Now that I've gotten my sentimentality out of the way for the day, it's new drama time! Last drama cycle was kind of a bust for us. Out of all of the options, I was only interested in You Are All Surrounded, and then I picked up Witch's Romance towards the end of its run. Coco and I are more interested in the shows this time around. Here's what we're watching:
King of High School/ High School King of Savvy
|This poster. I hate it. But I love the show.|
What it's about: Lee Min Suk (Seo In Guk) is a hotshot high school hockey player. When his hotshot businessman brother disappears the day he's supposed to start a new job, he asks Min Suk to act as his double. Min Suk juggles the stresses of high school and business as hijinks (and, I assume, a noona romance with Lee Ha Na) ensue.
First impressions (episodes 1-4): First of all, can we just agree that High School King of Savvy has got to be one of the least appealing show titles of all time? It sounds simultaneously smarmy and childish. I'm glad that I didn't let the title deter me because I went into episode 1 with reeeeeeeeally low expectations, and I was pleasantly surprised.
Seo In Guk is carrying this whole show, no doubt about it. He's amazingly good at playing up the mannerisms of an 18-year-old boy, and I love that his character, while playful and immature, isn't your typical jerkface male lead. He's caring and friendly from the very beginning, which always scores points in my book. I have to admit, though, that I'm just pretending that he's a college student instead of a high school student. I enjoy a good noona romance, but rooting for an older woman to pick up on a high school kid crosses my pervy boundaries. Can we all just agree to pretend he's closer to Seo In Guk's actual age?
I'm a little split on the female lead. She's endearing, but her awkwardness is so over-the-top that it's kind of a cliche at this point. I also can't look at her without seeing this:
I have faith that she will grow on me over the course of the show.
If you're okay with suspending your disbelief of the absurd premise, I would say this is worth a watch for Seo In Guk's performance. And his grandpa.
Where to watch King of High School:
What it's about: At the end of the Joseon era, a sword fighter's son (Lee Joon Ki) must learn to take up the gun in order to get revenge. (Or so I hear. We aren't at the revenge part yet.) He is joined by a young woman (Nam Sang Mi) who fights for enlightenment ideals.
First impressions (episodes 1-2): I'm a sucker for pretty dramas, and this drama is insanely pretty. I'm also a sucker for Lee Jun Ki, so this started out with a stacked deck in my book. Although it might be odd to compare this to King of High School, they're both similar in that they have male leads who start out as immature, but kind and caring. I think the pacing on this drama is pretty smart, as well. We know that the heavy stuff is coming, but they started with some absurdly cute and romantic scenes to carry us through the inevitable melo. I already feel invested in this couple, and it has only been two episodes. As a bonus we already have a cross-dressing drama and forced cohabitation, which happen to be two of my favorite things!
The female lead is interesting. I don't know if the writers did this on purpose, but she's an interesting mix of traditional and assertive. She wants to be a scholar and she sasses anyone who disagrees with her, but she's also kind of damsel-in-distress-ish. Squealing and crying aren't usually my favorite character traits in female leads, but I'm willing to let it slide here because she encapsulates that interesting era of history so well. She's an embodiment of both traditional Korean women and enlightenment ideals.
Where to watch Joseon Gunman:
What it's about: A superstar (Ji Hyun Woo) falls on hard luck, and, in order to save his career, he must help a young woman who loves traditional trot music (Jung Eunji) become a singer.
First impressions (episodes 1-4): I love both of the leads (and I also like our second male lead, Shin Sung Rok, now that he isn't murdering people), but I'm a little bit worried about the writing after four episodes. The first two episodes were light and fluffy, episode 3 got pretty dark pretty fast, and then episode 4 went back to light and fluffy. I'm happy that they didn't play sexual harassment or suicidality for laughs, but consistency is also important. The tone has been swinging so wildly from one end of the spectrum to the other that I get the sense that these writers aren't quite sure where this train is headed. Let's just hope they don't steer it off of a cliff!
Where to watch Trot Lovers:
What are you guys watching? Thoughts so far?
What are you guys watching? Thoughts so far?