Trot Lovers AKA Lovers of Music premiered this past Monday and there be some sweet and funny music in the air. Trot Lovers marks Hyun Woo’s return to drama land post army duty and Eun Ji’s second leading role. You can catch this show airing every Monday and Tuesday on KBS2. Time for first impressions. Cheers!
Meet the Players
Choi Choon Hee (Eun Ji)
A spunky twenty something with a beautiful singing voice, Choon Hee is left to care for her little sister when her Father disappears (leaving her in debt no less).
Jang Joon Hyun (Ji Hyun Woo)
Joon Hyun is the stereotypical jaded, conceited, arrogant star. A musician at the top of his game, his world comes crashing down due to a scandal.
Jo Geun Woo (Shin Sung Rok)
Guen Woo is the son of Shine Star Entertainment’s President. A laid back, 4D sort of person he finds his world changed when his Father takes a year off, leaving him to manage the company.
Park Soo In (Lee Se Young)
Soo In is a talented, girl-next-door-esque trainee at Shine Star Entertainment. She used to date Joon Hyun.
Our Story Thus Far
Choi Choon Hee is no stranger to hard work. Only in her twenties, Choon Hee has already had to work hard to help her family make ends meet. She lives with her Father and her little sister Byul. One day her life comes crashing down as her Father, deeply in debt, disappears (just as the repo men come and clean out their family business).
Choon Hee’s bad luck continues as she loses her job. After some thought (and a few clues) Choon Hee comes to believe she was fired due to an angry run in she had with the famous musician Jang Joon Hyun. After a disagreement, Jang Hoon threatened to ruin Choon Hee’s life. Convinced he is behind her bad luck, she goes to find him.
Meanwhile Jang Hoon is waking up in a hotel room after a night of partying. Before he gains consciousness we witness a woman in the room, taking pictures of his sleeping form. She sees an incoming call from Choon Hee and texts her back “Come see me, I am at X hotel”. The woman leaves and a few minutes later Choon Hee comes barging in demanding answers regarding her firing. Jang Hoon never gets to answer her, as reporters have picked up on the story of Jang Hoon’s hotel scandal and barge into the room.
After a tense few minutes of being chased through the hotel hallways by paparazzi, Jang Hoon (wearing only boxers, a blanket, and a tee) and Choon Hee reach the underground parking. As Jang Hoon sprints for his van his manager throws open the side door. The fleeing celebrity runs smack dab into the side of the vehicle, collapsing to the ground. The reporters catch up to him and start snapping away. Within a couple more scenes we see that the hotel scandal has brought down Jang Hoon’s career, he is now a pariah in the entertainment industry.
We flash forward three months and find Choon Hee desperate for a job, her Father still missing. Meanwhile we catch up with Jang Hoon, busy losing pretty much everything he owns other than a suitcase and a guitar. Desperate, Jang Hoon goes to talk to the President of Shine Star, his old agency. President-nim tells him he can have a job (much to his surprise)- but it entails training a rookie singer (much to his disdain).
That rookie singer turns out to be Choon Hee, whose deceased Mother was a legendary singer (with negligible fame). Hilarity ensues as Jang Hoon comes to terms with training the woman he blames for his downfall and Choon Hee is faced with the decision to take a leap (or a push, considering her Dad’s debt collectors- played as a funny duo – are on her heels) towards a singing career.
Lore: I feel like Trot Lovers delivered a solid and zippy setup, a cute yet interesting two hour foundation that I can really get behind. Choon Hee is an easy character to like; with her dedication, spunk, and girl from the neighborhood persona I liked her almost immediately. Jang Hoon’s character – the jaded celebrity- is not always easy to pull off (how many times have we seen this same character). So far Ji Hyun Woo is doing a terrific job- I am laughing at the character, with the character, and I don’t hate him. Kuddos.
The supporting cast has yet to really grab my attention, but I guess that can be expected as the first two episodes focused largely on building up the relationship of our main leads (or as I like to think of the beautiful love-hate feelings). I was interested to see how Shin Sung Rok did in his first role since the I-put-puppies-to-sleep-for-fun villain in You From Another Star. Guen Woo is definitely a different type of character than what I have previously seen Sung Rok play, and so far he isn’t horrible. He just isn’t that interesting either. I don’t have too much to say about Soo In’s character because she didn’t really do much. My guess is she will end up with Guen Woo in the end (after the messy love quadrangle that is sure to play out).
Overall I am excited for this drama. I appreciate the comedy and I admired how well the show switched between the heartfelt moments and the funny. It doesn’t hurt that Eun Ji and Ji Hyun Woo have chemistry, I can’t wait to see when these two finally hook up. The writer gave the first two episodes enough buildup to make me care about the story and the characters. Color me excited, and ready for the next fantasy song sequence. Cheers!
Let me first get all my fangirling out of the way: Ji Hyun Woo! I am so glad you made a comeback and dammit if you don’t look good doing it! And I suppose all the boys from You From Another Star plotted together to make Ekun swoon in 2014… Mission accomplished! As seen by Park Hae Jin in Doctor Stranger, Ahn Jae Hyun in You’re All Surrounded, and now Shin Sung Rok with Trot Lovers! *Removes fangirl cap, replaces with drama sensei cap*
Overall I really enjoyed the first 2 episodes. Eun Ji and Hyun Woo deliver the perfect love hate relationship that I needed to see. Though their relationships started with what seems like a series of misunderstandings and Lemony Snicket’s series of unfortunate events, they really are good together in so many ways. I think I will enjoy seeing them come together as a unit and make trot music. I love that Joon Hyun is an a**hole, most of the time it annoys me, but I really do feel like we can be friends.
Unlike Lore, I find the second lead characters very interesting. Why in the world is Geun Woo trying so hard not to take over the company? Why is he so absent minded about keys, phones, bank cards, passwords, etc.? Sung Rok is doing an amazing job at luring my interest in his direction. At the same time I asked questions in regards to Soo In: Are you really a mean girl? Do you love music or what it can get for you? What really makes you tick? Aren’t you being too “fresh” with all these grown a** men, that makes you seem a little…?
All in all I loved that the setup was sweet and to the point, I got so much about the main characters that I have limited questions for their motives and what they are up to. The things we needed to know, we do. The things I wanted to see, I did. And I think I have a new found appreciation for Trot! I hope that the show continues to have this speedy trajectory, comedic relieve in a chaotic reality, and more (always more) Ji Hyun Woo!