SBSDo you like brahms? “made a promising and bizarre start. With Kim Min Jae and Park Eun BinThe drama follows the aspirations of classical musicians. Chae Song Ah (Park Eun Bin) is a finance major who turned violin major and struggles to keep her dream of playing instruments alive. Meanwhile, Park Joon Young (Kim Min Jae) is a world-famous pianist who decides to take a sabbatical struggling with the idea that he may not love the musical world in which he thrives. “Do you like Brahms?” Shows the adventures that young people experienced through striving for childhood dreams and the loneliness of unrequited love. Here are the things we loved and hated about the premiere.
Warning spoilers for the premiere episodes below.
Loved: Chae Song Ah and Park Joon Young’s chance meeting
K-dramas are no stranger to creating fateful romances. We all know the idea that a one-time meeting is an opportunity, a two-time meeting is a coincidence, and a three-time meeting is a fate. Sometimes it can be too cheesy, but “do you like Brahms?” goes softer and creates a random connection between Song Ah and Joon Young. Song Ah Joon Young’s eyes catch the eye when she is kicked out of the concert by the conductor. She tries to fight for her place, but ultimately fails. Later that night he sees her twice more after the show – once when her friend congratulates her on playing, and then again when she’s out in the rain, frantically covering up her violin case to protect it. The last of their chance meetings before they are officially introduced is when Song Ah finds him in a practice room playing the piano.
These meetings made their connection very well. None of the meetings are cheesy or over the top, and instead they feel effortless and organic. There’s a general awkwardness between the two of them as they are strangers, but it feels adorable. Despite their awkwardness, they both seem curious about each other, and they seem like two lonely souls coming together. While their respective love triangles between their groups of friends can lead to serious heartache, it is already clear that these two will find comfort together. There is a certain subtlety about this drama that makes it reassuring to watch and easy to fall in love with.
Loved: Joon Young’s attention to Song Ah
Joon Young is a dashing male lead by looks. However, what makes him even more attractive to viewers is his gentle and sweet way of helping others. This is especially true as he comes to Song Ah’s defense more than once and goes out of his way to help her. From disrupting the atmosphere when she’s thrown out of the concert, to stretching her aching legs before joining her team for dinner, to dropping off his full cup of coffee since hers leaked, he’s obviously been taking care of himself some cases around them capacity. The coffee scene in particular is characterized by his friend Han Hyun Ho (Kim Sung Cheol) indicates that he is not drinking coffee.
Sometimes when a male lead has an immediate interest in the female lead, he easily pushes boundaries and gets away with it too strongly. Joon Young’s character takes a low key approach that is refreshing. He’s a foil for the loud, overconscious male leads we see so often, and it’s fair to assume that his softer stimuli will increase as the drama progresses.
Loved: Song Ah reads the space between Joon Young and his friends
One detail about Song Ah’s character that stands out in the premiere episodes is her perception. Although she doesn’t say it directly, it can be said that she easily understands the unspoken words between the people she is with. This is especially true when observing Joon Young’s interactions with Lee Jung Kyung (Park Ji Hyun) and Hyun Ho. While they all get along well, Song Ah watches them with a careful eye and seems to grasp the tension between Joon Young and Jung Kyung.
The best part about these scenes is that Song Ah doesn’t offer any hard judgment. While she picks up something else, she does everything possible to make things less uncomfortable between the four. She is very thoughtful towards her fellow human beings and wants to make a good impression. She is a very likeable figure and only lets the audience root for their happiness even more. It is also this trait that leads to a promising setup between Song Ah and Joon Young. While the couple is already drawn to each other, their connection is likely to deepen due to their mutual understanding of unrequited love.
Loved: The maestro tells Joon Young to follow his heart
The classical music world is breakneck to say the least. “Do you like Brahms?” Doesn’t shy away from the competitive nature of the field and many of the supporting characters quickly point out that Joon Young, Song Ah and the other musicians are missing. Joon Young in particular struggles when he admits that he doesn’t really know how he feels about the piano and that he actually didn’t enjoy it very much. One cute scene is when a maestro watching his private performance tells him not to play for everyone and instead follow his heart.
This scene felt badly needed after Joon Young struggled with his feelings during the premiere episodes. It is clear that, like any young adult, he has difficulty finding his place in the world. This scene also leads perfectly to the scene where Song Ah asks him how he felt about his performance and admits that his earlier performance of Schumann’s Träumerei touched her heart more. While Joon Young doesn’t provide an answer, you can see him reflect on her words.
A big part of Joon Young’s arc will be his directing his emotions towards the piano and shaping the type of player he wants to become. These scenes give optimism and promise that the drama will allow him to heal his insecurities and find a happy ending of his choice.
Hated: Lee Jung Kyung’s coldness and obsession
Love triangles in K-dramas almost always have a second lead that does no good. While Jung Kyung has been tame so far compared to the stereotypes that go with this type of role, she leaves a mixed impression. It’s clear that she cares for both Joon Young and Hyun Ho, but she strings the two of them together until she finds out how she feels. In the second episode, when the couple talks about their secret kiss, Jung asks Kyung if she should marry Hyun Ho. She specifically asks to see Joon Young’s reaction. A terrifying voiceover from Song Ah reveals Jung Kyung’s true feelings to the audience. She kissed Joon Young because she was jealous that he was somewhere without her and wanted to test if he still cared for her.
To be fair, it doesn’t leave the worst impression. It is clear that she has experienced great tragedies throughout her life and one can definitely understand her motivations. After all, nobody is perfect. However, it seems that her inability to choose what, or rather who, she wants will create a deep conflict between the trio. If her feelings about Hyun Ho have changed, she should have an honest discussion with him about it instead of turning to Joon Young and playing with his feelings. Being manipulative, possessive, and taking unspoken tests of loyalty to someone you care about is never a good attitude towards love. One can only hope that her character will be able to process these feelings in a healthy way instead of becoming a stereotypical toxic second lead.
Watch the following Premiere episodes:
Hey Soompiers! Did you like the premiere of “Do you like Brahms?”? What were your favorite pieces? Let us know in the comments below!
kaityv spends most of her time watching K-dramas when she should be writing. If she doesn’t see any drama, she’s sure to die over the music and videos from BTS and Red Velvet.
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