Saturday, December 4, 2010

[Uploaded Drama] Beethoven Virus - Jang Geun Suk & Kim Myung Min

I think this will be the last completed drama by Jang Geun Suk that I'm gonna pursue. I doubt I have the patience to finish a period drama so Hwang Jin-i and Hong Gil Dong are out of the list. I'm tempted to follow M3 every week though, despite my earlier resolve not to touch it with a 10-foot pole before it's completed... since I'm a creature who has almost zilch will power when it comes to temptation.

While trying to see whether what happened to me with Gong Yoo will happen with Jang Geun Suk too (love induced by marathon watching of his works), I fell in love instantly with another character. Who else? The person who commands everyone's attention the instant he appears on screen, of course. The Orchestra Killer.

I went on the net to find out more about the actor.. Kim Myung Min. He turns out to be an interesting personality. Maybe not someone I can obsess over since he's such a scarily serious guy when he's working, but I can see myself hunting down all his works. There're not that many of them anyway since he only started to get good roles around 5-7 years ago and one of the them is in a period drama. It's weird.. I love the European period dramas/movies, but I can't stand the Asian ones.

Kim Myung Min has this thing about being called good looking. He will never believe you if you call him good looking or handsome. Watch this funny interview..

Well, I'm in agreement with the PD. In my eyes, he's really good looking. When I watched the MBC documentary on him, I realized why he's quite particular about his looks. All his young working life, he'd been told that he couldn't get lead parts because he's not good looking enough. Suddenly after Kang Mae came into existence, women find him to be an absolute dreamboat. If I were him, I'd find the whole thing amusing. But I think, some men or women do look much better looking after they've passed a certain age. Being young does not always equate with being beautiful. Looking young does not always mean looking gorgeous. And Kang Mae's intensely charismatic personality enhances his attractiveness. You just can't take your eyes off the guy and be awed by every word he says even though his words are mostly insults.

I was firmly in Kang Mae's camp from the 1st episode. Though his method is harsher than harsh and were I to be on the receiving end of his poisonous tongue I'd probably want to crawl into the smallest hole I can find and cultivate mushrooms there till I die, the things he says are usually the things I'd say in my head too if I were facing the same situation.. it's just that I'd sugarcoat them during my delivery. I'm more like Gun Woo in that respect. The persuasiveness Gun Woo displays in the last episode to make the pro musicians agree to play with the Mouse Phil in the joint orchestra reminds me of how I handled some stuff at work or at home so much that I rewinded it several times while laughing. I think I prefer Kang Mae's method better, it's purer and more heartfelt.. but I'd probably get sacked or alienated from society if I were to emulate his style. I'd probably be hated by my family too.

Several times when Kang Mae is scolding Gun Woo and the other Mouse Phil members, I find myself agreeing with his every word. Especially the "beggar's instinct". Wow, that hit me hard. And things like.. a dream is not a star to be looked at from afar, why are you trying to find a difference when there is none and trying to be nonchalant when your pride is hurt.. bla bla bla. I really love his dialog. There should be a quotable quote page on Kang Mae. Oh, I like this one a lot too: "It is your turn to be strong. I don’t need it. I am already perfect." haha.. that's funny. Kim Myung Min said that Kang Mae speaks every word sharply to the ear (link) and I really like his voice. It's really yummy and edible-sounding.

In the end, I still can't find the extra liking for Jang Geun Suk I need to continue to follow his works.. but at least I've found the next actor I'm gonna hunt down. Kim Myung Min's White Tower will most probably be my next victim.

Being a Nodame Cantabile fan, it's hard not to compare between the two classical music-based dramas. But after I've finished watching Beethoven Virus, I found that a comparison is really not necessary. NC and BV followed different routes despite operating on the same platform. The premise, the genre, the set-up, the story background.. they're all as different as night and day from one drama to the other. If you ask me which do I prefer in terms of drama delivery, I'd say NC. In terms of repeat watching too, I can watch entire NC episodes 20 times but if I repeat BV I will only be watching Kang Mae's parts. In NC, the music is as much a character as the orchestra members are, but in BV the music usually serves as a background or at most a catalyst for the story development. I'm not saying BV is not as good as NC, I'm just saying that the two dramas are merely trying to convey different messages so it's a given that the tonal delivery must differ too. It's up to you which one you prefer more.

There's not even one kiss in Beethoven Virus, it's based on classical music (which is usually considered boring and incomprehensible to regular everyday folks like us), and the main character is a 40-ish year old cranky megalomaniac. Yet it's one of the most popular dramas aired in Korea in 2008 and the public adoration (domestic and international) for the supposedly hateful sharp-tongued perfectionist is unprecedented. What other recommendations do you need to look it up? Don't fight the attraction you'll feel for Kang Mae. Resistance is futile.. as I have learned for myself.

An interesting project that was linked to BV: YouTube Symphony Orchestra

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