10 April 2016

페이지 터너 Page Turner

Title: 페이지 터너 Peiji Teoneo
English Title: Page Turner
Country: South Korea
Language: Korean
Year: 2016
Episode: 03
  • 김소현 Kim So Hyun
  • 김지수 Kim Ji Soo (지수 Ji Soo)
  • 신재하 Shin Jae Ha
  • 예지원 Ye Ji Won
  • 황영희 Hwang Young Hee
  • 김동희 Kim Dong Hee

Yoon Yoo Seul is a talented pianist who often comes in first in major competitions. Her mother is also a pianist who didn't make a name for herself because of financial limitations, but her mother is convinced that her daughter is a genius and she wants Yoo Seul to become renowned internationally.

Yoo Seul was in a terrible car accident, and she became blind because of damaged optic nerves. Her mother is insisting that she can still play the piano even though she cannot see, but Yoo Seul has decided to quit.

Seo Jin Mok is also an accomplished pianist but he always comes in second to Yoo Seul in competitions. He's insecure that he's not talented enough, and he's angry that Yoo Seul looks down on him for not being as good as she is in playing the piano. After a heated altercation with Yoo Seul, he wished something terrible would happen to her.

Jang Cha Shik is a hotheaded athlete who is part of the national pole vaulting team. After a medical check-up revealed that he has injured his spine and he should stop playing sports, Cha Shik is at a loss as to what to do with his life. Cha Shik found out that his birth father is a famous pianist, and he decided to transfer to the best arts high school so he can follow in his footsteps.

There are no vacancies at the school that Yoo Seul and Jin Mok attend, but Cha Shik volunteered to guide Yoo Seul around and to help her with her schoolwork so he was allowed to attend classes.

Page Turner is an interesting drama about three teenagers who have helped one another become better versions of themselves and who have supported one another as they followed their dreams. A page turner is someone who turns the music sheets for a pianist, someone who is helping the star of the performance shine the brightest.

The drama is all about dreams; one is pursuing a dream that was not her own but that of someone else close to her, another is questioning if he should really pursue his dream and whether he really has what it takes to succeed, and another must find another dream to pursue because he has to give up on his previous dream.

Yoon Yoo Seul is incredibly talented in piano, though it's not really something she wants to do but something her mother wants her to pursue. Seo Jin Mok was confident of his abilities as a pianist, but he is having second thoughts about it as a future career because he always coming in second best to Yoo Seul. Jang Cha Shik has known about being an athlete all his life, but he has to find something else to do because he can no longer play sports professionally.

Anyway, it was really strange to see Jin Mok praying that a tragedy would befall on Yoo Seul, simply because it doesn't seem right that one ask a divine god to do an evil deed. I wonder why Jin Mok couldn't just think something bad would happen, or maybe even just wish out loud that Yoo Seul won't play the piano anymore.

Page Turner is an entertaining drama, but it has a lot of flaws when scrutinized closely. The characterization seems all over the place, and I'm saying this as someone who liked the characters.

Jin Mok honestly seemed like a psychopath when he was younger, but it's probably because he was just so used to getting his own way all the time and he wasn't disciplined by his parents. He is no longer violent when he was older, thank goodness.

Cha Shik is riled by what he perceives as insults, and he reacts uncontrollably when he feels that people are looking down on him or on his mother. But when it was Yoo Seul's mother who was insulting him, he remained calm and he sought ways on how to get on her good graces.

Yoo Seul seemed like the typical teenager, cheerful and polite, at the start of the drama. It seems that she's only hostile with Jin Mok, and that's because of their awful history and probably because she blames him for indirectly causing her to live and breathe the piano all the time.

But by the middle of the drama, Yoo Seul is antagonistic with everyone, and not just with Jin Mok. Although she claims that she's happy that she lost her eyesight, maybe that's not true and she's really angry and that is the reason for her aggressive demeanor later on.

Pager Turner is a heartwarming Korean drama despite its flaws. Great acting by the lead actors would make you like the characters and root for them to be happy. I got to know the actor Shin Jae Ha in this production, and I'll definitely keep an eye out for his future projects.

We thought making choices was easy.
However, we soon find out,
Instead of making a choice between the good and the bad,
Choosing between the bad and the worse happens more often.

-- E02: Those Who Have Gained True Friendship

페이지 터너 Page Turner