K-Drama Review: “Chocolate” Melts Soothing Flavor Of Romance While Leaving Life Uplifting Lessons
For viewers who sustained watching the 16-episode run of Chocolate, pat yourself on a job well done
Although the languid pace and simple plot are ever present, the sweet sorcery cast by the series is honestly baffling.
Network: jTBC | Streamed on Netflix
Theme: Romance, Drama
Broadcast Date: 29 Nov 2019 – 18 Jan 2020
Main Leads: Yoon Kye Sang | Ha Ji Won
Highlights: Beautiful Screenplay, encouraging life lessons
Drawback: lethargic storytelling
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Despite bringing in a few retrospective messages, the drama maintained a flow that does not strike any extremely high or low emotions. That explains how even with its relatively sedentary movement, viewers would not find themselves complaining.
Beautifully written lines that were delivered with heartfelt emotions decorated the narrative of Chocolate.
The lines below pretty much summarized what the story is about.
“I don’t remember when my heart started to flutter for him. Neither do I remember when the thought of him and the memories we shared started to fill my days. I can’t remember exactly when my feelings for him started to grow.” – Cha Young | Episode 8
“Min-seong, I’m still confused and torn. But one thing I know for sure is that I’m tired doing my best to push away this woman – who walked into my life at some point and has been on my mind ever since. So I’ve decided to just follow my heart.” – Lee Kang | Episode13
Because the established setting was also in a hospice where dying patients live, truthful and harrowing messages were also highlighted. Those spirited and encouraging lines particularly crowned the moments conveyed in each patient story that was shared in the series.
Lingering Life lessons
In a way, Chocolate is like a self-help instructional video where the contents featured range from forgiveness, being grateful, self-love and understanding the relationship that matters.
Revealing characters who were emotionally battered, the narrative preached bravely on drawing inner strength to survive life challenges. At the same time, it left an enlightening truth about how being brave does not solve everything right away.
As doctors’ lives were mainly depicted, I was particularly moved by the scene when the hospice’s head doctor said the line about how there should be doctors who save lives and those who can give comfort to people to die in peace.
The writer spent plenty of time gliding to picture the sentiments of the patients’ stories. Notably, ensuring to pay attention to its base love tale as well.
But taking so much time and with feeble conflicts raised, the series as a whole felt like a story that is splendid at the moment you are watching it. But it won’t leave any lingering feelings after.
It took 12 episodes for the romance to fully blossom. At that point, the family issues for Cha Young and Lee Kang are also in full swing. Inevitably, the romance plot gets awash by the last surging plot problems.
While the writing generally framed scenes that push one to be a bawling mess, I think it would have been nicer if the love pairing’s family issues did not drag the story. Especially on Cha Young’s end. Her character was just so pitiable.
She met her first love on a narrow and circling path. Unfortunately for her, there’s no return trip. Her life is also plagued with harrowing moments, not to mention an annoying brother who scored some late heroics that won’t just cure the pain away.
Watching Chocolate in a binge requires patience given its supine mood. I regret choosing to watch it on a spree because it took me a while to finish it.
Consistently enclosing the story to its main love pairing, the drama created momentous side stories for its supporting cast. But the soothing tone was just so tranquilizing that I remembered more of the patient stories than the angst and happy endings the main cast achieved.
Bridging strained relationships, Chocolate is a heartwarming reminder that death can be painful but the memories left by our departed loved ones help us get by.
Reminding us that life is fleeting, it wants us to be thankful of each day we get to live feeling the warmth of our loved ones.
“The day you have today is a day that someone wished to live yesterday.”
Chocolate is streamed on Netflix.