I don’t know if it’s because I’m currently watching Park Si Yeon in The Greatest Marriage or if it’s just because it’s cold and rainy outside and the idea of curling up with a good drama and a hot cup of coffee sounds like the best idea in the world (I suppose it could be a combination of the two) but for whatever reason, I’ve decided that Coffee House should be this weekend’s drama to watch.
Originally airing on SBS from May – July, 2010, Coffee House is the story of Lee Jin Soo (Kang Ji Hwan), a strange yet brilliant novelist who ends up hiring a rather unexceptional secretary, Kang Seung Yeon (Ham Eun Jung) who lacks talent but is determined to become a “true professional”. Though the pairing of these two seems strange at first, the two have an uncanny ability to see the potential in each other and they each end up helping the other to become a better person. While it sounds like these two are the typical Drama Land pairing, there’s actually more to the story than this. Seo Eun Young (Park Si Yeon) is Jin Soo’s tough-as-nails publisher and long-time friend and though there had been romantic interests at one time, life didn’t turn out the way either of them expected. Remaining friends through Eun Young’s marriage and divorce, Jin Soo is forced to re-evaluate his feelings for Eun Young when her ex-husband, Han Ji Won (Jung Woong In) shows up, hoping to reconcile. As annoyed by Ji Won as Eun Young is, Jin Soo agrees to help his friend get rid of an unwanted burden (aka, her ex) and all kinds of shenanigans ensue.
With four main characters to keep track of, Coffee House is one of those dramas where you sometimes have a hard time trying to figure out which characters are the leads and which are the doomed seconds, which may be why I liked it as much as I did. You see, I have a thing for second leads. I don’t ever really mean to love them as much as I do, but the longer I watch a drama, the more invested I get in their stories and before I know it, I’m completely hooked. This is why I suffer Second Lead Syndrome on a very regular basis and why I sob rivers of tears whenever my beloved second gets kicked to the curb. With Coffee House, I spent a whole lot of time cheering for characters, without really knowing which was the first and which was the second and I have to say, it was kind of nice not knowing which way this drama was going to go… At least until I got to the end and realized that the one character I’d been rooting for over the past eighteen episodes was actually the second! (AUGH! Why drama gods? WHY?)
Though the sting of cheering for the second is still there, I can honestly say this drama was a fun one to watch. Lee Jin Soo was such an odd duck, he made things interesting, though usually at the expense of Seung Yeon. That poor kid, she was teased and tormented by Jin Soo on a regular basis and there were many times when I wondered why she didn’t just walk away though at the same time, I could appreciate her determination to better herself and applaud her goal to become something more than a life-long misfit barista. Han Ji Won added his own flare to the drama though not in any way that I liked. He was a punk and a clueless one at that and he just irritated me but he served a purpose so I’ll forgive him. (Aren’t I generous?)
If you’re looking for a lighthearted drama, full of quirky characters and an interesting plot twist, you might want to give Coffee House a try. It’s entertaining, if nothing else and it stars Kang Ji Hwan so really, you’ve got nothing to lose! Of course, once you’ve given Coffee House a go (or if you’ve already watched it) I’d love to know what you thought so be sure to leave me a comment below!