I never thought I’d finish this after my initial impression when I first watched its 2 episodes a few months back. I tried watching this after Heartstrings and I can’t help but compare the characters so I ended up dropping Dream High because of my partiality with its cast.
ABS-CBN bought the rights to have this tagalized and shown in Philippine television 2 months ago. I saw its trailer a week before the series started and I got a little interested because the teaser is really good. But it was not enough to convince me finish it. Jeff, my boyfriend, was the one who pushed me to watch this series. Yes, he watches Asian Dramas but he isn’t fond of this genre. So him recommending a romantic-musical drama is stupendous. I thought it’s gonna bore me to death but after watching 4 episodes straight, I found myself clicking the next episode right after the other, oblivious of the time and totally immersed with the story.
|Title: 드림하이 / Dream High
Genre: Romance, Comedy, Musical
Dream High tells the story of six students at Kirin Art High School who work to achieve their dreams of becoming music stars in the Korean music industry. Go Hye Mi is a student who had majored in classical music but has to give up her dream by entering Kirin Art High School to pay off her father’s debt. However, she needs to get two other students to also come to the school in order for her to enroll in the school conditionally. These two students are Song Sam Dong, who lives in the countryside, and Jin Guk, whom she accidentally meets while trying to escape from a loan shark. Yoon Baek Hee, formerly Hyemi’s sidekick, becomes her rival in school because Hye Mi betrays her during an audition to enter the school.1
Having KPop artists as cast was a turn off. It was one of the reasons why I dropped the drama the first time. I know you think it’s a lame reason considering most singers and group band members are transitioning to acting and I’ve probably seen them in one drama or so. I even watched Heartstrings. So what’s wrong with Dream High’s cast? Well, it wasn’t really their fault, I just got tired of watching pathetic acting skills and Dream High’s main casts are all newbies in the drama scene. My prejudices got the better of me so it took me 6 months to finally pick this up and continue where I left off. I’m glad I did. I’m not sorry I did not watch it sooner (I would have ended up giving it a low rating), it was worth the wait.
One of the things I like in this series is the character development. I didn’t like Go Hye Mi at first. She was so annoying and her cold bitchy attitude irritated me. Song Sam Dong started as a lost, shy & indecisive teen. Jin Guk was a typical rebellious kid—with all the emotional baggage & family problems. Baek Hee was a push over side-kick turns villain. Jason was an overconfident half Korean-American student. And we have Pil Suk who has inferiority complex despite of having a beautiful perfect pitch voice because of being obese. As the story progress, we saw the main characters evolve not just their talents but as a person. We saw their struggles with day-to-day school drama and face the challenges of debuting as new artists. Hye Mi became a warm person, finally opens up her emotions and started trusting the people around her. Sam Dong transitioned from an awkward country kid to a confident, talented & brave performer. Jin Guk moved on and overcame his emotional baggage. Baek Hee saw the light and learned to love herself. Jason realized he’s only human and he has flaws. And Pil Suk lost weight and learns to accept who she is and be proud of it. Isn’t that a good change for all of them?
These kids wouldn’t be like this if not because of their Seonsaengnim (teacher). Kang Oh Hyuk (Uhm Ki Joon) and Yang Jin Man (Park Jin Young) stayed with these kids and believed in them when all others we’re in doubt and are pulling them down. Having teachers like them would make you strive and fight on for you know you have someone who’ll push you and walk with you to achieve your dreams. In a world where you’re uncertain of the outcome of your efforts, a strong support system is needed and Kang-seonsaengnim & Yang-seonsaengnim provided that to those kids.
I know a lot of viewers didn’t like the way the story ended but I kindda understand why the series ended the way it did. This drama didn’t focus on the romance aspect of the story. If you watch this thinking that it’s a romantic drama then you’d be disappointed with how it ended. I read somewhere that they didn’t get how the hell Hye Mi liked Sam Dong when all the while the story projected her emotional involvement with Jin Guk. Well, that’s because they focused on what they wanted to see. But if you watched the drama thinking it’s an inspirational musical series wherein these students chase after their dreams, we see the drama on all sides—their character, talent and relationship development. Therefore, they would have seen how Hye Mi developed her relationship with Sam Dong.
I’m rating this 4 Kiss Marks. I more than like it. I just can’t give it a full five.
3.5 Drama Awards for the acting. It was way better than Heartstrings but still they’re Pop icons not drama actors.
The ending of the drama fits it. This is not entitled Romance High. Its Dream High isn’t it? Then bagging a grammy award is the best ending for Dream High.
BTW, I fell in love with Dream High’s soundtrack! “Someday” by IU is my favorite from all of the songs from the drama series.
Hearstrings: Korean Drama Review