Choco Milk Shake (사랑은 댕냥댕냥) is an absolutely sweet and fluffy BL series in all the best ways possible. A charming cast, a magical story and its dreamy aura make for a heartwarming and feel-good viewing experience.
Choco Milk Shake tells the story of Jung Woo (Ko Ho Jung) who one day encounters two mysterious strangers waiting for him in front of his home. He is shocked when they claim to be and then eventually prove they are his childhood pet dog Choco (Lee Jae Bin) and cat Milk (Kim Seong Hyuk), now reincarnated as humans.
Though the three of them are quickly able to settle into their unique situation and enjoy their happy memories, they are also unable to avoid the painful ones and an uncertain future. But through their reunion, along with Jung Woo’s uncle and café owner (Park Seung Bin), they are able to learn more about themselves, each other and the meaning of love and friendship.
The series is one of the rare instances where its shorter format actually works, while at the same still feeling like a full-length cinematic experience. The story flows from one episode to another instead of feeling like several loosely connected vignettes. Which, sometimes, can either help or hinder a story. Here, that seamless approach works in its favor.
Each of the four main characters are established very well in the relatively short amount of time. Those well-defined characters make the eventual story developments all the more affecting. And the eventual climax of the series all the more satisfying.
The whimsical nature of the story, complete with Lee Jae Bin and Kim Seong Hyuk both doing their best to weave in typical dog and cat characteristics into the characters’ now-human personalities, makes for many fun and amusing moments. And Choco and Milk’s relationship with their previous owner and friend Jung Woo quickly endear them to the audience.
But the story takes legitimately dramatic turns as love and friendship take center stage. The series is able to use that early established goodwill and endearment to full advantage. And all the sincerely emotional and heartwarming turns later in the series feel well-earned and have just the right amount of depth to be meaningful.
The cast does their part as well. With individual charms and wonderful chemistry between Ko Ho Jung, Lee Jae Bin, Kim Seong Hyuk and Park Seung Bin, they are able to elevate what is already solid material.
The direction and writing take on a dreamy and fairtytale-like atmosphere, which adds even more to the overall feel-good experience. And its well-paced narrative power the emotionally satisfying conclusion. (With plenty of tease for any potential future story as well.)
Overall, Chocho Milk Shake is the most fun I’ve had watching a Korean BL series since Light On Me. And I don’t hesitate to call both now my two favorites.