Drama: Drinking Solo (혼술남녀)
Release Date: September 5 – October 25, 2016
Runtime: Mondays & Tuesdays 23:00
The drama tells the story of teachers and students in a private school for service examinations in Noryangjin, Seoul. The story shows people drinking alcohol alone whether at home or outside for various reasons and the romance between two teachers, superstar Jung-Suk (Ha Seok-Jin) and rookie teacher Hana (Park Ha-Sun).
Ha Seok Jin: Jin Jung Suk
Park Ha Sun: Park Ha Na
Gong Myung: Gong Myung
Hwang Woo Seul Hye: Hwang Jin Yi
Min Jin Woong: Min Jin Woong
Kim Won Hae: Kim Won Hae
Key: Ki Bum
Kim Dong Young: Dong Young
Jung Chae Yeon: Chae Yeon
Fresh from finishing 1% of Anything and Let’s Eat 2, I scrambled to find another Ha Seok Jin drama and found Drinking Solo. I was expecting it to be the same as Let’s Eat, where each episode will talk about different kinds of drinks and snacks that go well with the food, so i was mildly surprised that it wasn’t like that. Start of every episode shows the lead, Jung Suk in a restaurant describing his routine while he pours his drink for the day and his meal and music. The latter half of the drama started with each of the characters having their own drinking session. It was fun to see them drink and eat to their hearts’ content. The story is also a little different – we have 4 teachers and the owner/principal and the 4 students. To be honest, i got bored with the 4 students’ story but i loved the teachers. Let’s see –
1. Romance between Jung Suk and Ha Na felt too rushed – we spent almost had of the time with Jung Suk looking down on Ha na yet he fell in love hard and deep in the next few episodes. I loved them and their chemistry together. Ha Na is just what Jung Suk needed, a sweet woman who can melt his icy heart. The “love” triangle with the little brother did not really fly with me. Gong Myung’s cute like a puppy but not what a grown mature woman will like – he is not ambitious, has no job and is irresponsible. He is definitely nice and sweet and sometimes it’s not enough to live. Plus if you compare him side by side to his brother – handsome, fashionable, successful, smart, strong, Gong Myung was simply no match at all. Jung Suk looks cold and can be jerk with his words, but once you get past his reserve, you will get to know a really nice guy. He just closed himself off to avoid attachments and getting hurt.
2. The teachers started out like a bunch of misfits but they ended up being a great combination. I just wished that the story also focused more on the 4 of them growing in their careers too. Would have loved to see Ha na gain more students, Jin Woong getting appreciated not just for his impressions but how well he teaches. or more scenes where they actually add value to their students lives and show how selfless teachers can be.
3. The interaction of the 4 students were just so-so for me. I didn’t care much for each of their stories but i love the bromance between the 3. Ki Bum was super annoying for the most part – looking like a know it all, arrogant but lazy and dumb kid, plus his tirori tune, but i’m impressed with how devoted his one-sided love for Chae Yeon that I was so happy in the end where Chae yeon looked like she is finally seeing Kibum as a man. Chae Yeon, likewise, just kept frowning and being a sad moody bitch in the show that i wonder what Kibum saw in her aside from her looks. But i was ecstatic when i saw her smiling, passing the exams and going to work. I just wish she becomes more friendly – in real life her snobby attitude aint going to win her friends and a promotion at work. She needs to be a team player!
4. The brothers – throughout the show it felt so awkward seeing them together and even at the end, they still weren’t close. I dont understand why Jung Suk had to break up with Hana because of his younger brother, when Hana didn’t even like him. The same way that Gong Myung was so stubborn and is forcing himself on Hana and getting angry at Jung Suk for stealing her when he knows she only likes him as a friend. and… both of them didn’t even asked Hana who she likes or even gave her a say in the relationship. Thus, the whole what — you’re brothers revelation is a surprise for Hana, but i thought it wasn’t a big deal, not enough for them to break up. But the break up had to happen – for Gong Myung to realize how selfish he has been for ruining a relationship that he is not even a part of.
5. The ending is a bit of a cliffhanger, though i loved that scene where they were thinking of each other as they drinking alone then looks up and see each other from across the table. i think both of them and the audience deserved a reconciliation and a kissing scene from them! but like what Jung Suk’s monologue said, he hurt her by breaking up with her so quickly that they needed to start over and to take it slow. I hope they do a second season!! Please!!!
Overall, this is a super simple and quick romcom – i think i finished this is less than 2 weeks.