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Average user rating 3.0
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“Wind” and “Virus” off to a neck-and-neck start

…and we’re off!

KBS and MBC both premiered their new dramas today, one a sageuk starring Jumong star Song Il-kook (Kingdom of Wind), and the other a classical-music-based drama featuring White Tower‘s intense Kim Myung-min (Beethoven Virus). Both come highly anticipated, not least because we’ve got two big names going head-to-head.

While KBS has had several decently performing sageuks this year (Hong Gil Dong, Great King Sejong), MBC is the one who needed the hit more, having had a rather dismal year. Both stations had their share of flops, but KBS isn’t in as much of a slump, with several strong hits; MBC really has only had one bona fide success in The Last Scandal of My Life and several high-profile misses.

With today’s showings, MBC emerged just a hair ahead with Beethoven Virus, its first episode earning a 15.7% against Kingdom of Wind‘s 14.7% (TNS Media ratings). That puts them virtually even, and are pretty good numbers for both dramas. (SBS’s modestly popular Working Mom concludes in two weeks and is replaced by a third potential heavy-hitter, The Painter of Wind.)

Already buzz seems tentatively positive for both series, with Kingdom of Wind earning praise for its grand-scale battle scenes and acting (although some voiced their concerns that the historical-based stories may rehash familiar territory from other dramas of its ilk, particularly Jumong, which also starred Song Il-kook). On the other hand, Beethoven features an “upbeat,” light tone and a lot of interest in seeing its three stars performing in their musical milieu. Netizens generally expressed satisfaction at a first episode that met their expectations.

I haven’t seen either premiere, so I can’t weigh in yet (though I’m leaning more toward Beethoven) — thoughts?

Via Asia Economy

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Personally I leaning towards Beethoven as well. I have been looking for something similar the Nodame with classical music. And seeing as how there were quite a few sageuks this year maybe something different would be better. But the main point is the romance in the drama's I watch. I have not seen the first ep so maybe you could tell me if that would be a genre included in this.

Also ive been meaning to ask if you know the end date for Love & Marriage? The thing is I leave for the US Marines in November and did not want to start it and leave it half way. Since subs are starting to come out I want to kind of predict maybe when it comes to an end.

THANKS.

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I'm more excited about kingdom of wind since i <3ed jumong! But i'm also keepin an eye out for bee virous since u rarely EVER see any classical music key kind of dramas plus the cast is pretty good!! I think i'll just watch a few episodes of both drama and stick to one after i made up my mind or if they are both good i don't mind watchin them both!
I don't think u can realy compare the two since they are soooooooo sooo different!! oh well we'll c then!

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@dramabeans,

Has WithS2 been able to assemble a team to sub BV? It looks like they're still recruiting?

Worth noting that Kingdom of the Wind and Beethoven Virus debuts didn't actually air at the same time. MBC was showing the World Cup prelims in the 10-11 slot, which won the time slot. Beethoven Virus actually aired at 11pm, which is a touch late for potential <20 viewership but it enabled viewers to sample both. More accurate ratings will come out for Thursday.

I think Painter in the Wind (probably the most prestigous drama SBS is airing this year) and Kingdom of the Wind will eventually compete for top spot. BV will be popular with Netizens if it's good. But the buzz is BV's ratings were really, really high and a bit higher than what MBC was expecting. They did a good promo job with the casting. The trailers made it all seem brooding and serious, thus the Netizen reaction to its more light hearted nature.

The story and to the degree the cast is not that important for me with BV. I know there's a perfect storm of fangirl, hipster, AND ajumma crushing for the KMM and JGS pair, but to me the real selling point is in how the director takes advantage of classical music. Oh and i heard the underwater sequence is stunning in the debut.

It's hard to get a real take on KotW because it'll begin with the backstory, but the style should be close to Emperor of the Sea. Some of the blurbs mention that there's oodles and oodles of action and saguek macho in the opening episode.

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I am going towards Beethoven Virus as well.... since I love music! I really liked Nodame and La Corda d'oro (anime), both revolved around classical music. But I'll probably watch Kingdom of Wind once it finishes airing in Korea.

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i'm leaning towards both but more on The Kingdom since my Prince Jumong is here. lol..joke, but The Virus is also fine since Lee Jia is here. i was hoping that they shouldn't air this both at the same time because the ratings would be devided. i dont care how people rate this but i am still watching this.. i'll wait for the subs even it will take me months... excited!!!

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@belleza

WITH S2 will sub both series but whether it will be a regular project or a side project will be up to how successful our recruitment is.. To be honest.. I don't know about other teams.. but WITH S2 is having the hardest time w/ the recruitment process.

I guess September is just a bad month since students are back to school and all. We don't want to string a project along, yet we hate to see great dramas remain unsubbed.. ( and no.. no other fansubbing groups have expressed interest in these 2 projects).

So to answer your question .. it looks like our members will have to brace themselves and pull in some overtime hours to tackle these 2 projects. Hopefully more people will lend us a helping hand ( email us at [email protected]) and not give us additional pressure by demanding faster subs as we are always pushing ourselves so hard to get the subs out.

ahhhh.. sorry sarahbeans.. i'm totally rambling on.. hahaha.. *muah*

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I'm a bit worried for Painter In the Wind since even though it's highly anticipated...it might get lower ratings in the first while because of the heavy competition.

All three have their own appeals
I think Wind is appealing a lot to those who loved Jumong and other sageuk dramas while Beethovens Virus is appealing to 'the rest'. It's a bit more modern and reminiscent of Nodame Cantabile. I would've thought Beethovens Virus would have gotten higher ratings.

Either way I plan on watching Beethovens Virus =D

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I've been drama deprieved lately but so it's exciting to hear about all these new dramas coming out. Ever since bad family, I've been a huge Kim Myung Min fan, so I'm looking forward to seeing him in Beethoven Virus. Jang Geun Suk, on the other hand, ughhh.

Thanks WITH S2! Wish you guys luck with your recruiting process. I would definitely join if I wasn't already juggling school and work.

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I'm more inclined to tune in to KOW but really curious on how BV's story will unfold. I wish that both dramas won't disappoint viewers, about time for k-dramas to pick up and get people glued to the tube again.......

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OH.

i JUST realized conductor guy=white tower guy.

wow.

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Hey, we just started to sub this drama. Come and participate!

http://www.viikii.net/channels/goto/thekingdomofthewindsen

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Righto, shall get cracking, captain! Thankfully the csubbers do their crazy overnight subbing. I'm not sure but there's a high chance I'll follow BV. I mean, musical drama! Trendy usually wins sageuk hands down.

@ mily2: Thanks so much to WITHS2 for always delivering such high quality subs! Good luck with the recruitment!

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Javabeans

Pleaseee recap Beethoven Virus i visit your website everyday for update the news from korea but now i just ask you for recap Beethoven Virus pleaseeee...

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I love sagueks, but was never able to get into Jumong. So, since I am a huge KMM fan, will definitely be watching B Virus, in korean and with subs.

Finally, something to follow. It's been kind of quiet lately and I've been re-watching my DVDs. Currently watching Hong Gil Dong (3rd time) and just picked up Conspiracy in the Court which I have been dying to watch.

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(Sorry for the spam, Javabeans.)

Oh, guys! For those of you who can speak/read Chinese, the subs are already out! Watch ep1 here! They're crazy! 8 hours! Ahhhhhhhh my mind...

@ Alex: Lol, does that mean I am off the hook? :D

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@Sevenses
Thanks for the headsup on csubs!
I can't believe its out already and to think I thought they were only that crazy for EOE. :D

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Watching Beethoven Virus episode 1 right now. This has LDG all over the show, and *stylistically*, it blows every other K-drama else I've seen this year. The show itself doesn't seem like a K-drama; it plays much like a proper Korean comedy movie, the humor is silly, very slapsticky, and there's lots of voice-overs.

The episode has A LOT of jump cuts (and there's a marvelous sequence where JGS's character is listening to city noise and turning it into a kind of arrangement in his mind . . . the sequence is cut in a way that you really sense him piecing together the synchronicity of the noise.)

The underwater sequence is just marvelous, and it kinda tracks the hyperromantic, overactive imagination of the lead heroine. He uses various shots from distances to depict the stereotypical tragic girl in white over a cliff, and he cues it with classical music (Beethoven?) When she jumps in, LDG shoots it toward the surface of the water, so there's beautifully shimmering effects around a siloutte of a "tragic girl in white." You've seen this many times in movies, but never actually in a drama.

As for Lee Ji Ah's character, it's uhhh Sujini in leggings. (Anybody else distracted by Ji Ah's nose?) This part SCREAMS for Lee Hana, but she seems pretty good so far. She's very slapsticky, much like Nodame, and there's quite a few monologues (again, like Nodame.)

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i saw winds special. it was good.
i watched virus last night it was good too.
i liked it.
LJA was soooo pretty i swear.
i like the character's rapport.
of course ive yet to fully comprehend but for me its nice.
i think ill catch virus and tazza.
ill try to catch winds too but its hard all three at once.

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Sorry guys, but WHERE do you watch BV right now? It looks like i can't catch it anywhere ... please help!!!!

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Yeah, holding out for Painter

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@favoree,

"Sorry guys, but WHERE do you watch BV right now? It looks like i can’t catch it anywhere … "

If you look around the BV thread in Soompi, you'll find some streaming links.

Chemistry between JGS and LJA is fantastic. JGS is still quite morose here, but he seems so much more comfortable here than in HGD. The rapport between all the characters feels very movie-like, spontaneous and vibrant.

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Sevenses..Thank you for the link to BV Csubs. Seriously, I've always wondered how do they do it so efficiently in so little time? And the translations aren't sloppy or broken Chinese either....mind-boggling speed.

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Lately I've been pretty disappointed with the dramas but surprisingly BV held my interest! I'm also delighted to see that both lead characters stepped out of their previous roles and was able to hold so strongly in their new ones.^^

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beethoven was really cheesy
dunno if i'll continue watching it...

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Love his hair!

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Kingdom of the wind, hands down.

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@ belleza: just read your review. Thanks. Now BV is on my to-watch list. Gah!

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I think i'm going to watch BV since I haven't watch Jumong before. I'm afraid i might not understand KOW. It's funny that SIG played Jumong and then Jumong's grandson(?) too. Talk about consistency.

Maybe I'll catch up with Jumong and then KOW during sem break. But for now, I'm excited about Beethoven's Virus. I hope the hype they created is really worth it.

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@Sere,

Actually I'm not 100% sure how good the first episode really is. The direction itself is amazing (there's this one bit where a woman talks to a photo of deceased mum. That picture changes as she's talking to it), and I'm kinda surprised everybody's glossed over it. Recent dramas that exhibitted big, show style (Le Dolce Vita, East of Eden, Iljimae, and Hong Gil Dong), but Beethoven Virus is the only one with a well-thought sense of film grammar and visual rhythm.

The structure of the story more fits what you associate with a light Korean comedy. The story is more vignette-ish and relies more on some quirky visual gags (see the bimbo violin duo performance) and slapstick than true screwball elements. . There's dramatic bits, it just kinda comes in and out of the story. KMM is only in like 10-15 minutes of the first episode, and right now it's not clear whether KMM is exhibiting exceptionally dry humour or he genuinely believes that Beethoven Virus is Mr. Holland's Opus.

There were some complaints about the realism in regards to the musicianship, but it's really no better or worse than Nodame Cantabile. It's not nearly as wacky as Nodame Cantabile either, and BV doesn't really have the same music-is-love sweetness that was shared by both the conductor and student. In its place, though, is a stronger Bad News Bears element to the story, which I hope they keep as the story goes.

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Oh, finally found and watched it, thanks, belleza. I mean BV. Could not really understand if the show is good, but Nodame was certainly more stylish- more mangalike?
I liked Jang Geun Suk, though. Even with this hair style and slightly more beefy body,he still has got those eyes and voice. When he acted a beautiful boy, the contrast was his deep voice and strong masculine behaviour. Now the contrast is still there: absolutely normal masculine appearance but kind and sensitive character, even I could say-pure person.
I also like his intensified , a little exaggerated manner of acting- it reminds me both Di Caprio and Lee Junki .I hope he will not loose it coming of age.
As for Kingdom- I will wait for subs, sounds interesting .

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@favoree,

Yeah Nodame was delightfully, deliriously, deliciously all over the map. But not in a way that it distracts from the actual flow and telling of the story. One problem with recent J-dramas, especially in the getsu9 spot, is that directors will get carried away with the budget and promotion, and start creating the story purely from editing and special effects (i.e. Hana Kimi, Nobuta wo Produce, Galileo, Liar Game, etc.) Takeuchi Hideki, who's often called onto to direct G9 dramas (still kinda saddened what happened with First Kiss), managed to convey the manga's heady rush while keeping it fluffy, happy, and just totally in love with being in love with music. So, there's lots and lots and lots of crazy, cartoony effects and soft-focus delusions of grandeur, but it managed to keep the tenor of the original josei flowing.

Most K-drama comedies tend not be as broad (and I'm actually not sure if half of Coffee Prince's gags actually were that funny.) Most of the humour comes from screwball dynamics, just nutty situational stuff; if there is a really good script, you'll get verbal wit and more adult and pungent observational irony. Neither element is in Beethoven Virus. I don't think either element would be appropriate for this story. And in that regard, I thought Lee Jae Gyu did a really good job depicting the humour in a more matter-of-fact, concise approach without overselling the gags or trying to turn BV into a psuedo-music video. It was much better done than, say, the barf of "styles" that Hong Gil Dong tried and utterly failed at in its early episodes.

And there's a lot of interesting stuff if you look for it. The way he lets the camera roam around a scene, such as the orchestral "classroom", thereby letting you notice different things while concentrating on the main actors. The way he juxtaposes multiple Du Ru Mis in a frame, to quickly summarize her efforts in finding new players. The brownish filter he applies to the 1998 flashbacks, which enhances the crustiness and vinegary disposition of conductor Kang Gun Woo, which is in sharp relief to the fashionable image we see him as he returns to South Korea. The way he cuts certain scenes much longer than others, often using medium shots so that you can pick up the body language and (at least to me) sexy chemistry between trumpet player Kang Gun Woo and Du Ru Mi before coming in.

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@belleza: I was more intrigued by visuals and imagery. You mentioned this drama's style, which seems to be different and way better from the Kdramas I'm used to. You should know, I love stunning visuals, fascinating imagery and "fancy" editing, even if they are hyperbolic, complex, romantic, whatever. ;)

I'm SO intrigued by the underwater sequence.

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just finished watching 2 ep of BV- I TAKE BACK ALL MY DOUBTS!!!!
THIS A VERY GOOD DRAMA. It's really funny, now I start liking the visuals too.
No more comparisons to Nodame!!!

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@Sere,

I kinda see Lee Jae Kyu as something like the Michael Mann/Radiohead of K-drama directors. It's not that his tricks are "new", it's that his tricks are complete. Each show he does brings in the precedent of a imported, package film grammar, and then everybody else ends up studying the style guide to prop up the new circus event drama. Damo made fusion fashionable by bringing multi-frame rate bravado, thriller heat and Wuxia Eurodance; and you see shows like Sad Seoul, Iljimae and Hong Gil Dong speak conversational Damo in their own work. Fashion 70s made colour filtering and post-production treatments fashionable for telling sentimental contexts and subjecting the present to the melancholy of hindsight. And you see that use in dramas like Le Dolce Vita. Not sure if he'll manage the same trick with Beethoven Virus, but it's pretty dang awesome to see well-thought jump cuts provide metre and stresses to a slack vignette of plot points.

@favoree,

Yeah, from what I've read over at Soompi, Episode 2 is much better, and there's real themes coming into the story. The fact that they share the same name belies a brewing "Talent vs. Skill" debate between the two men. And the conductor may share an Axl Rose-like obsession with perfection, which belies a fearful denial of his limitations?

Then again, I also read that they still haven't figured out how to sync up the instruments with the music. Boo?

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hi i am fro iran i so like song and korea.......i love him please send me mall a bout him

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English subtitle for “The kingdom of the winds” Episode2 has been completed. Come and enjoy!

http://www.viikii.net/channels/goto/thekingdomofthewindsen

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I actually like all 3: Kingdom of the Wind, Beethoven Virus and Painter of the Wind. To rate them right now as to which one is the best is still in speculation until all the episodes air. I mean you can't judge a book by its cover.

Kingdom of the Wind for its Jumong-like cast and theme.

Beethoven Virus for its Sujini X Nodame Cantabile ensemble and

Painter of the Wind for Moon Geun Young's comeback to the small screen.

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Please make a recap of the drama Kingdom of the wind. I visit this site everyday and i cant find a per episode recap. They are no the 12th episode and yet i did not see any. I'm not interested in BV at all bec the lead role is not as hot as SIG. And i did not watch any one of his drama. if i'm not mistaken he only did three or four drama in his career.

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