Juz so to fill up the blog while I try to keep up with watching every other thing on my plate, I decided to do a short one for Midnight. Since I’ve more or less caught up with Midnight (as compared to the dismal distance between me and the other shows).
Since food is an integral part of Midnight‘s narrative, it is only natural to have strong similarities between its characters and their favourite dish(es).
Synopsis (ep2): Buckwheat pancake
Ep2 of Midnight is about a forgotten actress, and her favourite dish in Master’s shik-dang is buckwheat jeon (Korean pancake). Her story: she visits the Late Night Shik-dang only on gloomy, rainy days and orders only buckwheat jeon from Master, downed with a bottle of soju. She usually dresses in sober black, and despite being the middle of the night, she comes in sunglasses. (a wonder she doesn’t trip and fall to her death) Anyway, during one of her visits, two reporters recognise her as the once famous child actress, who infamously had to leave the showbiz world cos of a scary incident.
Many decades ago, a sasaeng fan + stalker had slashed her face and disfigured it so badly that she needed to undergo several plastic surgeries and later counselling sessions to counter the trauma. Cos of that, she is booted out from the entertainment industry, which values and prizes only physical perfection. And the incident also resulted in the breaking up of her family as she was the sole breadwinner then.
The news spread to a famous PD, who visits Master and begs that Master helps him contact the ex-actress. Turns out that the incident is sorta connected to the PD. When he was a maknae then, he begged for the actress to meet up with him. And she did — which was then the sasaeng fan struck. He felt guilty for indirectly causing her injuries and promised to help bring her back to the entertainment industry.
However, our protagonist is disinterested. Instead, she passes her golden chance to another young girl, who has a passion for acting and dreams of entering showbiz, but is unable to cos she has no connections. The ending is a fairly happy one — the young girl gets her chance as the PD casts her in a leading role. However, our ex-actress never turns up at Master’s shik-dang again.
Buckwheat jeon is rough in texture, juz like the tough life of the ex-actress who had to support her unappreciative family and later solely bear the trauma of being attacked. Conversely, the toughness of buckwheat jeon is also akin to the resilience of the ex-actress. Despite all that she has gone through, she does not choose the easy way out and commit suicide.
With proper condiments, the buckwheat jeon can also be tasty — similar to how, with some help, a poor, young girl who has zero background in acting can shine in her first leading role with help from her “fairy godmother in black” and the PD.
The significance of the buckwheat jeon is also rather personal to the ex-actress. During her arduous climb up to her previous position as top star, there was a period of time where she did not bring home any income. To stave off her siblings’ hunger, she will prepare the buckwheat jeon for them to share. (the high fibrous content of buckwheat flour helps in prolonging the feeling of fullness) Now that her siblings have all left her post-incident, the jeon is probably a bittersweet memory of those earlier days. Which had been difficult, but probably also fulfilling.