After losing her job, hard-working Lee Jung Joo (Kang So Ra) moves to Jeju Island to open a café, which turns out to be next door to her first love, layabout chaebol, Baek Gun Woo (Yoo Yeon Seok). High jinks and confusion ensue, as the two of them end up running his restaurant together, until misunderstandings and family secrets get in the way.
Junggugeo Kaenada 중국어 캐나다: DNF
Only 만: ★
Junggugeo Kaenada 중국어 캐나다: I commend you for doing what I could not, which is sticking with “Warm and Cozy” until the end. I just lost interest and patience with the show by episode 8.
Only 만: I’m not going to mince words here: “Warm and Cozy” is a total waste of time. I’m not sure if finishing it makes me a masochist or an eternal optimist.
Junggugeo Kaenada: Wow, that’s a lot of vitriol towards a show that I considered aimless and boring when I quit. What angered you so much about the show?
Only: It’s not anger; it’s exhaustion. I kept waiting for an actual story to start, and instead, I got random bits of drama floating by in what felt like a long-form commercial for Jejudo.
It didn’t help that the side characters were more fully formed than the leads, leaving you with no one to care about either.
Junggugeo Kaenada: Yes, in particular, both of us started finding the mayor more attractive than the male lead.
Only: At least the drama gave us this much; an acknowledgement that Kim Sung Oh, who played the mayor, can also be a romantic lead. But, yes, the mayor was way more attractive than Yoo Yeon Seok’s Gun Woo, who had little to recommend him from beginning to end. He started out as a self-involved jerk, moved on to confused jerk, turned into a noble idiot, and then went nowhere. Much like the story.
Junggugeo Kaenada: What about the female lead, played by Kang So Ra?
Only: I’m not sure if I can even call her a character. The only thing I knew about her was that she was hard-working, and willing to be jerked around in the name of love.
Junggugeo Kaenada: I have to say that one of my least favourite characters was the second female lead, Mok Ji Won, played by Seo Yi An. There was nothing redeeming about her; she just existed to be evil. I never understand why writers think viewers would want to spend any time watching someone act like a run-of-the-mill psychopath.
Only: Her robotic acting didn’t help either. I couldn’t understand why I was supposed to believe that Gun Woo had had an unrequited love for her for years. It just made him look more like an idiot.
Junggugeo Kaenada: How did the rest of the Jeju Island community fare? Or, Gun Woo’s older brother and the female diver?
Only: I actually enjoyed their romance more than the two leads (which is not saying much), but in the end, it was marred by random, unnecessary drama, for the purpose of giving Gun Woo an opportunity to act like a noble idiot.
As for everyone else? Well, there was a lot of last minute tying of loose ends, but I can’t say that I cared about any of it. Well, except that they forced the mayor into the beginnings of a relationship with Gun Woo’s sister.
It may sound like I’m dumping on the actors here, but in fact, I can’t blame them. The writing was such a failure that there was no way they could have saved it.
Junggugeo Kaenada: So, you place the majority of the blame on the writers. Why is that?
Only: The Hong sisters aren’t exactly known for their linear plots. But, in this case, they took what could have been an easy-going romance, and forced random drama onto it to the point where they had to tie up everything at the last minute. And, this effort was ultimately unsuccessful; the ending was barely coherent. And they made almost no effort with the characterization. The two leads in particular were given so little to work with that even their best efforts couldn’t have made their characters appealing.
The worst part was that they snuck in a pretty decent flirtation and a kiss into the finale, which made me think of lost opportunities on top of it. Yoo Yeon Seok and Kang So Ra could have generated some chemistry between them, but were given little chance to do so.
Junggugeo Kaenada: Let’s try ending on a positive note. What did you like about “Warm and Cozy”? Anything?
Only: Jeju Island looked like a nice place to visit. So, I guess “Warm and Cozy” was successful in that much.