When I first heard that Triple had the same writer/director team as Coffee Prince and also starred Lee Sun Gyun, I had to watch it immediately. Upon starting it however, I found that it had a very different vibe from CP, despite the fact that there are quite a lot of similarities at first glance. For example, the lead female character Lee Ha Ru has the same kind of fun filled free spirit and liveliness as Go Eun Chan. The music runs along the same vein, incorporating both Western and Eastern classic rock and new age indie rock. Each character has their own story that is somehow intertwined with the other characters and they all have genuine relationships comparable to those in Coffee Prince. It is also filmed in the same naturalistic way, where it seems not as if you are watching a performance, but getting a glimpse into the every day goings on of a group of friends.
So what is it exactly that makes Triple so different from Coffee Prince? The answer lies in the contrast between the nature of the male leads personalities. Both Coffee Prince and Triple touch on relationships that push the bounds of the social norm, and yet Coffee Prince feels so much more intense and forbidden. Choi Han Gyul of Coffee Prince was an immature playboy when the show began and we get to see him grow as the show progresses into a responsible adult. As he goes through these growing pains his true personality is revealed as a highly transparent person. He shows what is on his mind through his actions and is not easily able to restrain his love, hate, anger, or fear. Shin Hwal of Triple on the other hand, is already a 34 year old responsible adult who is climbing his way up the ladder, but then decides to start his own business. From the start you see that he shows only the surface, does not let out his true emotions, and speaks only when needed. He is very closed off even to his dearest childhood friends. Every move he makes is analyzed and calculated rather than acting on the impulse of the moment as Choi Han Gyul would. This completely changed the dynamic of the show.
Whereas Coffee Prince is what I would call a high impact drama, Triple is a very slow burn because of the reluctance of Shin Hwal to make any definitive moves or show any emotion. And even to the very end he chooses to make the responsible and socially acceptable choice rather than throw caution to the wind because of his feelings for Ha Ru.
I personally will always prefer the passionate story in Coffee Prince to the slow and painful burn of Triple. I realize that they were trying to convey a story about making sacrifices and how difficult it is to make the right choice in the end, but damn, the finale of this show was just kind of depressing. None of Lee Ha Ru’s original hopes or dreams turn out the way she thought they would. I know that this was really the very point of the drama, in fact it was reiterated within every relationship and character in the show, that basically we have to roll with the punches of life and though things don’t turn out the way we planned, we have to find a way to be happy where we are at. I get that, but I watch entertainment to escape my life, not to be reminded of depressing lessons like that lol.
However, Triple was not without its many charms. And despite the ending not being my favorite, the rest of the show was actually very fun to watch. It touched on some things that many other dramas wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole, like divorce and loving someone else while you’re married. It also deals with marriage vs. cohabitation. Something that this writer really does well is approaching sensitive issues without overdoing them. Rather than having psychotic moms wailing for episodes on end, she is able to convey the way people might more naturally react to these situations in real life.
Another strength of this writer is relationship building. Just as in Coffee Prince, I was really able to enjoy watching the relationships grow and change on the show and the playfulness and love everyone had between them. She is really able to give another facet of depth to her characters that many other writers seem to miss.
Despite my dissatisfaction at the ending, the rest of Triple definitely makes it worth watching. I personally would probably watch it again. I give it 4 out of 5 stars 🙂
I watched this drama on Drama Fever
For more information, a synopsis, and a cast list visit http://wiki.d-addicts.com/Triple