Lee Min Seok, a naive, immature, and clueless high school hockey player who somehow ends up working at a company in place of his brother. He lives a double life as a student and a high positioned office worker and falls in love with a woman who is a temporary employee at that same company.
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Don't let that happen to you. Read on further and know why you should give it a chance. Bear wimme since it is a little long. :)
King Of high School doesn't bring anything new to the already established genre of romantic comedy. The plot seems predictable and the actors not veterans in their fields. What invited me in was definitely the awkward dance moves in the teasers that TvN released for this show which inspired many other upbeat teasers for many dramas by main broadcasters in Korea.
Seo In Guk certainly caught my eye and i have loved this man from his Reply 1997 days. Seo In Guk plays this high schooler who gets to be his hyung at his workplace due to some behind-the-scenes stuff happening. Romantic and office hijinks issue as the consequence of that. This drama takes some time to kick start so don't expect fireworks and instant excitement with this drama.
Seo in Guk was undoubtedly the star of the show. Every expression, every gesture and his body language genuinely expressed what he was feeling at that moment. Playing a high school kid when you are already 26 aint easy. to top it off the character of Min Suk was not easy to play. Seo In Guk played Min SUk with so much conviction that i wanted a high schooler of my own. His childish anger, his laughs,his arrogance, his smile, his pure and kind heart are all indications of a great man he is going to become. In that he is a plain contrast to the adults in the show who are too serious for their own good. Where Min Suk goes he turns everybody's lives upside down and gives them a taste of fun and cheerful stuff that life should be made of. . He is like a sun on a cold wintry morning because he brings warmth and screen presence with him. The fact that he is so handsome only adds on to this young actors talents. Did i mention how utterly awesome Seo In Guk looks when he curses? Mind blowingly hot that it makes me wanna curse too. :D
Lee Ha Na is purely a delight to see on screen. Soo Young is a total contrast to every other kdrama heroine because neither is she some naive innocent girl and neither is she worldly and arrogant. She is someone who goes all out for the ones she loves regardless of the fact that that could lead to some very awkward and downright embarrassing situations. That doesn't mean she is weak and cries all the time. She is one of the strongest heroines who knows when to open her mouth and spurt out some swear words or give some much needed advice or speak harsh words to set someone straight. Jung Soo Young will grow on you and after it is finished you will remember how strong, bubbly, lovable and adorkable she was. She is played with a lot of gusto and heart by Lee Ha Na and now im a fan.
The chemistry that Min Suk and Soo Young share is similar to having two high school kids experiencing first love for the first time. They are utterly adorable and totally childish with each other. The age gap didnt feel too much because in real life they are so close to each others ages and frankly Seo in Guk is too much like a puppy in love which just turns my heart to all time fangirl high.
The relationships in this show are the heart and soul of the whole masterpiece. The writer reminds me in a lot of ways of the writers of Reply 1997. Everybody and i mean literally everybody gets screen time in this show from the side office workers to the grandpa. The talent of a writer shows in the way they treat the show's smaller characters. The writer here gives them a life of their own irrespective of their contribution to the plot and fleshes out these characters who are least stereotypical and one-dimensional. I love the office workers who are a bunch of kids bowing to another kid. They fill the screen with lots of necessary laughs and cutesy side romances as well. This is possibly the second show after Can You Hear My Heart in which i loved Every.single.character barring just one.
The ever immortally handsome Lee Soo Hyuk came out of hiding and played a flawed and loveless man whose life is filled with thorns and after meeting the bright Soo Young understands that life is much more than money and success. His bromance with Seo In Guk is another highlight of the show and i loved all their childish quarrel, their little squabbles and bro fights.
Halbe and Min Suka should have a show of their own with the way they act like a family. The grandfather-father-son trio are a delight to look at with their sassy talks and crazy dinner table antics. Soo Young and Yoo Ah are probably the bestest of sisters in dramaland who are mature and know what family and relationships mean. The best friends of Min Suk deserve an applause for being such amazing besties who stand tall with their BFF through thick and thin.
There are no betrayals in the show. There is no villain. No bitchy women are here. No monster-in-laws. No meddling relatives. There is no action and neither any over the top stuff happening. Its just a slice of life drama unraveling before our very own eyes with a certain beauty.
Watch it if you are in mood of a little romance, some crazy laughs and adorable family relationships.
Story: The story was really good! A high school student pretending to be a 27 year old office worker seems absurd but it was totally believable. The mystery surrounding Lee Min Suk's brother was very intriguing but it wasn't the main focus of the drama and was only dealt with in the few last episodes. The drama focused on Lee Min Suk and how he grew as a character. The noona romance was okay too though I wasn't that invested in it. The star of this drama for me was Lee Min Suk. I went in thinking it was going to be like City Hunter, you know a quest for revenge and everything. But this turned out to be completely different. This drama wasn't intense, it was cute and funny. I loved how they used old drama cliches and gave them a twist to make them funny or different. I especially liked that Yoo Jin Woo's story was progressed along with Lee Min Suk's and he was given his due importance too.The story was very well-written and the pace of the drama was really good.
Characters: Seo In Guk did an amazing job as Lee Min Suk (and Lee Hyung Suk). First of all, I've always acknowledged that Seo In Guk is good-looking but during this drama I realized that he is gorgeous! Especially as Lee Hyung Suk (even though he appeared for like 1-2 episodes). Secondly, Seo In Guk is an extremely talented actor! And this role showed his talent to the fullest. He played the role of a high schooler so well, unlike someone else (Lee Min Ho I'm looking at you), that it was hard to believe that in real life he is 26. Lee Min Suk was endearing and funny and adorable. But I also loved the scenes where he got all serious and mature. I loved seeing him grow from a boy into a man! Seo In Guk's portrayal of both brothers was so good you could see who was who with the way he stood and talked. While Lee Min Suk was kinda sloppy, as expected of a kid, Lee Hyung Suk stood with confidence. Where Lee Min Suk talked in a cheery way, Lee Hyung Suk's voice was grave and serious. I simply loved Seo In Guk's acting in this drama!
Jung Soo Young is a character I would rather not talk about. She was uncomfortably painful to watch. I understood her character really well and I got where the writer wanted to go with her but Lee Ha Na's portrayal of her was not good. Jung Soo Young is a character I could have loved had Lee Ha Na did her justice. Soo Young is a socially awkward girl with seemingly no talents. I get the character. It was Lee Ha Na's job to make that character relatable, even likable. But the way she played her it felt like Jung Soo Young had some mental disability. Which was really very uncomfortable for me to watch. But of course, I did get used to her and then she didn't bother me much. But I never felt connected to her. I did feel sorry for her but only a little.
I loved loved LOVED Lee Soo Hyuk as Yoo Jin Woo! I loved how this time the broken bad boy was not the male lead but the second lead. And Lee Soo Hyuk played him really well! And did I mention how gorgeous Lee Soo Hyuk is?!! Because he is really gorgeous!! I could stare at him all day! I loved his story arc and how it all played out. I loved this broken bad boy with a good heart! But I never, for one second, believed that he was actually in love with Soo Young. I felt like he needed someone and since Soo Young was previously obsessed with him he figured she would be a good person to keep by his side. I never felt like he actually, honestly loved her.
All the minor characters were great! The office people were your typical office people, gossiping and judging. They also provided very good entertainment. Team Leader Kim was very funny and so adorable! Jo Han Chul did an awesome job playing him and I loved seeing him onscreen! I loved how he cared so much about Lee Min Suk and all his anxiety breakdowns (I seem like a bad person saying I enjoyed his breakdowns but really, they were funny and added for comedic purposes). Jung Yoo Ah (Soo Young's sister) was super annoying at first but like her sister she became tolerable. I loved Lee Min Suk's friends! They were so supportive and super funny, with their chuppa chuppas and stuff! Lee Min Suk's dad was awesome! He wasn't his real dad but he cared so much for him that it was heartwarming and so beautiful. My favorite though was Min Suk's grandfather (his adoptive father's father)! Kwon Seong Deok was amazing, playing him and he was so funny and adorable and it was so heartbreaking! I really loved him! I loved how the minor characters played a more important role in this drama than they usually do in dramas.
Romance: I honestly believe Seo In Guk has good chemistry with everyone. Be it a girl or a boy, he has good chemistry with all. Just look at his previous works. He had amazing chemistry with Jung Eun Ji AND Hoya in Reply 1997. Even as a second lead he has awesome chemistry with the female leads (see Master's Sun). It was no exception in King of High School. He not only had great chemistry with Lee Ha Na but also with Lee Soo Hyuk! BUT I was not as much invested in the romance and the main couple as I would have had it not been for Lee Ha Na. The couple wasn't all that bad but they couldn't pull on the strings of my heart like the InHyun couple (Queen In Hyun's Man) & the Reply 1997 couple (Jung Eun Ji and Seo In Guk). So that 'something missing' thing I was talking about was my lack of love for the main couple.
Ending: The extra episodes really weren't needed. But I didn't mind them much. Most people are not satisfied with the ending and to be honest if I would've written this I would've ended it differently too but it wasn't that bad and I don't have much of a problem with it.
Overall: All in all this was a really good drama and most people might not have the problems with it that I did so I highly recommend it for anyone who is in the mood of a good rom-com.