DRAMA CLUB: Tomorrow's Cantabile Episode 1 Recap
Greetings, Music Majors, and welcome to your Thursday/Friday class, Tomorrow’s Cantabile. This class—err drama—which is filled with music and humor, had us all rolling in our seats right from the start. Cici, Wendilynn and myself will be your "Professors" this semester. In our first lesson we discuss how our Korean adaptation stacks up against a much beloved series consisting of an Anime, Manga and J-drama.
Watch episode 1:
Firnlambe: Honestly, this was a near perfect first episode. Spot on with everything I remembered from the manga.
Wendilynn: Yeah, this first episode did a great job laying our worries to rest. We’ve yet to meet the rest of the wacky cast, but this first episode had a wonderful touch to it.
Cici: Well, I am probably the only person in K-drama land who has neither seen the J-drama nor read the manga, so my observations will be free of preconceived expectations or worries. I LOVED the first episode, although it was far wackier than I expected.
Firnlambe: Honestly, until Wendilynn mentioned to me that this was going to become a K-drama I had never heard of the series, but you better believe I read all 136 chapters of this manga in about 2 days when I heard Joo Won was going to be our male lead . . . and boy am I glad I did.
Wendilynn: I fell in love with the series about a year and a half ago. I loved the music. I LOVE things that are narrated. I love wacky humor and this had it all. When I heard Joo Won was cast, I knew . . . KNEW . . . they had cast the perfect person to play our “stick up my butt” Chiaki. Yoo Jin is a wonderful version of our beloved conductor.
Firnlambe: I feel we need to emphasize how EXTREMELY well this musical director utilizes classical music during the drama.
Cici: I was blithely listening to the score when I suddenly realized that the classical music playing in the background actually tied in really well with what was going on in the drama. That was when they started playing The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy here:
Firnlambe: God I wish we could have a sound bite to go with this pic
Wendilynn: Yes, the music was used perfectly to underscore what was going on. If they keep this up, there is an award for musical direction that will need to be handed out.
Cici: Unfortunately, sometimes it worked against me. Every time I hear this music (the tune of "Trepak" from Tchaikovsky's ballet The Nutcracker) I find myself singing “The one and only cereal that comes in the shape of animals.” Guess that really dates me, huh?
Wendilynn: That is hilarious Cici. I sometimes get that when I hear popular themes used in ways that have nothing to do with the subject it was used for here in the western side of the globe. I’ve heard Harry Potter’s theme in all sorts of things that had nothing to do with magic. But this show is all about the love of classical music and I have full faith we’ll be treated to awesome music along the way.
Firnlambe: As well as superb comedic timing. When they slipped in that Baker Kim Tak Goo joke I just about died laughing.
Wendilynn: I love inside jokes. I also busted up laughing. Our actors are doing a great job with the over the top elements in this story. Was it just me or did the outrageousness of the J version seem a little more subdued in this version, but also equally funny? They added or focused on the silly humor in other ways.
Firnlambe: That version certainly played up different facets than this Korean version is doing, that’s for sure.
Cici: The way Yoo Jin reacted to the cockroaches in Nae Il’s apartment reminded me of Jun Pyo in Boys over Flowers. Is that a normal thing in Korean culture, or just a way of emphasizing how prissy someone is? I about died laughing.
Wendilynn: Totally a prissy thing. Yoo Jin ‘s expressions were classic.
Firnlambe: Agreed. So what did you guys think of our supporting characters thus far?
Cici: Well, I kind of love the dean. She got Yoo Jin out of a jam and into a really good situation without ruffling anyone’s feathers.
Wendilynn: Oh, she ruffled a feather. Since there are rumors of Kang Jae being the next Dean. Played beautifully by Lee Byung Joon, he’s one of my favorite bad guys. But in this case, he’s more stuck up then a true bad guy. I loved seeing him in his blond streaks. lol
Cici: Um , no. After a certain age, guys just shouldn’t do that. But he is playing his part beautifully.
Firnlambe: Hey at least he doesn’t look like a honey badger.
Cici: I feel an “I see no difference” meme coming on.
Cici: I beg to differ, lol.
Wendilynn: You can tell these actors are enjoying their characters. They are having fun. I was nervous about our violin player, played by Go Kyung Pyo, but he was better than I expected.
Firnlambe: //pouts// I still think Henry would have been perfect for the role . . . . I mean, he's got to have some talent for acting, he was in a movie after all. Plus as an added bonus he's already a master with the violin.
Cici: YES! Actually, I’ve played just enough violin to find Il Rak’s performance really irritating. And he lacks the charm of Ji Hoo, so he can’t really get away with it
Firnlambe: I haven’t played the violin, but I know enough to spot a fake when I see it . . . so It bothers me too, but I give him kudos for making it difficult to tell if you’re eye isn’t trained for it.
Wendilynn: Lets address the simulated playing. In Secret Love Affair, we were really treated to emotional simulated playing and I found myself sometimes thinking that I missed seeing that passion, but then had to remind myself that I was watching different types of characters.
Cici: I thought the simulated piano playing was actually pretty good. I almost wondered if Joo Won was playing.
Firnlambe: If I remember right, he was taking lessons so I wouldn’t be surprised if his hands where moving in the correct general way.
Wendilynn: Oh, everyone took lessons. But the comparison I was making was in regards to the sexual passion of SLA piano playing to the simple joy that we are getting in TC. Particularly when Nae ll plays.
Cici: Nae Il is SO joyous when she plays. It makes me giggle a little when she reacts so spontaneously to her own playing.
Wendilynn: Nae ll playing Peter and the Wolf for the kids, she had me laughing with those children. I loved how they introduce her with her playing first. She comes across as so graceful and poised and beautiful. Lying in wait to deceive the unwary of the disaster awaiting you. lol
Firnlambe: Oh God . . a disaster indeed. Her character has always felt a little unnecessary at times until much . . . much later in the series.
Wendilynn: She is what gives Yoo Jin his hope. He starts this story being hopeless. He can’t pursue what he loves because the teacher he wants in on another continent. He can’t leave due to his traumas. He’s wallowing in self pity. Nae ll comes along and points the way to a future that he couldn’t see or appreciate before. She becomes important to him beyond reason for that simple fact alone. And I loved that they showed more of his tender heart then you get in the J version.
Cici: When he did the about-face and told her that if it was her, he could follow her lead, my heart melted. That was HUGE for him.
Wendilynn: Warning Music Majors, if you haven’t fallen for Joo Won before this, you’re going to have a hard time not falling for him now.
Firnlambe: Doesn’t hurt that we’ve already been graced with a shower scene . . . I’m just saying . . .
Well Majors, thus concludes our first music class. Hopefully you've all thoroughly enjoyed it as much as we did. Your homework for today is to let us know what your favorite moments were in the lesson. Were you more of a fan for the over-the-top comedy? Or was the music what really drew you into the story? Let us know in the comment section below and we'll see you in our second class.
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