Posted in Commentary, Drama Series

Dream High: First-half Impression

“Your drama has a long way to go before it’s over. So don’t force yourself to go quickly. 
If you go slowly, you can see a lot more, in more detail, than the people who go quickly.
 If you ask me who would grow more between those two, I’d say it’s the one who goes slowly and sees a lot.”
~ Kang Oh-hyuk; DREAM HIGH (K-drama) Episode 8 ~


Are you sure he’s not talking directly at me? He got me right there. He’s been saying many poignant statements, I’m not discrediting those, which send shivers down my spine every time, but that last statement is… beautifully personal to me. Thus, I thank the scriptwriter for composing that up and javabeans for the translation. The nerdy underdog teacher has become so charming by now.

Yeeshh… it’s irritating to miss a lot of episodes of a drama that I’m currently in love with. You know I still depend my drama entertainment on what’s aired on tv. I’m quite surprised that the channel airs Dream High this fast considering it’s broadcasted in Korea only early this year – and more pleasantly surprised of how good the drama has been so far. And it’s damn good, I must say. I read what I’ve missed on dramabeans, as usual. (I’ve been consulting this too much! What can I say? They write well and do a detailed recap with many screencaps. I love to read their comments and thoughts as well as the translation notes. My little guilty pleasure =p) It’s thus graveling to miss so many sweet moments each episode has – arrgghh!!

But yeah, I have to choose between drama fantasies and real-life matters; Real-life has to prevail. I know I can stream it when my bandwidth is big enough or buy the DVDs – but I love it so much as per now. I’ve never felt so excited about a drama since Baker King, which also had me make a mental note not to watch a currently airing drama anymore – because the waiting time for the next installment WITH subs is killing me if the drama is addictive.

DH didn’t hook me on its opening episode like Maou, Baker King, and Cinderella’s Sister did, but it was enough to pique my interest. It hooked me by the third episode. It also moves on the perfect pacing for youth musical drama imo. I dunno why or what’s in it that fixates me, but I’m spellbound. The high-school drama? The cast? The cute couples and sweet moments? Or all of them?

I’ve watched till 9 so far and I’m loving it so much that if it continues to go on like this, I’ll add it to my all-time-favorite dramas the second the last scene of the last episode rolls off. Just don’t (DON’T!) turn the way Cinderella’s Sister did. So much potential that it’s a shame to end like that. Yet DH has me (and other viewers) flashback to the good ol’ days of CS, which I loved till episode four, by familiar scenes or parody, as noted by girlfriday well:

Hye-mi stomps outside and raises her arm to throw her shoe, but Jin-gook stops her. Calmly, he tells her to fix her shoe if it’s broken, and stoops down to put it back on her foot. I’m having flashbacks to the early days of Cinderella’s Sister, back when the boys were cute and smiley and ran around turning people’s shoes around. Sigh. 

THEN on episode 6 they do a parody of a CS scene (when weary Ki-hoon beckons at Eun-jo to come closer while calling, “Eun-jo ya…”) with Yesung’s It has to be you blaring on the background – I know I’ve seen the hand gesture somewhere yet the song strangely didn’t quickly register in my mind. Only when Hye-mi said “Hye-mi ya… is what he called me” did I realize that it’s from CS — the peak moment of the episode drama before everything dwindles down. Yeah, it happens only in Sam-dong’s world of imagery though (one random note: in CS, it’s Ki-hoon who eventually leans toward Eun-jo whereas in Sam-dong’s make-believe it’s him who hugs Hye-mi).

The parodies (if you’re familiar with the objects) are funny. I say something’s funny when I have a good laugh watching them (even with dubbing) or when I find myself giggling like a 16-year-old just by reading the recap after watching the episode (well, I’m not that far from 16 xp). I don’t understand some of the charades (I understand them better – or laugh even louder – after reading the recaps as both JB and GF would elucidate what they are) as I am not really familiar with K-pop world (news, gossips, artists, songs, etc). However, DH has lots of hilarious moments that are not to be missed. I enjoy tons of giddy-giddy moments that I wish my parents weren’t around as I had to keep my face fairly straight (e.g. during underwear chasedown, F4-ish entrance, and the above CS parody) lest getting quizzical stares. I cross my fingers for the drama not to become too tense and serious toward the end.

Another thing that I love is how it keeps ‘who the real male-lead is’ a mystery. The poster and opening credit kinda give it away but I won’t stop hoping for twists – I am a sucker for twists as long as they don’t go too far it sucks – that the second-lead would finally get the girl. I also love the fact that the two boys like the girl first – because it usually goes like this in dramas: main-lead is a jerk, second-lead is the angel; the girl tends to fall for the guy whom she meets with first or with whom she shares a childhood memory; the second-lead likes the girl before the main-lead and before the girl likes the main-lead; it’s the second-lead that make the main-leads realize they like each other. Yet it isn’t really clear-cut in DH (yet).

Jin-gook’s a hottie while Sam-dong’s a cutie. Hye-mi meets with Jin-gook first and later they turn out to be having childhood memory and similar broken home familial background – jerky fathers. But Sam-dong also offers similar white-horsed knight-y protection. None of them is a jerk, both of them like Hye-mi. I am so torn between the two. I cannot pick favorites that I scrape up a win/win solution: they look so good and adorable together; can’t they just stay like that forever, as friends? I can totally accept that ending. Just stay abstains this time, let everyone’s heart unscathed, will ya?

*

To address Pil-sook’s transformation: yes, I hate the notion that girls need to be slim to be considered appealing to guys. I also hate guys gaping at newly transformed girls (by makeover or the likes) whom they never set eyes on before in dramas/movies. That’s ridiculously not true! Pil-sook is chubbily cute, is she not? But to shed 30 kgs in 200 days (1 kg a week) is accomplishable I must say.

For I-can-see-their-breath issue: I’ve been wondering about that too. It’s pretty outdoor (well, for those who live in tropic like me, it is) but not indoor. I began to question why the star-grooming school (they sure have tons of money, no?) doesn’t even have heaters on. Poor students! Maybe the freezing weather somehow forestalls them to act to full capacity. Anyhow, it’s pointed out in the comment section that the actors indeed had layers of jackets to keep them warm – as seen in behind-the-scenes. But as the heaters were apparently too noisy, PD had to turn them off during filming. That explains the vaporous breath within the school premise although it remains unsightly to watch.

Acting-wise: Taecyeon’s is okay. He wasn’t bad in CS either. Thus Idk why people bashing on his acting front. Suzy is stiff and needs to emote much more but as the story goes I begin to see that it may be part of the character; that Hye-mi is rather cold, flat, and unexpressive, like how she struggles to sing with emotion. Either way, I think it’s tolerable considering this is her first role. IU portrays Pil-sook’s naivety and cuteness effectively. Woo-young’s and Eun-jung’s are passable. So far Kim Soo-hyun is clearly the strongest. Nevertheless, I may revise this after the drama ends or when I get my hands on the RAW with subs version – taking into account their lines deliveries.

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I blog sometimes, gush ofttimes, snark all the time.

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