Lovers of Music Off to a Shaky Start with Not Enough Rom or Com in the OTP Chemistry

I checked out Lovers of Music (Trot Lovers) today and there was more wrong and right to make a positive first impression. On the upside being a rom-com is like an oasis in the parched desert right now so I’ll probably check out tomorrow’s episode to see if it flips the switch. I enjoy trot music enough that the musical direction in this drama is entertaining without feeling too old-fashioned. I especially enjoy the first OST song “Hey Mister” from the soundtrack which is Crayon Pop continuing to pay homage to the trot genre after their last comeback track “Uh ee”. The first episode of LoM just didn’t pop the way a great rom-com starts off strong even if it ultimately putters in the end. None of the four leads have characters that make a really strong impression but the bigger problem are the two leads aren’t all that likable. Jung Eun Ji can do hardworking plucky in her sleep but her Choi Chun Hee comes across as too much with a stick up her arse. Ji Hyun Woo is really floundering playing the asshole musical prodigy Jang Joon Hyun, trying to be as arrogant and quirky as male leads like Dokko Jin in Best Love or Hwang Tae Kyung in You’re Beautiful but nowhere matching the charisma of such indelible characters. I just don’t find Joon Hyun interesting at all, much less care about his eventual redemption. The only character pique my interest is Shin Sung Rok‘s strange and forgetful Jo Geun Woo, his scene with Chun Hee was too short but the most interesting bit of episode 1. I like bickering OTPs and meet angry misunderstandings, but every scene with Chun Hee and Joon Hyun leave me wondering when something interesting will come out of their mouths and actually make me care. I’m not writing off LoM (yet) but it’s not promising out of the gate that’s for sure.

The premise of LoM looks like a straightforward recipe for rom-com delight but the actual execution didn’t quite deliver the level of zany cute oomph. Poor determined Choi Chun Hee is a former marathon runner who gave up her dreams years ago and now toils as a personal trainer at the gym while dealing with a debt-ridden dad and a very young sister. She meets music star and producer Jang Joon Hyun and it’s dislike at first sight when she sees him cheating at a marathon to win fan affection. Joon Hyun gets set up by an unknown woman and his star falls due to the ensuing hotel room scandal but he mistaken blames Chun Hee for his plight. Joon Hyun’s new agency president agrees to give him a chance to redeem himself by assigning him to turn Chun Hee into a top trot singer since Chun Hee is the daughter of the president’s first love. Geun Woo is the son of the agency president who has no interest in taking over the family business but has a meet cute of his own with Chun Hee. The first episode predictably ends with Joon Hyun raging at the indignity of staking his career revival on turning his nemesis Chun Hee into a trot star.

I don’t think anyone is miscast here and there isn’t a bad actor in the entire cast but something just isn’t clicking. It’s like the umami is missing in the dish. Ji Hyun Woo’s hair looks even worse in action than it does in stills or in the previews and I hope to go he falls into a vat of black hair dye soon. Chun Hee’s character feels so much like an amalgamation of all Jung Eun Ji characters in her recent dramas, or else she just acts every character the same way. She’s convincing but starting to get into a rut. Shin Sung Rok is the only one really elevating his character into something memorable, and definitely nothing like his scary silly turn as the villain in You From Another Star or his bumbling nice guy routine in older dramas like One Mom and Three Dads. Right now his character and the vague hope that this drama will really click with a few more episodes to gel keeps me hanging in there.

If the scene of a future OTP locked in a closet doesn’t get me excited, then I know something is amiss. Currently Chun Hee looks so much better with Geun Woo it’s not even funny. I’m hoping Joon Hyun starts getting less irritating soon because second leading shipping in this drama will be a recipe for disappointment so I much rather like the male lead as soon as possible.

I did get a new track for my jogging playlist so that’s a positive takeaway. This Crayon Pop ditty is cotton candy fun with a wink wink charm.

Crayon Pop “Hey Mister”:


Lovers of Music Off to a Shaky Start with Not Enough Rom or Com in the OTP Chemistry — 32 Comments

  1. “character feels so much like an amalgamation of all Jung Eun Ji characters in her recent dramas”

    How many has she been in? I thought this was only her third, after Answer Me 1997 and That Winter, The Wind Blows?

    • Answer Me 1994 as well. It’s the same character but another drama. Also it’s just real life Eun JI as well. I think she’s so talented but I’m ready for her to play a meek unassuming type for a change. Maybe a post-it girl doormat type like in Fated to Love You. Stretch a little, you know?

      • Yes, I wasn’t counting her brief appearances in AM94 since she was expected to literally play the same character there. I agree that something different would be good for her acting growth, though.

  2. I know this is is OT, but did you check High School King? I swear there’s comedy and heart too~ anyway I’ve got TL ready to watch, hope it’s not THAT disappointing..

    • oh yeahhh, HS King is SO good and SIG is ridiculously awesome in it!!

      RE LoM: after catching the teasers I did have an inkling that it may not live upto the hype. It still has a ways to go and hope the makers are able to fix the issues before it unravels.

    • yes! I practically love it at this point but i’m desperately waiting for episode 3 to get subbed! If this show isn’t too good, at least we have that. It’s only the 1st episode so who knows. I need more rom-coms in my life.

  3. Wah, waaaaaaahhhhhhhh! Oh what have they done to my Ji Hyun Woo!? It’s like all his charm, charisma and acting ability was located in his adorable crooked teeth and when they fixed them it was like cutting Samson’s hair! Not to mention he doesn’t even look like the same guy. I’m just devastated by the change. So many guys come out of the army better than before (Jung Kyung Ho, for example), but oh woe is me for what’s become of ouri Hyun Woo-ah. I’m going to go pray to the Kdrama gods to give us back the old JHW.

    I liked Jung Eun Ji though and I thought Shin Sung Rok had all the adorableness JHW lost (well, some of it).

      • Yep. And the more I looked at his face the more I realized they didn’t just do his teeth. I think they did some jaw resetting too. The changes have even changed his facial expressions. The Korean obsession with looking “perfect” definitely took it too far again.

    • What he did with his teeth was too drastic and too sudden. You can see that his smile & other facial expressions are unbalanced. As they say, don’tfix what isn’t broken. It’s not like he didn’t find work because of that & he wasn’t a newbie trying to get recognition. A shame, really.

  4. I have to agree to the non-likable lead characters.

    Why does everyone have to be nasty? Is it supposed to be funny when everyone hates everyone else?

    I like the CEO of ShineStar, his son, and the little girl. Can we build the plot around them?

  5. Yeah, it’s a miss for a 1st episode. Such a shame since I was so looking forward to JHW’s comeback project. Hopefully they will tone it down and the drama will be watchable since I really want to like it. I agree with the poster above… High School King is definitely the better drama so far of the new ones.

  6. I was so disappointed ;(
    And I seriously was looking forward to this drama .. ugh. Yes, I agree that the characters are definitely flawed and so is the camera work! I seriously think that the directing of this drama is a little askew, as I noticed that when something little happened (such as a phone ringing in a pocket), the drama would stretch the moment, making it seem almost slow-motion-like or like the characters have no reflexes. Watching the first episode was more annoying than exciting, but I’m sticking to it because of the CEO’s son (the most interesting character tbh) and because I’m a huge Jung Eunji fan. Let’s hope it gets better! (Or I’ll be forever be skipping the boring parts)

  7. i enjoyed it enough and i LOL at the closet scene. there was overacting on ji hyun woo’s part and he looks so so different from the adorableness of his character in my sweet seoul. he looks different enough for me to think ‘hmm, plastic surgery? or just weight loss?’ but maybe its just the teeth.

    i will continue to watch and hope it stays funny.

  8. Everyone is looking for MISSING ingredient and what has changed, there are many, I will give just one, see JHW eyes, even in pictures, his eyes were sad, though his smiling it seems spiritless.

  9. Cheer up JHW…I did not like how you look in the first drama I had seen you, Birth of the Rich. But the more I watched you in other dramas, the more I see your character as “down to earth” and a kind of guy who tries his best to anything he does.

  10. I feel the exact same one you do! I’m so glad someone else also did a first impression post. The two leads really do not have chemistry, and I was so bored watching it!! So sad because I was hoping this would be a nice romcom to add to my list, but now I’m not as hopeful. Maybe ep 2 would be a bit better?

  11. it was borring.plot is just like other typical korean drama, nothing new. eunji is always stuck up with same character

  12. I’m going to be the only one who actually kind of likes it… first 25 minutes or so are hellishly boring, I was just waiting for the music to really start and Eunji to get out of that sports job. I signed up to see her sing, not run marathons.

    But the second half gets better, it’s at least fun. It’s less nonsensical and infuriating than dr Stranger and less boring than Triangle, so already I like it.

  13. There’s no energy in this drama. It doesn’t come off as a drag yet though but it’s really lacking. Maybe more connection for the OTP will do. Honestly, I’m more interested to the second leading man right now. He’s funny.

  14. Yes, I checked this out and it wasn’t bad but it was just so…boring. Nothing unique about it at all, and no life to it. Trot was what I was watching the drama for, but the trot scene came out of nowhere and did not fit. Its like…suddenly a musical?! Very wierd. I started out liking jung eun ji’s character, but then she got laden down by the typical candy characteristics and I was done. Shing Sun Rok was the best thing about this, although I’ve not quite gotten over his turn in You From Another Star, and I started to imagine something sinister going on with the stolen items haha I want to dislike the male lead but its such a typical character, played with so little charisma that again, its just boring. Nothing about this drama gelled or was particularly interesting. I did laugh at the scene where they were stuck in the closet for some reason but that was the only time I did. I’m sticking around for Shin Sung Rok though.

  15. I think Eunji is talented and has potential but she keeps playing the same characters. Eunji should try different character if she want to grow as an actress. I loved her in AM1997 and when I watch That Winter the Wind Blows I feel like I was watching Sung Shiwon. Now I watch this drama her character is the same with her previous character. By this point she will get typecasted.

    • could be she and her handlers don’t think she is ready to change her characters. it’s easy to shine the tried in true but one wrong move and it could be a wrap.

      anywho, the first epis was blah i really don’t get they marathon training at all that should have been laid by the wayside. something anything could have joined them but that. should have taken a page out of Gloria

  16. I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels like this. First ep didn’t do much for me and the CEO son is basically the only character I care for at this point, partly because he’s so different from his YFAS character. I always love watching dramas with people I already know because I carry my previous feelings…except I’m always a bit afraid with this guy LOL. I’ll probably keep up with recaps somewhere to see where it goes!

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