I didn’t plan on watching this drama. Heck, I didn’t even know it existed. It’s the first Park Shin Hye and Jung Yong Hwa drama I’ve seen, and it was aired 9 years ago. I accidentally discovered it when Spotify played Jung Yong Hwa’s Because I Miss You based on my kdrama music playlist, and upon hearing it, I just knew I had to see this or I’ll be missing probably half of my life. I was never wrong though. Heartstrings is one of the best!
Young love is always the sweetest
It’s the story of two university students who both live in the world of music. Though the similarities end there, for Lee Kyu Won specializes in traditional music as she comes from a family whose prominence is found in this area. She lives with her grandfather, a world renowned pansori master who wants his granddaughter to follow his footsteps. Lee Shin, on the other hand, is into modern music. He is the popular campus crush who also happens to be the lead vocals and guitar of a local band called The Stupid. The drama subtly reminded me of A Walk To Remember, only Lee Shin isn’t a troublemaker but a guy who likes to be alone and appears to be indifferent but in reality he’s a sweet boy who makes sure to accommodate his mom and little sister. In the end, he just needed the warm and bubbly Kyu-won to open up his heart completely. When the peaceful worlds of these two young people collided in an unexpected turn of events, it was impossible not to listen to the noise it made as it eventually created a beautiful and heartwarming melody.
Another ultimate throwback
Lee Kyu Won’s layered clothes in bold colors reminded me of my own fashion ensemble for a brief period in 2011, along with my empire tops and ballet flats. Plus, it was so nostalgic to see them using those little Samsung Galaxy phones with blings (Lee Shin and Kyu Won even got matching bears). Talk about old memories. I was pleasantly surprised that this drama holds all the things I enjoyed the most – coffee, evening rain, and good music, especially back in the days when I had to battle through long work nights as a call center executive. People didn’t have to wear parkas and trench coats, probably because it was filmed during the summer, but there were lots of scenes under the rain which certainly added to its appeal. I don’t know how or why, but I find crying in the rain sad at the same time romantic. The absence of glaring ads is also noticeable, unlike the ones that I’ve seen recently where it felt like people paid for their Netflix subscription just to see a huge advertisement campaign. C’mon guys, we know we can do better than this!
That kind of guy…
Lee Shin must have been the epitome of all the male characters in most of the Wattpad stories I’ve edited in the past (when all this time I thought it was Dao Ming Zhu). That guy whose serious face and sad eyes are dangerously good-looking that anyone would fall at his feet in just a glance. That guy who goes missing as he transforms into music itself whenever he sings and plays the guitar. That guy who is too cold and somewhat arrogant on the outside but will melt your heart once you get to know him on the inside. That guy who sings the lines back to you, in case your heart forgets that you’re the most important thing to him and he won’t let you slip away just like that. The one who’d lie to you and ready to hurt himself when all else fails, just to make sure you win. That guy who’d kiss you in front of everyone, and would tell the world “yes, that’s her.” That guy.
Oh, Lee Shin, if you exist in real life, won’t you save me?
Love vs. Career
When we were young, we were often asked this idealistic question – what would you choose, love or career? I’m sure many of us have chosen career over love for various reasons – love won’t put food on the table or, love can wait while opportunities are hard to come by. What we might have missed is that maybe, love, in its truest form, allows us to do all things. Love, in its truest form, patiently waits for us, when we’re heartbroken or confused or indecisive, the way Kyu Won bought coffee for Lee Shin over and over even after Lee Shin said she didn’t have to do that anymore. Love, in its truest form, does come back and gives way to second chances, the way Director Kim went to Professor Jung and told her he wants them to start over again. Love, in its truest form, finds a way for you to do what you love the most, the way Joon Hee arranged a stage performance for Hee-joo when she failed to attend the auditions. Love, in its truest form, can be self-sacrificing and at times, willing to hurt and get hurt just to make sure we do the right choices, the way Lee Shin had to hide his true feelings so that all of Kyu-won’s sacrifices won’t go to waste. Love, in its truest form, will always give us beautiful endings no matter what.
Ahhh, the thing that brought me here. I didn’t know Park Shin Hye could sing! I love her The Day We Fell In Love, along with M Signal’s Give Me A Smile, Kang Min Hyuk’s Star, and Jung Yong Hwa’s Heartstrings. Because I Miss You made a butter on a heated pan out of my heart. Of course, I didn’t know what were the words behind that seemingly sad melody (maybe except for bogopaseo, saranghaeyo and mianhaeyo), and when I finally knew, the feeling just intensified. I can’t stop listening to it that it’s on repeat for days, and now it’s the song I listen to at night. Jung Yong Hwa is a great artist and now I wonder where I’ve been all the time he was performing out there. Now, all of his songs (and also CNBlue’s) are on my playlist. The thing about musical dramas is that they have the best soundtracks ever. I think it’s a requirement, but even so, this just exceeded expectations.
Right now, I haven’t decided what to binge-watch next, as my list just went down the drain not knowing if the items there would be as good as this one (unfair, I know but…). Do I have time to binge-watch another drama? Let’s see. I’m having a good laugh at Running Man episodes during my free time these days but another drama really sounds tempting.
Stay sane kids! Watch kdramas.