The Weekend Binge: "Soundtrack #1"

The Disney+ four-episode romantic series Soundtrack #1 (2022) stars Park Hyung-sik and Han So-hee. Will longtime BFFs fall in love—or fall apart?

GwenchaNoona The Weekend Binge: "Soundtrack #1" The Disney+ four-episode romantic series "Soundtrack #1" (2022) stars Park Hyung-sik and Han So-hee. Will longtime BFFs fall in love—or fall apart? A GwenchaNoona K-drama Review

Soundtrack #1 is the fourth of five k-dramas released by Disney+ (the others being Snowdrop, Rookie Cops, Grid, and Crazy Love).

 

The Plot


Photographer Han Seon-woo (Park Hyung-sik, Happiness) and lyricist Lee Eun-soo (Han So-hee, My Name) have been friends for almost 20—no, 19 to be exact—years. A budding photographer, Seon-woo is leaving South Korea because of work in two weeks’ time. Eun-soo, meanwhile, has been struggling to write a song about unrequited love for famous artist Jay Jun (cameo by Seo In-guk, Doom at Your Service). Learning about Seon-woo's one-sided love with "Jennifer," she invites her best friend to stay at her house for two weeks to help her write the lyrics.


During that fortnight, will best friends turn into lovers, with a little help from their friends and their art?

The Review


Soundtrack #1 attempts to unravel the misconceptions about unrequited love against the backdrop of a potential friends-to-lovers scenario. Clueless Eun-soo could not translate such feelings into words because she couldn’t fathom such a situation. To her, love is as straightforward as confessing one’s feelings and accepting the response, or something as cute and simplistic as “a small crush.” Seon-woo begs to differ. It’s as frustrating as “touching only the fingertips” of the person he loves. He also finds it sad to be unable to do what he wants for his beloved (not to her). Eun-soo's bigwig composer Kang Woo-il (Kim Joo-hun, Juvenile Justice) even has a say, likening it to the “cold breeze at 4:40 in the morning.” But for me, the best description of unrequited love must be specific and personal, and it comes from a reading of Seon-woo's tarot cards by Eun-soo's mom (Lee Jung-eun, Our Blues): pure love, sincere to the end, and love of a person (seemingly) so far away. And the best response after eight years also comes from the mom’s tarot cards, this time, a reading of Eun-soo's: a new opportunity, a determined heart, and love of a close connection.

Park Hyung-sik and Han So-hee in "Soundtrack #1"

Park Hyung-sik and Han So-hee have incredible chemistry. They portrayed their characters’ friendship well with all the teasing and bickering, and later, the awkwardness and tension that arise from co-habitation hijinks. It was indeed “crazy!”


Park Hyung-sik and Han So-hee in "Soundtrack #1"

Park Hyung-sik transforms with each role. His character is so different from the goofy photography hobbyist student (who also has a workroom) in The Heirs (2013). His Seon-woo shares similarities with his good boy-next-door persona in Happiness (2021) without the action scenes, but with more close-up looks of his expressive eyes. His soul-piercing, longing looks perfectly captured his frustration and yearning.


Park Hyung-sik and Han So-hee in "Soundtrack #1"

Like Park Hyung-sik, Han So-hee toned down her feisty roles in The World of the Married (2020) and My Name (2021) and took on the persona of a determined lyricist on the cusp of her big break. My only concern is that Eun-soo's part could have been written better. Although, there's hardly much room for character growth and backstory with only four 45-minute episodes.


Overall, it's a light, uncomplicated watch with beautiful leads and great chemistry. The opening sequence animation, cinematography, and warm color palette made the series not only visually appealing but also melancholic. Boasting of 13 soundtracks, the show managed to evoke the "feels” through its excellent cast in only a few episodes.

 

Stream If: You want a short but sweet romantic TV series. For a show about unrequited love with friends-to-lovers and co-habitation tropes, it packs a lot of emotions in just four episodes.


Skip If: You want more drama and unpredictability in your romance.


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