An Unlikely Duo
Dinner Mate is a charming, well written and humorous romantic drama that may just prove to be one of the bigger dark horses of the year. Starring Seo Ji-Hye (most recently known for playing Seo Dan in Crash Landing On You) and Seung-Heon (who played Dae-Han in The Great Show), Dinner Mate sets the scene with its opening episodes as we get to know our two leading characters while leaving plenty of intrigue for the future.
Episodes 1 and 2 of Dinner Mate begin with Do-Hee reminiscing over the scenes from Breakfast At Tiffany’s as she meets her boyfriend Young-Dong for dinner. Things are awkward though when he tries feeding her and as they leave together, she looks longingly at the jewelry store.
Given she’s moving house in the morning, Young-Dong doesn’t show up and worse, he switches his phone off on his birthday as Do-Hee is left to send him a message before searching for recipes to cook for him.
Meanwhile, Hae-Kyung chases a Chinese man into the street and struggles to speak his native tongue with him. Eventually he uses his wits to knock the man down as the onlookers clap and cheer.
At 2N Box, Do-Hee happens to be working as an influencer and as things go crazy on-air, Ma-Ya get drunk and throws food at everyone, with noodles dumped over CEO Ah-Young. It’s unconventional, messy but also a surprise ratings hit. After some cautionary words from Ah-Young, Do-Hee heads home where she receives a message from Young-Dong of a ring box.
Believing Young-Dong is going to propose to her, she follows the instructions given and heads out to Jeju Island. On the plane she begins recording congratulatory messages in the wake of what she believes is her upcoming wedding but Hae-Kyung happens to be sat next to her in business class. She asks him to record a message but he refuses after the flight attendant records one for her.
When she arrives at her destination however, she sees Young-Dong kissing another girl. Another girl that happens to be that very same flight attendant onboard the plane!
Meanwhile, Hae-Kyung goes on a date of his own at Jeju Island but things don’t go to plan. The woman he meets talks about her ex and generally sinks into a deep pit of despair. As fate would have it, this meal happens to be taking place at the exact same location as Young-Dong’s scandalous affair upstairs.
The restaurant is silent, listening to every word of the fight taking place above between Young-Dong and Do-Hee. It soon turns nasty as Young-Dong tells her he hated eating with her and it soon became a duty rather than something he liked doing. It turns out the ring photo was sent to Do-Hee by accident and it was actually meant for Flight Attendant Eun-Seo.
As the fight spills over outside, Do-Hee is left to pick up the fragments of her life while inside, Hae-Kyung’s date Geun-Hee tells him he needs to speak to Do-Hee, especially given he’s a psychiatrist. The entire restaurant ends up in agreement and as she pushes him outside, the rapturous applause follows him.
He’s too late though and she drives away before he can get there, forcing him to get a taxi. He follows her to the shore where a strong gust of wind almost knocks her down but when Hae-Kyung arrives to help, he slips on the rocks and falls head-first in the water.
Unfortunately he suffers a concussion for his troubles and ends up in hospital. Do-Hee gets him a change of clothes though but the vintage, flamboyant wear she’s got him from the hospital shop is too much and she tries in vain to hold back her laughter. She drives him back to the airport though and once there, they discuss happiness before going their separate ways.
Hae-Kyung hears the flight attendant at the airport call Do-Hee an obstacle and immediately looks at her with disdain. While he heads in, Do-Hee sits in her car and thinks over Young-Dong’s hurtful words. However, Hae-Kyung changes his mind and walks back to the car-park to meet Do-Hee. As she steps out, he asks her whether she’d like to have dinner with him, which is where the episode ends.
Featuring some great music already and a quirky story that’s simple but executed perfectly, Dinner Mate sets the foundations nicely for the future episodes to come. The stars from Crash Landing do well to settle into these new roles although seeing Young-Dong and Do-Hee together is a nice nod for fans of that Korean drama earlier this year.
Alongside this, the chemistry between the cast is well worked and there’s certainly plenty of scope for this one to grow over time. So far so good, Dinner Mate may just prove to be a quintessential Monday/Tuesday drama to settle in with!
Published: 26 May 2020 at 10:22 pm on
Expect A Full Season Write Up When This Season Concludes!