I hate this kind of dramas the most. If the drama started well and ended well, I’d be the happiest ever. If it started meh I’d simply dropped it with no complaints. But if a drama started great making me enjoy every single second and await the following week then lost its track and turned into a dead loss just to drag the number of episodes, then of course I’d be mad. High School Love On was that type of drama.
I had no plans to start this, but after 4 episodes of my drama eonnis telling me how good it was I did. Despite the fact that there was not much intriguing ideas or shifts going on, the drama was cute , well-written and well-acted enough to enchant me. All the cast did a great job. I loved the love triangle and the bromance. I loved the realistic but hopeful approach of school life. But then…
The lovely grandma passed away and the evil mother took control and we had a third rated makjang. It turned into a show full of plots to separate people, reveal identities and control. All the cuteness disappeared and you could see the leads lost.
Lemme mention the things I liked first. Kim Sae Ron playing Lee Seul Bi Now here we have a young actress adept at molding the characters to only suit her. The 14-year old beautiful girl proved a perfect angel trying to survive in the human world. Her pure intentions and actions, her care and trust and her language all presented a lost angel. As she became human, she took all the pain and suffering humans experience but never lost any of her holiness.
Not for one moment did Sae Ron lose control over the character. She didn’t make me feel that she was not Seul Bi for a second. She made me feel all the trials she went through, human as I am. Her tender care for everyone around her got on my nerves but she was an angel and I could do nothing about it.
Nam Woo Hyun as Shin Woo Hyun Apart from his crying which was not convincing to me at all for even once, Nam Woo Hyun was a very good Shin Woo Hyun. He embodied the abandoned child struggling between his sense of abandonment, longing for his mother, independence and friendship. You could see him battling all ideas at the same time. Thanks to Seul Bi he managed to hang in.
Lee Sung Yeol as Hwang Sung Yeol And how I shipped him with Seul Bi before he turned into an as****. I’ll mention only what I loved about him because he’ll be on what-I-hated list so.. Sung Yeol is a a typical teenager. He’s exemplary at school but he rebels at home because of his step-mother. He treats her badly but feels guilty about it. When he starts developing feelings for Seul Bi, his personality blossoms and he becomes so perfect. His developing bromance with Woo Hyun thanks to Seul Bi was so beautiful. Watching him slowly opening his heart to Woo Hyun was the best thing in the 2st half. Then skip up till the last episode where he becomes the eye candy in college having so many fans.
Jo Yeon Woo as Hwang Woo Jin As for this cute daddy, I also hated him for the last few episodes. I should have hated the writer instead anyway. He acted Sung Yeol’s dad; a busy police officer who cares about his family but has no time for them. He keeps trying to understand Sung Yeol and his wife and give them chances.
Choi Sung Guk as Choi Sung Goo I love this actor, anywhere and everywhere. Here he played the president of the community of angels-turned-humans. Apart from all his cute replies and gestures, I loved his remarks laden with nuggets of wisdom. He was the best thing about the drama after Sae Ron.
The grandmother played Lee Joo Shil and the P.E teacher played by Lee Joon Hyuk were cute as well.
Now to what I hated, which is more: Hwang Sung Yeol in the 2nd half of the drama: I know humans are complicated and we can change attitudes quickly and dramatically but c’mon. Overnight a mild and shy boy wouldn’t turn into a devil plotting evil incidents and planning to destroy the life of so many people. No way that person was the same person as before. That was too extreme a change in so short a time. Hwang Sung Yeol in the 2nd half of the drama was a complete failure, dear writer.
Choi Soo Rin as Ahn Ji Hae Now here comes the bitch. Like what the …?! She abandoned her child because she couldn’t support him. She left him with his grandmother. This much I can understand and sympathise with. But when she found about him and when the grandma begged her to take care of him, she gave her the cold shoulder and couldn’t care less. Still, it’s not so bad. But after all the wounds you gave the guy you dare to act the mother and control his life! You actually dare to keep him away from the people he loves to protect you new life?! And what?! She was redeemed at the end. We see so many ridiculous characters like this in Korean drama unfortunately. But nevertheless, I hated her guts.
Lee Chang Joo as a senior angel No wonder Satan used to be an angel, seeing this obsessed evil one. Like what the hell was he trying to do ruining the lives of others because things didn’t go according to his plans. How I hated him!
Instead of mentioning the students individually, I’ll just mention themes I hated: Forever Love I know we should be giving teenagers hope so they can endure the harsh reality. And I know they need something to believe in. But even hope should make sense. How many of high school couples stay in relationships in college? How many girls wait for guys who enlist in the army? Does it make sense that ALL couples stayed together?! Gimme a break writer please!
Fate Ok. Let’s say fate is so influential. Ok it’s what controls life. But is fate a makjang as well?! How could they degrade it this much?! Fate in this drama gave me the chills in how barmy it sounded.
Redemption Say what?! The mother ruins the lives of five people (the grandma, Woo Hyun, Sung Yeol, Seul Bi and her husband), literally, but is redeemed without even asking for it. Till the very end she was selfish and till the very last moment she did what she wanted and what?! She was accepted and forgiven; just like that! Na Ha Young plying Lee Ye Na gives Seul Bi and her friend Young Eun hell. She lies, deceives and assaults. She’s a spoilt brat wanting the whole world falling in love with her. She could have killed someone. And she’s embraced as a friend like nothing happened. What a sweet human nature!
Kim Young Jae playing Choi Jae Suk and Beuk Seung Heon playing Yang Tae Ho go around bullying students, ripping them off their money and scaring them. With no regret and no punishment, they’re new innocent people getting along with others, receiving love and leading a peaceful life. Like really?!