Then I did what I sometimes do and went to Dramabeans to see what the ladies over there have to say about it. I was super shocked to see that they loved it. “Why?” I asked myself. How can they love a show which I have so much–ahh–distaste for? Should I hold that to be a black mark against them?
Before I got myself into a tizzy, I read all their recaps, and it made me wonder. Why exactly do I dislike this show so much? Now to be honest, it’s not that I hated it. It’s not that Coffee House is as low as A Prince’s First Love is for me. It’s more of a general feeling of irritation whenever I think of it.
Which made me look a little deeper.
The show isn’t terrible. There are some funny situations, some interesting characters, and I like how the writers wrote this story about trying to turn a long standing friendship into love. The shared back-story of the hero and heroine was compelling. We weren’t beaten over the head with “Oh, woe is me,” back-story but instead it was woven throughout the series. I liked the hero with his crunchy little layers and I thought Kang Ji Hwan did a great job portraying him.
I loved the very last episode. When Jin Soo gave that wicked grin and snarled before kicking open the door to the ceremony, man, I laughed so hard. We expected him to break up the wedding, we didn’t however, expect him to beat the crap out of some random guest. Knowing the character as we did at that point, we should have seen something unusual was coming.
I do love that the couple end up together in the end. The last moments we get where they are just hanging out being themselves are just so freaking sweet. We understand that they are just going to continue having fun together during their lives and is, once again, freaking sweet.
I’m glad to see Seung Yeon moving on, now matured, going off and beginning her own story. If she ends up with the barista that’s nice, but a different chapter. Which is funny for me, I usually like my ends all tied up in a pretty, pretty bow. This time I’m satisfied with the open-endedness of her storyline. It actually seems like the point.
Side note, one of my favorite characters as the barista, his character was so cute and so was the actor. I loved his voice and accent, but then again, I’m a sucker for a really deep voice. Of course this doesn’t mean I approve of all the choices the character made.
So with all these pluses, why do I still rank this show on the negative list?
The first thing that sticks in my brain is the giant plot point at the end. Jin Soo decides he can’t move on with his life having a relationship with Eun Young, okay, I get it, you guys have a messy history. What I don’t get is the fact, two years later, he changes his mind, comes back, and she’s engaged to be married to Ji Won. COME ON.
This one I actually saw coming. I remember thinking when I watched this for the first time when Jin Soo heads to Korea, “If she’s engaged to the ex-fiancé I’m gonna be expletive.” And whoop, there it was. UGH.
It just didn’t seem to fit with the rest of the show. He cheated on her, embarrassed not just her, but her family as well. The writers spent almost the whole series showing this guy was a bossy, pompous idiot. He didn’t listen, he was aggressive and basically a joke. Yes, she accepted his apology before the time jump, but I just didn’t buy it.
Okay, so she didn’t want to wait for Jin Soo anymore. I understand that. However, she went on ONE HUNDRED blind dates. There wasn’t one guy in that hundred who was more acceptable than Ji Won? Yes, I understand she was not marrying him because it was a romantic love, but in that same line of thinking, she could have just as easily married random X guy and still have gotten that point across. Maybe because by her marrying this character we already knew and didn’t really like, we didn’t feel bad for what was going to eventually happen to him. But here’s the thing, I still kind of feel bad for Ji Won, yes he was a pushy cheater, but once they got back together again, he was very cutely happy.
Going back to the two year jump, I didn’t like the fact that everyone starts new. Jin Soo comes back but so does Dong Wook. Dong Wook, who apparently just up and left town when Seung Yeon didn’t show up for his birthday date. I liked the turn that he’s now wealthy, but he seemed to lose his cool factor after the jump. At the beginning he was this strong silent type, we got to know him and he was still reserved, but nice (and yay me, chatty). When he got to like Seung Yeon, he was so sweet, having her back, telling Eun Young she needed to go up save Seung Yeon from Jin Soo. When he tried to go on the date with Seung Yeon and Jin Soo tagged along, some of the expressions he give are so funny. But after the two year period, his character was weaker. Even when Seung Yeon laid it flat out that she wasn’t interested, he decided just to hang around until for the future date where she may possibly change her mind.
Ultimately, I don’t think she will. Part of me wants to believe that, just like the main couple, these two crazy kids just might make it, but throughout the story, there was never a spark between them. The only reason Seung Yeon contemplated dating Dong Wook was after she saw proof of Jin Soo and Eun Young’s history and attachment. At this point she realized she would never have the person she really wanted and decided to give Dong Wook a try because he liked her. I wanted the relationship to work out because I liked Dong Wook so much but I really never held out much hope for them.
Another strong mark in the dislike tally was the character Seung Yeon. I know this doesn’t bode well for my drama watching, but I’m not a huge fan of those flighty, frazzled, immature characters. Which is what this character screamed for most of the show. These characters just irritate me as I can’t relate to them. I’ve never met anyone outside of dramas who’ve acted that way, do they truly exist? If not, let’s get them out of there!
I did however love her family. The rag-tag group of people she came from were just a hoot. From the very beginning when they attacked Seung Yeon’s ex-boyfriend with the ceremonial food, to the round-robin food fight when Dong Wook came to dinner, to Seung Yeon siccing Grandma on Jin Soo when he was sick, I loved every minute.
And finally I have trouble with the character of Eun Young. This may seem petty, however, I just don’t buy her as a the owner and president of her own publishing house. Yep, she seems really good at her job, it’s just the fact that she’s so young! I understand that she comes from a lot of money and that probably helped out a lot, but seriously, she’s like 30. And if he’s been writing for her for 4 years, it means she had to have had the publishing company when she was 26. Which is even younger. Maybe if they’d said she was an editor or something like that I would have bought it. During my writing days I met a lot of publishers and none of them were that young. Yep, that totally seems like I’m nit-picking, and I know Kdrama usually casts young, but it something that pokes at me, so I thought I’d lay it out there.
So do I hate this show? No. There are some super funny parts. Does it still irritate me? Yes, however, I don’t know if it’s just because DB did a convincing job of selling the story too me and I’m very suggestible, or if by the end of the rewatch, I was just looking at the story and characters in a different light. A slightly more open light. It reminds me of “Me Too, Flower!” which is one of my favorite shows, and a lot of peoples least favorite. We can be hold our beliefs to our hearts but still be open to other peoples points of view.
Now, will I recommend this to anyone or rewatch it? Nope. There are so many other good dramas to watch, to bother with this one again.