KDRAMAGUK : Korean Drama Soup

a landing site for quick, completely biased, and totally snarky korean drama reviews


Friday, February 19, 2010

1st Shop of a Coffee Prince (2007)

1st Shop of a Coffee Prince
커피프린스 1호점
(Jul – Aug 2007)

who’s in it
Yoon EunHye (Goong, The Vineyard Man)
Gong Yoo (One Fine Day, Spy Girl – film)
Lee SunGyun (Triple, Pasta)
Chae JungAhn (Cain and Abel)

what’s it about
Yoon EunHye is a girl who has a family that is financially challenged and to meet that challenge, she finds herself in a truly truly absurd gender-bending situation. Good for us, awkward for her. Not only does she pretend to be a garçon at a coffee shop, but the short-haired pixie finds herself being roped into her boss Gong Yoo’s blind dates (set up by his grandmother) pretending to be his boyfriend. Gong Yoo wants to shock his potential gold-digging female suitors out of his life because he’s actually got the hots for his cousin’s ex-girlfriend, played by Chae JungAhn.

As if pretending to be a boy isn’t difficult enough, she starts to get butterfly-feelings for Gong Yoo, who only sees her as a gawky younger brother. For now.

Aside from the main four characters, there are three delicious boys who are employed in the coffee shop. Not a bad way to flavor your latte, that’s for damn sure. Can you imagine your local coffee hotspot with these guys? Oh yeah, I’d be there every java-loving day.

17 episodes


wildcard factor
Yoon EunHye was effortlessly engaging as EunChan. She does earnesty in the way that Han HyoJoo can only dream about (Spring Waltz, Shining Inheritance).

after the first episode
Tentatively excited. The premise laid the groundwork for a lot of interesting possibilities and the tone of the drama hinted at a lot of hilarity to come. While Yoon EunHye was believable as a boy, my hesitation stemmed from my concern at how the show intended to approach the obvious issue of homosexuality that would naturally be born out of such a plotline, which is not exactly a mainstream nor popular concept even in today’s modern society, and not just in Korea but the world as a whole. I was both hopeful and wary of the topic’s potential hot button and sensitive nature. I only hoped that it would be explored respectfully and in a positive manner, and if so, perhaps even spread a little tolerance. Anyhow, although it’s not the point of a romantic comedy to teach social compassion, there are just some subject matters that come laden with landmines and must be tread upon with care.

gave up

snoozer moments
I wasn’t very moved by Chae JungAhn and Lee SunGyun’s cutesy coupling nor the latter’s teasing philandering with Yoon EunHye.

Not really. Just the usual cross-dressing, espresso-pulling, bare-chested waterplay. Oh, I bet that got you interested, huh? Yes, I did, I said bare-chested waterplay. =)

what didn’t work
Sometimes Gong Yoo’s exceptional height and Yoon EunHye lack of it (and lack of heels) made their age discrepancy seem even more exaggerated. Disagree with me all you like, but attractive as these two were individually and despite the fact that they did have decent chemistry, I actually didn’t think they looked very good together as a couple. Hm.

what did
Yoon EunHye

what made me want to gouge my eyes out
I think nothing in this drama aroused any real passionate feelings for me one way or the other.

what kept me going

Eh…why not? It was a good drama, after all.

Other factors:
predictability Yes
engrish No
originality Yes
eye-candy Oh, yes!
hair and fashion Yoon EunHye was so believable [and adorable] as a boy that she looked funny when she finally got to dress as a girl.

is it worth trying to find?

total enjoyment factor 
I admit, I didn’t completely love it like most everyone else. The fun and excitement kind of stalled in the fourth quarter for me, like I had been riding this really cool new car when a flat tire came out of nowhere and killed my buzz.

total disdain factor

why this review is completely biased
While I think he’s a handsome man, I would not consider myself a Gong Yoo fangirl. The problem is, he kind of resembles my father...watching him is like watching dad woo Yoon EunHye...not so much bad as just really weird. Ironically, My Lovely Samsoon was ten times more enjoyable for me because Kim SunAh totally could have been my mother’s long lost twin, especially with Kim SunAh having packed on those few extra kilos. Heh. I have this inkling that this whole paragraph might fall in the category of TMI (too much info). I should erase it...well, no one reads this blog anyway so it doesn’t really matter.

could a non-kdrama fan like this

It was a good drama. Hugely successful, too. A beloved drama even. You won’t find me in a cheerleading uniform waving pom-poms on this particular bandwagon but I caught the parade from the sidelines and I thought it was a good time. It was fun and I thought there were some real wonderful moments scattered throughout and by the end, those moments added up to something special.


  1. omg!!! so im not the only one not completely in love with coffee prince! yay! well, i would say that it is a good drama, actually a really good drama but for some reason, i wasnt addicted to death and raving about it like many others did. i forgot why but i stopped watching it around 3-4 ep near the end. maybe it was because i was busy or because i lost interest.. i really dont remember. i did watch the last 30 minutes of it though so i guess i kinda technically finished it. lol. but if it was you're beautiful, i would have dropped everything else regardless of my life just to watch the ep on time. anyways, glad ive read your review.

  2. Haha...we are definitely in the minority on this one, aren't we? ^^

    And me too, I put my life on hold for You're Beautiful! I was an obsessed maniac when it came to Hwang TaeKyung and Go MiNam!

  3. Your blog IS read.
    And it's totally hilarious.



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