When Kang Bok Soo was a high school student, he was falsely accused of committing violence and kicked out of school. This was caused by his first love Son Soo Jung and a male student Oh Se ...
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When Kang Bok Soo was a high school student, he was falsely accused of committing violence and kicked out of school. This was caused by his first love Son Soo Jung and a male student Oh Se Ho. Kang Bok Soo is a now an adult, but his life has not gone smoothly. To get revenge on Son Soo Jung and Oh Se Ho, he returns to the same high school as a student. The environment at the school has changed and Kang Bok Soo gets involved in unexpected cases.Written by
Sigh..where do all these adorable Korean actresses come from ?
You know that feeling ?
The one where you've been dazzled by the first few episodes and you dare to hope : will this show be great all the way through ? Will the ending be satisfying or hopeless ?
Despite the odd title ( what about "School Daze" ? or "School Of Love and Pain" ? ), the first two episodes in particular sparkle with wit and creativity. Once the core of the plot kicks in a somewhat darker tone arrives, yet there is still plentiful humour to balance the heavy stuff. And yes, it's very enjoyable from A to Z.
An elite private high school is the setting, with the lead couple having gone there at the same time ( & also fallen in love ). He, played by Yoo Seung Ho, was expelled due to an "accident" involving another student, while she, played by Jo Bo Ah, went back as a teacher. Plus he has to return to school as an adult for various reasons.
I'll spare you any more of the plot, since my reviews are more about my opinion and what led me to it ( and when I read your review, I want to know why you're passionate about something instead of getting a list of this scene followed by that scene ) . In this case, cast, script and direction come together very nicely indeed.
The writers have kept my interest right up until the end as the bad guys try one tactic after another to get what they want ( hmm, I wonder if they succeed ? ). They also make some incisive points about the Korean education system : it's apparently weighted in favour of the rich, and the parental pressure on the kids to do well ( with all the attendant negatives ) sadly seems common throughout East Asia. And since I like to be surprised when I watch something, it was good to see a few of these at various times.
As veteran K Drama viewers know, the lead couple must be likable and also have some chemistry. That is most certainly the case here, with JBA being the stand-out in my view. She's just so full of passion and energy and charisma ( and seems to get the best lines ), dominating the screen whenever she's on. It's a much more rounded ( & yes, conventional ) part compared to her work in "Degree Of Love", where she had to be a spoiled, arrogant rich girl and did it well. And credit to her too for accepting such an unsympathetic part ( the fan forums have been hilarious with the ferocity of their venom ; you'd think she was the Korean Cersei Lannister ! ). Anyway, an actor has to be versatile in order to be taken seriously, and perhaps YSH needs to challenge himself a bit more. He's as adorable here as he was in "I'm Not A Robot", yet that was a more interesting character and I think he needs to be more adventurous. It would've been intriguing to see him play the son of the school owner ( sort of 2nd lead/2nd villain ) and Kwak Dong Yeon is effectively nasty when required. However, we do get to see beyond his nastiness for a change and the show is better for it. Not so for his delightful Mum. She's a complete monster and played with chilling menace. Chun Ho Jin is good as the principled older teacher and all the kids are well played too. Special mention for the delightful and scene-stealing Park Ah In as the hero's "girlfriend" ( to her, not him ), because she lights up the screen ( yes, I know it's a cliché but it's true ! ) whenever she's around. Memo to suits : please give her a lead role !
Problems ? Well, nothing major. The other teachers could've been more interesting; we get a half-hearted love affair but not much else of note. Evil Mum might also have been more fun : of course keep her horrible, yet what about having her drive herself around instead of using a chauffeur ? And make it an old car which keeps breaking down because she'd too stingy to spend, while sonny enjoys his posh new car and mocks Mum's poor choice.
As I said, nothing serious and the show is still very watchable. Is also shot nicely ( as are most K Dramas ),pacing is fine and it has something to say rather than just being a fluffy rom-com.
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