Tag Archives: daniel choi

School 2013 – episode 16/ overall thoughts

3 Feb

We feel sad that this drama is over. 😦

 Aside from finding and loving Answer Me, 1997, no drama has really captured our attention the way we hoped for in recent months. This drama filled a void that reminded us why we tune in to Kdramas and why we keep coming back for more.

Sure the drama was far from perfect. There was some seriously dodgy acting from a number of actors and there were a couple plotlines that were executed quite poorly but as drama lovers for a number of years now, we know that some of our favourite dramas are not always technically the best. Ultimately the good far outweighed the bad in this drama and that is why we returned every week.

We were quite pleased with the way the drama ended. The drama could have gone down the obvious path of trying to please everyone with the perfect, happy and convenient ending but instead we got quite a realistic but hopeful conclusion to a refreshingly honest portrayal of school life.

The teachers realised that they can’t save everyone but they won’t give up trying and the kids learnt that in life some things don’t come easily but at the same time nothing is impossible.

The drama took a gamble by not having any romantic links and as the worst type of type of romantic, we were at first disappointed by the idea but after a few episodes we realised that maybe the introduction of romance would have complicated an already structured and plot driven drama. There were hints of romance between Ha Kyung and Nam Soon to keep us satisfied and of course we adored Teacher Jung and Kang together! Yes, we admit it we would have loved a bit of teacher romance but we’re not going to complain too much.

Reasons to tune is:

1. Bromance

Of course it’s all about the most perfect bromance we have seen on TV in forever!

Yes, Nam Soon and Heung Soo are the main reason why we returned every week. This is a great example of a friendship that is both believable and heartfelt. They represented misunderstood bad boys like no other drama has done in a very long time. Their relationship was fractured, had depth and made us fangirl like lunatics. They captured our attention and we were completely and utterly invested in their story. We cared so much for them as individuals but we couldn’t wait for them to get back together and be happy. We loved how the writer unfolded their story slowly and brought them together in a realistic and authentic way. It was far from easy and their reconciliation is one we feel will take time to heal completely but like the rest of the drama, we are left hopeful that everything will work out one way or another.

Boys – you will be missed, we loved your broody, angsty ways. Who needs romance when these boys loved each other this much!?

2. Jang Nara and Daniel Choi – please, please can you just get together in real life!

This is the second drama we have seen them in now and they remain as cute as ever.

Okay, now we’ve got that out of our system, we have to say that these two actors did a wonderful job of keeping the drama on the straight and narrow. As we mentioned earlier the acting is at times quite poor but these two characters did a brilliant job of portraying complicated, passionate individuals that are tested time and time again by rotten kids and horrible senior staff. We appreciated the fact that the writer didn’t make them super heroes that fix everyone’s problems and are worshiped for being pure awesome at the end. Instead we got two characters that tried their best and had to really earn the respect and support of the kids. At times the lack of support from the kids was frustrating to watch but it was realistic. Not all kids appreciate how much work the teachers put in or even realise how much they care. That is life.

The hopeful ending where the teachers are waiting for Jung Ho was a really sweet way to end the drama.  It was an open ending that highlighted the best in both of them. Teacher Jung will never give up on the kids but now knows that you can’t fix all of them and Teacher Kang realised that there is more to being a teacher than their end results. The ending presented the bittersweet reality of school for a teacher and kept true to the feel and message the writer wanted to present.

3. Friendship

It was nice to see a number of friendships portrayed in various characters in this drama. We’ve touched on this before in other posts but we love a good friendship as much as a OTP. Sometimes dramas get obsessed with the OTP that they forget to give depth to friendships in dramas or don’t even bother to present any at all. As a result it’s nice to see the power of friendship and how you can get through tough times with the support of good friends rather than just your OTP.

The drama highlighted that friendship isn’t always black and white and they can be hard work at times but they are worth fighting for in the end.

4. Angst

Tune in for some lovely, lovely angst! The drama had some epic scenes that often come out of nowhere and reminded you exactly why you tuned in every week. We promise you won’t drown in the angst but there are some scenes that will make your heart ache in the best way possible.

“Do you think what I just gave up right now was school? What I threw away wasn’t school. It was you, you punk.”

Overall thoughts:

The drama takes a couple episodes to find it’s pacing but stick around you won’t regret it.

How much we liked it: 9/10

How good it is technically: 7/10

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School 2013 – 10/11

16 Jan

Last week’s episodes just killed us with its perfect, perfect angst. Seriously, we didn’t think the drama could top the previous week’s effects but how wrong were we. Our hearts ached in the best way imaginable as we watched Nam Soon and Heung Soo take steps to rebuild their fragile relationship.

I’m not a victim. And Go Nam-soon isn’t an assailant. We’re just… friends. Friends who were just unlucky… and now, we’re in the middle of working it out.

school episode 11 

We love how the drama has shown the parallels between their happy past and their current state. The small snippets of the good times make the slow steps of progress in the present all the more precious to watch. Up until this week all we wanted from these two characters were for them to fight it out, cry, hug and get over their anger. Our impatient hearts thought it couldn’t take much more but the wait was so worth it. The waiting, the intense angst, regret and anger between the two characters was handled so well. It wasn’t rushed, it wasn’t over played and as viewers we couldn’t have been more pleased. Our hearts were literally lodged in our throats as Heung Soo and Nam Soon talked out their pain and hurt from the incident. The scene was just so electric. We love how Heung Soo is mostly all eyes and ridged jaw line but to finally hear his pain and feelings was so worth waiting 11 episodes and Nam Soon, our beloved Nam Soon was all kinds of wonderful in last week’s episodes. We were so damn happy that everything was finally working out for him and then for him to be asked to leave school was the perfect angsty twist to the story.

 school ep 10 1

School ep 10

The lunch scene was another example of perfect angst in motion. Nam Soon asking Heung Soo to have his potentially final lunch with him was such a sweet moment. We loved watching him cry as they silently shared their meal together. Some of the best scenes in dramas need no words what so ever and this is just another example of what good writing and acting can accomplish.

school episode 11 - 2

We wondered what needed to happen to allow these two characters to make up. We really feared it would be something weak like locking them up in a room or making them play basketball together but the final push was the idea of Heung Soo losing his friend again. Sighs*/ Swoons* – Could it get any more bromantic between these two characters?  It was just so perfect. Although now that they’re on the right track to friendship, we’ll be honest, we’re going to miss the angst ridden drama between the two characters.

We thought we were satisfied with just the development on the bromance front but then we watched the last five minutes of episode 11 and we swear we died and went to drama heaven.

school episode 11 - 1

school episode 11 - 3

How swoon worthy is this quote:

Because… you’re the teacher I wished I could be. You… are the teacher I tried so hard to be but couldn’t become… you are that teacher.

Yes finally, Teacher Kang has read our minds and said everything we’ve been waiting to hear from him since episode 1. Yay!

school episode 11 -4

This was the sweetest non love confession we’ve seen in a very long time.

All we have to say is: ABOUT BLOODY TIME TOO.

The professional breakdown of Teacher Jung was so hard to watch. She’s such a lovely teacher that tries so damn hard to please those ungrateful brats and so to watch her be rejected not only by her peers but by the students was just too cruel. We actually like the fact that she gave up. It was frustrating watching her suffer every week. A normal person wouldn’t have continued on under such circumstances and if this drama does one thing well, it’s definitely the realistic characterization of Teacher Jung. She makes mistakes, gets upset and angry and we think we love her all the more for those qualities because we can relate to her on a basic level. We really liked how the writer slowly broke her spirit over the weeks, it made her decision to quit have a bigger impact on us as viewers and yes, it got us good! We can’t tell you how pleased we were when Teacher Kang chased after her.

We demand HEAs all around for our favourite teachers and bromance – anything less is unacceptable!

Can’t wait for this week’s offerings 🙂

Now, we just need to squeeze in a few hours to binge – sleep deviation or anti social behaviour should do the trick. hehe.

School 2013 – episodes 7-8

29 Dec

We loved episode 7!!!

Oh, Nam Soon just when we thought we couldn’t love you any more, you had to go and give up school for the sake of your friend.

school 2013 1

school 2013 2

For the last two minutes of episode 7, we sat there with a lump in our throats as we watched perfect angst and heartbreak play out right before our eyes. We knew that school would be the thing Nam Soon gave up but we thought it would be for something else like his future, his education ect but for him to state so sadly that what he was really giving up was Heung Soo broke our hearts a little bit. Seriously, these guys are nailing their OTP moments. Their relationship is so fascinatingly complicated and fractured  that you wonder how the hell will they be friends again? Then you see how they just can’t keep away from each other and that they care far too much when they claim not to and you know that it will all be alright in the end…hopefully. Damn it, episode 8’s cliffhanger was so great, we can’t wait to see what happens next!

Nam Soon’s speech in front of everyone in class was so somber and heart achingly sad as he confessed to what really happened between them all those years ago. Heung Soo’s silent response was just perfect. The atmosphere in the room was so tense with shock that his response or lack of a response had a far greater impact than if he shouted and screamed his way through the scene.  You could see his pain and rage plastered across his face as he silently listened to Nam Soon speak frankly about his actions. We like how the writer didn’t sugar coat his actions. Nam Soon was angry and immature and he did something that he would regret forever and regardless of what he does now there is no way of rectifying the results. It was one of those great OTP moments that you wait for in the drama. The drama had been leading up to this moment for weeks now and to finally hear the brutally harsh circumstances that broke them up and clearly see how hard it’s been for both of them was brilliant viewing and certainly didn’t disappoint in any way.

We still love Teacher Jung especially because she’s old school and burdensome!

school 2013 3

Another week and another chance for Teacher Jung to be treated like shit by her boss and half the school but she still hasn’t given up on these rotten kids. It’s hard not to root for a woman so resilient.

We loved the scene where Teacher Kang turned the tables on the Head teacher and blackmailed her into allowing Teacher Jung to keep her tutor role. Yay for someone sticking up for Teacher Jung for once!

We like how Teacher Kang hasn’t completely reformed his selfish ways yet as highlighted in his decision to expel Heung Soo from school but you can see shades of improvement. We liked how he intervened to keep Nam Soon in school and he tried to make Heung Soo and Nam Soon make up. His scenes with Nam Soon always make us smile because you can clearly see how they don’t like each other but keep getting entangled in situations together. It was nice to see Nam Soon get a pep talk from someone other than Teacher Jung for once.

Other thoughts:

We still want Jung Ho to die – Please drama don’t redeem this pathetic excuse for a character!

We loved Ha Kyung’s scene with Heung Soo when she told him to stop being a idiot and stop smoking. The girl is fearless and so damn cool.

When are Nam Soon and Ha Kyung going to make out already!?

School 2013 – General thoughts up to episode 6

23 Dec

It took six episodes but we finally get all the fuss surrounding this drama.

We would literally sit there groaning and moaning our way through each episode. We were frustrated by everything and everyone on screen and yes,  before you ask we haven’t a clue why we stuck around all this time!

Have you ever watched a drama that frustrated you to no end but still you kept coming back for more? For us it’s the potential of what the drama could offer and our stubborn nature that kept us coming back for more and it looks like it’s finally paid off because we thoroughly enjoyed episode 6. The previous episodes had slowly drip fed us information about the characters and the plot which we found really annoying. However we found that we could finally appreciate the technique as the plot and characters all came together perfectly in episode 6, allowing us to relate and engage with the drama in a way we haven’t before. 

At first we were thrown by the darker nature to this school drama. It felt like it wanted to be a Japanese ‘human drama’ crossed with your typical crazy Taiwanese teen drama (think: Mars) but unfortunately it wasn’t quite hitting the mark. It felt at times flat; none of the characters were interesting enough to carry the drama on their own and neither the writing nor the acting was strong enough to keep us engaged. The thing is, it wasn’t bad but it just wasn’t great either. We knew that it could offer more and we didn’t want to give up on it too soon and regret it later. Also, we confess that we’re on holiday now and so have a little more time to indulge our habit. Trust us, if we tuned in a couple months ago, we would have dropped this drama like a hot potato and moved on without any hesitation what so ever.

Things that worked for us and keep us tuned in every week:

The real OTP of this drama is actually a bromance.

Heung Soo and Nam Soon forever.

school 1

Their relationship is probably more intense and damaged than your average OTP in other Kdramas. Like all the best OTPs, they have excellent chemistry together and their feelings for each other are intense and written all over their faces. Naturally like any good Kdrama, the OTP have saved each other from a couple tough situations. Nam Soon has put himself on the line to ensure that Heung Soo doesn’t get in trouble and of course the OTP’s parents disapprove of their relationship as we witnessed with Heung Soo’s sister giving Nam Soon a dressing down and warning him to stay away from her brother. It just wouldn’t be a Kdrama if one of the OTP’s parents didn’t hate them.

school 5

We like how their relationship is so complicated and has that secretive nature to their shared past. What happened to make Nam Soon leave behind his bad boy days??? Their relationship is one of the main reasons why we keep coming back for more. We want to know what happened and how they will be friends again, like right now!

Teacher Jung – we love you.

Sure, she’s no Gokusen and all the kids and staff take advantage of her but we love her.

She’s one of the few characters in this drama that has layers to her personality. She follows her heart and her ethics to ensure that she does the best she can by these rotten kids that don’t know how good they have it with a teacher like her. We like how the drama constantly highlights the fact that the majority of the teachers don’t actually care about the kids but instead think of them as a statistic. We love her because she clearly suffers but never gives up on the kids.

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She’s so small and you can clearly see she’s intimidated by some of the kids (Jung Ho) but the woman never backs down. She’s got guts and always sticks up for her kids despite being vulnerable and at risk of getting sacked.

The scene that cemented our love for this character has to be the scene where she physically punished the kids by slapping their hands and then Teacher Kang drags her away and calls her an idiot for caring so much. It was just such a horrible scene to watch. She was so hurt and upset by the kids that she totally lost the plot. Jang Na Ra has done such a great job of portraying such a likable but complicated character.

Teacher Jung and Teacher Kang – a OTP in the making.

school 3

At first we spent quite a few episodes hating Teacher Kang and his arrogant, carefree way. Also we hated the fact that he came in and made Teacher Jung look even more pathetic. However, the slow development of his character has allowed him to grow on us. We like how Teacher Jung has rubbed off on him and he’s found himself caring about the kids and taking her side when others take advantage of her. We love how they’re co-tutors and spend the majority of the time bickering like kids. We look forward to them teaming up and rescuing the kids in upcoming episodes and of course falling in love. Heeee.

school 6

Nam Soon – can we keep him?

A bad boy trying to make good… a drama troupe we love.

When so much of the drama failed to work for us, this character never failed to keep us engaged. He’s complicated and vulnerable, with a shady history and a good heart – what more does a girl want? He manages to evoke a number of feelings from us as viewers. We are at once confused and a little disturbed by his past but at the same time we wish life would give him a break. We want the bullies to leave him alone, we wish that Heung Soo would forgive him and (make out) make up.

School 7

He just wants to graduate school in one piece, leave the poor guy alone!

Things that keep us groaning and moaning every week.

Most of the characters in this drama drive us nuts.

Yep, there are so many 2D characters in this drama. The smart but pressured girl, the bully with the family issues, the silent rebel that wants to be good and the nerdy geek that needs protecting… the list goes on.

Frankly we spent 6 episodes cursing like an angry sailor every time Jung Ho was on screen. How has that kid not been thrown out of school yet? He attacked a teacher and is generally a piece of crap that needs to be sent to jail. We have a feeling that the drama will try and manipulate our feelings but we’re sorry, we don’t care that he has a rubbish home life, he needs to go immediately! – Rant aborted.

school 8

Bad acting: The majority of the actors in the class room have terrible acting skills. They over act their way through most of their scenes and we find ourselves sitting there rolling our eyes at how terrible it is to watch. The actors should take notes from the cast of Shut up Flower boy band because they are failing miserably.

Unbelievable scenarios: The importance of cram schools is something that is completely lost on us and our education system but seriously the fuss that was made surrounding Ha Kyung lying to attend that elite cram school was ridiculous. The kids and the school turning on her was so stupid. Who really cares????

Do we even need to mention how any story revolving around Jung Ho is frustrating?

As you can guess from this post, this drama is a mix bag of potentially awesome and downright terrible. However after completing episode 6, we found that the characters have grown on us, we can look past some of the negative elements that drove us mad a couple weeks ago and we actually look forward to seeing what happens next. 

Heres hoping we haven’t spoken too soon…

The Musical: 1-2/ First impressions

19 Sep

Reasons we tuned in:

Daniel Choi- yep, Baby faced Beauty made fans out of us for this Kdrama actor. Plus if he’s half as lovable in this as he was in his last drama- we’re game.

Who doesn’t like a drama where people are striving to make their dreams come true? A bit of cheese is never bad for the soul.

It’s only once a week and its pre -recorded.  A Kdrama that is pre-recorded is a rare thing but one we hope proves to be a winner. Seriously, it can’t be just us that find major production changes mid recording a nightmare to stomach. We hate drastic personality changes for the leads, a bright cheerful drama suddenly becoming a weepfest and who likes watching the actors looking like zombies by the end of it….? shudder*  We’re hoping that The Musical manages to survive some of these issues and maybe just maybe other dramas will follow suit and take the risk with a pre-recorded drama.

 
First impressions:

The first episode was rather slow if we’re honest. It’s understandable as it has the enormous challenge of establishing the storyline, introducing the characters and most importantly making a viewer want to tune in the following week rather than the next day like most Kdramas. Despite it being a tad slow, we liked it and we tuned into episode two without much hesitation. We have to say that episode two was much better.

For us to like this drama we needed the following things to happen in the first couples episodes:

  • We needed to care about the leading lady- her desire to be an actress was the key factor that would make or break this drama for us.
  • We needed to like the OTP together and apart.
  • We needed to see the potential in the storyline.

We’re happy to report we got all of the above and more!

Go Hye Sun as the leading lady is quite endearing, we worried that she would be unbearable and overact but actually we like her as this character a lot. Unlike other Kdramas where the lead is incredibly talented and just hasn’t got her chance to shine yet- Eun Bi could be you; her story is so much more relatable and realistic than the typical Hollywood story. This girl has a lot going for her already; she’s smart and from a loving family- she could be a doctor if she wanted, it’s not the case that her talent is all she has. We really like the fact that it’s not come easy for her. She is neither outrageously talented or had the chance to show what she’s got. She’s been rejected in every audition that she’s had and her singing is nothing to write home about but the thing that makes us root for this character is her desire. She wants it so much and despite risking everything that she has she’s going for it and we really want her to do well.

Daniel Choi is a refreshing change in this drama. We expected him to be all cute and adorable like he has been in the past but actually we like what we see.  He has this air about him that makes him intriguing- he’s smart, talented and has an honesty about him that’s interesting because you just don’t know what he might say next.

 

The scene we knew we wanted to continue watching this drama was the first real scene with Jae Yi and Eun Bi at the piano. They bounced off each other real well and despite being in a strange and unexpected situation you can already see the potential chemistry between them. We like his reason for helping her; the idea that she feels the same way he does/did for musicals.  Also the fact that he knew straight away that her love for musicals was pure and not sullied by money or fame.

We also felt that the scene where she explained her love for musicals was great. It felt natural and honest and it felt like something that we would say if someone asked us a random question about something we loved. A little embarrassed, unsure and half hoping that they don’t laugh at your explanation. We liked the look in his eyes as he listened to her talk. You could see him relate and connect to this person he didn’t know because they share the same love, even if he’s unwilling to admit it just yet.

Random thoughts:

Why did GHS take sheers to her beautiful hair?? She looked so pretty at the start of episode 1 and then she decided to literally become a boy. It’s such a shame!

We wonder if Yoo Jin will be a love rival- we’d love that. His character has a heart of stone and so far he’s come across as rather stereotypical but we’re hoping that he has more to show and that maybe he will surprise us.

Kang Hee is such a tart! Please tell us that she’s not going to be that annoying love rival you want to watch get run over by a truck?

Final verdict: So far so good.