I feel for viewers of Lovers of Music (Trot Lovers) that are still watching because of genuine love for this drama. Up until this point it’s been middling but enjoyable, the stuff that I watch with judicious use of the FF-button and deriving decent kicks from scenes here and there. The most decent and rootable character remains Jung Eun Ji‘s Choi Chun Hee. I want her to get whatever the hell she wants and deserves in this drama. Jung Eun Ji is such a real entertainer, she has none of the airs or superficiality of many of the young actresses out there and her face and figure is gorgeously natural. She feels like a cool roommate who will assemble your IKEA furniture with you without bitching and then later have a beer and then bitch about the douchey guys down the hall who wouldn’t help. The problem with this drama really is all about the story and execution, and now both have gone in the crapper thanks to episode 11’s flamingo dive into the cesspool of amnesia. I was barely tolerating Ji Hyun Woo‘s Jung Joon Hyun up until now, he got better in the last few episodes only to have the plot dump him right back to the beginning after being bonked in the head by a falling stage light and reverting back to the pre-CCH asshole he used be. Ugh, this is so NO in terms of inane plot twist and NO in terms of delivering exactly what never worked about this drama. And two NOs does not make a YES! In case folks think I’m second lead shipping because I stuck Shin Sung Rok‘s eccentric and straightforward Gun Woo on the top, the answer is I’m not second lead shipping because Chun Hee doesn’t like him and instead likes Joon Hyun and I think Chun Hee is smart and capable enough to know which guy she likes so I’ll respect her decision all the way. Shin Sung Rok is on top because his scene was the only good on in this episode as he sings for Chun Hee and also the drama capitalized on his singing prowess by releasing the latest OST sung by Shin Song Rok.
I don’t think amnesia is always a bad plot device. It’s a contrivance, yes, but if used rarely and judiciously actually has really compelling pay-offs. Think Bae Yong Jun in Winter Sonata, his amnesia had multiple levels of issues to resolve and allowed the drama to milk super angsty scenes when he didn’t remember his first love. Using amnesia here smells like cow dung left out in the hot sun, stinking to high heaven with the desperation of creating conflict by using lame filler separation. Joon Hyun’s amnesia means nothing because he just turned into a decent nice guy and started having feelings and dating Chun Hee. She too just started liking him back. That was sweet but nothing that would anchor the ensuing angst were he to forget her. Imagine your new boyfriend forgetting you, that would suck but nothing to be all like “woe is me” about. Joon Hyun getting amnesia is simply to make Chun Hee’s life suck and that feels like the entire premise of this drama. Chun Hee’s life sucked in the beginning when her dad abandoned her and her little sister with debt and she’s forced to sing for a living. She’s barely starting to get her life back on track and having a modicum of singing success when suddenly it’s all upended because of Joon Hyun’s amnesia. What the fuck? She didn’t have either her singing or Joon Hyun for long enough for me to feel bad that she lost it, I just feel shitty because this whole conflict is manufactured rather than organic.
I really enjoy watching Shin Sung Rok’s performance as Gun Woo and his second male character is neat and weird enough to feel refreshing. His feelings for Chun Hee are sweet even if there’s a tendency to be overreaching, but at the same time he’s mature enough to step back when he’s rejected. I like him wayyyyy better than Joon Hyun but if Chun Hee wants Joon Hyun then I’m cool with that. Ultimately this drama doesn’t have a compelling romance any way I look at it but the music is nice and there are occasionally fun scenes to liven up the watch. Shin Sung Rok’s OST is decent but the treat is listening to his singing style which is really more stage-oriented and shows with a lot of confidence and improvisation quality. This song isn’t all that memorable if he wasn’t singing it but the best track from the drama OST so far is still the second OST “Be Opposite” by Beige.
Shin Sung Rok “Boiling” OST: