The virus called Beethoven (review)


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 (spoiler, haha).

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.

Jang Geun Seuk <3 <3 <3
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.

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.

Enjoy Beethoven Virus! And well, pasensya sa chakang blog post title. Napaka-uncreative. Lol.

4 out of 5 stars.            

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felix felicis: The virus called Beethoven (review)

Monday, May 28, 2012

The virus called Beethoven (review)


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 (spoiler, haha).

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.

Jang Geun Seuk <3 <3 <3
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.

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.

Enjoy Beethoven Virus! And well, pasensya sa chakang blog post title. Napaka-uncreative. Lol.

4 out of 5 stars.            

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