For the first time "Let's Eat - Season 2" reminds me of "Let's Eat" in a bad way, as the Dae-yeong / Soo-ji love conflict is only solved at the last minute. The same thing happened in "Let's Eat", and we saw that how that turned out. Well, actually no we didn't, which is part of why the conclusion here isn't that satisfactory. Should there be a third season of "Let's Eat", writer Lim Soo-mi could easily just give Dae-yeong a new love interest there too.
As for the rest of the story, it's kind of weird how the drama managed to solve most of its storyline issues without my actually noticing it. Of course, part of this is just because there was never any actual conflict or character goal beyond Soo-ji trying to make Sang-woo her boyfriend. Once that was solved, the drama just slid into more simple storylines regarding life on a day by day basis. With jokes. And food porn.
I do feel compelled to note, by the way, that while the food porn in "Let's Eat - Season 2" was certainly pleasant enough it never really reached the creative levels of the first season. Looking back at "Let's Eat" I was often surprised at how many new, creative ways writer Lim Soo-mi was able to tell the exact same joke, and even devolve into straight-up self parody. Director Park Joon-hwa also deserved credit for always presenting the food porn in proper gaze format, the best to see it with.
There was more of a sense of playing it safe with "Let's Eat - Season 2"- like the production team was worried that they might screw up the magic that turned "Let's Eat" into such a big hit. Looking back at the more recent drama, I can't help but notice it was always the character-based humor and plotlines that really hit me, precisely because Soo-ji is such a radically different woman from Soo-kyeong that different story hooks were very necessary.
I don't want to sound too downbeat here. The same strengths are present this episode that were there throughout the drama's run. Even so my praise might have gotten a bit too strong at points. "Let's Eat - Season 2" has a lot going for it in terms of sheer charm and relatability. It's undoubtedly a joy to watch, even if you don't care about food porn. But even so the final episode has just enough flaws to prevent the drama from attaining true greatness- not that this is that big a deal anyway, since it's more important for television to be fun than great.
Review by William Schwartz
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Let's Eat - Season 2" Episode 18"
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