03 July 2015

맨도롱 또똣 Warm and Cozy

Title: 맨도롱 또똣 Maendorong Ttottos
English Title:
  • Jeju Island Gatsby
  • Warm and Cozy
Country: South Korea
Language: Korean
Year: 2015
Episode: 16
  • 유연석 Yoo Yeon Seok
  • 강소라 Kang So Ra
  • 이성재 Lee Sung Jae
  • 김성오 Kim Sung Oh
  • 서이안 Seo Yi Ahn
  • 김희정 Kim Hee Jung
  • 정진영 Jung Jin Young (진영 Jin Young)
  • 옥지영 Ok Ji Young
  • 이한위 Lee Han Wi
  • 김미진 Kim Mi Jin
  • 이중문 Lee Joong Moon

케이윌 K.Will - Thank U
Lee Jung Joo spent almost all her savings to go to Jeju Island on her 19th birthday so that she can meet the woman whom she suspects is her mother. She meets her youngest son Baek Gun Woo, who is also celebrating his 19th birthday, and she tells him that she thinks they are long-lost twins. Since that wasn't the case, Jung Joo and Gun Woo go their separate ways.

Ten years later, Gun Woo is the owner and chef of the Warm and Cozy restaurant located in the town of Sorang in Jeju island. His lazy personality is obvious in the way he manages his business, and the restaurant is more often closed than it is open.

Gun Woo only serves two courses in his restaurant: the Warm course for lunch and the Cozy course for dinner. The dishes are different every time, and he may also accommodate customer's requests for specific dishes as long as he has the ingredients in stock.

Jung Joo has saved all the money she has earned from working in a luxury underwear company in Seoul. She plans to buy her own apartment, but her cousin scams her and uses her savings to buy a dilapidated house in Jeju island. On her way to stop her cousin from ruining her life, Jung Joo coincidentally runs into Gun Woo.

하늘해 Ha Neul Hae, 공보경 Kong Bo Kyung - Butterfly
Warm and Cozy is a heartwarming drama about two people with very different personalities who found love and happiness with each other. I found it exactly as its title alludes to, warm and cozy.

It had a convoluted start, and I doubt most of what was shown in the first few episodes were essential to the story. For instance, if the backstory of Lee Jung Joo and Baek Gun Woo meeting when they were teenagers was removed, it won't have much of an effect on the narrative.

Warm and Cozy lacks coherent writing, and the plot is missing one crucial aspect: good conflict. There were many scenes with witty dialogues but these scenes are only good when evaluated separately and they fail to make a satisfactory whole, let alone a sum better than its parts.

I like the characters, but that has less to do with how they were written, and more to do with the sensitive portrayal of the actors. The drama has managed to get such a talented cast that it's such a shame they didn't have much to work with in terms of complex characterization and consistent character development.

Mediocre writing notwithstanding, I still enjoyed the drama. It was set in the beautiful island of Jeju, and living the simple life was presented as idyllic and charming. It would be fun to be like Gun Woo and manage a quaint restaurant like Warm and Cozy.

I suppose using cooking terminology, the drama had the best ingredients and it followed the recipe when it comes to making a romantic comedy to the letter. It wasn't the best, but it wasn't the worst either... it was good enough. I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it either... it was just right.

맨도롱 또똣 Warm and Cozy