Okay – I FINALLY caught up and finished the rest of the series. I definitely did enjoy this series, even though it’s nothing to call home about. What’s great are the little moments – and the perfectly gif-able expressions and reactions that occur. But once it really gets to the story, I think this drama fails. And miserably so by the last few episodes.
What I Think on Episodes 14-16 Only
I think towards the end of the series, things started to get rushed. Yoo Jin’s fear of flying is easily resolved in just two sessions of hypnosis and we don’t even get to see him struggle on the plane ride to Jeju. I think it would have helped to see some more of how he pushed himself to get on the plane even if it meant adding a few precious minutes to the show. It’s almost unbelievable that after he survives the short trip to Jeju, and back to Seoul that he can survive a long flight to Austria. I also didn’t like how Yoon Ho’s character developed towards the end because he felt like a forgotten character. When necessary he was around, and when he wasn’t he was never missed; that’s a shame considering he had a been quite a formidable second male lead initially for Nae Il’s love. I never fully understood Nae Il’s motivation to return to Jeju, even though it’s what really helps Yoo Jin get over his fear. And I wish we actually got to see them do some “work” and practice in Austria, or look for Viera more actively. And finally, the issues between Yoo Jin and his father seemed to have been glossed over and fixed quite easily.
The most frustrating part is that there’s NO KISS in this show. It might be a cute, innocent, bubbly like show, but seriously – JUST KISS ALREADY. You lead up to it so many times I start wondering why there is none! I feel so unsatisfied!
Anyways, the Austria scenes also felt very unnecessary, and was just a way to show beautiful sites and them filming there to make it seem “worth” the production costs. I did appreciate that first-person-camera shot as Yoo Jin/The Camera follows Nae Il prancing through the park where “The Sound of Music” was filmed, and then Yoo Jin holding the ring up right in front of the lenses as if we were looking at the scene through his eyes. That was a nice touch. Nevertheless, the Austria scenes also took away from the scenes back at Han Eum. I never felt like I got much closure with the rest of the students, and I felt even more distant from them than I did in the beginning of the series. I have to admit that it might be a bit selfish of me to expect so much from this series when it gradually focused only on Yoo Jin and Nae Il, because even in the best ensemble dramas we have to end up focusing on the main couple that’s supposed to steal our hearts. I just really enjoyed the side characters a little too much.
I still enjoyed the series. It was light, and fluffy, and just pure mindless fun. The music was great, even though in some scenes it was obvious that the main actors couldn’t play any of these instruments, and in other scenes the music was ruined by the voice-over thoughts of the conductor. But I at least am more aware of more classical music than before. I’ve also never seen the original Japanese drama, though from what I’ve heard it’s very good in its own right. so I won’t compare it. But for Tomorrow’s Cantabile, I think this Korean drama captured the essence of a manga-esque live-action drama and was successful enough to stand alone despite the relatively weak final episodes.
As for the acting and the characters, this is one of those dramas where I enjoyed the actors who played the side characters more than the main actors. Go Kyung Po, Min Do Hee, and Jang Se Hyun were the heart of the Fab Five, more so than Shim Eun Kyung, whom I felt should have been more endearing than annoying. It’s my first time watching Shim Eun Kyung in anything, and her role as Nae Il does not leave a good impression. I’ll give it to her that she doesn’t quite hold back in her acting, but she’s not a very likable character. I felt that the side characters were more lovable even with the exaggerated emotions and crazy personalities. As for Joo Won, I wouldn’t say it was too difficult for him to act in this role, but I think this drama was almost beneath him because it didn’t allow for much subtlety, which I think he’s good at. He was a bit mismatched with Shim Eun Kyung.
There’s so much more that could probably have been done with this drama, but I’ll take this drama at face value: it was fun, it was light. It’s something you play in the background and never have to pay much attention to because it never demands your full attention.