Synposis: Warm and Cozy is a 2015 16 episode Korean drama about a girl that moves to Jeju Island to make a fresh start. She meets and falls for a owner of a local café. Unfortunately his heart is set on another woman. They dance the dance of friendship and it turns into something more.
Nutshell Summary: This is the 10th series penned by the Hong sisters, Hong Jung Eun and Hong Mi Ran. They are gifted writers. However not every series they’ve written has been excellent. Warm and Cozy is one of their lessor creations. The mature romance was interesting and worth watching. I liked that 2 parallel romances, the older and younger, were pursued. It helped as the two parallel romances ebbed and flowed during the series. The young romance had moments, but the repetitive circular mid-section of the series, almost has our lead couple die on the vine. They are revived in the last 2 episodes but at that point, their impact had lessened. Warm and Cozy is watchable but not memorable.
1. Mature Romance was fun. This couple had opinions and their own personalities. He, Song Jung Geum (Lee Sung Jae), was the rich owner of the local resort. She, Kim Hae Shil (Kim Hee Jung), was a local lady diver. They meet when he falls accidentally into the ocean and she saves him. He is attracted. She is hesitant. They dance the dance and romance blossoms.
2. Island setting was lovely. Yes, when I compliment the setting before the primary romance, you know this was not a superior series. But Jeju island was shown to its advantage. The beaches, the blue water (on a sunny day), the lookout points, were lovely and inviting.
3. The young romance had obstacles that grew annoying as our couple stayed apart too long. They did have moments.
* Episode 9 – For the honor of giving Jung Joo a necklace both Gum Woo and Wook and arm wrestle. Jung Joo has a cute fantasy with both men as knights dueling over her with swords. She realizes her heart wants Gum Woo. In a darling move, she juts her chest out, distracting the mayor and allowing Gum Woo to win, LOL!
* Episode 11 – Gum Woo puts Jung Joo to bed. He makes a promise to the sleeping Jung Joo. She can have the Warm and Cozy cafe and his love too. He gently kisses her hand and makes the promise.
* Episode 15 – Gum Woo is drunk and tells Jung Joo the unfiltered truth “I think about you all the time”…”I miss you”…”I love you.” Wow! Finally! Jung Joo hears the truth. Later in the episode a sober Gum Woo tells Jung Joo not to remember what a drunk guy told her last night. Hear it again from a sober man.”I love you.”
* Episode 16 – Jung Joo tells Gum Woo they’ve never been on a date and she’s concerned they are complacent. Gum Woo is blunt, he’s always on high alert around her. He’s been waiting for her to feel the same. Jung Joo wonders what they should do. Gum Woo stares. He doesn’t want to watch a movie, walk on the beach, or go out to eat. He wants to stay in. Jung Joo concurs. She finally tells him “I like you most. I love you.” They melt together.
1. Young Romance was repetitive. From the get go she, Lee Jung Joo, liked him, Baek Gun Woo. He was kind to her but without thoughts of romance. By the mid point of the series they both liked each other. That’s good, right? Nope, the remaining of the series, they spent misunderstanding, not believing or trusting in each other’s feelings for the other. His need to flee the island because of his father’s past was also a factor. It was tiresome to watch and repetitive.
a. She, Jung Joo (Kang So Ra), was nice but not the brightest bulb in the bunch. Her continual unawareness on his feelings, trusting his feelings, being fooled by the second lead, Ji Won, did not make her a favorite female lead.
b. He, Gun Woo (Yoo Yun Suk), was initially selfish and unconcerned that she, Jung Joo, liked him and he didn’t like her. An intriguing aspect of his character was his awareness of the relationship games he and second lead, Mok Ji Won, played with each other over the years. Initially it appeared she controlled him but he had the upper hand at the end. Too bad I didn’t care for her.
2. The second leads didn’t have much impact.
a. She, Ji Won (Seo Yi Ahn), was a user only wanting Gun Woo when his heart shifted to Jung Joo. She was comfortable with lying by misleading others. There was nothing redeeming about this character. Yet, she evoked little emotion. Not good.
b. He, Hwang Wook (Kim Sung Oh), was the local mayor and never stood a chance. When the second lead doesn’t stand a chance, then in essence, the character is pointless and is merely a sounding board for the leads to talk to. The actor, Kim Sung Oh, to his credit had mannerisms and worked to make his character as interesting as possible, but it was a losing battle. At least the writers gave him a bit of romance in the end.
3. Obstacles to our leads getting together had nothing to do with them. His father was jailed for a hit and run accident of Hae Shil’s husband almost 30 years ago. The shame of this made our male lead need to leave the island and not commit to the romance. You know the term noble idiocy? This plot point merited the term, idiocy.
4. The Hong sisters, penned this series. I have truly enjoyed many of their series. This was not one of them. There were bright spots: the older romance, which reminded me of My Girlfriend is a Gumiho, was executed well and with more substance and dignity than the older romance in My Girlfriend is a Gumiho. The second leads didn’t have advantage upon advantage in disrupting the lead romance. The second female leads in You are Beautiful and Delightful Girl Choon Hyang were so annoying it was difficult to watch. It was a relief that in Warm and Cozy, the second leads did not have this unfair impact on the lead romance. Unfortunately, this series didn’t seem fresh or filled with memorable characters. But in the end it was the repetitive misunderstandings and stagnant section of the series for the leading couple (episode 9-14) that downgraded the series to watchable but not memorable.
OST: The OST had some fun and sweet songs and several of the instrumental tracks are lovely. There was a 5 part OST with a 13 track compilation OST. See drama wiki for all the details. My favorite vocal song was “Thank You” by K Will. My favorite instrumental song was “I’m Missing You”.
The Warm and Cozy playlist has most of the tracks from the OST. Check it out via the link or the embedded video below.