For a drama called My Sweet Dear, the newest Korean BL to drop is certainly a lot spicier than it is sweet.
Starring Jang Eui Soo as Choi Jung Woo and Lee Chan Hyung as Yoon Do Gun, My Sweet Dear delves into the highly intense world of cuisine, focusing on the competition required to stay at the top of the game in the restaurant industry. From the very beginning, there is tension. Centered on the acclaimed eatery Laura Dining, the establishment’s owner encourages a bitter rivalry when she brings in a new chef to shake things up. In a bid to become trendier, the owner pits her current head chef against a new chef known for mimicking popular recipes.
Nothing says love like starting off on the wrong foot. The first two episodes are explosive, the script centering on the chemistry growing from the discontent between two brilliant chefs vying for control of the kitchen.
Although cooking and food are becoming a rising theme in BL romances, I have trouble becoming invested in many of them. These dramas tend to get bogged down in the food industry, emphasizing the food so much that the actors themselves become secondary characters. Fortunately, I did not have this problem with My Sweet Dear. Rather than continuously panning the camera to dishes, the food felt like the support character it was meant to be.
That said, I don’t know if it’s the short format South Korea tends to stick to for its BL’s or the overwhelming amount of back and forth between our leads in the first two episodes, but there was a slight disconnect for me. However, I tend to think this is intentional.
If My Sweet Dear proceeds the way I assume it will, then the impersonal rift this drama places squarely between our leads will become an explosive tool to bring them together. There is certainly no lack of attraction-filled eye stares and subtle glances. The lack was in the zero amount of character development. Other than being aware of their obvious career choice, the viewer gets no real glimpse into what makes these men who they are. We get no real sense of their personalities. As mentioned before, I am hoping this is intentional. I hope the impersonal opening is building toward an intimate final six episodes that explore them as characters now that the rival foundation has been set.
Short and to the point, My Sweet Dear is shaping up to be the kind of quick, well-produced mini BL we’re used to seeing from South Korea. But, as I’ve mentioned in many other Korean BL write-ups, this same short format can either work against a drama or for it. I have faith this one will work in its favor. My Sweet Dear is keeping it simple, the upset between our leads centered on one dish made famous by Chef Yoon Do Gun. This one-track focus is essential in short dramas that don’t have enough time to explore much more than that.
Filled with chemistry and intense rivalry, My Sweet Dear has a strong start. Will this tasty mini-drama remain appealing or fizzle before it reaches its end? Let’s watch together and find out. Check out My Sweet Dear on Viki and WeTV.
Rating- 4 out of 5