Chocolate – Full Season 1 Review

Season 1

Episode Guide

Episode 1 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 2 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 3 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 4 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 5 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 6 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 7 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 8 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 9 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 10 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 11 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 12 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 13 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 14 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 15 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 16 -| Review Score – 4/5


As far as Korean dramas go, Chocolate’s poignant storyline and thematically relevant ideas surrounding the relationship between food and emotion is going to be a tough one to beat this year. Split across the usual 16 episode run, Chocolate’s story intertwines two star-crossed characters together through their shared love of food and mixes that in with the death of a loved one to deliver a beautifully written but incredibly sad drama. With a wonderful soundtrack and some smartly written episodes throughout, Chocolate begins 2020 with a high bar to follow for other Korean dramas.

With each episode clocking in at a little over an hour, there’s of course a lot of story to chew through but the basic premise revolves around two core characters – Cha Young and Lee Kang. After meeting as children, we cut forward in time to see Kang working as a neurosurgeon after hanging up his chef’s hat while Cha Young’s meal cooked for her as a child by Kang spurs her on to become a prolific chef.

As fate would have it, both characters wind up working together at a hospice ward after they fall out over the death of Min-Seong; Kang’s best friend and Cha-Young’s lover. As the episodes progress, the layers of bitterness and regret that cling to their troubled relationship slip away and in its stead, their shared love of food comes to the foreground. All of this builds up to a dramatic few episodes to close things out, wrapping up the story nicely when the final credits roll round.

Of course, intertwined around this are various different subplots, all of which using the same hook of food to keep things consistent. The hospice cook Seon-Ae winds up with Alzheimer’s and struggles to come to grips with what this means for her life, Kang’s brother Lee Jun goes through a torrid time as his family life implodes while the various hospice patients all find solace and comfort in the food cooked (or not) for them over the weeks. This ultimately anchors each episode together and adds some real depth as Kang’s icy exterior is slowly chipped away as the series progresses.

Aesthetically, Chocolate looks fantastic too and the vibrant seaside settings, coupled with the various shots of food being prepared, make this a beautiful Korean drama and one of the better looking ones on Netflix. Full credit to JTCB though, they’ve done an excellent job bringing this one to life and there’s a lot of gorgeous, picturesque shots here including sunsets back-dropped by glittering lakes and steaming bowls of food as wisps of smoke curl into the air.

Chocolate’s soundtrack is worth mentioning too, and there’s a consistency to this that echoes the same poignancy running throughout the drama. ‘Always Do You’ is the perfect theme to capture the sad core of the show, audibly expressing the essence of what makes this drama so appealing, while ‘Tree’ and ‘Special’ have just the right amount of catchiness and depth to keep the soundtrack strong through every episode.

Chocolate is quite simply a wonderful Korean drama, one that utilizes some vibrant colours and strong themes to produce a sad, emotionally charged series well worth watching. With a decent soundtrack, some good pacing and a lot of tears along the way, Chocolate is a show worth investing some serious time into, rewarding your patience with a beautiful finale to bow the show out with and in doing so, setting a very high bar to try and beat for 2020.


Chocolate is available to watch on Netflix. Feel free to click here and sign up now to check this show out!


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  • Verdict - 8.5/10

7 thoughts on “Chocolate – Full Season 1 Review”

  1. In late December, 2019, being new to Netflix, I searched NETFLIX for Johnny Depp’s CHOCOLATTE. I was a little disappointed when it wasn’t there.
    That disappointment quickly subsidied during the first 15 minutes of this Korean masterpiece.
    It was like a favorite book came to life. The storyline; the scenery; the food; the actors.
    Needless to say 3 1/2yrs later, I greet any of the cast as old friends when I find them in a show I’m currently watching.
    Because of CHOCOLATE, I have become enthralled in all things KOREAN. From history to food to music.
    CHOCOLATE was my gateway drug to a new and exciting world.
    If this 77yr old ever made it to Korea, my dream would be to personally thank the whole crew for what they did for me!

  2. What the reviewer did not address was the casting and acting. While I agree the cinematography was excellent, the casting was not. In particular, I thought Yoon Kye-sang was a terrible choice for the role of Lee Kang. While he and the lead actress, Ha Ji-won, are the same age in real life, he looked way too old for her in the film. Also, he lacks the looks and charisma to be in the lead actor role. It was just unbelievable that any woman would be that hung up on him to live in pining misery for so long. I also found it unbelievable that any woman could be that dense and just hold in her feelings for so long. Spit it out! Tell the guy how you feel and find out if anything is possible! What kind of insecure, timid person just lives in self pity that long? I also found it incredible that any doctor (Lee Kang) would stay at a hospital like that and be treated in such a conniving manner. Move to some hospital where you are appreciated! This was a film about people too dumb to move on with their lives.

  3. Chocolate is much much better than other k dramas now that are very much hyped. It touches us as human beings being traveller’s in this life. Can’t get enough of Fr. LEE Kang and Cha Yong. I fell in love with them. I wish there’s season 2. The writer can do more as there aren’t enough stories told of the 2 lovers. I want to see more of them. ❤

  4. Hi I am from Malaysia.

    I have been watching a few romantic dramas in the Netflix and this is one drama which has actually captured my heart. I enjoyed this so much because of its unique storyline. How the story began and how it all ended so beautifully in that beautiful location of Greece. So awesome!! I cannot help it but I truly admire both the actors. They both really make a beautiful pair in this story. He with his serious outlook and her in her shy remote way of finding him.

    I also feel there should be one more episode with them both settling down together and enjoying each other’s company without anymore separations. Wow .. is all I can describe of this type of romantic story with beautiful ending.

  5. When i first started watching this show i didnt know what to think. I somewhat liked it. I loved the actors and actresses. However, felt that the show could have been so much more. At times i felt like i missed something because there was times that the story felt rushed or like it left out scenes. I felt like it jumped around to much. Im not sure what the deal was on the love story part, but felt it was ruined by the end of it. Just when you think the will be together she takes off for no reason. Im mean what the hell? Really she needed to leave him to rest. Then we get to see them together in a hazy rushed 20 seconds at the end of the series. Worst let down ever. I was really disappointed by the way this show turned out it was so good till it wasn’t. My favorite is still Someone like you.

  6. I loved this fact im addicted to it. I fell in love with dr lee kang. Was so sad it ended. I was longer and that it has a part 2. In all .my all time favourite. Love it. Top marks. Sue dennie

  7. I absolutely loved this drama, and feel really sad to part with the characters. I wish they had allowed just one more episode, or perhaps dropped one of the side-stories as in the end, the wrap ups felt a bit rushed. I recommend this to anyone starting out with Korean drama – the problem will be finding anything to follow on.
    Anyone else feel this could bear a second series – set in the hospice?

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