Is “Wok Of Love” Review: A Hidden Gem Or One Of The Most Disappointing Kdramas Of 2018?

Published Categorized as Kdrama Reviews

“Wok Of Love” is a Korean drama about love, life, friendship and most importantly food. It generated a lot of buzz for being 2PM’s Junho first lead role in a major broadcasting station following the well-reception of JTBC’s “Just Between Lovers.”

It was one of the most anticipated Korean dramas of 2018, a lot of people are excited about it because it includes a star-studded cast both main and supporting.

The author of the drama has previously worked on “Pasta” which is one of the most famous Korean food dramas.

Along with everybody else I had high expectations for this drama which might be one of the reasons why I am so torn right now.

A part of me really likes the drama and the other part of me really hates it, a lot of Korean drama fans have given up on it after seeing the first couple of episodes and I cannot really blame them for that.

A part of me thinks that this is a Hidden Gem and the other part of me thinks that this is one of the most disappointing Korean dramas of 2018.

So, I thought that it would only be a good idea to review the drama first six episodes.

Please note this is a spoiler free-review!

The most disappointing kdrama of 2018?

I have to start by saying that the main reason why I continued watching this drama had nothing to do with the script but has everything to do with the characters.

The main reasons why I think the drama might have disappointed many Korean drama fan is the sloppy script, there were also moments in the drama where I really hated the editing.

The problem (or my problem) is not with the characters themselves, but the way the plot develops and the way the characters are introduced and the really messy messy atmosphere we were thrown in.

A lot of parts of the drama are very very cliché and very difficult to comprehend at first viewing. If you have watched many Korean dramas, this drama will appear really repetitive.

The unnecessary love triangle and the way the characters were introduced make it very difficult for me to like this kdrama sometimes.

I must admit the first two episodes were very difficult to watch, I almost gave up the entire drama and wanted to write a bad review about it.

I had a lot of problems with the editing of the first two episodes because it was crammed in a way that made it very difficult for me to relate to anything that happened to the main characters, the way we were thrown into the mix was bad, we were expected to feel for each and every single one of them, but I couldn’t give less fuck about all of them.

I really don’t have any personal connection with the main characters as of yet, so it would be very difficult for me to relate or to sympathize or feel for them if they’re faced with life-changing moments in the first two episodes. I would have preferred it if we were introduced to the three characters separately, in a way that the writer gave every one of them their time to shine.

If each individual story where tackled in separate episodes and then the main characters all came together that would’ve been a splendid idea, similar to what tvN’s “My Ahjussi” did.

The good gangster ahjussi, the cliché hot-tempered main lead, and the sweet innocent female lead. There is nothing innovative about it.

Onto the humor of the drama…

It is very dry and very stupid, oftentimes I didn’t laugh and had very hard time continuing to watch; it’s feels like some of the jokes were written by a 16 year old who didn’t know any better.

Some jokes land flat. The characters look like they’re begging you to laugh at certain scenes, it so obvious the only thing missing is the annoying laughing track they use in American TV shows whenever audience is supposed to laugh.

The writer should work a lot harder on the way the characters deliver jokes.

80% of the time, I found the ‘jokes’ stupid and it made want to turn off my screen. This is also one of my biggest problems with the drama is it the fact that it’s not funny at all, it is supposed to be a rom-com drama but it’s not.

I know that I’m not a person who would easily laugh at whatever joke you tell me, but I appreciate when someone says clever jokes but not when the jokes are placed in terrible places and that terrible times and also delivered very very poorly.

A Hidden gem?

The only thing that made this drama tolerable were the main actors.

Because of them I continue to watch the third, fourth, fifth and sixth episode, this is why I intend not to be so harsh in my review.

I don’t think six episodes are enough to decide whether a drama is terrible or good but it’s a good enough indication to tell you whether you should continue watching or not.

However, I’m not really sure whether I’ll continue to watch this drama because I am not really happy with the way the script is written.

It’s like the writer worked hard on making the drama characters interesting but didn’t think that it would be equally important to work on the plot as well.

It feels like the writer was really deep into the plot and working it out his own way and completely forgot about how it would appear to an outsider who knows nothing about the main characters.

I believe the writer is happy with the way the characters are written and believes that with time, the viewers will care enough to pay more attention as the story unravels.

The characters kept things very interesting. Watching the 4th 5th and 6th episode I became sort of attached to the characters, I started liking them a lot more. The gangsters, the mysterious kitchen staff and the way the relationship is developing between all of the characters is something I look forward to.

The drama soundtrack is also good and entertaining. The other supporting characters backdrop is also laid out well.
not another second lead syndrome

I do not recommend watching this drama on an empty stomach, it’s a good choice to have food next to the table because the foodporn in this drama is on another level, and everything looks so damn delicious.

Final Verdict

And I recently found out why this drama sometimes gets on my nerves, screenwriter Seo Sook Hyang is working on it, he wrote “Jealousy Incarnate” which has to be one of the most annoying Korean dramas I have ever seen, I had to stop watching that drama, I just couldn’t do it!

I believe that the actors themselves made the characters interesting. If another set of actors were presented with the same script I don’t think they could’ve easily made those characters appear interesting.

I feel that not everyone would be able to get through the first couple of episodes to find out for themselves if the drama is a Hidden Gem or just disappointing, this is a problem.

The drama could have been A LOT better with the cast they have in their hands.

I had higher expectations of Junho, Jang Hyuk and Jung Ryeo Won; I thought they would have chosen better scripts.

2PM’s Junho has never disappointed me, his roles in “Chief Kim” and “Just Between Lovers” made me believe the man could do no wrong.

Jang Hyuk has hits and misses, his career started a really long time ago so we can’t expect him to always choose good projects, but he has been doing so well with “Money Flower” and “Voice” recently.

I still don’t know whether I’d be watching next week’s episodes. It depends; there are other better dramas out right now, “About Time” “Miss Hammurabi” “Secret Mother” And “The Undatables.”

This review is spoiler-free so this means that even if you read this review you’ll still be able to watch it and judge for yourself.

What about you guys have you watching the drama think of it did you like it or did you hate it?

Whats your reaction to this article?

By Jass K.

Hi, I am Jass k. I discuss some of the hottest currently airing kdramas on this site in form of reviews an/or recaps, join me in the discussion~


  1. I understand how you feel , but I like the actors so much , and behind the scenes in therestaurant, her relationship with her “talking Horse”;;;, and her family who are working in the restaurant. So I will watch until the end! definitely more pros than cons

  2. I kept glancing at the Time while watching Episodes 1-6 but then suddenly realized I was on Episode 17 and not long after that I had already watched Episode 23.
    I think this Drama is a lot less Cliché then most and I think it’s really refreshing that we don’t have another typical Love Triangle and a whole less in-fighting and unnecessary Problems with Family or the Main Couple than usual. Some People seem to find Wok of Love complicated, at least the first few Episodes, but I understood everything in episode 2 so I can’t really understand that – might be the editing.
    I love Junho and watch everything with him in it but was honestly expecting to get annoyed by his behavior after episode 2 but he is back to his usual Lovable self now so I’m probably biased.

  3. I chanced upon this drama because I watched Confession w same male lead. Lee jun hi is excellent in his acting. So cool.

    Love this drama. Fresh change. Simple plot but encouraging all the way.


  4. Totally agree that the script is very weak and because of casting crew the series was bearable. Some characters like chef poong’s wife, hotel’s CEO can be given more screen space.
    Even the ending was not good, the lead female parents agree with their relationship or not? What happened to chief ‘s wife ?
    Like that there were some loose ends. The series can be made better with good writing.

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