Warning: Do NOT watch show on empty stomach.
- Lee Joon-ho as an ex-2 Michelin stars chef, Seo Poong. He is a rising star in the Chinese cuisine culinary world, until a fall out with his fiancee’s lover (and his boss) drops him to the bottom.
- Jang Hyuk (from Voice) as ex-gangster turns struggling Chinese restaurant owner, Doo Chil-seong. He loves to quote Nietzsche (though we are quite sure he doesn’t really know the meaning behind what he reads).
- Jung Ryeo-won as Dan Sae-woo. A rich man’s daughter, who isn’t your usual snotty princessy brat. She is engaged to be married and happens to meet both guys at the salon while waiting for her fiancé.
Drama opens with LOADS of delicious food (told’ya NOT to watch hungry) as we see sous chef, Seo Poong, dishing up plates and plates of Chinese dishes. He delivers them to his girlfriend’s hospital, where she is working as a doctor — and busy snogging and making out with a patient (also Seo Poong’s boss, Seung-ryong).
There is definitely something NOT right in Seo Poong and Dal-hee (his doctor fiancee) relationship, with the former being too much in love with the latter, and a little…too in-her-space, I suppose.
We are introduce to all 3 main characters in a beauty salon where Chil-seong is getting a haircut, and gets some unwanted advice from Sae-woo, who is there for her bridal shoot’s makeup. Sae-woo warns Chil-seong not to cut his sideburns too short, or risk looking like a gangster…and Chil-seong only sees butterflies and petals when Sae-woo smiles. (as in there really was an annoying butterfly on screen)
After Chil-seong leaves (he hilariously asks for divorce stats from his driver, and ex-gangster underling, Dong-sik), Seo Poong comes in..and looks very worried over his MIA fiancee, plus annoyed with Sae-woo’s prattling. Although Seo Poong eventually does marry Dal-hee, we know their relationship likely will be short-lived (especially when the Seung-ryong appears smirking at the couple during the wedding).
Prior to her wedding night, Sae-won donates a large amount to the hotel owned by Seung-ryong and the dinner was prepared by Seo Poong and his crew in the kitchen. Head chef Wang isn’t pleased with Seo Poong’s attitude and jealous of his meteoric rise, and in anger, Seo Poong walks out. He promises to cook for Sae-won the jajyangmyun she is craving for, and walks over to Chil-seong’s shabby Chinese restaurant opposite the hotel.
Unfortunately, Seo Poong (being still a little low in EQ) literally rubs the ex-gangster crew wrong. They get into a fight in the middle of the street, and Sae-won walks into it, cos she is pissed off at the long wait for her bowl of promised jajyangmyun.
Written by the same scriptwriter of Jealousy Incarnate, you can see all the traces of her penmanship here [kooriyuki: and the supporting characters from Jealousy are here too!]. The characters in Greasy are all flawed, but deliciously so. I love Seo Poong for his charisma, his culinary ability and his confidence, but can’t help but be worried over his lack of control over his fiery temper. Plus, he is severely shortsighted. Or stubbornly shortsighted on purpose. He already knows something is not right in his relationship and continued to bull through and not listen to Dal-hee. Basically waiting for trouble.
Chil-seong at the moment plays more of the funny man. Although he looks threatening and has a dark past, his love for his brothers (and them for him) already redeems him in my eyes. Plus, he really seems to want to turn over a new leaf and be a “good person”, just that maybe wanting and actually being one can sometimes be a little difficult with his boorish mannerisms. (and oh ya, poor Jang Hyuk has to go around in shades the entire time…can he SEE anything??)
Even Sae-woo, despite her bubbly, generous and loveable image…I kinda feel she is a tad naive. Although I like her for being straightforward and true to her feelings, I am getting a bad feeling her “doting fiancé” isn’t all she made him out to be. Given her societal background, likely her soon-to-be husband is after her money rather than her.
Whatever the case, like in Jealousy, the narrative in Greasy may look all over the place in is debut, but it eventually allows us to see the characters’ growth.