Atypical Gender Bender
Sweet Munchies takes a risk by putting a new twist in gender bender kdramas (Coffee Prince, He’s Beautiful, The Tale of Nokdu) where a lead character pretends to be another gender. Here, we have Chef Park pretending to be gay.
Jin Sung’s lie puts a wedge between any romantic relationship budding between him and Ah Jin. To further complicate matters, it draws Tae Wan in and he develops an attraction to the chef.
Gender bias on homosexuals is continuously being explored and challenged. Conversations around it are respectful and insightful. It is a well-timed drama to watch this Pride Month as it opens up conversations on the topic among viewers as well.
Genre: Romantic Comedy, Healing Drama
Frequency: Tuesdays and Wednesdays on Viu
Director: Song Ji-won (King 2Hearts)
Writer: Park Seung Hye (A Man Called God)
Park Jin Sung runs ‘Bistro,’ a hole-in-the-wall late-night bar that serves delicious food, great drinks, and good company. One of his regulars, Kim Ah Jin, is a PD who always stays positive despite the struggles she encounters at work as a contractual assistant director for the past 4 years.
Ah Jin finally gets a break when she proposes a new food variety show called “Sweet Munchies” that merits her boss’ approval. Desperately in need of money, Jin Sung becomes the host of the program. Meanwhile, famous fashion designer Kang Tae Wan is enlisted as the show’s stylist.
The healing chef, the enthusiastic PD, and the genius stylist form this show’s love triangle — just not quite the way you’d expect from your usual fare of Korean dramas.
Some early comments were:
“We have some positiveness in shows about LGBT+ but usually the topic is tiptoed around but this is a call-out and it’s refreshing to see.”
“Everything was good except I still feel uncomfortable with the idea that the chef is pretending to be gay to get the job. But, it’s still too early to say anything I guess…”
“I look forward to seeing how they’ll handle this plot, it’ll be a fine line; I just hope they don’t push haha funny gay narrative.”
MEET THE CAST
JUNG IL WOO as Park Jin Sung
Jung Il Woo is a popular South Korean actor who began his acting career in 2006 where he immediately gained popularity in a family sitcom “Unstoppable High Kick.”
He took on the role of Scheduler in “49 Days,” a popular Korean drama that was adapted locally by ABS CBN.
His role as Prince Yang Myung in 2012’s “The Moon Embracing the
Sun” earned him an MBC Excellence Award. “The Moon Embracing the Sun” became one of the Top 50 Korean Dramas in viewer ratings, with an average viewership of 45.8%.
He can actually cook well in real life!
Other Dramas on Viu
49 Days (Scheduler)
The Moon Embracing The Sun (Prince Yang Myung) Haechi (Prince Yeoning)
KANG JIYOUNG as Kim Ah Jin
Kang Jiyoung was a member of the K-Pop girl group KARA until her contract with DSP expired. “Sweet Munchies” marks her
return to the South Korean entertainment scene after working in Japan for the past five years.
While working in Japan, Kang Jiyoung took on several projects in
theater, television, and film honing her acting skills. In 2017, she
starred in “Orphan Black: Seven Genes,” the Japanese adaptation of the BBC Worldwide show.
She also released several songs in Japan under the name JY.
Other Dramas on Viu
A Girl and Three Sweethearts (Jun Yoshioka – Ep 10)
LEE HAK JOO as Kang Tae Wan
Lee Hak Joo is a South Korean actor who’s a familiar face to many
Kdrama fans. He has acted in support roles in hit shows such as Mr. Sunshine, Memories of Alhambra, Be Melodramatic, and A World of Married Couple.
Having just recently portrayed a villain character, his role in Sweet Munchies is more pleasant and very different.
Other Dramas/Movies on Viu: A World of Married Couple (Park In Gyu), Be Melodramatic (Noh Seung Hyo), Hit and Run Squad (Ga Reu Ma)