I had heard of Korean trot music but I had no idea what it was. After watching Trot Lovers I am now familiar with it and I’ve learned I don’t care for it. I’m sure there are loads of people who love it but I’m just not one of them. This Kdrama is full of music and most of it is trot. That actually makes a lot of sense, though, considering the title.
Jang Joon-Hyun is a famous musician and singer, beloved by millions of fans everywhere. He’s quite arrogant and refers to himself as “the god of music.” For publicity reasons, he joins a marathon and cheats his way through it. A young woman, Choi Choon-Hee, observes his cheating and confronts him, demanding he return the medal he received for finishing the run. Thus, a bitter relationship begins. Joon-Hyun is set up in a false sex scandal and his popularity plummets. He tries to think of someone who would hate him enough to do such a thing and ends up blaming Choon-Hee, although she had nothing to do with it. In order to climb his way back to the top, the president of a talent agency/record company, who leaves his son in charge while he takes a short break, makes a deal with Joon-Hyun that he’ll produce a come-back CD for him if he becomes Choon-Hee’s manager and gets her to the top of the charts. Two problems exist – first, he loathes Choon-He, and second, he loathes trot music, which is what Choon-Hee sings. Now let’s add in Jo Geun-Woo, the young, new acting president of the talent agency/record company who has fallen for Choon-Hee, and Park Soo-In, a female singer at the top of her career who wants Geun-Woo. Geun-Woo is a kind man who is willing to patiently wait for Choon-Hee to fall in love with him, but Soo-In is insecure and it doesn’t take long for her jealous behavior to become deceitful, conniving, and dangerous.
Ji Hyun-Woo is a very handsome, talented actor and through his role as Joon-Hyun we get to see his musical talents, which I had no idea he had. It takes a short while to warm up to Joon-Hyun but you soon see his sweet side and fall in love with his personality, arrogance and all.
Choon-Hee is played by Jung Eun-Ji and it was my first time seeing her act as the female lead. She is first and foremost a singer, being a member of the girl group APink, so it’s not surprising I wasn’t impressed with her acting. However, her singing voice is beautiful and powerful. Choon-Hee is a strong and determined young woman who is solely responsible for taking care of her younger sister and paying off her father’s debts. She has a kind heart and is very humble.
Shin Sung-Rok is acting president Geun-Woo. I had not seen him in anything before this but I think he did a great job as a novice businessman. He was fair, intelligent, and kind – all good qualities for a leader.
Lee Se-Young’s character is Soo-In, a talented singer who quickly moves from being an insecure, petty, jealous, spoiled girl, to a cunning, evil, manipulating witch. And we find she’s capable of an even worse character flaw, which I’m not going to reveal. Just use your imagination. Se-Young’s singing voice is very pretty.
As for the soundtrack, there’s loads of music in this drama and, since it’s about singers, that’s not surprising. Spring Waltz was also about music (composer/pianist) but, for me, the music in that drama was excellent and very enjoyable. I also enjoyed all the music in My Lovable Girl. Trot Lovers introduced trot music into my life which I’m glad I’m now familiar with but don’t enjoy at all. Now that’s just my preference, folks. I’m sure tons of you love trot music and, if you do, you’ll enjoy hearing it in this show. It just doesn’t suit my musical taste.
Other than a few minutes on a ferry and some time here and there in the country, Trot Lovers stays pretty much in the big city of Seoul. I never thought, “Wow, that’s pretty scenery”, but that didn’t harm the show at all, in my opinion. I always like seeing Korea’s street markets and they did add that to one of the scenes.
There’s no way I would classify Trot Lovers as a show I didn’t enjoy, it’s just that I wouldn’t classify it as one I loved, either. You really can’t go wrong with a Kdrama that stars Ji Hyun-Woo, though. I give it a thumbs sideways, however, there are many more Kdramas that are more worthy of your time before you sit to watch this one.
Introduction to trot music
LOTS of trot music
Not a gripping plot
No characters you really love