Posted in Drama Series, Review

[Drama] Pasta

I’m unsure if I should express my overall impression and thought of the drama. First and foremost because I don’t really have much to talk about especially after all the ranting and giggling I’ve poured out for ‘till ep 15’ and ‘ep 17’. I barely had any other opinion left to write up a long-enough post. Maybe because those two episodes were ‘the climax’ for me, the peak wherein I could no longer curb the exasperation I felt towards some of the characters.

Backtrack a bit; I almost missed the last two episodes. Not that I’d rue for it, I was just curious how it’d end. I mean, I’ve gone as far as episode 18 and it has to end with that bickering-on-the-bridge scene? Luckily I managed to catch the final episode tho’ missing the opening minutes. The ending doesn’t seem like an ending; it doesn’t wrap up the show (it isn’t the definitive ending I’m looking for) since it’s more of an open-ending. Maybe because the story goes nowhere that when the last scene passes by I don’t get the “oh, it’s over” feeling, for good or bad.

Yeah, since you’re reading this, be sure that I’ll (hopefully) write out something about the drama that I haven’t written down in two previous posts.

Let’s start where it all begins.

Fyi, I don’t drop a drama after just an episode (unless it’s terribly bad or not compelling). I never drop a drama that soon (although the earliest was dropping Hachikuro j-dorama on the second episode – not because it was bad, but because I couldn’t stand watching Toma’s anguished expression in two consecutive endings *LOL*. If each of the following episodes ends that way — since I already know he won’t get the girl — I’d rather watch something else. That’s a silly reason I know). For other dramas I usually try moving forward until half the show before throwing my hands up in defeat.

For Pasta… I’ve read somewhere that it is quite popular – it also gains quite a high viewership if not wrong. Yet I decided to watch it out of boredom – to kill free time. I need not buffer each episode for a long time; just switch-on the TV and enjoy the show. If it gets boring, switch the channel. The dubbing was also pretty good in general, so why not?

The first episode was okay for me, yet the next episodes’ incessant hollering turned me off. However, I thought the verbal abuse was somewhat real due to the following points:

(1) I believe my lecturer once said that working in hot kitchen requires a strong heart; the environment itself is hot thus the temperament heats up easily. Thus it’s common to find chefs cursing at their juniors.

(2) I recall my brother’s story of how his chef friend is ‘mean’ at work (while somewhat happy-go-lucky in real life); he dislikes special orders and fussy customers as they’re disruptive to the whole (cooking) flow. My bro once quoted him saying that if a customer kvetches, just told them to cook the meal themselves – the restaurant’s full, the kitchen’s busy thus no time to entertain them. He barks at whoever knows no cooking but tries to cuts in, including the restaurant manager. He’s the chef; he knows better than the manager.

(3) My real-life experience somehow proved it. When working in banquet line, I had to swallow the managers’ perpetual yelling tho’ the cooks were fairly nice in general. It’s infuriating not being able to retort! This is probably why I can roughly relate to the ill-treated cooks. Nevertheless, I hate the screeching yelling – I didn’t deserve it! I did my best so as not to make any mistake yet the managers just screamed at everybody as if our presence annoyed them. Even though if one thinks about it, without us they are nothing. We were the ones who did the menial tasks while they were merely exercising their vocal cords. Yelling doesn’t get the work done – our strong hands and quick feet do.

Aforementioned, Head Chef’s hollering indeed turned me off. Why yell if instructions do the trick? Why bang the table if supportive disposition does the magic? No wonder the cooks are so pissed. If I were them, I wouldn’t stand being in such abusive working environment either. Nearing the final episodes, all Hyun-wook does is being loud, abusive, annoying, bossy, and cocky chef. He demands everything done his way, refuses to listen to anybody’s words, and reprimands without demonstrating how things should be done to satisfy his standards. He easily makes rules up which he himself breaks as easily later on.

[Ending spoilers ahead] Pasta has nearly no conflict, if you can call Hyun-wook-Yoo-kyung’s secretive relationship a conflict. It revolves around La Sfera’s kitchen, thus the problems arising in the environment. The food gets you hungry, the story leaves you empty. So little goes on in 20 episodes that it may be hard to summarize what Pasta is about. A story about an aspiring pasta chef? Makes sense. It’s about Yoo-kyung’s struggles to reach her dream to become a pasta chef. Along the way she meets The One. She doesn’t let him toy with her, tries hard to prove her worth, yet when the opportunity comes granting her a culinary study in Italy, she backs off.

Hyun-wook denies women’s place in his kitchen, declaring there will be neither women nor love in his kitchen. But Yoo-kyung is there. He likes her, she likes him. Although Yoo-kyung earns her spot in La Sfera by her own merit, they cannot openly date each other. They decided to go backstreet with their relationship like teenagers do, but they cannot keep it secret for long. Smoke cannot be contained, stench cannot be covered. Team Korea and Disgraced Seol are readily sniffing out the littlest opportunity to screw him. But the built-up tension doesn’t last long to satisfy my craving – too flat a plot ain’t spellbinding. It’s like a balloon which takes time to inflate, yet takes no time to deflate after the burst. The couple’s fight lasts even shorter – Hyun-wook always knows how to melt her. One second they’re glaring at each other, the next they’re cuddling up.

Nevertheless, this may be the sole source of conflict since the second leads don’t act their part properly. They don’t make any move. Se-young adds up a spice into the overheated kitchen, but she doesn’t exceed her Chef #2 role. Everything she does is for the sake of the kitchen. The most pestering character is definitely Disgraced Seol, but he too mellows out eventually. And in the end, Chef wins each opponent’s heart by coaching Team Korea in an international competition, then rehiring the fired women cooks back to fill in the gaps left by Team Korea. SEE? Yelling gets you nowhere, Chef! Affection does. All is well… [end of spoilers]

Pasta is a light drama. The scenes I enjoy the most is whenever Yoo-kyung’s dad makes an appearance which throws everyone off-guard. Or the couple’s cute bickering. I can watch them bicker and then get jittery around dad all day long for episodes… Too bad such scenes are such a rare treat.

Pasta doesn’t get me glued to my seat; neither does it have me impatiently waiting for the next episode. But one episode a day (if you could get pass its irritating superfluous characters) can serve as a decent timeout for an hour or so (counting in the commercial breaks). Just make sure you’ve eaten something before hitting the show; else you’ll be hungry~

In the end, I write a long post indeed. Haiz.
I surely need to practice to keep long story short =( =p
Anyway, that’s about it.

_
PASTA rating: 3/5
Production: 2010
Cast: Gong Hyo-jin, Lee Sun-gyun, Lee Honey, Alex
Genre: K-drama, Gourmet-romance (16 Episodes)

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