Edited by Hwang Hong Sun
Translated by Kim Hoyeun
Coffee Prince, which heated up the summer of 2007, tells the love story between Choi Han Gyul, the grandson of chairwoman, and Go Eun Chan, a tomboy who dresses up as a guy. The perfect OST and heartwarming images were combined with the fresh setting and the story that carefully depicts the psychology of characters to create one fantastic drama that is still talked about every summer. Recently, a documentary, where the six actors met again, made headlines, proving the drama’s undying popularity. Let’s take a look at why Coffee Prince became the “best drama” for many.
“Eun Chan and Han Gyul Couple” that Sweeter than Coffee
When we think of Coffee Prince, the first thing that comes to mind is Eun Chan and Han Gyul’s loveliness. The relationship between the two started when they acted as a “gay couple” and developed their love as they worked together in the same cafe. Yoon Eun Hye and Gong Yoo have strengthened the chemistry between the two characters even more lovingly with their flawless portrayal.
However, did you know that we might not have been able to see Gong Yoo’s Choi Han Gyul? It is said that the actor refused the role many times. At the time, Gong Yoo was reluctant about the romance genre and thought of joining the army first, thinking that his career as an actor was going nowhere. Having decided to star in the drama thinking it was his last project before joining the military, he gained explosive popularity and marked a turning point in his career.
Yoon Eun Hye also became the hottest topic by correctly taking on the role of a bright and brave tomboy Go Eun Chan, rocking in boy-like visuals. In particular, she received rave reviews for her captivating performance in a situation where she could not easily reveal her true identity to her lover even when she knew well of his feelings. Yoon Eun Hye, who suffered from controversy over her poor acting in Goong and the label of “idol-turned-actor,” was finally rediscovered as a “true actress” with her best performance in Coffee Prince.
Story that Challenged What Was Considered a “Taboo” in the Broadcasting Industry
Coffee Prince received a lot of positive reviews for depicting a material that was considered a taboo in the broadcasting industry in a simple and youthful picture. Eun Chan and Han Gyul’s gay code was used as not only a dramatic device, but also a tool that asked, “what is the nature of love?” Their fluctuating hearts were also expressed in a dense emotional narrative, leaving many memorable scenes and lines, including their first kiss.
The scene where Eun Chan and Han Gyul spent the night together was also quite shocking at the time. The image of Eun Chan, who decided to study abroad, visiting Han Gyul’s house and falling on the bed with him as they share a passionate kiss was indeed “provocative,” considering the times. Some pointed out that it was too revealing, but many backed up the drama saying that it was a natural development between a couple in expressing their feelings honestly.
Youthful Energy in Casting
One of the fun things about watching the old dramas is getting a glimpse into the rookie days of those who became the stars. Coffee Prince also offers this fun.
Lee Sun Kyun, who came into the light through White Tower, revealed his hidden charm with the role of Choi Han Sung. Combined with his attractive voice, “Ocean Travel,” the song Lee Sun Kyun personally sang for the scene where Han Sun sings for Yoo Joo, became the drama’s biggest hit song. Chae Jung Ahn, who played the counterpart of Lee Sun Kyun, also enjoyed her second heyday. Han Yoo Joo, who is passionate about her work and confident in love, received absolute support from female fans. Along with Yoo Hee Jin (Jung Ryeo Won) from My Lovely Sam Soon, Yoo Joo was considered the “epitome of ex-girlfriends.”
Kim Jae Wook and Kim Dong Wook, who are now leading actors, also started with Coffee Prince. The two appeared as Jin Ha Rim and Noh Sun Gi, “princes” in the “Coffee Prince Cafe,” and caught the eyes with their attractive visuals and became a tonic for the drama. Then in 2018, the two starred in the same project once again, JTBC drama The Guest.
In the second part of My Dear Youth – Coffee Prince (Coffee Prince documentary), Chae Jung Ahn said, “Coffee Prince is a piece of a memory that makes me smile just with the name.” I’m sure many people will nod their heads to this. Coffee Prince, which presented us with exciting romance in the summer of 2007, still flutters our hearts even when it remains as a page of our memories.