Sweet Munchies Episode 2
Kim Ah Jin (Kang Ji Young), Yoo Sung Eun (Kim Yi Jung) and Manager Cha Joo Hee (Kim Soo Jin) watch the audition of Chef Park Jin Sung (Jung Il Woo). The food looks yummy. Manager Cha, Ah Jin, and Sung Eun approach the stage. Sung Eun dives into the food and declares it delicious. Manager Cha asks to see Ah Jin and Jin Sung in her office.
Kang Tae Wan (Lee Hak Joo) watches a fashion event for his TV show. He waits until everyone is ready for his verdict. He asks the losing team which one of them should be eliminated. Predictably they turn on each other. Tae Wan points out teams are everything in fashion. He eliminates the entire team. Assistant Director Noh Jae Soo (Park Sung Joon) tells to crew to capture the drama of the moment.
Manager Cha asks Jin Sung if his parents are aware of his sexual orientation. He states they will ignore it. Manager Cha points out his family could be hurt if the public doesn’t react positively. Ah Jin points out he knew this before he auditioned. Manager Cha sends Ah Jin out of the room. Manager Cha explains her life situation (workaholic, divorced, daughter that is busy, not interested in man because they are all the same). She asks Jin Sung to give her a solution. Jin Sung studies her office. He tells her to quit her boring job. He notes some bored at work are actually workaholics. He suggests she try and quit to see if her job is her happiness or her bane.
Jin Sung exits Manager Cha’s office. Ah Jin stares at him hopefully. Manager Cha motions Ah Jin to enter her office.
Jin Sung waits in a room where Tae Wan is. He eyes Jin Sung’s polka dot jacket. He tells Jin Sung there a thin line between fashion and costume. Jin Sung asks which one the jacket is.
Manager Cha tells Ah Jin she can produce the TV show. Ah Jin is stunned and thanks her profusely. Manager Cha points to the door. Ah Jin rushes out thanking her again and again.
Tae Wan says it appears the jacket isn’t really his style. He’s called away. Ah Jin enters. She asks Jin Sung what he said to convince Manager Cha. Jin Sung can’t believe it. They are giddy. Then Jin Sung asks when he’ll get a paycheck.
Ah Jin is thrilled as she floats down the hallway. She gives Sung Eun a thumbs up and a hug. Ah Jin explains Chef Park runs an eatery she eats at. Sung Eun asks if Ah Jin didn’t know he was gay and asked him out only to be rejected. Ah Jin scoffs at the notion. They agree drinking is in order. Coworker Lee Sang Young (Kim Seung Su) invites himself.
At the hospital Jin Sung’s brother Park Jin Woo (Choi Jae Hyun) and father watch the fashion show Tae Wan hosts. Recall Jin Sung’s father is recovering from an accident and brain surgery. Jin Sung’s brother Jin Woo declares he wants to walk a show for this fashion designer just like Tae Wan. Jin Sung arrives. He lies to his father that In Deok is managing the eatery. His brother tells him this is the best part of the show. Jin Sung recognizes Tae Wan and says “it’s that jerk.” Jin Woo tells him that Tae Wan is a famous fashion designer that hosts his own show.
Jin Sung and his brother return to their apartment. Jin Sung thanks Jin Woo for tending their father. Jin Sung’s brother is hungry. Jin Sung makes a meal. Jin Woo wears the polka dot jacket Jin Sung sported for his audition. He says he has an audition soon. Jin Sung asks his brother when he knew he was gay. Jin Woo shares he knew early. Jin Sung asks if one can tell just by looking. Jin Woo says many men hide it well.
The next day at work Ah Jin hears Jae Soo talking smack about her show. Ah Jin tells Manager Cha that she doesn’t want Jae Soo as her assistant director because he’s negative because she’s a contract employee not a permanent employee. Manager Cha points out she can’t only work with those she likes and that she needs an Assistant Director. She tells Ah Jin to make Jae Soo want to work with her.
Manager Cha tells Sang Young that his show idea with lesbians is ridiculous. He suggests the titled Sweet Deserts by Lesbians. Manager Cha shakes her head and tells him to get out. Sang Young declares he’s desperate to produce a show. He leaves.
Jin Sung reviews the high interest loan with the loan shark. Jin Sung is dismayed to learn the interest has been deducted from the total loan amount.
Ah Jin tells Jae Soo she’s running the show and he’s part of her team. She lays out ground rules and admits that her contract status will make her work harder to make the show a success. Ah Jin suggests that Jae Soo can watch her and identify everything he’d do differently and consider it on the job training in what not to do.
Sang Young tells Manager Cha that he doesn’t want a desk job. He wants to get on set making magic.
Ah Jin takes her team out drinking. She promises to work hard and make the show a success. She loves being called Director Kim. They cheer her first show.
Jin Sung reviews the paperwork the TV station gave him. He shakes his head. He’s not gay and can’t pretend he is. He goes to the roof to think. He sees a drunk Ah Jin coming home. He goes down and help her in the building. She admits she went drinking with the production team. She asks if he was waiting for her. Jin Sung says he has something he has to tell her. Ah Jin calls Jin Sung her savior. She is thrilled with the show and him being the chef. Jin Sung doesn’t have the heart to tell her the truth.
Jin Sung meets with the eatery’s building’s owner. He promises the money in a week. He shows her his scrapbook of ideas and plans. He asks again for time. She gives him one week. He thanks her profusely.
Ah Jin shares her clothing ideas with the stylist. She’s resistant. Ah Jin declares this is something she wants. The stylist resists. Ah Jin insists, then declares she won’t work with her. She storms away. Jae Soo gripes at her actions.
Ah Jin has a difficult time finding a new stylist after she’s blackballed for her actions.
Ah Jin and Jin Sung drink and eat. Ah Jin declares she’s doing what she’s always wanted and will overcome the challenges. Jin Sung watches the tableside chef and imagines himself in the chef’s position. Jin Sung asks when he’ll get paid. Ah Jin says the shoot will occur after the wardrobe is sorted out. Jin Sung suggests Tae Wan become the stylist.
Ah Jin meets with Tae Wan. He asks why the chef has to be gay. Ah Jin defends the show’s premise. Tae Wan doesn’t care about that and presses Ah Jin for a real answer. Ah Jin says a gay chef wouldn’t take sides in a man/female relationship. Tae Wan points out the obvious…the premise of the show is a prejudiced one. He isn’t interested in helping a show based on prejudice. He stands to leave. Ah Jin points out he’ll get more customers. Tae Wan isn’t swayed.
Tae Wan is 100% correct. The premise is based in prejudice.
Ah Jin tells Jin Sung that Tae Wan refused to help. She bemoans what she said to Tae Wan. Jin Sung suggests he talk to Tae Wan.
Jin Sung visits Tae Wan in his office. He requests Tae Wan become the show’s stylist. Tae Wan says he’s already said no. Jin Sung asks Tae Wan to help him not look ridiculous like he did when he auditioned. He asks Tae Wan to help him. Tae Wan calls him reckless. Jin Sung admits that’s true. Tae Wan asks if Jin Sung is afraid about coming out and the amount of scorn he’ll receive. Jin Sung counters there’s nothing wrong with being gay. He tells Tae Wan if he’s prejudiced, he can’t change that. Jin Sung declares no should be ridiculed for any reason.
Ah Jin is thrilled and tells Jin Sung he just saved her life. Jin Sung asks for an early appearance fee. Ah Jin promises to try to get it. They are all smiles.
Ah Jin is taken aback when she finds Tae Wan measuring Jin Sung. She exits. Tae Wan is thorough with Jin Sung’s measurements. Jin Sung admits it is nerve wracking. Tae Wan murmurs his physique is good. Jin Sung says he only cooks well. Tae Wan smiles. Jin Sung can’t believe he got a smile. Ah Jin returns with food and drinks.
The first day of filming arrives. The set is packed. The lights are hot. The voices seem loud. Jin Sung feels the strain. Ah Jin asks if he’s okay. He claims he is okay. She encourages him to breath. The cameras start rolling. Jin Sung watches the video of the first guest whose boyfriend cheated on her. She can longer eat tripe or find love. She asks Jin Sung if she can find love again. The camera swivel to Jin Sung. He says she’s the only one that doesn’t know she’s beautiful. His manner is stilted. Ah Jin rushes to Jin Sung and tells him to relax. The second take doesn’t go any better, nor does the third or fourth or tenth. Jin Sae takes a break. The production team complains about how long it is taking.
Outside Jin Sung apologizes to Ah Jin for his nerves. He promises to do better. Ah Jin asks if he knows why she became a regular at his eatery.
Flashback…after a long hard day, Ah Jin walks home and sees an eatery still open. She enters. She orders soju. Jin Sung gives her a full meal to enjoy with her soju. Ah Jin digs in and thinks of her mother’s cooking. Tears fill her eyes. She cries. Jin Sung gives her something to wipe her eyes.
Ah Jin tells Jin Sung that meal reminded her of her mother. She wanted to make a show that offered comfort to those going through a rough patch. Ah Jin urges Jin Sung to imagine the customer is one of his customers. He doesn’t have to follow the script. Just be himself. She pats Jin Sung’s shoulder and walks away.
The production team waits. Jae Soo grouses at how long it is taking.
Jin Sung returns. He looks at Ah Jin. She smiles. He takes his place with purpose. He puts a bag on the counter. It contains tripe. The guest is appalled. Ah Jin’s eyes widen. Manager Cha arrives. Jin Sung starts cooking. The cameras roll. Jin Sung plates the dish and serves it to the first guest that claims she can’t eat tripe. She orders him to take it away. Jae Soo tells Ah Jin to take the food away. Ah Jin shakes her head no. Jin Sung tells the guest if she wants to get over him, this is a necessary step. He urges her to remember what she used to love. Why should the ex-boyfriend take that from her? The guest lifts the tripe to her mouth. She eats it. She cries. The crew is riveted. Ah Jin is shocked. Tae Wan can’t take his eyes away from Jin Sung.
Terrific second episode. Writer Park Seung Hye gave me hope this won’t be a standard kdrama. Our three leads supported and surprised each other. Tae Wan pointed out that Ah Jin’s show concept was based on prejudice. He is correct about that. We learned Jin Sung’s brother is gay. Jin Sung loves his brother and supports him without hesitation. I love that. I’m a live and let live person. Ah Jin explained her show concept was more about Jin Sung’s human connection than anything else. This show has prejudice and possibilities…this is life.
Chef Park Jin Sung (Jung Il Woo) got the job but had to fight for a stylist and his own voice. Jin Sung signed the paperwork for the high interest loan. He convinced Manager Cha that he was the right chef for the TV show. He convinced the owner of the building to give him a week to come up with the deposit money by sharing his vision book. He convinced Tae Wan to become the stylist with a clear statement that he can’t change prejudice but no one should be ridiculed for any reason. I liked the interaction between Jin Sung and his brother Jin Woo. Jin Sung wanted to tells Ah Jin that he isn’t gay but her joy over the show stymied his confession. There’s something about Jung Il Woo’s matter of fact portrayal of Jin Sung’s beliefs that completely works for me.
Kim Ah Jin (Kang Ji Young) struggled to form the production team. Manager Cha made pointed out that just because Ah Jin didn’t like Jae Soo, didn’t mean she didn’t need an assistant director. The same was true for a stylist. Ah Jin’s pep talk to Jin Sung was spot on. She recounted their first meeting when Jin Sung’s cooking offered her comfort, the same kind of comfort she wants guests of the show to received. That made sense. Why it had to be a gay chef appears to be more shock value. Regardless, Ah Jin acquitted herself well at the first filming. She trusted Jin Sung when he returned to the set with the tripe, the food the guest declared she couldn’t eat due to her boyfriend’s rejection. She trusted Jin Sung pushing the guest to eat it. While Ah Jin wants this show to succeed for a myriad of reasons, it is evident she has a heart that cares.
Kang Tae Wan (Lee Hak Joo) asked Ah Jin for the real reason she based the show in prejudice. Tae Wan was correct that Ah Jin’s concept was prejudice and rejected her request he be the stylist. But he couldn’t say no to Jin Sung’s logic that no one deserved to be discriminated against. You can see what the truth of this character is. I hope Writer Park treats this character well.
The 2nd song of the OST is an upbeat song titled “Superhero” sung by Vane:
I rank this episode as very good, 8 on a 10-point scale.