If you have a couple hours to spare, and are in the mood for a romance staring two Kpop idols, you could spend some time on the 2016 webdrama called Hot and Sweet. Its eight episodes range from around 10 to 20 minutes a piece so it’s about the same time commitment as going to a movie.
Min-Joon is a 27 year old man who makes a living cooking gourmet burgers out of his truck called Kitchen on the Road. He drives around, finds a spot he likes, parks, and his roadside restaurant is open. He classes it up a bit by having a few tiny tables and chairs so his customers can relax and visit while they eat. One day, while being parked at a beach, a couple of high school kids inform him there’s a girl painting on the other side of his truck. When he walks around to see what they’re talking about, he finds a lovely, young woman – headphones on, completely engrossed in what she is painting on the side of his Kitchen on the Road. It’s obvious fate has brought the two together. But will they mess it up?
We don’t know much about Min-Joon and Joon-Young until almost the end of the drama. There are things that are inferred and judgements they inflict upon each other that are not necessarily correct. We learn about these characters once they let down their walls and confide in each other after heartfelt apologies. Because the writer obviously didn’t want us to have any background on Min-Joon and Joon-Young until almost the very end of the show, I will respect that and not give you a glimpse into who they are, either.
The drama doesn’t have much in the way of other characters. There is a lady checker in a grocery store who later brings her boyfriend with her to Kitchen on the Road for lunch; the two high school students; a few other residents of a small town; and Kim Yoo-Jin, a sophisticated woman from Min-Joon’s past. She appears, belittles him, and leaves. We don’t know the nature of their past relationship but when Min-Joon sees her the look on his face infers it was a romantic one.
I liked these characters enough that I wish the show would have been longer. By the end of the story we know enough about the two that it would have been nice to see their backgrounds instead of just hear about them.
The part of handsome Min-Joon is played by multi-talented Choi Min-Hwan. He is the drummer, sub-vocalist, composer, and lyricist in the rock band F.T. Island. At 24, he is the youngest member of the group. Just this year (2017) he became the one and only idol with a chimellier certificate. “And just what, exactly, is a chimellier?” you may be asking. It’s a connoisseur of chicken! It seems he really loves eating those yummy birds and jumped at the chance to be a chicken expert. (I wonder what he thinks of K.F.C.) In 2009, Min-Hwan made his acting debut in the 120 (half hour) episode TV drama The Road Home. He then made cameo appearances in three TV dramas and was in three stage musicals, two of which were in Japan. Min-Joon is his first lead male role and he did a excellent job, including the kiss in the show.
Twenty-four year old Seo Yu-Na, (better known as Yuna) who plays the part of Joon-Young, has been a member of the girl group AOA since 2012. She was born in Bussan but at just 18 years old traveled alone to Seoul and lived with her uncle while she practiced singing and went to auditions in effort to become an idol. In 2013 she played the lead in the Japanese musical Summer Snow. She’s been in four webdramas, including Hot and Sweet, and was in this year’s 12 episode Kdrama called Single Wife. A few fun facts about Yuna – she has played the piano since she was seven years old, her little sister (Yuri) debuted with the group Berry Good in 2014, and Yuna gives workout tips on a mobile magazine called Allets. You can see some of it on YouTube, if you’re interested.
There was one thing about the show that really bothered me. Min-Joon makes these incredible dishes for Joon-Young, things you’d find in an expensive three star restaurant, using just the things in his Kitchen on the Road. There’s absolutely no way someone could cook a meal with several different fancy dishes without a proper size kitchen. You’d need many pots and pans, a large refrigerator, several stove burners, lots and lots of ingredients, a huge sink… And what happened to all the dirty dishes? Nope, that part of the show was totally unrealistic, but the food looked fantastic!
The writer wound up this even-keel, short story very well. When you watch it, think of how Min-Joon treated his old flame (earlier in the show) and you’ll see how very romantic this ending really is! Thumbs up!
I’ve found that, usually, short webdramas aren’t overflowing with lots of above average music, but this show is different. The soundtrack is excellent. Choi Min-Hwan (from F.T. Island), who plays Min-Joon, sings It Hurts, Seo Yu-Na (from AOA), whose character is Joon-Young, sings Everything, and they both join together to sing the show’s title song Hot and Sweet. The music actually helps to elevate this show.
The scenery is very nice with most of what we observe happening in the beautiful outdoors. Kitchen on the Road is parked on the beach almost all the way through the show. Then Min-Joon drives it to a small town on the ocean and we get to see a quaint, little lighthouse. The end of the drama has the truck parked under cherry trees with falling blossoms adding to the charm of the location.
At the beginning of each episode we see, in English, the words “food and love”, suggesting the drama’s title is not just referring to Kitchen on the Road’s food. And, indeed, that suggestion is not without merit. This drama serves up yummy a couple different ways. Hungry for a decent romance? Give this webdrama a try and taste just how Hot and Sweet it really is.
A quick watch
Just a few characters
Soundtrack with main actor and actress performing together and solo
Lots of amazing food is unrealistic for a small truck restaurant
Not enough information earlier in the show on the main characters’ backgrounds