There’s nothing really wrong with Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol, it just wasn’t as wow as I had expected it to be. Near the end, I thought it had kind of redeemed itself but then… nope. Now, please don’t get me wrong, Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol is a sweet, enjoyable romance Kdrama. The problem lies in the fact that it was maybe just a little too sweet.
Rich girl Goo Ra-Ra lost her father, her fiancé, and her financial stability all in the same day. After being swindled out of her apartment a short time later, while her life is crumbling before her eyes, this naïve yet optimistic young woman heads for the small coastal town of Eunpo by way of an invitation from a secret admirer known simply as Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol. However, before she is able to meet up with Mr. Twinkle (as she calls him) she accidentally hits a guy on a bicycle with her car and ends up in the hospital for a few days. Since Ra-Ra is completely penniless, she begins to borrow money from the victim of the accident, a quiet young man named Sunwoo Joon, who just can’t seem to tell her no. When she’s released from the hospital, Joon kindly finds her a room to rent, which he pays for, and she realizes that if she wants to pay back the ever-growing debt she’s accumulating she’ll need to find a job. Still in touch with Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol through her social media account, Ra-Ra is able to let him know she is in Eunpo and would still like to get together sometime. Mr. Twinkle is aware that Ra-Ra is a pianist and, since they were unable to meet due to her accident, he sends her a little present- a baby grand piano. Ra-Ra is thrilled with the gift and opens her own piano academy – La La Piano Land. Now all Ra-Ra needs to do is find some students and finally meet the person she came to Eunpo to see – Mr. Twinkle aka Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol.
A few days after Ra-Ra was born, her mother passed away, and because her father missed his sweet wife he often turned on her favorite classical radio station. When his tiny infant reacted to the music he came to the realization that his daughter must have musical abilities. So, when Ra-Ra was only four-years-old her father took her to a famous piano teacher and asked the woman to make his little girl into “an internationally acclaimed pianist” and thus, the Piano Fairy was born. With her father being the chairman of Rara Cosmetics, Ra-Ra was raised in luxury but her privileged life never went to her head. Although some people describe her as immature and quirky, she’s almost never without a huge smile on her face. Ra-Ra is most definitely a glass-is-half-full sort of thinker.
Sunwoo Joon is completely the opposite of Ra-Ra. He mostly keeps to himself and doesn’t talk unless he has to. Joon is very mature and has an impeccable work ethic. From making sandwiches in a small shop to handing out sample skincare products on the street, no job is beneath him. Joon’s home life is also quite humble – he lives in the old, vacated Happy Flower Shop. His best friend in town is a grandpa who seems to have emotionally adopted Joon as his own. This nice young man may come off to others as aloof but it’s probably because he wants to keep his past a secret.
Newly divorced orthopedic surgeon Doctor Cha Eun-Seok, recently left his practice at a big hospital in Seoul and moved to Eunpo to begin a new life. He became Ra-Ra’s physician after her car accident and the more he has come to know this carefree young lady the more he likes her. His ex-wife, however, isn’t thrilled with the idea of him being interested in someone else. Dr. Cha is intelligent, understanding, gentle, loyal, generous… simply an all-around good human being.
The people Ra-Ra befriends in Eunpo are nothing short of lovable…
Jin Sook-Kyeong-Won, the woman who owns and runs Jin’s Beauty Salon, is a sweet lady who takes Ra-Ra into her home and heart. She was raised in an orphanage, became pregnant at a young age, and has raised her daughter on her own.
Jin Ha-Yeong is Sook-Kyeong’s outspoken and feisty 18-year-old daughter. The girl is in her last year of high school, has a tremendous crush on Joon, and insists he is her future husband. She is extremely jealous when Joon begins to give Ra-Ra more help than she thinks is necessary.
Lee Seung-Gi is a kind young man who grew up right beside Ha-Yeong. He has liked her for as long as he can remember and, although it breaks his heart that she only has eyes for Joon, he has never given up hope of her someday thinking of him as more than just a friend. Seung-Gi is one of the lowest scoring kids at school, but Ha-Yeon is even lower.
Lee Soon-Jae, Joon’s surrogate grandfather, is a sweet old man who spends his days tending plants in his greenhouse. He and his wife had run Happy Flower Shop in their younger years but she recently passed away and now he lives alone. Soon-Jae signs up as a student at La La Piano Land simply so he can learn how to play one special song.
There are three ladies, Sook-Kyeong’s best friends, who form a club whose sole purpose is to sit around and wish for a divorce. They are dear women who may argue amongst themselves but always have each other’s back.
Mi-Mi is Ra-Ra’s “ little sister,” a tiny, puffy, white dog that has a more extensive wardrobe than most little girls. You just can’t help but love her sweet face.
Go Ara is darling in the role of Goo Ra-Ra. I can’t imagine any other actress playing that part. Her big eyes and bright smile are so cheerful and yet when she cries it breaks your heart. To read a little about Go Ara you can head on over to my You’re All Surrounded review.
Although Lee Jae-Wook has been in other Kdramas (appearing first in Memories of the Alhambra and going on to have a part in Search: WWW, Extraordinary You, and When the Weather Is Fine) Sunwoo Joon is his first leading role. His one film credit is for last year’s (2019) motion picture The Battle of Jangsari. He won a Best New Actor and Rookie of the Year award for his second male lead performance in Extraordinary You. He also picked up a Male Actor of the Year-Rookie award at this year’s Brand of the Year Awards. I have a feeling Kdrama lovers will be seeing a lot more of this young man in the future.
Forty-year-old Kim Joo-Hun is excellent in his role as Doctor Cha Eun-Seok and jaw-droppingly handsome to boot. I was thrilled every time he came on the screen. He didn’t begin his entertainment career until he had graduated from Seoul Institute of the Arts. He took to the big screen in 2013 with the movie Way Back Home and went on to appear in TV dramas, starting with Squad 38 in 2016. The show’s I’ve seen him in are Encounter, Kill It, Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim 2, and fairly recently in It’s Okay to Not Be Okay. He’s also in the newly released Start-Up, which I plan to begin watching right away. I really love this actor and hope to see him as the leading man in a yummy romance very soon.
There are a few questions tucked inside this drama – Why is Joon so tight-lipped about his past? Who is secretly following Ra-Ra? What are the pills that Doctor Cha consistently takes? And, of course, who is Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol? Now, these aren’t edge-of-your-seat mysteries but they do make us wonder.
I mentioned in my beginning paragraph that I found the story to be a little too sweet. For me, there were too many romantic coincidences and the very end was just over-the-top unnecessary. I would have liked it much better if it had ended ten minutes early. Now, let me be clear – the ending the writer gave it wasn’t horrible, I’m simply of the opinion it would have been better to have ended it before its actual conclusion.
Although there are lots of cute moments throughout the show I can’t, in all good conscience, call it a comedy. Yes, I smiled several times but I never laughed. (I did, however, find myself wiping away a tear at one point.) I think it’s labeled a comedy because it has what I call “animated add-ons.” You know what I’m talking about, right? – speech bubbles over the dog’s head, extra rosy cheeks, twinkly stars… those kinds of things. I usually really dislike that stuff because, in my opinion, it cheapens the show. However, there have been a couple dramas that were good enough for me to not care about the “animated add-ons” (Fated to Love You comes to mind), and Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol can be placed in that category. The silly little bits of unnecessary animation doesn’t ruin the show, I just think it would have been better without them.
Are you wondering if the piano playing looks decent? Well, we often see people actually playing, not the difficult stuff but enough to let us believe the character is talented. I’ll bet Go Ara and Kim Joo-Hun do a little playing in real life, or at least learned a fair amount for the show. I’m totally convinced the young actor who plays Ra-Ra’s youngest student must be an amazing pianist in real life because what I observed looked like real playing to me. Thumbs up on the piano playing acting in this drama. Joon’s guitar playing, however, didn’t look nearly as real. I wasn’t impressed with that at all.
The show is not completely without “oops”, like hair hanging in front of Ra-Ra’s face and then a close up showing it all going down her back. There’s not enough of them for me to feel it’s sloppy filming/editing but I’ll be the first to say people were not being careful.
Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol… those of you who are familiar with music notes have probably already realized that’s the beginning of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. It’s the whole reason Ra-Ra refers to her secret admirer as “Mr. Twinkle.” Since the drama is about a pianist you can imagine how wonderful the music is, from start to finish. The songs on the soundtrack are excellent, especially To Be With You, performed by Ki Hyun of Monsta X, We Already Fell In Love sung by Minnie and Miyeon, It’s Too Hard For Me performed by jeebanoff, Falling In Love sung by April… oh, there’s just too many for me to single out. I suggest you go to YouTube and listen to the entire soundtrack. It’s superb!
The city of Eunpo seemed to be the kind of town I’d enjoy living in. Not too large and bustling but big enough that everything you might need is there. It’s a coastal town so we get to see a few ocean views and one beach scene. La La Piano Land and Jin’s Beauty Salon are the main focus backgrounds of the story. Connected side by side, the buildings aren’t new but are nice enough to use for work and, in Joon’s case, comfortable enough to use as a home.
Did I enjoy Do Do Sol Sol La La Do? Absolutely. Could it have been better? Again, absolutely. Bottom line – it’s a fairly simple love story you’ll probably enjoy. I’m glad I saw it.
Kim Joo-Hun makes Dr. Cha Eun-Seok so lovable
Neighbor characters are very realistic
Music is spectacular
A bit too sweet
Way too many romantic coincidences
I wasn’t happy with the ending
Jin Ha-Yeong is too brash for my liking