Food food FOODDD.
Should you watch this? Yes! But only if you understand that this show isn’t about plot, but about winding down and relaxing and appreciating food and taking a breather. If you can take that, and you love food, do give this a try! Especially if you haven’t watched any of the Let’s Eat seasons before.
At times, you will be bored because the eating scenes get too long, but I think that shouldn’t be a reason to give up on the entire season. There is bound to be some food you are interested in watching people eat. Also, it is very refreshing to not see characters having to pretend that Subway is the most delicious food they have ever injested, right?
The acting is okay, but I would say also not the main point of the show. Seems like knowing how to act as if the food tastes like heaven is more important. In this regard, I think the cast did well.
[Spoiler] [Episode 14 finale review/recap]
The main couple eats, the sisters fight and Seo Yeon finally hears the truth from her mother that it wasn’t Ji Woo’s mother who cheated – she just said that so that she could get the alimony and go to the States. Ji Woo implicitly patches up with Seo Yeon by allowing Seo Yeon to come along for a walk with her mother.
Main Couple and Seo Yeon go to the kimchi restaurant for Ji Woo to get a taste of the kimchi jjigae. Dae Young accidentally leaves his ring behind and Ji Woo realises that he’s still not over Soo Ji yet, seeing how he so frantically leaves her on the highway to turn back to the restaurant. She then falls really sick.
Dae Young realises after a few days that he didn’t lose his ring at the restaurant. He actually took off his ring to wash his hands a while back and then forgot to wear it back when he received a phone call. He feels guilty but understands that this is a sign that he’s moving on from Soo Ji after 2 years.
Ji Woo finally confesses to Dae Young that she likes him but his reaction makes her think that he rejected her. Dae Young calls her out for a drink in the park where he tells her that he’s not rejecting her, but that he just needs some time. Ji Woo smiles but jokes that then it’s not her fault if her heart wanders during this time.
The 2 couples then congregate for another meal.
What did I love about this drama? It’s my first time watching a Let’s Eat series out of the three seasons so the whole idea of watching people eat for 20 minutes out of 60 minutes is something quite fascinating. I’ve never quite understood the idea of mukbang, and I’m also not sure if Let’s Eat was inspired by that – but in my own way of perception, if mukbang is something like this, I can totally see why people are into it.
[no spoiler] Good – Food
This is because this drama really drives home the power of food. At the point of watching Episode 1, I just recovered from a month-long of illness and had no appetite. And I usually eat a lot. So to see my favourite food in front of me, yet not having my stomach welcome those food with open arms, is well, a bit sad. The happiest thing that can happen is that after finishing the drama within 3 days, my appetite has returned in its full glory. Which is why I guess Let’s Eat 3 will be always a little special to me just because of how healing a watch it is.
The plot isn’t mind-blowing per se but that’s not the point of the show. It’s about how the characters heal through food, and how food plays an important part in their lives. Rather than eating food just to survive, Dae Young really shows how food can hit a chord in your heart. It’s such a unique concept that sets Let’s Eat apart from other Kdramas.
I did read comments that Let’s Eat 3 was a tad too gimmicky compared to its predecessors. At this point of writing, I am only 10 episodes into Let’s Eat 1 so I can’t give my full opinion on that yet. However, I do enjoy Let’s Eat 3’s eating scenes precisely because they were extended and sometimes flashy. The amount of food presented is probably quite unrealistic but there’s something very saisfying watching a few people dig into a mountain of food with such fervour.
I also liked the way Dae Young gets triggered into his explanations, which is something quite consistent since the first season. Although I don’t really understand half of what he’s saying (LOL), the passion for food can be quite infectious. Yes, even through my computer screen.
Let’s Eat 3’s focus on working adults is something quite relatable, regardless of the viewers’ age group. We all get jaded at various stages in our lives, and this drama shows just that – jaded individuals taking a rest, stopping to breathe, and being contented with the pure joy of having delicious food. There’s something very simple yet pleasant about this premise.
I do sometimes get quite tickled by how the actors’ faces of -omg this is yummy!- become repetitive after a while. I mean, there are only so many ways one can say yummy, or delicious, or it’s spicy, or raise a thumbs up.
[no spoiler] Good – Goo Dae Young’s story
I imagined that if I was a Let’s Eat fan right from the get go, I would be very excited with this season because it is like an origin story of Goo Dae Young – everything from his quirky respect for food to his Let’s Eat blog to his photos of empty plates (which is a great concept by the way). The jumping back and forth between present and past also helps to highlight what habit or event of the past has an effect on the current Dae Young. In particular, I liked the memory of the spicy noodles, where Dae Young took his first photo of an empty plate.
I did wish that there were more, such as what happened during his national service days and what happened thereafter, but I guess this would be beyond the scope of Let’s Eat 3, as the tie between Dae Young and Ji Woo ends after he entered national service.
[spoilers from here onwards]
Good – the Main Couple’s Love Interest
Along the lines of the above, I also really liked watching the college version of Dae Young and Jin Hee and seeing how Jin Hee was such an important influence on Dae Young. They were a slow couple to form and sometimes, that can be super agonising and annoying. But from a plot perspective, I guess this also makes sense if the director intends for the ending point of their past to converge with the ending point of the present (since the two stories are run somewhat in parallels). I did wish that Dae Young didn’t push her away for so long though.
They were so adorable in the past and I think it really built up towards the end when Dae Young started to like her back, when he took her earphones to listen for a short while, when they incidentally celebrated New Years together, when they just quietly enjoyed each other’s presence. If you guys followed my blog for a while, you would know that well-written innocent loves are my kind of thing. Hehe.
But the part I liked about the present love interest is when Ji Woo confesses to Dae Young – because girl, that’s a confession 14 years late.
Good – the Premise of Eating Alone
I liked that there was a consistent theme running throughout the drama which had multiple effects – 1. to push Dae Young into the realisation as to what he truly enjoys doing 2. as some form of plot since it does provide some conflict and climax 3. social commentary on the act of eating alone as well as the difficulties faced.
In this regard, I appreciate the presence of Sun Woo because he is the one who kick starts the idea in this season. I also hope that in the future, it will be easy to get take-outs and cook in the comfort of our own homes for one person. The thing I like about this drama is that its ideas are not far-fetched and do not overpromise.
Not so good – the Secondary Couple’s Love Interest
I wasn’t as engaged with the secondary couple although I think perhaps their function is to show some presence of love (which is clearly lacking from the main couple in present timeline) and act as some contrast to the main couple. Also, they were probably there to add some humour to the show – my favourite bit is when Dae Young tries to prevent Ji Woo from calling Sun Woo and Sun Woo picks up suspiciously panting. Even my mind thought of the wrong thing hahahaha.
But seriously, Dae Young was so funny here.
Other than that though, while I liked the presence of Sun Woo and understands the need for Seo Yeon, I don’t quite see why I should spend so much time being invested in their love line which was at the same time hurried and long. If that makes sense.
Not so good – the Sisters
I wonder if they had Lee Joo Woo take on this role after her success in Waikiki where she was really super hilarious and probably at least half of the viewers who hated her loved her in the end. Here however, I don’t feel like the same success has been replicated.
This may be in part because of the parallel storylines between past and present, as well as the fact that the show ended at Episode 14 instead of 16, but Seo Yeon didn’t develop much in my opinion. She only opened up towards the very end when she realised that she is capable of being loved. Otherwise, she was still just as prickly and proud, and the whole mess about whether Ji Woo’s mother cheated with Seo Yeon’s father went about like a yo-yo that somewhat spun out of control. I do think it was a big enough trigger for a college Seo Yeon, but the way the present Seo Yeon and Ji Woo dealt with it was a bit too back and forth for me.
I did laugh out loud at this though.
I know they probably had Seo Yeon to balance out Ji Woo’s country bumpkin profile in the college days, but I didn’t enjoy the whole drama to its full extent. Maybe if it was 70% of what was done in the actual script? To me, the whole sister rivalry adds some negativity to what is otherwise a cute and fun watch. And it wasn’t nice watching present Seo Yeon intentionally riling Ji Woo up by using Dae Young.
Also another side note, nobody ever found out why the kimchi restaurant’s owner’s kimchi jjigae tasted exactly like Ji Woo’s mother’s right?
Not so good – the Main Couple’s Ending
I know the premise of Let’s Eat is probably to switch out the love interest every season to keep it fresh. I’ve also heard that across all three seasons, Dae Young only gets together with the female lead towards the end. But, I would still like to whine about how Dae Young didn’t get together with Jin Woo. It isn’t as much as that they have any signs of a passionate romance in present life, as that I just wanted the college couple to end up together. The way they were each other’s first love and how they broke contact not out of their own intention just makes me feel so wistful.
And you just know that when Yoo Doo Joon comes out after 2 years of national service for a Let’s Eat 4, it will not be Baek Jin Hee/Ji Woo anymore – since she said her heart might change while he takes some time.
In effect, while I had hoped throughout the season that Dae Young will end up with Ji Woo, Ji Woo’s present self is merely but a platform for Dae Young to step out from his love for Soo Ji. And that this is probably the one and only deep smile they will ever exchange with each other.
I enjoyed Let’s Eat 3 as a first-watch out of the three seasons, in particular, the eating scenes (although drooling while eating dinner and watching the show is quite a peculiar situation to be in). But the downside was the family drama that ends up being too long. I had such strong Korean food cravings for a while too! Does anyone know where are the the food locations they filmed at? Is there a food tour? Can someone bring me to Korea?
Shall end the post here so that I can go grab some food!
You can watch Let’s Eat 3 on Viki here!
I heard that the main reason the ending wasn’t so great had to do with the lead getting his draft notice. I don’t know why some of these guys like to cut it so close! If I was a PD, I’d refuse to cast someone so close to their military service.
Yep it’s true! I think it was because they didn’t expect the notice to come with such a short deadline + read that the lead actually turned them down but PD insisted on the project or something.