Sweet Munchies Summary
Dramatic & intense
Around 60 to 70 minutes
Jin Sung is a restaurant chef whose father recently got into a car accident. Unfortunately, he cannot pay for his dad’s hefty hospital bills, especially as his restaurant partner withdraws from the business all of a sudden. With the tight finances closing in on him, Jin Sung is at serious risk of losing his beloved restaurant.
At the restaurant, one of Jin Sung’s regular customers is Ah Jin, a young woman employed at a television network. Her job is largely unsatisfying, as the senior colleagues constantly patronize her and show very little respect towards a contractual employee. Nevertheless, Ah Jin dreams of producing her own television show one day.
During a contest within the company, Ah Jin submits her idea of “Sweet Munchies”, a talk show that features the novelty of a gay chef. However, Ah Jin’s boss absolutely hated the concept, ridiculing her in front of everyone in the team. When Ah Jin talks back and defends herself, her boss sets up a nearly impossible challenge to prove her point. If Ah Jin can find a suitable candidate to host her Sweet Munchies program in 24 hours, her show will get produced. Otherwise, she will lose her job at the company.
As Ah Jin struggles to find a credible candidate, Jin Sung learns about her show and decides to apply at the last minute. He is not actually gay, but lies about his sexuality to obtain the money from the hosting gig. When Jin Sung performs well during his audition, he is offered a permanent role on the show. Ah Jin is overjoyed at her promotion in the TV company, unaware that the gay chef at the helm of her show is secretly straight.
At first, Jin Sung wanted to pull out of the show as soon as he earned enough money, but he is roped in deeper and deeper into his scandalous lie. After spending time together, he develops romantic feelings for Ah Jin, which confuses her because she still thinks he’s gay. To complicate matters, Jin Sung’s friend Tae Wan is a closeted fashion designer who admires Jin Sung for coming out on TV. Tae Wan develops a secret crush on Jin Sung, who has no idea about his friend’s feelings and keeps giving him mixed signals.
Sweet Munchies Trailer
Sweet Munchies Cast
Jin Sung Jung Il Woo (정일우) Jung Il Woo Instagram
Jin Sung is a talented restaurant chef who secures the hosting gig on the TV show, Sweet Munchies. To land this gig, he lies about his sexuality and pretends to be a gay chef. At first, Jin Sung only wants the money from shooting the pilot episode, but his lie spirals out of control as he is offered a permanent role on the show. Jin Sung has a younger brother who is actually gay, even though Jae Soo doesn’t know about his brother’s TV program.
Ah Jin Kang Ji Young (강지영) Kang Ji Young Instagram
Ah Jin is a regular customer at Jin Sung’s restaurant. She visits him nearly every night to enjoy his delicious cooking. As a young contractual employee at a TV broadcasting company, Ah Jin is often disrespected at work by her peers and superiors. However, she catches her big break when the network actually produces her talk show Sweet Munchies. Ah Jin is slightly naive, but she makes up for her inexperience with a determined, passionate, and scrappy personality.
Tae Wan Lee Hak Joo (이학주) Lee Hak Joo Instagram
Tae Jin is a fashion designer employed as Jin Sung’s style consultant for Sweet Munchies. At first, he didn’t want to work on the show, but Jin Sung’s passionate speech about gay equality moved him. Tae Jin is a secretly closeted gay man who develops romantic feelings for Jin Sung. Usually reserved and emotionless, Tae Jin finds himself opening up the more time he spends around Jin Sung.
Gong Min Jung (김민정)
Park Sung Joon (박성준)
Yang Dae Hyuk (양대혁)
Kim Soo Jin (김수진)
Kim Seung Soo (김승수)
Shin Woo Gyum (신우겸)
Choi Jae Hyun (최재현)
Jin Sung’s dad
Oh Man Seok (오만석)
Tae Wan’s dad
Jang Hyun Sung (장현성)
Sweet Munchies Review
Drama Review Score: 6
One of my biggest concerns going into Sweet Munchies is that I would be investing 13 hours into a series that has no BL content. I knew this was a mainstream Korean drama, so obviously I kept my expectations for LGBTQ content very, very low. Still, my curiosity won out in the end and I took the plunge into this lengthy K-drama, even though I suspected that it wouldn’t satisfy my BL cravings. And despite setting my expectations to the bare minimum, I was still kind of disappointed by Sweet Munchies.
Part of my disappointment comes from all the untapped potential in the plot. This drama had the opportunity to tell a progressive, thought-provoking story from an LGBT perspective. Instead, it squandered any chance to make a positive influence. Sweet Munchies shies away from any gay storylines outside of a few shallow speeches and a one-sided romance that barely takes off. There is no substance to the gay representation on Sweet Munchies, only a basic and superficial interpretation that won’t feel satisfying for BL fans.
Is there anything less appealing than a straight character desperately pretending to be gay? I tried to keep an open mind because of Jin Sung’s financial circumstances at first, but his scandalous lie reached a point where it stopped being justifiable. The longer he lied about being gay, the more his character came across as a scumbag. Jin Sung had one particularly infuriating conversation with Tae Wan that left my mouth agape, because I couldn’t believe how insensitive he was. By the last few episodes, his behaviour was so reprehensible that I started to root actively against him.
Sweet Munchies wasn’t terrible from the beginning. Some aspects of the workplace drama can be compelling at times, even though the storytelling is mostly infuriating with contrived drama from one-dimensional antagonists. Nonetheless, I enjoyed a few of the early episodes, supported by charismatic actors, pretty visuals, and a lush soundtrack. Sadly, the series lost momentum rapidly in the second half, with a derailed storyline that focused too much on the boring heterosexual romance. Jin Sung was too unlikeable, Ah Jin was too naive, and their numerous scenes together were way too repetitive.
Almost everything about the plot in Sweet Munchies underwhelmed me. Even Tae Wan’s character, whose sensitive personal journey is one of the series highlights, could’ve been much better if the drama didn’t portray his storyline so conservatively. I approached this series fearing that it’d be too heterocentric with no BL content, which is pretty much as I suspected. The bigger problem with Sweet Munchies is that the story just kind of sucks, getting worse and worse near the end. Whether you’re watching this drama for the gay romance or not, you’re going to end up feeling unfulfilled.
Sweet Munchies Episodes
Sweet Munchies has a total of 12 episodes. Each episode is around 60 to 70 minutes long. This is a long drama, and you can finish the entire series in around 13 hours.