This drama stars popular actor Lee Min Ho (Of Boys Over Flower) and Park Shin Hye (You’re Beautiful). After a few unpopular hits by Lee Min Ho as an adult, I guess he feels he is most favoured playing a high school boy, which I felt he looked too mature for the part among the peers of younger actors.
If the plot feels familiar, it’s because the script writers have probably ran out of ideas and reverted back to the formula of a poor, social outcast enrolling into an exclusive high school catering to snobbish heirs of rich business owners, politicians and civil servants. In fact, the students grade themselves into castes – heirs to rich business owners, children of right hand man and politicians, children of up and coming business owners (Upstarts), and outcasts that get enrolled via scholarships and are often bullied.
Kim Tan is the son of the owner of the school, and is also the heir to a business empire. Unknown to the public, he is the illegitimate son and his mother lives in seclusion at home, served by a mute housekeeper. The mute housekeeper’s daughter, Cha Eun-Sang moves in and is offered by the owner to enroll in the school. The other kids mistakes her as an Upstart and she lives in fear of being found out. Kim Tan is engaged to Rachel but falls for Eun-sang. His father opposes the relationship and threatens Eun-Sang.
The story is predictable and I noticed more and more TV directors are using scenes of hands-touches to portray affections and parting sorrows, which I first saw in a City Hall (and noticed also in Taiwanese drama The Good Wife). I must admit Lee Min Ho plays the part of a love-sick boy very convincingly but Park Shin Hye used that wide-eyed shocked look once too often every time Kim Tan touches or hugs Eun-Sang. As a parent watching the show, I can help wondering how at a time when the majority of high school students are preparing for university entrance exams, these groups of students can be partying and romancing. I wonder if local JC students are like that now as compared to my time.
The drama contains some of the tallest actors I have seen, and having a chance ogling at them was why I watched to the end.