Review: Flower Boy Ramyun Shop

Another day, another drama review, folks!

I admit, I generally love k-dramas for all of their cuteness and quirkiness. But of out all the Flower Boy Series that TVN has released, I feel that this was the weakest installment. Don’t let that deter any of you, though. I judge a drama not by how good it is alone but also how much rewatch value it contains. As a whole series, I’m not sure I’d marathon it again, but there were definitely scenes and portions of episodes I’d go back to rewatch.

This series is easy to summarize. Here’s what I loved about it:

1. The ramen! To be honest, I’m not a big fan of ramen. Before you throw your kimchi at me, please understand that I’m not a big pasta fan to begin with. Nonetheless, another k-drama strikes and makes ramen look like the best food on earth.

2. The pillar AKA Kang Hyuk! The quirker the characters, the better. This k-drama responds with the adorable Choi Kang Hyuk, who has a very bright and sunny (and sometimes strange) personality. He also has the bad habit of laying down anywhere he deems “comfortable enough” so that he can sleep. He even nods off while slaving over a hot stove to make ramen. Kang Hyuk, that’s just dangerous. But he was freaking adorable anyway. Saranghae, Oppa!

3. The plot. Sometimes less is more, and this drama really shined in that area. It focused on Eun Bi, the Flower Boy Ramyun Shop, the male lead, and the second male lead. This story wasn’t complex stuff. We mainly followed Eun Bi on her journey to sorting out her feelings for high schooler Cha Chi Soo. In the end, she realizes that she liked him all along. Well, duh Eun Bi! I could have told you that from the very first episode.

4. Jung Il Woo’s character: Cha Chi Soo. Sure, he was kind of loud, obnoxious, and he acted the part of a spoiled chaebol heir perfectly. Sometimes he was a little pushy, but I think he really did a lot of growing up. Chi Soo grew up without a mom (she died at a young age), and with the way his dad forced the family business on him as a child, it kind of makes sense that he’s loud yet withdrawn. There was always something sad and lonely that I saw in Chi Soo. And Eun Bi was the spark that brought him back to life.

5. Eun Bi’s best friend, Kang Dong, was the best and the worst. Sometimes I got a good chuckle at her advice and speeches to Eun Bi. Here’s a gif of her million dollar advice:

6. The kisses and intimate moments between Eun Bi and Chi Soo were sizzling. Every darn romantic counter they had gave me butterflies in the pit of my stomach. I’m talking specifically the kimchi kiss and the kimchi finger lick. And for the record, I tried not to like Chi Soo because he was so irritating, but there was just something about Eun Bi and Chi Soo’s arguments that felt like the quintessential old, married couple.

 

And some things I didn’t like:

1. As much as I enjoyed the ease of the plot, I was a bit miffed by the end. I disliked how the drama with Cha Chi Soo and his dad was handled. It took a few episodes to be resolved, and I’m still not pleased. Chairman Cha doesn’t approve of Eun Bi because it reminds him of his dead wife that was still pinning for another man while they were together. Chairman Cha kept comparing his late wife to Eun Bi and it was really frustrating. In the end, Chairman Cha cut Chi Soo off and he was given papers that forced him into the army. I’m still confused by what he actually does in the army. Oh, and what does Chi Soo actually want to do with his life? When he was bonding with his brother, Kang Hyuk, as they made ramen, Kang Hyuk informs Chi Soo that he has perfect taste — just like him.

So, does Chi Soo have any interest in cooking? It would have been nice to see the series end with him having more direction.

2. I also felt that I was confused by Eun Bi and what she really wanted. She was really good at volleyball, but did she truly enjoy it? We know she gave it up to go to school to become a teacher because it would provide some financial security and because it was a practical job. In the end, I wish we had gotten a little more in terms of her aspirations.

3. What about our other Flower Boys? Kang Hyuk gives his final fairwell to Eun Bi and says that he’s going to cook ramen. Where is the question? Why does the second male lead always sacrifice so much and never get anything more?

All in all, this drama wasn’t half bad. I enjoyed Eun Bi and Chi Soo finally getting their crap together. If I had to rank it with the other Flower Dramas from TVN, I would definitely say Shut Up Flower Boy Band, Flower Boy Next Door, and Flower Boy Ramyun Shop. Although, Ramyun closely tied with Next Door, but it came down to personal preference for me. If you’re looking for a lighter comedy in k-dramas, this one isn’t half bad. I’d totally watch it just to see Lee Ki-woo in a towel again. But that’s just me.

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