The Sound Of Your Heart
마음의 소리
KBS / Naver (2016)
20 Short Episodes
Based On Webtoon / Family Comedy
Grade B+ for Script, A for Hilarious Acting
Korean Drama Review by Jill, USA

A pure delight of a family comedy show, I watched The Sound of Your Heart (2016) on Netflix in 2017. The drama was based on a popular webtoon by Jo Suk (written as a part bio of his own life, and the lead character is also named Jo Suk). I was rounding up on close to 350 K-dramas when I watched this, and I can honestly say I've probably laughed more at this K-drama than any other. This show was just what the doctor ordered to cheer me up.

It felt like Old Home Week with so many familiar faces, including Lee Kwang Soo (Puck) and Kim Mi Kyung who were in It's Okay, That's Love (2014) together, and Jung So Min (Bad Guy, Playful Kiss, Because It's My First Life). She has made amazing progress as an actress, and is especially adept at comedy now, whereas before she was mostly known for melodramas. Funny, rotund actor Kim Da Myung (Misaeng) is always good for a laugh, and I've seen veteran actor Kim Byung Ok in so many dramas by now I've lost count, often playing gangster types or loan sharks, but here playing the father of a dysfunctional (though still pretty wholesome) family.

Then in the first and last episodes we get a cameo appearance by Song Joong Ki who is best friends with Lee Kwang Soo in real life; here Joong Ki was reciprocating the cameo appearance Kwang Soo made in the first episode of his worldwide hit show Descendants Of The Sun).

The Story:

We follow the career and family of an unusual web toon artist, Jo Suk (Lee Kwang Soo), who is unmarried and still living at home with his family when approaching 30. He has never really dated and is awkward around girls. For instance, he'll shyly hand a note to a pretty girl in the library asking her out because he doesn't have the guts to ask her out loud face to face. She reads the note and replies she's only 18, so that's the end of that.

In the beginning of the story Jo Suk is unemployed and seeking to get published for the first time but is advised by a publisher that his web toons are not attractive or interesting (they possess unusual boxy faces). "Why are you doing a toon of an historical subject?" he's asked. "Well it's about Prince Sado", he replies, and is told, "Write something topical like Cheese In The Trap." So reluctantly he does so and picks his own family members to write about: his 52 year old hard working housewife mother Kwon Jung Gwon (Kim Mi Kyung), who loves him but thinks he's a loser (with good reason for quite awhile!), his menial job father Jo Chul Wang (Kim Byung Ok) who is trying to make it as a fast food chicken restaurateur with little luck, and his chubby brother Jo Joon (Kim Dae Myung) who is an overworked and underpaid office worker.

Their family dynamics are constantly evolving to be even kookier than before, episode by episode, making the audience wonder if they'll EVER be "normal". Despite everything none of them really do anything illegal, and they are constantly striving to improve their economic standing, but they are simply misfits and for every two steps forward they make, they fall back three steps.

Then finally Jo Suk starts to have success with his new family oriented web toon called Sound Of Heart and can do more economically for his family. Along with that he runs into his old high school crush named Choi Ae Bong (Jung So Min) and lo and behold she finds him worth dating and they become close enough that he proposes marriage to her, and she agrees! Now she is going to have to live with his wacky family .... can she endure it?

Endearing, sweet, funny, each episode of this series is only between 18 and 25 minutes long so you can breeze through it in half the time it takes to watch a full 20 episode K-drama that usually has episodes an hour or more long (sometimes to the point of redundancy). It took me only two days to complete it and I kept exclaiming, "Where has this K-drama been all my life?" it was that much fun to watch, and to take you out of yourselves and your troubles for a few short hours.

It's no small wonder Netflix picked it up and are blatantly calling it an "Exclusive" when they didn't have anything to do with its production. If you use a search engine you can find bootleg sites hosting it but you won't find it on the main K-drama streaming sites due to Netflix's kidnapping of it. Make some popcorn, a jug of tea, kick up your legs, and have a good time with it. You can't miss with Lee Kwang Soo.