The promotional picture on DramaFever shows a smiling couple under an umbrella so I guessed the show would be about weather forecasters who fall in love with each other – Temperature of Love – made sense. But I couldn’t have been more wrong. When I read that one of the main characters is a chef I thought, okay, the temperature it’s referring to is cooking, you know, like the heat in a kitchen. Wrong again. It wasn’t until I looked up the definition of the word temperature that the fog began to clear…
temperature = the degree or intensity of heat present in a substance or object.
So what is this drama really about? The intensity of the love these people feel for each other.
Lee Hyun-Soo so desperately wanted to write scripts for television dramas that she took a job as one of several assistants to a well known scriptwriter. In her spare time she wrote her own script and submitted it to a writing contest, all the while hoping hers would be the one that stood out. As luck would have it, that’s exactly what happened and now Hyun-Soo can honestly say she’s a writer. Amid the ups and downs of her new job, she is trying to nourish a relationship with On Jung-Seon, a handsome and ambitious man six years her junior. While still a teenager, Jung-Seon decided he wanted to cook. He studied culinary arts at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris France, and became a chef. Then, with the financial backing and business savvy of his closest friend, CEO Park Jung-Woo, he opened his own French restaurant in Seoul called Good Soup. He absolutely adores Hyun-Soo but things suddenly become very complicated when he finds out his best buddy, Jung-Woo, likes her too.
Although Lee Hyun-Soo is older, she lived with and relied on her younger sister until she signed a business contract to be a writer with On Entertainment. Even though her relationship with her younger sister is quarrelsome, she was raised in a very nurturing home and her parents are still very much in love. At first Hyun-Soo isn’t interested in having a relationship, thinking love isn’t all that important. But when she meets Jung-Seon and he confesses, right of the bat, that he likes her she decides to make a little room in her life for love.
Chef On Jung-Seon was raised in a very dysfunctional family. His father physically abused his mother so when she finally decided to leave him, get a divorce, and move to Paris he went with her. His relationship with his mother is very poor and he hasn’t even seen or spoken to his father in years. He realized his dream of owning his own restaurant thanks to CEO Park and has a strong love and respect for the man. Hyun-Soo describes Jung-Seon as resolute and stoic. “I’ve rarely seen you loose your cool,” she tells him. “You’re so sure of your goals and you don’t care about what others think.” Even though Jung-Seon is younger than Hyun-Soo he is often more mature than she is.
Ever since Park Jung-Woo’s parents passed away he’s pretty much been alone in life. His father was a business man that made lots of money and then lost it. Jung-Woo’s goal was to be a successful businessman so his father could be proud of him. He is the CEO of On Entertainment and a major investor and partner in Good Soup. The man is a workaholic business genius. He is methodical and careful in his business and personal life. He likes Hyun-Soo but, sadly, the same night he confessed his feelings to her she told him she was in love with another man. Ouch! Still, he has stayed by her side, for over five years, and has been there whenever she needed help.
Seo Hyun-Jin’s introduction to the entertainment world came in 2001 when she debuted as the lead vocalist for the girl group M.I.L.K. The group disbanded two years later but Hyun-Jin kept singing as a solo artist for a few soundtracks and some SM Town compilations. She enrolled at Dongduk Women’s University and majored in applied musicology. Then, in 2006 she got a chance to act as Liesl von Trap in the stage production of The Sound of Music. (Can’t you just picture her dancing around, singing “I am 16 going on 17…”) From there, she went on to both TV and film. Although she won her first acting award in 2011 for her role in The Duo, she is probably best known for her portrayal as “just” Oh Hae-Young in the excellent Kdrama Another Oh Hae-Young. After a quick cameo appearance in Let’s Fight Ghost, she took on the role of Yoon Seo-Jung in Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim. She did a wonderful job as writer Lee Hyun-Soo in this show.
While in high school, Yang Se-Jong would go to school plays with his friends which set him on the path to acting. He enrolled in Korea National University of Arts with Theater and Film as his major. Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim was his debut role and he followed that with Saimdang, Memoir of Colors. Right on the heels of that drama he played two characters in the excellent OCN thriller Duel. Congratulations are in order as he received his very first award for his portrayal of innocent Chef On Jung-Seon. Temperature of Love reunited him with his Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim co-star, Seo Hyun-Jin.
Although born in Seoul South Korea, Kim Jae-Wook lived in Japan until he was seven years old and, as a result, can speak fluent Japanese. We even get to hear his character, CEO Park Jung-Woo, speak a bit of Japanese here and there throughout the show. He played in a band when he was a teenager and then at the age of 17 became a model. His acting debut came in 2002 when he appeared as a member of an indie band in the Kdrama Ruler of Your Own World. In 2008 he was the ambassador of goodwill for the 9th Jeonju International Film Festival, in 2009 he formed a rock band called Walrus, and he co-authored a book in 2011 about his experiences as a model. I saw him in Who Are You which was his first drama after he returned from his mandatory military service in 2013, loved him in Coffee Prince and Mary Stayed Out All Night (both on my top 20 favorite Kdramas list), and was unnerved by his performance in Voice. I can’t wait to see what he does next.
This isn’t a typical love triangle story where it’s clear who we want to end up together. There isn’t a jerk we want Hyun-Soo to avoid or a knight in shining armor we want her to ride off into the sunset with. It actually reminded me of Spring Waltz in that the girl would be lucky to be with either man. They each have wonderful qualities the other lacks and I was convinced both men loved her very much. Because the introduction of the show clearly shows us who the actual pair is, we don’t have to wonder who Hyun-Soo chooses but I wish she would have at least given CEO Park a chance. I would have also enjoyed seeing an alternate ending where she and Jung-Woo ended up together.
I loved the fact the writer had Hyun-Soo discover that getting what she wanted wasn’t all a bed of roses. She tells Jung-Seon, “I thought that everything would change if I made my dream come true. Before, I thought that a brand new world would open up to me. But, despite the fact that I actually made my dream come true, my life is the same as it was before I realized my dream.” That’s the reality of life. Too often we decide we’ll be happy once this or that happens, or once we achieve something specific, but that isn’t always the case. It’s not life’s circumstances that need to change for us to be happy, we need to do the changing.
One appealing aspect of Temperature of Love is the fact that the writer gives us real people; people that experience struggles, defeats, failures, and heartaches just like we do. We’re able to empathize because we’ve felt that kind of thing before. We don’t win all the time, and neither do they.
An added bonus to this particular drama is all the delicious looking food we get to drool over. Just like in Pasta and Gourmet the leading man is the head chef of an amazing restaurant. Some of the scenes in this show are lipsmackin’ delicious. I do agree with some of Good Soup’s customers, though – the portions are extremely tiny. I could have finished the steaks in three bites, however, all of the dishes served are a feast for the eyes!
Here’s a little tidbit of interesting information for you… Temperature of Love is based on the novel Good Soup Never Picks Up the Phone which was released in 2014. Author Ha Myung-Hee wrote both the book and the Temperature of Love screenplay. Also, Good Soup Never Picks Up the Phone is the name of the script Hyun-Soo writes that is turned into a TV drama. Isn’t that clever?
I just want to mention a quick directorial overlook. It’s nothing major and doesn’t effect the plot at all but it is a mistake that might be fun for you to look for while watching the show. Around the beginning of episode 28 (it has 40 half hour episodes) Hyun-Soo goes over to Jung-Seon’s apartment (which is above his restaurant) and he makes her come coffee. The mugs he chooses are a matching set but when she’s gone and he clears the table the mugs are from two completely different sets. Yep, I went back to make sure and they had made a mistake. It’s not a big deal but watch for it folks.
I wasn’t really thrilled with the soundtrack. There are a couple good songs but most are just so-so. I Still, sung by CHEEZE, is the type of song you’d expect to hear in the background of a first date that’s going well. You know, a sweet kind of sound. Bonggu performs the ballad It Has to Be You. This song is the perfect sound for when the guy is agonizing, “I love her but I might have to give her up.” I absolutely loved the introduction song to the drama. It sounded like what would be playing at a huge royal French ball. You know, dozens of ladies’ puffy skirts twirling across a polished marble floor – a lively waltz. We also get to hear Nat King Cole croon his signature song, Smile, and Amy Winehouse is mentioned and heard a couple times. This drama has wonderful kissing music. Every time we see a delicious kiss it’s accompanied by perfectly romantic music.
There’s lots of nice scenery in Temperature of Love – the beautiful terrace over Good Soup where Jung-Seon grows all kinds of flowers and herbs for the food he serves at the restaurant, Jung-Woo’s beautiful family home and his huge office at On Entertainment, plus we get to see Hyun-Soo and Jung-Seon go sailing. There’s also lots of pretty summer and autumn outdoor shots. Sadly, there were two things I wasn’t happy about. First, CEO Park has a life-size horse statue in his office that is really a lamp. There’s this giant animal off to the side of his amazing office and the thing has a lampshade sticking out of its head! It is not only ridiculous looking but Jung-Woo has classy taste. He wouldn’t have chosen anything like that for his office. It was just out of place. The other thing I wasn’t happy with was the scenery at the end of the show that says “three months later.” Before that little explanation at the bottom of the screen, it is autumn. Three months later would be winter, but the trees still have fall leaves on them. Do autumn leaves really stay on trees for three months? Unless South Korea has extremely long autumns that was an obvious mistake.
I enjoyed Temperature of Love. There aren’t any horrible bad guys plotting against anyone and the love triangle involves three decent individuals who deserve to be happy – a fine way to spend 20 hours.
Good love triangle
Main characters have failures like normal people
Good chemistry between all three characters in the love triangle
No evil characters
The drama is aesthetically pleasing
Nothing I consider bad