Food, Music, and Tears Mix into the Beautiful Slow Burn that is jTBC Drama Chocolate with Ha Ji Won and Yoon Kye Sang

Apologies for the delayed post on jTBC drama Chocolate, a combination of my own impressions not yet fully formed until this week’s episodes 5-6 and also due to work travel. This is simply one sloooooooooow burn drama, and takes a long long time to really get going. Imagine a vintage vehicle that doesn’t show it’s incredible depth until you’ve left the stop and go traffic of the city environs and is cruising down the winding roads hugging the ocean to one side and the mountain to another. Chocolate is like it’s name, a deep and complex drama and that causes it to really confuse and confound for the first 4 episodes as to where it’s all coming together at. This week’s episodes 5-6 opened the drama up like a flower, with enough tears and narrative flow to tell us clearly – this is a drama about love in all its forms and the delicate connections between people whether by fate or by luck that need to be treasured. Ratings are a solid 4% for a jTBC cable drama so kudos for the cast and crew, I can’t wait to cry even more than I have so far and love every minute of it.


Food, Music, and Tears Mix into the Beautiful Slow Burn that is jTBC Drama Chocolate with Ha Ji Won and Yoon Kye Sang — 59 Comments

  1. This drama is weird. The storyline is predictable and cliché, but it’s also really addicting at the same time and I found myself kept coming back to watch it, and care about the characters.

    • This is pure old school kdrama crack of the winter sonata eras. They’ve always been addicting. Dramas like these are the reason kdrama became so popular.

    • This right here. It’s old-school and full of tropes but well-executed. I’m actually really enjoying it so far. It’s not fast-paced but I don’t find it to be sloooow. It’s a nice, calm drama perfect for this time of the year. I love the cinematography and OST, too!

      • Yes this and the other comments in this thread. This is the old school drama we’ve all been craving. Both Chocolate and Crash Landing are dramas from the peak hallyu wave when every drama was full of cliched tropes done right that I loved and still do. This is why they say classics never go away.

  2. The story telling in this show is so fragmented that it’s difficult to have any character development. The first four episodes are jam packed with meaningless and overused Korean drama cliches. There’s something so outdated about this drama that it reminds me of a drama that would have aired in the late 90’s or early 2000’s. Despite having such a talented lead cast, this show is incredibly lackluster.

  3. I dont watch HaJiWon because she makes me very conscious about her acting, very unnatural. However, I watched the shown episodes because i want to give it (her) a try one more time. The drama has potential, although it is cliche in terms of poor girl, rich guy”s family. I have to say, her acting got worst, even more unnatural. She is painful to watch. Yoon Kye Sang is good, great even, as long as Ha Ji Won is not on the same scene as him. In fact the one single draw of this drama for me was the guy (boyfriend/bestfriend) but he died. She is so unnatural, really.

    • I agree with her acting being so unnatural and painful to watch. It’s weird to me that a lot of people comment on how much of a great actress she is.

      • It is weird also why you are attacking the preference of other people that they’re liking her acting, just because your opinion is not like theirs. You can rephrase your choice of word actually without sounding it like a basher.

      • Finding a bad acting good, is a matter of preference if you prefer to close your eyes to the fundemental flaws in acting. Although some people might really be oblivious to the said bad acting. It is weird to me that so many people close their eyes to this or simply do not see it at all.
        Then again I shouldn’t find this strange as we live in a world where people close their eyes to many things or don’t form ideas rationally.
        I’m sorry that you find the word weird insulting as I simply meant strange and peculiar.

      • And there are people also who will do anything to justify their point and to be proclaim as rational. It is the people who prefer to comment the not good thing, by inflicting unnecessary remarks to be seen as someone superior critic. Not buying your apology coz you sound like lowkey insulting still and i think u deserve the same.

      • I think ha ji won don’t deserve these comments they’re trying to insinuate if you compare the kind of acting k-actors/actresses have to offer. *shaking my head!

      • So you’re saying those who think she is a great actress are blind? You may not like the way she acts and that’s on you but you can’t force your opinions to others like you’re right and they’re wrong for liking her acting.

      • Who are you to question her as a great actress while directors, actors, etc. are praising her acting as one of the best. I prefer to believe from the expert opinion. ??

      • She just portrayed what her role, so I really think she did well.

    • You know.. I was thinking why haven’t anyone pointed this. I too felt this is not how ha ji won acts. Actually, it seems she is trying to be in the role but is looking unnatural and sometimes dull. 6 episodes gone, still no sign of romance or love. What drama is it.. Even melos have good romance.

      • I am just wondering whether it’s because Ha Ji Won is shooting a movie Collateral/Dambo the same time she’s shooting Chocolate. The movie and drama shooting months seemed to overlapped one another resulting in her not able to fully focus in being one character. If her acting in Collateral is bad then it just proves that doing 2 projects at the same time is not a good idea. She does not to rush, maybe the movie’s other actors have scheduling conflicts too hence she is forced to do two projects the same time.

      • @kimchi ajumma. That may also be the case. I didn’t know that she was having scheduling conflicts. In that case it is hard to be in two characters at same time.

    • Glad to know that I am not the only one who does not like how Ha Jiwon acts. Same with Gong Hyojin, I don’t like how unnatural they act. And I agree that Yoon Kyesang is so good here, eyes alone. I can see Ha Jiwon’s appeal as a celebrity but her acting compared to other actress in her generation or same popularity is not that good.

      • Actually I feel as if she is not in her character. I thought she is known for her chemistry with opposite leads but here.. We have got 3 male actors and I Coudnt feel the chemistry with anyone. Males are acting well. I like Jun also. But watching her is so painful. She should focus on action only I guess.

      • I agree about gong hyo jin.. I gave when the camelia blooms a try.. And trust me I skipped whenevr her part came.. Uff.

      • Give me names of the actresses you are impressed , then I’ll see if your comment is worth to believe!!!

      • @jamie I am waiting to the list of your impressive k-actresses if ever you mind to disclose it. LOL ㅋㅋㅋㅋ Better not to make me laugh.

      • How do you say so? And what’s the point of comparing? Duh. Stop this nonsense, your fvckin’ opinion is not important at all. Sorry not sorry.

    • You know, I do feel the same way for a certain actress, I find her acting really cold and not versatile at all. However, I try not to comment to avoid hurtful words and disrespect her fans. I don’t have the need to prove to you of how great of an actress she is to me, just look up all her accolades and all the praises she received from the actors, actresses and the directors mouth she has worked with so far and then tell them the word “unnatural”.

      it’s OKAY if you don’t like HJW or her acting but be mindful about the people that likes and love her.

      • She just portrayed what her role is, so I really think she did well.

  4. I’m going to wait until the show ends to perhaps give it a try. I haven’t seen any of her recent works so I can’t tell if her acting regress or not but she was phenomenal in empress Ki. She and Ji Chang Wook were the couple! ^^

    • Same here. I love her with Ji Chang Wook. They just brought out the best from each other. I wonder how they would fare if put together in a modern day setting drama. A noona-dongsaeng type drama.

  5. Episodes 5 and 6 are much better as the story-lines cut out most of the unnecessary typical K-drama tropes. I simply adore Yoo Teo as Min-Sung. He was an absolute gem! Too bad his character got written out too soon. Show would have a lot more gravitas if he sticks around longer to expand the love triangle. This is a missed golden opportunity for the show. The food prep scenes are so gorgeous though. OST is addictive and haunting. The interactions between characters are flowing better and coming together with the addition of child actors. Show has a lot of potential to do better with main plot slowly unfolding nicely. This is my first time watching a healing melodrama genre so am reserving my final judgement till the last episode.

  6. It was meant to be one of those slow burn dramas. I wasn’t sure I was going to like it after the first episode, but it makes you want to stick around to see what happens next.

  7. I am surprised, didn’t expect to like this drama so much.
    Beautiful acting by HJW and YKS not cringy. Stories unfolding from the hospice are so touching and warm just what we need in cold winter.
    Wonderful OST too!Love all of them!
    Glad I didn’t pass on this one.

  8. I love Chocolate- the drama. The story alone, the leads and overall it just syncs into place with 6 eps down. Beautiful storytelling at its best. It is a slow burner but the pace is needed with 2 emotionally burnt people trying to find their way. Even the supporting cast back stories with Jun and the Ajumma with Alzheimer’s adds credence. Call me old fashioned but this is what a love story is all about. My girl HJW never fails to impress.❤️

  9. I have trust issues with this writer (A Love To Kill cannot be forgotten) so I’ll wait until the end and see how mad viewers are.

  10. It’s ok to not like her but don’t hate on her by saying “her contemporaries are better than her” & not give any names Bc you just sound like a bias binch! 😐

  11. @Neg – I don’t want to close my eyes to your negative comment as your username has implied. An opinion is not “idea formed rationally”. Opinions are often subjective. Even if you don’t like HJW acting in this drama, you cannot discredit all of her previous works. I won’t watch this drama because I don’t like melos. But her performances in King 2 Hearts, Empress Ki and Hwang Jini are very impressive and award-winning. I am not her fan. I have read many other commenters over the years here who disagree with others based on subjective opinions, but you have the strongest word and it is uncalled for. I think you are the one closing your eyes and only look at the sky from the bottom of a well where you should belong.

    • I wish I started this drama later, so I wouldn’t have to wait to see what’s next. The slow burn is real, and I, like many others have said, am loving it.

  12. Out of topic. I’d like to recommend Lee Sun Gyun’s new drama Diary of a Prosecutor. JTBC seems to be doing better than TVN nowadays with regards to drama content.

  13. Mindy, we can read English. Don’t have to mention “unnatural” multiple times. Say it once and move on. Don’t have to bash HJW with multiple negative words as the poor lady has suffered enough family losses the past 2 years. Your comment came across as mean-spirited, deliberately mocking, incredibly insensitive and meant to purposely hurt HJW and her fans to the core. Stop your shit stirring disguised as fans’ legitimate opinions. Neg, your “don’t form ideas rationally” & “weird” comments are an insult to the many directors, writers, producers who hired HJW for their movies and dramas. Your comment thus implied the many directors, producers and writers are weird, blind to her “fundamentally flawed acting.” You are also demeaning the panel of judges made up of entertainment industry members who awarded HJW prizes for her bad acting. Just because you so use fancy big English words doesn’t cover you up from being a basher and a pure hater. Calling you out on that.

    • I couldn’t agree more with your statement.

      HJW got 2 daesangs from her historical dramas, knowing saguek are dramas that most if needed k-actors/actresses will stay away from because it is the genre which is quite hard to do. And she managed to excel on this genre, given the comment she received from these hater-critics. HJW should be defended from these unnecessary hateful remarks.

  14. Unnatural acting?? What do you mean.. for who didn’t know how Ha Ji Won as the person and just knowing her on the movie and drama.. maybe didn’t know how her real personality..
    Ha Ji Won and her character Moon Cha Young.. have similar personality.. they are both cheerful, good kindhearting and funny.. so what’s wrong if she played character who really like her.. really good in the work and caring about other people..
    Many people just knowing her as badass and tough from her character in the drama like Empress Ki ..
    Many people has childish side so what’s wrong with actress like Ha Ji Won has that side too..
    You must try knowing and understand the people before attacked them with your hurtful words..
    She has been worked in the industry for a long Times.. and if her acting is really bad why they hired her for the leading actress.. and why they give her many awards for appreciation her hardwork..

  15. Yoon Kye Sang and Ha Ji Won really good pairing.. they haven’t yet intimate scene like kiss or hug.. but we can sense their chemistry is really good and strong..
    I like this drama.. the story is really good.. about humanity, love, losing and how to be live ..
    Really recommend this drama..
    And I love Gong Hyo Jin drama too.. When the Camelia comes bloom.. just simple story but really good drama.. you must understand why I mention Gong Hyo Jin..

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