This review may contain spoilersThis drama has me howling within the first 5 minutes, we had Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston within the space of minutes so I was already giving it soundtrack points but my god the opening scene with he male lead. I swiftly went from what the f*** is happening to laughing so hard it hurt.
Bok Soo: I loved him. He’s adorable, he’s pretty chill. He works hard. He’s a braver person than I am cause I wouldn’t have gone back if I was him. I loved watching him bond with his fellow students and help them out with his own brand of advice and boosting them up. He has some nice character growth too, subtle as it is.
Soo Jung: She seems to not really care about integrity or anything at the beginning, she can’t be bothered with the counselling etc. In the first couple episodes I was on the fence about her, but I was warming up to her and then you got the flashback to him being expelled and her siding with Se Ho and I was like wow I hope he blackmailed you or we’re not going to be friends. I was kind of disappointed in her character cause she knows she did wrong not even asking his side but she acts like she’s the victim and she was all “you aren’t the only one who’s suffered” sorry your suffering isn’t on the level of someone accused and charged with pushing someone off a building when he didn’t do it. BUT….she has a hell of a lot of character development throughout the series, she stops sitting quietly by as bad things happen, she starts to stand up for the students and really take care of them and show them the right way to do things, she gets more courageous and I loved how much her character changed.
Se Ho: I’ve never seen the actor play a bad guy before and hot damn I wanted to punch him in his smug face even before I started to figure out what he did. His character is obviously messed up, you find that out from the flashbacks thanks to his mother and I actually ended up being so damn sad that he could have been friends with Bok Soo and have the best friend he’s ever had in him…but he got jealous and he was not in a good place and he destroyed it and to be fair…while he didn’t come clean at the time, his mother did pressure him a lot. He also changes a lot, he’s pretty dislikeable in the beginning but by the end he tries to make amends and his growth is slow but you can see it.
There are also some great supporting characters in Bok Soo’s two BFFS who are with him through thick and thin, I loved the three of them together, they where hilarious and they always had Bok Soo’s back. Then there’s the kids, and I found it heart warming how Bok Soo looked out for them and helped them and how they accepted him as their hyung.
The acting from the main three leads was on point. Wow. I love Seung Ho, and he plays his part to perfection with the smiles and the darker moments when he’s out for revenge when his face completely changes. He made me laugh and choked me up but I feel like Se Ho’s actor was just…wow. Like I said, I’ve seen him play characters who are completely opposite and he portrays his character excellently and the emotion had me choking me up more than once an he makes you feel for a character that you could otherwise just hate. He’s convincing, and the contrast between his present and past self was just excellent, he goes from being lowkey deranged to being quite cute and vulnerable and you just wanna hug him. His performance was impressive.
Plot: It has light hearted moments, it has some ridiculous moments, and some completely hilarious moments, but it also tackles issues such as bullying, the school system in Korea and the pressures of it and overbearing parents, suicide and so on, and you’ll have an episode start out all pretty and funny…but then get more serious or sinister. I just liked how the plot unfolded, the flashbacks, the mix of the more serious and the funny and the heartwarming and how well the two vastly different kind of moments could go in one episode. It’s not all serious all the time, and the humour doesn’t take any levity away from the more serious moments. I have to say some moments with the parents and what they where doing to their kids or what the school was doing had me getting so mad that they where getting away with pulling this shit, but everything came to a satisfying and realistic conclusion. I know some people are disappointed Se Ho didn’t end up being BFFs with Bok Soo again but that…is just not realistic after everything that happened.
I also liked how it was shot, the happy flashbacks are all bright and overly saturated, and have a kind of pink tint to them. Whereas the more serious and upsetting ones are much colder and darker. It was a nice trick.
The level of misunderstanding between the two leads….bit of a reach. definitely made me frustrated more than once too. The plot isn’t the strongest at all times, let’s be real.
While I liked the romance and the way we saw it in the past and in the present and how it bloomed both times, and they had plenty of cute moments…it was also a source of disappointment. Because Bok Soo is supposed to be out for revenge but once the misunderstanding with he and the female lead are out of the way, and the romance kicks off….the drama is focused more on that and the revenge kinda falls by the wayside and I was disappointed by that because I was living for Bok Soo having his revenge moments.
While some things are a bit OTT and a bit cheesy, and there was a source of disappointment when it came to how the revenge petered out at one point…this was a series that had me hooked wanting to see what went down and then wanting to see Bok Soo get his revenge. Each episode had a mix of heartwarming moments, serious and emotional and romance and it mixed everything together smoothly! I’m not sure if I would re-watch it but I did enjoy watching it.
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