It has been a very long time since I was so invested in a drama that I marathoned it in a day (or single sitting). Yet, once I started My Only Love Song yesterday afternoon, I was absolutely hooked. It was a drama that was on my radar when it was announced, but I’d quickly forgotten about it (mostly because it had issues finding a channel – it was released a week ago on Netflix) until I saw a cute gifset on Tumblr yesterday.
Quick synopsis: An opinionated actress accidentally travels to the past, where she meets the historical figures from the drama she’s filming. They go on adventures, but she struggles between her growing love for On Dal and the fact that in history he’s supposed to marry Princess Pyeong Gang…
Every single character (2 x main, 4 x supporting) was interesting and possessed considerable depth. By the end I was invested in all of the storylines, which is rare for me, especially in a historical drama.
Su Jeong, the lead character, is a top star – famous for acting in dramas and possessing a considerable temper. She often reacts with swearing and a flying kick. While a lot of top star characters aren’t very relatable, Su Jeong is magnificent (also props to actress Gong Seung Yeon) and is not only a fierce character but one who chastises herself for sitting around for the guy she likes, drinking for fun, and seeking out chicken feet whenever possible. She holds her own. Yet she also feels alone – her grandmother (who raised her) passed away years ago, her boyfriend dumps her, and the only people left with her are her manager and agency CEO. She’s neither overly fierce nor overly weak – she balances the two and to me that makes her the most realistic and most easily empathised with character I’ve seen in a long time.
On Dal, the male lead, does whatever it takes for money and often results to cons in order to supplement the savings he collects to save his mother. He starts out as a cold, smirky character, unrepentant about betrayal to a strong, caring friend that can’t betray even if he wants to. It was a lovely transition and, except for a few wrist grabs, managed to remain relatively unproblematic.
Princess Pyeong Gang, her bodyguard Moo Myung and Su Jeong’s manager Sam Yong round out the adventurers. Despite the fate of Pyeong Gang and On Dal in history, there’s little romantic interaction between these two characters (preventing all but 15 minutes of misunderstandings) and it truly allowed the character of Pyeong Gang to shine. Always curious, she was long locked away in the palace and relishes the chance to develop as a person and see the world. The two male characters are lovely but get slightly less prominent development.
Hunting the adventurers is Ko Il Yong, a general and Pyeong Gang’s fiancé (by arrangement, not love). Vain and self-obsessed, he is insulted very early on in the drama by Su Jeong. As he gets more obsessed with finding the friends, he becomes more and more crazy – hallucinating her insulting, mocking presence wherever he goes. Initially a source of amusement, he slowly devolves into the main antagonist of the drama, but never truly becomes frustrating in the way that most antagonists do. Shockingly, he was never a “ugh why” presence on the screen. Great acting.
The two main romances in My Only Love Song were my favourite kinds: both slow-burn and friendship-to-love. The lead romance was both sweet and sad, and probably one of the most passionate I’ve seen in a drama (kissing, lots of kissing) for a long time. The leads clearly have great chemistry. I had anticipated the second lead romance to be one of unrequited love that never would be, but I found that it was really well explored, especially in the last few episodes of the drama.
I won’t spoil the plot overall, because each shift never something that I would have expected and I couldn’t ruin that for others. Long story short: I loved every single thing that happened.
I don’t often write glowing reviews (there’s normally one or two things that bother me) but I don’t think I could find a single uncomplimentary thing to say about this drama. I plan to rewatch this drama very soon.
Rating: 5/5 stars.