You know a show got your heart when you wear this silly big grin on your face in front of your screen; when you stand on your feet and fist pump; when you doubled up in laughter falling off the chair.
While I enjoyed the first four episodes a lot, this week’s episodes made me fall in love with the drama.
Last week’s cliffhanger had Yoo Jin tore up Il Rak’s music sheet and telling the S orchestra to do likewise to theirs. I had thought that this week, he will tell them to forget about the score and follow his lead instead but he did not. He did something better. He could see that the S orchestra members were gripped by fear and self –doubt when they heard how good A orchestra sounded in a recording. He did a reverse psychology on them and told them that it’s better to give up than face humiliation in front of their teachers and parents. This jolt them to their senses. Minhee said she had practiced hard and wanted to perform. She did not say it but she had in fact invited her father and hoped that he will turn up to watch her. Il Rak’s dare devil confidence returned and gets everyone to agree. Then Yoo Jin told them to tear their sheet music and follow him. I believe the battle was half won at this stage.
Cute that Yoo Jin noticed Naeil’s absence. Then when she appears, he smiled and seems relieved. Ha, you are getting used to your Fluttery Feet around you, right?
Bless Naeil’s creative mind and kind heart, she made special shirts for S Orchestra because they are well, “Special”. The members love it and are all cheering so Yoo Jin relents reluctantly. However he refuses to wear it and I cracked up when Naeil brought up the shirt she made for Yoo Jin. It’s actually different from the rest; his one has a huge pink glittery “S”. Awww…come one….Yoo Jin, you got to wear this!
So, I was disappointed that when YJ came out, he did not wear the shirt. He was still in his formal suit. And then when he started unbuttoning his shirt and took it off to reveal the glittery S, I screamed so loud that the whole neighborhood could hear.
Totally unexpected and so awesome! I think the writer was very clever to have Yoo Jin pull this stunt. What a moment of triumph and it goes entirely with the spirit of S orchestra.
Yoo Jin uses his eyes and facial expression to communicate with the members. They are now so in sync with each other. It shows in the music they are playing and the faces on the members. They aren’t just performing to win the competition; they are performing for themselves and enjoying it thoroughly
Can I repeat how much I love these two men?
When S orchestra played the last note and the audience to give ovation, I was up on my feet cheering and wiping tears from my eyes. Yes, this is what a good drama moment does to you.
It was touching to see how the parents were so proud of their children although they expressed it differently.
Il Rak’s Dad is a hoot. He is a sobbing, flubbery mess of a father bursting with pride for his son. And while Minhee’s Dad is a lot more stoic, we saw how nervous he looked before the concert and how he smiled afterwards. I also laughed at Yoo Jin’s mother for shooting dagger looks at Stresemann throughout and her high-fiving her friend, Dean Mina after the great showing by S orchestra.
It was Interesting to watch how Seung Oh derailed after he saw YJ’s performance. It shows that often we are our worst enemy. Seung Oh obviously was rattled by Yoo Jin’s performance. I think I can say he lost his nerves rather than his ability.
Another interesting thing happened during the performance, Naeil realizes Yoo Jin suddenly looks “big” and so distant from her. It struck her that they are on different levels and in order to play with him, she must change her attitude towards studying music.
I find Teacher Ahn’s conversation with Naeil particularly insightful. I always like Teacher Ahn and he is showing that he is a far better teacher than most take him for. He understands Naeil’s wanting to be a kindergarten teacher is just an excuse to continue playing piano without further pursuit of her studies in piano.
Naeil uses her hand puppets and playact to comfort herself. They are snatched off by Yoo Jin before Naeil and Yoo Jin rabbits can kiss. But he immediately makes it up when he removes the crude bandages from Naeil’s finger and fishes an antiseptic bottle from his jacket.
I think all boyfriends should carry an antiseptic bottle in their jackets. I think all boyfriends should look like Cha Yoo Jin. Okay, where was I? Yoo Jin proceeds to apply the lotion on her and blows her finger when she winces in pain. By the way, I got really distracted by Naeil’s other hand on Yoo Jin’s thigh.
With the results hanging in the air due to Stresemann’s disappearance, the S orchestra celebrates at Il Rak’s dad restaurant. Everyone is making merry and getting drunk until the party pooper Do Kyung crashes in. It’s hilarious how Naeil and Soomin each take one of YJ’s arms. These two may bicker but stand united against a common enemy. Besides the funny faces and all kinds of poses to ward off Do Kyung, it was heartening to see all the S orchestra band up behind Naeil and gave Do Kyung’s murderous stares.
I don’t know why but that scene of Naeil taking her bag and slowly walks away without Yoo Jin noticing was particularly sad. And when he realized she had left, he didn’t seem worried either. Yoo Jin looked quite chummy with Do Kyung, even suggesting that they leave the party since she doesn’t seem well. Thankfully, he was just being a friend and straight up told Do Kyung he was just doing it as her ex-bf when she clung on to him. I thought he was quite sensitive to not do it in front of the rest thus saving her from embarrassment and also he let her hand go gently.
Yoo Jin goes back and stops outside Naeil’s door. When he calls her name, she thinks she is still imagining his voice and tells herself that she is just Seol Lebal to him and not Seol Naeil. It is another sign that Naeil is now more doubtful of what she actually means to Yoo Jin. Previously she was happily deluded about being his girlfriend. Ever since she became aware of their disparity in terms of music, she became less confident and more questioning as to the equilibrium of their relationship.
Meanwhile, Teacher Do bursts a gut when he finds out that Stresemann has submitted an absurd list of students to participate in a prestigious musical festival where the country’s crème de la crème music students will attend. Teacher Do was particularly worked up over the fact that Naeil was on the list. So it was funny that Teacher Do received a text from Stresemann blackmailing him to accept the master class list. If he cooperates, Stresemann will tell him the name of the student who played Beethoven 3rd, the piece that got Teacher Do to tap his feet and move his hands in delight. And we all know it’s Naeil who Teacher called the fart song girl, ha.
Then our trio makes their way to the music festival like one would go to a carnival. They are such a riotous bunch and indeed their excitement is so contagious except to Yoo Jin who is only one serious on the real objective of the road trip. To his utter dismay, they detoured to a water amusement park. We know Yoo Jin’s fears but they don’t. I do not know if I was more entertained by the polka dotted trunks that Naeil prepared for Yoo Jin or the excitement that he would actually wear it.
The trio enjoyed themselves immensely except for Yoo Jin. Meanwhile, they plot to get him into the water so that they can call this trip memorable. This trio will be the death of me. They find Yoo Jin listening to some recording and only perk up when Naeil tells him that they are proceeding to the music festival. Yoo Jin is glad they have come to their sense, unaware that they are plotting a trick on him.
True enough, the trio throws Yoo Jin into the pool. Flashes of a young Yoo Jin bobbing up and down in the ocean waters wearing a life jacket come back to Yoo Jin. He flails his hands wildly and starts to sink in a meter high water. I can’t help but laugh because he could have easily stood up and that’s it. However, this situation does happen in real life to people suffering from aquaphobia. I guess when their heads are immersed underwater, they lose their rationality. Fear takes over and paralyzed them. They are unable to think logically and can only thrash wildly.
Yoo Jin gets saved by a new boy in town, Yoon Ho. He looks like he could be a pretty annoying 2nd lead or pretty and annoying 2nd lead but I am glad he is not. Actor Park Bo Gum is promising young actor who can really act and is not just another pretty flower boy. I am kind of distracted by his red lipstick though. Do tell me it’s lipstick because I am going to hate him even more if I find out it’s not.
Naeil was actually the first to realize that Yoo Jin was in trouble but she got beaten to saving her orabang by Yoon Ho. Obviously she pushes him aside, totally ignoring him while shouting out for her beloved orabang.
When Yoo Jin awakes, he resigns himself to the fact that there is zilch chance of him studying abroad. Yeah, if you almost drown in a meter high water, that’s a sound conclusion to make.
Meanwhile the trio frets on the stairs wondering if they should wake Yoo Jin up or let him rest. And suddenly we see Stresemann pulling Yoo Jin by the ears down the stairs, this can only happen in Asian dramas, right? Elsewhere these teachers would be sued for student abuse. I love how the trio is suffering together with Yoo Jin.
Gawd…these three are too cute. Naeil and Soomin immediately takes each of Yoo Jin’s arms as usual, I get the feeling we are going to see this a lot and I am not complaining. Then Il Rak puts his arm around Yoo Jin neck in what looks more like a strangle rather than a hug. If there is such thing as loved to death, I think Yoo Jin would definitely qualify as a victim, ha.
I never liked Stresemann but slowly I am warming up to this character. I think the problem is because Baek Yoon Shik plays Stresemann with a deadpan face 99% of the time. If he ever changes, it is just to life one eyebrow higher. This is a complete reverse of the J version Stresemann who is over the top, makes all kind of crazy faces and totally animated. Now, I think Stresemann is actually playing a more realistic interpretation of Stresemann. He looks every bit of a dignified maestro until he opens his mouth. If you think carefully, there are real people like this, right? Anyway, his attempt at taking a selca cracks me up. Can someone give him a selca stick? I also love it that Mina hung up on him, please do this more Dean Mina. Someone has got to kick Stresemann’s butt.
Naeil cracks me up trying to climb a lamp post to get a glimpse of Yoo Jin. She reminds me of a kitten. Yoon Hoo sees her and catches her when she slips. He remembers her but she does not because you know when a girl climbs a lamppost to see her guy, she has no eyes for you. I loved it when she ignored him and continue to climb her lamppost after realizing he wasn’t going to help her see her orabang. Of course, Yoon Ho takes her hand and accedes to her request.
When Yoon Ho appears to Yoo Jin, he was greeted with less than warm reception. Then he realizes Yoo Jin was not even talking to him. Yoo Jin saw Naeil who was hiding behind Yoon Ho’s back and asked her if she is a koala, LOL. Yes, she does cling on tight to that trunk of a Yoo Jin, doesn’t she?
Yoo Jin kind of ignores Yoon Ho and takes Naeil’s wrist and walks away except that Yoon Ho grabs Naeil’s other wrist and we have that classic males’ tug of war with the girl in between. Nice work, guys. I wished one day a kdrama heroine will just kick them in their groins. If she has to take time to master a flying side split kick, I will wait. Ironically, Yoon Hoo asked Yoo Jin how can he treat a woman this way. To which Yoo Jin looks at Naeil and asked “This thing?” Double kick, please?
Obviously Yoo Jin and Yoon Ho are born to be rivals. I actually get it. In the world of geniuses, this kind of competitiveness is strife and it spills over to the pettiest things. That is why Stresemann cannot stand Viera. It is not so much of the toy that Viera stole from him but the fact that he hates losing out to Viera in anything. He blew his top when the shopkeeper could not recognize him and had a poster of Viera whom he called as a famous musician.
Yoo Jin has to piggyback a drunken Stresemann back to his room. Yoo Jin laments that he wasted a trip just to be the old coot’s errand boy and gets caught by Stresemann who is not totally knocked out. Stresemann then gives Yoo Jin a lesson on what being a conductor means. Yoo Jin listens attentively and actually goes back to the room and tucked Stresemann under the blanket. Awww…are these two going to be friends after all? During the Press Conference BTS, I caught Baek Yoon Sik and Joo Won acting like a chummy pair of sunbae-hoobae so I am anticipating this turn in Stresemann-Yoo Jin’s relationship.
Back on campus, Teacher Do is fretting over how Stresemann and the group are doing. True enough, not all is well. Il Rak and Soomin get the flak from their respective teachers. Naeil sounds confident about her upcoming session as she declared she has practiced. But things are much worse. Gawd, I hate that Teacher Yoon the moment she appeared. Is she from the medieval ages? Do music teacher carry a wooden stick (I can’t even find words to describe that weapon) to hit their students? She is Naeil’s worst nightmare come true. Naeil gets hit by this hateful woman and relives her childhood trauma. Finally she runs out of the classroom in tears. She collapses on a bench before running to seek out her orabang for some comfort.
Yoo Jin does not realize how upset she is. While he isn’t gruff with her, he gets serious when she talks about going home. He tells her coldly to do what she wants and not waste the precious opportunity that someone else could have benefitted from.
I can’t blame Yoo Jin because he is right about taking her lessons seriously. He does not know but we do. So I feel sorry for Naeil because this is no ordinary set back. She has been harboring this deep seated trauma since young and one which explains why she is stuck in her neverland.
Stresemann is a sorry sight the morning after his drunken bout, he can barely stand up. So, he gets Yoo Jin to stand in for him in a workshop. Yoo Jin is doing an awesome job that even the evil Teacher Terror(that’s what I call her) is nodding her head in appreciation. Yoon Ho looks surprised at how good Yoo Jin is and everyone is impressed with Yoo Jin’s performance.
Shi Won calls Soomin to find out how the festival is going and Il Rak is climbing all over Soomin to find out what Shi Won is saying. This guy is going to be one crazy lovesick puppy, isn’t he? I cannot imagine the craziness if and when she falls for him.
Yoo Jin gets dressed for a dinner with Teacher Terror and the boys are all admiring how great he looks. Yoo Jin notices that Naeil is not around. Yeah, you miss your koala, don’t you?
At the party, everyone is suitably impressed with Yoo Jin’s performance saying that he lives up to the name of Stresemann’s pupil. Teacher Terror says he is the exception because the rest are terrible and then she calls Naeil as the worst. Now, Yoo Jin realizes what happened to Naeil in her class and that explains her behavior earlier. His face change and he starts to defend his members one by one before excusing himself and runs off to find Naeil.
The look on his face as he runs around looking for Naeil shows how much he cares for her. Even if he is not in love with her now, he definitely cares for her deeply. It is just that he shows more of his cold or nonchalant face to her than this side of him.
Stresemann is having a quiet moment perhaps still stung by Mina’s reject, LOL. And Yoon Ho sees him and asks if he can have a talk. Stresemann sarcastically remarks that Yoon Ho seems to have lots of time on his hand. Looks like Stresemann knows a lot more about Yoon Ho than he lets on. He takes leave but not without this parting shot: “Do what you want to do. Until you want to do it again.” This seems to be the running thought in Yoon Ho’s mind and I guess we will have to find out later.
Yoon Ho hears the sound of piano and his attention is immediately caught by it. He follows the sound and sees Naeil playing beautifully on the piano. Just as Naeil notices Yoon Ho who steps in to talk to her, Yoo Jin walks by. He sees Naeil and Yoon Ho, looks displeased and walks off. Naeil sees him leaving and runs after him.
She slows down as she catches up with him and in a more subdued tone than usual, tells him that she played her evaluation piece and she worked hard at it. As she steps closer, Yoo Jin tells her to stop and yells at her for turning his insides upside down. If you have watched enough kdramas, you will know this translates to “You make me crazy over you. I am in love (but I don’t know it)”
Although he looks annoyed at her, he is actually annoyed at himself for being overly flustered. He ran like a mad man looking everywhere for her and found her none the worst and smiling sweetly at another man. He is relieved to find her well but immediately peeved with her for making him all flustered. Anyway, Naeil does not recognize this and thinks that Yoo Jin is angry with her. Awww…she even apologizes to him saying that she is sorry although she doesn’t know what she did to make him angry. I note that Naeil calls Yoo Jin “sunbae” for the first time. Yoo Jin puts out his hand and tells her to “Come here.”
She inches forward, shuffling her feet. She is so hesitant even to take his hand. He drops his and for a while, I was afraid it would end at that. But no, he pulls her in close and puts his arm around her. He then tells her not to get too excited as he is doing it because it’s cold and she might trip in the dark. Denial, ha. But it’s always entertaining to watch.
Meanwhile Yoon Ho changes his plans and decides to stay in Korea. I am not sure about him and his bucket list but this is one interesting character to watch. He gets the driver to bring him to Haneum and tells the Dean that he wants to transfer there.
Il Rak is totally infatuated with Shi Won. It’s just cracks me up that he still thinks he has to assure Shi Won that he is not a pervert. But it just makes him look more like one in her eyes.
Let’s skip the school politics and I will only say this. It is interesting to know that Yoo Jin has been declining interviews about his father. There has been no mention of Yoo Jin’s father so far except that he is a famous pianist. I guessed Yoo Jin’s parents were divorced but now, it is quite apparent that father and son don’t get along. If we know the backstory, it might explain Yoo Jin’s loneliness and lack of interest to forge relationships.
Stresemann sits Yoo Jin down for a lesson on what is important as a conductor. He has obviously changed in his attitude and treatment towards Yoo Jin. They even share a laugh together. I am happy for this change and can’t wait to see their antics.
Earlier, Stresemann was pressed by Dean Mina to choose between A and S orchestra. He had told her that it’s not up to him to decide, it’s the students who have to decide for themselves. So, now he throws the same question to Yoo Jin and asks him to think about it. I am not seeing it but I am sure there is some lesson here.
Yoo Jin walks out of the Stresemann’s room still pondering over the question. Naeil who has been waiting to pour her woes over her impending exam to Yoo Jin immediately rushes up to him and tells him to help her. Yoo Jin is too deep in thoughts to hear out Naeil’s problems. Yoo Jin thinks to himself if there is such thing as the right way to music? Classical music is most beautiful when it is perfectly delivered. I suppose that represents the kind of music that A orchestra makes. In contrast S orchestra plays music that touches the audience. Does music that cannot communicate to the audience worth anything?
Naeil does not see that Yoo Jin is too engrossed in his thoughts and ask Yoo Jin to study with her after dinner. Yoo Jin pleads for her to let him think some more. She sulks and gets angry with him for always thinking these days and says that he does not hang out with her anymore. When she persists on talking and asks what does he want for dinner, he shakes off her hand and walks off. He does not see that she has fallen to the ground and continues walking, deep in his thoughts. She is upset and tells him she will forgive him if he turns around and goes to her. I think Yoo Jin does not even know she has fallen and thought she was standing there and demanding his attention. He does stop in his tracks but stops short of turning around.
Yoon Ho appears and offers Naeil a hand. Only at the sound of Yoon Ho’s voice did Yoo Jin turn around. When Yoon Ho asks Naeil if she misses him, Yoo Jin immediately walks to Naeil and pulls her to his chest. He then gives Yoon Ho that “Don’t you touch my girl” look.
I can see why this last scene drew much controversy. Many thought that Yoo Jin had been an asshole and intentionally pushed Naeil to the ground. I rewind the scene many times and I believe he did not. Granted in a number of scenes, he was pushing her with force just that his character has been depicted in the manga/anime and J version. However, they have been toned down somewhat. I kind of wish they just do away with it unless it’s obviously meant to be humorous. However in this scene, he did not even push her and it was definitely not intended. He was totally engrossed in his thoughts and she kept talking and tugging at his sleeve so he shook her off. She lost her balance and fell to the ground.
As for his not turning back despite Naeil’s pleas and only reacting when he saw Yoon Ho on the scene, I believe it is because firstly he did not know that Naeil had fallen. He thought she was still demanding his attention. Secondly, there’s always this air of competitiveness or what I would term as “Clash of the Big Egos.” Moreover, Yoo Jin has grown attached to Naeil despite being totally unaware of this development. Whenever Naeil is not around, he seeks her out. He may not go further than wonder where is she but he definitely notes her absence.
I think it is possible to be jealous even though you have not totally fallen in love. I think Naeil has already occupied a place in Yoo Jin’s heart but is it really love or just fondness. We see that he really cares for her when it matters like putting antiseptic on her finger and especially when he immediately seeks her out when he finds out that she had been hurt. However, he is content to let her be by his side and enjoy her company without wanting to know his true feelings towards her. Yoon Ho looks like he is the catalyst to make Yoo Jin step up his game or at least acknowledge his feelings towards Naeil.
I for one does not mind love triangles or jealousy as long as these elements are well-written. As long as it is fun and entertaining to watch, bring it on. I can’t wait for Yoo Jin to pine for Naeil instead of status quo. Maybe I just want to watch him suffer some. Joo Won is a delight to watch when he plays the part of a jealous boyfriend. You will laugh and pity him at the same time. And that look he gave Yoon Ho in the last capture? I say let the fun begin!
Naeil has grabbed me more in this week’s episodes than all the previous. I understand now why she is childlike. It is because she wants to stay as a child who can play and have fun without having to face the reality of life and in her case, the fact that if she were to pursue music, she would have to change her entire approach. And she cannot because of the childhood trauma and she is unwilling to face it. Her aspiration to be a kindergarten teacher turns out to be no more than taking the easy way out. She loves music deeply yet she is unable to do what it takes to advance. The shove she needs will come in the form of Yoo Jin. We can see this week that Naeil realizes Yoo Jin is on a different level as she is. Teacher Ahn also made it clear that she will need to study more and work harder if she wants to play the piano with Yoo Jin. I think this is why whenever she feels distant from Yoo Jin whether in fear or anger, she calls him sunbae instead of orabang.
Interestingly, Naeil inspires Yoon Ho just as she did Yoo Jin. Yoon Ho obviously has an issue with his music. Naeil’s music has a way of making the most jaded musician or one who plays mechanically but without a soul, change the way they view music and rekindles their love for it
This drama has really beautiful cinematography. I love the splashes of red, yellow and green in the background. I don’t get why people are complaining that it’s distracting or that the drama is too beautiful and therefore shallow. In searching for flaws they have become blind to the beauty.
I can’t delve into the music for this show and talk about the pieces that will play. All I can tell you is that to a music ignoramus like me, Tomorrow Cantabile’s music have me tapping my feet and humming the tune long after the episode ended. I cannot care less whether this version has stuck to the original music choices or tell the difference in name between Beethoven No. 3 or No. 7. I will borrow Yoo Jin’s words and say this “Music that cannot communicate to the audience is worth nothing.” And I can assure you that the music in Tomorrow Cantabile is definitely worth experiencing.