It’s been a while since I watched a drama without skipping some or probably most of its chapters. I think the last Korean series I watched without missing even one episode was Boys Over Flowers. Perhaps it’s out of habit. If the story gets too boring and dragging, I can’t help but skip or fast forward the episodes.

Heartstrings (You’ve Fallen For Me) was a surprise. I didn’t have any expectations before watching this. All I know is that the leads were in He’s Beautiful and I was curious how Park Shin Hye would look as a normal heroine. I thought this was just one of those series I’ll end up skipping half of but to my amazement I didn’t even miss a single episode. I even spent 17 hours watching this series straight. I started at three in the morning and finished the series at seven in the evening. Hah. One sitting!

Type Her 넌 내게 반했어/ Heartstrings

MBC, 15 Episodes
Broadcast Period 6/29/11 – 8/18/11
Drama, Romance, Music

Watched in November, 2011

Lee Shin is a university student majoring in modern music. He is also the vocalist and guitarist of the band “The Stupid.” Shin is known for his good looks and strong passion for music, but in reality he is cold, lacks interest in anything unrelated to music and has neither dreams nor plans for the future. He initially likes Jung Yoon Soo, a dance professor at university, but this all changes when he meets Lee Kyu Won.1

Lee Kyu Won is a bright and outgoing student who was born into a prestigious family and is majoring in traditional Korean instruments, especially the gayageum. Kyu Won’s grandfather, Lee Dong Gun, is one of the top 3 traditional musicians of his age and his biggest wish is to see his granddaughter become a traditional music prodigy. Trying to live up to her grandfather’s expectations, Kyu Won immerses herself in training and becomes a university student who knows nothing outside of her studies. As her friends are fans of “The Stupid”, she was forced to go to the band’s concert with them. There she saw Lee Shin performing live, and is immediately captivated by him.2

Director: Pyo Min Soo
Screenwriter: Lee Myung Sook

Cast: Jung Yong Hwa, Park Shin Hye, Song Chang Ui, So Yi Hyun

Heartstrings Correlation Chart

To give you a general idea of the plot.

The plot was pretty normal. It’s not over the top and a little plausible. There’s nothing exceptional with the story but the directing, soundtrack and the cast’s performances made this drama revitalizing and a lot of fun.

What I appreciate most in this drama are the character development, back story and the story flow. It wasn’t dragging since the biggest conflict in the story was immediately presented and resolved in the first 6 episodes. It also had strong back stories for the characters not only for the hero and heroine but for the secondary characters as well. It’s nice getting to know the people in the story bit by bit.

The most prevalent character development in the drama is with Lee Shin. I had fun watching him fall in love with Lee Kyo Won. Nakakakilig! It’s so nice to be young. I wish I can find a guy like him for real!

I also liked that their love story is not the typical boy-meets-girl-then-falls-in-love-and-the-two-are-against-the-world kind of crap. They didn’t go overboard making the characters head-over-hills in love with each other. And the heroine didn’t fall in love with the guy at first sight. Though the enemy-at-first angle of the story is very common, it was still effective since the first 6 episodes focused more on Lee Shin’s feelings towards the professor.

I’d share with you some of the lines I loved most from the series.

I am going to do what you want me to do. From now on, no matter who you like or how much you’re hurting because of her, I won’t care anymore. I… don’t like you anymore. – Lee Gyu Won, Episode 7

Do you want to know my wish? I wish that you would like me again. – Lee Sin, Episode 10

Don’t you wish love in real life is as sweet as theirs? Oh and I’m totally captivated with the song I Will Forget You.

Jung Yong Hwa and Park Shin Hye have a very refreshing chemistry. It’s one of the things you’ll initially notice in the first few episodes of the drama. The setting is a plus too. It was very nice that this was filmed in spring which made the scenes pleasant to watch. And it added up with the drama’s romance.

As much as I adored this, there are still things it lacks. On top of my list is the physical aspect of Lee Shin and Lee Kyo Won’s relationship. For goodness sake they’re both 21 years old in a mature relationship and all they share is a few chaste kisses. Let me reiterate that—few chaste kisses. Chaste na nga kokonti pa. It might have something to do with their culture or the audience perhaps but they could have shared one real kiss! I’m just asking for one!

See what I mean?

There are also too many performances not related to the story. I understand that this is a Musical drama but they should have lessened it. It wouldn’t make less of the story anyway.

And last was the conflict they had before the series ended. Can’t they think of anything else? Or I would have appreciated it more if they extended it for at least two episodes to show how the two patch things up. It’s as if the ending was rushed and the reconciliation was abrupt.

I originally wanted to give this drama 3 Kiss Marks but since this is my favourite for the time being and I haven’t found a series that would match or surpass my enjoyment in watching it, I decided to give it 3.5 Kiss Marks. And because I don’t have 3.5 in my ratings, I’ll use the 4 Kiss Marks picture. Another reason is I realized Jung Yong Hwa’s cute!

Amazing: I’m mesmerized.

The cast’s performances are okay. So I’ll give it 3 Drama Awards.

Acceptable but not eye catchy.

Other Reviews:
the talking cupboard


You might also like:

Dream High: Korean Drama Review

Cinderella’s Stepsister: A Real Drama to the Core

Fifty Shades of Fucked Up

Fairy Tale Fail


32 thoughts on “Heartstrings

  1. avielabley says:

    You’re right. I wish it was extended for at least 2 episodes. The ending was just like that…sigh..
    Haha! I LOL-ed in the chaste kisses thing. They only have 2 chaste kisses. Yong hwa is not a good kisser compared to Jang Geun Suk. Maybe he’s not a full-time actor (more of a musician) so I’m considering that fact. haha ~
    I love “I will forget you” song too. I can relate with that. hahaha

    Nice review! ♥

  2. KwesiFriends says:

    I am inspired that I’m planning to create a blog like yours. Hehe. I’m a cheater! I’m planning to watch this Korean TV drama soon to cherish my love for instruments.

    • Shana says:

      Go! I’ll support you. But then you’ll have two blogs to work on. (I can’t do that. That’s why I created an all around blog like this.) I’m sure you can do it.

      If you want to watch this drama, I can lend you my copy. They’ll be tagalizing this series in ABS-CBN and is scheduled to start on January 2 of next year! I’ll make time to watch it. Masaya ‘to!

      • KwesiFriends says:

        I planned last week to buy a copy of this K-drama but I forgot it. So here I am, bored and trying to read books and surf online to waste my time and keep my junk mind working. I’m getting your point of working two blogs but I’m planning to merge them down like yours. I did a simple mixing and deleting my old wordpress account yesterday, and wish everything will go smoothly before the year’s end.

  3. Shana says:

    Kwesi, you can start watching it online. Just Google it.

    I wish I have the time to edit and work on my blog. As you can see I don’t often post nowadays. Work is hectic this month. I don’t even have the time to read books.

    So you’ll be migrating to wordpress? Not bad. Good luck!

    • KwesiFriends says:

      Thanks Shana (este Alona)! I’ll try to google it later and I hate watching TV drama or anime online because of my FaiLeDT (PLDT), as in. Good luck Shan.

  4. SweetReads says:

    I bought the series last night in Monumento and got the worst English Sub ever. I can understand some but I need further analysis, time and synthesis. Ugh! Planning to buy one.

  5. oxygen says:

    Oh dear! I’ve downloaded this Korean series through Torrent… and would you believe, I’ve watched it 3 times… The chemistry of both lead stars are pretty amazing.

  6. fantasylover says:

    What bothers me more than their kiss is the fact that she doesn’t hug him back! it frustrated me so much that she would just stand like a statue. But the ending was a bit abrupt. A few more words would’ve sufficed.

    • jeremy says:

      Omg i agree with you it was so annoying! I kept wanting to punch her but that wasnt possible since she was in a screen lol

  7. jeremy says:

    Hi there i guess im just a random person commenting on your blog, i actually just finished watching heartstrings and by god its amazing! Its the most good korean drama i have watched so far although….playful kiss was pretty good as well! Anyways i totally agree with you about the “kisses” they had, i wish they would have had a real kiss, but considering they actually got to kiss a fair number of times unlike other japanese/korean dramas the couples only kiss once is pretty good. I cried when i the drama ended like i always do lol. But yeah it was nice reading your blog amd seeing your opinion on heartstrings. 🙂

    • Alona says:

      Hi Jeremy! Thanks for visiting. Heartstrings is a light, fun drama to watch. I didn’t like Playful Kiss. Maybe because I first watched the Taiwanese version and I can’t avoid to compare them. If you are looking for a Kdrama that has real kisses in it, you should try Queen Inhyun’s Man. 🙂

  8. fantasylover97 says:

    I loved Heartstrings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was my second kdrama after your beautiful. I agree with you, that the character development was the best part. A lot of the characters change and even the minor characters have dynamic characteristics. Shin Hye’s gullible character takes a mature turn in the end which I loved and hated. I thought the whole parent thing was unnecessary though. It was half built and it seemed to be there just for the sake of having a little conflict brought by their parent’s relationship.
    I absolutely love the music though. I memorized the I will forget song and fell in love with the gayageum.

    But don’t you think the cutest part was how Minhyuk calls the girls unnie? -_-

      • Alona says:

        I watched all of the dramas you mentioned and Coffee Prince is one of my all time favorites. I’ll re-watch that this year for my Drama Rerun Challenge.

        Love Rain is melodramatic but it has funny parts. If you love Jang Guen Suk, you’ll enjoy this one. I made a review of it in this blog. 🙂

  9. Almarys Cambar says:

    i must say Heartstrings is my favorite Korean Series, i really loved it. I just found out today it didn’t get so great ratings and it was a surprise for me because i thought HS was very refreshing and lovable. It was the second i have ever watched, being my first Stairway to Heaven which i really like it but…i cried all the time so HS was very welcome to my and i fell in love with it! 🙂 i love Park Shin Hye and now i have a major crush for Jung Yong Hwa. The quotes you mentioned those are my favorites! they left me breathless, and well i melt with Lee Shin and his love and care for Gyu Won. The songs are amazing, I Will forget -You’ve fallen for me -and Because I Miss You being my most favorite ones! I totally agree with the very rushed end, i think it’s because it was originally 16 episodes but MBC cut it so it will end with 15 episodes, i guess it was because of that i would have been MUCH better with at least one more episode to not make things happen so fast. The thing it really bother me it was as you said the physical part, i still don’t get why Gyu Won never hugged Lee Shin back, it’s not that hard! and come on is Yong Hwa, anyone wants to hug him. The kisses were… very disappointing too but i think it was the Director fault, i’m not quite sure, i just finished Coffee Prince and i love it love it love it, they have only a few kisses in there but they are AMAZING, i wish at least one kiss was like that in HS and it then i wouldn’t have any complains LOL, nonetheless i love this drama and it’s my favorite thanks to park shin hye and yong hwa 🙂 (sorry for the long comment)

    • Alona says:

      Hi Almarys! Don’t worry, I love reading long comments. 🙂

      I’m glad you liked this drama. There are a lot of new series that came out last year that are pretty good too.

      As for the kisses, I think it really has something to do with the culture. They’re conservative. In the sense that they don’t usually show romantic scenes in their movies and drama series. It also depends with it’s genre and the target audience.

      I read somewhere that it was awkward for Yong Hwa and Shin Hye to shoot the kissing scenes. Oh well. But I’m seeing changes in some series now, so we might see real kisses this time.

      • Almarys Cambar says:

        yeah it was awkward for them because they are really good friends 🙂 even with the chaste kisses i love their chemistry. I read that Yong Hwa wasn’t planning on accepting the role of Lee Shin but when he heard his friend Park Shin Hye was cast for Gyu Won he accepted right away, so cute 🙂 i hope they work together again in the future, and i hope in the future all kisses could be like in Coffee Prince hehe 🙂 You should make a review for Coffee Prince and BOF, i would like to read it 🙂

  10. REEMBAHAA ELtahawy says:

    the end …please iam going crazy ..please tell me about the end ,,explain that bad end ://

  11. Beth says:

    I really need to watch this drama again, because everyone seems to love it to pieces and I thought it was just alright. Of course, I went into it with really high expectations for Lee Shin to be another Shin Woo who finally gets the girl, so now that I know what it’s about maybe I’ll really enjoy it! Also, I’m currently watching “Heirs” and I can’t remember the last time a drama actually BORED me, even as uninteresting as I found this one to be at times. I know the music is amazing. I still replay the soundtrack to death. 🙂

    And yeah, I have to agree with other comments–the end drove me nuts. I loved the cast of side characters, however!

    Thanks for the ping! I love reading other drama reviews! 😀 I’ll definitely be checking out more of your blog!

    • Alona says:

      Maybe I watched this at the right time? If I’ll watch it again, I dunno if I’ll like it just the same (probably not).

      I’m watching Heirs too and I have to agree with you. I’m not even past episode 4? I think. Well, I’m not going to finish it anytime soon but I really, really hope I’ll have the patience to continue watching it.

      Thanks for commenting! 😀

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