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[Review] All The Liquors

Han Ji Yoo works in the marketing team of an alcohol-producing company named Pai Syn Tang Liquors. He is exuberant and loves drinking and eating, and his busy social life reflects this. One day, his team is charged with finding an up-and-coming chef to partner with to help promote the company. The team settles on Park Ki Hoon, the handsome and talented chef at a wildly popular restaurant.

However, there’s a big catch: Park Ki Hoon hates alcohol! He refuses to sell alcoholic beverages in his restaurant, and even kicks out customers who try to smuggle liquor into the eatery! When Han Ji Yoo arrives at Park Ki Hoon’s restaurant to explain the company’s plan, the latter flat out refuses. But Han Ji Yoo refuses to be put off and even takes a part-time job at the restaurant in a bid to get to know Park Ki Hoon better. As the men start to get to know each other, Park Ki Hoon begins to mellow. And as time passes, they begin to develop feelings for one another. Could love be on the menu?


**This review will contain mild spoilers**

This was a simple and clean drama. I probably shouldn’t even call it a drama because there wasn’t any actual drama. It was just a regular slice of life story which I was okay with because I tend to like slice of life when it comes to romance.

In the beginning, we quickly meet our two main characters, Ki Hoon and Ji Yoo. Ji Yoo is very outgoing and extroverted which makes him a perfect fit for his job since he works at a sales company. He’s extra and over the top sometimes, but he is a person that knows how to smile and likes to eat and drink with friends. Ki Hoon on the other hand is introverted and battles anxiety around a lot of people. At his restaurant, he works solely in the kitchen while his employee handles the customers. The only time he tends to come out of the kitchen and address customers is if he is kicking them out for bringing in alcohol, or kicking them out for causing a ruckus due to them not being allowed to bring in alcohol.

all the liquors ki hoon at work
Left: employee whose name I forget, Right: Ki Hoon

The drama as a whole was pretty straight forward and there was no drama between our two main characters. The “drama” that took place was actually a personal thing for Ki Hoon that really helped with his character growth in this short series. He was our tsundere character that turned out to be not so tsundere after all. He just had high walls to protect himself from past experiences, as most people do. even though there was no room in this series for Ji Yoo to have any character growth, I liked that he was understanding and supportive of Ki Hoon with his internal struggles.

I began to get nervous as the series was ending because there seemed to be no actual romantic development between our main couple. It was all very surface level and repressed, which I found rather disappointing. I feel like their relationship could have grown more. It felt like the writers were going for the slow burn, but that is hard to do when there are so little episodes, and I don’t entirely feel like the slow burn was done well in this series. There really wasn’t much of an admission of feelings until the very end, nor did either of them entirely act on their feelings. So, the majority of the series just felt like they were close friends or sitting in that in between space of close friends and more than friends, even though nothing physically romantic happened between them.

All the liquors, ji yoo and ki hoon
Left: Ji Yoo, Right: Ki Hoon who is drunk off of only a shot glass of alcohol

There was not a kiss between our main leads until the final episode which is fine, but as I said, the relationship development was very surface level so the kisses, however small, felt unearned in my opinion. And since they felt unearned, I was glad that they were nothing more than a couple of lip presses and that’s it. Anything more and it would have made the series feel entirely imbalanced.

What I liked overall:

  • The series was simple, clean, and fun.
  • The side couple. We didn’t get much from them but they were cute in their own way. The side couple was Ki Hoon’s employee and Ji Yoo’s coworker.
  • I found Ki Hoon to be personally relatable with his anxiety. I can get the same way around too many people, and seeing him freeze up in front of a bunch of people was very real to me.
  • How supportive Ji Yoo was as soon as he and Ki Hoon started working together. Even if there wasn’t any romantic relationship between he and Ki Hoon, I think they probably would have still been good friends.
  • There was no weirdness with the rest of the characters finding out that Ki Hoon and Ji Yoo liked each other. It was only surprising because of how uptight Ki Hoon was and the fact that they mostly had a professional relationship. So seeing them like each other and actually kiss was a very small but pleasant surprise for the rest of the crew.
All the liquors friends

What I didn’t like overall:

  • Ji Yoo’s friend. I don’t even remember his name, but good grief, he was so annoying. And I don’t even understand why he was in the story anyway. His character could have been axed completely and it wouldn’t have changed the storyline.
  • Episode 1 opens up with Ji Yoo getting broken up with face to face. This whole scene felt pointless because it didn’t matter to the rest of the series. It felt like it was only placed in the series to tell the audience from the jump that Ji Yoo is gay, which is stupid because we as viewers already know that since we know who our main couple is going to be. Maybe the writers wanted to make us know that he’s openly gay, specifically?? I don’t really know, but it was a pointless scene and never really addressed again.
  • The lack of romantic development between Ji Yoo and Ki Hoon. Barely the surface of them growing to like each other was scratched. It felt more like a crush compared to anything else. Then we got a few lip presses for kisses and that was it. It was not very fulfilling.
All the liquors ending kiss

Overall, I think this series was just okay. I did get some laughs out of it due to some of the antics of Ji Yoo. Sometimes he was over the top and kind of overacted. Other times, it helped bring a bit of silliness to the series. I don’t think I’ll be watching it again, but it was fine to pass the time and recommend giving it a try if you want to watch something that is light-hearted and drama free.

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