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Heartstrings (2011) Episode 01 Recap
‘Heartstrings’ / 'You’ve Fallen For Me', the most anticipated drama for all ShinHwa Couple's shippers and You're Beautiful fans likewise, is finally here. Go Mi Nam (Park Shin Hye) and her Shin Woo hyeong (Jeong Yong Hwa) are eventually paired as an on-screen couple in this yet another interesting drama about music enthusiasts. The cute actress, who has just won a popularity award for film category at the 47th Baeksang Awards in May 2011, is not only back on the small screen but she is now back with her guardian angel. Although she might have had a great time under the protection of a passionate and attentive Jeong Yong Hwa in the late 2009’s hit drama, You're Beautiful, Park Shin Hye is going to have a hell of a time in this new drama because, in contrary, her angel has turned into an evil.
Episode 01: Accidentally Meeting You
Lee Gyu Won (Park Shin Hye) and her grandfather (Shin Gu as Lee Dong Jin / Grandfather) arrive at Jeju Island’s airport for a short trip. The grandfather is off to a cultural exchange seminar while she is left with a mere 10,000 Won (approx. US$10), given by her thrifty and dictator-like grandfather, to get herself to the hotel. Whilst in a hassle trying to board a bus, the only transport mode she could afford with that sum of money, one of the wheels on her luggage suddenly breaks. Someone helps to pick up the heavy luggage and although they are riding the same bus, she is too ‘busy’ enjoying the scenic view to even paying attention to him. He is our leading man, Lee Sin (Jeong Yong Hwa)! They later get off the bus at the same stop but both of them are totally oblivious to one another.
After checking in at the hotel, Gyu Won decides to take another bus ride to catch a better view of this beautiful island. Likewise, Lee Sin is also heading towards the same destination, with a bike he hires (I’m assuming he hires the bicycle!). When she arrives at the seaside where a stunning lighthouse is standing proudly from its position, Lee Sin is already there. Just as she catches a glimpse of him, her phone suddenly rings, “look upon me, look upon me!” (It feels as if the phone is asking Lee Sin to look at her, kekeke!). As she speaks, her loud voice grabs his attention. However, he can only see her back when he turns his face since she is running after receiving the call from her grandfather asking (ordering!) her to pick him up. As he is already holding a camera, Lee Sin manages to take a picture of Gyu Won.
When Gyu Won arrives at the venue, her grandfather is having a meal with the other participants. Gyu Won is hungry but she only has 2,000 Won (approx. US$2) in hand (which is probably not enough for even a simple lunch!). This poor girl is later even more disappointed when her grandfather demands them to go back to Seoul immediately. The grandfather gets offended during the lunch, hence, their supposedly 3Days/2Nights trip is short-lived. (I do find it really symbolic when the camera later shows Lee Shin looking up to the sky as a plane leaves – as if he is looking at Gyu Won who is leaving the island!)
Back in Seoul, Gyu Won has to rush for her class. She is supposed to perform her gayageum, a traditional Korean zither-like string instrument. She gets there just in the nick of time. She is happy when everyone is applauding her after the performance. But, her happiness is momentary when a student majoring in Applied Music (I don’t really get it why they are in the same class!) who has slept during her performance gives out a critique that her performance was easy to fall asleep to (implying that it was boring!). And, that sleepy student is none other than Lee Sin!
Even long after the class has been dismissed, Gyu Won (very much like her grumpy grandfather!) is still unable to let go of her anger. Her coursemate, Cha Bo Un (Im Se Mi) tries to make her feels better by insisting her to go and watch The Stupid’s performance ('The Stupid' is the name of their college’s popular home-grown rock band). Since they are in middle of organising an event called “One Day Tea House”, they might be able to sell the tickets faster if The Stupid boys join the event.
When they arrive at Catharsis, the club where The Stupid is performing, Gyu Won has to go out for a while to answer a phone call. Accidentally, she is caught in a situation where a girl is trying to ask Lee Sin to date her. The girl later slaps Lee Sin’s face when he lets out a harsh response. Gyu Won is too shocked to even move or mutter a word. When Lee Sin sees her, he asks if she is there to confess to him, too. Gyu Won (who is already irritated after receiving a nagging call from her grandfather) is offended by this impulsive question of his. He totally has a ‘Prince Syndrome’, she concludes.
When she gets back into the building, The Stupid is about to start performing. As the group’s singer steps on the stage, Gyu Won realises that he is the same arrogant ‘prince’ she saw earlier. Although she is still aggravated by him, Lee Sin’s spectacular performance however, manages to stun her, leaving her speechless and makes her opens her mouth in admiration. When the performance ends, Gyu Won and her friends approach the Stupids. Gyu Won is a bit hesitant but Bo Un pushes her forward, towards Lee Sin. Gyu Won finds herself struggling to find the right words. But, before she could complete her sentence, Lee Sin quickly brushes her off and asks her to speak to Yeo Jun Hui (Kang Min Hyeok), the group’s ‘leader’, instead.
After the performance, Lee Sin is off on his bike to pick up his younger sister, Lee Jeong Hyeon (Moon Ga Yeong). Gyu Won meanwhile, is at a hospital, visiting her favourite lecturer who is battling with cancer. (We later learn that the “One Day Tea House” event is meant for raising funds for the terminally ill lecturer).
When Gyu Won gets home, she is disturbed to find the CDs which her father sent her have been broken into pieces and left scattered on the centre yard. Knowing the culprit, she dashes into her grandfather’s room (but stops at the door) and starts protesting. However, her grandfather ignores her feelings and begins defending his actions by talking about his disapproval towards her father’s choice of music. Knowing there is nothing she can do nor say to win over him, Gyu Won leaves the room. This incident brings her back to the day when her father had a tiff with her grandfather because of their conflicting interests; the father is more inclined towards Western (classical) music whilst the grandfather is totally into traditional Korean music. Because of that, her father had been forced to leave the family. (Poor Gyu Won!)
The next day, at the college, Lee Sin is approached by Jun Hui. The Stupid’s drummer begs Lee Sin to agree to perform during the “One Day Tea House” event. Since Jun Hui has accepted the payment and has ‘accidentally’ spent almost all the money to buy food, Lee Sin has no choice but to reluctantly accept the deal.
While the girls are busy preparing the one-night event, the college’s staffs meanwhile are planning an even bigger event; a special performance to commemorate the college’s 100th anniversary. Graduating students will be chosen to perform and Kim Seok Hyeon (Song Chang Ui) is to be put in charge. This so-called successful musical director who has made a career in Broadway, is eventually back in Korea (Instead of a luxury car, a crappy old car awaits him at the airport, LOL!). During his meeting with the college’s president and his senior, Professor Im Tae Jun (Lee Jeong Heon), Seok Hyeon is clearly unhappy when he finds out that an old ‘acquaintance’, Jeong Yun Su (So Yi Hyeon), will be working with him as the performance’s choreographer. When they coincidentally bump into each other, it is clear that these two have had a ‘bad’ history between them.
At noon, Gyu Won is having lunch with Bo Un and her two other coursemates. As Gyu Won is leaving for the library because she needs to do her assignment (which is probably due that very afternoon!), Bo Un continues talking about the Stupids, particularly the drummer whom she finds really attractive. Cute like a puppy, she says. During the chat, a young male, sitting next to their table, is having a square meal as if he has been starving for days. When he sees Bo Un is sitting idly without eating her meal, the boy abruptly approaches her and asks for her food. Stunned, these three girls could do nothing but watch in awe as the wretched ‘monster’ gulps Bo Un’s leftovers. They have no idea that the ‘monster’ they are looking at is actually the same puppy-like Jun Hui whom they have just met (and admire!) the day earlier.
While her friends are having a ‘great’ time of their own, Gyu Won is experiencing yet another awkward situation, at the library. Just the night before, she saw a girl confessing her love to Lee Sin. And now, her timing is so perfect that she manages to get herself caught up in the middle, twice! This time however, the girl comes with a gift basket filled with sweets, to apologise for her action the other night. As usual, Lee Sin lets out another cold expression and simply leaves the basket unattended. Agitated by Lee Sin’s rude behaviour, Gyu Won confronts him. She tells him not to judge people from their appearances, but he tells her that is what she and everyone else are doing (admiring his group because of their looks, not because of their talents). Before leaving, he tells her not to chase after him (he thinks she is hitting on him). Annoyed, she tries to shove the gift basket to him again but trips over her loose shoelace instead. To stop from falling further, she stretches out her hands and ends up grabbing Lee Sin’s leg before falling on her behind. (It looks as if she is begging him for his love!) Those who are looking at them think that she is yet another pathetic girl who has just been dumped by Lee Sin. Such an embarrassing moment for our poor Gyu Won!
That night, Jun Hui, the drummer, is having a glass of ‘soju’ by himself. (He probably cannot afford a real soju, so he treats himself for what I believe is a tiny bottle of cultured milk drink!) “Sure enough, a poet’s life is a starving one,” he sighs. This constantly hungry boy suddenly smells something yummy. The smell leads him to a room where a hot girl is having a dance practice. Mesmerised by her beauty, he temporarily forgets about his hunger. “It seems like I found my Natasha,” he proclaims.
Back to our leading man. Lee Sin is accompanying Yun Su home after her dance practice but she tells him not to come and see her at the studio anymore and start looking for a lover of his own age (implying to stop hitting on her since she is older than him!). Prior to this, Yun Su was having a hard time trying to practice her ballet. When she fell, Lee Sin came rushing with a muscle spray (I’m assuming it’s an analgesic spray used to release muscle strain). However, Yun Su didn’t look happy with Lee Sin’s attentive gesture (probably because she still has lingering feelings for Seok Hyeon). Lee Sin doesn’t look happy either, upon hearing Yun Su’s words, asking him to stop liking her. He simply rejects her idea and cycles away.
The next day, the whole college is in ‘havoc’ when the students find out that The Stupid is going to perform during the “One Day Tea House” event. Lee Sin gives out a ticket to Yun Su, inviting her to the show but she coldly turns him down (just in the same way Lee Sin treats a girl who likes him!). On his way out, Lee Sin remembers the night he fell for her - that moment when she fell down during her dance due to her weak ankle (she has a scar on it!) and started crying. After he left, Yun Su is having mixed feelings but she later decides not to attend the event.
At Catharsis, where the event will be held, our Broadway ajeossi, Seok Hyeon, is making an appearance. He turns out to be an old friend of the Catharsis’s owner, Owner Gu (Jeong Kyeong Ho). Owner Gu asks him to stay since an idol group (The Stupid!) will be performing there, soon. (But, when he talks about how bad Professor Im, Seok Hyeon’s senior, has wanted to direct the college’s anniversary performance, I can smell trouble, here! And, although Seok Hyeon seems to ignore it when Owner Gu talks about Yun Su, he actually has not let go of her completely and has been ‘watching’ her secretly throughout these years).
Backstage, The Stupid is getting ready for the event. Jun Hui pops in with his dreamy eyes and a wide smile on his face. He is lovesick! For the first time, he falls for someone who doesn’t even treat him for a meal or give him a simple food like at the very least. (Jun Hui doesn’t know that his Natasha, who is yet to ‘introduce’ herself, will also be there, tonight!)
When the event is about to start, Lee Sin suddenly receives a phone call. His younger sister is sick with acute appendicitis and has to be operated immediately. In a panic, he rushes to the hospital, without telling anyone.
At 7:40 p.m., the event has already started but Lee Sin is still missing. (He knows that he’s not going to be able to make it but Lee Sin doesn’t even bother to give anyone a call!). In the end, Gyu Won has no choice but to perform on his behalf when the crowd is becoming restless. Although she seems to impress part of the audience with her singing, most of them are not satisfied. They feel cheated because the actual singer is missing (since they have to pay for the entrance). But, the most frustrated person has to be Lee Gyu Won! Lee Sin has ruined her whole event for not keeping his promise.
After the event, Gyu Won heads to the hospital to give out the money she has collected from the event. While waiting for the bus, Seok Hyeon approaches her. Seok Hyeon is amazed by Gyu Won’s singing ability, especially after knowing that she is from the Traditional Music Department. (A gayageum player who can sing a pop song seems impressive to him!) When Seok Hyeon approaches her, she first thought that he is a pervert, however, in no time, they are able to click well.
As she was in a hurry, Gyu Won accidentally left something (that looks like the event’s poster) on the bench, so Seok Hyeon decides to follow Gyu Won to the hospital. He just wants to return the ‘forgotten item’ but he ends up comforting her because Gyu Won is too upset upon receiving the bad news that unfortunately, the lecturer has just passed away.
The following day, Lee Sin shows up at college. Jun Hui tells him how things got messed up due to his ‘disappearance.’ Expecting this, Lee Sin comes well-prepared, with an envelope of money to compensate Gyu Won for her ‘losses’. Because Jun Hui refuses to help him deliver the envelope (since he knows that Gyu Won is really mad at them, particularly at Lee Sin), Lee Sin has to go and look for Gyu Won himself.
Lee Sin sees her in her practice room, playing her gayageum. When he enters the room, Gyu Won gives him a stern look and asks in a cold voice, “who said you could come in?”
“I came to return the money,” Lee Sin replies in a similar tone, then throws the envelope next to Gyu Won who is sitting on the floor.
Gyu Won says she does not need his ‘measly’ money and asks him to take them back. “You think you’re so great, huh?” She lets out her frustration, before continues, “I've heard your music before. Here (referring to her heart)... It wasn't moved by your music at all. So quit showing off.” She then throws the envelope to his feet.
Lee Sin says she should take the money since they are for the lecturer’s medical bills. Upon hearing that, Gyu Won blurts out, “I really don't understand why those girls would chase after a guy like you every day. You're ruthless, unlucky and nauseating. What's so great about you?”
Gyu Won wants to throw the envelope again, but Lee Sin stops her. While holding her wrist, he says in his fiery eyes, “Do you want me to show you… this ruthless, unlucky and nauseating guy… why there are so many people chasing after him?”
- End of Episode 01 –
A light and interesting opening with an easy-to-digest and straight-forward plot. Although Lee Gyu Won (Park Shin Hye’s character in this drama) seems a lot like Go Mi Nam (her character in You’re Beautiful) in terms of her cheekiness and her clumsiness, Lee Gyu Won is indeed different from Go Mi Nam when it comes to her temper. Jeong Yong Hwa meanwhile, still has the same friendly expressions even though his character, Lee Sin is meant to have a very rough exterior (Is this suggesting that the character is actually a good person at heart?). It is interesting to see how the screenwriter, Lee Myeong Suk, is going to make Lee Gyu Won and Lee Sin fall for each other since at this very moment, in this first episode, both of them hate each other’s guts. Let’s see what will happen in the next episode, shall we?
Note: Jun Hui, the drummer, is so adorable, isn’t he? He’s my favourite character, so far.
Episode Rating: 8/10
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