Chocolate (2019) poster
Your Rating: 0/10
Ratings: 8.1/10 from 12,304 users
# of Watchers: 27,994
Reviews: 72 users
Ranked #1926
Popularity #492
Watchers 12,304

The story of a man who became a neurosurgeon, though he dreamed of becoming a cook, and a woman who became a cook because of him. Lee Kang is a neurosurgeon who once dreamed of becoming a chef. As a child, Moon Cha Young once met Lee Kang at a small restaurant in the seaside town. There, Lee Kang cooked and gave her a meal, which in part inspired her to become a world-famous chef. Many years later, the two meet again at a hospice ward, and together, they heal their own emotional scars by preparing meals for the patients there. (Source: Edit Translation

  • English
  • 한국어
  • 中文(简体)
  • Arabic
  • Country: South Korea
  • Type: Drama
  • Episodes: 16
  • Aired: Nov 29, 2019 - Jan 18, 2020
  • Aired On: Friday, Saturday
  • Original Network: jTBC Netflix
  • Duration: 1 hr. 5 min.
  • Score: 8.1 (scored by 12,304 users)
  • Ranked: #1926
  • Popularity: #492
  • Content Rating: 15+ - Teens 15 or older

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44 people found this review helpful
Jan 25, 2020
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 10
Overall 7.5
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
I feel like I need to add a warning to my view. This drama presents itself as a mature melodramatic romance, and in a lot of ways it is, but a good portion of this drama also centers around Hospice care, which means a lot of stories about death. There are also other very sad themes like abandonment and trauma, so if you're looking for a lighthearted romcom this ain't it. Instead expect a lot more sadness and internal monologues.

I decided to watch this because of Ha Ji Won, one of my favorites, and she does a great job as Cha Young even though her character is pretty one-note, basically melancholy and apologetic. This matches the mood of Yoon Kye Sang as Lee Kang as well, who is equally somber and melancholy. They do have pretty good chemistry, and I liked their story in general, but there is way more heaviness and sadness than butterflies in their story. There's the expected destiny theme as well. It also builds very slowly, and although I didn't mind the pace, it definitely made me watch more casually instead of being excited to watch each new episode.

I also liked the rest of the cast as well. To me Jang Seung Jo as Lee Joon is definitely the standout, playing a role he's so good at, the "rich guy rival" (like his performance in "Money Flower"). The cast is also full of great performances by the supporting cast as patients, staff, and relatives... although The Lee family did seem a bit cliché at times with their typical greed and scheming. I blame that more on the writing than the cast.

The story is this dramas weakest point for me, not because it's a bad story, but more because of how somber and standard it is. However, instead of comic relief, this drama's most uplifting moments all center around food. Yes, this is the kind of drama (like the "Let's Eat" series) that will probably make you very VERY hungry. So many food close-ups. So much emotional eating. Sooo many chewing scenes! It's about way more than just chocolate too. Food is the real star of this drama.

It's also beautifully shot. The scenery is amazing and all of the food looks delicious (even stuff I don't eat). It has a cinematic feel visually which helps with the slow pace. I was much more forgiving of certain scenes because of how beautiful it looked. At the very least, Netflix definitely knows how to make pretty dramas.

Would I watch this again? I don't think so. I was honestly caught off guard by how sad this was, and I didn't love any part of this drama enough to endure that sadness again. The story is also pretty typical as far as the "Who's gonna take over the family business" tropes go.

Overall, I appreciate the main theme of this drama, which is to appreciate every single moment of the life you have and that a fulfilling life is more about love and giving than about how much you can acquire. That theme really hits home by the end, and I shed a lot of tears throughout this drama, so I think I would recommend this drama but only with that warning. Death comes up constantly, which could feel therapeutic or like too much. For me, it was a combination of both.

"Chocolate" is a low key melodrama, so there's less excitement and much more contemplation. If you don't like the mood of the first episode, don't expect it to pick up later. The resolutions are also subtle. Some things were left hanging, which I'm ok with, and it's much more about going on a journey with each character through their personal traumas, dysfunction, and moments of failure and empowerment. This drama from beginning to end will try to come for your feelings!!! Make sure you have enough tissues and snacks while watching.

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77 people found this review helpful
Jan 27, 2020
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 4
Overall 6.5
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 1.0
In the beginning, chocolate did have a lot going for it. There was Ha Ji Won, who is undeniably my favorite actress and who succeeded in portraying a compassionate, graceful woman to the T.

There was food and whole lotta good shots of it which is basically catnip for every foodie out there and me being one, I did a happy dance inside every time I saw someone eating or cooking- which was A LOT.

There was some bromance, sismance, amazing chemistry between the leads and family bonding sprinkled all over it and last but not the least; the message it went out to portray was brilliant.
Despite the inevitablity of death, people can still find moments of happiness. It was beautiful and heart-warming to watch.
In the beginning, that is.

Despite being a slow burn in every sense of the word, the show did go pretty fast for me up to about 7 episodes. I was really really into it but then the monotony started setting in. It's the same K-drama tropes over and over again and soon enough you realize that there isn't much of a unique spin on it.

Call me heartless but when you show me the same sentimental shit and corny deep dialogues in literally every episode, I'll go from being touched to annoyed real fast. That's because over-doing emotion takes the sincerity out of it. Every case was more or less the same and that irked me a lot.

A lot of things were added as useless plot devices and left unexplored. It was almost criminal how little screentime the main couple got. You barely get to see them together till around 12th episodes and even then it's scarce and underwhelming.

I feel like the show dabbled in a lot of things but didn't truly go into depth for even one. And it's a shame truly, given the immense potential.

Towards the end, I just had to fast forward stuff- an urge I was physically restraining for about 14 episodes.

A reviewer said that it's a great drama for new watchers and I agree but if you have already seen these tropes a billion times and in their most basic form, this drama will end up being quite mediocre for you.

I'd rather watch 'Just Between Lovers' that took one of the issues also mentioned in this drama, went in depth with it and actually managed to portray sadness, heartbreak and loss in a way that was never over the top and yet, extremely impactful.

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  • Drama: Chocolate
  • Country: South Korea
  • Episodes: 16
  • Aired: Nov 29, 2019 - Jan 18, 2020
  • Aired On: Friday, Saturday
  • Original Network: jTBC, Netflix
  • Duration: 1 hr. 5 min.
  • Content Rating: 15+ - Teens 15 or older


  • Score: 8.1 (scored by 12,304 users)
  • Ranked: #1926
  • Popularity: #492
  • Watchers: 27,994

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