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.Amidst 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.
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Cast & Credits
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 matters...it'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.
I have to say, the conductor really really impressed me. It's 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*