By Sneha Jaiswal (Twitter | Instagram)

Random dude opens a restaurant by the beach, hits a stranger with his vehicle, the two become business partners and fall in love. Yes, that’s how random the plot for ‘Ocean Likes Me’, the 2022 Korean mini-series is. The very first episode dampens all the excitement one had for watching Holland play a lead role in a LGBT show. For the uninitiated, he is South-Korea’s first openly gay pop idol.

Directed by Lee Su ji, who hasn’t headlined production for any other show, ‘Ocean Likes Me’ does look like it’s been created by a bunch of newbies. It almost feels like maybe there isn’t an actual script, and the actors are just winging it. Actor Han Gi’Chan plays Ba Da, a chef, who tries to sell Udon at a beach one fine day and is miraculously offered to rent an empty restaurant by an unknown lady the same day. How convenient. Holland plays random stranger Tommy, who just shows up at Ba Da’s restaurant and help him with making the restaurant a hit with the locals.

Spread over 8 episodes that are 15 minutes long, ‘Ocean Likes Me’ is a quick show, but still manages to be dry and boring. By episode 6, I lost all interest in the show, and saw the last two much later, just to know what happens in the end. There isn’t much to complain about as far as the aesthetics are concerned, the sets are pleasing, some gorgeous shots of the Korean shore-line are sprinkled through the episodes. Ba Da’s little restaurant where most of the action unfolds looks super cozy and inviting. It’s like the makers much get all the ingredients right, except for the most crucial one – story. Reminds me of the time we ate a chicken dish, where the gravy was delicious, but the meat under-cooked and almost inedible.

Maybe Korean makers are beginning to get over-confident, assuming a good looking cast should be enough to draw in audience. While Han Gi’Chan is a good actor, it’s hard to make out if Holland can act, simply owing to the fact that his character is poorly written and very generic. Like the rest of the show, the climax was also random, with a forced conflict to make it seem like something is happening.

It’s a 4/10 from me.

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