Do You Like Brahms? (2020) poster
8.1
Your Rating: 0/10
Ratings: 8.1/10 from 13,421 users
# of Watchers: 30,228
Reviews: 80 users
Ranked #2112
Popularity #439
Watchers 13,421

In defiance of her family’s opposition, Song Ah gets accepted to the music school of the same university where she originally majored in business. As she’s seven years older than her classmates, she finds her new academic life daunting and struggles to find strength. One day, she hears Joon Young playing “Träumerei," which comforts her. Joon Young is a talented pianist who started playing the piano when he was six. He’s been friends with Jung Kyung, the granddaughter of Kyunghoo Group’s CEO, for a long time, and is in love with her. When he decides to keep his distance from Jung Kyung, he meets Song Ah. (Source: Viki) Edit Translation

  • English
  • 한국어
  • Arabic
  • Русский
  • Country: South Korea
  • Type: Drama
  • Episodes: 16
  • Aired: Aug 31, 2020 - Oct 20, 2020
  • Aired On: Monday, Tuesday
  • Original Network: SBS
  • Duration: 1 hr. 5 min.
  • Score: 8.1 (scored by 13,421 users)
  • Ranked: #2112
  • Popularity: #439
  • Content Rating: 15+ - Teens 15 or older

Where to Watch Do You Like Brahms?

Netflix
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SBS World
Free (sub)
Viki
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Kocowa
Free (sub)

Cast & Credits

Reviews

Completed
minj99
76 people found this review helpful
Sep 8, 2020
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 7.5
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 6.0

Shining characters trapped in a drab plot line

Standout characters immediately grab your attention, and Do You Like Brahms? starts with one of the strongest first 4 episodes of 2020 premieres, second only to Flower of Evil. The two main leads, a burned out superstar and a struggling artist, seem cliché, but their foil is fully explored and surprisingly relatable. However, little substance is built on the foundation of their relationship. You better understand and relate with each character, with each episode, but the evolution of their relationship stagnates. Either DYLB? should have been told in fewer episodes or bigger dramatics were needed to stimulate a more engaging reaction.

Story:
The contrast between the quality of characters vs plot is stark by the ending of Do You Like Brahms? From leads to supports, the characters have an incredible amount of depth. Even the motivations of the antagonists are mired in complexity. As a character drama, DYLB? excels by making the unique lives and challenges of musicians relatable to casual drama viewers.

As a thrilling romance or gripping melodrama, it falls short. The love triangle(s) that is crux to the plot of DYLB? is presented in the first couple episodes, and its potential outcome feels inevitable (i.e. miscommunication, confusion, heartbreak). The lack of suspense transforms into frustration as the middle segment of DYLB? trundles toward the finale following a subdued climax.

I want to include one last comment about time skips and flashbacks. They were not always crystal clear, but I appreciate that the director did not baby the audience with title cards like “1 year ago”, “1 month later”, etc. Overall, the plot is the main weakness in an otherwise well directed drama.

Acting:
The combination of character design and cast brings to life the fictional characters on screen. Park Eun Bin adds another excellent role after her underappreciated performance in Hot Stove League. Kim Min Jae has a long list of great roles for such a young actor, almost comparable to Yeo Jin Goo. Their interpretations of their characters just make sense. They act and behave like genuine human beings instead of characters.

The rest of the cast is equally decorated, but I will specifically praise Choi Dae Hoon and Baek Ji Won for creating characters that knew all the right buttons to push for maximum irritation. The way they frustrate the viewers and the main leads is the definition of entertainment, in stark contrast to my frustration with the flat plot.

Music:
More so than the characters and cast, the music within Do You Like Brahms? rises above First, the use of classical music is slightly cheesy and often used as a plot device, but it is refreshing to hear a different sound from the standard drama ballads. Second, the OST of DYLB? is anything but “standard”. The same musical producer from Hotel Del Luna worked on this drama, and the quality of the OST is unparalleled in 2020. It is hit after hit sung by some of the biggest names in Korean music, from Taeyeon to Heize. It is good enough to listen without even watching DYLB?

Rewatch Value:
The lack of dynamic plot and explosive confrontations make it hard to justify a rewatch. This weakness even bleeds into the strong character designs. The main female lead starts off as a relatable, struggling young adult, but she seems too perfect as the story drags on. Being untalented or soft-spoken is far from a real character flaw, and her immaculate actions wear her initial relatability thin. I may be overly critical since I started DYLB? with high hopes. Unfortunately, it falls short of the best drama of 2020 which currently belongs to Crash Landing on You (depends if you consider it a 2019 or 2020 drama) or Flower of Evil.

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Completed
Kdrama Feminist
65 people found this review helpful
Oct 22, 2020
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 6.5
Story 4.5
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 9.5
Rewatch Value 2.0

The characters shine. The plot... not so much.

This drama’s rating is high purely because of the characters. Song Ah x Joon Young are two of the softest, politest, most introverted leads I’ve ever watched. I fell in love with them from the start and I never fell out despite my declining interest in the drama. PEB & KMJ play them to perfection.

The second leads are both great too. Hyeon Ho is easy to love - the smiling, puppy in love. Jung Kyung is more complex. Struggling with her fallen star & complicated feelings, she’s still clever and kind and I don’t care what anyone says, I loved her. I’ll be adding her to my pantheon of second female leads who deserved better. (It’s a really great club btw I’ll make a list of them all one day)

Cha Young In (the noona from the kyunghoo foundation) was also a quiet favourite of mine. Unlike the many immature & selfish professors from the university, she’s grown wise with time & dispenses advice and knowledge freely without judging or looking down on anyone. Everyone is lucky to have her as their senior in life tbh. I’d love an older female friend like her.

So yes. 6.5 stars purely because they all live bright in my heart and the first third or half was really good.

The plot lets it down. At some point past act 1 it becomes this endless slog of misery and miscommunication (from a couple that thrived on being open with one another no less!)

I didn’t mind it being slow because it felt like a healing drama and for a while it was. It soon devolved into a melodramatic mess however and the neat bow-wrapped ending isn’t enough to save it.

Just another drama of what-could-have been to join the many already littering the LOST POTENTIAL graveyard.

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Details

  • Drama: Do You Like Brahms?
  • Country: South Korea
  • Episodes: 16
  • Aired: Aug 31, 2020 - Oct 20, 2020
  • Aired On: Monday, Tuesday
  • Original Network: SBS
  • Duration: 1 hr. 5 min.
  • Content Rating: 15+ - Teens 15 or older

Statistics

  • Score: 8.1 (scored by 13,421 users)
  • Ranked: #2112
  • Popularity: #439
  • Watchers: 30,228

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