Basically for alcohol lovers right? Wrong. Drinking Solo is much more than a drama that advertises soju and beer – it has depth and a certain spark that connects viewers to each character. One of my favourite dramas this past summer, it’s highly recommended for people looking for something fresh to watch for the spring season.
If you’ve ever seen Let’s Eat which is a drama purely targeted at food lovers, and trust me the food porn in the drama will have you drooling, then you’ll be equally as surprised to find quite a bit of food porn in Drinking Solo as well…yes there is alcohol but not as much as I originally anticipated.
Meant to be a spinoff series of Let’s Eat, it follows the lives of several different people all interconnected through an academy that preps students for the civil service exam. They each have moments where they feel completely alone, finding solace in a can of beer or glass of wine, drinking solo.
I personally found myself relating to the students who were struggling with studying while living up to expectations and finding their place in the world. That might seem like a lot of emotional material but the drama happens to be light and airy, transitioning into emotional scenes with ease within minutes. Even the most unlikable of characters or the ones who seem cheery and bright all have deeper wounds and scars that are revealed through various narratives. The academy becomes a place of teachers with adult issues and students with challenges as well, and the drama does a fantastic job at encompassing all of these underlying stories.
I absolutely loved the comedic scenes, which makes up for pretty much a good chunk of every episode. It’s witty and dumb at the same time – my cup of tea. From a Park Bo Gum impersonation to a full on hair fight among bros in broad daylight, a teacher who finds solace while talking to her phone (and by that I mean Siri) and a Tsundere character that’ll drive you up a wall; the show will have you bursting into laughter and possibly waking your neighbours.
I think the most interesting surprise was to see how well the idol actors did. Kim Ki Bum (SHINee’s Key) and Jung Chae Yeon (I.O.I) both nailed their characters. I never thought of them as being idols who were trying too hard to sell their acting abilities, their characters were a central aspect to the success of the drama and viewers only had positive things to say about them. I really hope to see Kim Ki Bum in another drama because clearly comedy is where he belongs. Also, his dialect is the cutest thing ever – I tip my hat off to the casting director. The only thing you have to overcome is the hair…you grudgingly learn to accept it.
Release Date: September 5, 2016 (Eng Sub available on Viki)