Cheers To Me
나에게 건배
O'Live (2015-16) 10 Episodes
Romantic Comedy / Cuisine
Grade: B
Korean Drama Review by Jill, USA

If you're in a quiet, reflective mood, and want to watch a simple K-drama that matches your mood, then consider checking out Cheers To Me (2015-16) a web drama available on YouTube. Each of the ten episodes are less than 25 minutes long, so you could conceivably watch the entire show in one evening after work. Since the drama focuses on the life and thought processes of a single working woman with no boyfriend she's probably in plenty of company with millions of women around the world today!

The story was based on a Japanese manga and short anime series
Wakakozake that I happened to watch on Crunchyroll about a year before I stumbled upon this Korean drama version. This show is a lot better than the anime version. The acting is excellent from the cast, especially by the lead actress Yoon Jin Seo, whose beautiful face is so expressive that she doesn't need words to communicate what she is feeling. You just know --- there's nothing inscrutable about her in regards to her feelings as a character --- what is mysterious about her are her motivations for living such a solitary life. It's never really explained in the script.

The Story: Young, single, intelligent and introspective Ra Yeo Joo (Yoon Jin Seo) is working in a high-stress job as an editor at a busy book publishing company. She often works over-time and at the end of most of her work days she is so tired she doesn't care much about promoting a social life for herself, rather she treats herself to spending the evenings checking out many of Seoul's unique restaurants, happily trying out different foods and different alcoholic drinks. (They always show the meal preparation of the food she orders, and many of the dishes look so fantastic you might find yourself jotting down the meal titles or ingredients from the various menus). When she is satiated she goes home to her nice city apartment and her white fluffy cat, kicks up her feet, listens to music or watches a movie, and then goes to sleep.

Yeo Joo's fascination with food and drink stemmed from her childhood: her parents ran a fish market and loved fancy cuisine and drinks and would let her sample them. In one moment in a flashback we see her father dipping his index finger into some wine and letting her taste a drop, and her eyes pop out of her head. She loves it! So cute. (Must say the area where they filmed her childhood segment by the ocean was exquisitely beautiful: wish I knew where they filmed it. If I lived there I would never want to leave! Paradise.).


Every day poses new challenges and problems to solve at work in her book editing job: sometimes clients are unhappy with her work and make it clear they are displeased, even showing up at her office and creating scenes. Her handsome male co-worker, Lee Jae Yoon (the actor Lee Jae Yoon takes on the same name as the character), who works in the marketing department, is always supportive of her, and sometimes accompanies her after work to the restaurants she checks out. It's obvious they are completely comfortable with each other, they have a history as friends and eating/drinking buddies, but that he is far more interested in her as a possible romantic companion than she is of him. Even when the office gets together for a camping trip, giving them opportunities to become romantic, nothing happens!

This is probably the one fault I had with this drama: she could have given him a bit more encouragement! When she consistently does not, he turns his interest away from her to another co-worker who has a crush on him, Hong Se Im, played by actress Bae Noori (the girl in the red coat, above).

One has to wonder, in the absence of any trauma in her life, why she would choose such solitude for herself, when she's so beautiful, she is a good conversationalist when she is with people, and she genuinely cares about others, like her former boss who is dying of cancer, whom she visits in the hospital faithfully? It's never really explained or answered in all her musings.

Each episode is simply like a slice of life, giving us privy to her innermost thoughts, but never as to why she deliberately remains single. Heck, she even seems to have a relationship with God, she just seems perfect for any quality guy ... yet she remains alone by choice. I sure can sympathize, I just wanted to understand more.

Perhaps because this was based on an already completed manga and anime they legally were not allowed to branch out the story more from what the original writer had in mind. If she had become involved in a relationship with Mr. Handsome Co-worker the title would have had to been changed from Cheers To Me to Cheers To Us instead!

Maybe you can find nuggets of clues when you watch this short drama yourself, clues that I might have missed. To me the highlight of the drama was the food and drink. Some of the meals were so beautiful that later I showed them to my kids and they all said "Wow! Yummy! Where can we eat that?" I answered, "Seoul", and laughed.