Do You Like Brahms: Episodes 3-4 Open Thread
The tables have turned this week, and now it’s our hero’s turn to get a look at the inner life of our heroine. As their similar natures and predicaments bring them closer together, an official friendship is declared — and it’s off to a beautiful start, being rooted in genuine care, support, and mutual understanding.
EPISODES 3-4 WEECAP
Excuse me while I spazz! The developments this week could not have been more lovely, and this budding friendship between Joon-young and Song-ah is the stuff that
dreams dramas are made of. The birthday song, the hug, the chats by the stream, the sweet confessions… These two have been so unhappily in love for so long that seeing them find happiness and camaraderie in getting to know each other is just everything.
We left off last week with Joon-young and Song-ah’s impromptu dinner together, and it’s not the only time that circumstances will throw them together this week. Add in the fact that Song-ah is acting on behalf of Joon-young at the foundation, and our leads are spending lots of quality time together. And I’m not complaining.
Our leads’ professional and musical lives are tightly knit, but this week they realize how similar their personal stories are, as well. Both have been locked into these emotionally and creatively stifling love triangles that rather than let up over the years, just seem to get more so.
We’ve watched Song-ah picking up on Joon-young’s love entanglement (half because of circumstances, half because of perception), but this week it’s Joon-young that witnesses hers. In an early post-concert dinner with all of our triangles and quadrangles present, Joon-young instinctively plays interference for Song-ah. I loved that it was his knee jerk reaction to protect her from learning that Dong-yoon and Min-sung had gotten back together (ish), even without being explicitly told about her feelings.
The secret can’t be kept, though, and on Song-ah’s birthday, just before a celebratory get together, Min-sung confesses what happened. It’s Song-ah whose heart is broken, but it also looks like Joon-young’s been stabbed. He witnesses and understands things about her even as an outsider. It’s the same role she played, and is playing, for him.
The night drags on for Song-ah the way crappy nights often do — she lingers at work, trying to gather the strength to meet everyone and pretend she’s fine. But it’s our hero’s turn to shine. He plays one of her favorites songs (Moonlight Sonata) and them seamlessly turns it into a beautiful rendition of Happy Birthday. I don’t even like birthdays, but this was possibly the sweetest and most meaningful birthday wish around.
The scene continues to so beautifully capture the way both Joon-young and Song-ah are drawn to and understand each other, as well as their impulse to comfort each other. When he blurts out, “Do you want to be friends?” and then jumps up from his piano bench saying, “No, we have to be” and envelopes her in a hug… I might have been clutching my heart during this entire scene.
There’s so many great metaphors and themes to unpack in each episode of this show, but I think one of the most important this week was the construct of music being a means for communication and consolation. For Joon-young, we learn that music is stronger to him than words (and that’s part of why there’s so much emotion attached to certain pieces for him, like Träumerei); for Song-ah, she claims that music is consolation, but later thinks to herself that it only represents the moments she’s been heartbroken.
Not that it’s uncommon for musicians to relate over music and music philosophy, but Joon-young and Song-ah just seem to get each other. Over the weeks or so that our episodes cover, we watch them grow more and more close and comfortable with each other. They can read each other’s signals with a glance, back each other up when they need moral support and/or an escape route, and they’re so in sync that it’s just a pleasure to watch.
Joon-young even admits to seeking out Song-ah (after a hellacious day of Jung-kyung stress) because he missed her, and because being around her makes him happy. It strikes me that this boy can use his words just fine when he needs to!
Of course there’s a lot more than Joon-young and Song-ah’s relationship going on in this drama — there’s all the ways the people in their life keep intersecting, and the external pressures they face, too. We end our episodes this week with a sobering sequence of Joon-young telling Song-ah what it’s really like to be a professional musician compared to the sugar-coated version he shares at his “talk concert.” He deserves to be so much happier than he is; I’m not the only one hoping he can extricate his heart from Jung-kyung, right?
Speaking of Jung-kyung, what do we do with her? I’m trying to feel sympathy for her plight and pressures, and she’s by no means a flat character. She’s full of sharp edges and nuances and hurts the people around her a little too easily — but it’s so apparent that most of this is just because she’s so miserable, locked in grief, pressured into her future, and stuck in a relationship she doesn’t seem to take any joy in.
On paper I could sympathize with her, but in the drama, she has this attitude about her that makes it hard for me to root for her, and her snapping at Joon-young during their rehearsal sealed her fate for me. Or is it just that she always seems to have what Anne of Green Gables might call, “a sour expression”?
I mentioned last week how this drama wowed with its use of subtle tension and subtext, and it’s still strong this week as we follow our characters, see what they do, hear what they say, and then are privy to what’s really going on behind that.
For instance, Hyun-ho is not as dense as he pretends to be, and he knows there’s something between Jung-kyung and Joon-young — and to his credit, rather than sit on it for a decade, he unearths it right away. So far he’s shaping up to be the clearest and most uncomplicated of our characters… but with so many opaque and complicated people around him, I’m not sure the friction in their relationships will be as easy to resolve as he thinks.
At the end of our episodes this week we’re left with a pianist who can’t seem to keep his sabbatical, a violinist who never gets to play her violin, and a web of circumstances and emotional connections that keep knitting them together. I love the weight this story has about it — not because it’s melodramatic, but just because it portrays the heaviness that can be a part of everyday moments.
The friendship between Joon-young and Song-ah is not only everything they needed, but everything they didn’t know they needed. I love watching them interact no matter what they’re doing — whether they’re smiling when they spot each other across the street, running interference for each other, or chatting at Cheongyecheon after dinner. Imagine when they finally play together? *Spazz*
- Premiere Watch: Do You Like Brahms, Lies of Lies
- Bittersweet love triangles and heartbreaking first love in Do You Like Brahms?
- Script reading for classical music youth drama Do You Like Brahms?
- Kim Sung-chul joins Park Eun-bin, Kim Min-jae in SBS’s Do You Like Brahms?
- Park Eun-bin, Kim Min-jae up for new SBS drama, Do You Like Brahms?