It’s finally happened…
I will begin doing Kdrama posts on GrimmGirl! I know I have talked about it in the past but now I’m finally doing it! You will now notice a new Kdrama slot in the “GrimmOtaku” section. I hope you all enjoy the new content.
For my first Kdrama post I just had to do a Heartstrings review. It continues to rank number one as my favorite Kdrama. It wasn’t the fist Kdrama I saw that honor goes to You’re Beautiful but my second lead syndrome for Jung Young Hwa’s character was so strong I had to find another Kdrama he starred in as the lead and actually got the girl!
”Can today’s rock ‘n roll find harmony with traditional Korean folk music? Lee Shin (Jung Young Hwa of the rock band CN Blue) is lead vocalist and guitarist for a rock band. Lee Gyoo Won (Park Shin Hye) is a traditional gayageum (Korean zither-like instrument with 12 strings) player and a progeny of Korean traditional music. Their worlds collide at a performing arts college, where he is majoring in Western Music and she in Korean Traditional Music. Shin, a moody and aloof city boy, is initially smitten with dance professor Jeong Yoon Soo (So Yi Hyun), but that quickly changes when he meets the feisty Gyoo Won, who can be said to be Korean folk music royalty. Both Shin and Gyoo Won care about their respective musical styles at the exclusion of all else in their lives, but can the two divergent passions be reconciled?” –Hulu
Let me tell you right now… That lame introduction from Hulu doesn’t nearly do this show justice!!! I mean they don’t even mention the 100th Anniversary show drama, which basically ties the entire show together!
In order to give you all a better feel for the show I thought we could take a look at the main characters.
Lee Gyu-won Played by Park Shin-hye
Lee Gyu-won is a college student who has chosen to major in Traditional Korean Music. While I say chosen in some ways it is pretty forced. Her grandfather is a famous pansori master, he’s literally one of the top three of his age. It’s his desire that Lee Gyu-won follows in his footsteps, especially because he feel like his son (Lee Gyu-won’s dad) was such a failure.
Lee Gyu-won lives with her grandfather and he is very strict and traditional. He sees zero point in Western music and even though Lee Gyu-won is an adult he has zero worries on controlling many aspects of her life. When Lee Gyu-won begins to take in interest in Western music and contemplates joining the 100th Anniversary Musical for her college her grandfather isn’t having it.
While she has studied Traditional Korean Music all of her life she does exhibit talent as a singer and performer. Through sheer coincidence the director of the musical overhears her talent and suggest she gives the musical a shot.
Lee Shin Played by Jung Young-hwa
Lee Shin is the lead singer and guitarist for “The Stupid” a college band that is beginning to gain notoriety. He has talent as an artist but also harbors a cold demeanor. He gets on Lee Gyu-won’s bad side with his bad attitude and in her opinion lack of respect for traditional music.
While Lee Shin appears very unfeeling he is actually dealing with a lot of issues. He does take pride in his music but because he has such natural talent he finds it very hard to be told how to do anything when it comes to it. Originally he has zero interest in being in the musical but when it turns out Jung Yoon-soo (one of the professors) will be doing the choreography for it, he leaps at the chance. Even though she is a professor he has fallen quite hard for her and views the musical as a chance to become closer to her.
Jung Yoon-soo Played by So Yi-hyun
Jung Yoon-soo was a professional ballerina; she was so talented in fact she was offered a spot in New York. Unfortunately because of a tragic accidence she is no longer able to dance the way she used to. She is still in love with her art though and expresses it the only way she now can, through choreography.
She becomes the choreographer for the 100th Anniversary Musical, which is a bit of a mixed blessing for her. While she is excited for the chance to showcase her choreography abilities she also has to deal with the fact that the director is her old boyfriend… Whom she broke up with in order to pursue things in New York. Awkward.
Kim Suk-hyun Played by Song Chang-eui
Kim Suk-hyun is a famous director who is coming back home for a visit after spending time producing original Broadway musicals in New York. Since he has been so successful his old college asks him to direct their 100th Anniversary Musical performance, much to the dismay of the original director Im Tae-joon, the Department Head.
It’s clear that Kim Suk-hyun still harbors feelings for Jung Yoon-soo but doesn’t himself know what those feelings actually are. He’s also headstrong in wanting to create the musical his way regardless of what Im Tae-joon’s original plans were. He becomes a mentor to the students especially towards Lee Gyu-won after he overhears her singing.
His insistence on trying to convince Lee Gyu-won to join the musical confuses everyone who only see her as a traditional music performer. They cannot understand what potential Kim Suk-hyun could possible be dwelling on when there are so many performers at the school who have been studying singing and dancing their entire lives.
Throughout the show we are able to watch each of these characters grow. I really enjoyed watching how each of their relationships developed and how they were able to tie things around the competition of becoming apart of the musical. Learning each of the characters’ backstories was great as well. While Heartstrings brings the drama they do it in a really relatable way.
If you watch Kdramas at all you know that sometimes they can be crazy dramatic. Like I’ve skipped entire episodes before just to be like, “No. Get to the point and stop throwing in these ridiculous side dramas!” I did not have that problem with this show!
On top of everything else Heartstrings really does pull at the heartstrings. Park Shin-hye is gold (as usual) in this series. She has a way of really getting you to relate to her character. Anytime she cries I cry. No exceptions.
How each character begins to view and relate to each other seems very natural and realistic to me. The writers did a great job of achieving a well flowing dynamic between the characters. While I’ve mostly been talking about the four main characters this really applies across the board for the side characters as well. Also bravo to Heartstrings for having such great characters throughout the show, their side characters are just as loveable as their main characters.
Some final things to look forward to include Yeo Joon-hee played by Kang Min-hyuk (he’s such a cute and adorable character), the fact that Kim Suk-hyun constantly trolls Lee Shin (it’s so good for Lee Shin I promise you), and of course the great music throughout the show.
So if you’re looking for a new Kdrama and you dig music, comedy, romance, and drama then this is the show for you!
Lots of Love Grimms and Enjoy ❤
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