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04 September 2014

Drama Review: Heartstrings


I had been meaning to watch this drama for a while now, especially after watching Jung Yong Hwa be a little bit boring in Marry Him If You Dare. I had heard mostly mediocre (verging on bad) things about Heartstrings (the Korean title is You've Fallen for Me) but I wanted something simple and not too involved to watch at night for fluff, and Heartstrings basically delivered all of that.

I'll preface the body of this review by saying I think I observe and care about very weird things in dramas/other shows/movies, but hey, if I didn't have anything different to say than everyone else, why write it right? Also, it has now been a few months since I've actually watched the drama so I have probably forgotten a lot of what I was going to say by now. #irresponsibleblogging

Anyway. Heartstrings. For those who are not familiar, it's set in a performing arts college. Park Shin Hye plays Lee Gyu Won, a traditional Korean music major specializing in the gayageum, which is a Korean string instrument. Gyu Won's grandfather is a renowned traditional Korean singer, so she has a lot to live up to. Jung Yong Hwa, who I always like despite his sometimes-subdued acting, plays Lee Shin, the campus rock star who actually has his own fangirls. But really, does that actually happen anywhere? Actually...I guess every campus does have that one really hot guy all the girls ogle a little bit. But not to the extent that the girls do in this drama.

There are a couple of side plots, including the romance of the hotshot record producer/guest school musical producer Kim Suk Hyun (Song Chang Eui) and dance professor Jung Yoon Soo (Yi Hyun), and dorky Yeo Joon Hee's (the hilarious Kang Min Hyuk) crush on campus star Han Hee Joo (Kim yoon Hye), but the main storyline is the school's big anniversary show, and how the characters all pull together to make it happen. And Gyu Won and Shin fall in love and stuff, giving a bit of closure to second-lead diehards from You're Beautiful.

I think the negative reviews I heard about this drama stem from the fact that it employs tons of cliches. As much as I don't want to just compare anything musical- and school-related to Glee... it's kind of like Glee, minus any gay characters and outcast humor. Instead, it does include Hee Joo's struggle with an eating disorder, and colors her story a bit to elevate her beyond just the school bully. (Instead, her mom is.)

Not sure if anyone is still dying to see this drama, so I won't go into too many more plot details I suppose, but basically it fulfilled my mood at the time for a fluffy, emotionally low commitment drama. I loved the overall look/style of the show, and the fact that it had a more realistic storyline in relation to many other dramas. No eyeball cancer or amnesia here. Not many dramas are set in college, either, and since I'm not really interested in high school dramas anymore (with Answer Me 1997 being the exception), it was nice to see the actors playing characters their actual age.

I always want to like Park Shin Hye more than I do. She's cute, and she always has such nice hair (see: this drama and Heirs). She also has really cute outfits in Heartstrings, and basically I just want to look like that all the time. But I feel like her acting is mostly a touch removed from the present, and she's kind of just smiling prettily, crying loudly, or pouting childishly. Honestly, for me, she was at her best in You're Beautiful, and her work after that has just been not that great. Jung Yong Hwa is also not the best actor there ever was, but he makes it work, and I find him pretty likable anyway. The chemistry between these two didn't gel all the way for me, though those coffee scenes were pretty cute. And of course, Yong Hwa gets to be a rock star in this drama, so he's on his home turf.

For those in the mood for some light, attractive entertainment, go ahead and check this out if you have the time. If you're looking for something that will really grab you and ignite them ~feels, you'll do better to turn elsewhere. Meanwhile, I'm just finishing up I Need Romance 3, so look out for a recap of that once I'm through!

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