The minute this show ended I said out loud to myself, “I wasn’t impressed.” Sadly, I’m only able to classify Best Chicken as a so-so drama. Good thing it was only 12 episodes.
After working at the prestigious company, Myeongseong Group, 28 year old Park Choi-Go decides to follow his dream and open a chicken restaurant. Without knowing a thing about how to cook delicious chicken he quits his job and rents an old bathhouse with the hope of his place becoming the most beloved chicken restaurant in town. The rental contract comes with a deal that requires him to hire, as a part-time employee, the bathhouse owner’s granddaughter, Bo-Ah, who lives above the place. Anxious to start his new life, Choi-Go agrees to his landlord’s condition and the old man begins reconstruction on the building, leaving most of the interior in tact while turning it into a decent eatery. Choi-Go is lucky enough to recruit a down-on-his-luck former sous-chef to help him develop a truly outstanding fried chicken recipe people literally line up to eat. But things don’t run smoothly for the new wannabe chicken king. His mother and his new part-timer are both out to sabotage his dream – his mother being open about the fact that she hopes he fails so he’ll go back to working for a big company, and Bo-Ah being sneaky and underhanded because she wants to open up a café in the old bathhouse now that it’s been renovated. Can Choi-Go fight these traitors and win against such overwhelming odds?
Park Choi-Go is almost too good to be true. He has a positive attitude, a kind heart, and a slightly naïve nature. He was in a relationship for three years but his heart was broken when she called things off. Although he realizes he had a job most young men would be envious of, he was willing to give up the money and security of working for a large company in order to follow his dream.
Seo Bo-Ah has been selfish and greedy since she was a small kid and has no problem hurting others to get what she wants. She is disrespectful and downright rude at times, even to her elders. She once hoped to become a webtoon artist but lost that desire when her story idea was stolen.
Andrew Kang had been a sous-chef at a Michelin three-star restaurant but an illness forced him to give up the career he loved. He was homeless for a while but now has the desire to start over and he sees Choi-Go’s chicken restaurant as the means to do just that. The man definitely has talent where cooking is concerned.
Park Joon-Hyuk is Choi-Go’s older brother. He is a doctor of oriental medicine and has recently opened his own practice. He is supportive of his little brother’s dream.
Seo Myung-Dong is the owner of the old bathhouse being rented by Choi-Go. He is also Bo-Ah’s grandfather. He recognizes his granddaughter’s shortcomings and does his best to help her grow up.
So O-Sook is Choi-Go’s mother. She is furious he walked away from his secure job at a large company and sets out to try and make his chicken restaurant fail so he’ll give up his dream and go back to working for Myeongseong Group. She moved into Joon-Hyuk’s apartment without even asking.
Hwang Min-Ji works for her grandfather at his real estate office, Oh Young-Ho works in his family’s tiny corner grocery store, and Kim Kyu-Man is the local butcher. All three have been friends with Bo-Ah since grade school and are happy to help her sabotage Choi-Go’s chicken restaurant.
The man who plays the part of Park Choi-Go is 25 year old Park Sun-Ho. He began his acting career in 2013 through the drama Golden Rainbow and the following year was on the big screen in the movie Mourning Grave cast as “pin-up male student 1.” From there he played his first leading man role in the webdrama Love Cells. In total he’s been in nine dramas and two feature films. His acting in the dramas Start Again and I’m Sorry, But I Love You got him two Best New Actor nominations. Along with his acting career he’s also a model.
If you go to my Unexpected Heroes review you can read about Kim So-Hye, the actress who plays the part of Seo Bo-Ah.
Although Best Chicken can’t boast about its A-List actors/actresses I don’t think the main characters be played by Ji Sung and Hwang Jung-Eum would have dramatically changed things. The chemistry between the sweethearts would have been significantly better but that’s about it. There’s just too much “mediocre” about this drama for even huge stars to have made a major difference.
My biggest problem with the show was Seo Bo-Ah. She is childish, rude, and selfish – an all around dislikable person. She even corrupts her friends by asking them to help her do immoral and illegal things to someone else. I just wanted to smack some sense into her. However, as much as I disliked Bo-Ah, I liked Choi-Go, until he began liking a person with no upstanding character attributes at all. Forgiving someone who did their best to ruin you is one thing but trusting them again is just plain absurd. Bo-Ah didn’t show any signs of even trying to change. Oh, she knew she should, and even seemed at times to desire to be a better person, but I didn’t see it happen. Poor Choi-Go. I didn’t doubt he liked her, I just wasn’t able to understand why?
Best Chicken didn’t fair so well in the ratings department, with its highest rated episode, number seven, coming in at 1.270%. Sadly, its lowest rating only eeked out a measly 0.710%, and that was the last episode. When people don’t care enough to find out what ultimately happens to the characters they had been following for hours, you definitely have a problem. I’m sure it wasn’t all due to the fact that it was broadcast on a cable channel, which always has less viewers than those aired on free TV.
Sadly, the last couple episodes moved away from the everyday goings-on in the chicken restaurant and threw in some Bo-Ah family drama which wasn’t all that riveting. The final ending was okay but not good enough to pull the entire show up from a mediocre rating.
One of the things in Best Chicken’s defense is all the amazing food we get to drool over. I, for one, love chicken and my mouth watered as I wondered what that yummy chicken tasted like. It all looked delicious!
There are some cute moments in this drama – Choi-Go and Bo-Ah don sleep masks in order to practice distinguishing the taste of different restaurants’ chicken, Bo-Ah teaches Choi-Go how to ride a bike, a second part-timer accidentally dumps a huge bag of flour on the restaurant floor, and Choi-Go’s employees secretly sneak a peek at him as his ex-girlfriend gives him a hug.
The soundtrack is small which means there aren’t a lot of different songs that play throughout the show. The one called Sweet Stranger, sung by Kim Eun-Bi, is played much too often and, unfortunately, isn’t all that great. Sohee, a member of the group Elris, sings what I consider to be the best song on the soundtrack, Dr. Dream. The other good one is Heaven, which has a nice rap sequence and is performed by Seven O’Clock. Lucky, sung by J.Mee, is okay but the problem I had with it was that her voice becomes irritating close to the end of the song.
I really liked the renovated bathhouse chicken restaurant. It has a unique look which adds to its charm. And its rooftop provides a fun spot for friends to hang out.
To sum it all up – I enjoyed seeing the food in this show but the drama, itself, didn’t impress me. It may be the Best Chicken but it’s certainly not the best drama.
Park Choi-Go’s sweet personality
Only 12 episodes
Seo Bo-Ah’s rotten personality
Park Choi-Go’s selfish mother
Not terribly engaging
Last couple episodes veer from the restaurant happenings