After Playful Kiss I vowed not to watch a drama just because a bias or crush was in it. I failed that vow almost immediately with Hearstrings. My second favorite part of You’re Beautiful was the chemistry between Jung Yong Hwa and Park Shin Hye. My favorite part of You’re Beautiful was Jeremy. So once I finished You’re Beautiful I saw that Yong Hwa and Shin Hye had been given leading roles together in Heartstrings and I really just couldn’t resist.
The first thing that I want to mention from the list of pros for this show is the fact that the two main leads enter into a relationship fairly early in the episodes. Which was an oddity, at least to me when I watched this show seeing as I’d only seen four dramas before Heartstrings. It was a breath of fresh air for me, I loved that the drama was about maintaining that relationship instead of fighting against having a relationship at all. They had to overcome a whole different slew of obstacles compared to the other dramas that I’d watched. I enjoyed that journey and thought it was very well done.
However, the chemistry between Shin Hye and Yong Hwa felt completely different than it did in You’re Beautiful. I’m not sure what it was, but it sure didn’t feel as passionate as it had in the previous drama. In You’re Beautiful they had some truly amazing interplay. You could see the connection between the characters and it really had me rooting for them, even though I knew already that I would be crushed since Yong Hwa was the second male lead. I just wish that the relationship didn’t feel as wooden in Heartstrings. For me there was definitely something missing.
The music for this drama was amazing. I had the songs stuck in my head for weeks even after I completed watching the drama. I’m sure it helped that the band members were actually playing their instruments. Not to mention Yong Hwa and Kang Min Hyuk are in CN Blue together. For me the music really stood out and I even bought the OST because I wanted to be able to listen to it whenever I wanted.
In my limited experience with drama-land the supporting cast has to really gel and standout on their own for a drama to work. The only two characters outside of the leads that really captured my heart was Min Hyuk’s portrayal of Yeo Joon Hee and Shin Hye’s grandfather. I cannot even properly convey how utterly adorable Joon Hee was throughout the entire show. I loved him, probably more than I liked Yong Hwa’s character. The grandfather cracked me up, he was hilarious. I also really enjoyed how he lived-breathed-ate traditional music and a traditional lifestyle. I found him wonderfully interesting. Beyond Joon Hee and the grandfather, the rest of the cast just didn’t really shine for me and that hurt the drama overall. I wanted to be pulling for the side stories, but more often than not I found myself plodding through all of that to get back to Joon Hee, the grandfather, or the two leads.
Towards the end of the drama I really felt that we finally got to see some character growth. For the majority of the show the characters were static in their maturity and personalities as they dealt with the obstacles which were put in their way. However, the last fifth of the series I enjoyed the way the story moved. Shin Hye’s character showed amazing maturity with how she handled the play and the drama surrounding being the lead actress. Both Yong Hwa and Shin Hye’s characters moved towards a natural progression of fulfilling their dreams. Even the supporting cast seemed to finally bloom and I enjoyed seeing how they evolved towards the end.
However, the ending of the show felt rushed. I’m not sure if it was cut down in the number of episodes, or that was how it was originally planned. But, things just felt a little choppy in the last two episodes. It made the character growth that had been occurring seem as if it weren’t important. I wish that they would have taken more time with the ending, perhaps another episode to have made it feel a little smoother.
Overall, I enjoyed the show. It was a feel good journey with some nice happy messages within it. I am glad that I watched it, but it just never quite captured me in the feels. Still it is a cute watch and a pretty story.