Finally, I’m done
with MBC’s 2008 Korean drama, Beethoven Virus. I thought I would be able to
marathon it, but due to ~unforeseen circumstances (i.e. katamaran), it took me two months before I finally watched
the last episode. Hahahahaha.
This drama, as
mentioned earlier, was released in Korea on 2008. It was topbilled by Kim Myung
Min (as music conductor Kang Gun Woo),
Lee Ji Ah (as the feisty violinist Du Ru
Mi), and the cute Jang Geun Seuk (as
trumpeter Kang Gun Woo). The series has eighteen an-hour-and-a-half
episodes and the story revolves around the dreams of each character to propel
their own musical successes. As a struggling violinist without any luck in
staying in a stable orchestra, Ru Mi finds herself becoming a government
employee. During her course of work, she suggested that a city orchestra be
created so as to make their community as the Classical Music Capital of South
Korea. The gullible city mayor, fueled by his political ambition, was enticed
by Ru Mi’s idea and had soon allocated public funds for the said project. Ru Mi’s
initial luck would soon vanish as the government seed grant was scammed by
fraudulent music conductor. Scared by future problems, Ru Mi hires the infamous
Kang Gun Woo—dubbed by the classical music world as the “orchestra killer”
because of his apparent inclination to perfection. Helping her around and
becoming her eventual sidekick is her landlady’s nice nephew, Kang Gun Woo. The
upcoming twists and loops of the story and the revealing connections and
conflicts between and among the characters provide a colorful palette for the
whole plot of the series.
I must say that I’m a
bit picky when it comes to classical music listening. For obvious reasons, it
takes a certain type of mood before I succumb to its beauty. Char. May
appreciation naman, bordering boring lang talaga yung iba. Anyway, I guess the
series has helped enhance my appreciation for such music. Every episode
provides the viewer a glimpse on the life of classical musicians and the
dedication and passion they have for their craft. Of course it has to be said
that just like every other craft, practitioners are required discipline,
commitment and passion.
The BV series is a
bit different from those Korean romantic comedies and dramas we were introduced
to. BV tends to be both serious and comedic—the edge it has on other Korean
series is that it has a touch of reality. The way they shaped their characters
were close to how people would react in real life. Of course others would say
that there are other Korean series that have reflected reality, but in my case
I guess this is my first. The struggle of the lead characters towards
perfection and achieving success are in no way different to how their
orchestra- mates deal with their own issues. The “band misfits” have sweated
their way towards recognition but to no avail. While it did happen in the end,
it wasn’t as sweet as it should be compared to other portrayals in other Cinderella
stories. That thirst for success, achievement and some sort of recognition make
for the series overall appeal to a wider base of audience, I believe. It has
captured the dreamer in me. Charmander. Hahaha. Further, the love triangle arc in the plot
is not trying hard to paint a very happy ending for the leads. Of course it
ended on a happy note, but not what most viewers would expect it to be
The other plus point
of the series is its careful choices on music. Ok so I’m not so good here
because as said I’m a new classical music fan. Anyhoo, the best scene I guess
was Ahjumma’s cello solo on the third or fourth episode (not so sure with that). She deftly played Astor Piazolla’s
Libertango (the who si Astor Piazolla??!).
Those rich notes--- waaah, they’re just wonderfully played. And yes, Ahjumma’s
swag while playing right in front of her bratty husband—empowered talaga si Mamang!
Hahaha. Here's the clip:
The next best performance was the amateur city orchestra’s (i.e. the band with Ru Mi; Gun Woo; Yong Gi,
Don’t Tell Papa’s resident trumpeter; Ahjumma the cellist; Yi Deun, high school
flutist and Arabuji oboist) rendition of Nella Fantasia. Nella Fantasia was
first heard in the 1986 movie The Mission—that scene where the captured priest
plays his oboe to appease the tribesmen who plots to kill him and offer him to
their gods. Why did I like it? Well, the notes are enticing enough to make you
listen on repeat. Plus it puts me to peace. When you close your eyes while
listening to it all you see is the beauty of nature. Aaahh. Finally, the third
best music scene is on the last episode—that was when Kang Mae conducted the mixed
orchestra’s performance of Beethoven’s immortal song Symphony Number 9 or more
commonly known as Ode To Joy. It’s just rousing and glorious. Actually, any
other competent orchestra performing this would really give me goosies because
I’m really fond of this music. So there, that’s why I like it. Hehehe.
Since this series was
recommended by a very good friend, I find it best to recommend this too as part
of your next Korean series marathon. It may be a bit boring in the middle because sometimes I’m tired with Ru Mi’s weakness, but overall it is good. Kang
Mae’s like Snape with less grease on the hair. I actually like the developments
they made on his character. Wala talagang redeeming factor at forever may angst
and issues on life. Winner. I felt like all his life, he was fed with ampalaya (bittergourd) sa dame ng bitterness niya
sa katawan. Hahaha. That’s what made him a very competent villain/ lead for me.
Hahaha. Well, Ru Mi’s the weak type, as I have said. I felt that she’s
dependent on her fickle feelings and ang clingy niya lang ke Kang Mae. Hahaha.
It ruins the girl power attitude, anoba! But anyhoo, I think that’s part of the
story’s planned conflicts. Of course, Gun Woo’s eye candy. Hahaha. Viewers can
easily relate to his frustrations and hunger for recognition from Kang Mae. Also,
his ever smiling face is something girls would swoon over. Hahaha.
|Jang Geun Seuk <3 <3 <3|
Next up on my list is
King2Hearts, another recommendation from friends addicted to Korean series and
movies. I hope I’ll be able to download it or well, I could choose to watch it
online. I just hope I can sneak some viewing time. Hahaha.
Virus! And well, pasensya sa chakang blog post title. Napaka-uncreative. Lol.
Labels: Beethoven Virus, jang geun seuk, korean series