Dramas like Hotel Del Luna and Mystic Pop-up Bar are gaining momentum and for critical reasons. A catch such as Hotel Del Luna was hard to come by, but judging by its positive reception, we could be sure wannabes would follow in suit. In such, Ssanggappocha popped out almost a year after the show’s end, and while they are conceptually different, they have a lot in common.
Weol-ju (Hwang Jeong-eum) and Jang Man-weol (Lee Ji-eun, better known as IU), particularly, are quite alike in not just their names or their snappish immortal persona as it’d initially strike you. Want to see how the Netflix series Mystic Pop-up Bar and Hotel Del Luna are similar, then you are in for a surprise!
1. Fantastical setting
The two dramas Hotel Del Luna and Mystic Pop-up Bar revolve around the setting of the realm of spirits and the supernatural. So, action with the use of otherworldly powers is quite normal in both the dramas.
2. Crossover from ancient to the modern period
The corresponding series deal with the life of the main character surviving the transition from the old Korean times to the present one. Sageuk attires, dialect, and background are beautiful and attract viewers across all boundaries.
The varying backdrops make for an exciting watch!
Ssanggappocha’s Weol-ju’s wardrobe is not half bad, though not as elaborate as Jang Man-weol’s. Man-weol is an extravagant character, to begin with; however, in Weol-ju’s case, it comes with the job. Even so, Ssanggappocha’s changes in outfits are more than that of a typical drama.
4. Humans coming across the hotel or the pop-up bar is a special case
Whether it be the pojangmacha or the hotel, they are ordinarily invisible to an average person. It is the case that both are not visible during the daytime. Taking about the pocha, people with grave concerns or personal invitations only get to see them.
On the other hand, for the hotel, as it is made for ghosts, it can be seen during lunar eclipses, so humans would have to stumble upon it accidentally.
5. Appeasing clients
People with grievances are the customers of the bar, and Weol-ju has to console them with food and drinks (visiting them in dreams is another option). In the same way, Man-weol has to host her clients (usually the ones with unfinished business) in whatever way possible to pass them comfortably onto the afterlife.
6. The central character is stuck in their workplace due to a mistake when human
Weol-Ju commits suicide on the holy tree as revenge, bringing calamity upon her nation and killing 100,000 people. Since she brought such a catastrophe (with another secret), she has to relieve the grudges of the same number of people to escape the punishment of hell.
In the like manner, Man-weol kills many people to avenge her loved ones. As a result, she has to take care of a guest house until she changes herself.
7. Male leads become employed at the place
In one way or another, the male leads of the story end up working at the bizarre places and play a vital role in solving their clients’ problems.
8. Tough/ Charismatic female leads
Each main lady in the dramas like Hotel Del Luna and Mystic Pop-up Bar exude unpassable girl crush charisma. Weol-ju is a prickly and mysterious character that is identical to Man-weol’s snappish aura. While seemingly cold, it is their horrible experience that has made them so, and they have a warm heart.
9. Innocent male leads
While the Gu Chan-sung (Yeo Jin-goo) in Hotel De Luna is comparatively smarter and quicker than Han Kang-bae (Yook Sung-jae) in the Mystic pop-up bar, we’d still have to agree that they both appear more innocent than the hot-tempered heroines in the series.
10. The female lead is older than the male lead
Like it or not, the webtoon adapted drama, Mystic Pop-up Bar boils down to mystery, fantasy, and comedy while romance is kept to the bare minimum. Hence, it isn’t easy to know who will end up with whom. However, if we talk about the poster characters, i.e., Weol-joo and Kang-bae, they have an apparent age gap both in the real and fictional worlds. Weol-joo sajang is a 500-year-old spirit, and Kang-bae is a young man in his late twenties.
The fact is the same in Hotel Del Luna, where Man-weol is an over thirteen- hundred-year-old immortal while Chan-sung is in his late twenties.
11. Unfulfilled love / Scarred pasts
Both the dramas show the ladies sharing their lot on a past gone wrong, which affects them till this day. They went through heartbreaks, and the interests of the men in their lives became the ultimate cause of their misfortunes.
The Crown Prince’s (Song Geon-hee) love for the young Weol-ju attracted his mother’s attention, bringing death upon Weol-ju’s mother. Likewise, Go Chung-myung’s (Lee Do-hyun) feelings for Jang Man-weol when they belonged to opposing sides could only lead to a tragedy.
On the bright side, they both have male counterparts from the previous instances look after them in their present situations.
Dramas like Hotel Del Luna and Mystic Pop-up Bar might have many similarities, but their underlying themes and feels are entirely contrasting. The two stories tackle contemporary problems with fantasy into the picture and bring healing to the ones watching. Despite them being very alike, if they were the same, would the changing viewers want to watch Mystic Pop-up Bar? Probably not.