After watching this first episode, part of me was kicking myself for not watching the Japanese version to prepare. If quirky campy humor is your taste, this is right up your alley. As for me, it’s no secret why I am recapping – there is only one reason why I tuned in and you are looking at him.
Written before it aired: The bad thing about these gaps between dramas is that I break out of the usual recapping routine. It’s even worse when you are totally unprepared. Sort of in a panic cuz I don’t know a single character name and I’ve only watched one super short trailer. On top of that, time got away from me and I never did watch the Japanese version for this so I’m going into this completely blind. I will be able to tell you with more certainty if I will continue recapping this for the long run after E1 and 2. Wish me luck.
Character list so far:
Cha Yoo Jin = YJ
Seol NaeIl = Nae or N
Yoo Ill Rak =IR
Song Min Ha = MH or M
Do Kang Jae (mean professor)=Kang
Ahn Gun Song (nice professor) = Ahn
Starts in Europe – Yoo Jin narrates whenever I thought of my childhood -what I thought of first was the streets of Europe. they embrace classical music – whatever street you turn on – there were classical street performers. Following my father a pianist – though I watched so many concerts/performances while going around Europe -the best stage in my life was one in Korea- Sebastian Viera- the moment his baton moved, I knew that this person would be my teacher for life.
Young YJ sneaks in and watches rehearsal and points out a violin is off tune. Sebastian asks who he is and a woman tells him the kid is the son of pianist Cha Dong Woo. Sebastian asks YJ’s name. later on YJ asks if he will take him on as a student when YJ comes to Europe and Sebastian says of course – you are already my student. when you come to Europe – look for me. he hands YJ his conducting baton.
Back in the present, YJ is holding that baton and asks – teacher – what am I doing here?
He walks around campus as girls say how good looking he is – I cant date cuz of Cha YJ – now all other guys look like squids. YJ only gets annoyed about the random people playing instruments or singing and complains they are off key and incorrect
YJ is staring at the notice board and muttering about some guy studying abroad in Germany. that particular guy comes over to rub it in and tells YJ to contact him if he comes to Germany – I will let you see the teacher in person. I might end up his pupil (for that conductor YJ admires so much -Sebastian)
while playing the piano, YJ narrates to the teacher – I think I lost my way – which choice should I make?
suddenly his teacher Do Kang Jae hits YJ as he plays the piano and scolds YJ for playing the way he wants and ignoring the teacher. Kang finds the careful notes that YJ made so Kang asks are you planning on becoming a conductor and giving up the piano? YJ sticks up for himself and says he never played perfunctorily even once in front of the piano. a great performance starts from accuracy. he insults Kang saying how he teaches all his classes the same way to get students to win competitions to inflate his own pride. so Kang kicks him out, yelling he will be expelled
YJ sits outside on the bench writing a withdrawal from school and hears Nae Il playing the piano inside and mutters – what is this kid. it’s got charm. it isn’t bad. who is playing?
he goes in and sees the back of Nae Il playing in the room but doesnt get to go in cuz his girlfriend calls his name.
Nae Il finishes playing and says how nice it was. then a girl comes in and asks arent you going to your part time job today. Nae runs off and her part time job is playing piano for little kids and narrating stories in an animated voice
during drinks the girl says for YJ to go first and apologize to Kang and suggests changing his study to conducting if YJ doesn’t like the piano anymore. YJ says how his teacher is only Sebastian viera and none of the professors match up. the girl encourages him to go study abroad then – I wont hold onto you. You are always talking about Sebastian so why don’t you consider going to Europe and finding him. YJ remembers his plane flying through a storm. he snaps out of it and asks her to stay with him tonight cuz he doesnt want to be alone. she asks why he got so pitiful and breaks up with him and walks out
Nae is walking home and tells her mom on the phone not to worry at all- that she has a part time job playing piano. I lock the doors well and I am careful of men. goodnight mom. after hanging up, she rounds the corner and apologizes to her mom for eating chocolate again.
then she sees YJ sitting outside between their doors totally drunk. she calls him sunbae and pokes his cheek – you cant sleep here. you will catch cold. wake up. she says sorry before tickling him to wake up but he doesnt and slumps over into her arms. she remarks how good looking he is – how can some man smell this good? he snuggles and she cradles his head.
YJ slowly wakes up and hears the piano. he says it’s the piano (music) I heard at school. he opens his eyes and finds himself in the messiest room with flies and roaches. he screams and jumps off the couch. Nae il calls out “good morning – did you sleep well” while he asks what is this place – am I in a trash dump. Nae says no it’s not a trash dump – it’s my home. he asks how could this be a home? why am I shirtless. she asks: what do you mean why? do you really not know? YJ: I don’t know – do I need to know? N: you must not remember what happened yesterday or are you pretending not to remember? YJ pulls the shawl closer to himself and says: that wouldn’t happen cuz nothing would have happened. she gets closer and asks do you really not remember? what happened last night. what you did with me last night. he pulls away and yells at her -get lost you trash. suddenly he screams like a girl when he sees a roach go by and runs out to go over to his room. she only greets the roach.
he takes a shower muttering about that messy place. how dirty it was. he tells himself – it was a dream – it wasn’t reality. I just woke in a dump – it was an unlucky dream. then he remembers how Nae asked -you must not remember yesterday or are you just acting like you dont remember. YJ tells himself not to remember -don’t remember anything at all cuz there is nothing to remember. then he realizes she called him sunbae. then is she a student from my school?
YJ buys espresso -3 shots to come to his senses.
Kang is telling the staff that they have to expel YJ cuz he is rude – even though he is Cha Dong’s son. Min Ha acts sympathetic and says I understand how you feel. then she makes it so that YJ becomes a student for professor Ahn.
YJ sits on a bench and thinks -did you commit a crime/sin? why are you so nervous? that’s right nothing happened. plus it’s not for certain she is from my school but she calls out to him and runs over. all her talking draws a crowd around them. She asks how could you just run off this morning after waking up. I am hurt. he says I dont know what you are saying. she asks is it cuz you are embarrassed? she pulls out his dress shirt and says how she washed it and dried it with a fan. how is it. there isn’t any stains right? washing it by hand is best. dont you know what this is. it’s your clothes that I took off of you yesterday. he says you dreamed it. N: it wasn’t a dream. YJ: no it was a dream. I dreamt I was in a dump yesterday. she says that was my home. I didn’t clean enough yesterday. YJ: is your home a trash dump? N: now you remember. people mutter about them. she takes his hand and says you know it was real right? YJ denies knowing anything and tries to get away from her. she yells for him to take his shirt.
Ahn asks Kang if he is really going to hand over YJ to him. he is our best student in our school. Kang says what good is that when he is bottom when it comes to personality. that kid will never take your lesson. Ahn: probably. I feel pressure. Ahn sees Nae running after YJ so Ahn comes up with an idea to make YJ play a duet with a special student. Kang thinks it wont work and suggests Ahn to give it up. Ahn suggests making a bet then.
YJ finally gives her the slip but runs into that bragging student. he says how YJ doesn’t look well cuz YJ got kicked out of Kang’s lesson and now he has to learn from Ahn so his shock must be big. YJ doesn’t even know who professor Ahn is.
YJ watches through the window as Nae has her lesson with Ahn. She talks about the music using the imagery of passing gas that upsets YJ.
Yoo Il Rak’s dad baby talks to for Il Rak to wake up. Il Rak runs off cuz he is late. he plays the violin and it’s like rock music. his teacher yells for him to stop asking who gave him permission to play performance violin during her class time. Il Rak: my heart gave permission. he tries to convince the teacher about cross over where soul resides when free rock music meets classical music. today’s rock is tomorrow’s classical music. she doesn’t give him a grade so he begs you cant do that – my father will kill me -you know my father. she relents and gives him a chance to retake the test but he must prepare to play accompanied by the piano so he agrees and goes in search of a pianist
YJ listens to soothing mind control tape about his heart and body while holding an onion. your body can go anywhere. look at the world through the eyes in your heart. in front of you there is a ripe red apple -follow and repeat what I say – this is an apple. this is a delicious apple. take a bite of the apple. he repeats that this is a delicious apple and bites into it and cant eat it. he calls her a charlatan.
he goes to the balcony to get air and smells the trash from her place. roaches are migrating to his side too. he goes over to her door and yells “roach from #302 open up.” Nae opens the door and says you came to meet me. he asks isn’t that my shirt? Nae: I didn’t have any clean clothes so I wore it for a short time but it’s not dirty. you can wear it right away but he pulls away as she tries to put it on him. he yell for her to throw it away and goes in. she runs in and tries to stop him from kicking trash around. she says what are you doing? I normally clean well and live but I forgot to buy trash bags. he mutters about roaches. only one appears but hundreds hide. he gives her stats about roaches – length of life etc. since she lives like this there is an infestation of roaches and they are coming into my home. she says that must be so cute. I want to go to your home and see them too. he tells her not to come and calls her a roach. YJ: this home is the problem. where is it. I don’t see it. she asks what are you looking for? he asks if she has any vacuums cleaners, brooms, or robot cleaners. she wonders where she left it – maybe in the bathroom so he asks why is that in a bathroom.
even after cleaning a bit – he mutters there are still roaches and shoves her out of the way. he holds up a dirty pan of glob asking what is this. she says leftover curry I was going to eat but he says are you crazy -if you eat this you will die – throw it away. she yells stop. he holds up her bra and she grabs it away. he smirks and asks “A cup?” but she retorts it isn’t A cup. she looks around remarking how clean it is. he holds up bread with mildew asking what is this. N: bread from Kim Tak Gu’s home. it’s better when you eat it even later. after he piles up trash bags by the door, she complains you should have just cleaned up a little – what is all this. why do this to someone else’s home. he picks her up and kicks her out of her own home to clean it asking himself why should I have to do this.
after he is done cleaning he sits and asks why did I come here. he hears her playing the piano. she says the sound of the piano changed. did it change cuz I am with you. he says it’s cuz the trash is gone so the acoustics got better. what is that piece (of music)/score? she says our love – our score -one that expresses our future. she tries to hug him but he pulls her away and says if you don’t change the title you are dead. he asks her to play that piece again just the way she played before but she forgot how she played so he shows her. he narrates that she played it the way she wanted but it wasnt bad. his fingers conduct as she plays and he likes how the music flows. when she is done she says it’s so fun. she asks how he could memorize how she played (after hearing just once). YJ: anyone knows that. he just begs her not to act like she knows him at school and leaves
a new project that MH suggested will be opened by the professors. an orchestra is a brand that represents a country. like London or the Philharmonic so this school is going to make an orchestra like that. Kang scoffs and says she is talking about something that is like a dream. he points out what they lack but she says how their motto is to make dreams become a reality so if this dream is achieved it’s going to make their school global. to make their dream a reality she invited a professor -a maestro as the first step – Franz Stressmann
Franz arrives at the airport and MH looks down at her phone. MH hears he disappeared when the order was to bring him directly to the school from the airport. she is worried cuz he doesnt know korea so where could he have gone. he got in a cab by himself and asked to be taken where the “water is good” meaning where there are good looking people- a phrase he heard a lot in dramas but he gets taken to a place overlooking a lake. he mutters the water is nice.
Ahn remarks how nice it would be for the school if there could be a pupil from a mestro like Franz. Kang asks about YJ and the other student so it reminds Ahn of their bet. Ahn takes out his phone to call YJ and asks if Kang wants to watch but Kang mutters will YJ show up cuz you call?
YJ does indeed show up as Nae tries to say hello to YJ but he shoves her away. Ahn introduces her to YJ saying she lives next to you. she acts like it’s their first time meeting. YJ asks her how much she told cuz she was supposed to act like they don’t know each other so Nae tells the teacher -I don’t know YJ subae well. I am supposed to say we don’t know each other even though we live next door to each other. Ahn says it wont do for them not to know each other cuz they have to play a duet on the piano together. YJ is surprised he has to work with Nae. Kang listens from outside and mutters – was he a kid who would show up when called. well he was a well mannered kid. YJ says I will be leaving if the talk doesn’t revolve the lesson but Ahn reminds him how there is a rumor that YJ was already rejected by Kang – do you want to be rejected by me too. if you leave like this I will give up on your lesson. then rumors will spread. YJ asks if he is threatening him now. Ahn readily agrees it’s a threat. YJ: I don’t want to – if it’s a threat I don’t want to even more. he tries to leave so Ahn says you don’t want to attend class huh? there is a way not to attend. YJ can skip classes and get an A in his class if YJ does the duet. Nae tries to convince YJ to stay and reminds him how well they did when they played so YJ agrees to it
Kang chases Ahn out saying this is cheating. who wouldn’t go along if he gets to skip classes.
YJ and Nae are on two pianos side by side. he complains she played incorrectly from the start and makes her play it over again. he tries to get her to read music but she claims she cant read music originally -I memorize all of it with my ears. YJ: why don’t you read music. are you stevie wonder? that is why you play the way you want. if you don’t look at the notes do you think you can perform well? she asks which part to play – the top or bottom so he says the top. straighten your back and play it again. as they play Franz arrives on campus and he is grinning
Nae says I am hungry. YJ: I am hungry too. he tries to tell her what to play on the second piano but she tries to run away. he drags her back and she says I dont want to do it. YJ: you said to do it first. N: I don’t want to. I really don’t want to now. but YJ makes her sit and says it’s too late – do you want to pull an all nighter? if you do this it will only lengthen the practice time. she keeps saying I wont do it so he holds onto her hand over the keys saying do it again-you didn’t memorize it yet- do it again, she cries that it hurts but he ignores her and forces her hand. she flashes back to her past when a woman did the same thing to her and made her play again saying is that all you can do – again. Nae yells I said don’t do that and bites his arm to make him let go. he pulls his hand away and she cries and runs off
Il Rak looks at a photo of YJ and his girlfriend. IR mutters he isn’t in practice so did he leave already. then he spots him and goes over to YJ introducing himself as the number one violin player and says I heard you are #1 at piano – shall we perform together as both number ones? YJ is still thinking of Nae and wonders how could she bite me. IR tries to get YJ to perform together but YJ doesnt pay attention to him wondering I cleaned, I did her laundry, and did the lesson with her but she bit me? IR thinks from the look on YJ’s face he is suspicious so IR takes out his violin to play. YJ complains to himself – how can I accompany someone who doesn’t look at notes. it’s not for my sake. He flashes back to Kang yelling how it’s all for his sake. YJ walks off and leaves Il Rak playing alone so he yells – just wait – I will find a way better pianist than you
YJ knocks on her door but she doesn’t answer. He cooks and leaves food out for Nae – leaving his door open so she can follow the smell. she eats some and gets caught by him so she tries to run off with it but he reminds her they are on the third floor so she cant exactly jump. he offers to let her go after she eats all of it. I wont make you practice – you said you were hungry. N: for real? YJ: for real. he sits across from her as she eats. she says it’s really delicious – way more than what my mom makes. also I totally love tuna. he offers to cook her spicy squid for breakfast tomorrow. it will be more delicious than todays. she says how much she likes that dish. YJ: I will also grill you a steak – more delicious than a hotel chef. N: ok medium well done. she is happy to get to eat meat. so while she is in a good mood he asks her to do the duet with him – promising not to get angry. N: you said you couldn’t wait until I memorize it all. YJ: I recorded your part so memorize it with your ears. you said you remember with your ears. she apologizes for biting him – a pianist hand shouldn’t get injured. he shares the blame saying I didnt do anything well. she asks if he really recorded cuz I memorize all through my ears.
He puts the headphones on her and watches her as she listens. he suddenly backs away saying it’s strange. N: why? is this broken. she checks the headphones. YJ: your hair smells. he takes away the headphones and then drops them saying they are dirty (cuz of her hair). she says I washed it not too long ago. what is wrong with this smell. I shampoo it twice a week. I am cleaner than I look. YJ gags. N: I washed my hair.
In his bathroom, he washes her hair as she says not to cuz she washed it days ago. he complains about all the dirty water coming from the suds. he even dries her hair for her as she compliments that she likes his shampoo. she feels like a princess in paradise while he feels like he is drying a dog’s hair caught in the rain. she asks which breed and he mutters just a dog.
IR plays his violin and warns YJ to be careful sa Franz watches the kids rehearse and takes photos
back in the rehearsal room as they both play on the piano – YJ calls out about playing softly – then her tempo and then as they play he wonders why it doesn’t feel right – the score is becoming more accurate so what went wrong.
flashback to Franz remembering Min Ha playing on the piano -then staring at her now across the way. he narrates how she shined like her beautiful music -just like then – you are beautiful as ever now -you still make my heart race Min Ha
YJ tells Nae to play the way she wants this time. She asks why. YJ:dont you want to? she says no I really like it. but can I really do that? YJ: since you memorized the score – now you can play the way you like. she reminds him how he said collaboration was the important in a duet. He says he will match her. if it’s to your level I can match as much as you want. play your heart out. the teacher comes in and sits. YJ tells her – let’s have fun. she nods yes and closes the book and plays. YJ narrates – I knew from the start – this kid’s performance is done the way she wants so it is particular/special – I know all your habits – so I am going to match you. only I can match you. He watches and narrates that her lips came out so it means she is fully into the music – then he calls out the parts where her fingers soars over the keys -cantabile -like singing. YJ points out what Sebastian said -when you are having a great performance – your toes let’s you know first – that feeling that arises – your toes cant contain it and wriggle.
Franz arrives outside their room
YJ says to Nae Il – if it’s you – I can match you as much as you want – play all you want
YJ walks through a wheat field till he reaches Nae Il. YJ narrates -whenever I thought of my childhood -what I thought of first was the streets of Europe. they embrace classical music – whatever street you turn on – there were classical street performers. I believed it was the most sincere world for classical music cuz my teacher was there. In this insufficient place that lacked classical music -the meaning for playing music -the value – the fun too -I thought I wouldnt be able to find that here-but teacher viera – there might be some work I can do here in this place. my heart is fluttering.
their performance ends.
Nae talks about how her heart feels
YJ says you fell in love with me.
Nae says I want to jump into my abang’s heart so my feet wont hold still. YJ: hold it in.
YJ:it’s not cuz classical music isn’t fun – it’s cuz your lack of ability performance is no fun.
Franz gets called a pervert
Il Rak offers to date Nae Il and she hits him
someone says don’t you want to enjoy it
My first impression of this initial episode? A big question mark. I don’t get what’s driving most of these characters, but they sure do move along at great speed. I like when characters are set up and we understand what motivates them into action – not get shoved there. I sort of felt overwhelmed and disjointed in certain scenes as a result. I’m also wondering if all this narration is just a part of this character or if it only came out a lot tonight cuz it was the first episode.