Greasy Melo: The very flawed characters

Much as I adore the three protagonists — Poong, Chil-seong and Sae-woo — I can’t help but grind my teeth in frustration at their idiocy at times.

Poong, despite ALL his talents at cooking, is rather poor at nearly everything else. We already know he is proud, proud of his talent, proud of having made it “this far” (a 2-star Michelin awardee IS amazing) despite having a humble background…but it is also the same pride that leads him to trouble. Coupled with an innate hot headedness, and preference to jump to conclusions, there are times I wonder how he managed to survive thus far without getting knifed by angry colleagues. (more so when he can’t even put up a decent fight without getting his arms broken)

The treachery of his “friends” (and ex-subordinates) speaks volume. While you can argue that Bo-ra and Sam-sun stole his cookery notebook partly out of greed and partly to save their own skin from Chef Wang’s wrath (at their incompetence); the fact that they took to lying and ignoring a pitiful Poong (when he begs them to return the notebook) hints that they may not really like him as much as he imagine they do.

And, if that notebook was ALL important, why in the world did Poong omit to bring it along with he was fired? He chose instead to walk out with his wok and the clothes on his back only. A one of many examples where his anger just overtook him and make him common sense-less. Other incidents like charging into his love rival’s bedroom to confront his ex-wife, yelling at Sae-woo just cos he can’t control his feelings towards her — speak volumes about his EQ.

Similarly, Sae-woo, while bubbly and cheerful in adversity being her two strongest traits…is pretty much the hothouse bimbo at times. Ironically, when Sae-woo’s dad was handcuffed and led away by prosecutors, her MUM was the first one who understood the gravity of the situation and immediately tried to cut cost and find a job to support their veneer of “rich family” facade. Sae-woo…in the meantime, fussed over her hobby horse and borrowed money from a loanshark — just imagine if Chil-seong is your TYPICAL loanshark — to cure a horse which the vet already said is on its “last leg”, and euthanasia would have been a wiser choice.

She did ALL of the above, and not once did it occur to her that looking for a job and an INCOME may be the most logical thing to do after her father (the sole breadwinner) is incarcerated. Only when she learns her mum has taken on a dishwashing part time job did it hit her that for the past months (or weeks), she has been moping in her own bubble, still pretending she is a princess.

Lastly, Chil-seong… for a loanshark, and an ex (?) gangster, he is a big ol’ softie. (and that’s the worst trait I can find in him so far) And we know he had always been like that. He squirrelled away the ledger of his “partner”, because he wanted to give those who took out a loan, a way out — and more time to pay. Not cos their loans will attract compounded interest, but cos he can’t bear it to see his “partner” threaten the debtors and their family members — the usual loanshark way.

That softie in him also makes him the most tragic figure in the love triangle. He knows Sae-woo doesn’t like him, and likes Poong…and he adroitly guessed the feelings are mutual between the two. Though he doesn’t actively break them up, he still plaintively seeks for Sae-woo’s permission to continue liking her. (aww)

And despite knowing Poong is a rival in love doesn’t stop Chil-seong from loving Poong either. The near-death beatings he took to bring Poong his silly notebook say it all. We have a man with a giant jelly heart, destined only to get it (painfully) squished.

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6 thoughts on “Greasy Melo: The very flawed characters

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  1. THIS is why I lurk around recaps and reviews.

    1) I knew Chil seung is a loveable softie but because I checked out when the cartoon version of the horse stayed on screen 30 seconds too long, I wasn’t really paying attention so missed the whole confiscating the ledger out of compassion for the borrowers. (awww)

    2) Michelin awardee – not being familiar with gourmet cooking, I totally paid little attention to this and thought it was either a bad translation or a S. K. award or just a made up award to tell us Poong is considered a good chef (either way I’m unfamiliar but it’s good to learn new things).

    The horse – I would’ve been okay with this of the entire show was more fantastical, but since it’s not, I only stuck around for my Jang Hyuk fix. It’s getting better but, honestly, it had to. It couldn’t have got any worse.

  2. By the way, did Show ever explain about Sae woo’s husband? Is he being detained as well? He “flew the coop”? Is he behind Sae woo’s dad’s problems and did he set this in motion which is why he rushed the registration to ensure they were married?

      1. I still have the niggling feeling that he rushed the marriage for some insidious reasons. The appearance of the hoobae whom he clearly kept in contact with after he ran away showed that he has been cheating on sae woo during the courtship.
        And I vaguely recall the Mia husband being led away by police (?) At the airport in ep1 when the news of the arrest broke

      2. @sab I thought i saw something like that too, but then that makes his parents into liars (which I suspected) when they take his house from Sae woo and get the divorce. They totally acted as if their son had done nothing wrong and they didn’t want the stain of association with Sae woo because HER father is a criminal. I know this show hasn’t been long on logic but I hope they do explain what happened with Sae woo’s husband.

  3. Lollll I don’t know why this recap made me laugh so much! I think I’ve ranted so much about Saewoo these past days, since she is the one frustrating me the most lately, that I think I already vented and I’m ready to see this drama on a more positive light again. Your description of the character’s flaws are very accurate. I have seen many flaws on DSW, being “ditzy” is one of them but I had not thought about the fact that asking money from a loanshark was irresponsible. And that even her mom, who I see as very immature had more sense than her.

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