Beethoven Virus tells the story of a group of people from different walks and stages of life who from an orchestra. After the conductor of the city orchestra embezzles money and runs way, the original orchestra members are left with no way to be paid. Everyone quits leaving violinist Du Ru Mi (Lee Ji Ah) to put together a new orchestra with whoever she can get.
With the help of a musical genius who plays the trumpet, Kang Gun Woo (Jang Geun Suk), she tries to get the new orchestra into shape. They are soon joined by a well known conductor also named Kang Gun Woo (Kim Myung Min). Maestro Kang Gun Woo is cold and blunt and doesn’t hesitate to voice his thoughts on what hopeless and terrible musicians he thinks everyone is.
Beethoven Virus was such a nice little find. The story is simple, but still completely interesting. I’ll start by saying that this drama is not a rom/com. It’s more of a drama with humorous and romantic touches. But not long ago, I was saying how I rarely experience second lead syndrome. And then this drama comes along to prove me wrong!
So I actually didn’t know a whole lot about Beethoven Virus going in. I had added it to my watch list ages ago. I know and like all three of the main actors, but I never got around to reading much about it. After recently enjoying Jang Geun Suk’s performance in Love Rain, I decided to give Beethoven Virus a go.
Basically, this drama was very sneaky when it comes to the love triangle. The first episode has our leading lady Ru Mi meet Gun Woo. They don’t it hit it off, and he seems to be your classic rude male lead. Wrong! Though they bicker, they soon have a nice relationship blossom.
Then Maestro Kang shows up. And this guy gives a whole new meaning to being a cold jerk to everyone around him. It wasn’t long before Gun Woo suddenly started to sweeten up. He became supportive of Ru Mi and didn’t hold back in showing his feelings for her. We even get cute couple moments like hand holding and almost kisses! Then it dawned on me…oh no! Gun Woo is the second lead!
This drama was very tricky in pulling a sort of reversal when it comes to Gun Woo’s character. Since I didn’t know much about the drama, it totally made since that he was the lead in the beginning. And just as our new couple really starts to get going, I realize that Ru Mi is starting to develop feelings for Maestro Kang. I was completely caught off guard.
But one thing I really admire about this drama is the triangle. Both guys have a significant presence and a real chance with Ru Mi. Gun Woo is not your token second lead. His character is complex and critical to the story. And to make things more complicated, Maestro Kang and Gun Woo also have a nice teacher/student/brother relationship that develops when Maestro Kang decides to train Gun Woo to be a conductor. Our three leads were completely intertwined.
After having seen Jang Geun Suk in You’re Beautiful and Love Rain, his character in Beethoven Virus is a bit of a change. Gone are the fancy clothes and outlandish hairstyles. In Beethoven Virus, he is just a normal guy with a short haircut who wears jeans and a t-shirt…who just happens to be a musical genius of course. I thought his acting was top notch, and I thoroughly enjoyed him in this. As much as I love the flashy Jang Geun Suk, I would love to see him take on more roles of this nature. He really is a talented actor.
I’m also a fan of Lee Ji Ah. Having previously seen her in one of my favorite dramas, Me Too Flower, I really loved her in this. Her character is sweet and soft spoken, but she does what it takes to get things done, including taking the responsibility for everyone’s mistakes. I thought she was lovely in Beethoven Virus.
And of course we have Kim Myung Min who is simply made for roles like this. His character is reminiscent of his later work, King of Dramas, which I loved. He has such a strong, commanding presence. And though he hides his feelings, he really takes a brotherly liking to Gun Woo. It made things all the more difficult when he developed feelings for Ru Mi too.
It’s actually his strong presence that made it difficult for me to see the chemistry between Maestro Kang and Ru Mi. It really takes a very bold personality to match up with his. Ru Mi was simply too sweet and soft spoken. He also seemed significantly older than her. It’s a bit strange because in reality Kim Myung Min is only six years older than Lee Ji Ha, while she is 9 years older than Jang Geun Suk. But Lee Ji Ha seems so young that she felt closer in age to Jang Geun Suk.
I don’t really mind age differences for the most part, but Maestro Kang and Ru Mi just seemed so far a part. Plus, there’s the fact that his character is one of those that practically never softens up. Of course, we know he has feelings and emotions, but the glimpses of those are few and far between. He also constantly insults Ru Mi and everyone else in the name of truth, but he was far too harsh for me to get on board. I just saw zero chemistry between the two.
But I really felt her chemistry with Gun Woo. The two had such a nice rapport and just played off of each other so well. Their connection was so sweet, and they were like young lovebirds the first half of the drama. Second lead syndrome is no fun!
Having said all that, you really would think this is a romance drama. It’s not. It’s just another one of the stories. Something this drama did that I found a bit odd happened when Ru Mi and Maestro Kang finally admit their feelings for each other. Aside from a minor confession, Maestro Kang really stays the same as he always has been. Because he doesn’t like change, he never really warms up to Ru Mi. The two continue their normal lives and due to circumstances, drift a part. That happens right in the middle of the drama. Romance pretty much gone.
But to take it’s place is the relationship between Gun Woo and Maestro Kang. Their story is what captivated me throughout the rest of the drama. They go through a lot of ups downs. They have to cope with having feelings for the same woman as well as having completely different conducting styles. The emotions are high with these two. We see some intense stand offs as well as the most touching displays of affection. One of the only times Maestro Kang displays affection is for Gun Woo. It was an intense relationship.
There are also a lot of familiar faces in our orchestra. My favorite kdrama mama Song Ok Suk portrays cello player Jung Hee Yun. Then there is Jung Suk Yong as double bass player Park Hyuk Kwon.
My favorite grandpa Lee Sun Jae portrays oboe player Kim Gab Yong. He suffers from Alzheimer’s which causes him some issues as the drama progresses. He develops quite a touching relationship with flute player Ha Ye Deun (Hyun Jyu Ni) as he tries to encourage her to succeed. This was quite a sad storyline for me.
Park Chul Min is quite humorous as trumpet player Bae Yong Gi. We also have Lee Han Wi as Governor Kang Chun Bae. That’s quite the star studded line up!
The ending of this drama was a bit open, but this was a time where I felt it fit perfectly. Beethoven Virus allowed us to share in the journey of all of these people. The ending hints at their positive future to come, but it showed that their journey was not yet over. There would always be more story to be told.
Beethoven Virus was such a sweet and inspiring drama. It showed that no matter what stage of life you are in, you don’t have to give up on your dreams. Our orchestra members came together as individuals and became a family. They shared each other’s burdens on their quest to pursue their dreams.
Beautiful orchestra music is played throughout he drama, which really sets a distinct and lovely tone. This drama was almost perfect for me. If only Maestro Kang had eventually softened and showed a bit more chemistry with Ru Mi. At least the relationship between Gun Woo and Maestro Kang filled in that void.
Beethoven Virus is simple, yet profound. It has a well developed love triangle that stands out among other dramas. The acting was wonderful with rich and complex characters. Once I recover from my first case of second lead syndrome, I will definitely remember Beethoven Virus as a beautiful and inspiring drama.
My Rating: 8.5/10
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