Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Jinny’s Kitchen: A Review of the Korean Show

During the pandemic, my cousin introduced me to Park Seojoon. This led me to a rabbit hole filled with his shows and eventually to clips of the show Youn’s Kitchen on YouTube. This led to even more clips of Youn’s Stay (which also introduced me to Choi Wooshik). I wanted to watch more but I didn’t know where I could view them. I guess that Amazon finally got the memo and decided that the latest spin-off, Jinny’s Kitchen, would be on their streaming service.

As with Youn’s Kitchen and Youn’s Stay, Jinny’s Kitchen (also called Seojin’s) involves having a group of actors take on a business for a limited period to see how they will do. For this show, the business is putting up a restaurant serving Korean street food in Bacalar, Mexico.

While members of the cast were also part of Youn’s Stay, an added cast member most likely influenced Amazon to have the show on their streaming service: V aka Kim Taehyung of BTS. V, along with Park Seojoon (What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim. Itaewon Class, Captain Marvel) Choi Wooshik (Our Beautiful Summer, Parasite, Train to Busan), and Jung Yumi (Train to Busan, Kim Jiyoung Born 1982) all work for Lee Seojin (Marriage Contract) in this series, hoping to have a successful restaurant during the show. 

Jinny’s Kitchen only has eleven episodes, but each episode lasts more than an hour and mostly focuses on the work that everyone does for the restaurant. This includes planning the menu, shopping for ingredients, prepping and cooking food, taking orders, serving the food, and cleaning up afterward…only to do it all over again the next day. At times, the episodes seemed too long, and with everything being so repetitive, the long episodes were a bit too dragging for me. I enjoyed the show, but it took me a while to get through every episode because I had to stop and take breaks from it. 

I thought it was an interesting idea to bring Korean food to a very tourist-heavy location in Mexico, where people were probably wanting and expecting to try Mexican food. The fact that the cast, most of whom spoke only a minimal amount of Spanish and limited English, also made the whole setup even more challenging. It was surprising to me how they actually made it work despite those challenges.

The food served made me crave Korean food every time I watched an episode. I’m actually thinking of trying to make them all myself one of these days. It was good that they were showing how they prepped the food because it will make copying the recipes easier. I can’t wait to try them all myself soon.

It was amusing to watch as the customers of the restaurant discovered Korean food and were curious about how all the people serving them were good-looking. I loved it when there would be people that recognized them but pretended not to, and even more so when they actually went up to them and asked who they were. 

The show made a good call keeping V in the kitchen and away from the prying eyes of customers for most of the show. I’m sure it helped minimize the number of people who would gawk at him and distract from what the show was about. But I have to say that I admire the ARMYs who were there and pretended not to be starstruck by his presence. Seeing that old lady who quietly hoped that he would come out of the kitchen just so she could see him while she ate with her friends was so cute. There was also that young girl who placed a note on the table for him when they left. They were fans who gave him his space to do his thing and they still got to enjoy seeing him up close without tons of other fans all around him.

As much as I enjoyed the focus on V and on the other guys on the show, I felt a little bad that Yumi did not have as much exposure as she was basically just quiet and in her spot at the Kimbap station. I loved that Wooshik charmed his way around the customers, laughed at how obsessed Seojin was with earning as much money as they could, V doing all the tasks assigned to him, and enjoyed watching as Seojoon cooked all that food but I really wish there was more screen time for Yumi too. 

Jinny’s Kitchen is a show you’d be interested in if you are familiar with the celebrities involved. If not, it would feel like just another reality show, and you won’t get invested in the concept. If you’re a fan of the Hallyu wave, this is a must-watch, especially if you are a fan of BTS. If not, you might want to get your reality fix elsewhere.


No comments

Blog Layout Designed by pipdig