Answer Me 1997, Boys Before Flowers, Delightful Girl Choon Hyang, God Of Study, Goong, hello my teacher, I'm Sam, Kdrama, mackeral run, monstar, Playful Kiss, Sang Doo! Let's Go To School, School 2013, The Queen's Classroom, To The Beautiful You
High Schools have always been one of my favorite subjects in dramas and movies. It has a scope for exploration of many escapades and themes like comedy, romance, drama, sarcasm, thoughtful interpretations, friendships, dilemmas, teenage angst, etc. There is a nostalgic feel attached to it as well. High school has characters who are in a quandary regarding so many issues. And most of all, we can relate to them easily as all of us have gone through or are in that stage, which is a very delicate phase of life.
Kdramas have been very generous in producing high school based shows that vary in tones and provide fun for everyone. As another high school drama Heirs premiered last week (though we didn’t get any glimpse of it yet), I thought of reminiscing similar shows. I’m enumerating some of them here; I’ve seen some and some I only know about.
In no particular order:
- School 2013
This one is part of a series of dramas called School that aired from late 90s to early 2000s. After a long hiatus, the fifth installment came in the form of School 2013 this year and stole my heart. The show deals realistically with the issues of high schoolers with a simple and poignant touch. The drama has one of the best bromances of dramaland.
- Boys Before Flowers
Who doesn’t know about Boys Before Flowers. Like a kid learns ABC during his first school lesson, same way BBF is the first venture for most of the drama addicts and highly responsible for it. But viewers after becoming experienced in this field, love to declare it a bad show. Which in my opinion, it’s not. It is a mediocre drama which is very entertaining from start to finish. It has numerous flaws but everything happens very quickly as it always has every drama cliché up its sleeve that keeps us engaged. And Lee Min Ho. The name is enough.
And the high school..well, it’s as different from real life as night and day.
- The Queen’s Classroom
This is one of the newest offerings in the genre that tells about an elementary teacher who is hard as nails and her students, who rebel against her.
- Dream High
This show is set in a musical school and is very endearing. It is a tale of six students who want to achieve success in music but all having separate goals. The show is full of warmth and ideals, and it’s hard not to root for this team of underdogs. It is a textbook example of how a good drama can be made even when most of your cast knows nothing about acting or is new to it.
- Answer Me 1997
One of the best shows ever. Period. The drama is about a group of friends who go down the memory lane during their high school reunion and remember the good old days of their high school. Full of warmth, natural treatment, meta elements, fun, family, friends, bromance, romance and is indeed a very moving experience.
- Hello My Teacher
Gong Yoo is the rebellious high school student and Gong Hyo Jin is his teacher, put in charge to control his behaviour. The show takes kind of an episodic format with each episode dealing with problems of different students, but all along portraying an innocent love story when our hero has a crush on his teacher.
- I’m Sam
The story focuses on the conflicts between the young teachers and the problems that high school students have. Stars Park Min Young and Yang Dong Geun, with Lee Min Ho in a supporting role.
- Mackerel Run
An 8 episode show that stars Lee Min Ho before his Boys Before Flowers phenomena and cute Moon Chae Won. A funny take on high school shenanigans.
- Playful Kiss
This is one of the cutest shows with a positive energy and cent percent feel good factor. A high school girl who is not good in studies falls for the genius guy of her school.
A musical which became the cult favorite this year. A show about teenagers who find solace through music and find love, friendship, and their dreams along the journey.
- To The Beautiful You
A girl cross dresses as a guy to attend an all-boys high school in order to attend the same school as her idol, an athlete. Remake of popular J-drama Hana Kimi.
Two high school students get married due to the arrangement by their families. The guy is a prince while the girl is a commoner. One of the most popular dramas which skyrocketed its leads to fame. But it has a veryyyyy slow pace and I found it quite boring. But there is cuteness sprinkled throughout.
- God Of Study
An ordinary lawyer decides to teach a bunch of rebellious students and promises to get five of them into the most prestigious college in the country. Stars Kim Soo Ro and Yoo Seung Ho.
- Sang Doo! Let’s Go To School
This one also had Gong Hyo Jin as a teacher. She and Rain (in his debut role) star as best friends who get separated. He returns as a high school student in her class to regain her love.
- Delightful Girl Choon Hyang
This one is not wholly a standard high school drama but starts from that premise when two students are forced to get married after they accidentally spend a night together (nothing happens between them). If you read this blog, you must be already aware of the fact that this one is my darling. LOVE IT.
Awwh these dramas bring such good memories. 🙂
I know…even I watched most of these shows in my earlier days of drama watching….good old days *sigh 🙂
Dramas that take place in high schools are among my favourites. I have watched some of them, and definitely Reply 1997 and School 2013 are great dramas.. I also loved Monstar, such a heartwarming story.
And I agree with you on Goong, it was sooo slow and boring and I’m sorry to say it but I dropped it.. 😦
And I’m definitely thinking about checking out Delightful Girl Choon Hyang in the near future.. 🙂
Do check it out….it’s a bit old (came in 2005) but so much fun!!
I watched Goong in my early days of kdramas….the OTP made it bearable till the end with lots of fast forwarding….but I tried to watch it again with mom and we couldn’t watch more than 4 episodes….SO BORING!!
Ohh I don’t mind older dramas.. 🙂
And Goong, I don’t know I watched almost 16 episodes of it but then I just couldn’t bring myself to finish it. But I would agree that the main couple made it more bearable..
And your mom watches dramas? So cool.. 🙂
Yes, I’m responsible for one more Kdrama fan…haha…but she only watches with me and those dramas which I’ve already watched, the best ones!! Not a regular viewer but occasionally we pick a drama and watch it together 🙂
.ohh Delightful Girl Choon Yang/Biscuit Teacher and Star Candy/BOF/Goong and School 2013 are among my faves…:)
yes, yes….they are my favorites as well 🙂
I love watching dramas set in high school! I think Korea needs to make more of that genre (well, they have a reasonable amount but not compared to Japanese dramas that are raining with them).
The angst that goes around in the teenage world just gets me. I’ve watched and finished 5 of the dramas you mentioned on the list: Boys Over Flowers (seriously, who hasn’t), School 2013, Reply 1997, Dream High and Goong.
Goong and Reply 1997 are my personal favourites! As for Goong, it was one of my earliest Kdrama, so it holds a special place in my heart, considering I was pretty much hooked the story since Episode 1. As for Reply 1997, well, we all know how it good.
I’ve also watched To The Beautiful You, Monstar and Hello My Teacher but dropped them.
Ok, with Monstar, I haven’t completely dropped it. I just put it temporarily on hold because of my busy schedule but never got around to it. I’ll pick it up again when my exams end. 🙂
For TTBY, I watched the Japanese version and so in comparison, TTBY sucked by whole lot. Filled with idol castings, just not my thing. Not that I have anything against idol actors (because a handful of them are talented), but the ones in TTBY just frustrated me. The drama transformed a story that was originally poignant into a box of smashed crayons. I don’t know, it felt like it was trying too hard focusing on the visuals by making everything colourful (the set, costumes, the hair, the lighting). Instead of going with the intention of making every scene picturesque, it looked like someone just broke their crayons.
In the case of Hello My Teacher, I know a lot of people really love that drama. I did like it in the beginning but I stopped watching it, halfway into the drama. It’s not the drama, it’s just me.
I know! Our earliest dramas have a special place 🙂 Answer Me 1997 is definitely one of the best shows (are u watching A Me 1994??)
To The Beautiful You looks really colorful and shallow….but its original Hana Kimi is on my plan list….
I wanted to see Monstar but many viewers had underwhelming response about its ending and that killed the urge to pick it up….
I can understand about Hello My Teacher….it’s good but very episodic in format…I liked it but not very much….