After working on my most recent article for ATK Magazine, I came to the sudden realization that, despite my undying love for Jung Yong Hwa, I had somehow missed writing any sort of review for Heartstrings. Appalled by my own negligence, I vowed to feature Yong Hwa’s second drama as this week’s “Friday Night Drama”.
Originally airing on MBC from June to August, 2011, Heartstrings is a romantic melodramady all about the love, friendship and dreams of a group of students at a performing arts college. While the story involves multiple characters, it focuses particularly on Lee Shin (Jung Yong Hwa) and Lee Gyu Won (Park Shin Hye). Lee Shin, a Western music major known around campus for his good looks, cold personality and undying passion for music. The lead singer/guitarist of one of the school’s most well-known bands, The Stupid, Lee Shin is the object of many girls’ desire but his prickly personality keeps most of them at bay. At the opposite end of the spectrum, Lee Gyu Won is a bubbly, outgoing major in Traditional music who, being born into a prestigious family with a grand legacy in traditional music, is forced to try to live up to the ridiculously high expectations of her grandfather. As one would expect from a K-Drama rom-com, Lee Shin and Gyu Won butt heads on multiple occasions before they realize their dislike of each other is actually an act to hide their growing attraction. As the story progresses, the ups and downs of college life, combined with a fair amount of crazy jealousy from others, force Lee Shin and Gyu Won into some pretty tough spots but their trials only help to focus their priorities and drive them to achieve their dreams.
As far as feel-good tales of youth go, Heartstrings is a really good one. The story is entertaining and moves along at a decent pace, the protagonist characters are sweet and likable and fellow CNBLUE member, Kang Min Hyuk is absolutely adorable, while the antagonistic characters are about as spoiled, selfish and unlikable as they come. There’s enough conflict to keep things interesting without trapping you in the unhappy land of constant table flipping and the reunification of Jung Yong Hwa and Park Shin Hye was for many (myself included), the lovely pairing we’d all hoped for, but never got, in You’re Beautiful. To add to the list of positives, the music in Heartstrings is absolutely fantastic and the modern/traditional rendition of “Habanera” from Georges Bizet’s opera, Carmen, is one of my all-time favorite pieces to come from a musically themed drama.
Being a fan of both Yong Hwa and sappy, feel-good dramas, I enjoyed Heartstrings but I cannot, in good conscience, give this drama the rave reviews I’d like to give it because there is one point where this drama left me sadly disappointed. If you’re reading this and you’ve already watched this drama, I’m sure you know exactly what I’m about to say but for those of you who haven’t taken the time to watch Heartstrings yet, let me tell you here and now, the final kiss in this drama is absolutely, without a doubt, hands-down the WORST kiss ever in the history of Drama Land and I’m not even exaggerating. (To give you some point of reference, this kiss makes the final kiss in Pretty Man look like a burning kiss of passion and we all know how lame-sauce that kiss was!) After watching fifteen episodes of Yong Hwa and Park Shin Hye being all cutesie and lovey-dovey, you expect this series to end on a final kiss, it’s kind of Drama Land law, but this kiss is so depressingly disappointing you almost wish Lee Shin and Gyu Won would break up. Seriously, it’s that bad.
Though the final kiss of Heartstrings may leave you throwing things at your computer, the rest of the drama is enjoyable enough and certainly worth your time. Of course there’s always the possibility that I enjoyed this drama simply because it gave me fifteen hours to drool over Yong Hwa so I want to know what you think. Did you enjoy Heartstrings or was it just too fluffy for you? What about that final kiss? Was it really as bad as I say it was or am I being a bit melodramatic? I’d love to know what you’re thinking so be sure to leave me a comment below!