling himself their “father” and that they are his “sons”. He is often found sleeping in random places and using ramyun as an analogy for everyday life. He has a special spot for Eun Bi, as he promised her father that he would take care of her and the shop. He also has a caring side for the annoying Cha Chi Soo, since he seems to know more about him then he lets on.

FBRS (6)Kim Ba Wool (played Park Min Woo) is Cha Chi Soo’s arch rival. He always seems to be several steps behind his rich classmate even though he tries hard, despite his family’s instability. The breaking point for Ba Wool is when the girl of his dreams chooses Cha Chi Soo over him, setting Ba Wool off on a mission to win her back. But even though Ba Wool tries to come off as tough, his young age and innocence is still shown. He has a tight bond with Eun Bi since he knows her as the legend from their high school and they grew up in the same neighborhood, so he treats her like an older sister and is protective of her. Woo Hyun Woo (played by Jo Yoon Woo) is one of Cha Chi Soo’s best friends, yet they seem to come from opposite worlds. While Chi Soo is rich and arrogant, Hyun Woo is poor, also comes from an unstable family life with his father constantly running from loan sharks, but very sweet and has romantic tendencies. At first, Ba Wool is skeptical of Hyun Woo’s kind and sometimes weird nature, but the two grow close as they work together in the ramyun shop and also live together there as well when they both become homeless.

FBRS (9)Themes:

-Fast Love vs. Slow Love:

A heart isn’t some revolving door where a bunch of people can go in and out.” – Eun Bi.

 -“Feelings are the easiest thing in the world. It opens up once when you close your eyes. And it’s not a revolving door but like a merry go round. It’s a thing that can be enjoyed by many people happily.” – Chi Soo.

  -Eun Bi and Chi Soo have very different initial ideas when it comes to love. Eun Bi goes towards the idea that love is slow; that it takes time to really be in love. Chi Soo claims that love is fast because it is passionate.

 -Love Evolving:

-“No matter how the world changes there are things that you need to protect. Even though you can change your car, you don’t change love. No matter how cruel the world becomes, love shouldn’t change.” – Chi Soo

            -At first Chi Soo looks at his relationships in a very materialistic way. He “upgrades” the girls he sees like one would upgrade their cell phone for a new model. He later learns how love does not evolve in that matter, but it evolves to grow stronger not to completely change.

FBRS (5)

  Symbols:

-Ramyun Silver Pot:

-“That’s right. I’m scared to death. You said it’s your first time, feeling chest pain, and nausea. Well it’s not mine. I’ve felt that before, and I know how crazy hot it boils, and how dangerous it is. And I know myself. I’m a Yang Eun-nem-bi (Silver Pot), so I boil faster, and hotter, than everyone else.” — Eun Bi.

-Since the main characters work in a Ramyun Shop, the matters of love and relationships are often compared to ramyun; one example being how ramyun cooks in comparison how love is formed. Depending on the type of pot one uses to make ramyun can affect how fast or slow it takes to completely cook. Eun Bi compares herself to a silver pot, a rather fast pot, because when she falls in love, she falls in love quickly and hard. For her there is no causal dating, only serious relationships because she gets very emotionally attached. That is something that Chi Soo is not able to understand since he has never been emotionally attached to anything, never mind to someone who he is in a relationship with.

*Spoilers* (Do not read if you don’t want this drama spoiled for you, you have been warned!)

FBRS (8)

Things I liked:

  • Motorcycle Kiss: The moment when Chi Soo went riding off on his motorcycle to break up Eun Bi and Kang Hyuk’s date, I knew the confession kiss was coming (and it didn’t disappoint). Chi Soo gave her a forceful, passionate kiss that made it hard to mistaken what his true emotions were.
  • Ba Wool/Hyun Woo Friendship: Watching this awkward duo interact was one of the highlights of the show for me. Having Hyun Woo’s secret needs of affection combined with Ba Wool’s consistent attempts of appearing tough led for a hilarious bromance that finally turns into a friendship.

Things I didn’t like:

  • Jung il Woo and Lee Chung Ah’s Chemistry: Acting wise it seemed like Jung il woo did a better job of expressing his “love” towards Lee Chung Ah’s character than she did to his character. I was more convinced of Cha Chi Soo’s love than Eun Bi’s at the end. This leads me to believe that they did not connect well off-screen (not anything terrible, just that their relationship seemed purely professional and it came off that way in the drama).
  • “Swan” Girl: Yoon So Yi was the beautiful ballet princess that Kim Ba Wool was in love with. I hated her character and was hoping that she would get a taste of her own medicine by the end of the drama but there seem to be no justifying moment. At least the actress gets props for playing a convincing, horrible character.
  • FBRS (7)The Missing Flower Boys: Weren’t there five flower boys from Cha Chi Soo’s “gang” of friends in the first episode? So where did they go? We only get a glimpse at Hyun Woo (who based on his personality, does not seem like he would hang out with a group like that to begin with) but the other boys never really make an important appearance. My only guess is that including the other flower boys would add way too many characters and also make the girl to boy ratio extremely unbalanced.

Author’s Final Remark:  7.4/10

This drama was cute and humorous however it was missing that special something that leaves a drama memorable for the viewers. The plot was very predictable, and the “elements” it presented (flower boys, love triangle) didn’t really leave room to develop any wild turns or twists. But it was still nice. It’s the kind of cute drama you watch once, but it doesn’t make the top ten on your favorite drama list.

~Millie

Author: Jini

So Cal 1.5 Generation Korean-American / Teacher-In-Training / Freelance MC and Kor-Eng Interpreter

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