Wednesday, December 28, 2011

K-Drama Review: Flower Boy Ramyun Shop, Ep 15-16

Read episode reviews for:

Flower Boy Ramyun Shop, Episodes 1-2
Flower Boy Ramyun Shop, Episodes 3-4
Flower Boy Ramyun Shop, Episodes 5-6
Flower Boy Ramyun Shop, Episodes 7-8
Flower Boy Ramyun Shop, Episodes 9-10
Flower Boy Ramyun Shop, Episodes 11-12
Flower Boy Ramyun Shop, Episodes 13-14

Contains Spoilers for episodes 15-16

Thanks to Chi-Soo's dad's interference, Kang-Hyuk has to decide whether to give up Chi-Soo, his baby half-brother, or give up the ramyun shop and Eun-Bi's future. Eun-Bi herself finally understands that she's not really whole without Chi-Soo and that she's afraid of losing him. And at least she does acknowledge to Kang-Hyuk what an amazing person he is and how lucky she was to have him as a friend, even though she couldn't feel anything more.

Chi-Soo's dad has been a sweet fellow until now, but he is finally putting his foot down and getting tired of his only son turning his back on the family corporation. This is actually great for Chi-Soo's personal development because he's learning that he can't do whatever he likes whenever he likes, and he can't ignore important people like his family. He also owes loyalty to his makeshift family at the ramyun shop, which makes for a divided heart.

Enjoy the final episodes of this super-awesome drama! It has action, intrigue, comedy, sweetness, bravery, rescues, and all loose ends are tied up perfectly! Almost nothing about the ending went the way I expected, and I mean that as a compliment. The writing staff took a flurry of plot cliches and made them absolutely non-cliche. *slow clap*

And a final word of caution: if you don't get misty-eyed while watching these episodes, it's because you have a heart of iron and eyes of steel. Kleenex. You will need it.

Things I Loved: 1. The opening fairytale/dream sequence in episode 15. It encapsulates the difficulties inherent in Eun-Bi/Chi-Soo, and uses comedy to highlight what would have to change for them to work longterm.

Princely, But Somewhat Useless

2. Brotherly Love. Kang-Hyuk is the best big brother ever, and does what is best for Chi-Soo even when baby bro is acting snobby or rude. He even goes and fetches Chi-Soo when he's lost, and gives him advice about how to treat Eun-Bi.

Give Him a Good Ending, Writers!

3. Eun-Bi practicing singing "Good Day" by IU because she wants to serenade Chi-Soo. I know this song, so it's even funnier listening to Eun-Bi try to croak it out in front of the mirror in a forced cutesy fashion.

I Love You, Girl, But You're No IU.

4. Eun-Bi in a bridesmaid dress and fur wrap, brandishing a plunger while leading a mob of protesters. I'm not even going to provide context for this one. Watch it for yourself.

Because it is Glorious!

Complaints: None. This finale is dipped in pure televised gold.


Kid vs. Adult: Chi-Soo finally has to act like an adult, and the transition is hard for him. Kang-Hyuk highlights this difference when Chi-Soo wants to know what will happen if they lose the ramyun shop and he replies,  "Do you want the adult answer or the kid answer?" Chi-Soo requests the kiddie answer, followed by the grown-up answer. Chi-Soo really does start his full progression toward being a true adult when he becomes willing to give up everything he wants to keep Ba-Wool and Hyunwoo safe and happy.

Love and Money: This theme is awesome. Chi-Soo, who never met a problem he didn't throw money  at, is now willing to live in an impoverished fashion if that's what is best for his friends. He won't ask the guys for cash so that Eun-Bi won't find out and worry about him, and he has finally admitted that sometimes ready cash cannot solve life's most important issues. He asks So-Yi why she used to date him and she honestly replies that she enjoyed the expensive presents and wouldn't have dated him if he was poor. Chi-Soo says he knows Eun-Bi will still care for him without his fortune, but that fact bothers him too.

The Heartbreaking Walk-Away: In dramas, if you love someone you've got to let them go and you have to make it look convincing. Chi-Soo pulls an Edward Cullen with Eun-Bi when he says that she's all wrong for him and that he never cared for her. But anyone in their right mind knows he's lying because he's on the verge of tears while shoving her hand away.

Bathroom jokes: Holy cow, I never expected the show to carry on with its running gag about constipation this long. But I'd be lying if I said it wasn't funny.

Mirrored scenes: Chi-Soo's dad blows up for once and calls his son a brat, then Kang-Hyuk calls him the same thing soon afterward.

Chi-Soo kept the Pororo penguin blanket from episode 5-ish, and still sleeps under it when he's lonely! It's probably the only warm and human object he owns--everything besides this child's blanket is totally expensive and totally replaceable.

The entire last 10 minutes of the final episode is a series of mirror scenes that make you remember all the great times you've had with the show.

Cultural Observances:

New words: "Uri" is "we" or "us" and Eun-Bi starts talking about herself and Chi-Soo in terms of "we".

English Bonus:

English songs: "Creep" by Radiohead plays when Chi-Soo learns that his presence at the ramyun shop is about to ruin everyone's lives and their source of income. It's the unedited version of "Creep", no less. Harsh much, soundtrack? When everyone is decorating the Christmas tree, "Jingle Bell Rock" plays in the background, though it's clearly a K-pop artist singing in English. When Chi-Soo is at the coffee chop with So-Yi, "She Will be Loved" by Maroon 5 plays. "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" plays at the opening of the finale.

Random words: Ba-Wool says "jingle bells" and "musicals". Hyunwoo says "Christmas"...well, really everyone in the cast says "Merry Christmas" at some point. Eun-Bi says the number "two". Chi-Soo writes "no problem" on a Christmas card.

Episode Evaluations: These are funny, dramatic, and touching episodes from top-notch series. I do not want for this to be over. But there are rumors of a season 2, so yay!

For K-Drama fans: If there's a show you'd like me to check out, leave a suggestion in the comments. I'd love to find the next awesome Korean drama to fall for and review.


  1. Chi-Soo, who never met a problem he didn't throw money at, is now willing to live in an impoverished fashion if that's what is best for his friends.

    And I think it's interesting, when it becomes clear to keep them safe he had to go back to his father, he's really unhappy there. Like you mentioned he lays in bed covered by his Pororo blanket. Rather than eat the rich food he's used to he brings in a portable burner and tries to cook ramyun for himself. And when Daddy Cha comes in and tries throwing money at HIS problem, Chi Soo wants none of it. I love how far he's come in his development, but by how he acts at the very end he's still very much himself. I'm with you, I just love the ending. :)

  2. @humandisaster Yes, I loved how FBRS didn't just expect the audience to love the hero even though he was a jerk--he actually grew out of his jerkish ways, but was still recognizably the same character. That's a combination of awesome writing and awesome acting, right there!

  3. Thanks for reviewing this drama. I really enjoyed your writing and am planning to look around for a while, if you don't mind.

    Javabeans/GF over at did a good wrap up of the constipation/plunger part of the story.

  4. It hnestly wasnt until the last episode where I really thought. If Pillar had just planted a few kisses would she feel boiling and bells with him to or maybe something more. Alas unless there is a Season 2 we shall never know.

  5. I must make time to sit and watch this. In order....
    I'm glad you liked the ending.

  6. finally, final review. ahh, reading this makes me want to rewatch everything.
    well, thank you for your insights, i really enjoy reading other people's take on the dramas that i watched. it helps me to view things differently and catch up on anything that I might missed on my own.
    thank you again.

    you ask for recommendation, so I want to recommend the drama what's up. :)

  7. @stinelli I read that dramabeans post! It was so smart. I try to read the dramabeans recaps after I write my own reviews.

    @Hermyoni I wondered the same thing, too. Our poor Pillar didn't ever press the issue, so he kind of got left behind.

    @Karen It's HILARIOUS. And good endings are so hard to find.

    @n.azliana Thanks for reading! I'll look into "What's Up". Isn't that the musical drama with Daesung from Big Bang?

  8. Wowww!!! I love your reviews! They are awesome with a touch of sarcasm :D. Please review these, they are really really good dramas!

    -Shining Inheritance (it's really really good!!)
    -49 Days (the beginning is a little slow, and sometimes the eps make you cringe)
    -Dong yi (historical drama, but really good)
    -My girlfriend is a Gumiho (i haven't watched this yet, but i heard really good stuff about it)

    :D Thank you very much! I really enjoyed reading your reviews, they made me think of English class (it's a good thing! It means I'm learning :D)

  9. I liked this show too, it was mostly light and fun, with the right touch of seriousness and emotional moments. Glad you reviewed all of it, it was a fun read. :D

    1. Glad you liked it! This was my first K-drama ever, so it holds a special place in my heart.

  10. Hated that we didn't know what happened to the pillar at the end tho. Shows everyone's lives except his. He was my fav. Not a fan of Cha honestly. (Sorry)