Eat 2 has pulled the rug (or maybe “tablecloth” is more appropriate?) from under us again. Although the debut is invitingly similar in terms of delivery and character-types, events in eps3/4 turn everything topsy turvey.
1. The love triangle…bromance?
You’d thought that the love triangle would be between Sang-woo/ Soo-ji (with Dae-young as interloper), or Soo-ji/ Dae-young (with Sang-woo as second lead)…but no. The third leg is Soo-ji. She’s the extra in-between Dae-young and Sang-woo’s budding bromance.
Turns out that Sang-woo isn’t a zombie afterall. Dae-young happens to chance across a rather drunk and very boisterous Sang-woo (with his friends) in Seoul. A Sang-woo who is so different that Dae-young’s immediate reaction is to call Soo-ji to ask if he has a twin brother (or a sibling that looks like him). On alert when Soo-ji declares Sang-woo to be the only child, Dae-young takes it upon himself to “unmask” Sang-woo (since Soo-ji clearly isn’t listening when Dae-young hints that Sang-woo may not be that gentlemanly guy she idolises). But Dae-young is in for a big surprise.
The real Sang-woo drinks like a fish, swears like a fishmonger, and is all touchy-feely — with Dae-young. (that last bit leaves Dae-young reeeelllinng) Dae-young decides to observe Sang-woo using the pretext of a friendly soccer match, and to his horror, Sang-woo has a rather short fuse when it comes to competition. (it’s hilarious when everything that Sang-woo spouts after missing a goal is a looong bleep) Later on, Sang-woo confronts Dae-young at his most vulnerable — when he is nekkid and showering — to warn him to keep his true character a secret, since govt officials are supposed to keep a measure of decorum.
The unexpected result of Dae-young unmasking Sang-woo is to have Sang-woo develop a liking towards him. (bromance!!!) Sang-woo invites Dae-young for Playstation soccer match in his palatial apartment, and when he loses to Dae-young, insists on using banmal with him — so now they are “brothers”, with Sang-woo being the hyung and Dae-young, the dongsaeng. And once their status is updated, Sang-woo unceremoniously tackles Dae-young in a headlock to “punish” him for daring to score against his hyung. (see, touchy feely again)
Ironically, Dae-young’s close proximity with Sang-woo isn’t helping Soo-ji at all…cos Sang-woo refuses to have Soo-ji present when he meets Dae-young. Sang-woo actively dates Dae-young out for lunch… and unceremoniously pushes his meeting with Soo-ji an hour later, so that he can enjoy lunch with his new dongsaeng. (and poor Soo-ji is so excited at receiving the text message on the delayed meeting from Sang-woo…aww)
But I suppose things will turn again soon, since Sang-woo is also a catalyst for Dae-young to realise he may like Soo-ji romantically.
Like Eat, Eat 2 also concludes each ep with a mysterious man peering at our characters, clearly stalking them, and very clearly up to no good. While Eat takes a rather looong while (and several red herrings) to solve the mystery, Eat 2 has more or less resolved it in ep4. (unless there’s another one upcoming…)
For one, at least 2 characters know the identity of the voyeur — Mdm Kim (the landlady) and Mdm Lee (the halmoni neighbour). While we are unsure (as of now) why they are so jittery over our mystery guy (and so intent on keeping his presence a secret…so much so that Mdm Kim chained up the entrance to the rooftop), I am quite certain that mystery guy means no harm. Maybe he is like Hong-do in Heart to Heart, who has severe agoraphobia or anthrophobia.
Anyway, an accidental fire in the mailbox drives mystery guy running out from his rooftop abode at the end of ep4. I am looking forward for Dae-young and gang to include him in their fast growing little family — bring that poor thing out for good food! Or better still, borrow his (spacious) rooftop for a bbq session!
3. Eat 2 turns international
While Eat focuses solely on Korean dishes, Eat 2 is expanding our viewers’ horizon and food dictionary. In ep1, we are introduced to Chinese food — but not uncommon in Korea, and in terms of taste/cooking style, somewhat similar to Koreans’.
But ep3 notches it higher — welcome to the world of Indian (particularly North Indian) cuisine. Well, since I live in Singapore, (South/North) Indian cuisine isn’t exotic by any standards. I suppose to Koreans, Indian cuisine is something they hardly try. On my various trips to Seoul, not many places beyond Itaewon (where most expats and migrants are gathered) serve non-Korean dishes…and since we are now at Sejong-shi, it’s even rarer.
Thus, it’s rather surprising to see Dae-young expounding on the virtues of the types of curries (oh yes, there are MANY) and watching the guys (Dae-young + Taek-soo) indulging on tandoori chicken and kebabs instead of a budae jiggae. But I’m not complaining — I’ll juz take it that my porn (FOOD porn) has turn exotic.