Beethoven Virus

Beethoven Virus (2008)

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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 2,846 users
Reviews: 11 users

Du Ru Mi, a struggling violinist by night working for the mayor by day, is put in charge of setting up a city orchestra. When she is scammed out of the startup funds, she tries to hide it by recruiting any and all volunteers, leading to a rag-tag group of members with varying levels of experience. To lead them, she convinces an esteemed conductor, the infamous Kang Gun Woo, into helping out. read moreAmidst rivalry between members, including Ru Mi's musical prodigy neighbor who works as an officer, also named Kang Gun Woo, and recurring political issues, the group tries to follow their orchestral dreams, and eventually realizes how friends can become like family.

  • Native title:

    베토벤 바이러스
  • Also Known as:

    Betoben Bayireoseu

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22 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Jul 7, 2013
  • Overall 10
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 9.0
Beethoven Virus and I have a long history, though my recent viewing is also my first. Back when it first aired, I felt very drawn to it. But as I was new to Korean drama and dealing with the pressures of post-graduation, I never got the chance to experience it or the ensuing Kang Mae craze. It's just shy of six years later, but I've finally been able to come back to read more this fantastic drama...and I'm so glad I could. I'd almost watch it again already if I didn't have so many other dramas to get around to.

The story line is very unique, both in subject matter and tone. We follow a group of normal people following the dream of orchestral performance together, under the direction of a conductor who is as rude and arrogant as he is famous and talented. The experience and accompanying tribulations change their lives, as you might expect, but the difference can be genuinely felt. There may be unbelievable circumstances that bring these people together, but the way they progress and transform is realistic and subtle. Some may complain the final episodes are bittersweet and somewhat open-ended, but I feel they composed the perfect ending for a story such as this. Any other result would have felt too saccharine, especially with the heavy emotions this drama evoked. We pursued a dream with these characters, but it's really not the result that's the path we took and what we choose to do after.

This is also the first drama where I've felt I would actually miss the characters after completion--in particular, abrasive conductor Kang Mae as played by Kim Myung Min. His acting really is as outstanding as everyone says it is. It's a rare gift to see a character spring to life as vibrantly as this; he felt like a real person separate from the actor, no doubt thanks to his extensive preparation. I mean, Myung Min was actually even able to conduct an actual orchestra at a press conference for this drama...something he'd learned how to do in five months. Another favorable mention must go to Jang Geun Suk, who was still in the early stages of rising fame (and looked nothing like he does now). I'm not sure he's played a part like this since, but I'm hoping he will soon. His Gun Woo was an earnest, hardworking, genuinely good kid...but with very human failings and no sob story to excuse them. Geun Suk was a joy to watch too, and stood competently alongside the great Myung Min as his foil.

As to music, as one might expect, there's a ton of classical used in Beethoven Virus. The performance sequences utilize elegant and meaningful pieces, looking as good as they sound. Other works serve to fit scenes as background tracks, and add a delicious feeling of high drama without also becoming cheesy. Fans of instrumental music and classic in general will love it, while others might find a spark of interest growing in them after watching! Vocal tracks are also great, with Insooni's inspirational number "A Goose's Dream" basically summing up everything Beethoven Virus stands for.
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20 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Aug 1, 2011
  • Overall 10
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 7.0
If you're a classic music lover, then I strongly recommend this drama. It is, as you may have figured, a musical drama. The facts, the phrases, the music... It's all real. I also really approve of the fact that they used real musicians in the orchestra (except from the obvious faking actors, of course). Big big thumbs up!

I have to say, the conductor really really impressed me. It's read more hard to copy the movements of a conductor, and he did a good job. He must have suffered a lot while learning, so kudos to him!

The acting is great and believable. The drama mainly focuses on character development, but it also has moments of relationships and drama as the "obvious couple" turns out to not being so obvious after all. Despite this, you still get your solid dose of music, which makes me a happy girl.

In writing moment, I have yet to finish this, but the 11 episodes I have watched were watched in 3 days. Not many dramas manage to capture my interest like this, and I am looking forward to watch more!

*will be edited*
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Make a Recommendation More recs (4)Recommendations

Beethoven Virus also has a sort of rag-tag group of musicians come together to form an orchestra in order to achieve their dreams. Both dramas focus a lot on the individual characters and the relationships that they build within their group.
Recommended by Kay
Both have more or less the musical premise although Beethoven Virus is more superior
Recommended by mikachan

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Comments (41)

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  • Reply
    Regenbogenwurm1 May 19, 2017

    In the beginning the drama felt a little stiff to me. But the music and also the acting convinced me. Of course a lot of scenes kinda repeated itself. But the development of characters ist very nice to follow. It feels more natural then in a lot of dramas nowadays, where you always see girls or boys stick to one person, for a life long relationship (???) I mean, to think that there could be no other person to love in your life for some time...that's not very realistic. Think of your first love. I also liked how they portrayed the feeling of solidarity in an orchestra (have been in a choir for years) and the relationships between characters who are NOT the main leads :) And in fact, Kim Myung Min is the actor in The King of Dramas, one of my favorite dramas ever :)

  • Reply
    claudya87 Apr 14, 2017 - edited

    A classic..flop. I don't understand why this is considered a good series..

    • Reply
      Regenbogenwurm1 May 20, 2017

      That's true.

    • Reply
      SimbiAni May 21, 2017 - edited

      You do not understand? Isn't it obvious tho? Those who considered it good were interested & just ~entertained by the series. So it is not really any mystery as to "why" in general, lol.

      What exactly did you find "floppy" tho?

    • Reply
      claudya87 May 26, 2017

      I don't get why people are so interested in proving me wrong/asking why I consider it a's my own opinion & taste... I don't have to agree with those around me..compared to a lit of other series this one didn't get my attention. Usually if an actor can't captivate with his "acting" he should make you go with the flow as you swoon over his looks. In this case Kim Myung Min's character felt flat and boring at times, the woman was annoying and JGS is a mediocre actor who I forgive every time because of his good looks. The conclusion is that I finished a series that I should've dropped after the 1st episodes..a series you consider good & try to convince me that was not a waste of my time. From my point of was boring and the acting didn't capture even half of my interest..and that's an opinion I'm gonna continue to have about this one regardless of how many people come at me.

    • Reply
      SimbiAni May 26, 2017 - edited

      Well, no one "tried proving" anything here.. you stated an opinion on a public forum where discussion is encouraged, so naturally, such short statements can inspire curiosity. You're taking things waayy too seriously if you think that a few calm replies by TWO fellow drama friends are a form of "ppl coming at you" instead of just simple interaction.

      But as a reference, saying phrases like "I (just) don't get / I don't understand.." sounds like the person ~wants to try to "get it", basically, "someone please explain this confusing thing to me in a way that makes sense.." Just a quirk of our language, I suppose.

      Anyways, I ~appreciated reading your explained pov. Honestly, I have nothing to gain from changing your opinion, or anyone else's, so why would I bother? I'm just overly logical & so always understand "why" opinions differ, but my insatiable curiosity likes to hear the "how" too. Especially from vague one-line cmts, just seems like there is always more to it.. ^-^

    • Reply
      lea Aug 18, 2017

      I agree with claudya87's review of the drama and acting.. disappointing to say the least.

  • Reply
    namopanik Oct 13, 2016 - edited

    I can't believe such a good drama has a measly 7.1 rating and not even two full pages of comments. Come on!

    • Reply
      SimbiAni Oct 15, 2016

      What did you enjoy most about BV? xD

    • Reply
      namopanik Oct 15, 2016 - edited
      Reveal Spoiler »
    • Reply
      SimbiAni Oct 15, 2016
      Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    MaryamDH Mar 29, 2016 - edited

    what is wrong with the rating!!! This drama is amazing!!!

  • Reply
    TheGrowlingStomach Oct 21, 2015 - edited

    so i'm on episode 9 and i'm dying to know if i'm the only one who thinks the main female lead is a bit of a piece of crap. I feel so bad for the young kang gun woo who actually likes this two timing piece of crap. other than the lack of chemistry between leads and poorly developed romance, I rather enjoy the mean kang gun woo's character and blunt rude outbursts as well as the whole classical concept.

    • Reply
      SimbiAni Nov 14, 2015 - edited

      you say that like she's deliberately flirting & trying to seduce the other person lol but she hasn't done anything except cry because her ~feels~ are overwhelming her..

      personally tho I'm shipping the boys cuz I like their chemistry best.. ♡

    • Reply
      TheGrowlingStomach Nov 14, 2015
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    • Reply
      SimbiAni Nov 15, 2015 - edited
      Reveal Spoiler »
    • Reply
      TheGrowlingStomach Nov 15, 2015

      right. i'm just going to ignore all of the romance all together and focus on the bromance xD

    • Reply
      SimbiAni Nov 15, 2015 - edited

      If I had known it was this good lol I would've tuned in much sooner!! ♡__♡

      Now getting vid cravings / inspirations liekwhoa.. #mustresistYTspree hehe xD

  • Reply
    iSara Jul 30, 2015 - edited

    I haven't watched it yet, but my sisters says that this drama is great and Kim Myung Ming performance was amazing, so I wonder why it got 7?

    • Reply
      SimbiAni Nov 14, 2015

      why did this only average a "7" rating score?

      simple: that's what option was chosen most.
      in order, ratings by most votes: 7, 8, 6, 9, 5, 10.

      complex: high quality things are not always popular, & vice-versa. also, many ppl have difficulties scoring things on substance alone & will settle for middle ratings to be most fair, especially in comparison to other favorites, etc. ^-^

    • Reply
      lily_b Nov 15, 2015

      Your sister is right. KMM is amazing and the story is great, and there is nothing wrong with this drama at all. The rating, I think, is because some fangirls like the younger guy better. I guess they just don't understand KMM's character. This drama is overwhelmingly underrated.

  • Reply
    Tsuyu Jun 3, 2015

    Bravo, Bravo!!!! Bellissimo, Bellissimo!!! Supreme acting by both teacher and student, Gun Woo's (Jang & Kim). Park Chul Min was crazy as ever and I compliment the addition of Song Ok and Lee Soon. Incredible casts.

  • Reply
    aminTimeTraveller Dec 31, 2014 - edited

    I love this drama, I give this amazing drama 10/10. Lee Ji Ah was really good in here, the acting was superb . I love you Lee Ji're amazing.........

  • Reply
    Sali_bali Dec 11, 2014 - edited

    Kim Myung Min is amazing and steals whole show... really good drama 8.5 /10 from me I give only 8.5 because it was dragged and this stupid things with love triangle... I'm thankful they didn't ruined show with stupid love story....

    p.s it's just my opinion but it would be better if there were not Jang Geun Suk but someone else with more "Artistic , manly and bohemian" look.

    • Reply
      Bladey Feb 27, 2015 - edited
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  • Reply
    homaKP Dec 3, 2014 - edited

    7?!! seriously? i wonder whatever happened to people's taste!
    not so much hugging-kissing, poor-girl-rich-boy and girl-gets-drunk-to-throw-up-on-boy's-suit, i guess!

    speaking of which, now that i gave this a 10, i think i should go and take one point away from other TV dramas i've rated. and i don't mean only K-Dramas.
    and if anyone could recommend me something this worthy of watch, i'd be really grateful.^___^

    • Reply
      SimbiAni Nov 23, 2015

      With less intensity, but a similar sense of charm, Panda & Hedgehog might fit.. ^-^ The "romance" is really downplayed (tho not as much as BV) & the focus is more on the connection btwn the lead guys & their families.. it was my own first 10 rating. ♡

  • Reply
    reyhane Jul 16, 2014

    I love this drama
    the best ♥

  • Reply
    lily_b Jul 4, 2014 - edited

    If I have ever seen an underrated drama, this is it. 7?! Come on! This drama is ALL kinds of wonderful. I watched the last episode literally moments ago, I'm too emotional right now to say anything deep, but read Bladey's comment below, and you get the point. Myself, I didn't hesitate to give this a 10.

    • Reply
      Bladey Jul 7, 2014

      I"m glad you enjoyed it too! :)

  • Reply
    sunflower63 Jun 14, 2014 - edited

    What an AMAZING drama!! So far the best drama on classical music that I had seen was Nodame Cantabile, but this one IMO takes the level slightly higher because it focuses more on the lives and the relationships of many members of the orchestra. I absolutely loved the character played by Kim Myung Min who did a fantastic job in portraying the cold and detached conductor with a soft heart well hidden inside. I was also pleasantly surprised with Jang Geun Suk's performance as it was the best I have seen of him so far and I hope to see him in dramas such as this one again in the future. This drama really touched my heart in many ways: the music was excellent, the story was touching and the acting was superb. Another full 10 from me.

    • Reply
      Bladey Jun 25, 2014

      oh I didn't see your comment on the feeds. i"m glad you enjoyed it too.

    • Reply
      imfaerae Jun 27, 2014

      I'm loving this one too. Thanks for mentioning Nodame Cantabile. I hadn't heard of that one. Sounds like another one I'd enjoy.

  • Reply
    Bladey May 17, 2014 - edited

    The central character itself deserves a 9. You hardly ever get to see coldness done in a humane rather than cartoonish way.Kang Mae is a rather deep and complex character. This character is more complex than Anthony Kim and all the little insecurities and nuances of his heart are very rewarding to get to know.

    Performance for the role is another high note- Kim Myung Min is effortless in this role, he confirms his acting prowess. His really is a force to reckon with when it comes to acting.

    I loved the dynamic relationship Kang Mae had with Gung Woo, such a deepening student-mentor relationship. I loved that the girl was slightly more digifnied and that she developed understanding for Kang Mae. I didn't find anything cheesy here.

    The intorspective glimpses into Kang Mae's world (paticularly early on when he was first conducting the make-shift orchestra) and everyone else world helped to create the mood and develop the theme. I was particularly taken in by how for all these characters..if their dreams die, life may end up broken too.

    Pesonally, I loved it for what it was, a story about a complex characters full of fears and uncertainities, a story about bonding, a story about determination to perform but princicpally a story about pursuing dreams, greater or smaller, that make our lives. It was a story I was very invovled in froms tart to finish, predominantly thanks to the central character who was just too compelling for me.

    • Reply
      lily_b Jul 4, 2014

      After completing this drama that I loved so much, I am a little bit lost for words. Thanks for this well-written comment; now I don't feel like I have to try so hard. :)

  • Reply
    Mary28 May 8, 2014

    The story might have gotten annoying for the last five episodes, but the music was beautiful throughout.


  • Country:

    South Korea
  • Type:

  • Episodes:

  • Aired:

    Sep 10, 2008 to Nov 12, 2008
  • Aired On:

    Wednesday, Thursday
  • Network:

  • Duration:

    1 hr. 5 min.


  • Score:

    7.1 (scored by 2,846 users)
  • Ranked:

  • Popularity:


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