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Page Turner: Episode 3 (Final)

What a great finale. I enjoyed the short miniseries about youths and music from the start, but I wasn’t expecting the final episode to get me so squarely in the heart. In just three short episodes, Page Turner managed to capture a tiny bit of magic in a small story, and I was surprised at how much I liked the resolution, the emotions evoked, and what the drama had to say about chasing your dreams in the real world.

 
SONG OF THE DAY

Schubert – Impromptu No. 4 in A-Flat Major, Op. 90, D.899 [Download]

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EPISODE 3: “Let’s sing a song of joy together”

Today’s preview montage tells us this will be the story of two people on their way to becoming world-class pianists—one who’s just beginning, and the other who will be that person’s beginning. But all we get are glimpses of Yoo-seul repeatedly berating her new student Cha-shik, and a whole chorus of defeated sighs to accompany her rants.

Cha-shik’s famous pianist father is interrupted in his studio in Austria (he’s playing Schubert’s Impromptu No. 4 in A-Flat Major, posted above) with his latest fan mail, and he lights up to see another letter from his son. Aw, maybe he really is Cha-shik’s dad?

His assistant didn’t know he had a son, but Dad says he didn’t know either until recently, and his jaw drops to read that Cha-shik is trying out for a two-piano concours. You have no idea how relieved I am that Dad isn’t an asshole. I can’t take it when Cha-shik is in pain!

We go back to the tunnel where Cha-shik finishes playing for the first time in front of Yoo-seul and asks her to be his concours partner. He beams when she agrees, and puffs up with confidence at the idea that he’s dependable and has some potential. But when he asks what their chances are of being admitted into the competition, Yoo-seul says, “0.00001%.”

He deflates immediately and asks why she agreed then, and she figures that her chances of becoming a pianist now that she’s blind are probably in the same ballpark. She decides to take that gamble, because if he can beat those odds, then maybe she can too.

As soon as Yoo-seul says she’ll start playing piano again if they make it into the concours, Cha-shik says he’ll put his life on the line and work hard to make this happen for her. Awwwwww.

Yoo-seul, on the other hand, says she’s not going to try too hard for a thing that’s bound to fail anyway. But contrary to her word, she’s soon in that tunnel with Cha-shik day and night, teaching him the basics.

She puts his hand over hers to show him how much to curve his fingers, and shouts at him when she hears him lifting his wrists, which he thinks is impressive since she can’t see. He tries her patience, though to be fair, she never had much of it to begin with.

It’s adorable to hear Cha-shik narrate all this to his father in his letters, and as the lessons progress in small increments, we see the ajusshi street peddler make progress on a blanket for them, and then set them up with a space heater.

Yoo-seul is like a really scary, short drill sergeant, and her sarcasm meter is always at ten: “Sure, you’ve made progress—about as much as a sparrow’s teardrop.” “It’s amazing! How is it possible that you get worse the more you practice? What’s your secret?” “You have the greatest poop hands of anyone I know!” “How is it possible that you can’t do something this easy?!”

Cha-shik says to his father that she slowly became a monster, and then one day we see him nearly burst into tears at her tirade. He snaps and screams that he quits, leaving Yoo-seul flabbergasted. He’s more upset at his own hands for not being able to do what Yoo-seul is asking, and when he finally calms down a bit, he starts to regret his outburst and looks over at a vendor selling balloons.

Yoo-seul starts to walk home by herself, so upset that she shouts at a passing ajumma just to get directions. She vows never to give Cha-shik the time of day again, and then almost falls when her cane lands right into a hole in a manhole cover… but Cha-shik is there to grab her in time.

He tells her it’s him, but his voice is all chipmunky from inhaling helium balloons, which is a hilarious contrast to the very sincere apology that he launches into on his knees. Yoo-seul tries her damnedest not to smile but it’s a losing battle, and Cha-shik is giddy when he notices.

They argue about whether or not she smiled, but she finally just bursts into laughter at his ridiculous voice. He’s so excited that he drinks another balloon and starts singing songs for her, and she can’t contain herself and laughs freely.

Cha-shik tells his father how pretty she was when she was laughing, and that he’s dying to see what kind of expression she’ll have after they play together in the concours. Dad finishes reading the letter and decides to plan a trip to Korea for the concours, because he’s curious about his son.

Yoo-seul and Cha-shik start playing duets together in practice, and in the distance, Yoo-seul’s mom watches them play without letting herself be seen, and she looks like she’s on the verge of tears. They break into Chopsticks and Yoo-seul smiles, genuinely enjoying piano probably for the first time ever.

At school, the teacher reminds everyone that today is the deadline to enter the two-piano concours, and everyone is surprised that Jin-mok won’t be entering. After school Jin-mok finds Yoo-seul standing out in the snow with a book on her head, and when he comments that she looks silly, she says not much embarrasses her these days, since she can’t see the way people look at her.

Jin-mok holds his umbrella over Yoo-seul’s head and worries about her getting sucked into Cha-shik’s attempt to prove himself with the concours, and thinks that she’ll only end up embarrassing herself in the process.

But Yoo-seul repeats that she doesn’t get embarrassed now because she can’t see, and then brags about how good Cha-shik is, enough to make her think he really is the son of a famous pianist. She tells Jin-mok that he should be the one worried about being mortified when he loses that bet to Cha-shik.

What she doesn’t know is that Cha-shik has arrived behind them and has overheard her defending him, and he lights up to hear her say those things to Jin-mok. He runs up eagerly and takes her under his umbrella, and Jin-mok watches sadly as they run off to practice.

Cha-shik babbles on about how he thinks he might be a genius too, until Yoo-seul interrupts to ask if anyone’s around. He says no, so she starts reaching forward to touch his chest, and he gets all shy, anticipating something romantic…

But once she feels around and finds his collar, she yanks him down so that he’s eye-level and then launches into a tirade about how they’re not even close, and if they were to compete right now, it would be complete and utter mortification. She screams that she doesn’t want to be mortified, especially in front of Jin-mok, and Cha-shik stammers, “A-are you threatening me?” I kind of love that he’s afraid of her.

She calms down and says no, she’s asking him to please not embarrass her, and he puts her at ease by swearing that he won’t, and that he doesn’t want to be embarrassed in front of Jin-mok either. He gets all riled up and suggests late-night practices every day, and they seal it with a fist-bump. Yoo-seul goes in for a second bump and ends up socking him in the gut, heh.

Cha-shik comes by late that night to pick Yoo-seul up for practice, and attempts to hide from her mother by jumping onto a cart… which slides down the hill deposits him right in front of her. He quickly tells her that he’s here to get Yoo-seul, but assures her that it’s for “wholesome activities suited for youths.” Well that just makes you sound guiltier!

He asks Mom how his fashion is today, hoping that he doesn’t look like a loan shark gangster anymore, but she says now he looks like a cat burglar. She asks what his secret is, but for once she’s not being sarcastic: “Yoo-seul doesn’t smile when she plays piano. But she was smiling when she was playing with you. What did you do?”

He’s surprised that she knew about them playing all along, and Mom asks how she wouldn’t know: “I’m her mother.” Yoo-seul sneaks out of the house not knowing that Mom is standing outside, and Cha-shik very awkwardly asks if they should maybe tell her mom about her playing piano again.

But Yoo-seul says her mom’s expectations might become a burden and make her mess up, so she wants to keep it a secret. Mom gestures to Cha-shik to just pretend she isn’t there, and he has the good sense to say he didn’t bring his bike tonight because it might not be safe. He leads Yoo-seul away, feeling a little thrown by the whole encounter. Mom watches them go with a long sigh, and then we see that she was outside to post a sign to sell their piano.

Jin-mok is at school late that night, slumped over in defeat in one of the practice rooms because he can feel how emotionless his own playing is. He jumps behind a couch to hide when he hears voices coming near, and Yoo-seul and Cha-shik enter the room to practice not knowing that Jin-mok is there.

They’re listening to their piece, Beethoven’s 9th, and Cha-shik points out the part that he thinks should be the emotional climax. Yoo-seul agrees and tries to translate the feeling into something he’ll understand, and has him imagine the feeling of preparing for a really high pole vault jump:

Everything becomes still with tension, and he gets the feeling that he can clear the jump. His heart starts to race. And then he uses all of his strength to fun as fast as he can, soaring into the air. She plays for him as she narrates this, demonstrating the build of emotion as the song crescendos, and Cha-shik is mesmerized.

When she’s done, she explains that they have to play this together and asks if he can do it. He says of course… and then asks for a little time to work his way up to her speed. The next morning he sets his metronome to 135 BPM like Yoo-seul told him to, but is frustrated at his own slowness and wonders when he’ll ever work up to 135.

Suddenly Jin-mok shows up behind him and tells him to just quit because he’ll never make it, and scoffs that they were lying about how good he was before. Cha-shik surprises him by acknowledging it right away, and then Jin-mok is confused when Cha-shik urges him to put him down some more.

Jin-mok thinks he’s crazy, but Cha-shik explains that being belittled is what makes his blood boil, which in turn gives him strength to break records and win. So then he starts encouraging Jin-mok to insult him, and gets frustrated that he can’t give better insults. Lol.

Jin-mok says that everyone starts out thinking they have special talent, but he warns that soon he’ll discover just how middling that talent is, and he’ll start to waver in his conviction that he can continue, and then he’ll become anxious about being nothing. Clearly we’re not talking about Cha-shik anymore.

Cha-shik’s mom passes by Yoo-seul’s piano academy and can’t contain her curiosity about Yoo-seul’s mother. She heads inside to ask about the piano for sale, and finds Yoo-seul’s mom drinking soju (out of a wine glass, pfft).

Cha-shik’s mom says that her son has taken up piano and promised to buy her a building someday, so she plans to invest her whole life into his dream. But Yoo-seul’s mom tells her not to do that, and describes how she never knew what a burden it would become to her child when she did the same.

Cha-shik’s mom ends up pouring her a drink, and Yoo-seul’s mom insists that she’ll give her the piano for free so that she won’t break her life savings or hang her whole life on her child’s dream: “It’s a dream that made his heart flutter. His mother can’t turn that dream into a nightmare.”

That really sinks in with Cha-shik’s mom, and she tells him over dinner that she doesn’t want a building anymore. He offers to buy her a restaurant then, but she says she wants to stick with being a writer, and looks over at him with concern on her face.

Soon it’s just a week away from the concours auditions, and the other students crowd around the practice room as Yoo-seul and Cha-shik play, amazed at the progress he’s made. Jin-mok is grimmer than usual to hear their praise of Cha-shik, and he lingers at the door for a long while.

Cha-shik is doing great and keeping apace with Yoo-seul, but when they get to the climax of the piece, he chickens out and stops playing. He lies that his mom is calling him home and bails on Yoo-seul, promising to pick her up in the morning.

But as soon as he’s outside, Cha-shik slumps down to the floor in defeat. Jin-mok has decided to look busy straightening a picture in the hallway (smoooooth, buddy), and is startled when Cha-shik begs him for his help. He asks for Jin-mok to either make his blood boil or teach him, whatever it takes to make him better.

Jin-mok scoffs and points out the obvious conflict of interest, but Cha-shik tells him about Yoo-seul willing to start piano again if they make it into the concours, and knows that Jin-mok doesn’t want her quitting either. Jin-mok denies it, but Cha-shik knows he attacked that creeper in a fistfight to protect Yoo-seul. When he calls him out on it, Jin-mok runs off.

Cha-shik doesn’t show up at Yoo-seul’s house the next morning either, and her unanswered messages to him escalate from “Are you okay?” to “You haven’t given up on the concours, have you?” to “Are you playing me hot and cold? Wanna die?!” He doesn’t reply, but just puts his head down and practices over and over again.

Yoo-seul gets upset when Cha-shik doesn’t show up for school either, and then remembers his friendly warning that in no time she’d miss the sound of his voice and start looking for him if he wasn’t by her side. She shouts angrily that that’s NOT what’s going on, which just makes her look crazy in front of her classmates.

Yoo-seul asks a friend to text Cha-shik for her, and sends the final warning that if he doesn’t show up to practice tonight, she’s going to believe he chickened out of the concours. Cha-shik sees the text and berates his hand for not cooperating when the concours is tomorrow, at a loss for what to do.

Jin-mok heads out that night and tells his father that he’s going to an academy for college entrance exams. Noooo, you’re quitting piano too? Dad just tells him it’s a good idea, since he wouldn’t amount to much as a pianist anyway. I hate you. Go away.

Cha-shik hesitates at the door to the practice room that night, and watches as Yoo-seul fumes and then declares that she’ll give him five more minutes, for old affection’s sake. That gets him to open the door, and he’s surprised that Yoo-seul is so happy to see him.

She asks where the heck he’s been, reminding him, “You said you’d never leave my side and always protect me!” Cha-shik smiles and asks, “So did you miss me?” She quickly denies it, of course, and then asks if he managed to master the piece.

He gets quiet and starts to hem and haw, when suddenly Jin-mok appears and puts a hand on Cha-shik’s arm. Omo! Is he doing what I think he’s doing? Jin-mok motions for Cha-shik to stay quiet about this presence there, and when Yoo-seul asks again if he mastered it or not, Jin-mok nods for Cha-shik to say yes.

Cha-shik is unsure of what to do, especially when Yoo-seul asks to hear him play the climax of their piece, but Jin-mok tiptoes past him to sit down at the piano. Omg. I love this so much.

Cha-shik shows him what part of the symphony Yoo-seul wants him to play and backs away nervously. Jin-mok takes a breath, and then begins to play, softly at first, and then building to a crescendo.

As Jin-mok plays, Cha-shik thinks back to what Yoo-seul had said about their duet—that he’d be playing the symphony part while she played the choral part, and that he’d have to match the intensity and power of an entire orchestra. He didn’t see how that was possible, but his jaw drops as Jin-mok plays it just as she’d described it.

The room stills when he’s done, and Cha-shik asks hesitantly how it was. Yoo-seul: “It was perfect.” Jin-mok’s head whips around to face her. Yoo-seul says that it was artistically amazing, and that she couldn’t have played it like that herself. Jin-mok’s eyes brim with tears and his face is frozen in shock. I think I’m gonna cry…

Cha-shik smiles warmly and prods her to say more, and Yoo-seul tells him that choosing to play piano was the best thing he’s ever done in his whole life: “Whatever you do, don’t ever quit piano, okay?”

Cha-shik asks her to say that last part one more time, and puts a hand on Jin-mok’s shoulder as he says that he’s been thinking of quitting lately. Tears spill out of Jin-mok’s eyes, as Cha-shik repeats Jin-mok’s words about his fears—not being talented enough, not being good enough to become anything. Yup, definitely crying now.

Yoo-seul tells him firmly not to second-guess himself, or worry, or give up. She says he’s naturally gifted, and that she doesn’t just admit that about anyone. She asks if he needs to hear it some more, and offers to say it ten times, or a thousand times if he wants. Cha-shik says that was plenty, and thanks her as Jin-mok cries silently.

Cha-shik walks Jin-mok out and thanks him for what he did today, and Jin-mok just tells him to get it together for the concours and make it into the competition no matter what. He tells Cha-shik to stop calling him by that fish nickname all the time too, and they part with little smiles.

D-Day. Cha-shik’s mom greets Yoo-seul’s mom in the hallway of the auditorium (in disguise, ha), and is confused when Yoo-seul’s mom acts like they’ve never met before. She insists that she never would’ve given away a piano for free or said those things, but then comes back to ask Cha-shik’s mom to keep her presence here a secret from Yoo-seul.

Cha-shik’s mom is shocked to read the program and see Cha-shik’s father’s name on it as the judge, and the other students are just as shocked, wondering why a world-famous pianist would fly here to judge a dinky two-piano concours. They figure he’s either crazy, or he’s here to see Cha-shik.

Cha-shik sees the name and runs to the dressing room, scared to knock at first. He braces himself and decides to knock right when Dad opens the door, landing them in a hug. Cha-shik asks eagerly if Dad came to see him, and he says yes—he came to see Cha-shik, and to find out why he’s under the impression he’s his father. Oh noes. Poor buddy, I knew this would happen.

Mom runs all over the auditorium and finally finds Cha-shik trudging along, shoulders slumped. He says it was all a lie and he’s not a piano genius, laughing at himself for being so gullible. Mom tries to explain and apologize, but Cha-shik just walks past her dejectedly.

He stands in Yoo-seul’s dressing room for a long beat, wondering what he’s going to do. He sees her putting her lip-gloss on and offers to do it for her, and I love that she trusts him enough to let him.

She asks if he isn’t nervous about his father being here, and he just plays along, wondering why she believes him now. She says after hearing him play the other night, she’s certain he’s his father’s son. When she hears his weak answer, she yanks him by the collar and tells him to just play exactly like he did yesterday and he’ll be fine.

Cha-shik assures her that he’s improved by leaps and bounds and will shock her with how good he’s gotten, and clasps both of her hands in his. He asks her to keep her promise that if they make it into the concours, she’s not going to quit piano. She agrees.

He lifts the corners of her mouth into a smile and says she’ll be smiling just like that after they play: “I’m going to make it happen.” The way he looks at her, gah.

Cha-shik heads into the auditorium and asks to speak to Not-Dad, and then finds Jin-mok up in the audience, with Yoo-seul’s mom sitting just behind him. Cha-shik cuts to the chase and asks Jin-mok to play in his place today. He says that Jin-mok was right about everything—he’s not Hyun Myung-se’s son, he’s no genius, and he can’t play the symphony fast enough yet.

Cha-shik says that he doesn’t want to ruin Yoo-seul’s opportunity and asks Jin-mok to enter in his place. Jin-mok points out that a concours isn’t a child’s game and there are rules, but Cha-shik says he already spoke to the judges and they allowed the last-minute change because this is just the first round of auditions.

Jin-mok says he hasn’t memorized the piece, but then Yoo-seul’s mom interjects and asks what if he played with the sheet music: “I’ll be your page turner.” Aw. She says she’ll help him, and Jin-mok finally agrees. He asks Cha-shik if he’s really okay with this, and Cha-shik says he is, even though it clearly pains him to do it.

Cha-shik walks out of the auditorium, where Mom is waiting on tenterhooks to explain herself. He wants to be alone, but she apologizes over and over and says she knows how he feels right now.

He says she couldn’t possibly know what it feels like to have believed her lie and acted like such a fool: “Do you know how thrilled I was to dream the ridiculous dream that I could play piano with Yoo-seul?! You knew that? Then you knew how impossible it was, and how pathetic I’d feel! Why’d you do it? Why?!”

Mom: “Why did you go up to the roof at the hospital?!” He freezes, and Mom cries as she calls him out on thinking about suicide that day. We go back to the day he met Yoo-seul, when he had been standing up on the ledge of the hospital roof, considering the jump. He eventually came down and broke down in tears, mad that it was too scary and he couldn’t do it.

Back in the present, Cha-shik’s tears spill out as Mom confronts him with it now, crying that she wanted to make him feel better but she didn’t know what to say or do. She knows that it wouldn’t have made him feel better if she’d said he took after her, because she’s not anything. Mom tells him that he’s not supposed to take after her, a ghost-writer who’s just a stand-in for others. She’d hoped that he’d be inspired by someone great like Not-Dad, which is why she told the lie.

Cha-shik actually gets angrier once she explains, and says that this is the angriest he’s ever been in his entire life. He yells at her to follow him, and drags her out of the music hall.

Inside, Yoo-seul and Jin-mok take to the stage. They’re announced only as Team 17, so Yoo-seul has absolutely no idea that Jin-mok and her mother are at the other piano. Mom refuses to let her presence be known to Yoo-seul, and warns Jin-mok not to mess up. He asks what she’ll do if he doesn’t, and she says she’ll praise him.

At the same time, Cha-shik drags his mother to the piano in the tunnel and shouts angrily that this is his answer to what she said: “Listen carefully! Not Hyun Myung-se’s son, but your son, Jung Cha-shik, is playing!”

He closes his eyes and takes a breath, and then begins to play at the same time that Jin-mok and Yoo-seul begin. Oh I love this. It’s like they’re playing together. (They’re playing Liszt’s arrangement of Beethoven’s 9th, which is posted in the last recap.)

As they start, we rewind to the night before, when Jin-mok told his father that he was going to continue playing piano. He said that Dad could be right about him having a mediocre future as a piano teacher, but he didn’t care anymore because piano made him happy, and all he wanted was to feel satisfied that he’d spent every day doing what he loves. Good for you!

Jin-mok and Yoo-seul both play with smiles on their faces, and in the tunnel, Cha-shik plays with grim determination as Mom stands by with tears in her eyes. We cut back and forth as if the three of them are playing together, and I especially love the split-screen of Cha-shik and Yoo-seul, as if they’re playing their duet together like he’d dreamed. I just love everything about this sequence.

It’s a breathless finish, and then Cha-shik’s mom is the first to break the spell with her applause, and Cha-shik turns around to find a whole crowd of onlookers cheering for his performance. The street peddler ajusshi gives him a standing ovation.

Yoo-seul and Jin-mok both have huge smiles on their faces as the audience breaks into applause, and Yoo-seul’s mom looks over at her daughter’s beaming face and says sincerely to Jin-mok, “It was the best, Seo Jin-mok.” The camera freezes on a shot of Yoo-seul’s glowing smile.

In an epilogue, we see Jin-mok’s first-place two-piano concours trophy on his shelf, sitting right next to the hair roller that Yoo-seul handed him the day he’d followed her to school. Cha-shik’s mom begins work on her new novel called Page Turner, as she writes out the narration that had opened each of our episodes.

In the background is Cha-shik’s new upright piano, with stacks of sheet music, his metronome, and that little finger-exerciser of Yoo-seul’s that he’s kept since the day they met.

Yoo-seul’s mom polishes a framed photograph and sets it back on her shelf lovingly, and we see that it’s a photo of Yoo-seul winning the two-piano concours with a genuine smile on her face.

 
COMMENTS

I love this so much. I totally thought they were going to fanwank some miracle and have Cha-shik master the piece in record time. His rapid progress from zero to sixty was already hard enough to believe, but the finale provided the perfect dose of reality to ground Cha-shik’s story. It’s far more poignant to have him discover that you can’t become a concert pianist overnight, but still continue with his dream and not give up on it. And of course the biggest heart-twist is the way he steps back when it means that Yoo-seul and Jin-mok have a shot at pursuing their dreams too. When Jin-mok first showed up in the practice room and ghost-played for Cha-shik, that was the moment the series went from something cute and fun, to something that genuinely moved me.

I didn’t think that the emotion would come from Jin-mok either, but when he stepped up to play for Cha-shik and then heard Yoo-seul’s sincere praise, I thought his heart would burst. It was like she saved him, and in that moment I realized just how much I loved this character, and how much I wanted him to find happiness too. There’s such a great consistency to his character as the guy who’s always silently in the wings, helping Yoo-seul anonymously and never getting any credit for it, and it’s so great that it escalates until he’s actually playing a duet with her and she STILL doesn’t know it’s him. It’s hilarious, and also just really cute that he likes her and doesn’t care about the credit. And I really love that Yoo-seul’s blindness isn’t a point of tragedy beyond the initial discovery in the first episode, but that it actually becomes a way to drive a lot of the irony and humor in the show.

I enjoyed that Page Turner explored heavy themes but with a sense of humor, never going too far in either emotional direction so as to lose me. And the best part was how the three main characters took turns saving each other, pushing one another not to give up on their dreams, or life altogether. It’s even more inspiring when the battles won are small and realistic, like Jin-mok standing up to his father and choosing what makes him happy; Yoo-seul discovering what she loves and not giving up on her dream; Cha-shik searching for his identity and being okay with himself just as he is.

Even the moms grow up in the process, and I especially enjoyed that Cha-shik’s final recital wasn’t to a huge crowd, but a private concert for Mom to prove that she had done well and raised him right all on her own. I love that he was searching the whole time for someone to make him mad enough to get his adrenaline going, and in the end it was Mom putting herself down that made his blood boil. Their mother-son relationship was one of the highlights of the show, and despite the fact that he didn’t get to play on that grand stage in the end, it was far more moving to have him play just for her in that tunnel. And what I found especially effective was the way Cha-shik and Yoo-seul had propelled each other to this point, so that even though they weren’t playing together on the same stage, they were still playing together in their heads. It was far more beautiful a moment than simply recreating Cha-shik’s dream sequence in reality.

It really pains me that this drama is only three episodes, because there’s so much story that could be told with these lovely characters, and I’m sad to leave them behind. For three episodes it ended in the perfect way, but I was left wishing we could’ve had another episode to watch Yoo-seul’s (likely violent) reaction to Cha-shik’s switcheroo stunt. He would’ve had to earn her forgiveness in adorable ways, and we could’ve seen the beginnings of their begrudging friendship with Jin-mok. The ending leaves me sure that these things would happen in these characters’ lives, and I don’t think I’d ruin such a nice climactic ending to wedge all that in there, but I’m definitely left wanting more.

I’m so pleased that Page Turner ended up being a solid drama with sharp execution, and that it had an effective use of music that engaged with the story. Kim So-hyun, Ji-soo, and Shin Jae-ha turned in heartfelt, emotional performances, and made me love every detail of these flawed characters and their journey toward finding themselves. Maybe becoming a world-class pianist overnight isn’t a realistic dream, but maybe having a dream that excites and inspires you is the important part, whether that leads to trophies and glory, or just gets you out of bed every day to go live.

 
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Yep - Thats why I love Park Hye Ryun’s writing. Over (imo very overrated) Kim Eun Seok and Park Ji Eun’s. She packs heart into her writings and you find yourself thinking back on her dramas with fondness and remembering the poignancy of some of the dialogues. This short 3 episode is a great reminder that she constantly puts out good work. I hear your voice, Pinnochio were all awesome and I look forward to her next drama with excitement and anticipation!

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Totally agree! Watched it without knowing it was written by PHR.....perfect drama with lots going on at multiple levels. Girlfriday said it all. Great drama, writing , performances and messages.❤️

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I love writers who take a solid concepts and write accordingly with a big end piture , justifies their characters and give the ending they deserve...

There are many writers who have a clear head start with creating good characters and let the characters decide the ending... which and where they loose the complete plot at ep12 & start to wander off by 16...

I loved page turner to pieces except like GF I would've loved if it was longer

Yay! Note: I'm in love with piano again.... on one conditions never go to inho ever again....ok..

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This drama has completely and utterly ruined me!!!!!!!!!! I need more of this !!!! KSH is my goddess!

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She definitely has a bright future....

one was too much optimistic but unrealistic (wings could grow out of you if you work hard?? He can believe in anything)...

Other two were so realistic they made their life measerable themselves...

(Parents had their share too..)

they needed each other's help....I love how it was shown...

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You echoed my thoughts. Park hye ryun is in fact my most fav writer for now. Three consecutive works that left me thinking even more deeply after the show ended were more than enough to prove that she wrote with heart. She and song jae jung are the writers whose work i look forward to

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Stupid ending. Would it have killed them to add five more minutes to wrap it up properly. Not happy.

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Not just that. The ending is basically saying Yoo Seul is happy based on a lie. She was happy playing piano because she was playing it with someone she cared about, a good friend, not because she was winning.

I think Cha Shik should still have played and risked losing, because I don't think Yoo Seul is that shallow to quit piano just because she didn't win one school competition.

I knew the ending would be open-ended beforehand and I was fine with that, and yet I didn't know it would be this bad. Excellent 2 and a half episodes until that stupid ending.

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Oh, and I was not impressed with Ji Soo in Sassy Go Go. He was almost always brooding there. But here I see he can do playful, too. Quite nice.

It's also my first time seeing Kim So Hyun's full range, and it was great. This girl would make excellent leading material in the future.

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just wondering who is the actor playing Hyun myung sae (Cha sik's father). is he really a pianist? cos he played the role of a pianist in The time we were not in love as well. does anyone know?

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The writer is so great. Perfect ending for this short story. It wouldn't be great if they tied it up in a pretty bow.

Ji-soo & Kim So-hyun can play piano?

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No, I think shin jae ha said that he played piano before. Sohyun went to a piano class to prepare for her role. And im not sure about jisoo but I don't think he knew how to play before.

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Yes, he's really a pianist.

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I was more shocked from his change from the time i saw him in 2014 drama Secret Love Affair with Yoo Ah In...

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OH, COME ON!

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I really loved this drama! I do wish that it was longer to see how their relationships developed. It was obvious to me that cha sik and yoo seul like each other so I'm okay with not seeing them actually end up with each other.

While I am kind of iffy about yoo seul being deceived, I'm so glad that cha sik didn't play with her and win because that would have been too unrealistic. It was interesting to see them become each other's "page turner".

All 3 leads are soo goood at acting. sohyun is gorgeous and she will become huge in the future. And jisoo seriously deserves all of the success he will have in the future. I'm so glad that he chose to play a comedic role this type to prove ppl who were saying that he's going to get type casted wrong. Shin Jae ha made me tear up when sohyun was complimenting him (indirectly) and I feel like he will get big soon.

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actually, i'm not very happy with the ending... i mean it would be great if cha sik just told her that it's jin mok that play with her, like i think yoo seul will be mad if she finds out the truth.. idk, i just feel a little bit unsatisfied...

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I've just watched the last episode and while I was reading the recap I was literally crying my heart out remembering the scenes that made this a very genuine and heartfelt mini drama. I will cherish this always...

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Margaret
Yes this was a beautiful drama. The music was beautiful; the actors were wonderful and the drama was heartfelt so much I cried with sorrow and joy. Sometime a little can do more than a lot. The writer put her heart into this short mini drama and I am thankful

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I really loved this ep, though I wished the drama could've been just a wee bit longer. I really wanted to hear Cha-shik receive a much-deserved compliment from Yoo-seul's mom. I guess the upright piano with her way of saying thank you. The scene with Cha-shik's playing being interwoven with the duet was awesome.

I'm planning on watching this with a friend who's never seen a k-drama-- I think this might be a perfect gateway drug for her. Muahaha!

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Loved this! Sad that it was only 3 eps long. Looking forward to the actors' next projects. They were really awesome, made me laugh, cry and feel with them. I trust this writer.

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Loved every moment of this drama. Thanks so much for the quick recap girlfriday!

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In-ho for page turner season 2!? Anyone?

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.....no thanks, I've only just got over the post-Cheese ill-will towards pianos thanks to this drama!

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Totally just a joke ;) haha

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No thanks 2.

No way I'm going to watch ANOTHER Inho Cantabile!

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Let the piano come out of inho trauma.... and enjoy with these wonderful kids...

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Aha, my mom would love that! She was an In-ho shipper.

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I want to know what Cha-shik told Yoo-seul's mom outside the piano school, I want to know why Jin-mok's dad is so gruff about him playing the piano (seems way too condescending for someone who sent his kid to an academy and hired a piano tutor who made home visits), I want to know Yoo-seul's reaction (and rage) if/when she found out it was Jin-mok playing the other piano, I want to know Yoo-seul's thoughts to finding out that Cha-shik is not the famous pianist's son and he just works super super hard, I want to know what Cha-shik did after the competition (did he go to the same arts high school?), I want to know if the street peddler was some cool dude who became Cha-shik's agent, I want to know if Yoo-seul's eyesight improved, I want to know if the famous pianist ever got to hear Cha-shik play... So much more I want to know!!!

But I love how it was Yoo-seul and her mom who turned Jin-mok's dreams around, in a way to reciprocate his helping her quietly all this while. And of course Cha-shik!!! His final playing made me wish Yoo-seul could hear it for real.

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I'm a musician (classical etc.), and I just wanted to note that though Jin-Mok's dad's character seemed in some ways a stock disapproving abuji type, I have definitely known a lot of parents who wanted their kids to take music lessons, and even to excel, but not to major in music or to have a career in it. As I get older, I can understand these feelings more-- I am a freelancer and it is definitely a hard life in some ways-- when it is parents concerned for childrens' stability. That said, there is also the snob factor of it not being a "legit" or prestigious enough career. I really was touched by Jin Mok's speech about being happy enough even as a regular piano teacher if his career didn't make it big, and his father's incredulous and not understanding reaction was pretty believable.

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I have not watched the episode yet..but did jin mok really did that for her? I don't know but in this drama,the second lead actually made me more empathetic towards him, not ji soo's character.The guy and the way he got treated from his father since childhood got me more into his story...especially that scene from episode 2 when he was playing the piano with an injured bloody hand...If it actually ended with yoo seul not knowing about how jin mok became a page turner for her..then I guess writer left it that way..as in a concept for short stories.The open ending is what makes short stories special,as the heartaches or unfulfilled dreams make the story more meaningful and poignant.
Btw kim so hyun is great,she would be something big in the near future,her potential as an actress is already huge.And the boy playing jin mok,hope he gets recognition too.

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I didn't know who Shin Jae-ha was, but Jin-Mok became my favorite character (even though I love all three!). The scene where Yoo-seul praised him, w/o her knowing it was him, was the heart of this episode for me (even though there were so many amazing funny, memorable and heartfelt and scenes!).

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As a long time visitor and a fan of dramabeans,this is the first time I'm leaving a comment.I've to say it's a pleasure to enjoy a work of a writer who knows when to stop. Sometimes good plots become ruined since the time they took is too long,or too short.I think though how cool and pretty this drama is,it could've become boring if it was longer than 3 ep's. And finally,girlfriday,JavaBeans(and of course the others),your writing skills and ways of storytelling are excellent,and beautiful.honestly. Keep on.And fighting!!!

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This and Splash Splash Love both gave me such a wide range of emotions even though they were so short. But it works, because if they were any longer, I feel like they'd drag out with the same unnecessary drama cliches and elongated misunderstandings that every kdrama seems to love. 3 episodes is bittersweet, but to the point. There was no reason for any more, and while that's sad, it's just perfect.

Also, I loved the end. The drama was not about knowing how their relationships turned out, or knowing that every little thing went right for them. The drama was about their happiness and their strength - and it ended with those things on a high note. That's all I needed to be satisfied.

More mini-dramas, kdrama land!!

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> 3 episodes is bittersweet, but to the point.

Exactly. This seems like if you took a 6 episode drama that was more fleshed out, and condensed it to 3 while selecting the significant moments and enough frames to provide a narrative, like what some fanmade music videos like to do.

I was waiting for more resolution at the end, when Yoo Seul finds out it's Seo Jin Mok who played so well and acknowledges him, but I like that they ended at the more powerful moment. Besides, Yoo Seul has already indirectly acknowledged him, and her mother as well.

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Yes. Always leave them wanting more, not reaching for scissors to cut overdone cliches out of the script.
So add this to Splash Splash and Girl K in the "less is more" list.

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I know that it's probably not that important in this story, but who do you think she ended up with, romantically speaking? Because I see a lot of potential for both guys.
I'm kind of glad they didn't make her pick since that would have changed the focus of the drama, but I'm still curious.

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it would definitely be cha sik. He's her "page turner" that turned her life around and it's obvious that she likes him. She also still doesn't have a comfortable relationship with jin mok

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I thought the page turner was Yoo Seul, for Jin Mok, when the narrator (Mom) says it led to a kid becoming a talented pianist.

I don't think there's anything romantic going on yet, but we can see her warming up to Cha Shik, which could lead to a close friendship or more.

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I don't think she's ready for or wants a romantic relationship with anyone right now, and they all have other priorities.

Sure, there's potential with both boys but I think they see each other as friends/inspiration first, and not necessarily in a way that's a prelude to romance.

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+1 Not everything needs to be romance. Especially when you're just in high school! This wasn't about who she would end up with but two people who helped her (and whom she helped) – friendships at a turning point in all of their lives that they will later remember fondly.

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The best for me is how the three youths' characters grew in such a positive direction. Jin Mok's was probably the most rewarding, as well as the two moms.

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Agree! I personally like the Cha-shik/Yoo-seul pairing, but the characters are all young and I ended up caring about all of them equally! So I would much prefer to see them all being friends, rather than two dating and one getting left out.

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Its about true friendship and to know what's the right thing to do which is appropriate for their age....
They were all each other's life turners... it isn't essential to have romantic feelings to change someones life....

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Initially I thought Cha-Shik, and he definitely wasn't adverse to having something romantic with her, (I mean she's super pretty and they have the chemistry) but for some reason seeing Jin-Mok and her playing together and how he looked at her, it seemed like the story was hinting at it being something more for him. It was kind of obvious he has started to like her. Idk I think both boys mean something different for her. Cha-shik seems like he would be a friend for life and he was definitely the inspiration for her learning to love and play piano again. And Jin-Mok, she sort of saved him didn't she? So now, not only does he respect her and her ability now, but he sees her as his "savior" in a way because of what she said to him, mix that with hormones and romantic feelings, and voila you officially have complicated feelings lol. Definitely not right away, but I think the show hinted that it could happen, somehow in the near future, possibly. The yellow roller too hinted that for me too. For Jin-Mok anyway. Ok that was way too long for what I was trying to say. Basically, they all helped each other in some way to find their dreams and see life differently and Cha-shik was the common factor for BOTH Yoo-Seul and Jin-Mok but I think Cha-shik = hope for Yoo-Seul and Yoo-Seul = the possibility for more for Jin-Mok. But I'd be happy if they all just remained friends and neither fought over the girl lol. Though Cha-shik seems like the type to let the girl go, in order to not get in the way for his friend. OR KBS could make this into a 16 ep drama and fufill our curiousity! lol. Actually no, that's a bad idea, 3 lovely eps it is!

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@V,I am very late replying on your comment,but I agree with you totally.This episode and the way jin mok played for yoo seul silently reminded me of the movie '3-iron',don't know if anyone remembers,but the way he was beside her from time to time,and became her saving grace[albeit,in a minor sense],but it was so heartwarming and all,lol.I hope,or would like to imagine in my mind that some day yoo seul would acknowledge him verbally,and they would become friends,all three of them.And I also thought kind of that, cha shik and yoo seul are more buddies,and they have a very sweet friendship,while jin mok and yoo seul have some kind of tension,if this was a regular drama,maybe after yoo seul got to know how jin mok played instead of cha shik,maybe would make her see jin mok in a different light.Anyway,beautiful drama,great execution,visualization and writing.And yeah,it had it's ups and downs,but producing anything is so hard,it's always easy criticizing,and now a days,so many crappy dramas come and go without creating any impact,in that sense,this minidrama was really cute,and thought provoking.

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This may be superficial and all that but I honestly want Ji Soo/Cha Shik getting the girl.

Man, he seems to be always the guy who just have to give wau for another guy.

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I kinda ended up silently rooting for Jin Mok on the off-screen romantic angle. I loved Cha Sik/Yoo Seul, but I always felt more tension in the Jin Mok/Yoo Seul scenes, I thought the actors had great chemistry. And their narrative was so interesting, from their initial antagonism to Jin Mok believing he ~cursed Yoo Seul and caused her accident, to all their subsequent scenes with the way he helped her, and especially her (unknowing) acknowledgment of his talent, and how she's possibly the only person for him coming from whom, he'd actually believe it. Of course Cha Sik/Yoo Seul was much more equal in terms of mutual interest and if there is an 'endgame', that would be it and I feel like I should root for that because that is what Yoo Seul would want at the moment, but still, I found Jin Mok and Yoo Seul incredibly interesting and thought there was a vast range of emotions in them.

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I for once actually glad that this drama end-up not focusing on the romantic angle. Because if it is then lots of hearts would be broken cause I loved both male lead equally to even start rooting for one over the other. But romantically speaking, I don't think they will end up in a love relationship with each other. Chemistry-wise, both side were oozing with them. Yes Yoo Seul-Jin Mok had some kind of tension that make their relationship more intriguing which if we translated it into typical K-drama dictionary would be a love-hate relation, but I don't think that is what happened here. I can see that Yoo Seul definitely have zero romantic interest towards Jin Mok. The way she said the dialogue in ep 2 where if she gets her eyesight back and become the top then will she believe and accept Jin Mok's friendship I think she genuinely thought of him as her opponent, nothing more. At least not yet. Yoo Seul-Cha Shik, well they had a fun relationship which we would never expect to develop into how trustful and dependent they are to each other right now. But shedding it in a romantic light would be too far-fetched if I must say. In the end, I just want them 3 to become best friends, and that would be a happy ending already for me.

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This is the perfect bite-sized drama - great performances, solidly-written story arc and excellent direction, and the 3-episode length feels like a fully-formed story that ended at the right place but is still enough to leave you wanting more.

Kim So-hyun is always excellent, but shines most when she's playing a character with more bite, like Yoo-seul here. I love how she can make this cranky, brittle character so endearing, and frankly, when it comes to writing heroines like these, there's no one who is the equal of Park Hye-ryun (or Park Ji-eun). Really hope we'll see her in a full-length PHR drama one day, and with a male lead who can match her abilities.

And the boys were amazing too, especially in roles that were a sharp departure from their previous ones. All three of them play off each other beautifully, and Ji-soo and Shin Jae-ha deserve full credit for that.

also, thank GOODNESS this drama chose to keep its focus on the hopes and dreams of the three, instead of going full-tilt Love Triangle on us. I think what we got is just right - three kids navigating their coming of age through what they love to do, not who they want to be with as high schoolers.

Sure, I want to see Yoo-seul erupt when she learns Cha-shik and Jin-mok pulled one over on her, and both boys certainly have the beginnings of a crush on her, but it's so much more uplifting and real to see them learn to work together instead of what a 16-episode drama would have them do, i.e. have the boys become competing love interests for Yoo-seul, with the story treating them as representing two different approaches to music.

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"Sure, I want to see Yoo-seul erupt when she learns Cha-shik and Jin-mok pulled one over on her"
But we can see it in our minds. They've prepped it well enough they don't need to show it.

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I would have liked it if they could have focused a bit more on Yooseul's own journey with the piano after she lost her sight. I know she's a prodigy, but are we supposed to believe that taking away her sight barely made her need to adjust in front of the piano? If it didn't affect her then what was all that talk in the first episode about working 3 times harder or getting her a specialist who teaches piano to blind students, etc? And if we really were supposed to get the idea that she wasn't as good as before then the production didn't do a good job at making that clear. We didn't see even the tiniest missteps on the piano and her thing was just teaching Chashik how the play the whole time.

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Yoo-Seul was a was a quite strange blind person. She struggled with the strangest things (apparently everyone in Korea – except JM and CS – is totally unwilling to help you to the point of threatening to sue you when you are blind) and she didn't struggle much with other things (like what you point out).

But she also had the strangest selective hearing of any blind person! Apparently she could hear the tiniest thing on the piano (that CS lifted his wrist at the third note when he shouldn't have) but did not notice when there was another person in the room.... I didn't expect her to have a heightened sense of hearing immediately after the accident, but three months later her ears should have been much more sensitive and picking up whispers, breathing, two people walking in a room etc!

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I did wonder about her not sensing Jin-mok's presence, but I can handwave that as him going out of his way not to make any noise. And Cha-shik did try to speak from where he should have been in the room (near the piano) so I was ok with that.

but yeah, it's not like one can expect major realism in the portrayal of either artistic fields or disabilities when it comes to kdrama.

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Lol what if she knew that it was Jin-mok all along?

Besides, dramaland will be dramaland.

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If she knew, it would be really out of character for her not to say anything. This girl was exploding at anything and everything.

An in-character reaction would for her to be fuming mad at both Jin-mok and Cha-shik, even if she'd eventually overcome that anger, more quickly with Cha-shik than with Jin-mok. (There hasn't been any indication in the show so far that her feelings about Jin-mok have changed at all. So there's no way she'd just accept him there without even blinking an eye.)

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Yeah but two people walking/breathing is not the same as one. They'd have to move as symbiotic clones... Plus, it's not the only scene. Think of when she was 10 cm from her mother, or even all the talking in front of the music door, Jin-mok/YS's mother talking at the piano... (she had to be at hearing distance, since she's supposed hear him play while they perform... yes, you still had audience noise before they started playing, but I still think her hearing very selective).

Maybe you can't expect realism, but my expectations were higher thanks to I Can Hear Your Voice. That had a lot of law-crap but otherwise was very carefully written (I rewatched parts of it recently, and it totally holds up, while this one, I don't think I could watch a second time).

:-)

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oh goodness, the law parts of IHYV were fit to crack me up sometimes, PHR really played fast and loose with plausibility there. But the characters were what held it together, and I can easily imagine it being watchable even now, three years later.

The same applies to Page Turner, though to a lesser extent - they really stretch the limits of disbelief when it comes to some things, but overall I think the character arcs hold up really well even if it feels incomplete without Yoo-seul finding out the truth.

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Actually, you don't really need eyesight to play piano. It's really strange that people would consider blindness a deterrent to playing piano, since it's much more about muscle memory and feel, but I guess they need a reason to have Yoo-seul not be considered "grand pianist prodigy" any more, and I guess it's convincing enough to non-pianists that their suspension of disbelief isn't dropped.

Only thing you need eyes for is reading sheet music to learn the piece, but some people learn by just hearing the music and replicating it that way, so even that's not essential.

In fact, when I played, one of my favorite things to do was close my eyes when I played. It made me feel the music more and concentrate on the feel of my body and the tone of the sound I was producing.

So, yeah, not very realistic, but in the opposite way of what you were thinking.

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I mean you play the piano so I'm sure you know more than me, but I just kinda assumed it'd throw a newly blind person off over simple things like, say, if they were seated even a few inches off center in front of the piano. Like you'd need to feel your way around to get to the right keys to start? She just seemed to know which keys were in front of her without even needing to test it. I'm not saying she suddenly needs to be bad, but wouldn't she at least need to adjust at first like she did with everything else?

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It's actually not hard. Though if they didn't show her even feeling for the black keys, then, yeah, that's a pretty big no-no. There's no way she would feel comfortable playing a piece without centering herself on the keyboard.

Once you're centered, a lot of the playing is pretty much straight muscle memory and feel of the keyboard. You almost never use your eyes to look at the keys (maybe for big jumps, though a lot of that is feel, too).

Only issue would be if you're not used to memorizing music, playing without the music would be somewhat challenging, but didn't Yoo-seul memorize all the pieces in the first episode?

I was thinking of watching this, but I tend to want a sample before I watch a drama, and the whole blindness making a pianist unable to play plus the whole "you're blind/now we're all going to be mean" idiocy kind of turned me off from watching it.

So, I don't actually know what they did or didn't show, but since I'm musically inclined, I was curious where they would take the plot. I'm glad they didn't have Cha-shik become a sudden musical genius.

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Thanks for the detailed reply, it explained everything. I never thought blind people were at a big disadvantage when it comes to musical instruments like the piano, what I was thinking is when someone who had all of her senses her whole life suddenly loses one then it'd shift everything off balance for her and all things would need to be adjusted. But yeah, I could see what you mean by not needing to adjust much from being a newly blind pianist if she had everything memorized.

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Exactly -- when I play music I memorized I sometimes close my eyes, and use the muscle memory to help with playing the song. The eyes are actually a hindrance to playing sometimes. Once you're seated and play a few notes and if you've played sighted as much as she has, it's easy to play without eyesight.

Also, more than likely she can tell how he was lifting up his hands or wrists early by how the notes sounded, which is why she is extremely sensitive around the piano but not in the more macro environment where she walks around.

Again, when I am trying to play a song I've memorized and I fail, I sometimes close my eyes and hopefully my fingers hit the right notes, which they do. I can't explain muscle memory but suffice to say it's not your "brain" telling your hands to go to the right keys but something else.

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You know, Stevie Wonder plays piano and keyboards just fine. And there were blind jazz pianist giants like Ray Charles and Art Tatum.

As @Requiem mentioned, sometimes muscle memory plays important part, especially considering that Yoo-Seul has been playing her whole life. She must have known the physicality of a piano by heart, including the sounds it produces. Although in the classical piano, blindness might pose challenges in learning new techniques or pieces, but it can be done.

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After watching the last 2 episode of Marriage Contract, i become so fully emotional invested in that Drama.
And i become gloomy and sad (Plus having big puffy eyes, that my boss mention about it in front of every one in today meeting). And everyone asking, are you okay? OMO...

There for, i think i need some cute, funny, light drama to brighter my day. And because of the rave in DB for Page turner, i try to look the first ep. And surprisingly, Page turner is good! Its cute, funny in some part, touching and somewhat inspiring.
Thank you GF for recap it ^^.

Btw, anyone can recommend me any Mini Drama?
I just see Splash Splash Love and Page Turner, and i love it both...
Thankyou...

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u can try Mimi... I can't remember how many episode, but i think Mimi is a great story

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"Ma Boy" with Kim So Hyun too. It's not amazing but it's cute.

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Thankyou Syaz and Scarlett, will try to see it both ^^

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try Sirius, it's just 4 episodes but it's good if you like thrillers/action.

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There's Adolescence Medley, if you like the cute, youth-centric, coming-of-age kind of dramas!

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Long satisfied sigh. That is how you do a music drama. Although I would have *liked* to have seen more resolution of the relationships- I was just so happy with how they used the music, that I can't complain. What I mean is- that the writing allowed us to see how powerful music was to the characters... so that we could be moved by the music as they were. I was so frustrated with the use of music in the Korean version of Cantabile Tomorrow- because I didn't feel the excitement about music that had been in the other versions of that drama. But THIS- that Beethoven... argh! all the feels!

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I'm never inclined to classical pieces but I just finished Secret Love Affair and now this which just made me appreciate this type of music.

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Yes. So glad I'm not the only one who's frustrated with Cantabile Tomorrow and it's lackluster use of music among a myriad of other issues (and I'm not just talking about it not measuring up to the 'original', as a drama on its own, it lacked the draw/passion that'd keep my attention).

Anyway. This is how music can be done well in a drama, and I think it's actually the 3-episodes restriction that forces the writers to be more concise and creative.

Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 is overused in many production work, but it's a piece that many people know, and so it's very relatable. On top of that, it's appropriate in the scene because it's climatic and grandiose.

I'm also very please with how they've used it as a concerto for two pianos. The parts matches with the personality/characteristic of the player. It makes sense that YS who plays with more sensitivity emotes the chorus part, and the player with more power, which is revealed to be JM, supports it with the part of the orchestra.

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THIS.

I'm unable to forgive Cantabile Tomorrow for its butchering of Nodame Cantabile. And "Page Turner", in just three episodes, managed to capture the heart of the story: the power of music to heal and move hearts and characters that really breathe and live classical music.

Kim So-hyun, my girl! You never disappoint! And I love Ye Ji-won in this. I cried for the mothers here. They are trying to protect their youngs from the harsh reality but somehow missed.

I do think that the use of Beethoven's Ninth elevated the whole experience. I mean Beethoven's Ninth is, in itself, life. Other piece would have less impact.

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Oh gf you just made me cry again! I love Jinmok and I'm looking forward to Shin Jaeha's future roles. I thought he was good in Pinocchio but in this one he just put in a heartfelt performance. Of course I would love to see more but I'm satisfied with the way it ended, the three of them not giving up on their dreams which just gets me in the heart. I need this type of message to motivate me as well which is why I love thia series. Park Hye Ryun is amazing.

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This i my first time comment in this website. First, i want say thanks for all your writing... I love the way u write the story...

I love this drama, everything including ending... i statisfied like i see movie August Rush...

Thanks :)

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I loved the finale, though I wanted a little more I still loved how all three kids got an ending where they were smiling and happy. This drama wasn't only cute and funny but had a lot of heart into it.

I cried with Jin-mok when he heard Yoo-seul praising him thinking he's Cha-shik, he needed to hear that, he needed to feel appreciated, he needed to know that he's not just some emotionless piano playing robot, and because it was coming from her, it got to him the most.

I loved how Cha-shik got Jin-mok to play in his stead, he didn't want Yoo-seul to give up on her dream, he's seen how happy she looks when she's playing the piano-that is when she's not feeling burdened or pressured by her mom- she needed to realize that herself and he made that happen, even if it pained him to step back, he did it for her and he kept his promise of making her smile at the end of the concour!

And I loved how angry he got at his mom for belittling herself, he doesn't need to be a world-famous pianist's son to feel better, she's good enough for him just the way she is!

I just love Cha-shik, okay, I love Ji-soo, I'm a fool for this kid, can I have him?! No?! Can I at least pretend like I do?! YES! YAY! We have this awesome mom-son relationship that everyone is so jealous of and he's gonna buy me a building and... wait, he's like two years younger than me, yeah? whatever! I think I just lost my mind!

And yeah, I never thought I'd say this after Cheese in the trap but the last piano playing scene was beautiful!

thanks GF for the recap!

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I don't tend to comment too often but when something like this gem of a drama comes along, well a little gushing amongst my fellow beanies is merited, right?
I genuinely loved this short drama. Sure like so many others I would have adored having a full 16 episodes, or heck 12 even...I can attempt to not be greedy. But it doesn't change the fact that for all my longing for more, my desire to get to actually see how things would have played out, I have full confidence that these characters live on.
The ending in this way actually reminds me a bit of Soulmate, another drama I love by the way, where though there were things one might want to see, I just didn't have any doubts in my mind of what the outcome would be (sorry if I am being a little vague, trying to avoid an overt spoiler). This was much the same in that regard. Here the characters and world feel so fleshed out, you get the feeling that you've been allowed to peek into something that existed before this moment and will continue on after you've gone.
And for that I'm grateful. Can't wait to see what comes next from this writer who I have loved since Dream High, and if it just so happens to include these wonderful actors again accompanied by Girlfriday's insightful recaps, then you will certainly get no complaints from me :)

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I loved this. So glad to see everyone growing up (including the grown-ups), and even though I'm more of a "closure" girl myself, I like that things were left open-ended so viewers can imagine how things turned out for everyone.

I'm also glad to learn how Yoo-seul puts on her lip gloss, after wondering about it last week :D

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Hello. Does anyone have the OST for the final piano song that the actors all played at the end of ep 3, and where can we download it?

Thank you,

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I'm personally mildly uncomfortable about the entire bait-and-switch sequence, because Yooseul's character was built around the trust she had for Chasik. She was happy performing since she had faith in Chasik (despite how prickly and standoffish she was) and I felt that the entire recital was just a redemption arc for Jinmok that wasn't quite needed- he gained his closure when Chasik aided him in getting praise from Yooseul, and I felt that was enough.

I would've rather Yooseul and Chasik lost with grace, but Yooseul continues to pursue piano as aggressively being Chasik's personal piano torturer than this, sadly but we can't win everything.

The fact that Yooseul's blindness was exploited in the end like that put a damper on things, but I generally really enjoyed that there was no copout on the disability front- Yooseul remains blind, and she is at peace with herself about it: I'm quite thankful for that considering how so many shows make up a magical cure for disabilities sometimes. All in all, it was a great ride and everyone did well!!

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In my mind the three of them became best friends, found peace and happiness with whetever each one decided to do.

I feel bad for Jin Mok. The only real sincere praise he ever received during the three episodes is when he was prentending to be somebody else. The only time Yoo Seul was ever kind and supportive of him was when he was pretending to be somebody else.

I loved everything despite some flaws. It's very well written emotionally. The people behind the cameras did amazing work. The actors were absolutely fantastic.

Thanks girlfriday for all your words!

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i felt the same way about jin mok!!! i can understand yoo seul's competitive nature and how she blamed him for how she's had to live but it made the ending all the more poignant. i was brimming with tears when she finally paid him a compliment. It felt like that was the one thing he just wanted from her, acknowledgement that he was an equal. great ending.

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I loved it...though I would have loved to have more..These short dramas are seriously tugging my heartstrings. First was Splash Splash Love and now this. Both left me wanting for more with solid execution and performances! Kudos to the actors for such heartfelt performances that made us feel so much for them and root for for them!

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What a nice little drama to lift my spirits up. Well-written and well-acted. The character development in just 3 episodes was astonishing. Bravo!

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I liked this but I didn't love it. The premise was great and some individual moments, but some of the execution didn't add up for me – Yoo-seul's blindness and some the struggles she faced (which seemed unnecessarily contrived, e.g. the dogwalker, the cafeteria scene where no one – adults or students – was willing to help). I confess I also never quite warmed to Yoo-seul's character.

Can't say I ever bought Cha-sik's quick acquisition of super piano skills, even if I'm glad that ultimately YS and JM played in the competition, because, yes, that made a whole lot more sense.

For me, Park Hye Ryun has produced better scripts with other dramas, this one seemed hurried and a bit lazy with some of the details. And Yoo-seul was a very oddly blind person, hearing the tiniest things in one scene and then being like as if deaf in another!

Did appreciate that we got an 'openish' ending – this really didn't need all bows tied neatly (e.g. whether YS ever regained her sight, when exactly she went on to do, whether JM did become a pianist or 'only' a piano teacher, whether there was ever a romantic development – glad all of this was left for the viewer to decide).

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"For me, Park Hye Ryun has produced better scripts with other dramas, this one seemed hurried and a bit lazy with some of the details."

I actually looked up info about this drama because it didn't feel slick enough (especially the dialogue) to be Park Hyeryun's and realized Park Hyeryun, an acknowledged writer, was billed under a writer I've never even heard of. It makes me think the newbie wrote this script and then they brought Park Hyeryun in to clean up the script a bit or something.

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Thanks GF!

And Bravo for this little show!!! I was in tears at the end.

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Thanks for the recap, GF!

I liked how this last ep. turned out. Even though Chashik worked his butt off, it would've been unrealistic for him to match the skills of those who've been playing for 10 years in 3 months. I'm happy he helped Jinmok realize that he DOES have the skills and Yooseul's words of acknowledgement were exactly what he needed to hear. That moment really hit me in the heart when he heard the praise that he had always longed for from his dad from his "mortal enemy" and he knew that those words were sincere. *sobs* The fact that Chashik requested for Yooseul to say it again melted my heart since he understood that Jinmok was referring to himself earlier and needed to hear these life-changing words for them to really sink in. *sobs some more*

I also love how Chashik's dad was not the famous pianist and the way his mom is is good enough for him. He doesn't need anyone else "brilliant" because his mom is the best in his eyes. That piano-playing tunnel scene was so touching and I loved the split screens to show all three of them playing simultaneously so that in a sense, Chashik did fulfill his dream of playing with Yooseul.

Overall, what a heartwarming mini drama! Kim So Hyun, Jisoo, and Shin Jae Ha all did an incredible job in their roles! Yooseul discovered the joy of playing, Chashik found a new dream, and Jinmok will go on playing. So happy all 3 have become the source of encouragement for each other through this concours and are each other's "page turners." It was also wonderful to see the moms' change with Yooseul's mom understanding her daughter and wanting her to be truly happy and Chashik's mom being a happy writer. Bravo!!

I love the message that we should never give up on our dreams. There are times when we become doubtful or anxious, or feel like we are stuck and not improving or going anywhere. But when we have friends and others who believe in us and spur us on, we can persevere and achieve those dreams. The acting, writing, directing were all spot on and I definitely look forward to these young talents' next projects!!

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Also wanna mention some scenes that I liked...

The hilarious and cute helium balloon scene!! How awesome was it to see Yooseul smiling so freely!! And Chashik always ready to admit he's wrong and going to all lengths to crack that smile!! Jisoo talking and singing in helium voice is so cute!!!!! I'm just so glad he had this character to play in contrast to the angsty ones he's done before.

And the scene of Chashik knocking the door and falling into his Not-Dad's arms!! What a first encounter!! Heehee... XD

I'd love for the team to do a season 2 sometime later and get this trio to reprise their roles.

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I have watched that helium balloon apology scene like 5 times now and I still find it endearing every single time. Cha-shik is the cutest thing ever but how can anyone not fall in love with Yoo-seul pretending not to be touched and amused but eventually allowed herself to give in?

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I rewatched it a few times as well. Don't forget the rubber chicken!!! Pwahahaha!! Jisoo as Chashik is the cutest thing ever!! Can I keep him in my pocket? XD And I love how Yooseul can't keep up the seriousness and stay mad when she's just dying of laughter inside!

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Maybe KSH and Jisoo can do a remake of My Sassy Girl? They're probably the only ones that I can think of that can pull of the roles of JJH and CTH. KSH is able to inject a lot of vulnerability into her prickly and haughty character that it still makes you want to root for her. Jisoo will be her perfect foil.

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Don't think that would happen anytime soon though I agree these two would be talented enough for sure. They just released My Sassy Girl 2 movie with Victoria and CTH. Also, there is a sageuk drama adaption of My Sassy Girl in the works. LOL

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It was good story telling for 3 episodes.What are some of the complaints again?

Geez life is not all wrapped up in a bow Kdrama style? Why must everything be obvious? Stupid ending? Lack of romance?

They are only teenagers. Why tie them down to your expectation of an ending? It's a drama about dreams and possibilities. Sometimes peeps, it feels like you can't see the forest for the single tree at the end of the journey. If the tree is not there at the edge of the forest doesn't mean there isn't any others around. Bad analogy but I've read these and other comments elsewhere.

It's a gem of a drama. 3hrs of good drama with something to convey. Delivered with great acting by everyone. Not destroyed by romance or shipping. Yay.

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I wish this series had more episodes. I am still hungry for Cha-Shik.

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I... found the ending disappointing, to be honest.

The reason Yoo Seul was so happy during the concours wasn't merely because she was playing the piano again, but because she was playing with Cha Sik - the boy who was her friend, the boy she trusted to not ever use the fact that she couldn't see against her.

So (to me) it feels like a massive betrayal of that trust to have him take advantage of her blindness to trick her "for her own good" (when really, she'd have been happier losing with Cha Sik than winning with Jin Mok).

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I decided I liked the ending since we know that all three will have another year together in school (with Cha Sik officially transferring) and will grow their friendships further. I expect Cha Sik to compete with Yoo Seul in the 2 Piano competition the next year

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Even just reading the recaps my heart beat so fast. This drama is amazing, it sends something through my body, as if I'm listening a warm melody through a beautiful recap of an amazing drama.

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girlfriday ~

Thanks for the recap.

Nice neat mini series. Wonderful cast. Kim So Hyun has a beautiful smile. Everyone wins in the end, the moms are happy.

I thought for sure that the piano tunnel ahjussi was going to turn out to be a talent scout or something like that.

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I love this drama.. I love 3 of them.. I want more.. but i lovee this drama still..

Dramagod please put So Hyun and Ji Soo together again.. eventhough no loveline I love their chemistry..

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Didnt love the abrupt ending. Maybe I will in a few days. I started crying from the beginning to the end. The pieces were played beautifully. They moved me. One of the best things of the show is the music. I replayed the last piece a few times.

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I have a question for professional piano players on this thread. Is it possible for a piano prodigy like Yoo-Seul not to hear the difference between Jin Mook and Cha Sik playing styles? She heard them both many times, especially Jin Mook. I am not a professional player, only took piano for six years in school, but thinking back, I am sure my piano teacher could tell the difference between her students with her eyes closed. And at this point Yoo Seul is supposed to be better than any simple music teacher.

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That's another good point... she really should, especially since she did could distinguish Cha-shik lifting his wrist from one note to another...

I think there was some suggestion that because Cha-shik practiced alone for a few days, he improved (though the improved playing was of course JM), but that doesn't take into account different individual playing styles.

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You're of course right. A piano prodigy like Yoo Seul would probably notice Jin Mok's style immediately, but I was willing to let that go because most people who aren't pianists would know that, LOL.

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That's exactly what I was thinking, lol. I kept expecting her to say "Seo Jin Mok, what are you doing here?" Especially considering that the person in question is Jin Mok, someone she's been competing against since her childhood, which means, I'd expect her to be very, very familiar with his style. Besides, I'm sure she'd know there's a limit to how good someone can get after practicing for a few months and there would be no real comparison between Cha Sik and Jin Mok in that regard. But I guess that was one of the parts where the suspension of disbelief came in. ^^

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It would be especially noticeable since they're playing a duo. The way each person plays has to match perfectly: dynamics, pedal use, rests (I would always struggle to pause the exact amount of time! That basically requires looking at what the other person is doing), etc. It would have been pretty much impossible for her not to notice the switch. Maybe unless they had a recording of her playing and practiced with it to get everything exactly right and match her style.

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Is it because Jin Mok playing it different to what he used play.. he used to play like comp but it seems like the story told us that jin mok learn about using his feeling to his playing.. remember he was there when yoo seul teach cha sik how to feel the emotion.. and then his frustation toward his future, that makes me think that he plays differently now.. with feeling..

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That's a good point, it could be that she didn't recognize him because he wasn't playing like the Jin Mok she's known for years, but was actually playing with feeling, which she probably associates more with Cha Sik, than Jin Mok.

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This drama packed the perfect amount of heart, action and story progression into 3 awesome episodes. There's no unrealistic unnecessary middle third filler complications, no glaringly unwanted PPLs and gasp, not even a forced love triangles. The hint of possible romance was perfect without it taking over every aspect of the story, and we saw growth in every single character (well maybe except Jin Mok's Dad). I usually like my dramas all wrapped up with a neat and tidy bow, but I am shocked how satisfied with the ending. It is quite possibly the first time that what ISN'T shown in the ending is what makes me appreciate the drama more, and the fact that I can IMAGINE how the characters will carry on after the ending speaks volume about how well they have been written and how "real" they are when I've only known them in 3 episodes.

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Stand up ovation for GF's recap and the drama itself!!

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Love it to the max!!
Even my little 4yo was clapping her hands right after the last performance.

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I really wanted to see Yoo-seul bashing Cha-sik over the head for switching on her :'(. But still a great ending.

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I was a sobbing mess when Jin Mok broke down after hearing sincere praises from YS re his talent. He so needed to hear that, and the best thing is, you can see why he had to hear it in that very moment, when his heart was oh so very heavy. And then he just let it burst - that look of relief he expressed with his whole being. Damn great acting. Great, GREAT mini-series, and a beautiful resolution!!

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Loved that scene as well and also when he finally received a sincere compliment from Yoo-seul's mom. It's really heartwarming that the validation that he so wanted all along came from his greatest rival and her mother that he previously considered a lowly piano instructor. Seeing Yoo-seul's roller beside Jin-mok's many trophies hit me right in the heart as well. It's as if receiving that praise from Yoo-seul and having the opportunity to play with her was a trophy in itself.

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Ditto! Very well said. ^^

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This helped me get over my trauma on pianos that Cheese in the Trap left. I will always love Park Hye Ryun's writing. Thanks for the recap!

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I haven't read this recap/comments or watched the previous episodes, but I was only a bit curious about the drama.

Well, I just read the first line by girlfriday so now I must watch it. Only 3 episodes so this will be a quick watch. Excited to try it! :)

I'll be back. Hehee

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I really did enjoy this drama. Made me feel all sorts of ways!

The ending definitely left me wanting more, but I'm pleased with the overall message. I like that the main leads are still pursuing their dreams and living their lives.

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Delicious! Good things come in small bites. thanks JB for recapping.

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I might be in the minority here but even though I loved Park Hye-Ryun's dramas: I hear your voice, Pinocchio and this one Page Turner, her endings always seem to leave me unsatisfied. The beginning and middle of the stories, I'm captivated but towards the end it doesn't seem to own up to what it's worth.

For example, in Page Turner, the ending was ended on a happy note, which is fine, but if you think about it; it also ended in deception. The writer kinda glazed over the fact that the heroine was decieved--but that's okay because it's for her happiness? I'm not exactly sure if I completely buy it.
It might have been better if some of the conflicts were clarified after the competition (like her relationship with her mom, her finding out about cha-shik, resolution with jin mok...etc)

But overall, I enjoyed the 3 eps and bravo to the actor's acting! :)

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