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[Revisiting Dramas] You’ve Fallen For Me gets me in its cringey clutches yet again

Ah yes. We meet again, You’ve Fallen For Me. I have never been more excited and, ehm… utterly terrified to return to a drama. But hey, after seeing this month’s theme, I figured it was the perfect time to revisit one of my guilty pleasures. The 2011 musical rom-com holds a very special — very well-hidden — place in my heart because it was the very first youth drama I fell in love with. Boys Before Flowers was technically the first one I saw and while I was amazed and intrigued by it (I grew up watching melos and family dramas), I quickly lost interest because Jan-di, quite frankly, annoyed the hell out of me.

You’ve Fallen For Me was a totally different story. I’d seen the band CN Blue performing on a music show and totally fell for Jung Yong-hwa. I mean, the guy was a total dreamboat (and he still is). And when I’d heard he was going to be in an upcoming youth drama, I was so pumped. So let’s all just get into the mindset of a young and naive SailorJumun: I’d barely opened the gates to youth dramas, I hadn’t even heard of You’re Beautiful at this point, and I already had an unhealthy crush on the male lead. Needless to say, I freaking LOVED this show. And afterwards, I tucked it away in my mind for safekeeping.

Obviously, the more dramas I started to watch, the more You’ve Fallen For Me seemed to fade in comparison. As time went on, I pretty much forgot most of the story, though I could still vaguely remember that it wasn’t as great as I’d initially thought. I was scared that rewatching it would ruin whatever nostalgic love I carried for it, but you know what? After taking the time to marathon the show again, I think it’s… okay. The music is still great, the cast is still fun, Yong-hwa Oppa is still insanely hot… *smacks sense back into self*

But most importantly, that youthful freshness that I fell in love with is still there. It’s the classic story of a girl falling in love first and all the delicious hijinks that come with the guy catching up — what’s not to like? To my pleasant surprise, a lot of the stuff I remember was still as sweet and cute as the first time. And it felt great to revisit this school’s campus again. But as I’d feared, there were some major points throughout the series that were just as bad as the first time, and in some cases, even worse. Here are just a few of those points that, unfortunately, didn’t hold up over time:

The kiss. Cringing. Cringing so much. I distinctly remember swooning when I first watched this scene, but I could barely get through it the second time. It just looked incredibly awkward with her eyes open and his eyes open. But I also dislike that that particular kiss happened at all. It’s somewhat sweet that Shin (Jung Yong-hwa) wanted to make his relationship with Kyu-won (Park Shin-hye) public, but doing that with the first kiss? I would’ve preferred saving the kiss for a more private moment.

That brings me back to the awkwardness of it all. It wasn’t just the kiss — none of the romantic moments had that emotional punch I needed. The cute, light moments were great, but when shit got serious, they suddenly decided to get awkward. I want a romantic moment to feel genuine and raw; I don’t want to think, “Ah, the writer wants me to feel moved right now.” A lot of the blame is on the bland writing here, but a lot of the blame is also on chemistry. Jung Yong-hwa and Park Shin-hye weren’t able to convince me that they were in any way in love. Like I said, they were very cute in all the small couple moments (especially when they went to the interactive art museum for their first date ♥), but the vibe they gave off never seemed like anything beyond friendship.

The injured hand plot. Okay, this whole separation/noble idiocy had me in tears when I first watched it, but omg. This was seriously the dumbest reason to break them up. And right at the last minute, no less! We’ve seen heroes become noble idiots because they didn’t want their loved ones to die or because they believed they were the wrong person for their loved ones. But Shin (ahem, let me sit down for this) broke up with Kyu-won because he didn’t want to hurt her feelings.

Really? Really, Shin? Instead of explaining and reassuring her that your injury wasn’t her fault, you thought it would be best to lie? You thought it would be best to hide it and let the damage in your wrist worsen? I just… I can’t believe that this was the show’s way of “testing” their relationship. It reminds me of Oh My Venus and the similar tactics it used to separate the OTP. I just don’t like the idea of a guy pushing away his girlfriend when he has some kind of injury, especially when they’ve been through so much as a couple. If you can’t power through that together, then what happens to all that progress throughout the series? I feel like I’m overreacting here, but that extra plot line just made me so angry. It was clumsily thrown in to give them more angst, and not the good kind of angst either.

There were definitely some serious scenes that were lovely, like the heartbreaking rain scene, but now that I think about it, the show would be a lot better if it just embraced its inner fluff and did away with all the pointless angst. The teacher/student loveline could’ve been shorter, the cruel dating rumors could’ve been avoided, and the goddamned hand injury should’ve been scrapped altogether! Some rom-coms should just stick to their roots, and You’ve Fallen For Me failed to do that in the end.

But strangely enough, I still kind of love the show even the second time around. I guess no matter how many years pass or how many dramas I watch, I’ll always be a sucker for these cheesy rom-coms. Even if this show had come out today, I’d still be drawn to it. There’s not much to the story and the main couple lacks chemistry, but most of the time, it’s such an easy, breezy watch. But that’s that. Now that I’ve revisited this, I’ll be locking it up again. Hopefully, I’ll gradually forget about the details and remember it in that nostalgic glow again.

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Aw, I watched this for the first time recently because I wanted a good music youth drama. I liked the gayageum moments, and I didn't get bored until episode 12 (after that I just skipped to the end, too much unnecessary angst). If I'd watched it years ago maybe I'd feel like you, but as it is, I'll remember it for Park Shin Hye. My favorite thing about this drama was actually seeing her looking so comfortable in her artsy clothes and not as skinny as most actresses. I usually don't notice weight, but it struck me that she looked normal, so that means other Korean actresses must be extremely thin.

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I loved the music in this (as with most music youth dramas... I must really, really have a thing for them), and I loved the traditional vs modern music thing going on. Especially the matchy teddy bears! When this show aired I was like, YES, a way for me to ship Shinwoo-Minam! And the show was very cute, but it didn't give me the same kind of feelings as YAB did, though Min-hyuk and his star song were adorable.

And omg I also thought the same way about PSH. She looked so... normal sized that I actually liked her more because of that. It felt more relatable. But in recent years she seems to have lost a lot more weight, so there we go, stick thin actresses again.

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Music youth dramas are my guilty pill. XD

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the music in this drama! I still have songs from the OST on my phone. One of my fave parts from this show is when yonghwa sings the song for her over the intercom? for all the sloppy writing in this drama, that scene was a gem.

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I loved the way Park Shin-hye looked in this drama. The style is reminiscent of my own, and she really suits the short wavy hair.

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@WishfulToki,

Thanks for mentioning gayageum. I've gotten hooked on the sound of the instrument. I think the first drama I heard it played in was PAINTER OF THE WIND, and later by Infinity of Sound in HYANGDAN. I also went gaga over Joo Jin-mo's singing and performance on geomungo (6-string "black zither") in A FROZEN FLOWER.

I put a bunch of links on my fan wall to some of the above items.

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Ooooh, thanks for these! Since Rebel I have been on the lookout for dramas that include traditional music. :)

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You're most welcome!

IIRC, there's a version of "Gashiri" in SIX FLYING DRAGONS. I'm pretty sure that "Green Mountain Special Song" from that drama also cropped up in REBEL. ;-)

There's also an ancient song from Baekje in THE KING'S DAUGHTER, SU BAEK HYANG. The written lyrics to 정읍사 "Jeongeupsa" survive from that time, but not the music. I've added both vocal versions to the fan wall. It's gorgeous! ;-)

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Ah, Heartstrings =) One of my first dramas too, it came as a natural follow-up to You're Beautiful.
At the time I also loved it - I was yet unfamiliar with the k-drama clichés, typical storylines etc so it felt like a breath of fresh air to me, but I agree I'd probably not have appreciated it the same if I watched it now.

Still, the OST is amazing (the instrumental Carmen Fantasy was my ringtone for the longest time!) and PSY x Yonghwa were too cute for words despite the awkwardness. So much BTS goodies as well!
And let's not forget Minhyuk. He was seriously the cutest then. I can barely believe he's the same guy as the mature and fit Minhyuk of nowadays =)

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Because I Miss You and Star are both on my kpop homework playlist. When I had a kpop/kdrama program at the library I may have learned how to fake my way through singing Star on karaoke....This show. My irl drama watchin' buddies of the time both dropped it because its "boring". Pah! This is the first drama that I rewatched. Like a dozen times. I would go into work and they would ask me what I was watching and I'd be all HEARTSTRINGS!!! Heart eyes, finger hearts, exclamation points! Ummm...didn't you watch that last week?

SOOOOO????

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Yes, Minhyuk! That's what I wanted to comment about! He was seriously the best thing in this drama and pretty much defined the whole "cute, puppy dog with his noona crush". And I remember loving his hair and glasses!

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I love this! A friend recommended this show to me back when I wasnt into korean dramas and this show made me fall in love with Jung Yong Hwa. I remember marathoning this series and swooning over Jung Yong Hwa. Now that I'm a kdrama addict, I know so many shows that are better than this but it still has a special place in my heart that I'm afraid to rewatch it.

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To me, this drama could've been so much more...if the behind the scenes drama didn't happen...like park shin hye's car accident thing....I liked the show in general, but probably still can't finish the drama because of the forced angst due to the "wrist" thing...sigh

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My God, I first watched this drama when they aired this drama. I was in my senior year of high school back then. I LOVED this drama simply because I had SLS when I watched You're Beautiful and it gave me some kind of imaginations on the college romance that I wanted in my college life. ? Now that I've finished my college and when I think about the some scenes in this drama, it's true that it's full of cringe-inducing moments! It makes me kinda afraid to rewatch this drama because I'd laugh all the way when it gets too cringey. Nevertheless, this drama is apart of my highschool memory, and this drama has its own place in my heart. I LOVE the songs they sing in this drama and the fusion of traditional and modern music is kinda cool to me.

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Same I watched this right after you're beautiful because I shipped shin-hye with young-hwa and i remember loving this show especially the ost but just like sailorjunmun I'm pretty the I would have been annoyed at the last minute separation gag they pulled and that very awkward kiss

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Ikr, the last minute separation gag is so stupid. I was like "what? Why show?" The reason for Shin to break up with her is so stupid that I, myself found it so hard to believe. We've watched too many dramas with noble idiot, and I actually forgot how Shin is one of them.

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My all time favourite k drama then because of the awesome OST ( You'very fallen for me, Because I Miss You etc) and simple story line. Yong Hwa and Shin Hye had great chemistry until the kiss and I especially loved the grandfather who was so cute and funny. I still revisit it occasionally. Like you said, it'seems not perfect but this drama will forever hold a special place in my heart.

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oh yeah its ost is still lingering on my head,,, hahaha
the thing that i love the most from it,,,i never dissapoint when cn blue produce songs,,they are definitely a hit for me ?

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What an interesting choice! I honestly remember very little from this drama. I remember the general plot and small snippets but beyond that it was pretty forgetful to me. Plus, I don't really like either of the leads (I'm sorry as you seem to be a big fan of both!). I really like how you presented what you liked about it in the past and what you like and dislike about it now.

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the plot is just so so but i found kim Suk-Hyun (the professor) and Hyun Ki-Young (the sunbae) were handsome back then so i still watched it hahaha
aaah this month theme give so much nostalgic feels

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This is also one of my first youth drama. (The other one being To The Beautiful You, which just make this one seems extra good and shiny and make sense at the time). I remember how much I love the OTP's progress from being frenemy to friends then eventually lover. But you are right, they could do with less angst and serious, dramatic moments.

And you are so brave, @sailorjumun, to rewatch this one. Because I wouldn't want to taint the nostalgic glow, as you put it, that surrounded this drama. May this one forever become the sweet memory of my early college years.

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OMG! I loved TTBY and I didn't realize that many hated it before. After a few more years of watching k-dramas, I saw the light lol.

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I loved To The Beautiful You too, it was such an easy, breezy watch. Besides, who can pass up Lee Hyun-woo's endless adorableness?!

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I don't outright hate it. It's just that I can see the plotholes more easily than in my other early dramas. But it's a breezy watch, and thanks to that I discovered Lee Hyun-woo. So in the end, it's a win-win. ?

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I just love how all three of the guys in You're Beautiful get the girl eventually, since Hong-ki and Park Shin-hye "dated" in his music video "Insensible" (Check it out if you haven't. Such a good song and I enjoyed their chemistry).

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Oh my goodness. The first thing I thought upon reading the title and before reading this actual post was: "Good lord WHY would you do this to yourself? W-H-Y???" Lol, this is a lake I would not have jumped into.

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I asked myself that same question about halfway through the show lol. It was fun though!

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Omg! I thought I was the only one who thoroughly enjoyed this drama. It was the first year of my K-Drama addiction and i just finished watching You're Beautiful. I had major SLS and then after researching the cast, I found out PSH and my baby Yong Hwa had a drama together. And he gets the girl! Haha it's a fluffy drama in hindsight, but I loved the OST and college feels. ?♥️?

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I've fallen for Jung YongHwa because of this drama when i first watching it on 2011!!!

tbh after Watching You're beautiful i'm kinda forgetting him but when i watch this Heartstrings ohmygawdd its the guy who played Kang shinwoo in You'rw beautiful a.njell? How can he become hotter like yummm I'm swooning everytime he's appear on screen, i even dreaming about him every night for months after watching it,seriously Lee shin just give me a big impact to became a Yonghwa fan then a cnblue fan then became a hardcore Yonghwa Fan as my disapointment for the fandom, There is so much drama going on the fandom *skipskip

I remember the time i'm so freaking madly in love with yonghwa bcz of heartstrings, i visited That koalaplayground article bashing yonghwa acting makes me crying ugly LOL but hatter i dont wanna give them shit anymore, like Yonghwa acting just fine,he's natural for me and he such a hardorworker person, he said that he wanna do good in any areas.

ps.how can i say it my firstime reading a full long article in dramabean,i got so excited to see yonghwa face here, and I'm mostly agree with all SailorJumun said!!!

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This drama is so cringe and the story is too light and the kissing scenes is just ugh I think Yonghwa can doing a good job with the kissing scenes but shinhye is just stiff and close her mouth like what are u doing girl you've been not seeing him for year show him you love him! if you ever wacth the bts scenes you will knew it!! Lmao

Sailorjumun since you seems like Yonghwa can u recap his upcoming drama hehehehe

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wohhhh!!! I love this article i love u sailorjumun since now!!!

Are you me? because hell yeah you spoke my mind better than my self, I've been even never know who the fk is Writter of this drama??? Because man the story is seriously too cringe but yeah This drama is one of my fave no matter how cringe lightly this drama is, I love anything Yonghwa on it, i can't watch the worst drama, or the boring one If you have Jung Yonghwa on it! Lol

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I mean I CAN WATCH the worst,the boring one if you have Jung Yonghwa on it, hell yeah i'm sucker for JYHeffect!!

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This was one of the first shows I watched, but I definitely think it would have been better without all the extra angst. I think if you skip through all of that, it'll be such a good light hearted drama plus the OST makes it even better!

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What I mostly remember of this dramas is that he was supposed to have a super popular band, but the on-campus venue always seemed to have a small group of people watching.

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I watched this drama twice and were not able to finish it both times. I don't know why but for some reason I stop at around episode 12-14 (not really sure) and didn't bother to finish it. Might be because I was a hardcore Hwang Tae-kyung - Go Mi-nam shipper lol

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I watched this after You're Beautiful, but weirdly not because I wanted to see these two together as leads -- I just liked Park Shin-Hye and without Dramabeans to guide me I tended to pick dramas at random. This one always stuck with me for two reasons: the fluff, and more importantly, the soundtrack.

Oh my God, I LOVE this OST more than I can explain coherently. I think this was the first show where I went out and actively looked for the music to download. This isn't even my favorite drama OST (that honor belongs to the Shut Up Flower Boy Band OST which is perfection), but it is the first one I stopped and really payed attention to. I'd watched You're Beautiful too early in my drama heyday so I didn't get into that OST until much later, and love it now, but hadn't been able to appreciate it on first watch.

But something about this OST spoke to me. In retrospect, I think I was in a transition between young adulthood and proper adulthood when I watched this, so the youthful and fun vibe just spoke to the part of my grumpy, jaded self that wanted to hold onto something pure. I was in law school, living alone for the first time, constantly stressed and dramas were my newfound escape for a few hours a week. I had been (and still am) a music junkie, and constantly have music playing and am always thirsting for something more. I missed my university life of constantly being bombarded with new music from my roommates and friends. This was exactly the breath of fresh air I needed.

I'm not even joking when I say "You've Fallen For Me" is one of my (extensive) music library's most played songs, and I was listening to it this morning. I don't know what it is about that song that just makes me happy. But even the rest of it is wonderfully nostalgic: the "Carmen Fantasy" is fun with its mix of modern and traditional instruments; Kang Min Hyuk's "Star" with its simple instrumentals is so effective at just giving me a peaceful feeling; Park Shin-hye's "The Day We Fall in Love" is sweet and simple and so youthful; and Young-hwa's "Because I Miss You" was such a great song to have for the storyline with his birth father.

So, while I know now that the drama isn't very good and it really doesn't hold up, I can't ever bring myself to hate it because there is something in it that brought me joy at a strange transition in my life. Excuse me while I go off and listen to it again.

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@ SnarkyJellyfish,

Your comments about the HEARTSTRINGS / YOU'VE FALLEN FOR ME OST grabbed my attention because I'm a music junkie, too. I was a disc jockey on my colleges' FM radio stations, and didn't hang up my headphones until I was 30. I'm constantly ambushed by earworms in Kdramas, not only in OSTs, but also the background music. A tasty lead guitar or a nifty turn of phrase in a snippet of barely-audible lyrics is enough to send me chasing it down online. It sometimes takes forever to get through watching a drama if the background music is really good, as in SOULMATE and COFFEE PRINCE. ;-)

I started out watching sageuks, but enjoy contemporary dramas, too. It sounds as if it's getting to be time to catch up with YOU'RE BEAUTIFUL and HEARTSTRINGS. Thanks! ;-)

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I'm the same when it comes to finding music -- there's
still a track in Ex-Girlfriend Club I can't find for the life of me. Once I heard a song in the background of a video of a photoshoot and spent half an hour googling lyrics to find it. (Hilariously enough, it was a Yong Hwa photoshoot.) Soulmate is my favorite drama of all time, in large part, I believe because of the OST which is amazing and the role that music played in to the story. I love the theme from Coffee Prince though I should rewatch to appreciate the rest of the music (it was my first drama).

I'm also grateful to both this site and dramas for turning me onto artists like Every Single Day, Nell, Standing Egg, LOVE X STEREO, The Koxx, SALTNPAPER, and The Solutions. I'm becoming a total Korean music junkie. I've never been huge top 40 radio person (though that doesn't mean I don't like pop music), but I do love a lot of K-pop, especially the hip-hip stuff like MFTBY (I could go on about Yoon Mi-rae's rapping for hours) and Epik High.

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ok so I watched this without watching you're beautiful (this was my first psh show too) and purely because I was in the mood for a lighthearted show+i listened to the ost beforehand
the story rly sucked haha but I kept watching for 1 reason only: JUNG YONGHWA
it's mad cos I've never fallen head over heels for a kdrama character (there was always some part of them I didn't appreciate) but yonghwa's character here was my ideal man (minus the noble idiocy in the last episode) in terms of looks, his dressing, his cold personality, his musical ability...and the list could go on. I'm not the kind who ever rewatches or rewinds scenes but I rly couldnt stop myself when it came to this guy...ahh good times

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I like re-watching the earlier hints of romance in this, before they were a couple when Shin had discovered his feelings and was trying to win Gyu-won over, but that's about it.

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Can I be your friend, @SailorJumun ? I love Yong-hwa too!
I found him through this drama and the rest can be explained with a folder that have many of his pictures in my old computer ( but the old computer is gone now T_T

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I can't even remember anything from this drama except who are the leads and this is musical drama, as I think I stopped watching it after first half. I don't know if I ever want to pick up this drama again, but it's a good choice @sailorjumun to bring back some good old memories.

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I LOVED this show when it first aired~ It definitely was the youthful atmosphere and fun laif back setting that was really enjoyable. It had potential, but the writing really went nowhere, I do remember being a bit disappointed by the plot. I mean that singer guy was introduced and I thought he'd really be more important to the story than he turned out to be.

Her outfits and style were such a major draw for me, lol I loved her casual/maxi skirt look and tbh...yeah I cut my hair short, but with less successful results heh~

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I'll be honest, this show gave me unrealistic expectations of what college would be like...my campus was definitely not that pretty and there were less guitar playing cuties?

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@SailorJumun,

Thanks for your essay on YOU'VE FALLEN FOR ME / HEARTSTRINGS. I've been vaguely aware of it, and also YOU'RE BEAUTIFUL, which was recently mentioned in this month's Revisiting Dramas feature. Even if a drama isn't the greatest, if the music is good, I'll give it a shot. I'm long past high school age. The good thing about being a backwardly-compatible old fogey is that I can still remember being that age. In my own high school and college days, so much awkward, cringe-inducing stuff happened that I'll probably just nod my head in recognition. Been there, done that, still have the t-shirt. Even though it no longer fits. ;-)

A fellow Beanie introduced me to FT Island and CN Blue a while back when I mentioned my preference for rock. Dang, these guys are good. Just the kind of stuff I would have played on the air on my college radio station if I'd had access to it, assuming I could have hopped into a time machine to retrieve it from the future. ;-)

FYI: The film ROCKIN' ON HEAVEN'S DOOR aka PASSIONATE GOOBYE also has excellent music. It's set in a hospital, not a school. FT Island's Lee Hong-ki is in it.

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Oh, this drama. I started it loving both Park Shin-hye and Jung Yong-hwa and getting excited that I'll see those two as a pairing (thanks to You're Beautiful of course:)). Well... By the end, I loved Park Shin-hye even more, but as for Jung Yong-hwa, I decided not to watch any more dramas with him. Dunno if I'm correct (I was still a drama newbie at that time), but I remember his acting as very stiff, I hated it. And the terrifying cringefest that were all romantic scenes, I thought I was going to die during the kiss scenes. All of those scenes were screaming FRIENDS! FRIENDZONE!, seriously they seemed so uncomfortable at times it was hard to watch. For me, leads in a drama are the most important factor. Sometimes even if drama itself is pretty bad, good chemistry can, to some point of course, redeem it. But in Heartstrings, I just couldn't watch the otp without sighing in disappointment.

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This drama is always one of my happy pills. But every time I watch it again, I fast forward all the school board and teachers' meetings ? And I always stop at the point where Kyu-won sang the lead's part in that rehearsal. In my world, that was the drama's ending. Nothing else comes after that. No more hand injury, breakup, sudden rise to fame. ???

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Holy moly, they have board of education meetings in the show?! They must be the equivalent of all the confabs with wrangling ministers in sageuks. ;-)

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I thought this drama was the dumbest thing, Jung Yong-hwa's embarrassingly cringe-inducing acting and the very, very bland story made me give up in the middle of episode 4. On the other hand, I found Geum Jan-di absolutely hilarious in BOF but I don't think that show could hold up to a rewatch because of the cringe factor and seeing Kim Hyun-joong's face sickens me now. Plus, I remember how bad his acting was too.

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This drama is just urg..cringe cringe and just I can't even remember what else is good about it at all BUT I would re-watch every so often just to see them together. The only thing was I wished that Jung Yong-hwa and Park Shin-hye had more chemistry here. Anyway, it's still fun for me with a fast forward button. lol

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I have to give you credit, I couldn't make it through the whole series. I love Yong-Hwa, but the poor guy wasn't given much here to work with (IMHO). And Park Shin-Hye... *sigh* After You're Beautiful, I wanted to like her, but why does she kiss like someone just goosed her? "You kissed me? What do I do? What do I *do*??" The band scenes were great, the music is good, but for the love of the Drama Gods this could have been much better.

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Oh, this show! I really liked this one for the music (particularly the traditional-modern fusion) and the main couple (believe it or not). I think this was one of my earlier dramas, so I was grateful for what others considered bad acting. I thought Park Shin Hye and Jung Yong Hwa seemed very natural compared to some of the exaggerated performances in series like You're Beautiful and the sageuks I had seen. I think this is one of the few dramas in which I really liked Park Shin Hye (not that I dislike her, but I thought this role suited her).

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