Good Ol’ Review: Jang Eui Soo and Lee Chan Hyung’s Chemistry Power Satisfying “My Sweet Dear”

My Sweet Dear Korean Drama Review

No spoilers.

My Sweet Dear (마이 스윗 디어) is indeed a sweet treat.. Jang Eui Soo and Lee Chan Hyung’s undeniable chemistry power one of the seemingly few Korean web series that know how to properly use their short time. And this fluffy, feel-good series is able to come up with just the right ingredients to result in a fully satisfying and enjoyable experience.

My Sweet Dear first introduces us to Yoon Do Gun (Lee Chan Hyung), the talented head chef of a Michelin-star restaurant. When the restaurant’s owner Laura Kim (Jo Seo Hu) begins to disagree with him on the direction of the restaurant’s food, she suddenly hires confident and also-talented chef Choi Jung Woo (Jang Eui Soo).

The two chefs start off on the wrong foot and Laura’s challenge turns them into direct rivals. Their relationship naturally evolves as they get to know one another. But unexpected revelations and the pressures of their job could put a stop to their budding romance.

This is a very familiar set-up. The premise is your standard rivals-to-lovers story. That familiarity and the limitations of the format could have held this series back. But what a pleasant surprise that almost every other part of the series is able to carry whatever weight might have potentially bogged it down.

My Sweet Dear Korean Drama Review

First, the strongest positive is the immediate and undeniable chemistry of Jang Eui Soo and Lee Chan Hyung. From the very first time they meet all the way to the final seconds of the series, their chemistry just sizzles as much as the dishes they serve up from the kitchen. The simple looks they give each other are able to deliver more emotion than some other series can with full dialogue. The two actors, both experienced, have a way of allowing scenes to ride solely on their facial reactions and body language. And I think that’s a mark of strong chemistry and of course strong acting as well.

Both Jang Eui Soo and Lee Chan Hyung deliver such strong performances that they very much elevate the series above what it would have been otherwise. Being able to effectively convey the conflicted emotions and feelings in a typical rivals-to-lovers plot is no easy task. But they effortlessly deliver, and then some. You absolutely believe their developing relationship. And you are immediately invested from the very first scene they share together.

Another positive aspect of the series is how it knows how to best utilize the web series format. Again, this feels more like a feature film broken up into bite sized pieces. And it’s probably preferable to watch the movie edit version of the story. But the eight episodes as they are actually flow quite well. Each episode feels well-contained. Each episode ends at natural points instead of at random moments.

More importantly, the series knows what it is able to fit within its time period. Thus, nothing is unnecessarily left on the table in the end. There are no major themes or ideas that get introduced during the series only to not be given proper development. On the flip side, the series is able to give just enough to tell a full story with our two leading men. The emotions are heartfelt and relatable. And it’s easy to become invested in their story.

Of course, we would love to see more. More delicious food scenes. More side adventures with Do Gun and Jung Woo. More scenes of their cat and dog-like back and forth. More kitchen and restaurant shenanigans with the also talented Oh Seung Jun and (pre-Sing My Crush) Jang Do Yoon as chef and server, respectively. More scheming drama from restaurant owner Laura Kim.

My Sweet Dear Korean Drama Review

But the main event will always be Do Gun and Jung Woo. And having them remain the main focus throughout the eight episodes helps avoid the traps other Korean web series, BL or not, eventually fall into. Even if we wish we spent more time with them, their story still feels complete. We are here for their romantic journey. And that journey is presented very well all the way until the series’ wholly satisfying conclusion.

The series also features some wonderful cinematography and careful direction. And the original soundtrack perfectly fits with the dreamy and romantic aura throughout.

Well-paced and pitch perfect. Elevated by the unmistakable chemistry of Jang Eui Soo and Lee Chan Hyung. My Sweet Dear is a sweet, feel-good treat. Definitely one of my new favorite Korean BL drama series.

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