I must admit I was a little bit late catching up with the Korean Wave although it has already hit our shores pretty much several years ago starting with shows like Lovers in Paris which I watched mainly (albeit sporadically) because it featured beautiful scenes of France. I'm not really a fan of melodramas especially those glacially-paced ones. Heck, even Grey's Anatomy makes me nauseous sometimes.
A couple of months ago, I tried watching Beethoven Virus and I was instantly hooked. I used to play the piano as a kid and I love listening to classical music when solving calculus problems or writing essays in the pretext that it would somehow make me smarter. Initially, I would just watch the show's rehearsal and orchestral clips (their renditions of Gabriel's Oboe, William Tell Overture, and Beethoven's Ninth symphony are a must-see!!) and then switch the remote to other channels during the drama scenes. Eventually, I decided to sit through the whole episodes in order to understand the characters better and the emotion and tension among the orchestra members.
I'm very glad I decided to give this Korean TV series a try because not only did it re-introduce me to classical music but I got to understand the dynamics of how the orchestra works, how it functions as a single unit albeit the multitude instruments, and the indispensable role each member has to play in order to make harmony and beautiful music together. And I must mention that the score itself is captivating and simply gorgeous. I also like the fact that the maestro (played wonderfully by Kim Myung Min) would give little lectures about classical music. His sardonic dry wit and sharp tongue ("What's so great about Julliard? Play like a dog and you're in there!" and "Your performance was rubbish!! You disgraced Brahms!!") would usually upset his orchestra members but this is a man who cares about his orchestra deeply and passionately. The depiction of classical music and the lives and struggles of its musicians to find their place once more in this pop-dominated world which has seemingly rendered them obsolete, is equally heartfelt and inspiring.
Of course, no Korean drama would be complete without some form of romantic tension between the leads. In this case, between the pompous but sensitive maestro and the eternally optimistic violinist/concert mistress played by Lee Ji Ah but I like the fact that the writers made it sweet and simple although the resolution of the aforementioned romance during the finale made me swoon (hee hee..)! Joyful, joyful we adore thee indeed!! :)
I'm really thankful that Beethoven Virus has re-introduced me to Korean drama. I'm now halfway through Queen Seon Deok and I'm thinking of watching other more Korean series after I'm done with it. 100+ stars!! :)