Mystic Pop-Up Bar is about a prickly woman (Hwang Jung Eum) who runs a mysterious bar along with a chef (Choi Won Young) and a part time worker (Yook Sung Chae). The trio help people with their problems by going into their dreams.
Hwang Jung Eum plays Wol Joo. She is a mysterious woman with a tragic past that runs the Mystic Pop-Up Bar. As a punishment from the heavens, she’s been tasked with helping people. She’s on a time limit though, and things are getting down to the wire for her to meet her quota.
Yook Sung Jae is Han Kang Bae. He’s a warmhearted and awkward man with a supernatural ability that has caused him a lot of trouble in life and resulted in him being quite lonely. Things begin to change for him though when he meets Wol Joo and begins to help her.
Then we have Choi Won Young as Manager Gwi. He’s a quirky man with a fun personality that runs the bar with Wol Joo and helps her on her mission. He rounds out our trio quite nicely.
It’s been awhile since I’ve seen a drama from one of my favorite actresses, Hwang Jung Eum, so I was more than excited to check out Mystic Pop-Up Bar. Overall, the drama was very solid with lots of positive qualities.
Literally, the only real negative for me was completely related to personal preference in that the series was on the episodic side with Wol Joo running the mysterious pop-up bar and helping different people with their problems each episode. It always makes it a little bit harder for me to get fully invested into episodic shows.
Though that’s not my favorite set-up, everything in the drama works really well. It has a very fun vibe that always keeps things entertaining. We also had a wonderful trio in the starring roles consisting of Hwang Jung Eum, Yook Sung Jae, and Choi Won Young.
They have a great banter between them that was lots of fun. They get into some very interesting and wacky situations that bring lots of humor. Expect lots of fun when these three are on screen together as well as wonderful performances all around.
If you like supernatural stories, Mystic Pop-Up Bar creates an entertaining world involving the afterlife, ghosts, and lots of other fun stuff. It’s mostly on the lighter side, but that worked completely well with this show.
You may notice some similarities in the core plot to the drama Hotel Del Luna with its prickly woman sentenced to a long life of helping others with the help of a kindhearted man. The show has a different vibe though which is evident pretty quickly and then progresses in its own way.
Also, Mystic Pop-Up does what a more episodic show should do in that the individual stories of the people being helped were done very well. They were all packed with emotion, and they really tugged at my heartstrings.
Now, aside from the different stories, the drama does have a pretty good overarching story running in the background all the way through. That story is set up quite well in the beginning and then slowly builds throughout the drama.
We learn about Wol Joo and her past as well as her current journey. Her prickly exterior hides a whole lot of pain, and we watch her story of healing and resolution. It’s a satisfying journey to see. Plus, she’s actually quite fun with a big heart.
This was another great role for Hwang Jung Eum too. I’m one who always loves her, but this was a really great character for her. She gives a wonderful performance. Plus, she is gorgeous in this show and gets to wear tons of vibrant traditional costumes that just look fantastic on her.
The overarching story comes to the forefront in those last few episodes in a big way. Everything is pulled together very nicely, and we get a dramatic, impactful, and such a well done final stretch of the series. Kudos to the drama for staying solid all the way to the end!
If you don’t mind episodic dramas, Mystic Pop-Up Bar is a great watch. Even though it’s not my favorite style, I still quite enjoyed the series with its mix of humor, fun, and heart that was wrapped up in a quirky supernatural package. A good watch for sure.
My Rating: 7.5/10
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