Bread, Love and Dreams

Reviewed by: sukting

October 28, 2012

Rating: three

How long :
30 episodes


"Bread, Love and Dreams" covers the life of Jin Zhuo Qiu from the 1970's until the late 1980's as he becomes one of the most successful bakers in all of Korea. Zhuo Qiu is the eldest son of Ri Zhong, the president of Ju Sheng Enterprise, a legend in the baking industry.

Although he is an extremely talented baker and can succeed his father as president, his family denies him of his inheritance because he is born to a mistress. Zhuo Qiu's determination to become number one in the baking industry drives him to rebuild his career from scratch despite the challenges he faces.

Story/Introduction on characters

1. Yoon Shi Yoon as Jin Zhuo Qiu
He is rebellious and often gets into fights. He drops out of school after Pre-U 1. After a few lockups in jail, he becomes sensible and concentrates on baking. He vows to learn everything in two years. He is serious and filial to his mother. He proves to succeed to make delicious bread even though he loses his sight for a while and later his sense of taste.

After a car accident, Ri Zhong passes his authority to Zhuo Qiu so that he can manage his company for him. Sparks fly when he battles with Ma Jun over the job and love. He is firm now and isn't deterred by the challenges. When you watch, you will know why Shi Yoon is popular as he really brings life to his role.

2. Oh Jae Moo as Jin Zhuo Qiu (child)
He comes to stay with his family under Mei Shun's insistence. Ri Zhong discovers his talents when he can distinguish good from low quality bread. He can also tell the contents by smelling it. Thus, he dotes on him and allows him to enter his personal baking kitchen. He wants him to be his successor. However, he leaves home for 10 years to look for his mother who has gone missing after being kidnapped.

3. Eugene as Shen You Jing
She is always badly beaten by her father and has little money. She is Zhuo Qiu's classmate. She later grows up in an orphanage and studies in the university. She meets Zhuo Qiu 12 years later and their love rekindles. She joins the student activities and is caught due to Ci Lin's betrayal. The policeman tells her not to change the society but to change herself to be a rich woman.

That gives her an impact. Ma Jun makes a pact with Zhuo Qiu not to meet her for 2 years if he helps in her release. He leaves after giving her a farewell kiss. She finds that the battle becomes senseless since money and power is important. Thus, she betrays Zhuo Qiu to become a shameless and ambitious woman. She loves Zhuo Qiu but keeps making use of him. Ren Shu opposes to her working in Ju Sheng but she stays.

She marries Ma Jun and thinks that her motive is finally reached. To her alarm, she learns of his parentage on her wedding day. She gets very disillusioned. Still, Ma Jun has changed and manages to win her over with his sincerity. She then helps out Zhuo Qiu as she feels that she lets him down. She travels round the world with Ma Jun in the end. Eugene loses her sparkle – what happens? She looks so lifeless here.

4. Kyung Jo Jung Eun as Shen You Jing (child)
She lives through a difficult childhood, with an abusive father and having little money. You Jing learns to smile for the first time when they meet, but when Zhuo Qiu goes to Ri Zhong's house as the first son they separate. She learns from Bao about the kidnap and alerts Zhuo Qiu of the kidnapper.

5. Jun Kwang Ryul as Ju Ri Zhong
He is the president of Ju Sheng baking company. He loves Mei Shun but Mrs Hong is against their relationship. As a marriage of convenience, Ri Zhong marries Ren Shu. They have two daughters, Ci Jing and Ci Lin, but no sons. He spends all his life on work and neglects family ties. Sometime later, Ri Zhong has an extra-marital affair with his true love, Mei Shun and they conceive a son, Zhuo Qiu. He showers his love more on him than Ma Jun. He gets to know that Ma Jun isn't his son and is disappointed. Jun Kwang Ryul loses his usual charm. I am not used to see him overly reserved.

6. Jun In Hwa as Xu Ren Shu
She is Ri Zhong's wife. She is afraid that Zhuo Qiu may one day become the heir to the baking company. She then seduces the company's Chief Secretary Sheng Zai. They conceive a son, Ma Jun. She looks well groomed and educated but is scheming. She keeps finding faults with Ba Feng bakery. Her love for Ri Zhong is twisted so she wants her son to be successful. Thus, she buys over shares to safeguard his interest, just in case if Ri Zhong knows the truth.

7. Joo Won as Ju Ma Jun
He graduates in Japan but doesn't return home. Instead, he goes to learn baking from Ba Feng to get Ri Zhong's recognition. He thinks that he is the top of the world and can't accept failure. He must get the thing he wants at all means. He never gets fatherly love and worships him. When he meets You Jing, it is love at first sight for him but she ignores him as the loser.

He is totally restricted and thus poisons Zhuo Qiu to cause him to lose his sense of taste. He learns of his parentage and is frightened and hurt. He keeps the secret for 14 years and thinks that they bear him out of hatred so he wants to seek revenge. He becomes wicked to harm Zhuo Qiu every now and then.   

8. Shin Dong Woo as Ju Ma Jun (child)
He is the apple of his parents' eye. He enjoys his privilege till Zhuo Qiu comes. He is jealous that he can go into the personal bakery kitchen which he has no access. Thus, he frames Zhuo Qiu every now and then. When he leaves home to spite his parents, he gets to know You Jing. You Jing says that he can never win Zhuo Qiu. That inspires him to work hard.

9. Choi Ja Hye as Ju Ci Jing
She is the eldest daughter. She is as hardworking and responsible as her father. She is the manager and also the PR officer. She can’t accept the fact that she is the second successor just because she is a woman. She can’t accept a normal man as her lover. Later, she manages the company as the men back out.

10. Ha Seung Ri as Ju Ci Jing (teen)
She has seen how Ri Zhong goes into Mei Shun's room and that leaves a deep scar on her. Since then, she focuses on her studies and hopes to outshine Ma Jun. Ren Shu tells her to give up since she is not a man but she wants to prove her wrong. She can never be as submissive as Ren Shu to resign to fate.

11. Choi Yoon Young as Ju Ci Lin
She is the second daughter who is pampered and is a spendthrift. She doesn’t conceal her feelings and doesn’t look down on You Jing to become friends. She joins their student group to get caught by the police. During detention, she reveals that You Jing is the mastermind. You Jing doesn’t want to see her again after she is released with Ma Jun's help and she feels remorseful. She tries to help her secretly.   

12. Kim So Hyun as Ju Ci Lin (child)
She is the only sibling to welcome Zhuo Qiu into the family. She passes him food when he is hungry. She warns Zhuo Qiu of the rules so that he will not break them.

13. Jang Hang Sun as Wu Du Yong / Master Ba Feng
He is the owner of the bakery. He gets so famous that even the president comes to taste his bread. He sets plenty of tests to force his students to bake the best bread – titles can be most touching, most delicious, etc. He also gives a minimum amount that they can spend on the flour but he bans soda powder. This gives them plenty of challenges. He expels Ma Jun from the bakery after finding him cruel to frame Zhuo Qiu. He dies before Zhuo Qiu can achieve big success due to illness but he remembers his teachings.

14. Park Sang Myun as Yang Yin Mo
He is Ba Feng's son-in-law. He can never bake as well as him but is contented with this. He is strict with his workers and they achieve to make top quality bread.

15. Hwang Mi Sun as Wu Yang Zi
She is Mei Shun's mother who has no talent in bread baking and is a housewife. Seeing that Zhuo Qiu is ill from a fever, she gets the so-called flue medicine from Ma Jun's room. She never knows that it is poison and that affects Zhuo Qiu's life forever.

16. Lee Young Ah as Yang Mei Shun
She is a gifted baker since young, just like Zhuo Qiu. Zhuo Qiu dislikes her at first for having the same name as his mother. She pities him and later they become best friends. Indignant that Ma Jun is always so hostile against Zhuo Qiu, she stands up for him. Soon, she loves him and they become a couple.

17. Jung Sung Mo as Han Sheng Cai
He is Ma Jun's biological father and is Ri Zhong’s secretary. He stays with Ri Zhong since young as a servant. He loves Ren Shu when young and is hurt when she marries Ri Zhong. He endures this as he loves both of them. To take care of Ma Jun, he becomes ambitious and increases his influence. He gets Fu Cai to cause the oven to explode so that Zhuo Qiu will be blinded and steals ingredients from the shop. Zhuo Qiu gets mad and warns him not to do this again or he will retaliate. He is later sent to jail.
18. Jun Mi Sun as Jin Mei Shun
She is Zhuo Qiu's mother who wants the best for her son. So she forces him to stay with the Jus and she stays alone. Meanwhile to protect Mei Soon and Zhuo Qiu, Ri Zhong orders a man named Zheng Jiu to kidnap them. She runs away and falls into the sea to go missing. Ren Shu and Sheng Cai attempts to kill Zhuo Qiu, but he is fortunate enough to escape. Mei Shun appears 12 years later, buying the company shares to pit against Ren Shu. She is losing her sight soon due to the kidnap.

19. Lee Han Wie as Pei Jie Xiu
He is an experienced baker and helps his juniors every now and then.

20. Park Sung Woong as Zhao Zhen Jiu
He is the kidnapper but he means no harm. As he has been jailed before, he has a windmill tattoo on his right arm and now works as the baker in the bakery. Zhuo Qiu recognizes it and pleads with him to tell him Mei Shu's whereabouts. He has to tell him the truth. He works for the money to save his ailing sister and he has no choice but to work with Sheng Cai when he forces him. However, he protects Zhuo Qiu well too.

21. Park Yong Jin (박용진) as Zhao Fu Chai
He is Zhuo Qiu's buddy and both are as close as brothers. Zhuo Qiu never expects him to have a hand in his loss of sight for a while. He feels remorseful when Zhuo Qiu becomes frightened of the oven and offers to help him to overcome the fear. They start baking burnt bread but improves along the way – just in time to participate in the contest.

22. Kim Jung Hak as Doctor Yoon
He becomes Ju family doctor when Ci Lin is back from the police station to treat her for depression. Sheng Cai has seen him before but he hides the fact. He tries treating Mei Shun’s eyes all these years and is worried when she is losing her sight soon. He helps to strengthen Zhuo Qiu’s position in the company through helping to buy the shares.

23. Jung Hye Sun as Madam Hong
She is desperate for a grandson so she gets their family nurse to sleep with Ri Zhong. She is too traditional to only regard sons important. She gets impatient when Ren Shu has no sons and chooses to ignore Ri Zhong’s affair and Ren Shu’s feelings.

She doesn't mind an extra grandson to stay with them and dotes on him too. However, she feels bad for separating him from Mei Shun so she gives Mei Shun a ring. Mrs Hong overhears a conversation between Sheng Zai and Ren Shu to know that Ma Jun is their son. She collapses and dies. During this time Ren Shu loses her bracelet and Ma Jun is there to retrieve it. Ma Jun now knows who his real father is.

24. Kwon Yong Woon as Shin Bao
He is You Jing's father. He is bribed by Sheng Cai to try to rape Mei Shun but fails. Thus, he hides the money at home. You Jing finds the money to bring it to the orphanage. He feels ashamed to face her and doesn’t dare to turn up at her wedding.

25. Kim Hyun Ah as You Jing's mother
Like her father, she also avoids meeting You Jing as she deserts her when young.

Interesting facts
Shi Yoon was interested in cooking all along so he put all his skills to good use here. He went for baking lessons with the rest and enjoyed the process. He was overwhelmed by the success and was glad that many loved this show. He was humble, crediting the success to his seniors who helped him along the way. Eugene loved baking but lamented that she did not have many cooking scenes. What we saw was only a scene where she cooked for Zhuo Qiu after he was injured by Sheng Cai's men.

The number of awards won as shown below :

2010 3rd Korea Drama Awards: Male Rookie of The Year (Yoon Shi Yoon)
2010 3rd Korea Drama Awards: Soap Opera Direction Award (PD Lee Jung Sub)
2010 3rd Korea Drama Awards: Soap Opera Writer Award (Kang Eun Kyung)
2010 Baeksang Art Awards: Director Award (Lee Jung Sub)
2010 KBS Drama Awards: Top Excellence Award - Actress (Jun In Hwa)
2010 KBS Drama Awards: Excellence Award, Mini Series - Actor (Yoon Shi Yoon)
2010 KBS Drama Awards: Excellence Award, Mini Series - Actress (Eugene)
2010 KBS Drama Awards: Writer Award (Kang Eun Kyung)
2010 KBS Drama Awards: Youth Actor Award (Oh Jae Moo)
2010 KBS Drama Awards: Best Couple Award (Yoon Shi Yoon and Lee Young Ah)

Most favourite character
Zhuo Qiu, he is strong and doesn’t submit to setbacks. He will try his best in everything.

Most hated character
Ma Jun, he thinks that money can buy everything, including love. He uses money to bribe You Jing to persuade her to marry him.

I only find this drama average. It has a predictable storyline. I don't know what the fuss is about to have a viewership to almost 50% on most days in Korea. I will prefer 'Gourmet' to this one. This stresses on the importance of baking. It is essential but somehow, it loses its focus to talk on the hatred relationship of the elders along the way. It also puts Zhuo Qiu through with too many tests. Please give the poor man a break.

How can Mei Shun be kidnapped a second time?! Too hard to be true and Ma Jun is never charged for hurting Zhuo Qiu! As if they run the country without law. We can predict everyone’s next move. It is a drag for me as 30 episodes is too long as the cast offers stage-like acting. They could have stopped at 16. But you can still watch if you can stand it.

Sukting's ratings :

On acting : **1/2 (Scale of 5)
On story : **1/2 (Scale of 5)

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