I was actually excited for this new drama, mainly because of Jung Eun Ji playing the lead role. Unfortunately, Trot Lovers didn’t live up to my expectations. That’s not to say that it’s bad, just rather ordinary. There was nothing in the first two episodes that captured my attention or impressed me.
In terms of actors, Eun Ji does not disappoint as the feisty female lead. Though it’s a little weird to hear her without the Busan accent. Ji Hyun Woo is perfectly fine as the obnoxious celebrity character. This is my first time seeing him act, but so far he seems okay. Despite what others have said, I did not feel much chemistry between the two leads, though hopefully that will change as they get closer. Shin Sung Rok was a surprising treat in this show. The last time I saw him he was a psycho, smirking villain, so to see him as the slightly spacey character Geun Woo is hilarious. Overall, I have nothing to complain about in terms of the actors’ performances.
The part that irked me was that the story felt like a mesh of all the different kdramas I’ve already seen. It’s a little reminiscent of Dream High, especially when it comes to the music aspects and the family situation. Obviously, both of the female leads work towards becoming singers. The father in both has left after racking up a huge debt, and they’re forced into different circumstances to pay it off. There is also the celebrity character who falls down on hard times and has to accept lesser work, à la You Who Came from the Stars. Then of course there is the horribly overused cliché in kdramaland, the poor girl/rich manboy couple. I’m sure you could find comparisons with half of the music dramas out there, too.