K-Drama Review: “Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol” Marches To Its Own Tune With Intriguing Plot
Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol proves there is more than meets the eye with its complex storyline and a journey full of surprises.
Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol was a whirlwind journey. Marketed as a feel-good drama full of romance and fluff, it certainly made good on its promise with many scenes to warm viewers’ hearts. The drama also provided surprise mysteries along the way, keeping the show’s momentum going with intriguing conflicts and secrets to be discovered.
However, for all of its interesting storylines, the plot twists came too late and too plentiful, resulting in a series that stretched itself thin attempting to do too much in its sixteen episodes.
TITLE: TO ALL THE GUYS WHO LOVED ME
THEME: ROMANCE, COMEDY, DRAMA
LENGTH: 16 EPISODES
BROADCAST DATE: 07 OCTOBER 2020 – 27 NOVEMBER 2020
MAIN LEADS: GO ARA | LEE JAE WOOK | KIM JOO HUN
HIGHLIGHTS: STRONG ACTING | INTRIGUING STORYLINE
DRAWBACKS: UNETHICAL AGE DIFFERENCE | LATE PLOT TWISTS
- K-Drama Mid-Series Check: “Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol” Creates A Melody Of Its Own Through Its Simple Yet Gleeful Story
Quick Plot Round-Up
Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol follows the story of a talented pianist named Gu Ra Ra (Go Ara), who has a mysterious encounter with Sunwoo Jun (Lee Jae Wook) right before her wedding ceremony. After being left at the altar and receiving news of her father’s bankruptcy and subsequent death, Ra Ra struggles financially and is alone for the first time in her life.
Ra Ra begins to receive messages on her social media posts from a user named, “dodosolsollalasol”. She believes this is a reference to the piano notes used in “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, a song meaningful to both her and her father. In an attempt to find the user, she moves to Eunpo City where they are located.
Here, Ra Ra coincidentally meets Jun once more after hitting him with her car accidentally. After their brief hospital stay, Jun agrees to loan Ra Ra money to help her off of her feet until she can make some of her own. The series displays her life settling down in Eunpo City, growing closer to the residents of the small town, as well as Jun, who has his own secrets to hide.
From start to end, Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol attains its own unique endearing quality that keeps viewers coming back each week. This can be due in large part to the strong acting of its leads. Go Ara consistently charmed viewers with her portrayal as Gu Ra Ra. Naive and demanding at times, the character of Gu Ra Ra straddles a fine line between lovable and tiresome.
Despite this, Go Ara’s performance of the character displays such sincerity that it is difficult to dislike Gu Ra Ra. Yes, Ra Ra can be clueless at times. And yes, she may act privileged unknowingly. However, Go Ara manages to embody her worst traits and still makes her positive traits shine more. Constantly well-intentioned and kindhearted, viewers still root for the character and empathize with her.
Meanwhile, Lee Jae Wook took on his first leading role as Sunwoo Jun in Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol. Ever since the actor’s breakout role in WWW, fans were eager to see him take on the main character. Jae Wook did not disappoint. As one of the main roles, Jae Wook portrayed Jun convincingly, balancing both the character’s own personal turmoil with his swoony scenes as the romantic lead.
Admittedly, Jun’s character contained similar mysteriousness and a nonchalant aloofness as Jae Wook’s prior roles. Yet, Jun was also one of Jae Wook’s most emotional roles to date, displaying his abilities to portray a variety of inner conflicts wordlessly. The role provided the actor with his opportunity to prove his talent as the main lead, demonstrating his star potential.
Moreover, a lot of the drama’s plot relied on his character. Jae Wook carried the burden of both keeping the trajectory of the show moving while portraying his individual storyline excellently.
While the main romance blooming between Jun and Ra Ra captivated the audience’s attention, Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol incorporated other intriguing sub-plots that interested viewers. As Ra Ra moved from the bustling Seoul to Eunpo City, the drama charmed fans with an intimate glance into the lives of her neighbors and the small-town residents.
While dramatic and mysterious, the drama provided a lot of its comedic relief and tender moments through its secondary characters.
Standouts include Kim Man Bok (Lee Soon Jae), the elderly man who allows Jun to live in his building. His heartwarming tale between him and his late-life, as well as his love advice, ushers Ra Ra and Jun’s relationship along. Additionally, his parental guidance for Jun was heartwarming to watch.
Meanwhile, the blooming romance between Jin Ha Young (Shin Eun Soo) and Lee Seung Ki (Yoon Jong Bin) is a light-hearted and fun sight to see. Their playful banter is realistic, and their friends to lovers plot arc was a great reprieve from the other plotlines which were often heavier and riddled with dramatic mystery. Instead, the couple’s scenes were a refreshing breath of fresh air, and both young actors held their own, portraying their respective characters well.
By investigating the lives of Eunpo City residents, Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol created a sense of community, leaving viewers with a desire to revisit it week after week.
Unethical Age Difference
While Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol had plenty of potential, it was soured by the show’s strange revelation that Jun was a minor, still in high school. While age differences continue to be normalized between adults in dramas, which is a great progressive approach, it was uncomfortable to find out that Jun was still a high school student during his blooming relationship with Ra Ra, who is in her early twenties.
Moreover, Jun lied to Ra Ra about his age for the majority of the show. Unbeknownst to her, Ra Ra was forming a romantic connection to an eighteen-year-old. This unethical age difference was quite unnecessary. Though it is clear the writers added the secret of Jun’s age into the show for dramatic purposes, they could have easily kept Jun as a college student who was being pressured by his parents in the same way.
Though the relationship between Ra Ra and Jun was portrayed as sweet and wholesome, their prior interactions before the reveal are tainted by Jun’s deception. Additionally, while the drama attempts to portray Jun’s mother as an over-dramatic and nonsensical villain, its efforts fail. She is simply a mother, worried for her underaged child who ran away from home and begins a relationship with a grown woman.
Late Plot Twists
Up to its mid-series point, Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol established a charming light-hearted drama. While marketed as a romantic-comedy, the drama soon proved there was more than what meets the eye. Various mysteries began to unravel throughout its series run. From the mysterious “dodosolsollalasol” SNS user, Ra Ra’s stalker, Jun’s age, and his eventual leukemia prognosis, the show picked up its pace in the latter half.
However, the show’s attempts to keep the drama level high with various plot twists occurred too late in the series. This made sudden changes disruptive to the viewing experience. The series tried to do too much. As a consequence, it sacrificed character growth as well as proper plot development.
The latter end of the series showed character regression as Jun continued lying to Ra Ra. Additionally, he made several deceptive choices, including faking a new relationship and his death. While this was to “save” her from the pain of his illness prognosis, it was more cruel. However, this seemed counterintuitive to the person Jun was the entire series up until the end–attentive, compassionate, and loyal. As such, the many plot twists that challenged his relationship with Ra Ra were very out of character for him.
Furthermore, with the various random plot twists thrown in the series in the end, the drama failed to properly conclude all of them leaving audiences with many lingering questions.
Why was Ra Ra unable to recognize Jun after their “first” encounter, despite meeting him three times before? How did Dr. Cha give up his feelings for Ra Ra so easily? Did Jun ask his mother to give Ra Ra the impression that he was dead, or did she do this on her own accord?
By being too ambitious, the drama left many unsatisfying open ends.
Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol had great potential with a star-studded cast and an intriguing storyline. However, the drama became too ambitious with its plot twists, resulting in a disappointing second half. What began as a sweet, quirky romance soon transformed into convoluted drama. It is no crime to blend genres, and the most interesting dramas usually do. Yet Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol failed to find a natural balance between romance, comedy, mystery, and drama.
Additionally, the show’s magnetism came from its great performances of cast members. However, as the series conclusion drew near, the characters themselves regressed from their development or shifted to the background to focus on the dramatic plot twists at hand.
While the pacing picked up due to these events, it just seemed unrealistic. Not to mention, to spring a leukemia prognosis onto viewers during the second last episode and attempt to resolve it in the series finale did not provide the main characters with a just ending.
Viewers can appreciate the small-town whimsy the show provided. However, the end made viewers question “was this watch really worth it?” And though the beginning episodes displayed great promise of a wonderful feel-good drama, its tumultuous end gave audiences a reason to second guess if it really was.
The drama is not skippable entirely if drama fanatics are looking for something new and refreshing. Additionally, Lee Jae Wook’s first main role is not something fans will want to miss. However, many should brace themselves for a confusing and disappointing parting from the otherwise wonderful set of characters.
Image Source: KBS2
Video Source: The Swoon
Streaming Site: Netflix