Jun 18, 2014

First Impressions: High School King of Savvy

I've just finished watching the second episode of tvN's newest rom-com High School King of Savvy and so far, so good. Unfortunately, the show wasn't picked up by either Viki or Dramafever, so looking for the subbed episodes proved to be more difficult than usual. Still, where's there's an insane international fanbase, the subbed episode will be found. Huzza!

First of all, everyone knows I love me some Seo In-guk, that much is a given. And keeping with the trend of my loving him in every drama he's in, I do love him in this role of corporate-director-hyung cosplaying high-schooler. He was cast in this role perfectly.

I love the character of Lee Min-seok. He's not just a lazy high school student who is somehow forced into pretending to be his older brother. Yes, he's that, but he's also a guy who loves his brother despite the 8-year separation. He's a guy who hates seeing his adoptive father hurting. He's the guy who stays and makes sure a drunk stranger is safe before he heads home himself. Yes, he's a highly hormonal high school student, but Seo In-guk plays him with so much heart.

This is the first drama I'm seeing Lee Hana in but I think I already love her. She plays awkward and ungainly so comfortably. I'm no authority, but I'd say she's quite perfect for physical comedy. Her portrayal of Jung Soo-young is so relatable even though I'm nowhere as socially problematic as her (if anyone, I would probably think I'm more like her younger sister Jung Yoo-ah - the bulldozer stalker).

Soo-young is both amusing and cringe-worthy. She's awesome as a sister and as a person, in general. Completely humble and persevering, I could do better with trying to be more like her. But then, her social weaknesses creeps in and I'm just screaming at my laptop screen for her to back away and shut up. If you've seen the first episode, you know what I mean. Nonetheless, she's a very likable character and I can't wait for both boys to fall in love with her. That's where we're headed, no?

Finally, I can't believe how much I'm loving Lee Soo-hyuk in this. I've only ever seen him in White Christmas (and several clips from Vampire Idol, and then a handful of music videos and runway shows) and he wasn't particularly good in that one. Not terrible, but nothing to write home about either. Granted, that was his first drama ever. I'm so glad he's seemingly much better at acting now. The duality in his portrayal of Yoo Jin-woo is delightful.

For a second lead, I love that Jin-woo is, right off the bat, being given a multi-dimensional treatment that not a lot of second leads get. On the one hand, he has that hard and unnerving side to his personality that's apparent whenever he's working. He's brutal when it comes to work but at the same time he's never not respectful and polite to his colleagues. But then you see a total 180-turn when he turns into this fearful and insecure little boy in the presence of his father. It's also good to note that despite him not reciprocating the feelings of our lead girl, Jin-woo was never rude or particularly cruel. I wouldn't complain if he ends up with Soo-young in the end (especially since our lead guy is still considered jailbait).

While not laugh-out-loud funny, this drama has me smirking and smiling all throughout. It's cute and zippy, though not quite cut from the same rom-com cloth as its predecessors. I just love that the story has a lot of heart and characters you want to root for. I can't believe I need to wait a whole week for the next episode. Gah! Episode 3, I need you!


  1. Soo Young took me until episode 4 to stop actively disliking, lol. She was so stupid and annoying! But she doesn't seem as bad now, or maybe she's just grown on me. I like Min Seok, he's such a good kid.

    I'm not sure about Jin Woo. He doesn't seem like a bad person, but occasionally I won't be entirely sure why he's doing what he's doing. Like, when he was 'okay' with Min Seok taking over the presentation. Did he want him to fail? I couldn't tell.

    1. When Jin-woo "allowed" Min-seok to take over the presentation, I think he wasn't really given much of a choice. His biggest weakness is his father. I think deep down he's a good man, but any sort of threat from his father makes him irrational. And that's when he becomes dangerous, which we saw in great lengths in the 4th episode. I don't think he would've been the asshole he was to the assistant manager if it weren't for the words he received from the president beforehand. I'm not excusing him for his actions but I am pointing out that that is his Achilles' heel.

      Soo-young, on the other hand, is a character I want to root for... no matter how embarrassingly pathetic she is. I like her but that doesn't mean I don't feel like slapping her upside the head on occasion. I do. Very much so. But she's sweet and she means well.

      And this is where, I think, Min-seok enters. He's not perfect himself, and will take a lot of growing up and this experience, plus the people at the office, will provide that for him. But I also think he's going to be a huge factor in the character developments of both Jin-woo and Soo-young. And I can't wait for this to happen. If it does. I don't really know. But this is what I'm hoping for.