You may be wondering, is the new eight-episode webdrama The Witch’s Diner one I should save to watch closer to Halloween? Well, don’t let the fact that it has the word “witch” in the title fool you. The show isn’t spooky at all, in fact, it has a wonderful, thought-provoking moral – what would you be willing to give up to have a wish come true?
After working diligently in an office for the past five years, Jung Jin loses her job as well as her long-time boyfriend and decides to help her mother take over a very successful restaurant. It appears things are looking up for the mother-daughter team until they discover the lady they bought the place from swindled them out of their savings. The scheming woman opened another restaurant, hired the same people she had working with her before, took all her previous customers, and left Jung Jin and her mother with a business that failed just days after they purchased it. Sadly, Jung Jin’s hospitalized father takes a turn for the worse and her mother heads off to be with him, leaving Jung Jin alone to figure out what to do about the restaurant. When a stranger enters the place, claiming she has the power to make wishes come true and promises to grant Jung Jin one in exchange for taking over the restaurant, Jung Jin decides to join hands with the woman in order to exact revenge on the evil woman that cheated her mother out of her savings.
Jo Hee -Ra is no ordinary witch – sophisticated, beautiful, strong, and self-assured, she eagerly waits for people who are in desperate need of having a wish granted. However, her services don’t come cheap – each wish she grants carries with it a heavy price. Her delicious meals are tailored specifically to each person’s tastes which makes her customer happy to pay whatever is asked of them – the price often being extremely high! Yet, Witch Jo patiently teaches Jung Jin that, “… cooking is something which is always done while hoping for someone’s happiness.”
Jung Jin is furious when her trusting mother is taken advantage of and that natural emotion quickly culminates into a desire for revenge. However, when Jung Jin’s wish comes true, her sympathetic heart begins to feel the anguish that always accompanies the feeling of guilt. Jung Jin doesn’t like the fact that she has to work for Witch Jo but is always curious about the food the woman makes. Never knowing what price someone may end up paying for a meal, she often tries to talk the customers out of eating at the diner.
High school student Lee Gil-Yong had a promising future ahead of him as an athlete, which was how he planned on getting into college. But, while protecting an old friend from some bullies, an old injury flairs up and he soberly comes to the realization that his athletic days are over. He deliberately patronizes The Witch’s Diner in order to make a wish that his tormented friend would enjoy a bright future and not be bothered by the bullies any longer. Gil-Yong happens to run into Jung Jin several times and takes a job working part-time at the diner when he discovers she is employed there.
Mr. Oh is the man who, because of his love for Witch Jo, made the decision to always be by her side and helps with whatever she may need, be it interior decorating, legal help, or financial assistance. He is sympathetic towards others while still possessing a matter-of-fact attitude.
For information about Song Ji-Hyo, the drama’s titular character (Witch Jo Hee-Ra), you can click on my Lovely Horribly review.
If you go to my review of Nevertheless, you’ll find a tiny bit of information about Chae Jong-Hyeop, the young actor who plays the sympathetic sweetheart Lee Gil-Yong.
In this story, there are a few different people who come to the restaurant in the hope of having their wish fulfilled. One man desperately wants a good-paying job so he can pay his mother’s hospital bills. A young woman just wants her old boyfriend, who left her for another woman, to come back and love her once again. An old lady wishes her middle-aged son would find a lady to love, marry, and live happily ever after with. They’re all wishes we can understand and each one has something to do with love. It made me wonder how many times love was the instigating factor in something I’ve wished for. While watching The Witch’s Diner we can’t help but wonder just how greedy and selfish our own desires are.
This show made me think of the old idiom, “I’d give an arm and a leg for…“ meaning that someone would be willing to give or do whatever is necessary or required to get or have something. That same phrase is also used if a person thinks the cost of something is unreasonably high – “What? $700? Those shoes cost an arm and a leg.” Well, in The Witch’s Diner, that saying is taken literally. Think about it for a second. Is there anything you would really give your arm or leg for?
The drama isn’t just about people’s wishes. We get to know the four main characters as we’re told their backstories a little at a time. Don’t worry, I’m not about to mention those things and ruin the element of surprise for you.
I can’t help but wonder if I heard Witch Jo correctly when she told Jung Jin what the price of Gil-Yong’s wish would be because what I thought she had said never came to pass. We don’t get to see what he ends up “paying” – at least I didn’t catch it if they did show it.
Holding On is a nice song with a steel-stringed acoustic guitar as it’s main instrument. Listening to Se.A sing I couldn’t help but wonder if those extremely high notes she hits were falsetto or within her voice’s real, comfortable range. Junny sings Alone in perfect English. His voice is highlighted while the music in the background is quietly subtle. Yeseo performs Fair Dish, a song that sounds just like something that would be playing while magic was brewing, and the song ends abruptly like the poof at the end of a magic spell. The lovely ballad Please is sung by Victon. I love it when the percussion comes in with strength. Its sound/rhythm kind of resembles that of a heartbeat. The song is absolutely gorgeous. Sondia sings Such a Person, a ballad that begins softly and gradually builds in strength and volume.
The restaurant, The Witch’s Diner, is quite interesting. There is ever only one customer at a time and the staff – Witch Jo, Jung Jin, and Gil-Yong – is always right at the large table, alongside their customer as the person is eating. A darling little talking tree sits at the restaurant’s bar, and the kitchen can be seen from the dining room. There’s also a basement where all kinds of spices – regular and magical – are kept. The whole place is dimly lit which helps to give the rooms an ominous feel.
I enjoyed this webdrama. It made me think, and I like it when a show does that. So, if you’re ever walking down a dark road at night, see a sign that says The Witch’s Diner, and wander inside for a meal, be careful what you wish for because it just may come true.
Clever, original plot/story
Makes you think
Only eight hours
We didn’t see what Gil-Yong ended up paying for his wish