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The Liar and His Lover: Episode 1

I asked for cute and fresh, and cute and fresh I surely got. tvN’s new musical rom-com The Liar and His Lover (literal title: She Loves Lies Too Much) premiered this week, and though the setup may come across as a bit juvenile, this lying music composer and his loving singer already have me hooked. We’ve got charming characters, catchy music, and above all, a fascinating undertone that promises something much deeper than your average high school crush — all good signs.

 
EPISODE 1 RECAP

A young man dressed in all black strides through the crowded streets. Time slows as he silently takes in the various sounds and voices around him. He stops when he hears a child crying out, the sound striking a chord within him.

Next, we’re introduced to a young girl cheerily making vegetable deliveries around the neighborhood. This is our female lead, YOON SO-RIM (Red Velvet’s Joy), and she seems to be a total bundle of sunshine, smiling widely as she rides around on her bike. She stops by her home, the vegetable shop her grandmother runs, and quickly greets Grandma before grabbing her guitar and heading out again. She barely makes it to her bus, on her way to meet her friends/bandmates for an audition.

Meanwhile, the man in black walks into a huge stadium, where three members of popular idol group Crude Play ambush him. One snatches his cap, revealing him to be our male lead, KANG HAN-GYUL (Lee Hyun-woo). Around these parts, he’s mostly known for his secret identity: producer and musical genius “K.” And while they all seem like good buddies, Han-gyul means serious business as he tells the band to quit goofing off and just sing the songs properly. The bassist and fourth band member, SEO CHAN-YOUNG (Lee Seo-won), smirks to himself with disdain.

Unfortunately, Han-gyul has to miss the concert to attend a recording session. As he exits the venue, his gaze gravitates toward the screen displayed outside as a video of the band plays. He watches himself (as the masked K) walk alongside the group, and then the image changes into a memory of him walking with them back when they were high school students – though, notably, Chan-young wasn’t there. A sudden downpour brings him out of his thoughts, and he makes a run for the bus.

Han-gyul moves his way through the jam-packed bus when one of his ear buds pops out, and he hears So-rim’s warm voice as she escorts an elderly woman to a seat. Before he can actually see her face, someone shoves him forward. He cranes his neck to find her again, but she’s out of view now.

His phone rings, and he immediately answers, chiding the Crude Play boys for calling when they should be getting on stage. Lead singer YOO SHI-HYUN (Sung Joo), guitarist LEE YOON (Shin Je-min), and drummer JI IN-HO (Jang Ki-yong) chide him right back for having no soul. Han-gyul smiles and tells them to knock it off, but the boys won’t go until Han-gyul does their group cheer. “I’m on a bus,” he says, glancing around. “I can’t!”

But Shi-hyun is already counting down, so Han-gyul momentarily panics and then shouts at the top of his lungs, “Let’s love! Let’s kill! Let’s die! Let’s go!” earning stares from every passenger on the bus. So-rim giggles and notes that she’s never seen a male fan before. LOL. (*replays*)

The Crude Play boys laugh and repeat the cheer, then head out on stage. Han-gyul watches the show on his phone, while So-rim – a Crude Play fan herself – listens to the very song they’re performing.

Han-gyul and So-rim get off at the same location and are both confined to the bus stop as it continues to pour. So-rim tries to make a run for it but prances back to where it’s dry, worried her guitar will get soaked.

Han-gyul eyes So-rim and her guitar case as she dejectedly looks at the sky. He smiles faintly and moves past her, swiftly dropping his own umbrella into her hand. He tosses his hood over his head and heads out in the rain without a word. So-rim looks up at the umbrella in surprise and then at Han-gyul’s blurring figure as he runs farther away. She smiles at the kind gesture and calls out, “Thank you!” over and over.

So-rim bursts into the audition room where her friends, guitarist BAEK JIN-WOO (Song Kang) and drummer LEE GYU-SUN (Park Jong-hyuk) are anxiously waiting. The judges are already impatient and order them to hurry it up. So So-rim takes the little stuffed bird (cutely named Jeje) that’s hanging from her guitar case and kisses it for good luck.

The three ready their instruments, but as So-rim plays the first chord, a string on her guitar snaps. She immediately freezes, her face going from shock to fear as she looks out at the judges.

At the recording session, Han-gyul supervises as a hyung of his plays the guitar. When Han-gyul instructs his hyung to play simply rather than fancily, Hyung snaps that he may not be a Crude Play member to the public, but he is a member in the recording studio, considering that he provides all the music. Han-gyul’s eyes flick up at that, emoting an alarming coldness and intensity.

“Okay,” Han-gyul says, putting on a smile. “Then, just make sure you do a good job.” Hyung agrees to do just that, but mere seconds after he starts strumming his guitar, Han-gyul interrupts him and tells him to start over. This happens again and again and again until Hyung gets angry and asks what he’s doing wrong. Han-gyul flatly states that he told Hyung to do a good job. “If you can’t do that, then get out,” he says in banmal.

The next thing we know, Crude Play’s manager, CHOI JIN-HYUK (Lee Jung-jin), waltzes into the studio to find Hyung cursing Han-gyul for not directing him properly. Han-gyul walks past everyone, muttering to Jin-hyuk that he wants a different guitarist. Hyung calls Han-gyul and the rest of Crude Play trash for making other people play for them. Oh snap.

Han-gyul stops in his tracks and turns back to face Hyung. “Trash?” he repeats. “You’re the one who’s trash. Because you’re not needed.” Hyung asks if his father taught him to treat his sunbaes this way, and Han-gyul scoffs, saying it was the bastards who ripped off his father who taught him. Han-gyul insists that he’s the only one who can protect his music before stalking off.

Jin-hyuk goes after Han-gyul and asks why he can’t just compromise and get along with the people he works with. Han-gyul retorts that he’s not here to do that – he’s here to perfectly recreate the sounds in his head. He requests for more time until Crude Play’s release since he’ll be recording without a guitar now. Jin-hyuk begins to argue, but Han-gyul shuts him up by stating that Crude Play deserves at least that much.

The Crude Play boys jump into an interview after a photoshoot, and Shi-hyun gets hit with a question about the inspiration for their songs. The boys joke around that the mysterious K has had a colorful love life and has been dumped numerous times. The interviewer brings up the fact that Chan-young replaced K as an official member of the band last-minute and asks for the reason behind it. “We simply found what we’re all good at,” Chan-young answers. He continues that their songs are successful because K is only focusing on the songwriting.

Later, Jin-hyuk accompanies CHAE YOO-NA (Hong Seo-young), a female idol who is also under his management, to a dinner with the entertainment company’s CEO. CEO YOO HYUN-JUNG (Park Ji-young) notices that Yoo-na isn’t eating and reprimands Jin-hyuk for not taking care of his idols. She reminds them that Yoo-na’s last album was a huge failure and that her fall from stardom is inevitable. Still, she encourages Yoo-na to keep trying to grow, and to start by eating so she can maintain her curvy image. Yoo-na swallows and quietly complies.

When So-rim returns home, Grandma asks how the audition went. So-rim just smiles and lies that she messed up by mixing up audition times. Grandma simply nods and reassures her that it’ll all work out – after all, So-rim’s mother always said she was meant to be a singer.

In her room, So-rim remembers her mom comforting her when she was a little girl. Little So-rim had been scared to perform in a recital all by herself, but Mom had reassured her that she wasn’t alone and that Mom, Dad, and Grandma would all be sitting up front. Mom also reminded her that she had Jeje, the bird Mom had made and filled with love, so she didn’t have to be afraid.

Keeping that in mind now, So-rim hits the record button on her phone and starts singing one of her songs. She dances around the room with the umbrella Han-gyul gave her, thinking back to the moment she saw him running in the rain.

After discovering that Yoo-na’s concert was cancelled after she froze up on stage, Han-gyul takes a cab to her house. While sitting in the cab, he sees Jin-hyuk dropping Yoo-na off and then driving away. Han-gyul watches him leave with a confused expression.

Inside, Yoo-na is worn out after dinner and pulls off her wig, staring at her own reflection for a few long seconds. After fully shedding off her idol image and getting into more comfortable clothes, she answers the door to let Han-gyul in. Once the two are on the couch together, they get all smiley and cuddly, as if wanting to shed off their stressful days as well.

Han-gyul mentions the cancelled concert, making Yoo-na’s face fall. She says it was probably for the best anyway, since people don’t care for her songs – they only care about her body. Han-gyul tells her not to say things like that, but Yoo-na has another thought: “Should I retire?” Han-gyul turns to look at her, and there’s desperation in his voice as he says that it’d be a waste to give up with the voice she has.

Angry tears prick at the corners of Yoo-na’s eyes. “Even at a time like this, you only see me as the singer Chae Yoo-na? I’m your girlfriend. I don’t know about anyone else, but shouldn’t you see my pain and struggles first?”

“I can’t do that,” Han-gyul tries to reason with her. He says that he loves when he sees her sing and he doesn’t want to lose that. She stares at him hard, assuming that he means that if she stops singing, he won’t love her anymore — that he’s only interested in what songs she sings, not in what words hurt her. And since she can’t take that about him anymore, she tells Han-gyul to leave.

He starts to protest, but Yoo-na raises her voice and tells him that she doesn’t want to see him right now. Han-gyul’s eyes are filled with hurt, but Yoo-na isn’t looking at him anymore. So he gets up and walks out, leaving her alone to cry.

The following day, So-rim and her friends meet up with a classmate outside their homeroom. Their classmate is holding a bouquet of roses intended for a confession of love, but he’s starting to have second thoughts on the plan So-rim cooked up. So-rim asks him if he’s ever seen a drama kiss scene without any music. When he replies in the negative, she smiles and says, “Music is what makes the special moments even more special.”

With that said, Gyu-sun literally shoves the guy into the classroom, sending him crashing to the floor, ha. So-rim enters through the other door with Jin-woo, commencing their plan by singing a sweet love song (GFriend’s “Me Gustas Tu”).

The camera then whirls around to show their classmate back on his feet and singing along. And as the entire class realizes what’s going on, they all break out into an entire dance routine, as if it’s a completely normal thing for them. As the song comes to a close, the lover boy kneels before a girl sitting by the window and—…

“Are you in your right mind?” the girl answers. *record scratch*

The rejection seems to break the class out of their sudden musical number, and they all disperse at the sight of TEACHER BONG. Everyone manages to escape, save for So-rim and her friends.

Teacher Bong sends the three of them to the teacher’s office, and though he thinks what they did was silly, he seems like a pretty easygoing teacher. However, another teacher overhears what happened and scoffs that they’re about as worthless as their grades, even making a cruel remark that it’s expected of So-rim, since she was raised by her grandmother. So-rim boldly tells this teacher that Grandma has nothing to do with this. And when the teacher presses that So-rim still isn’t good at anything, she states that there is something: “I can sing.”

The teacher turns to Teacher Bong since he’s in charge of the school’s music program, and Teacher Bong does vouch that So-rim is a talented singer. But the mean teacher just laughs and says that if she were any good, she would’ve been scouted by now. He tells her to give up on the idea and focus on her studies instead. His words hit So-rim hard, and she thinks back to her failed audition, as well as to the recital she participated in when she was younger. She’d gotten up on stage and sang her little heart out, but she’d stopped at the sight of Grandma screaming in agony after receiving a call.

Jin-woo and Gyu-sun find So-rim outside and present her with snacks and some words of encouragement. Teacher Bong jumps in with a surprise of his own: a brochure for a band festival, held by none other than Sole Music, the entertainment company where both Crude Play and Yoo-na reside.

Teacher Bong tells them to go for it, adding that he’ll even write them a recommendation letter. However, he says, if they’re unsuccessful this time too, he wants them to throw in the towel and focus on their senior year. It’s a risky promise, but it does get So-rim’s hopes right back up. Soon she’s even back to singing and dancing with her friends and neighbors as she helps with Grandma’s shop.

Meanwhile, Han-gyul is out sulking by the Han River when he sees his friends’ photoshoot interview. He sighs as he listens to Yoon comment that anyone likes a guy who writes music, but no one likes a guy who only writes music.

Just then, Shi-hyun calls to see if Han-gyul has seen the video. Han-gyul solemnly looks out at the river as he asks, “Do you guys really see me that way too?” Shi-hyun is stunned into silence before saying he and the boys were just kidding around. He starts to ask if he had a fight with Yoo-na when Han-gyul’s phone dies and abruptly ends the call.

Han-gyul’s thoughts wander back to Yoo-na, during a time when they’d discussed his good ear for sound. As the two share a kiss in his memory, Han-gyul’s eyes close as he gets lost in the feeling and begins to hum a new melody.

And at that very moment, So-rim appears on her bike, en route to another delivery. Her eyes land on Han-gyul’s face and stay there as she zips past him, until she finds herself coming to an abrupt halt.

Han-gyul slowly opens his eyes, hardly even noticing So-rim staring at him. He instinctively reaches for his phone, and remembering it’s dead, quickly approaches So-rim and asks for hers. Before she has a chance to reply, he takes it out of her hands, hits the record button, and to So-rim’s surprise, begins to sing.

He sings the entire song that came to his head, and So-rim is too lost in wonder to do anything, even as he ends the recording and sends it to himself. Before she knows it, he’s thanking her and handing her phone back. By the time she fully snaps out of it, Han-gyul takes off running. Panicking, she goes after him on her bike, only to run into some kids and fall to the ground. Her heart sinks as she watches him disappear.

Once at home, Han-gyul wastes no time in creating a demo of his new song.

Grandma fixes up So-rim’s scraped knee and, per her request, sings her a song while rocking them back and forth. The feeling triggers memories of So-rim’s mom performing the same gesture. Before the memory overwhelms her, she thinks again of Han-gyul singing by the river.

The next day at school, So-rim messes with her phone, which shattered when she fell, worried she might’ve lost the files inside. Jin-woo reassures her that the files are safe and proves it by removing her SD card and putting it in his own phone. As soon as she confirms Han-gyul’s file truly is there, So-rim snatches the phone from him and puts her earphones in for a listen.

Sure enough, Han-gyul’s voice reaches her ears and instantly makes her whole face light up. As she lets the song play out, her surroundings morph into a romantic glow, with the spotlight on a uniform-clad Han-gyul smiling right at her. Oh boy, she’s got it bad.

Jin-woo and Gyu-sun yank the earphones out of her ears, wondering what’s got her so starry-eyed. Still grinning like a fool, So-rim says, “What do I do? I think I’ve come to like someone.” And then she pushes Gyu-sun aside to get a better look at imaginary Han-gyul. Yup, girl’s got it bad.

She goes straight to that spot by the Han River after school – Jin-woo and Gyu-sun close behind – but there’s no sign of Han-gyul. She does this every day for a week, her ears perking up to any boy that remotely resembles him, only to droop when she realizes it’s not him.

After a while, Jin-woo gets tired of watching So-rim’s desperate search and tells her to stop being so delusional and dramatic, calling her so-called love at first sight absurd. So-rim: “Hey, Baek Jin-woo. You’ve never liked anyone, have you?” Um, by the look on his face, I’m kinda thinking that he has. Nevertheless, So-rim claims that this guy is all she can think about, day in and day out, so what further proof could she need?

Han-gyul sends his finished demo to Jin-hyuk and the boys, all of whom take an instant liking to the song. But when Han-gyul comes in to the studio with a request to make this the new title track, Jin-hyuk isn’t so sure they can pull it off. Han-gyul is positive Crude Play can do it, so Jin-hyuk gives him the okay.

Just downstairs, the lobby is filled with people waiting to audition for the music festival, So-rim and friends included.

Han-gyul meets with the boys next, and they’re not exactly thrilled with the idea of learning an entire new song with their busy schedule. Han-gyul insists they don’t have to learn when they could just play to the pre-recording. His voice is almost desperate as he tells them he can’t just let this song go. But Yoon fumes at the demands Han-gyul is asking of them and storms out, followed by Shi-hyun and In-ho.

Silent Chan-young finally speaks up and asks Han-gyul if pursuing his music would still make him happy even if his friends ended up hating him. He continues that he’s allowed to say these things since he didn’t form the band with Han-gyul and the others. “I was a session musician and then I joined Crude Play. Replacing you,” Chan-young laughs dryly and walks out.

Now alone in the studio, Han-gyul remembers the first time he and his three friends were brought here, back when they were excited to hear their music as an actual recording. And when Han-gyul had noticed the recording wasn’t really them playing, he’d confronted Jin-hyuk about this, angry that Jin-hyuk wanted them to act as puppets while the session musicians did all the playing. Jin-hyuk had offered for Han-gyul to put his ear to good use and debut as a solo composer, taking him aback.

His gaze then turned sad as he watched his friends behind the other side of the glass, and he asked who the bassist in the recording was. He met with an eager Chan-young, who was willing to do whatever Han-gyul asked. “Play bass for Crude Play instead of me,” Han-gyul said.

Back in the lobby, So-rim panics as she realizes Jeje is missing from her guitar case. But there’s no time to look for it – it’s her band’s turn to audition. They’re rushed to the stage and her friends jump right into their song, but So-rim can’t bring herself to sing.

She looks out into the crowd, the blaring lights skewing her vision and forcing her to see that memory of her recital. Someone had yelled about a huge subway fire, causing chaos throughout the audience. But all little So-rim could see was her sobbing grandmother walking toward her.

As So-rim stands frozen on stage now, she hears her mom’s voice reassure her that she won’t be alone.

“Liar,” she says, her voice trembling as she searches the room. “I’m all alone now.” She lets her tears fall as the judges urge her off the stage. She’s just about to, when suddenly, her eyes widen as she finally catches sight of a familiar face in the audience: Han-gyul.

She helplessly watches him weave through the crowd and head for the exit. With no way to reach him, So-rim faces the mic again.

Han-gyul moves through the revolving door, noticing a stuffed bird on the ground. He picks it up, not thinking much of it, when he hears… his song? He whirls around in shock until his eyes land on So-rim on stage, smiling brightly at him through her tears.

 
COMMENTS

Is it too soon to say I love this? Because I love this. It might be because this is an adaptation of a shojo manga, but I love the very familiar and classic rom-com vibes it’s giving off. That feeling gives me hope that this drama will hit all the romantic sweet spots we’ve come to know and love.

I’ve always been a fan of male leads falling for the girl first (especially when they’re big dorks about it), but it’s nice to switch it up sometimes and get a character like So-rim – a young, innocent soul who jumps into love without warning. Though I think her friends are right to question her instalove, I also find it very endearing. As an actress, Joy is glaringly green, but because of her bubbly personality and her background in the music industry, I think she falls into her character almost seamlessly. She’s showing great potential, particularly in the chemistry department with Lee Hyun-woo, and I’m delightfully surprised, considering this is her first drama.

Then there’s Lee Hyun-woo as the tortured music composer Han-gyul. Admittedly, Lee Hyun-woo is an actor I’d watch anything for, specifically because he never fails to leave behind a memorable performance. And so far, I do like what he’s doing in The Liar and His Lover. His portrayal of Han-gyul isn’t as dark and moody as I’d initially expected, and I think it actually works. I like that we see moments where Han-gyul is smiling with his friends or giving a complete stranger an umbrella (a simple scene that automatically triggered my swooning reflex). Those moments make everything else hit that much harder, so when he does have the heavier scenes, I legitimately feel bad for him.

His flashbacks to before Crude Play’s debut revealed that at one point in time, he really was just a kid who wanted to pursue music with his friends. And that moment right before their debut, when Han-gyul made the life-altering choice to have Chan-young replace him, revealed that something broke him. After that, all he had left was the drive to create music, even if it was only behind the scenes. His passion for the subject manifested into something so strong that even to this day, he has no idea how to handle it or how to explain it to the people he loves. His friends may understand him to a certain point, and it’s great that they still consider him as a band member, but I think they’re oblivious to the fact that the way he carries himself may be some sort of defense mechanism.

That said, I both love and hate the stark contrast between Han-gyul and So-rim. We have the innocent girl fall for the typical bad boy – a trope I love when used to have the girl gradually warm the boy’s heart with her own. And it’s a trope I also hate, since I know that the boy’s bound to hurt the girl somewhere along the way. If the drama plays its cards right, it’ll concentrate more on the former rather than the latter. After all, I won’t lie and say that girlfriend Yoo-na’s words didn’t scare me. If Han-gyul can only see the singer in Yoo-na, does that mean he’ll only see the singer in So-rim? Surely So-rim’s bright and sunny personality can change that in Han-gyul and fix what was broken years ago. And at the same time, Han-gyul could fix what was broken with So-rim. I never thought that would be a part of the story, but that immediate relief she felt when she saw him in the crowd spoke volumes.

Perhaps it’s hard to believe that what So-rim feels for Han-gyul right now is love, but I don’t doubt that she feels some sort of pull towards him. I practically saw her heart stop when she first saw him at the Han River – when she first heard him humming. Their mutual love for music is so palpable that when the two are together, I do feel what seems like the beginning of a lovely connection. Which is why I’m really digging how the drama is handling the musical aspect. On So-rim’s side, the music is fun and warm and heartfelt (think High School Musical), while on Han-gyul’s side, the music is strictly professional. It’s cold, it’s calculated, it’s real life. It’ll be interesting to see these two sides collide, so bring on the conflict! Bring on the lies! I’m ready for the long haul.

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I love her.

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Forgot to say that I am already attached to Sorim x Grandma. I mean how sweet was the scene where she hugged her and asked Grandma to sing for her? Ugh. So full of love ? I know it's random but I actually teared up at that part. ?

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I really love the whole idea of fruits and legume shop and neighborhood. That scene where she sings with all the grandmas dancing, and my favorite part… with her friend drumming, was adorable. Explains how she’s best friend with him if they grew up close to each other. Makes me wonder how they became friend with the crush-friend though.

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yea, I wonder too. Jinwoo looks like he's from a well-off family if we look at his mother. curious curious. I wonder if we'll get to know more about her past with her two friends. the children singing and holding hands were toooooo cute.

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Why didn't I have my own 2 boy-friends to hold my hands when I went to singing competition? Why?? Life is unfair. lol

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So happy someone is recapping this!!!!

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Me too! I didn't know if DB would, so I started recapping it on my own blog just in case. I think I'll keep going, but it'll be interesting to compare opinions with the DB recap. ^^

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Yay! 2 blogs to follow along with the drama!

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Yeey. I have been waiting for this drama to be recapped. Becoz i love it. I am not rookie drama watcher. I love it. I gives the vibe i got from You are beautiful. Also Lee Hyun Woo is one of my fav even though Moorim school sucked.

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The production for this drama was involved in You're beautiful so that might explain it. Like many comments on here, I get a Dream High vibe from this as well. It's like it has the drama color from You're beautiful, and the band part, but reminds me of Dream High because Yoon Sorim is like the cheerful friendly version of Song Samdong. I loved both dramas so this is a good sign ^________^

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I love how fresh watching this feels like. It might be because the entire cast (sans adult actors and lhw) are all greens, but it feels fresh. I'm right in the mood for it.

I am in the minoriti, but I also love the musical confession number. Watching this just makes me smile. :D

I have one single complaint... the transitions between scenes, but that's an editing problem rather than a plot/character problem so I can live with it.

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I also love the moments when the surrounding sounds are muted and he hears just her speaking voice ringing.

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I really love the whole idea of fruits and legume shop and neighborhood. That scene where she sings with all the grandmas dancing, and my favorite part... with her friend drumming, was adorable. Explains how she's best friend with him if they grew up close to each other. Makes me wonder how they became friend with the crush-friend though.

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Please delete. Replied to the wrong comment. :)

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Overall, I'll say I like how music-oriented this drama is in the details. I like that they made Hankyul's obsession with sounds clear, from how he listens to all the sounds just walking, or how he focuses on Sorim's voice when she speaks, or how he's obsessed with creating the perfect sound. He clearly lives for music, and so does she. It's a nice connection to fall in love.

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I watched the press conference vlive and the director said that he ended up choosing mostly rookie actors because of many reasons, so it's not a coincidence the cast is fresh. Sorim's 2 friends are all new to drama, several from the band, Yuna, and Joy. It's because of the director's choice.

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I don't believe it's beneath SM to push their artists into acting but I don't believe Joy's casting in this case is only because of SM as some people are saying because, like you said, she's not the only rookie actress in the cast. Seems like every young cast member is, except for Lee Hyun Woo.

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So far, aside from Sorim, the vocalist, the bassist, and Sorim's best friend (the tall one) caught my eyes. I love discovering new talent when they first start.

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I'm glad that Sorim = Riko as I imagined her from the page, and while LHW's portrayal seems a bit more youthful than I expected, I think it fits quite well. I might even prefer it. Also, I love the trio musketeers.

I think the reason Sorim could sing in the end, was because she sang not to audition in front of others, but to catch his attention. I think she's blocked when she sings for just auditions/competitions, because she doesn't seem to have a problem with public singing.

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I love it. It gives me Dream High feels. Which is a big deal, because Dream High was my very first drama. It's more on the rom-com side than Dream High was - I sort of wish it delves into the dark side of the music industry, the side we don't usually see, but I'm okay with how the show's going.

Joy's smile is litearlly like a sugar rush, Hyun-woo needs to stop with the eye-smile and am I the only one who was a crush on So-rim's best friend (the one who has a definite crush on her?)

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His name is Song Kang. He looks hot and very different in the Vlive where he joined Joy & LHW (I think called liar and lover orientation or something). Joy even said he was good-looking. Haha. I don't know who to ship her with, because her early interview with LHW was soooooo adorbs, and then in the press conference Vlive, Seowon said he would look up her "Joy legend" fancam, and he ended up really looking it up and liking a picture of with Joy legend tag on instagram. talso liked a picture of Joy paired up with like 9 guys or something, including with himself. So cute. WHO TO SHIP HER WITH???? That's the question.... I can feel an incoming headache trying to decide.

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oooh!!! Are the subs out for the vids already? I haven't checked on the vids in a few days, I must have missed it.

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yes, subs are out :)))) Just go on vlive and search for them. one of the vids has out of sync subs so you might want to download it and resync them, but all the other ones are fully subbed and synced. :)

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omomomomomo... don't tell me lee seo won really went ahead and looked up THIS????? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=896zQzSUQD0

I thought he was joking at the press-con since he was laughing. lmao. who knew he was serious about it. I wonder if he teased Joy about her legendary fancam. Since he said he would be watching it together, and lee hyun woo was giggling like mad besides him when he said it, do you think he watched it with hyunwoo? lmao. that would be awesome. I have the link saved in my bookmarks, and i swear i have to watch it at least once every two weeks. lmao.

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Hahaha. I follow him on IG so I saw the notif for when he liked the picture of her in adult ceremony. I don't know if he watched the fancam too, but if he did, it's probably not the one you posted (hello sexy slow mo effects *fans self* ) but this one, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pA18cQ5EXs which is maybe less hot, but has like a million more views
In my opinion, he probably shared it with Lee Hyun woo too. Lee Hyun woo seemed a bit too interested and happy about it at the presscon. :P

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that awkward moment when the individual fancam of Joy has more views than the official video....
she didn't want Sungjae to watch it, so I doubt she would be thrilled to know Lee Seo Won did. She seemed so shy when that actress playing Yoona told ebd at the presscon that her brother was a fan and told her to watch the video to learn how to be a sexy singer from it.

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He looks like sungjae so i kinda feel like looks-wise joy would find him good looking haha

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I don't know Joy well yet since I just started discovering her this week but from all the videos I've seen, she praises all the guys who are next to her for being good looking. I can't blame her because it's true. She's a lucky lucky girl ^____^

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For me, it's like a mix of High school musical x Dream High, so it brings me back to my teenager years. I love it!

We already see a bit of the dark side, with Yoona having to sell her sexy image, the Crude Play band needing people to ghost-play for them for the CD recordings (not the concerts it seems), or how mercilessly the guitarist was discarded with the confidential clause.

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With all the drama on the casting, I decided to reserve judgement and waited until the first week. Overall, I'm satisfied. Not perfectly satisfied, say, but as a fan of both the manga, and the japanese movie, I'm glad I am able to avoid skipping the korean adaptation. I see several differences already, so it will be interesting to see where this goes. Riko seems to be almost similar (perhaps less clumsy and ditzy, but with the trauma), so that's the most important part for me. First time I'm watching Joy, so too early to form a solid opinion, but I can see why she was casted. Her speech sounds very nice to the ears, and her singing voice stands out. Plus, she's doing that innocent and friendly/clumsy vibe Riko needs ok.

I had that image of Aki ingrained in me by Satoh's version: broody vagabond type. I'm surprised I don't mind the change in him, must be Lee Hyunwoo's effect. I like that he's still a jerk when he's focused on his music, but seems like a regular dude when it's not music-related.

I like how they made Soichiro in this version so far but haven't seen enough to make a full judgement.

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Yeah, I was skeptical about the casting but after watching it, I admit I can't think on the top of my head of actresses who are of the right age, can sing, have that young cheerful bubbly image so I don't mind being introduced to a new one. She fits the bill nicely so far, I'm pleasantly surprised.

Her friend and Chanyoung stand out for me (just because they are cuties).

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I think Kim Saeron or Kim Yoo Jung might be able to play the role of Sorim, but I don't know if they can sing or have a special unique voice. I admit, I'm not familiar with young actresses these days so I can't offer more options. ^.^""" Joy is obviously green but seems to slip into her role naturally enough that I don't mind. Or maybe it's because I like Sorim as a character. ^.^"""

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Why was Lee Hyun Woo cast? He can't particularly sing, and he can't particularly dance. I couldn't understand why So Rim was so mesmerized by his singing at the Han River when he didn't even sound good. Then Han Gyul dancing like no one's watching while topless was indescribably awkward.

But seriously, why was Lee Hyun Woo cast? Why does KeyEast insist on choosing nothing but teen projects for him? And if it's Lee Hyun Woo doing the choosing himself, then why does KeyEast not veto his choices? I've lost all hope of Lee Hyun Woo having a hit drama when he keeps working with untalented idols. Joy's line delivery and blank expressions were uncomfortable to watch.

I was so annoyed by So Rim blowing it for her band again at the music festival. This audition was not just about her; two other people's dreams were on the line. Yet So Rim refused to sing again? Jin Woo obviously won't say anything because he likes her, but they lost their last opportunity thanks to her.

My favorite characters so far are Chan Young (Lee Seo Won is super hot) and Jin Woo who is going to get his heart broken.

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I don't think she was in love with his voice. She was in love with the image of him being so focused on his song, and just singing it, forgetting everything else, with his eyes closed.

She couldn't sing at the audition because it's a trauma. Trauma can paralyze people, even during life and death situations, where they can't even act to save themselves because of how the traumatic memory takes over them and paralyzes them. It very hard to overcome.

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"Han Gyul dancing like no one’s watching while topless was indescribably awkward."
I agree, why was he even topless and why was this scene so long? But to be absolutely honest all those topless scenes in every dramas are VERY awkward, it is never because script asks for that and always as a fanservice.

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I agree that he didn't need to be topless, but the scene wasn't entirely pointless. It showed him in his home setting, and that he is capable of being relaxed and lighthearted, especially when he finishes a song he's happy with. It kinda shows why he's obsessed with music, since it can make him happy.

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1000% agree! Those topless scenes are always meaningless&awkward.

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uh... ever heard of love at first sight? people have married over it, my grandparents included :D :D :D :D hee.

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what a coincidence! love at first sight happened to my parents too!! i'm half-english, half-italian because my father was going to italy for work and he saw my mother in a restaurant and fell in love with her at first sight. He told everyone she was going to be his wife, asked her for a dance right there in the restaurant, and the rest was history. What's even more romantic, is that he later found out she told her friends the same thing when she saw him. She told them she was going to marry him. hahahahaha. He pursued her for 3 months without knowing she fell for him too at first sight. She said she wanted to make him work. hahahaha.

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awwww. how cute. my father also fell in love at first sight with my mother but she only started to meet him 2 years later. he was not her type at all and he had to watch her date 2 other men meanwhile. he's still nagging her about it even now. kkkkk.

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lol @ all the comments on the topless scenes. You're lucky it's not underwear scenes if they wanted to make it realistic.
I can attest as frat member for almost 2 years now that most men our age lounge around in the house either topless, or mostly in our underwear. At home, I'm considerate of my sis and wear some shorts, but once she's out of the house for bubble tea or whatever with her friends, it's boxers for me. ;) We only wear our tshirts when there's a girl around, it's MUCH more comfortable without one.

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LOL. This reminds me of an old football commercial. It's actually shirtless for men, topless for women. Shirtless (for men) is normal. Topless (for women in most cultures) is inappropriate.

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I'm personally not comfortable being in just my undies but I have some friends who don't mind being in just their undies around girls. And apparently, the first thing the japanese actress Horikita Maki does when she gets home, is take off her clothes and be naked. lol.

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well, I'm not a man but I have a brother, and he tells me when I'm not visiting his place, he's naked there. tsk tsk. even when I'm there, he works out in his undies and I just avoid looking. lol. and as a fan of idols, there are always accounts about how some members are naked in their dorms. lol.

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I've heard of a few sleeping naked and traumatizing their roommates. Pfft.

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most viewers are female, and with this drama, younger, so they're probably not used to seeing men half-naked. kkkkk.

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Would they feel more comfortable if they think of it as young men in their natural habitat? My boyfriend does the same. The moment he cross the doorway, the suit and shirt is the first thing to come off. Even in winter. It's crazy. I'm always afraid he'll fall sick because of it.

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He's not a singer in the drama though? He's a producer/composer, who can play the drums/keyboard/bass/guitar.

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Jamigee, while it shows him playing those instruments, I don't get the feeling that he's really playing them. There's an instrumental covering his playing. It just feels really phony to me. For instance, in the drama Monstar, the guy used a synth to create the song troublemaker right in front of us, and it felt real. His acting wasn't that great to me but the musical performances at least didn't make me feel like it was lip sync central.

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Because that guy is idol in real life, he also songwriter/composer/producer, so he already familiar with synth and everything related music

But I must admit, I can't see chemistry between hangyul dan instrumens, as person who devoted his live to music. Maybe, as time goes it will be better

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I meant that guy in monstar (highlight Junhyung) ^^

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wow. So fascinating to hear from the point of view of a musician. From a pleb like myself, I can't really tell if he has no chemistry with his instruments. In my uneducated eyes, he just looks really concentrated and passionate about music. LOL. Then again, I watched glee and High School Musical, and Grease, and other musicals through the tv so I got used to seeing people lipsyncing to prerecorded versions. I guess it must be different for a musician who gets to see live musicals and stuff.

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why would he need to know how to dance? Haven't you ever just broke out dancing when you're alone at home? I know I have. I don't go to clubs because I look like a monkey when I dance, but I definitely break out some monkey moves at home.

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Finally someone with the same opinion as me. I like the writing, directing and acting, but it bothers me that Lee Hyun Woo can't sing a lick. It's a major disconnect for me, and it felt that way in Moorim School as well. He may be a great actor but he doesn't feel like a musician to me at all. Other shows like You're Beautiful, Dream High, Heartstrings, and I am Legend had real musicians in the right spot.

Yes he plays a producer but before he was part of Crude Play, so technically he should be able to sing and allegedly play the bass, which he doesn't. If he writes music and he attempts to sing it into a phone then it should sound like he can sing. If not, he should be using his preferred instrument -- usually guitar or keyboard, and recording it onto someone's phone. I'm a musician myself, and while I suck at composing, I wouldn't sing my song into a phone because I know I can't sing the notes.

Sorry if I offended anyone, but it's something that rubs me the wrong way.

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Not all composers are good singers. There are a lot of korean singer-songwriters who aren't good singers. Lee Yoon seok, Yoo Yeon seok, etc. It's why they produce songs for other to sing. Usually, the bassist in a band doesn't need to be good at singing so it shouldn't be a problem for Hangyul's character if he isn't the greatest singer. He seems to carry a tune just fine.

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I'm not asking him to be a good singer. But I heard him record his voice on her phone and it didn't seem at all like he was carrying the tune. And like the person below me said, he had no other instrument. I'm not a professional musician but I know I can't sing very well and I was cringing as he sang into the phone.

Incidentally, you're right, the bassist does not have to be good at singing. However, a bassist is good at chords and bass progressions. If a bassist composes he more than likely would not be using his guitar to carry the melody, but his voice, using his guitar to accompany him. Lee Hyun Woo composed the song like a singer would. But just not realistically enough for me.

Honestly, it's not just that scene, it's the whole thing. Probably because I saw Moorim and I didn't believe he was a pop idol there either.

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He sounded fine to me????? I went back to listen again after reading this just to double-check but what he sang and what Sorim sang sounds like the same song (???) Could you specify what part of the tune sounded off-key to you? You're making me scared all of the sudden. Imagine finding out after 18 years that you're tone-deaf through dramabeans...

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It's a matter of taste whether or not he's believable as a composer to you so that's that.

But why would he need to carry an instrument when he's going to hangang river to blow off steam after a row with his girlfriend? He just happened to think of his girlfriend in that moment, and thought up of a tune inspired by her as a consequence. It's like a writer not carrying his laptop or notebook around at all time, suddenly getting and idea and scribbling his idea down on a borrowed piece of paper. The writer can go back home and elaborate that idea into a full story, just like Han Kyul went back home where his equipment and instruments are, and started working on his song and creating the demo.

I'm not sure what you mean by composing like a singer... unless you mean that a singer would compose from the melody and a bassist (also pianist and guitarist) would compose from the chords, which doesn't work that way. Some composers come up with lyrics first, some with the melody first, and some with the chords progression first, and some come up with different ideas first for different songs.

As for singing, just like a writer doesn't need to have good hand-writing, a composer doesn't need to be good at singing. Somebody else will do the singing for him (in this case, the Crude play vocalist). Speaking of Crude Play, why does being previously in Crude Play mean that he needs to be able to sing well? The concept of a band is that there is one person who sings, and the others play instruments. At most, some of them will provide back-up vocals. If all members were to sing, it would be just a normal idol group, not a band.

I'm a bit confused by your comments to be honest. Do you mind sharing what kind of musician you are?

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RE: SAM

LOL. Don't worry, you're not tone-deaf. I'm near perfect pitch. I occasionally find it difficult to discern the half-notes of violins, cellos, etc. when they're too high or too low, and I find it harder to assign specific notes to random sounds (like a tapping on a door, or a drop of water). I also use my trained relative pitch to help my natural absolute pitch when there are several notes played together (I'm comfortable with 3, but I make mistakes starting from 4 simultaneous notes, and it depends on their interval). So I never know how to describe myself. My current choral director and past piano teacher say I have perfect pitch, but personally, I don't think I have perfect perfect pitch. I feel embarrassed whenever it's talked about.

But I digress. Didn't mean to write an essay on the ambiguity of my near absolute pitch. Back to the topic at hand. Your hearing is fine. I'm quite sensitive and I physically shrivel and cringe whenever I hear slightly off-tune singing or playing (violins are particularly tricky), even when it's from professional singers. I can tell you his singing in that scene was on-pitch. Not sure what Brian was talking about.

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LOL Sam. Unless people laughed when they heard you sing, you're good to go.

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I can't call myself a "musician" but I play the piano since I was 5, and played competitively since I was 8 and graduated from the level of "virtuoso." I left the conservatory when I went to university so I haven't had rigorous training since. I never minded hand-syncing in dramas though, despite knowing how to play the piano myself. My favorite musical dramas/films of all-time is Nodame Cantabile (Japanese dorama, not the korean version) and none of the cast are musicians or know how to play the piano or the other instruments. Loved it and so did my friends (also pianists/violinists, one flutist)

I don't understand the point about the phone recording. He wasn't carrying an instrument with him, how was he supposed to record the tune with an instrument on someone's else phone, or install a software to create a tune on someone's else phone?

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I'm always happy to have another music-related drama on the scene. We don't get enough of those. Cherry on the cake that it's a cute romcom-ish kind of drama. Praying this will be a good drama. I'm not asking for much, I don't need for it to be excellent. Just good enough that I can go back and rewatch. My supply of good musical romance is sadly low.
So far so good. 14 episodes to go.

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Not meant to be a reply.

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Aight... just finished watching the first episode ... and I had to see what people's reactions was... 'cause my thought at the end was "oh my godddd this is so bad! WHYYYYYY"

Not crazy about Lee Hyun Woo being all teenage angsty... just didn't feel it at all. He didn't look arrogant enough ... he was just... flatline. I don't need dramatics, but it was seriously just me understanding that he has a superiority complex purely based on reading his dialogue (subtitle).

Then... So Rim's love at first sight ... didn't feel it. I was questioning it the entire time. Why did she want to stop him? Why is she so upset? Is it the song? Did the song remind her of some long lost secret? What's up with the fascination? I couldn't tell until she TOLD us.

Why do I need to watch this drama when I'm essentially READING it? The cast clearly took it to heart that this was originally a manga...

I was also annoyed by So Rim blowing it again at the end of the episode. Yes, she has trauma, blah blah. I just feel like it's not helpful for us to see her screwing up twice in one episode... and I felt bad for her bandmates, and the other people joining the contest. She's disqualified, get off the stage! There are tons of other people waiting their turn!

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Thanks for the recap, SailorJumun! I'm glad you like it as much as I do. ^^ It really does feel like a Shoujo manga come to life. And thanks for telling what the songs were!! I already want to add a few to my playlists.

Grandma is definitely my favorite character right now, and I hope we get to see a lot more of her. And I love too that the show doesn't take itself too seriously, they're not opposed to sticking a mini m/v into the middle of the episode (that synchronized dancing, though).

Question: does anybody know if that's Joy's real voice when So-Rim is singing? Because I love it.

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Yes, it is her real voice ;)

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A beanie posted a clip of Joy singing live a few weeks ago and unless my memory is deceiving me, it sounds like what's in the drama so it's her, I'm almost sure.

Let me see if I can find it....

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there's something so soothing and comfortable about her voice. it's clear and melodious. I can picture Hangyul falling in love with it. Let's hope he falls in love with Sorim too, not just her voice.

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Yes. It's her real voice. There is already an OST for the drama, sang by Joy released the day the first episode aired called Fox.

Also check out Always with my heart by Joy. You can compared the voice and verify for yourself it's her own voice. lol

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The official MV for the OST is out!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=De5Lz3QzzWI

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And just so you know, Joy's song is "Always IN my heart" :) It did very well for a non-promoted song on charts.

MV: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VHX2ovsx6E

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I really also like her duet with NCT Doyoung. Her voice goes well with that type of voice like seulong. kkkk. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnbjFKnbH1g

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Come on girls, u can't mention Joy's duets without mentioning her duets with Yook Sungjae. that's like mention mj w/o mentioning thriller. Ok, so I'm exaggerating. hee. ofc there's Bbyu Young love duet where she wrote the lyrics with Sungjae, but my fav is "Marry u" bcause I love love love Bruno mars and listening to her cover of it just makes me happy. I listen to it even more than the the original. gasp. Blasphemy, I know. I'm not alone however, seeing that the perf has more than 4.5 million views last time I checked, and the fancam of it had like 2 million or something views. we're all blasphemous.

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Thank you all so much! ^^ I don't know much about the kpop world, so I mostly become a group fan through a drama like this. She has such a good voice!

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I love love her voice. It's not the most powerful but the vulnerability in it adds to its charm, and its fullness prevents it from being frail, you know? It's quite pleasant to the ear, I was surprised. One of the reasons I didn't watch this drama at first was because of the premise. I was ready to roll my eyes when I heard that she had a special voice, since too often, dramas don't make it special even if they say it is >_____< who knew they found one for this.

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Thanks for the recap. Like you, I love it!! It's been such a long time since I've seen such a straight-up romance drama a la "shoujo" for lack of a better term. Totally my cup of tea.

I like how everyone is a bit insecure about something. Sorim with her trauma for auditions. Crude Play and their skills. Yuna and her doubts about herself and her music. Sorim's friend and his crush. Even Hangyul seems overly tight about his music for it to be just perfectionism being in play. He must be feeling some pressure too as the star producer. I can't wait to see how all that insecurity will be resolved. :D The liar and his lover, hwaiting!!

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I am so happy to finally read some positive comments/recap about this drama.
I like it so far and my main reason is that this show doesn't try to be something that it isn't. It doesn't have all those too serious topics on background which make rom-com not as lightherted as it is supposed to be (not a crazy killer running in a mask, or main hero suffering from social phobia) and stop me from laughting on a joke because I am too concerned about this other problems.
This show does have a lot of cliches, but which drama doesn't?!

I am not sure if I like Han-Gyul yet, but I definetly love So-Rim-she is literal definition of airhead-not too smart or careful, simply does everything her heart asks, kind, nice and likeable person.

My only wish would be to have less random singing scenes, it is so unnatural that everyone suddenly starts singing and dancing that it makes me miss all those subway product placements

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Don't take the negative comments so seriously. Some made them without even watching it, or just a few clips. I saw someone comment smth like I had to turn off after just 10 seconds because the acting was so bad... there wasn't even any acting of note within the first 10 seconds, or even the first few minutes. hee. What's even funny, is that some people agreed with it and took it seriously.

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I thought a lot of the negative sentiment was caused by prejudice to be honest. I'm glad I read the comments after watching the drama and not before. Lots of people watched it with prejudice coming in, or were persuaded by the comments and end up being brainwashed into thinking it was worse than it is. A few moments were slightly awkward, but nothing so terrible as to warrant all the trashing I've seen. Most of it felt really cute imo. I like Joy but dramas are a separate thing for me. I've dropped quite a few dramas even when my bias was acting in it so I think I'm quite objective. Pffft. I'd say she's doing really well for her first drama.

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I died at the Umbrella scene. IDK what was so sweet about it but GAH it was so endearing. Random acts of kindness always get to me!

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I like it even more that he gave it to her bc he saw the bags she bought from the grandma. So sweet. The cynic in me thought he did it more to protect her guitar than to protect her, but whatever, it's still romantic. heee.

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Same here! There was nothing original with that scene but gawd! I squealed like a teenager when I watched it! Part of it I think is LHW's gaze--whether his concern was towards the guitar or towards her--it still got me right through my ahjumma heart! lol!

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I so far like the dancing and singing bits of this drama. Hopefully there will be more of it in the upcoming episodes. Plot-wise, it is not so interesting to me and has quite a few cliche moments but it is refreshing to watch. Joy is doing fine here. She is a good fit for her character, youthful and playful. And more importantly her voice stands out. I won't say she is perfect but I just don't think she deserves all the blame for the low ratings of this show.

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I stopped taking seriously ratings as an accurate indicator of quality/how much I would enjoy a drama a long time ago. Weightlifting BJ comes to mind as the most recent case. Joy is doing fine as her first role. Her voice really stands out like you said. More than I gave her credit for. I follow kpop, but not RV closely, so I never paid her voice much attention until now. It's very nice.

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It's a shame most people will sleep on this drama because of the negative comments and ratings. I almost did too tbh until this recap made me want to give it a chance.

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it's still the first week... there's room to grow. or crash like entourage. we'll have to see.

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Joy's hot. Han-gyul better not be an ass and make her cry too much in this drama.
Not my usual type of drama, I'm watching it for Joy, but enjoying it so far.

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Even if I'm just a girl but she looks cute to me? Where ya getting the vibe that she is hot.

LOL

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She's cute as Sorim but he's probably talking about rl Joy. I'm a girl and I thinks Joy can be really sexy so as a guy, H probably finds her even hotter, unless he's gay of course.

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or unless I'm mistaken and this H here is not H in comment 7.4

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Thank you for the recap! It made me want to try it right away and after watching the first two episodes in a row, I'm in a dilemna.

I have several finals coming up soon, including one I really need to work hard on, so I will only have time to watch one drama per week and one variety show per week.

I was set with the drama being Strong woman Bong-soon and the variety show Knowing Bros but with this drama onto the scene... I'm debating. I'll have to decide within this next week, that's when my strict schedule starts. So far, TLAHL will be better for me since I can just be carefree watching it without any worry and stress. I really like how fresh it feels. Never thought I would say this, but sorry Bongsoonie, I might have to just follow recaps for you and marathon later. Finals always come at the worst time. Why, finals god, why!!!

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So far so good. I like it a lot. A bit cheesy in a feel-good way, a bit clumsily edited, but I like the color palette and all the characters. Thanks for the recap!

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LOVE IT. Lee Hyun Woo is so handsome, especially in that header screenshot you posted, and the scene where he was in school uniform, and the scene by the river. <33333 Also love her voice. First time hearing her sing something (other than Dumb dumb dumb dumb), and I'm in love with her tone. <3333

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I think I'll give it a chance. Surprisingly, I don't dislike what I've seen. It's not addiction level but I want to watch more of it, even though it's cliche. Probably because it's been a long time I've seen a pure sweet romance kind of drama or read a manga (last one read was skip beat)

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I see LHW's pix, I click. Haha. He looks so good.

I didn't think DB would recap this since I didn't see it the notice at the bottom of the page. Glad I'll be able to have a recap for this. :D I like Sorim's storylines most (grandmother, school & friends) more than I like Crude Play storyline, but I'm intrigued by that director and the bassist. My baby Hyunwoo is doing well! I like him a lot better with Sorim than with Yuna so I hope that they cut off that love line real fast. Haha.

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yeah, i noticed it still isn't at the bottom... i'm kinda wondering if this is just a first episode recap :/

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Oh no. I hope SailorJumun takes this drama on. I really like how positive she is in her recap. Or if it's too much for her, she can split it with someone hopefully.

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I mean I don't per say love the drama yet but I was hoping dramabeans to take this on, so I can continue on contemplate whether to continue watching it or not.

I am always a sucker for music theme drama, so I'm watching this on because of that. The screen transition is a mess though.

This drama got better for me in episode 2 as everything is more coherent compared to first episode where it feels choppy and cheesy(?)

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What a coincidence! I just finished watching ep 2 and was about to sleep when I saw the recap and bam! Screw sleep. Actually, I only watched ep 1 up to that scene with Yoona and turned off a few days ago. Smh, I ended up coming back to finish the episode, and then went ahead with ep 2 and now, I love it. Wanjeon my style. It's really a cute simple fluffy drama. Nothing revolutionary, but I'm addicted to the love story. I want Sorim to get her guy! I'm so rooting for her right now. I think this might be my new happy guilty pleasure after SWBS. Is it a coincidence that both Sorim and Bongsoonie have short-hair? Or do I have a type? LOL.

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Hmm.. After the first week, my verdict is... not bad, not bad at all. It's not perfect by any means... bad transitions between scenes, some brief moments of awkward acting (Joy was surprisingly fine for the most part), but I really like it. It's giving me serious Dream High vibes, first season not second, except Samdong is now Sorim, so gender-switch. I usually don't like the bad boy hero at all so I don't know if it's because it's Lee Hyun-woo playing Han-gyul, or if it's because Han-gyul hasn't said anything false so far or which I can't understand.. either way, I'm shocked I don't mind this trope in this drama.
I hope it keeps up the fresh cute vibe and doesn't go into a mess makjang mess later on.

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I was reaaaaaaallllly very nervous about Joy before coming in, but I'm glad she's doing well. I can breathe with relief now. I don't care about other people much. I just hoped I would personally find her ok to watch, so phew.

Thank you for writing the recap. I'm glad to see good comments on here. I just came from a place where the comments were bashing on Joy's face among other things, so this feels like a nice change.

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So far, this adaptation is doing quite fine. While Lee Hyun Woo is faring well, it's still really hard to match Sato Takeru because I love him so much and he is too brilliant as Aki. Perhaps, it's too early to compare but I credit LHW for doing a good job so far.

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Sato's Aki is a bit darker and broodier and less playful than the original, but he really made it his own. Here's to us hoping Lhw will do the same in his own manner. :)

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Please let me know the title of the song for which so-rim sings and dances in streets with her grandmother and other shop owners.

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original singer here for u :) it's a famous trot song in korea https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxB8BNvtlPk

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I liked the manga very much so I was half-dreading, half-anticipating this. I'm so happy the first two episodes were not disappointing. I see some big changes. The most similar thing to the manga is Riko. They've kept her brightly naive and awkward and klutzy so that's good. I wonder where they'll go with the PTSD story, guess we'll find out. I find Hangyul believable too as Aki, but he's definitely less flirty here. ;) I know it's a korean drama, but I'm hoping for at least one good kiss scene. Pretty please?

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it's tvN. Have hope ;D

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Yeheesssss to DB covering this drama! I was hoping you guys would. Thank you SailorJumun <3
Excited to read the whole thing plus everyone's thoughts in a bit. Recap reading is my favorite way to unwind on the bus ride home.

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Am I hear too early? From the comment count, it seems that I'm here late but.... there are no negative comments? What? LOL. I'll be honest, I was expecting DB comments to be like other sites full of negative comments so I'm thrilled to see all the love. I really like this cute little drama. I was sad thinking I was all alone. :D

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*here

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Cute cute cute. Watching this brings me back to a decade ago when I was addicted to shoujo. Ah, those were the times~~~~

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I watched it, like always because of LHW and I like the japanese movie version. But this one, no? I dont like it.
Joy is awkward to me and her smile seems forced. I mean, she was smiling widely but I dont feel her happiness. I'm not even sure I'm making sense rn lol but yes, I'm not feeling what they are feeling, so.... And I think the editing can be better. I probably continue watching until ep 4 and decide after that tho.

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That's odd. I particularly like how Joy perfectly captured the bubbly, happy-go-lucky girl. On the contrary, I find Lee Hyun Woo's acting awkward. There are a lot of instances where it seems that he is not sure of what he is doing. His expressions were inconsistent and his gestures are off. This is not the Lee Hyun Woo I know.

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Do you mind giving me an example of it? I curious what you mean.

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Heol. Lhw looks so freaking hot in the post main pix. Drool. He's becoming hotter and hotter. If I didn't like him already, I would have fallen for him at first sight too. hehe. Can't blame Sorim. Joy is doing fine. He looks like he enjoys acting with her a lot so I like watching bts with them together. I've been his fans for a few years and this is the first time I see him going into so many fits of giggles. I suspect he might have a tiny crush... uri hw is grown up. hehe

I didn't know what to expect from the poster. After this week, I feel like the korean version is closer to the manga than to the movie in terms of vibe, which is fine. After watching the defendant and voice, I need something light and cute. Perfect timing. Editing is a mess tho, hope it's fixed up soon. Will wait for ep 2 recap to discuss more spoilers :)

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Omo! And I thought I was the only one who noticed LHW's smiles and giggles during the BTS vids and the videos. The VLive was also very cute. I do think he likes Joy -- but who wouldn't? She's such a tall ball of sunshine! I can't help but recall his giggles during a cast interview when Seo Won asked who is the queen/king of aegyo on the set and he was already reacting even before Joy busted out her aegyo.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqJ_sSO70Go

LHW is such a cutie! And his reaction during the presscon when Seo Young brought up the Joy Legend video? Very telling. ^_^ Also, I was grinning from ear to ear when the other castmates teased Joy and Hyun Woo about having a dating scandal after the drama.

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His reaction in that video is so cute. I have been searching for all the videos related to the drama for a few days. I'm trying to catch up because I had no interest in the drama before it aired. Didn't know what I missed out on. >_____< I love their interactions in them. The inexperienced cast is so nervous it's cute. You can tell who have been in the industry for a while, and who is just stepping in.

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I had one main concern for this drama, more than the acting and whatnot, and it was the music. So far, I'm not disappointed so whoever is the music director, good job.

As for the drama itself, it's a bit clumsily made, both from the directing and acting pov, so I get the comparisons to dream high and hsm. It's nicely compensated by other nicely shot and done scenes so in the end, I like it well enough. I'm still on the fence about whether to watch it live for next week, or wait to marathon. Having read the manga, I was planning to marathon it later on bc I know the plot already but now that they've added new details, I might become too curious to wait. lol

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It's probably too early to love it but I'll join SailorJumun. I love it!! I'm not even sure why. I mean, I can see the flaws glaringly but it doesn't matter? It just makes me happy, like I become exactly like Sorim when I watch it so I just blaze through it all with a smile. Not sure if I'm making any sense. This came out of left field. I didn't see any promo for it except for that one time I clicked on a DB casting post and ran away as fast as I could from the mess. I got bored after finishing Chief Kim and Radiant office and clicked on this by coincidence. Soooo happy I found my new addiction to replace Chief Kim ending next week. T____T

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ikr?? Sorim is my favorite thing from the drama, followed by her grandma, her 2 friends, the musical scenes, the teacher, chanyoung, and then hangyul. I'm guessing hangyul will move up the ranks slowly and that it'll be the drama main "plot" point. crossing my fingers he'll fall hard for her in the end and grovel. :D :D :D :D

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I actually kind of like it that this drama doesn't have any convoluted plot point that we can see. As much as I like twists and shocking revelations, in the case of TLAHL, I like that everything is presented in a way where we can have an idea where it's going. It's like the drama knows there's something comforting about predictability and is choosing to provide that comfort. I feel almost safe watching it knowing it'll just bring me what I need and just sit back and enjoy on the lounge and enjoy the juice it'll bring me every week. Nothing complicated, just simply fresh romance and music. There's a different charm to both an *enjoy and relax* day by the pool v. *screaming on rollercoasters at attraction park* for break time, and it looks like TLAHL is providing the former. Might have to do with it's airing time.

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Woohoo! *high five*

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Me too, me too!!! there are group hugs, so why not group hi-5 ;)

I thought I was too old for this kind of drama (I'm in my early 30s) but guess not. I have a weakness for music-focused movies/dramas and I just fell in love with Sorim. On paper, she's the typical Candy which sounds boring but actually isn't. There's an innocent untainted quality to her that just buoys me up when I watch her.

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*joins the group-high-five*

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Hello fellow 30-something drama fan! I quite like this drama too!

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I'm a dinosaur. I beat yall by a decade. Mom in her 40s!! But forever young in spirit. :D

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thq for the recap! I was wondering if DB would.

the manga had several characters which annoyed the hell out of me so looks like the drama is doing a better job about that. I like sorim and her friends and grandma. soul ent people, not so much, except lee seo won's character, and I don't mind aki as of now. I'm glad to see them emphasize both's passion for music and put music as the main drive, I was worried the korean drama might make it a sub-plot point and focus too much on just romance.

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I really like Lee Hyun Woo ever since I saw him as the young General Yushin in Queen Seon Deok. Later, I saw him in Moorim School - though the story there was like patchwork, I still liked his acting. Now, I hope you will continue to recap this drama so I will understand the story better. Thanks a lot!

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Saw him in Queen Seon Deok too and God of Study and Secretly Greatly.

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I recommend you to watch equator man. Lee hyun woo play younger version of the male lead. He only appear until ep 3 or 5, but that was already enough to make me love him

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I will do. Maybe even this week. It will help alleviate the wait until episode 3.

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I'm on the camp that prefers Beta-male leads over bad boys so it comes as a surprise that I don't mind the bad boy trope here. I feel like it's partially because Lee Hyunwoo is a real-life beta so him playing a bad boy makes it better. And partially because I admire Han-gyul's passion for music so I can partially emphasize with his perfectionism. He hasn't been great as a friend or bf, but I haven't seen him do anything really as a "bad boy" yet. I can still see lots of glimpses of his past carefree self in his present self, I'm guessing on purpose and I like it. Sorim will most likely be the catalyst to bring his old self back out with her personality. Can't wait for it!

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My take after the first episode:

- the camera really knows how to make the actors look good. I really love how the drama is shot. The two female actresses' beauty really come out in certain shots, and Lee Seo Won and Lee Hyun Woo also had a few pretty shots of their own
- the editing is horridly choppy. It'd be a vast improvement if they could make the transitions less abrupt.
- I really Sorim
- I hope we see a softer side from Hangyul. So far, he's not unlikable. The problem is, he isn't that likable either.
- I like the arrangement of Me Gustas Tu and the soundtrack in general. Sorim's voice in particular is quite nice, in a young girl kind of way.
- Conclusion: Flawed but I like it. Quite a bit.

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I have a mix feeling about this
As a fan both manga and japannese movie version, this adaptation seems different (not in a bad way). The overall vibe similiar with the manga (more cheerful, but I also like darker vibe in movie), but Sato Takeru as Aki is really have a strong impact in my head, and eventhough he is more serious than Aki in manga version, but I can see some similiarity. Maybe I need a time to adjust my mind about Lee hyun woo portrayal as hangyul or aki.

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I couldn't picture LHW as Aki AT ALL before the drama aired. After the second episode, I was fine with it. He's different from the Aki I imagined, but he's believable as a distinct character so far, in that he's the perfectionist producer obsessed about his music, which is Aki in his basic essence.

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Thank you for recapping! I love it too! I was quite afraid the acting would ruin everything since I'm not fond (in general) of idol-casting, not when it involves an adaptation of smth I like. Always happy to be proven wrong. She's no Meryl Streep but she'll do well enough as Riko. The image fits and her voice sounds unique enough that I don't have to cringe whenever they mention it as special. And yes yes, I need to start learning the Korean names asap.

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I am loving this drama!
i am buying into the chemistry of the two leads. And want so bad for Sorim to win Hangyul's heart.
I regret catching wind of this drama so soon that its a torture to wait for the next 2 episodes.
I got my story fix by watching the japanese movie. But still interested to see this korean remake unfold.

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"And want so bad for Sorim to win Hangyul’s heart."

If that isn't me.

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Thank you for the recap Sailor Jumun!!!

Okay, full disclosure, I am in my early 30's and a mom to boot, and I really liked this drama! Admittedly, I can see hints of awkwardness with Joy and sometimes Hyun Woo looks a little emotionless, they seem to have settled in their roles by episode 2 (which I actually loved this time around!). Joy improved so much and her crying scenes are pretty good for a rookie actress.

I've been a longtime manga reader so I love how this drama feels shoujo-ish. It also feels like a slice of life for aspiring idol/musicians. My favorite scenes this episode was the umbrella scene (*swoon*) and the song performance in the classroom (very charming and I love the song!).

I'm just sad about the ratings but I'm hopeful it increases. I actually took time to stream it live just to increase the views. Can't wait for the DB's episode 2 recap as I'm only halfway through watching it! Thanks sailor Jumun and DB!

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I don't want to talk too much about Ep 2 because of spoilers but you're right about how it made it better since the story had more time to fold out. Joy's crying scene was quite natural although my favorite scenes from her are scenes when she's smiling. They feel the most true and natural to me.

And what's wrong with being on the older-side and liking youth dramas? I see folks in their 60s/70s watching movies with actors in their 20s/30s/40s. They're just a way for all of us here to not forget our youth. It just means we're still able to relate to young people. :)

My favorite scene in this episode was the little musical skit where the boy confessed. It was all kind of adorable and cute.
My other favorite scene was the scene by the river when she stopped and stared at him. Both looked tremendously good. And summarized the episode in a nice way. From the word of the wonderful SailorJumun, "She's got it bad."

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Cute drama. I'll wait until next week's episode to form a final opinion. It's positive thus far.

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dat header pix of LHW tho. dang. he looks like he just came from a work out. o_O

I'm watching Seowon on Mubank live right now. He's adorable. I'll look forward to seeing him more since he's part of the love square. too little screentime right now.

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It's cute and I'm ready for more episodes but I hope this show doesn't become a 50 lie pileup because it gets cringeworthy and awkward quickly when that happens.

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from what I've watched, the lies should get confronted fairly early ^____^

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I'm so glad this is being recapped! I wasn't intending to start another drama on air (it's essay/ test season at school) but I got curious because the director was behind Pride and Prejudice and Marriage Contract (I hope I got my HTML tags right).

So I decided to sneak a peek. And ended up hiding behind my rabbit plushie because I was so nervous when Sorim froze up at the second audition. It's only the first episode, but I care about her already.

- Sorim and her two best friends are really cute (I was just thinking how it was quite rare in dramaland for a female lead to have guy besties), and I love her relationship with Grandma.
- Speaking of Grandma... haven't I seen her in BOF and Goong before? As the mum? How is she a grandma now O.O
- The acting is a bit green, particularly the band members, but just in this first ep, Joy and the actress playing Yoona already managed to capture the emotional cores of their characters quite well.

- Visually and plot-wise, the editing is bumpy, but the parts where songs tie scenes together are beautiful, like Han-gyul's flashback as he looks up at the giant screen outside the Crude Play concert venue.
- Speaking of music, so far the show uses silences very well, like the moment Sorim's guitar string broke.

- I just want to randomly point out that I have the exact same stickers as Sorim, ha (the dog/ cat emoticon ones she uses in her planner).

Although the drama's setup is familiar, I'd take a slightly cliched drama with characters I care for over a highly original premise with a plot that's all over the place (ahem, SWDBS). Here's hoping the rest of the show goes well *fingers crossed*

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WOW. Your comment encapsulated perfectly how I feel about this drama. I should have read it before making my own comment and babbling incoherently. >___<

I couldn't figure out why I didn't mind the unpolished acting so much but you worded it perfectly. It's because the actors managed to capture the core and essence of the characters so I can connect with them genuinely.

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"I should have read it before making my own comment and babbling incoherently."

Aw, don't say that! I study lit/ write Kpop reviews so it made me able to express my thoughts better in writing. But one of the things I learned was to value others' ideas and thoughts, even if they aren't expressed in the clearest way or using the best words.

Glad we're both liking the drama despite its awkward bits (: I had the same feeling about V/Taehyung acting as Hansung in Hwarang. He didn't have the best dialogue transitions, but he was able to capture Hansung's pain and conflict, which was admirable for a first acting attempt.

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I still haven't gotten over the puppy's death. wails.

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Frankly this drama is all kinds of awkward, the worst offender of them all, the scenes cut. So why on earth did I become addicted with it, I don't know... >_____< I didn't think it would be my type of drama but it so is. So yay (?)

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this was so fresh and sweet and so so so undeniably heart-warming :)
Joy is too cute for words

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It is cute and I am lovin' it.

The biggest thing I noted from this is: Wow, Lim Ye-Jin took the jump from traditionally being cast as "mom" to playing "grandma."

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Could you tell me know name of the song be sung at 1:02:58 of ep. 1? Thank you so much. OMG, I love all songs in this film.

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WOAH ITS QUEEN YOO IN MODERN TIMES LMAO

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What was the show or song lee hyun woo and joy was listening in the bus in ep 1

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The song is "In Your Eyes" by Crude Play. It hasn't been officially released yet.

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Thanks but it's really that song how did you know?

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If you got that song please send me please please

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Is it the eng lyrics is "I wanna talk to you" ,right?

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Does anyone know the song that came in episode 1 , the bus stand rain scene ?

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