Sunday, November 25, 2012

Kdrama Review: Pasta (2010)


I’ve been re-watching Pasta this week, because there’s nothing like a post-turkey hangover to make a family sit down to watch Koreans making pasta, throwing pasta, and eating pasta.  I wonder what this show’s food budget was.  I wonder how much these actors had to diet after filming…. Oh yes, food aside, more fantastical things happened this week.  My mother started watching her first genuine K-Drama.  I was concerned, but she’s a Food Network junkie so really, there’s no better drama to begin with! I’m also seeing it for the second time.  My husband is also watching it for his second time.  We’re all still sitting on the couch laughing our heads off.  Something seems strange about this, but I’m not going to argue.  I’ve got more than myself watching dramas now, and I couldn’t be happier.

My first run with Pasta came after a long line of mediocre dramas. (Take Care of the Lady, Can You Hear My Heart?)  I remember feeling the despair, almost sure that I’d reached to the end of my K-Drama mania.  What Pasta did for me (besides crave Italian food) was bring me back into the light.  It’s fun, it’s zany; it has a wacky cast of side-character that I’d need a third hand to even count.  And best of all, it features an almost sickeningly cute kitchen romance between leads Gong Hyo Jin and Lee Sun Gyun. 

These two really do make one of the best pairings I’ve ever seen.  They may not have that mythical chemistry we’re always looking for in Dramaland, but each play such a unique character that they really don’t need it.  Gong Hyo Jin as kitchen assistant/cook Seo Yoo Kyung plays the adorable without resorting to the dreaded aegyo.  Lee Sun Gyun (aka The Voice) plays Head Chef Choi Hyun Wook with all the pizzazz of the overbearing, rude, misogynistic male, yet never comes across as obnoxious.  His strut and posturing at the chef’s table may have something to do that (“Table number 6 – Vongole – HANA!)
Just a normal day in the life of an OTP
I think the real success of Pasta is that it doesn’t try to take itself too seriously.  Abysmal plot-devices are at an all-time low.  Mischievous side-characters are more for comedy than for angst, and rarely take up too much screen time as to become unbearable.  At 20 episodes I can almost believe that Pasta, while not being too heavy on the plot to begin with, has almost no wasted scenes.  It’s compact, humor-laden, and seamlessly weaves its enormous cast into kitchen fiascos, competitions, and epic almost-battles (Frying Pan vs. Lighter, Round 1!) Best of all, we don’t have to wait until episode 20 for our romance to finally kick in. 

Even the intrusion fo this brooding guy (Clazziquai's Alex) can't make our lovers budge.

Something else to look forward to: If not for eye-candy, then at least for hilarity, these guys put the show over the top. 

Meet the Korean Team:

Featuring Lee Hyung Cheol (far left) awww… from City Hall.

 And the Italian Team:

Including No Min Wook (2nd from right), currently starring in Full House 2
Even here he had some strange hair…
Female character: "Is that a man...or is that a man?"
My mother: "I don't know. Is that even a man?"

Point is: Watch or Rewatch Pasta, unless you hate cuteness, or food.

"Yae shep!"


  1. I love cuteness, food, and Pasta. Both the show and the thing you eat ;)

    The leads in this drama may not have sexual tension-y chemistry, but they work well together, I think.

    1. Yup. I love too how they're almost more 'adult' about things, for example - their relationship. And it still works without the sexual chemistry because they're just so normal with each other.. while being cute and gruff. How did one Kdrama manage to pull all of that off? (before the advent of tvN?)

  2. I loved Pasta for everything you just said, especially the lack of hair brained plot devices lol. I just finished a food drama and it was just nowhere on the level of Pasta, it made me appreciate Pasta all the more.

    1. Yes, everytime I thought.. "Oh no.. hair brained plot device coming up..." It was done and used in a moment. I was always on edge wondering at which point Pasta would start to annoy me, but it never did!

  3. I've never seriously thought about watching Pasta. Probably because it's a drama that people don't talk about much. Probably it is overshadowed by much popular dramas that people usually remember from year 2010. But I have heard good things about it. Kdramaguk, I remember, praised it's dialogue and characters and gave it 10/10 on her total enjoyment scale.
    Since I haven't watched a food-themed drama for a long time, I think this drama could be a future possibility.

    1. *gasps*
      The dialogue is awesome! It's got a very sharp script and great delivery. Again, another thing that surprises me because compared with other, more faster paced trendy Kdramas, Pasta has a good bit of wit and snark. I highly recommend it!