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Dream High - Girin Arts High School (Page 4)

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Posted: 01 February 2011 at 8:11pm | IP Logged

Episode 2:

Dream High: Episode 2
by girlfriday | January 4, 2011 | 126 Comments

So far, I like. It's not So You Think You Can Dance, the drama version, (and someone please get on that, stat) but it shows promise to become something like it, so I like what I've seen thus far. It's actually got a healthy dose of drama-comedy-song-and-dance, though I'd like a little more of the song and dance, and well, I could stand for more comedy in everything.

I think the drama is still finding its footing, and the performances are uneven (with some of the worst by veterans, whereas the newbies are holding up okay in contrast), but there's two crucial things I like about it at the outset: the premise, and the tone. I do trust that this drama will do one thing, and one thing well—deliver on its setup of dreamers-to-stars in a satisfying way. Whether or not the performances will hold up is another story, but what the hell, let's dream high, shall we?

 
EPISODE 2 RECAP

Hye-mi kneels in front of President Jung, and begs for him to save her. Cruelly, this school has a live feed of every audition into the room where the other auditionees are waiting, so everyone sees her moment of humiliation.

President Jung tells her not to beg—it's not even what third-rate students do, and so she tries to recover by harrumphing that she wasn't kneeling just now…she was looking at his nostrils. Uh…not so quick on your toes there, eh Hye-mi?

Baek-hee smirks, showing her hidden All-About-Eve tendencies rather quickly (although I suppose if not, I'd be rooting for her as the heroine automatically). As Hye-mi turns to leave, she declares that she'll show them that President Jung's decision was the wrong one. Baek-hee speaks up that SHE'll show them that it was the right one. Nice. I like this war already. Diva Showdown 2011: Wannabe Popstar Version.

Hye-mi and Baek-hee practice their first Fierce-Off, as she stops to glare on her way out. Baek-hee shows that she's not quite up to par, because as soon as Hye-mi leaves the room, she faints. Ha. That's what happens when you expend all your ki on a glare. She's got a ways to go if she's going to keep up.

Baek-hee is helped up, and she turns around to ask President Jung one last thing. She wants to be sure that he picked her for her skills, since she's been told her whole life that she's inferior and will never live up to her pipedream. He smiles as he looks down at his own Kirin medallion, and silently hands it to her. He tells her that it's a good luck charm, or however she wants to think of it.

Baek-hee is moved to tears, at the first acknowledgement she's ever received for being anything other than third-rate. She cries and thanks them over and over, declaring that she's going to work really hard. Aw, I sort of wish this was the first role I'd seen of Ham Eun-jung's, because she's great here. This is why I'm a fan of idols' early roles being high school students, because it fits them to a tee, and it doesn't stretch my suspension-of-disbelief too hard. (Now I realize that my hatred for her in Coffee House may have been at least 50% about the character, and not all her.)

Meanwhile, Jin-gook's friend is having some performance-anxiety-related toilet issues when they call his name, so he asks Jin-gook to stall for him. Jin-gook does the only thing he can think of: to cause a ruckus with a fire extinguisher, forcing security to back him into the audition room.

President Jung looks up at him and tells him that if he's trying to buy time, he should just dance instead; he's a good dancer, no? Jin-gook immediately freezes up at that and walks out.

Just outside the building, he catches Jason dancing, practicing for his audition. It's a nice little moment, as Jin-gook looks on, captivated. It gives him pause, perhaps about the almost-audition and his own angsty reasons for not dancing, but he turns and walks away.

As he gets on his motorcycle to leave, Hye-mi appears, trying to dodge the debt-collecting gangsters, and asks for a ride out of there, not knowing that it's him. When he turns around, she scowls and turns down his offer. He speeds away, but when he sees the thugs from the other day standing around waiting for her, he turns back to pick her up.

As they ride off, Sushi Roll Girl, whose name is KIM PIL-SOOK (IU), is up for her audition. The teachers want her to take off the ridiculous costume, but she's too shy to do so, and President Jung allows her to sing, sushi costume and all. She belts out a song, as we cut back to Hye-mi and Jin-gook, riding away to the river.

He drops her off there, and tries to ask for his helmet back, but she walks away, pretending not to hear him. He yanks it off her head, only to find that she's crying, and now embarrassed about him seeing her that way. He gently puts the helmet back on her head, so that she can cry comfortably. She looks up at him, for the first time without a scowl on her face. He leaves her with the helmet and rides off.

Back at Kirin, the teachers are wowed at Pil-sook's vocal chops, but insist she take off the costume now. She finally does, revealing a shy, chubby girl with glasses. She hunches downward, trying to hide her face, as the teachers talk back and forth about God not giving with both hands, yadda yadda, blech.

President Jung smiles, not at all phased by her appearance, and leaves the decision up to Director Shi, who decides to give her a chance. As she walks out, President Jung tells him that she'll become very pretty. Uh…I hope that's not an advertisement for plastic surgery, because that's not a message I can get behind, Show.

Pil-sook walks out of the audition elated, as she jumps up and down, and takes out a picture, saying, "Oppa, I got in!" She kisses the photo, which is of Kim Hyun-joong. HA. That's a kind of meta that makes me laugh.

We see that along with Pil-sook and Baek-hee, Jason and Jin-gook's friend have all gotten in to Kirin. Director Shi comes to find President Jung with the list of incoming students, announcing that they've only chosen 97 when 100 was the goal. President Jung tells him that he's got three students in mind—one is a kid he's had his eye on for some time, while the other two showed up today.

That one mystery student is SONG SAM-DONG (Kim Soo-hyun, finally!) who Director Shi recognizes by name. We're given just a brief glimpse of him in his poor country home, his face covered in dirt, as he sews a rice bag for some unknown purpose. Director Shi warns President Jung that no teacher will want to take that kid on as a student, and President Jung answers that he's already got a teacher in mind…

Enter Professor Kang, bottom of the totem pole and thisclose to getting fired today. Ah, so he'll be the teacher of the misfits, eh? Standard setup, sure, but I always like a story about underdogs. And I like Eom Ki-joon.

Hye-mi gets a text from her little sister that they've been kicked out of their house today, and she finds her scrounging through the heaps of trash for a few precious belongings. She declares that she isn't going to that crap school, and when asked about Baek-hee, she tells her sister never to bring up that name again.

Baek-hee, meanwhile, is doing an exorcism of her own, throwing out every picture and belonging she owns with associations to Hye-mi. She even takes a pair of scissors to her matching pigtails, making me a little afraid and a little triumphant at the same time. I like to see her breaking out of the Hye-mi-pa role, but damn, put the scissors down, girl.

Hye-mi and her little mini-me sister drag their stuff along in the streets, and end up at the studio that Jin-gook took her to, when his friend returned her photo. Refusing to go to Kang Oh-hyuk's house, she insists that they can manage on their own and sleep here, despite the rats. Oh, yes…RATS.

Jin-gook arrives home and tells his hyung that he went to Kirin today, and his friend balks that he could ever get into a place like that. He counters that his friend's dream of becoming a lawyer is just as crazy, and Jin-gook declares that if he gets into law school, he'll wear a miniskirt, shave his eyebrows, and dance like Girls' Generation. Ha. Now that's something we'd all like to see, methinks.

Unfortunately, due to trouble back home, Jin-gook's friend has to move out of the apartment. Looks like Jin-gook is back on the streets. He packs a bag and broods on a rooftop, overlooking the city. He thinks back to earlier when he watched Jason dance, and in a moment of inspiration, he busts out the same dance, move for move. Aw….yeah! MOAR, please.

He heads to the studio, where he finds Hye-mi and her sister asleep in the car. The package of yogurt drinks on the dash reminds him of when they first met, as kids, fighting over the last pack of yogurt drinks on Christmas. Back then he was hiding from his mom, who was about to send him to an orphanage, and Hye-mi had cried for him, this kid she just met on the street.

He looks at her fondly as she sleeps, wondering aloud just what kind of girl she really is.

In the morning he heads out to pick up some food for them, which is right when the thugs happen to recognize his motorcycle, parked outside the studio. They nab Hye-mi and take her away, as her little sister chases after, memorizing the car's license plate. Jin-gook sees her pass by in the car as well, and chases after, but loses them.

In a move of ridiculous proportions, the thugs take her to a nightclub and put her in a lounge singer's outfit and stick her up on stage, telling her to sing to repay her father's debt. Ironically, the song is the same trot song that lost her the Kirin audition, and she refuses to sing. But…you agreed to put on the outfit? Anyway, she throws her shoes (her favorite mode of attack) and runs around the nightclub in circles, trying to get out.

Just then, the doors slam open, and a shadowy figure enters through smoke in slow motion, ready to kick some ass. We expect it to be Jin-gook, but in walks the nerdy Kang Oh-hyuk. HA. I was about to groan at the overuse of cheesy slo-mo and the hero's entrance, but now it's hilarious. Glad Show's got a sense of humor.

Oh-hyuk flashes his teacher's ID card like a sheriff's badge, and announces that Hye-mi is a student at Kirin. Hye-mi stands there shocked, as her little sister trails behind Oh-hyuk, coughing at all the music-video smoke in the doorway. Ha.

He takes responsibility for the girls and takes them to his house, and Hye-mi agrees in her surly way that this is only because of money, and nothing else. At home his sister has a fit that he's taken the girls in, but he tells her that this is the only way he can live. He was fired from Kirin, but President Jung gave him one last chance to survive: bring Hye-mi (and the other two students) in, and keep his job.

Hye-mi overhears and looks in his bag at the name of the other students left to track down. The first is Song Sam-dong, who we get another glimpse of, as he finishes his rice-bag cape and tests it out with a smile. Gah, I'm so intrigued by his character and it's driving me crazy that we haven't officially met him yet.

The other is Hyun Shi-hyuk, which is Jin-gook's real name. He arrives at the nightclub to rescue Hye-mi, but gets trapped by the gangsters for his trouble.

At Kirin the new students meet each other for the first time, as Baek-hee, Pil-sook, and In-sung (Jin-gook's friend) introduce themselves. They go to their first class, with star teacher SHI KYUNG-JIN (Lee Yoon-ji), who cracks the whip right away, and threatens them with the possibility that if they slack off, she'll happily send them to the Beginner's Class, the place where music goes to die. It's illustrated by zombie students who are forced to study (the horror!) instead of dance.

Jason arrives late, also part of the star class, along with the others. Pil-sook in particular swoons at the pretty.

Director Shi whines at President Jung's insistence on including the three special entrants, on top of which he's chosen a new teacher to replace one who's going on maternity leave…

Cut to Park Jin-young as YANG JIN-MAN, a struggling musician, who's selling his keyboard as a last-ditch effort to hang on to his girlfriend (to buy a ring for her), but can't manage to do it.

Hye-mi thinks about what she overheard Oh-hyuk saying, that if he didn't find all three special-entry students, the whole deal was off. She heads out to track down Song Sam-dong herself, and tells Oh-hyuk to find Shi-hyuk.

She arrives in the countryside and finds signs with Sam-dong's name all over them, and follows them to a local broadcast of a star-search-type show, where Sam-dong is gearing up for his big break. They run into each other in passing, and Sam-dong is hit with the twinkly sounds of crush-at-first-sight.

Meanwhile, Oh-hyuk decides to track down Shi-kyuk, aka Jin-gook, and finds him collapsed at his studio, bloodied from his run-in with the gangsters.

At the same time, President Jung tracks down Yang Jin-man at home. Jin-man answers the door scratching his ass, and then promptly shakes President Jung's hand with the same. He thinks it's some prank, but President Jung scouts him as a new teacher for Kirin. Is anyone else surprised that Park Jin-young seems to be the more natural actor than Bae Yong-joon?

Sam-dong takes to the stage, surprising his mom who is under the impression he doesn't even like music. Hye-mi is shocked as well, to see that the weirdly dressed kid from earlier is the guy she's looking for.

The MC asks him why he's here, and he says that it's to help his mom sleep at night, since she's always up worrying that he'll die a lonely bachelor. Amused at that, the MC tells him to go find a pretty girl and bring her up on stage with him. He locks eyes with Hye-mi, sitting in the front row, and with a gulp, he heads down toward her…

Jin-man wonders if President Jung has made some mistake—how could he want someone like him as a teacher? Isn't he scared what might happen? President Jung answers that he is, but that's the kind of anticipation he likes…not knowing at every new meeting, whether that relationship will be destined for good or bad…

Sam-dong walks up to Hye-mi, and bravely asks her to come with him. She looks up at him in shock, as he takes her by the hand and leads her up to the stage.

 
COMMENTS

I only wish we had actually gotten to witness Sam-dong's performance before the next episode, since we've waited forever and a half for him to even appear. But I like the setup for his character, and of course Kim Soo-hyun is already showing such interesting colors, even in the two minutes of screen time he's gotten. More, please.

I guess I'm finding myself chanting that a lot over the first two episodes—MOAR please, Show—whenever we get glimpses of the awesome that could be. So far it's still just that: a COULD BE-vibe, showing flashes of fist-pumping awesome, couched in between all the necessary maneuvering and plot setup.

The these-students-are-destined-for-greatness stuff is definitely ham-handed, for sure. I could really lose Bae Yong-joon's character and be MUCH happier. But I don't mind the way that each of them is brought out of different settings and circumstances, and the way they all converge over one dream in one place. I just want to get there a little bit faster, or maybe even just with a little more screen time for characters like Sam-dong, who is supposed to be the star, yeah?

I don't know if the show is ever going to lose that self-important vibe (which I suspect it will, once we get past the opening setup, really) but even if it stays that way, I can forgive a lot if they buoy it with a lot more of the performances. I say we stick to our strengths, Show. More dance, fewer gangsters; more song, less Bae Yong-joon.

Other than that, I liked Episode 2, and hopefully it showed more of what's to come. Pass the popcorn, and the dance tunes.

 

 

Recap:

Episode 1 left off with Hye Mi on the floor, begging for admittance to Kirin Art School. Ha Myoung refuses and Hye Mi is wary of the consequences. Luckily however, with aid from Jin Gook she is able to flee the school while the loan sharks aren't paying attention. However, this is only temporary for after they realize, well into the night, that even though Hye Mi has not returned, the auditions are long over. They find her and force her to become the lead loan shark's personal songstress. However, in the midst of this, Oh Hyeok comes to her rescue, declaring that she has been recruited by Kirin Arts School. Oh Hyeok then brings Hye Mi and her sister Hye Sun to his house at which a hilarious scene with his violently furious sister (Thanks for clarification, "blah") ensues. It is here that Hye Mi overhears Ha Myoung's test for Oh Hyeok: He must find three students he has recruited for Kirin Art School, one of them being Hye Mi. Hye Mi then takes it upon herself to find one student: Song Sam-Dong (Kim Soo-Hyun).

Sam Dong is a country boy with an interest in music and singing that he hides from his mother. A local celebrity, he enters a national singing competition where he meets Hye Mi and is immediately enchanted by her and even brings her onto the stage of his singing competition.

Baek Hee after facing a huge reality check, diligently thanks the judges at the audition and vows to work hard. Returning to her residence, she throws old clothes and photos away and even cuts her hair. At her first dance class, we see a different Baek Hee with short hair, contacts, and a comfortable style.

At the audition, after his friend is stuck in the bathroom, Jin Gook reluctantly agrees to cause a distraction by flouncing around like a maniac. He is escorted out of the building just as his friend exists the bathroom and succeeds the audition process. Before being thrown out however, Ha Myoung asks Jin Gook to dance, to which Jin Gook becomes startled. But as he leaves the complex, he catches Jason dancing and is amazed. He helps Hye Mi escape only to later find her and Hye Sun in his break dancing lair. He sees some bottles of yogurt which triggers a flashback to his younger days, when he and a younger Hye Mi met for the first time and fought over a package of yogurt. He leaves to buy some groceries but when he returns, he discovers that Hye Mi has been taken away by the loan sharks and rushes after to save her. However, having already been saved by Oh Hyeok, he only succeeds in being violently thrashed by the loan sharks. When Oh Hyeok ventures to the break dancing lair to recruit Jin Gook, he finds him bleeding from his wounds.

Ha Myoung is making some changes to Kirin Art School. First, he allows Kim Pil-Suk (Lee Ji-Eun) to pass the audition, regardless of the criticism she receives for her unattractive appearance. Then, he decides to give Oh Hyeok another chance by finding three recruits: Hye Mi, Sam Dong, and Jin Gook. He also recruits a new English teacher (Park Jin-Young). His actions begin incurring the wrath of Si Bum-Soo (Lee Byung-Joon), the principal of the school who is convinced he is going to ruin Kirin Art School.

Review:

Things I Liked:

  • There are quite a few gems amongst the secondary characters here and since they do not receive much screen time in the drama, I'm going to mention them here. Oh Hyeok's sister is hilarious. Her angry tirade was not only priceless, but actually put some fear in Hye Mi's eyes. Also, Hye Sun. This girl needs her own drama. Not only is she young and adorable, but she is also the voice of reason and when you have to deal with Hye Mi's constant stubborn stupidity, I find her little sister quite precocious but wonderfully so. Park Jin-Young, I found surprising. There are some people out there, including myself, who wishes he would go away and stop being a shameless self-plugger but he's actually a pretty good actor. Not to mention that the scene where he shook Ha Myoung's hand with the same hand he used to scratch his butt, was quite hilarious. Last, but certainly not least, though he is a main player in this drama, he got like 5 minutes of screen time so I'm going to mention him. Sam Dong is going to be my favorite character; I can tell already. I like his look. But when I say that, I'm not necessarily talking about how attractive he is but I like the look in his eye. There's just something about it. And though there is not a whole lot to know about his character as of yet, he seems like a country bumpkin with plenty of surprises up his sleeve. I can't wait to see more of him!
  • I know in my last R&R, I gave Hye Mi a lot of smack and you know what? I still don't like her. BUT, I liked it when Ha Myoung refused her admission. I thought he was going to give in and one point, but he didin't. But that moment, I think, is the beginning of a very rough road for Hye Mi where she learns the difference between being proud and strong and being stubborn and ultimately, your own undoing.
  • I'm still liking the whole fate concept. It's very subtle and could be developed a bit more, but I enjoy the topic.
  • I don't know what it is about this episode, but I find myself genuinely curious to discover the answers to some questions I have. What Bum Soo's deal? What's the story with Jin Gook's parents? How will Baek Hee's transformation continue?

Things I Didn't Like:

  • Suzy's still kind of bad at acting. Still crossing my fingers for her though and hoping she grows!
  • Some of the characters and some of the scenes lack common sense. If Jin Gook has to create a distraction, was running around the audition space like the road runner really the way to do it? Is Hye Mi supposed to remember the yogurt incident? Because it's beyond me why Jin Gook does remember. Also, why is Jason dancing in the middle of nowhere? And why is it that when he catches Jin Gook, Jin Gook just walks away and Jason walks away as well? It was funny, but it was so only because that's how AWKWARD it was.
  • The production is better on this episode, but still, a little sloppy. For example, I thought Baek Hee's transformation scene was poorly done. I felt like it should have been a pretty dramatic moment. But it fell flat. And then when we saw her again, instead of emphasizing the change, more flatness. Shaking my head, Lee Eung-Bok, shaking my head.

Final Verdict: Better than the last one because part of me is actually looking forward to the next episode.

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Dream High: Episode 6
by girlfriday | January 18, 2011 | 185 Comments

This show KILLS ME. Why so awesome? For starters, it looks like 2011's gonna be another year of bromance. Yee-haw. I'd encourage everyone to get on the bandwagon, but I'm fairly certain you need no prodding. Just hazarding a guess. Dear javabeans: Get your moneypurse ready to be emptied. The showdown is ON, and I'm gettin' mighty thirsty…

 
EPISODE 6 RECAP

We go back in time a little to see Sam-dong change the evil mural of Hye-mi into a nice one, as he says in voiceover that he's sorry and that he'll protect her for sure next time. We catch up to the present, where he knocks her out of the path of the flowerpot of doom, which lands on him instead.

He collapses, unconscious. The ambulance hauls him away, and Jin-gook comes down to survey the damage, and notices a button—one from a school uniform. Gonna go CSI on her ass? Let's go. Are there any fibers to be tested? There's always fibers. Meanwhile, Baek-hee, sans button, shakes as she faces her own reflection.

At the hospital, Oh-hyuk tries to contact Sam-dong's mom, who happens to be out of town. Hye-mi sits in the hallway, shaking as she stares transfixed on her bloodied hands. Jin-gook comes and silently takes her hands and wipes them clean. (Aw, why am I such a sucker for this kid and his white knight bit? Gah.)

She asks, her voice shaking, "He's not…going to die, is he?" Jin-gook smiles and reassures her that Sam-dong is stupidly strong. Hye-mi starts to cry, as she says it's all her fault—if she hadn't taken out the trash…no, if she hadn't brought Sam-dong up to Seoul…no, if she hadn't come to Kirin…none of this would have happened. It breaks my heart when people do this very universal thing in the wake of tragedy.

Jin-gook sits down next to her and says that if she keeps going backwards in what-ifs, then none of them should ever have been born. Well that's just the saddest thing you've said, Daddy Complex Boy. Eeesh.

They get word that Sam-dong is fine…except he's still unconscious. Hye-mi watches over his bedside, holding his hand through the night. In his sleep, Sam-dong remembers the day Hye-mi left for Seoul, and his mother's request that he sing her a song.

He sang for her, tears falling, his voice faltering, but his mother heard his angelic voice for the first time that day. She had cried, and asked if he wanted to become a singer like his father. He had said no; he was going to Seoul for a different reason. Mom knew right away that this was about Hye-mi: "Does that girl like you?" Sam-dong: "Yeah, I think she does." Aw, it breaks my heart that he really thought so.

He wakes up, startled to see Hye-mi asleep right next to his pillow. He smiles without realizing the situation, and then it slowly dawns on him that he's in the hospital because of the flowerpot incident. He says to himself, "Thank goodness…that you're okay."

Hye-mi opens her eyes to find that SHE's in the hospital bed, while Sam-dong sits and watches over her. Ha. She runs over and asks if he's okay, asking what her name is and how many fingers she's holding up. Sam-dong laughs, but when he answers all her questions, she grabs him in a hug, crying.

He breaks into a huge grin, as he pats her on the back and tells her that it's okay. I love that he's the one who nearly died, but he's comforting her. So. Cute. Jin-gook sees them from the doorway, and walks away, head down.

At school, Pil-sook gets the call that Sam-dong is on the mend, and Jason comes up to ask her if it's good news. He gets all up in her personal space to do so, knocking her backwards in shock from the close contact with The Pretty.

He oh-so-gallantly offers a hand to help her stand up, and she swoons in joy, jumping up and down….until she turns around to see him walking away arm-in-arm with Ria. Oh, man. I'm totally having flashbacks to that one boy in high school that every girl loved, and feeling EXACTLY like this. Why is there always a boy like this in high school? Is it like, some law of the jungle or something? Raaaarrrgggh. Don't! Mess! With her Heart!

At a staff meeting, Principal Shi glosses right over Sam-dong's accident, calling it a mere safety issue, and Oh-hyuk counters by declaring it an act of terrorism. He's alone in trumpeting the cause though, and gets shut down by the principal, who doesn't want a formal investigation to create any more negative press about Kirin.

At the hospital, Hye-mi declares that she'll find the culprit and make them pay. But Sam-dong tells her not to do anything, since that person is already in a hell of her own making. So wise, country boy.

Baek-hee is doing exactly that, as she cleans off the graffiti in Hye-mi's locker to assuage her guilt. Jin-gook walks up to her and shows her the button that he recovered at the crime scene. He asks to see her sleeves, but she hides them, saying it wasn't her.

He pulls her arms up, but the button's already been replaced, and he wavers as Baek-hee starts to cry. Dude, you are never going to be a good detective if you're this weak to tears. Better stick to the dancing.

She asks if he can't just trust her. Even if everyone else thinks it was her, even if no one is on her side, can't he believe in her? It's sad how much truth is mixed in with her lies. She's the classic defense-trigger-hair-poofing-cat, lashing out because she doesn't believe anyone could ever love her for being her. Jin-gook tells her okay, and to stop crying.

At home, Jin-gook and Sam-dong fight over his stuff being everywhere, and Jin-gook smiles, reassured that he seems fine and back to normal. Minus the giant bandage from his head wound, but normal. Jin-gook tosses Sam-dong's coat aside, and makes a joke that it must be special if he's so protective of it—did "Rude-o" buy it for him? Sam-dong gets defensive: "Why is Hye-mi Rude-o? She's not rude!" Jin-gook: "I never said it was Hye-mi. You must think she's rude." Ha.

Sam-dong takes it back, saying that Hye-mi is sweet and that she smiles and laughs all the time. Jin-gook's antennae go up…she smiles?…all the time?…in front of you? Hehe. Sam-dong is mighty pleased to have a leg up on Jin-gook, and says with pride that he thinks she really likes him.

Not to be outdone, Jin-gook says that she doesn't smile in front of him…because she's always crying when she's with him. Ha. Sam-dong's eyes get huge: "Wha…she cries? In front of you? Why does she cry in front of you?" It's Jin-gook's turn to gloat: "Dunno. She must be…comfortable with me." These two crack me up.

Sam-dong (shouting by now): "Do you like her?!" Jin-gook feigns disinterest, and Sam-dong reminds him that he can't change his mind later, as if they're claiming the last piece of pizza or something.

Sam-dong goes to change, and as he unzips his pants, Jin-gook looks over and sees that he's wearing…something curious…. Jin-gook: "Is that…MY UNDERWEAR?!"

Pffft! Sam-dong: "Since when is there a your underwear vs. my underwear?"

OH. MY. GOD.

Jin-gook jumps out of bed and tells him to take them off this instant, as he literally chases him around the room to take off his pants. I really, really am Not. Making. This. Up. I know what you're thinking, but I swear, I'm not having a lucid dream. It's like Show loves me or something.

He finally gets Sam-dong pinned on the bed and starts to pull his pants off…

AHAHAHA….dying….

Forget Hye-mi. Can these two just end up together, fighting over underwear and bickering off into the sunset?

They get interrupted by Oh-hyuk with some bad news: Sam-dong's mom found out about his accident and fainted (as all proper kdrama mothers are wont to do). He rushes home to reassure her that he's fine, and tells her that she was misinformed; he lies that the teacher called to invite her to the showcase, and that nothing happened to him.

She breathes a sigh of relief, and gushes over her son's transformation into a city boy. She asks if everything's going well with Hye-mi, and he lies again that Hye-mi is totally smitten with him. Aw.

But when he arrives back in Seoul, Hye-mi is standing at the bus depot, waiting for him. Startled, he asks if she's here…because she's worried about him. She pretends not to be, but betrays her worry over Mom and his health. She tells him not to run around anymore, and to stick close by, at home. He trails after her with a smile, promising to stick realclose from now on. Heh.

They have coffee (where Sam-dong does a hilarious impression of Jin-man singing his Park Jin-young song), and Hye-mi's debt collector happens by. He stops in to congratulate her on winning first place on her monthly exams, and moves to pat her on the head. Sam-dong intervenes, asking who the hell he is, but Hye-mi makes an excuse that he's a friend of her father's, and drags him away.

Outside, she tells Sam-dong to stop interfering in her affairs. Hye-mi: "If someone goes to pat my head, let them. If a flowerpot is headed at me, just let it. I'll take the hit myself. Don't get involved anymore."

Sam-dong doesn't understand why, as he just blindly adores her and wants to protect her. Hye-mi tells him that she already owes him so much…she doesn't want to owe him anymore. He starts to tell her that she doesn't owe him anything, but she cuts him off, saying that it's a burden for her.

Ouch. She's saying it to protect him, of course, but it's not unwarranted either, because she's not in love with him (yet), and just keeps feeling sorry for putting him in harm's way. He stands there dumbfounded, watching her walk away. Aw, poor puppy! Also, is it wrong that I'm totally smitten right now?

At school, the Misfit Mafia gets excited for the upcoming showcase, and Oh-hyuk eagerly asks them how many tickets they want for their family members. Pil-sook wants two for her parents, Sam-dong one for his mom, but both Hye-mi and Jin-gook say zero.

Over the loudspeaker, Professor Maeng announces that this year's showcase, which has the purpose of showing off the new crop of talent to scouts from various agencies, (gah, as if high school isn't enough pressure) has been decided on different criteria. Rather than going strictly by the midterm exam scores, they've calculated "other" factors, making the freshman group of five Jason, Ria, Baek-hee, and two others from their class.

The Misfits scoff at the rampant favoritism and rigging to kick them out of the showcase, and Oh-hyuk fumes. Way to knock the wind out of someone sails, when he was just five minutes ago gushing at the first-ever showcase by the university prep class.

They're not the only ones left in the dust either. Baek-hee's rival Ah-jung, angry to be passed up yet again, decides needle her with some guilt. She sees Baek-hee go into a changing stall in the girls' locker room, and she fakes a phone call with a friend, saying loudly that everyone's talking smack about Baek-hee throwing the flowerpot and not deserving a spot in the showcase.

But it turns out that someone else is in earshot too, as Hye-mi comes out of a stall, calling Ah-jung out for her cheap and obvious tactics. She says loudly that Baek-hee may be lacking, but she's not capable of dropping the flowerpot.

She opens Baek-hee's curtain to say it directly to her face: "Because the kind of person who would do that…is a monster." Oooooh, burn. Baek-hee washes her face, trying to shake off Hye-mi's comment. She steels herself and decides that Hye-mi's the one who made her into a monster.

Kyung-jin announces that Jason and Ria will have a separate performance just the two of them. She's giddy, while he sighs. Could it be…you don't want to sing duets with anyone other than Pil-sook? Okay, clearly I'm getting ahead of myself.

Speaking of duets, Sam-dong sings a song he wrote in the basement studio, and in walks Hye-mi, singing the other half. How freaking adorable are you? He's positively glowing as she sings that she's in love with him…

…only when the song ends, he looks at her, and she turns into Oh-hyuk. Ha. Sam-dong literally shudders. Oh-hyuk marvels at the song, wondering if Sam-dong wrote it himself, while Sam-dong turns away to get his head on straight. He says with heavy sigh, "My dream keeps running away from me. It keeps running away…it's becoming hard to see. What do I do?"

He broods at the dinner table, and Noona wonders why he's so out of sorts. They explain that it's because his mom is coming up to Seoul just to see him perform in the showcase, which is…not so much with the happening anymore.

Hye-mi's little sister chimes in, wondering why he's so glum, when all he has to do is put on a fake showcase for his mother's benefit. They're all like, whaaa? Oh-hyuk thinks it's a brilliant idea, saying that they should turn Sam-dong into Cinderella for a day. Jin-gook balks that there are no mice, no pumpkin carriage, no fairy godmother. You sure do know a lot about what's required to turn someone into a Cinderella. Just sayin'.

Hye-mi asks what they need to do first. Sam-dong looks at her agape. Aw. They sit down to ask him just exactly how much he lied to his mother. Sam-dong: "I just embellished…a little…."

First off, he's supposed to be the best singer-dancer in the whole school. We watch as Fantasy Sam-dong dances, making all the girls literally fall over, and Jason to come sliding in on his knees, begging to be taught how to be like him. Keh.

Next, he's the most popular boy in school…. Cue "Almost Paaaaaaradise," (LOL) as Jin-gook and Fantasy Sam-dong enter the school with god-like backlighting, a la F5. To top it off, Sam-dong adds in voiceover that Jin-gook is his toady, as Fantasy Jin-gook offers to carry his bag and swoons after him. Ha.

Finally, he admits that Hye-mi is supposed to be madly in love with him. Yesung's "It Had to Be You" swells, as Fantasy Sam-dong gestures at Hye-mi to come closer. Fantasy Hye-mi says in voiceover: "Hye-mi-ya…is what he called me," as she walks over to him and he hugs her. HAHAHAHA.

Seriously, this show's meta is pitch-perfect. I die.

The entire household reels at the severity of his lies. Oh-hyuk: "If you didn't have a head wound, you'd have gotten hit right about now." Hehe. To everyone's surprise, Hye-mi still offers to help, prompting an "Omo, are you two dating?" from Noona. But Sam-dong jumps in to explain that she's just doing it to repay her debt to him.

Jin-gook sighs and then joins in to help, eliciting a smile from Hye-mi. Aw, Misfits Activate!

Pil-sook arrives at school the next day, trembling as she holds a piece of paper in her hand. Jason opens the door for her, and she stops to ask him if his opening the door for her all the time is just his (good) manners. He nods yes as her face falls, and she thanks him meekly. Aw.

She heads to the teachers' office, where she leaves a notice of withdrawal from Kirin with Professor Maeng. She says that she doesn't think that she's going to lose any more weight, or get a chance to perform, so she's going to look for a new means of living.

Jin-man overhears and yells up a storm at Professor Maeng, blaming her for kicking the loser class out of the showcase, and stomping all over a girl's dream.

Pil-sook heads outside to clean out her locker (the contents of which includes a pot, HA) and Jason watches her. He takes the lollipop off his locker and walks over to ask if she's really leaving. He tells her nonchalantly that it's too bad. "I really wanted to sing a duet with you someday."

Errrr! You can literally hear the tires screeching in her brain. Stuttering, she asks why. Jason: "Because I like your songs. That day when you sang your audition in that Sushi costume…I was taken with your voice." Oh swoon.

She actually runs off, practically in the middle of his sentence, to tear up her withdrawal papers. She declares that she's going to try really, really hard and lose a bunch of weight, and be totally awesome. Aw, how cute is she?

Oh-hyuk calls Jin-man in to help with the fake showcase, which he tells him will take place on the one day that the school will be totally empty—the day of the real one. Gah, I freakin' love the idea of a Rebel Showcase.

He asks Jin-man to plan the performances, and Jin-man gets swept up in the excitement, only to realize that he swore he wouldn't help them anymore. But the kids enter and Sam-dong thanks him over and over for helping them. You're stuck now.

Sam-dong starts bobbing his head around, as he tells Jin-man that he really wants to dance in the showcase. Jin-man: "What…what is that….what are you doing?" Sam-dong: "A wave." He shakes his head, and then ends up teaching them all how to do a proper wave.

Oh-hyuk gets the debt collector to come and rent out the auditorium for the showcase posing as an agency rep, and then convinces his sister (a reporter) to come and be the press. She refuses, until he shows her footage of Jin-gook taking off his shirt, at which she caves, with a side of drool. Pfft.

Jin-man takes them through dance rehearsals, where Jin-gook gets paired with Hye-mi. Robot Girl doesn't get it, so Jin-man has to show her, landing all cuddly in Jin-gook's arms. When they finally do get it right, Sam-dong breaks them up, dissatisfied with all the skinship.

Next it's his turn to go with Pil-sook, and she worries that he won't be able to lift her. He assures her that it'll be fine… *crash*.

At home, Hye-mi, Sam-dong, and Jin-gook mull over stage decorations, and Hye-mi shoots down the boys' outlandish and costly ideas. They decide on paper confetti and large fans, which she remembers seeing outside of the debt collector's club.

They sneak in to see if they can nab the fans, only to come across Oh-hyuk discussing payment for renting the auditorium. He says to just add it, with interest, to his existing debt (the house as collateral). Hye-mi confronts Oh-hyuk, demanding to know what he's talking about.

She finds out that Oh-hyuk took care of her original debt by putting up the deed to his house. She reels, not understanding why he'd do such a thing. She says with tears in her eyes that this isn't right…he's the bad guy… She runs off, and Jin-gook follows after her.

Sam-dong looks over at Oh-hyuk, shocked that it wasn't free to rent the school auditorium. Why is he going into debt for a fake showcase? Can't they just not do it and be done with it? But Oh-hyuk assures him that this isn't for him; he just really wanted to see the kids perform, and simply paid for a really expensive seat to the show. Aw.

He repeats Sam-dong's worry that his dream keeps running away from him, and says that it's time to take a good look, so they can chase after it. Sam-dong is moved to tears.

Jin-gook chases after Hye-mi, catching up to her in the middle of a crosswalk just in time before she gets pancaked by traffic. Oy, kdramas and the Zombie Traffic Walk. She looks up at him, a tear streaming down her face, as she repeats that Oh-hyuk is supposed to be the bad guy.

Hye-mi: "He's my dad's worst enemy. But every time he acts like this, I begin to question my dad." Jin-gook just silently holds her as she cries. So pretty, this drama.

At the bus stop, she tells him about her mother running out on them to live with Oh-hyuk, and how confusing it is for her when he's kind to her. She expects him not to understand, but Jin-gooks says he gets it—it's a feeling he's familiar with.

He wonders if they'll ever get to debut, and he tells her that if there ever comes a day, he wants to stand up on that stage with her. She smiles and says that they'll debut, and she'll stand up there with him.

They arrive in front of the house, just as Jin-gook's father gets out of his car. He tells her to go inside without him, and walks up. He asks Dad what brings him here, and Dad crumples the Kirin showcase announcement in his hand. He slaps Jin-gook in the face without a word.

Hye-mi gasps, and Jin-gook puts his hand to his stinging face, and then stands upright, steeling himself for a showdown with Dad.

 
COMMENTS

Not quite as awesome as the last episode (what could beat the awesome that was the Misfit Mafia doing SNSD?) but this drama is totally rockin' my boat, with the crazy hilarious moments of drama meta (parodies actually done right) and the real-life meta. (Who knew you were so funny, Park Jin-young?) Seriously, I just about died when he was showing Jin-gook how to dance. Taecyeon's face totally broke character, but it was so funny that I didn't care.

I'm so digging this little drama that could, because although it's flawed and sometimes the acting leaves a lot to be desired…it has so much heart, and it's not too cool for school. I love the spirit of the misfit class struggling to make their dreams come true, and I find myself literally shouting at the screen, "YES!" or "NO!" like a fool.

What can I say? High school is serious stuff.

 

With episode six, not only are we told that Sam Dong is okay, but that the kids from the Half Admissions class will not be able to participate in the Showcase as well. Highlights include: poorly performed head surgery, karma, more lollipops, explosions, and a slap to the face.

Things I Liked:

  • I'm beginning to notice some vague resemblances. When Hye Mi cries about the misfortune she has brought Sam Dong, she looks a lot like Yoon Eun-Hye. And in the scene when Sam Dong is "clarifying" some things with his poor mother, he looks a bit like Rain.
  • Speaking of the crying scene, I have thought poorly of Suzy's acting. And though she has a lot to work on, I thought she did very well in that scene.
  • Picking up a girl with a needle in your arm? Doesn't sound realistic to me but if it is, it sure is impressive.
  • Hye Mi is making milestones in this episode. She's taking steps to develop as a person and go beyond her rough and tough exterior.
  • Pik Suk and Jason: I don't know if I complained about this in my last review but I feel like a lot of the Pil Suk and Jason fandom out there is based off of Pik Suk's diabetes inducing cuteness. Jason needed to be more active and we got more of that here. But when I saw him flounce into the arms of that girl, Mean Girls moment anyone? Oh, Pil Suk. If this drama is as predictable as I think it's going to be, you'll get him. But not without some work.
  • Speaking of Pil Suk, I think Park Young-Jin's lecture about destroying a girl's dream because she couldn't lose weight, I enjoyed quite a bit. I don't think he was talking to just the teacher, but to all of Korea as well.
  • Sam Dong, you are a cutie. If Hye Mi doesn't like you, I as well as plenty of Seoulbeats readers, do.
  • Jin Gook trying to take off Sam Dong's pants. Do I really need to justify myself here?
  • Jin Gook versus Sam Dong: We might as well debate now. I think both guys are great and as far as a relationship with Hye Mi, I think they both have their pluses and minuses. Jin Gook comes from a past that is not too different from Hye Mi's; but Jin Gook doesn't seem to inspire warmth from Hye Mi that Sam Dong can. As for Sam Dong, though he is capable of bringing out a better side of Hye Mi, he is nave in many ways, one being that he cannot understand Hye Mi the way Jin Gook can. My vote is for Sam Dong. I love Jin Gook just as much, but I believe that Sam Dong is better for Hye Mi because he can help her go forward.
  • The day dream scenes were majestic. Like Cecil B. DeMille, epic.
  • Pil Sookah, you're too cute. Go back to school and don't keep random cooking utilities in your locker.
  • The dance practice scene was cute. Though I think Suzy was a bit stiff (But then again, she could have just been in character because I would totally expect that from Hye Mi), I thought it was simple, but well done.
  • Oh Hyeok: So many wins.
  • A slap to the face. True Blood-esque end to an episode.

Things I Didn't Like:

  • Reader kc informed me that a month has gone by in the Dream High timeline. What? Totally went over my head.
  • Baek Hee, unfortunately, you are turning into a monster.
  • The medical procedure isn't even trying to be realistic.
  • Wash your hands, Hye Mi. That's how STIs get spread. And Jin Gook, a napkin isn't going to cut it. Get her some hand sanitizer.
  • Why did Sam Dong have to get hit? He's too precious for these urban power games.
  • In the scene where Baek Hee and Jin Gook are talking, is it really that cold that you can see their breath? Production, get on it.
  • Kim Soo-Hyun has a nice voice but his falsetto needs work. Try moving and singing in that voice in order to build vocal stamina.
  • Principal, no one likes you.

Final Verdict: Omona, I actually am looking forward to something in particular in the next episode. I want to see how their "fake showcase" will turn out.

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