Side dish: Watching this show led us to many a Korean restaurant in search of the perfect black bean noodles. One of the best versions we had in Toronto was from Chowon Family Restaurant, where they also make their own makgeolli. Here’s a long but comprehensive video from Max Lee on how to make your own makgeolli, too.
Eun Chan (Yoon Eun Hye) gets hired by Han Gyul (Gong Yoo) to pose as his boyfriend during his marriage dates. Pretty soon, word spreads to everyone, including Han Gyul’s grandma and mother, that he is gay.
Eun Chan runs into Han Seong (Lee Sun Gyun), and they discuss his dilemma about whether to take back his ex-girlfriend. Yet, Eun Chan finds herself becoming attracted to Han Seong.
Yoo Joo (Chae Jung Ahn) turns a date with Han Gyul into an excuse to see Han Seong. Han Seong initially leaves Yoo Joo outside his home, but ends up dragging her inside for a passionate kiss and embrace. The next morning, Han Seong dumps Yoo Joo, framing last night as revenge sex. He is disappointed when Yoo Joo immediately departs, and can’t help seeking her out in spite of his anger and resentment.
During the course of their scam, Eun Chan and Han Gyul get to know each other. Eun Chan learns that Han Gyul is a cheap drunk. Han Gyul learns that Eun Chan can really pack in food, has an amazing sense of smell, and works practically around the clock.
Unfortunately, Eun Chan’s financial situation takes a turn for the worse when Han Gyul’s blind dates dry up, and the Tae Kwon Do studio where she teaches is suddenly shuttered.
Han Gyul also finds himself in a desperate state when his grandmother decides to pair him up with her former employee, Mr. Hong for the task of restoring a coffee house.
Only 만: Watching “Coffee Prince” after such a long break is a trip. I thought I would have forgotten more, but I could have pretty much recited this episode.
Junggugeo Kaenada 중국어 캐나다: That’s impressive, but not surprising. What I remember most about this episode was my shock at Han Gyul and Eun Chan’s gay antics and Han Seong having revenge sex with Yoo Joo. You don’t see that in a typical Kdrama!
Only: Watching it from the lens of having seen many K-dramas, I can now appreciate your shock. At the time, the cross-dressing angle was the one that surprised me, though I’d seen it in mangas often enough. But, let’s talk about what we liked in this episode.
Junggugeo Kaenada: I actually enjoyed the drama between Han Seong and Yoo Joo. He obviously remains hung up on her, and can’t help but take her back in the heat of the moment. Then, in the light of day, he remembers his resentment and anger, and he decides to play last night off as an act of revenge. Thanks to Lee Sun Gyun, Han Seong’s emotion and reaction were believable.
Only: I find Han Seong a lot more convincing than the patient, saintly second leads that populate Korean dramas. There’s no way that he wouldn’t have mixed feelings about Yoo Joo after she dumped him and came back.
On a side note, it was Lee Sun Gyun who really drove home that “Coffee Prince” was 10 years old. He looks so young here.
Junggugeo Kaenada: I’m not sure I enjoyed Han Gyul and Eun Chan’s sabotage of his blind dates, nor their shopping spree. It was all too broad for me. The situation became more entertaining when Eun Chan and Han Gyul had lunch together, and he discovers that she’s a bottomless pit, and she finds out that he passes out from one drink.
Only: The one thing I did enjoy from that part is how Han Gyul couldn’t help but find her endearing. Every time Eun Chan did something ridiculous, Han Gyul would have the biggest grin on his face. Personally, I would have chucked her out of the car for her antics, but the way he smiled at her made it work.
Junggugeo Kaenada: The impressive thing about this episode is that it both wasted time and sped things along. While the story developed the relationships between the characters, including between Eun Chan and Han Seong, it also quickly moved on to the titular coffee house by the end.
Only: Though, I must admit that last scene was pretty over the top. I don’t even understand how Mr. Hong could have sold any coffee in there at all, given the rundown state of the place. Even with that though, having an ant crawling on Mr. Hong’s face was just a bridge too far.
Junggugeo Kaenada: I think we will be focusing more on the relationships than the fashion henceforth, so do you have any final thoughts about the clothes or styling in this episode? Han Gyul and Eun Chan did suit up.
Only: Their outfits make perfect sense if you pretend that they’re cosplaying as gangsters in addition to pretending to be a gay couple.