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Archive for the ‘Dream High’ Category

I promised a long meaty review so here it is. I am feeling kind of uninspired today so this may turn out less in-depth than I want but here we go anyway. For those who want just a quick and dirty summary of all this, you are welcomed to skip to my [in a nutshell] section below.
This drama raised a lot of eyebrows when it first came out, including mines. What do you mean five rookie idol-actors with no or very little acting experience will star in a High School drama?Honestly, I was expecting a hot mess of a drama but I was pleasantly surprised. Dream High may not be THE BEST DRAMA EVERRR but it is solidly good and it sure did surpass my expectations.
Episodes: 16
Stars: Suzy, Kim Soo Hyun, Taecyon, Ham Eun Jung, Woohyung, IU
For fans of: Fame (the movie), High School Musical (don’t worry it’s better than HMS), Musicals in general
The Story/Plot
If you are expecting a romantic comedy (like I was :/), this drama is not IT. The story gives off a Fame-ish feel with the story focusing on six ambitious teens attending an Arts High School with big dreams of becoming superstars.
Jason (Woohyung) is the golden boy of Kirin High with the charm, looks, and talent of a star that has already debuted and is well established. His problem, however, is his cockiness. Throughout the drama, we see him grow and learn how to be member of a team.

Baek Hee (Ham Eun Jung) is the kind of girl who has been an underdog all her life. She was always overshadowed by Hye Mi, her best friend, and even underestimated by her parents. When she gets admitted to Kirin and Hye Mi does not she finally starts to find strength in herself. However, she is still overwhelmed by her insecurities and starts on a path of lies and shortcuts in order to get to the top. Then, there is the four ‘rejects’ who got admitted to Kirin on special admission and for this reason are considered the ‘bottom bunch’.
Pil Sook (IU) is a sweet girl with a sweet voice but her main obstacle is her obesity. She is Jason’s counterpart and together they provide the drama with comedic and romantic relief.
Song Samdong(Kim Soo Hyun) is the country boy with a musical talent and ambition that surpasses the small town he used to live in. He falls head-over heels for Hye Mi.
His rival is Jin guk (Taecyon), the tough guy with golden morals who has a father who is ashamed of him. Jin guk starts on his path to become a star as a way of rebellion but it soon grows into a dream.
Finally, there is Hye Mi(Suzy). She used to live a rich priviledged lifestyle until her father’s debt took over her life. So, she is forced to give up her dreams of becoming a classical singer in order to enter Kirin, debut, and pay off the debts by becoming an idol. She is somewhat of an anit-heroine however because she has a tendency to look down on others and basically be a b*tch. The story is about how they grow together to become better persons and pursue their dreams. Throw in a few awesome songs and a few cuh-razy dance numbers and tada! you have Dream High.
The Acting
Poor. The acting was pretty poor, sadly. Taecyon was okay but I liked him way better in Cinderella Sister. Maybe it was because his character was too one-dimmensional? I dunno but something was missing there. Ham Eun Jung was actually pretty good. You could really feel how desperately her character wanted to be loved and you couldn’t help but feel sorry for her yet still hate her at the same time.  Suzy did solidly for a rookie but it was still not good enough to be a lead. I guess the reasoning behind casting her was that since her character was cold and mostly unemotional it was okay. But they were wrong. Unemotional characters require more acting skills in order to earn more sympathy from the audience… and not bore them. Kim Soo Hyun was the real star in this drama. I was very moved by his performance and you could basically see his character growing and developing in front of your eyes.
Visual/Music
Well it would be pretty sad if a musical drama didn’t have a killer soundtrack, so of course Dream High has that. It also remakes popular kpop hits such as SNSD’s “Genie”, BigBang’s “Sunset Glow”, and 2AM’s “Can’t let you go even if I die”. The drama itself was very appealing visually because of the palette used and of course the gorgeous face of idols don’t hurt the eyes either.
Additional Commentary
I think what the drama did best was character development. Almost all the characters grew immensely from the first episode to the last. This is not even just restricted to the students. The teachers and the other adult characters grew as well. The plot itself was good albeit repetitive. It seemed there was always something that MUST BE WON or else. But that’s okay because it built up tension and was realistic in the sense that the main characters didn’t win anything they didn’t deserve to win. The end was loose. It was the kind of end that while it wrapped up the main things nicely, a few strings were left hanging here and there. I guess the purpose of this was to open up a possibility for season 2 (which is happening!) yet still provide enough fan service so as to not outrage the viewers if a season 2 hadn’t been made possible.
[in a nutshell]

Things I like
Kim Soo Hyun
the soundtrack
JYP
character development
good life lessons in the story
plot is not too slow but not too fast
plot is original in terms of kdramas
tales of friendship
random references to popular kpop culture
Things I dislike
poor acting
loose ending
love story is on/off
Overall Rating
how much I like it: 7/10
how good it was: 7.5/10
Do I recommend it?
yes

 

 

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OH the irony. I had just finished the drama and I was wondering why the end wasn’t as wrapped up as it is in usual drama and literally like 5 minutes after I am done with the drama I learned this! So it’s not a rumour and it has been confirmed; there will be a second season to Dream High! This season will focus more on the younger generation of students that came later at Kirin High School. So I am guessing Hye Mi’s younger sister (who grows up) will play a role in this. It is aiming to air in January 2012. My question is: will they keep the story in year 2018 or will they do a rewind back at year 2012 and go from there?

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I’m on episode 13 now. Jae-hee-son and Pil-sook are so damn cute I can’t even. :) I like them better than the main pairing and they are my favourite characters right after Samdong and Mr. Debt collector boss. Also, I am so so impressed with the character development happening in this drama. If there is one thing the writer/director knows how to do is to develop characters and make them realistic yet still protagonist-y…. And that is not a word.^^ That is all I am saying for now since I am making a nice long meaty review once I am done with the drama.

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Dream High: Update

Aww. Song Samdong is too cute for words. :)

So it took until episode 7 but I finally feel like Dream High is hooking me in. This episode has it all. It’s funny, it’s inspiring, it’s sad. It’s a perfect episode and there wasn’t a moment of boredom in it. Off to watch episode 8!

 

 

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Right now I’m on Episode 5 of Dream High but I decided to go back and do a quick summary of Episode 1 for people thinking of watching this drama. I always like first episode summaries because you get an idea of what the drama is going to be about but because it’s only the first episode, there is virtually no spoilers (except in the case of Snow Queen but that’s another story). So without any further ado:
Quick(ish) Summary
At the very beginning of the drama, there is a clip of the first Korean singer winning the Grammy awards in 2018 which is supposed to be some kind of foreshadowing (I guess?). The face of the singer is not shown and he/she is mysteriously name K.Then, the voice of the Director of Kirin High School narrates explaining that even though you may give the same lessons to students, you can never determine what paths they will take.                       
The story starts with snobby and cold Hye Mi. She’s a rich girl who has beauty, talents, and an acceptance at Julliards for her singing skills. But, no one, even her follower/best friend, Baek Hee, knows that her dad is in huge debt because his business failed and debt collectors are harassing her entire family. Her dad also left the country leaving her and her sister to fend for themselves. There is a scene where she tries to escape the debt collectors right after singing beautifully in a concert. 
Enter handsome Jin-gook. He is some sort of street kid who hangs around with break dancers in his spare time. He had met Hye Mi earlier when his best friend had tried to steal her wallet. So, he decides to help Hye Mi out and miraculously manages to escape the debt collectors and save Hye Mi (OH Kdrama heroes with super fighting skills how I love thee). Hye Mi is not in the least way grateful. She blames him for stealing a picture of herself from her wallet earlier.  Jin-gook is insulted and this is the beginning of a beautiful love/hate relationship. It is impossible to get rid of debt collectors that easily, however; even in kdrama land. The debt collectors soon take Hye Mi away to their lair. The boss, who fancies himself a ‘thinker’ instead of a ‘fighter’, says that he came up with a plan to get Hye Mi to pay back the money. She shall audition and get into Kirin High School, graduate, and become an idol (that boss is pure evil, I tell you. Pure EVIL). But, Hye Mi looks down on Kirin High. Why attend Kirin when greater things await her at Julliards? Mr. Boss threatens to make Hye Mi’s younger sister work if she refuses the offer and so she is forced to accept. Fast forward a few days. Quite a few people are the audition including Jin-gook  who is only there to support his break-dancing friend. 
Baek He also decided to audition to Hye Mi’s surprise. They perform a duet together but by some strange twist of fate, Hye Mi is rejected and Baek He is accepted. Hye Mi is embarrassed and blames the teachers for not recognising talent when they see it. Then, she remembers what will happen to her if she fails the audition and to everyone’s surprise (the auditions are broadcasted for other students to see) she kneels down and begs the judges to accept her. End scene.
Comment
Honestly, I thought this first episode was kind of lacklustre. The cast shows mediocre acting at best and the plot is cheesy at times (I’m looking at you debt collector boss). Soundtrack sounds pretty cool tough.
Reason why I continued to watch
  • I like the cold snobby main girl character idea. Its been done before but I always enjoy watching the development as viewers see that she actually has a heart of gold etc. etc
  • Interested in how the best friend/follower will change now that she surpassed Hye Mi in something. It should be interesting to watch.
  • My friends are pressuring me to watch it.
  • Pretty characters are pretty.
First Episode Rating
How good it was: 6.5/10
How much I liked it: 6.5/10

 

Watch it on
http://www.dailymotion.com/playlist/x1jbav_imshafix_dream-high-eng-sub#videoId=xgzzh0

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Well… It was alright. I can’t say I’m hooked just yet (if I was I wouldn’t even take the time to type this honestly..heheh ). Some parts were so cheesy and far-stretched– like the debt collector who serves tea to his clients and advises them to follow their dreams, the director concerned about a wound on a dancer etc. Also I heard really bad reviews on Suzy’s (girl above) acting but it’s not THAT bad. She just has a little difficulty transitioning from emotion to emotion (ie: she has a pissed/bored/literallytoocoolforschool look on her face this whole episode). Still, I found her very on point with her character.  Ummm… I don’t really know what else to say because I feel like it is too early to judge and I’ve heard this show gets much better as it progresses. So let’s wait and see, shall we?

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