Posted in Commentary, Drama Series

[Drama] Dream High: Final Thoughts

I realized one thing after watching a drama episode on TV and reading the recap afterwards: there are scenes (crucial or not) that were cruelly cut off by the TV channel. At times commercials barged in abruptly and choppily, but never thought they’d further reduce the on-air time. Did they do this to previously broadcasted dramas as well? Soo…I felt betrayed not to watch (for example) Pil-sook’s going back-and-forth over Jason’s phone or some of Jin-man’s airheaded acts. I don’t know what makes them cut out certain parts of an episode – how to decide what gets cut or not? – since each and every one of it makes up the drama as a whole.

Read that Dream High has a special. Thought that it’s a special episode, a continuation of episode 16, turns out it’s a concert instead. Haven’t watched it, but I think I’m on good ground to talk about DH without taking into account the special concert.

Now…how to start? ‘kay, I assume you readers have finished the drama (if NOT, this post contains ending-discussion, so… choice is yours if you choose to proceed) so I’ll begin with delving into my theory as to why it’s Sam-dong and not Jin-gook, as promised. Aforementioned, the posters and opening credit kinda gave it away, but I kept my hopes up for plot twists. Unsure if that’s the so-called rule in kdramaworld (it seems so in my country) that the main leads are the ones appearing first in the opening credit. Meaning, the first two to appear on-screen are the main leads. Since Sam-dong did right before Jin-gook, I believed that it’s Sam-dong. The same theory applies to who is K – it’s hence either Hye-mi or Sam-dong. Unless scriptwriter wanted to do other characters justice, wherein the main leads don’t always get everything.

Yes, DH did a good job to get us to expect (and hope) the otherwise. The leads’ triangle is particularly complex that viewers are split into half for each of the male leads. There have been many dramas establishing the concept that first-love doesn’t equal last-love. (Baker King’s end pairings gave me the most pleasant surprise so far). Besides, love isn’t really the main issue here – they’re just high school kids! – which tackles more on personal growth, friendship (and rivalry), dreaming high, and pursuing that dream.

DH is a gratifying youth drama with refreshing plot and the right amount of crack and drama; it’s also great in doing reversals or echo scenes, though that doesn’t mean that it’s thoroughly new. It still fell into clichés and overused (dramatic) scenes. The one I hate the most is the bus-chasing in Episode 15. Aren’t we tired of seeing a character chases after a moving bus, bawl-yelling, unable to catch up to it (who can outrun a speeding four-wheel vehicle?) then crumbles to the ground in the middle of a busy street, weeping the lost, only to find that other party isn’t actually riding on that bus? I am. Thus, sorry to say, that scene didn’t impress me – though Sam-dong did.

Furthermore, the last two episodes were the anti-climax for me, thus were rather weak compared to previous episodes. What’s left was for Hye-mi to face her feelings toward Sam-dong (and Jin-gook for this fact), how they’ll end up together, and who K really is. Nevertheless, I’m happy that each character grasps success in their own respective ways; that success doesn’t always mean being on top or number one, or to win or perform at Grammy Awards for a singer in that sense. Getting one may be the highest honor a singer can get, but that’s not the aim or target. We cannot say that Baek-hee or Pil-sook has ‘lesser’ dreams (or is less successful) just because they don’t become superstars like the other four. Everyone deserves to define their own success, and is already successful once they’re content and comfortable with their current standing regardless of what the world says.

Won’t overanalyze things since I am no good at that. Even so, I agree that DH’s biggest flaw is the acting. Yet it also pleased me that Kim Soo-hyun was the main lead. Boy, he’s great. He together with Teacher Kang (Eom Ki-joon) was the motor of emotion behind DH. (Albeit the show-stealers go to Jin-man who is hilarious as hell and the Milk Couple who is too cute for words – I was caught gaping while watching these two that my dad said my jaw would drop entirely *embarrassinggg…*). Without them, I don’t think DH can deliver.

Javabeans stated that had Suzy and Taecyeon been better actors, Dream High would have been a better drama.” Those two were arguably the weakest though I simply think had Taec been better, it would’ve only made us fall harder for Jin-gook, root firmer for him, and bleed more over his bighearted leeway. Sniff. It’s really Cinderella’s Sister take 2 for Taec’s role. I totally understand that feelings can never be forced upon, but for his character(s) to be that understanding of the girl’s heart-sway is…ridiculously sweet. Can he get the girl in his next project?

Lastly, been contemplating whether to include this actually, I disfavor Hye-mi’s (or Suzy’s) cover of Only hope. Secondly because I liked Mandy Moore when I was a teenager, and firstly because A Walk to Remember is my ultimate All-Time-Favorites Movie. None has come close to Mandy’s rendition of Only hope, soul-, vocal-, or performance-wise. Sorry *with a deadpan expression*. Hehe. NOW I miss AWTR again *go to rewatch it for the umpteenth times*

_
Dream High rating: 4.5/5 (now DH’s on par with Maou)
Production: 2011
Cast: Kim Soo-hyun, Suzy (Miss A), Taecyeon (2PM), Ham Eun-jung (T-ara), Jang Woo-young (2PM), IU, Eom Ki-joon, Lee Yoon-ji, Park Jin-young
Genre: K-drama, Youth drama-musical (16 Episodes)

end note:
rewatched Dream High in Korean with English subtitles. All I can say is, it deserves 4.5/5 star.

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

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