Do You Like Brahms: Episodes 7-8 Open Thread
Feelings are out in the open, but that doesn’t make navigating them any easier. In addition to the complications that come from past relationships, our leads have to cope with the pressures of appearances and perceptions. We’re left with equal measures of heartache and heart-racing swoons — but it’s the perfect balance for a drama that almost feels like a musical composition itself.
EPISODES 7-8 WEECAP
What makes a drama squee-worthy? It might be something that even the most diehard of fans can’t quantify, but Do You Like Brahms surely has that special something in spades. Is it the chemistry between the actors? The way the writing can do so much with such simple exchanges? Or is it the way the director can pull something magical out of an ordinary moment? Like lunch, for instance.
If you were worried about how our lead characters would fare after that sweet but surprise confession last week, you are not alone. I’ve spent all week not only anticipating Joon-young’s response, but mourning for what feels like the end of Act I in the drama (what with the summer over, the internship concluded, and everyone dispersed from Kyung-hoo). But fear not — Act II proves to be brimming with just as much goodness.
A new fall semester means a new setting, and since this is a drama, after all, that means new sources of antagonism and conflict. There are the classes, lessons, and crucial performances that add stress — but more than that, there’s a lot of pressure that’s heaped on our almost-a-couple-couple this week.
Leading off the conflict, of course, is the huge and horrid scene created by Jung-kyung, where she does her best to rip Hyun-ho’s heart out, and then pulls Joon-young into the madness. Even though she later apologizes for this lie-filled pain she inflicted, it still creates damage. Hyun-ho is reeling from how she’s treating him, and Song-ah is turned upside-down again and again by being exposed to their love triangle problems. But the biggest repercussion might just be with Joon-young — this feels like the final straw for him. If he had been trying to let go of Jung-kyung before, now he’s truly ready.
And it’s perfect timing, right? Song-ah has softly confessed to him, and he received it with equal softness, welcoming her into his world, being honest with her about his past, and asking her to wait for him to resolve his feelings. The “I’ll wait for you” balance these two find is, at first, so perfect, patient, and sweet. Those adjectives also apply to our couple — but damn these outsiders and outside conflicts for pushing Joon-young and Song-ah into unhappiness!
I said earlier that this drama is so well paced and structured, that it almost feels like an actual musical composition itself — it has all the right moments of dissonance, suspension, resolution, etc. Halfway through the show (weep!), I totally trust it enough to know that all the moments will be purposeful, that they’ll make the right decisions, and that the audience will get exactly what they (we) need.
But back to Song-ah and Joon-young and why their relationship works so well: one of the major reasons for me is their emotional intelligence. Not only is it completely refreshing to watch two people who understand their own feelings and the complexities around them (go, introverts!), but they’re also able to surface things and deal with them in their quiet, mature way. It goes back to how well-composed this drama is — we have the perfect mix of friction (misunderstandings, hurt feelings) and resolution (honest conversations, quality time together).
I also really liked how the friction in their burgeoning romance feeds into Song-ah’s own vulnerabilities. For a girl who’s pursuing her dream against a lot of pushback, who’s derided for “lack of talent,” and who’s often pushed to last place — it makes so much sense for that to also echo in her romance. “Is there any space for me?” she asks Joon-young, as if she’s so used to being in the background, she can’t help but expect it again. Still, she (and he) are so honest with their intentions and feelings that even their moments of disagreement are a pleasure to watch.
And so, I’ve never been so ready for an end-of-episode-8 kiss before! It was the perfect conclusion to a scene that started out with conflict and confusion, and ended with confessions and kisses. Also, the way he held her shoulders was everything. I will be melted into a puddle until next week.
In the meantime, there were a lot of other smaller plot points and moments to call out this week, and they’re hard to pass up without a mention. Simon and his back-stabbing attack on Young-in and the foundation. Dong-yoon’s confession! The wonderful understanding and insight of Young-in (gosh, I want Song-ah back in that safe place for her to grow!). Both Joon-young and Song-ah realizing that their professors are soulless. The surprising coolness of Jung-kyung’s master class. Oh, and Kim Min-jae’s English skills — hello!
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