I laughed and I cried. I stood up to cheer and I wanted to throw something at the TV screen. I fell in love and I felt the heartbreak.
That’s the kind of emotional involvement one hopes for from any television series.
It is no wonder why Bread, Love and Dreams (Baker King, Kim Tak Goo/제빵왕 김탁구) swept Korea and the rest of the world.
The 30-episode series was a roller coaster of emotions, episode-to-episode; grabbing you from the very first minute of the series and never letting go, just when you think you might have lost interest, they pull you right back in, and with a continuously forward-moving story, twists both expected and not, but never contrived, Bread, Love and Dreams was one of the best television experiences I’ve had in a long time.
The story of Kim Tak Goo, one ultimately of hope and determination, was inspiring and very relatable. Yoon Si Yoon’s performance as the title character was near-perfect, easily portraying a rootable, unwavering and hopeful young man who grew up most of his life on his own, holding on to hope that one day, he’ll be able to find his mother again.
While that was the central story of the series, they were able to weave plenty of subplots from an excellent group of supporting characters to create a full story in 30 episodes. While other Korean series have a hard time filling the usual 16, Bread, Love and Dreams showed potential for an even longer run. But they ultimately decided on ending at 30 and the series wasn’t any less enjoyable.
It was a thrilling ride, exciting and surprising. Though not as flashy as other productions, the series was so simple but just as, if not even more engaging. An excellent cast, top to bottom, that vividly and believably brought these characters to life helped to drive an already well-written story about faith, hope, and love; three things we can all relate to.
The success and love the show has received from all of Korea and the rest of the world is easily well deserved. An incredible series that started out as a pleasant surprise and ended up one of the best ever.