Details

  • Drama: Wok of Love
  • Country: South Korea
  • Episodes: 38
  • Aired: May 7, 2018 - Jul 17, 2018
  • Aired On: Monday, Tuesday
  • Network: SBS
  • Duration: 35 min.
  • Rating: 15+ - Teens 15 or older

Statistics

  • Score: 8.1 (scored by 2,610 users)
  • Ranked: #794
  • Popularity: #422
  • Watchers: 6,686

Weekly MyDramaList Support Goal

3%
Help Support MyDramaList

Top Contributors

114 edits
44 edits
25 edits
10 edits

News & Articles

Recently Watched By

Wok of Love
8.1
Your Rating: 0/10
Ratings: 8.1/10 from 2,610 users
# of Watchers: 6,686
Reviews: 17 users
Ranked #794
Popularity #422
Watchers 2,610

The series will take place in a Chinese restaurant. Chef Seo Poong, a chef who goes from being a star chef one day to the cook at a failing neighborhood Chinese restaurant the next.
Dan Sae Woo, meaning “sweet shrimp”, lives a life of privilege and leisure—she accepted no gifts on her wedding day because her father gave her a check for 300 million won, and she enjoys horseback riding and fencing. Her greatest moment in life happens to coincide with a random bowl of jajangmyun, which leads her to undergo a big change and begin a new life.
(Source: DramaBeans)

  • Country: South Korea
  • Type: Drama
  • Episodes: 38
  • Aired: May 7, 2018 - Jul 17, 2018
  • Aired On: Monday, Tuesday
  • Network: SBS
  • Duration: 35 min.
  • Score: 8.1 (scored by 2,610 users)
  • Ranked: #794
  • Popularity: #422
  • Rating: 15+ - Teens 15 or older

Where to Watch Wok of Love

Kocowa
Subscription

Cast & Credits

Related Videos

Reviews

Completed
3GGG
19 people found this review helpful
Jul 17, 2018
38 of 38 episodes seen
Completed 2
Overall 8.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 9.0
PLOT: Successful, but it floundered
--------------------------------------------------------------
To say the writers had the story planned out from the beginning might be a lie. I wouldn't be surprised if we learned that they were plotting the story out as they went along because it's far from perfect. Though at the beginning it leaned into melodrama, it found its ground and settled for humor (which was a good call).

That's not to say the transition wasn't entertaining to watch. To simplify it, the show is so much fun you'll ended up willing to overlook some of its glaring flaws. Most of which include entire plot points abandoned halfway without an explanation, only to introduced more plot-points that were later forgotten. If this show could be edited, I would've taken most of those out... especially the one that introduced a pretty dark subject only to brush over it and shelve it...

At any rate, despite its flaws, this is a lighthearted story that's very digestible and, more importantly, enjoyable.

MAIN CHARACTERS: Lovable
--------------------------------------------------------------
The three charismatic main leads were given a good balance of strengths and weaknesses. And though they weren't always held accountable for their actions, they still showed some measure of growth and change as the story progressed.

Seo Poong (male lead): His character was probably the most relatable. His growth comes from falling to his lowest point and having to claw his way back up. He's equal amounts fearful and arrogant, which makes him a refreshing male lead. The fact that he shows moments of vulnerability and self-doubt goes to show that a strong character can be built through struggles. If one takes a look at his character from the first episode and compares him to who he becomes during the last episode, you'll see he was properly developed.

Dan Sae Woo (female lead): Jung Ryeo Won did a wonderful job of portraying Sae Woo's sassy attitude. Every smile and chuckle felt natural and contagious. She was also a well-rounded character, with moments of strengths balanced by moments of vulnerability. As fun as she was, out of the three main leads, I'd argue she had the least growth. As the episodes rolled by, it became increasingly obvious that she lacked self-reflection. This meant that she wasn't always held accountable for her actions. This in turn resulted in little change to her character when comparing the first episode to the last. The opportunities to develop her were there for the taking, but the writers missed every single one.

Doo Chil Seong (second male lead and the character who stole the show): Chil Seong was so charming, kind and lovable, that he out-shined and out-staged the other leads. And I don't mean as in he gave me second lead syndrome (though he did), but more like his character became the heart of the show. And how could he not? Chil Seong existed outside of the love triangle and was developed far more than the rest. He had the most interesting backstory and he was at the center of the most powerful moments of the series. Chil Seong was a magnet who -- through his charisma and selflessness-- ended up pulling the rest of the cast into his orbit. If you were hesitant to watch this because he's not the main lead, perish the thought! I have a feeling that if you watch this series, you won't regret it.

ANTAGONISTS: Unremarkable
--------------------------------------------------------------
There's a number of antagonists, each showing a different degree of hostility towards our leads, but honestly, none of them stood out. Their purpose was to progress the story and support the narrative by adding obstacles to force our protagonists (mostly Poong) to grow. So even if they were rather superficial in their development (or lack thereof), they were a useful addition.

SUPPORT CHARACTERS: shallow
--------------------------------------------------------------
Just like with the antagonists, the support characters served a specific function within the main story and, therefore, didn't get any proper development. However, given their role, I think it was a good call to keep the story focused on the leads. Especially since not all of the support characters were likable.

PORTRAYAL OF ROMANCE: Sweet, nurturing & healthy
--------------------------------------------------------------
The romance between our leads was great. Lee Jun Ho & Jung Ryeo Won had great chemistry on screen, which made the development of the relationship feel organic. The characters' personalities also meshed pretty well, allowing them both to be equally active in the development of their relationship rather than have one character pursuing the other. In a way, it felt like they were both walking towards one another and met right in the middle.

PORTRAYAL OF BROMANCE: Heartfelt & nurturing
--------------------------------------------------------------
The relationship between Poong and Chil Seong was a highlight of the show. Although they started on the wrong foot, Poong and Chil Seong built a strong foundation of understanding, loyalty, devotion, and support that culminated in a familial bond. The fact that Lee Jun Ho and Jang Hyuk also had great chemistry, helped sell how quickly they transitioned from friends to "bros".

OVERALL:
--------------------------------------------------------------
This is a feel-good series. It's not a perfect by far, but it's undoubtedly entertaining and light enough to binge-watch. It's also a series that doesn't ask too much of its audience, which makes it a perfect show to watch after coming home from a hard/stressful day.

Read More

Was this review helpful to you?
Completed
ChinguMode
9 people found this review helpful
Jul 22, 2018
38 of 38 episodes seen
Completed 3
Overall 9.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 9.0
This review may contain spoilers
I saw a movie recently where a character said "You like somebody because of things but you love them despite things” and I think that applies to this show.

This is a messy, gleeful and heartwarming tale about a chef, a gangster and an heiress who lose everything but then come together to reclaim it. Chinese masterchef Poong (Joon Ho), reformed gangster Chil-sung (Jang Hyuk) and lonely socialite Sae-woo (Jung Ryeo Won) have nothing in common but their shared calamities: all three hit rock bottom in the first few episodes.

These three characters with different backgrounds and temperaments are the disparate ingredients this show promises to turn into jjajangmyeon - the signature Korean/Chinese fusion dish that Poong is an expert at and that Chil-sung and Sae-woo are perpetually hungry for. While the first few episodes are almost unhinged in the seeming-randomness of their elements, the show makes it clear that Poong is the cook that's going to bring them together in one perfect dish.

For the fist half of its run, this was a show that was about jjajangmyeon but was also jjajangmyeon itself: televisual fusion cuisine. That’s why the show was originally so messy and it’s why I loved that the show was so messy. Because it seemed to be saying that people, relationships and life are a huge mashup of disparate things and it’s not about one being ‘good’ and the other ‘bad’ but about the proportions of each ingredient. Throughout the first half, all our characters were floundering because their life recipes weren’t right yet. If life is a recipe you're constantly refining, then all our characters were still deciding on the menu.

From the beginning, the show was extremely clever - but sometimes too clever. Its brilliant use of metaphors and imagery is a device I personally love but even I thought it was a bit overdone in the beginning. There were episodes where I was so busy tracking its use of hot and cold and the black and white that I missed plot. Nietzsche was thrown in there, first to intrigue us and then to confuse us. Poong was either a Nietzscheism superman or its antithesis; the writers never seemed to be sure. I know a lot of viewers simply couldn't cope with the chaos and dropped out. I stayed in, loving every minute and waiting for the writers to bring it all together in one glorious dish of fusion cuisine.

It's probably not surprising that this did not happen although it's not entirely clear what went wrong. Originally slated for 20 episodes (40) and then cut to 19 (38), maybe the show suffered from losing an episode, maybe it was three episodes too long. The show went on hiatus for two weeks and when it came back it was seemingly a shell of its former self. Characters disappeared, plots were dropped, major plot points were resolved quickly and anti-climactically, and others were dragged down with standard, almost pedestrian, kdrama plotlines. It was almost as though the writer had been instructed to play it more safe and the quirky, surreal magical realism was replaced with the plotline of a standard romcom.

The minor characters often detracted rather than added to the show in the end. The antagonists, which started off suitably hateful and conniving, became one-dimensional villains of little import, if they didn't disappear completely. The Giant Hotel may have loomed over the Hungry Wok like a corporate Goliath but David didn't defeat it so much as replace it and the little restaurant seemed more beset by disloyalty and ingratitude from its employees than by external threats.

Poong and Sae-woo remained adorable and sexy and wonderful and Chil-sung held a kitten every episode so the show is worth watching till the end. No matter how many plots got dropped or how many characters disappeared, the relationship between the three leads was the show's saving grace. The romance between Poong and Sae-woo is passionate and sweet - just the like sweet-and-sour pork that is his other signature dish. The bromance between the two men is loving and supportive. And while there is technically a love triangle here, it's handled with maturity and without unnecessary angst. These three people love each other and watching them come together is the show's best element.

In fact, show ends well. It's just not the affordable gourmet meal we were promised but more like a rushed lunchtime bowl of noodles while we're trying to get back to work.

In the end, I love Greasy Melo despite its flaws and I guess that means my Love Is True. I can dream of a more perfect version of this show where the writers were able to use all the ingredients they prepared to make the perfect meal instead of leaving half of them on the chopping board. But if lasting love is based on acceptance, then I accept. This is the show it is.

9/10

Read More

Was this review helpful to you?

Recommendations

Oh My Ghostess
The Greatest Love
Jealousy Incarnate
Strong Woman Do Bong Soon
Temperature of Love