Rating:
Average user rating 4.8
85

The Unstoppable High Kick

I’m bored. Bored, bored, bored.

Not only bored, but restless. The only drama that holds my interest these days is Legend, and that’s just barely. It’s not hard to tell that my taste veers to trendy dramas — the fluffier, the better — and I feel the current lack keenly. As I was saying to a friend recently, I can find meaning in the most superficial of trendy dramas — just give me the sugariest cotton-candy drama and I’ll mine the hell out of it looking for depth and thematic resonance. Of course, I do have some standards — I won’t watch just any trendy drama, if it’s just a boring rehash of familiar stuff. But let’s say that if trendy dramas are the television equivalent of chick lit, I’m looking for Bridget Jones, not Shopaholic or Lipstick Jungle or whatever else comes with cheesy pink covers and pictures of high heels and handbags and jewelry. (I am not my accessories closet! … and if only I actually had an accessories closet!)

What does that have to do with The Unstoppable High Kick? Nothing really, except explain just how bored I am and in need of something light and fun, even if it doesn’t aspire to be meaningful. I missed the boat on High Kick when it first aired — daily sitcoms usually air over a hundred episodes, and that’s just too much of a commitment. It finished its run earlier this summer, but AZN has been showing it (unsubtitled), and I’ve let the episodes accumulate on my Tivo, watching them whenever I remember to. I’m somewhere up in the nineties now (there are 167 episodes), although I skipped a bunch in the beginning.

SONG OF THE DAY

Heritage – “Grateful” [ zShare download ]

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For being a sitcom, High Kick isn’t really terribly funny. It’s mildly amusing, but it’s not laugh-out-loud or joke-laden. In fact, I find a lot of Korean sitcoms are really just excuses for family drama content to be compressed into a shorter, lighter, more plot-meandering series. I find a lot of the hour-long comedic “dramas” are much, much funnier than a sitcom (i.e., Samsoon, My Girl). But that’s the current format, and I’m sure Korea will find a way to make the structure work once they break out of the mindset of replicating early American family sitcoms with the bad laugh tracks and cheesy (non-)humor.

Once I let go of the expectation for the sitcom to be funny, though, thinking of it as a short-form family drama instead, High Kick was a lot more entertaining.

 

 
Part of why I was noncommittal about High Kick for a long while (whereas college-campus sitcom Nonstop 5 won me over almost immediately) was because half its cast hugely annoys me — the entire adult half. Since this is a family sitcom revolving around the central Lee family, it’s a pretty big hindrance when you find yourself disliking every single adult character (to varying degrees). It makes big chunks of episodes much less interesting to watch — but easier to fast-forward, so there is that.

The grandparents and parents usually just act as foils for the younger generation, and are a mix of cranky (grandpa, grandma), nosy (mom), and meddling (grandma, mom). In the middle generation, the love triangle revolving around Minyong gives me the impression that I’m supposed to root for the Minyong-Minjung coupling, but I find the guy supremely irritating (he’s cranky, bad-tempered, surly, and cold), which ruins the whole thing, really. He’s like an old ajusshi stuck inside a slightly-less-old ajusshi’s body.

Both women (Minjung, left; Shinji, right) are a mix of cute and annoying, depending on the situation, although they’re usually tolerable when not in the company of Mr. Crankypants.

That just leaves us with the youngest generation, but thankfully, they make up for the lack of appeal in the rest of the cast. It’s definitely the kids, by far, who make High Kick fun, starting with brothers Minho (actor Kim Hye Sung) and Yunho (Jung Il Woo), and extending to their friends Kang Yumi (Park Min Young) and Kim Bum (whose character shares his real name).

 

 
But of course, the undeniable breakout is Jung Il Woo, who plays the youngest son, the broody, often-misunderstood, rebel-with-a-cause Yunho. He’s cool precisely because he doesn’t care about being cool — or at least not by mere silly high school standards. He’s also adorable, and although I feel like a pervy almost-ajumma (clinging to late-stage noona-ness as long as I can) for finding him so damn cute, I have to say, I *totally* get it. I can understand his widespread popularity and see why he broke out of the High Kick pack as its undisputed star.

Although Yunho is someone I’d probably find frustrating in real life (he does whatever he wants; in contrast, his older brother Minho is good-natured, smart, and easygoing), his character is by far the most complex and layered in the High Kick cast — you might even say he’s the only one with any layers. He can be immature and mischievous, but occasionally exhibits flashes of old-soul wisdom (despite being not-quite-book-smart). He’s rebellious but loyal at the core, brooding and removed but completely boyish the minute he breaks into a smile. It’s a good thing I didn’t know any guys that charismatic back in my high school days.

I saw some interview with Jung Il Woo where he explained that he’d gotten the role of Yunho when he’d messed up a line in his audition. He’d smiled unexpectedly in embarrassment/fun, and producers found his smile surprisingly winning — which then went on to be widely known as his special brand of “killer smile.”

 
 
In fact, I suspect that the episode where Minjung’s high school classmate shows up and falls right for the teenage Yunho was made seeing the audience’s response to Jung Il Woo. The woman gushes over Yunho’s looks, his cool demeanor, his tough-guy image — and then bemoans their ten-year age gap, since he’s only seventeen. (Jung Il Woo is twenty; that goes a little distance, but not much, in making me feel less pervy thinking he’s adorable.)

The one storyline that has me coming back — and I suspect it’s the same for most viewers — is the one between Yunho and his teacher, the naive-sweet-klutzy Minjung (who happens to date his uncle). It’s compelling because of the paradox it presents — we all want a happy ending for Yunho and his crush (although his feelings seem more serious than a crush), but the setup is just not going to happen on a family sitcom — she’s his teacher, she’s ten years older, he’s still a minor. It’s seeing how they dance around this restriction that makes High Kick fun (even if I’ve got to fast-forward most of the other adult storylines). Minjung considers them purely as friendly teacher and student — and although the show is family-friendly and uncontroversial (no Mary Kay Letourneau exposés here!), the show frequently flirts around their relationship in what basically amounts to a huge saucy wink at the audience.

The episode with the older woman crushing on Yunho also teases us into thinking maybe, just maybe, there’s hope for Yunho and his teacher (we know it’s not likely, but we can hope): after Minjung asks Yunho to be nice to her clingy, annoying friend and humor her attraction to him, she apologizes for requesting such a distasteful favor. She hadn’t thought how awful it must’ve been for him, having to deal with a woman liking him who’s ten years older. Yunho responds brusquely (before heading off into the twilight on his motorcycle): “I merely didn’t like that particular woman. Age is no issue.”

(And of course, we all fall for the line. And the guy.)

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lol... if you're bored and looking for fluff, try some non-gasoo fanfic otherwise knows as original fiction on soompi. A lot of them are crap but there are some gems that might hold your interest. Just check out the recommendations thread.

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If you are looking for cute dramas to watch, have you tried Nodame Cantabile? It's a jdrama, but I noticed you watched HYD ^^ . Nodame is zany, wacky, completely over-the-top, but it's hilarious and the music is beautiful :).

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Yeah, things are pretty dry these days. I'm watching Thank You on AZN and it's pretty nice. Nodame Cantabile is definitely nice and I think, right up your alley. A cute one is Rude Women. I don't think it's necessarily blog-worthy but if you're looking for something to while away the time, it's not half bad.

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Oops... I'm clogging up your comments page. Did you get rid of the edit option? Didn't mean to comments as two different ppl... I'm also anon#1. I just forgot to leave a name. Feel free to delete this comment.

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The one that I am watching right now is 9 end 2 out and it's really good and funny at the same time. Give it a try and maybe you would like it too.

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I guess it is okay to have nothing to watch...Okay to be bored. Maybe k-drama obsession can take a break?

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I recall you like Kang Ji Hwan? Are you not interested to check out "Capital Scandal" ?
I've seen it, and found it interesting, way better than his latest projects such as Firework and 90 days to Live. KJH is funny again, and..this is not saeguk thingy, but it was refreshing to see 1930s drama..
( Have I convinced you yet? :P )
Now I'm watching 9ends 2out ( or 2 Outs in the 9th Inning ), and if you're looking for the "Bridget Jones" type of drama, well, this is not the one. Even though I feel this one is interesting enough ( and I'm falling for Lee Jun Jin this time, forget his horrible English on Love in Harvard ), it still has the draggy moments, and I get REALLY annoyed by the younger lover's character who is crying A LOT. (OH! If I want to have younger BF, I would never want to have this kind. He's crybaby..more than me! Yes, am also "an almost-ajumma who is clinging to late-stage noona-ness as long as I can" )

OK, enough of off topic blabber. Good luck to you dear ( for finding a new drama excitement )!

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How about Get Karl Oh Soo Jung? That's pretty light and funny IMO. Has a little Bridget Jones feel to it.

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I'm experiencing drama drought. The only drama I am looking forward to is the sageuk "Yi-San" starring Lee Seo Jin from Damo. Any sageuk fans here?

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I watch dramas/sitcoms/movies originated from any country as long as the storyline is good & worth watching e.g. Korean, Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Spanish, USA (of course all with english subs...hahaha). I found its interesting to enjoy dramas/movies from various sources where you can learn to view things or certain issues in different perspectives.

There's a chinese proverb saying: Life itself is like a movie, movie itself is like life...

BTW, I'm currently hooked with Ugly Betty (USA)...I know, i know....its been airing since last year.....& maybe most of u have already watched it....:P

Have a GREAT day everyone!!

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I have not watched the drama but, as it so happens, I've been watching the anime version of Nodame Cantabile... and after about half of it (10 episodes?), I deleted the rest of the series -- in fact I did so just a few moments before clicking into this site. I can't seem to finish up on anime series anymore.

For an excellent jdorama I'd recommend "1 Litre of Tears."

Since I'm bored too, let me express that I recently watched the indie movie "Once"... and feel myself not getting the hype - or the dull music, though "Falling Slowly" is a good song (just nothing special).

Maybe I'll check out High Kick. :)

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I was wondering if it was just me that was feeling extremely bored about the current drama lineup. I think the approach to the end of the year usually brings up a few good ones and a few unexpected gems so fingers crossed for whatever's coming up.

(Oh and I totally see the appeal of Jung Il Woo, he only needs to smile...)

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Lee Min Ki's new drama, Evasive Inquiry Agency, starts on Oct 8 and it's supposedly going to be wacky and different. You might like it. *wink*

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It true that it has been a bored since Coffee Prince. Can't find anything to beat that series. Anyway I got to watch something ... so the list goes on ... or should I say the search goes on ... currently watching Queen of the Game (interesting but dan't have much to say about it) and just finished Young Jea's Golden Days (feels like watching Dal Jah's Spring, though I enjoyed Dal Jah's Spring more but I like the lighting designs in the series) ... oh well ... guess I'm stuck with The Four Gods for now though I don't really like 'ancient' old costumes kinda series (I like the effect though). I find the Korean movie maker is good in effect these days. I like the effect in the movie The Restless, kinda of blew me away. Differ from the old Hong Kong's series. The fighting scenes look real and natural for me.
Thanks Javabean for everything. As always you are the best in doing this. Keep up the good work.

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I've been very bored since after i finished watching Coffee Prince .I cannot find anything that really caught my attention.I think I'm going to stop watching k-dramas for now and concentrate on movies.Maybe i'll find something interesting.But I would still visit your site every now and then because I love reading all your topics and comments.

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I'm waiting for the debut of both Lobbyist and Evasive Inquiry Agency next month. EIA maybe more of a quirky and off-the-wall comedy than a rom-com, so not sure if that is exactly what you are pining for. But on the other hand, it could be the sleeper hit that we need at the moment. I have a feeling that you were restless when i noticed quite a few comedic touches in your reviews of Legend. That drama is so heavy and intense that it could be comical at times if we take it too seriously! Enjoy the downtime, javabeans.

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interesting... its so interesting to see how everyone's responding to the lack of coffee prince out there. i thought i knew how great it was, but i think i didnt truly realize what a gem it was!

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TV seems to have peaked and now that summer is gone and everyone is back in school, the writers are taking a breather. All that's left to do is troll through the old shows e.g. Green Rose (Invincible Parachute Agent was quite amusing, led to my discovery of Eric Mun) and wait for more of David Duchovney playing a jaded, thoroughly dissipated character in the throes of a midlife crisis a.k.a Californication.

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I tried to email you privately but it get some weird page instead. I have a request and this is the only way I can ask it of you. Is there anyway you can do a recap of Goong? I know Goong is copywrited and I do not have a way to buy the show. I only got to episode 2 and I really want to know what happened. It got me hooked and I have no other way to see it. You do such a great job of recapping a show. I would appreciated it if you could. If not, I understand, just let me know please.

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Hmmm I was really happen when you had the song by Heritage..it's one of my favorites and I definitely agree with you - I'll watch anything cheesy too and reading anything cheesy but I have my limits. I can't get through the Shopaholic books either...

I didn't watch High Kick but I didn't get why Jung Il WOo is so popular - his face is literally plastered all over Seoul...quite annoying actually. This provides some sort of insight...I'm not going to watch High Kick but I would recommend another daily sitcom to you. I think it's still airing - don't know how popular it's goin to be but I'm watching it currently..it's not too bad - the adults are quite annoying though.

It's with Han Ji Hye and Kim Ji Suk - 'I Hate You But It's Okay' maybe you can check it out. =]

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hi ^^
I dont know about highkick but kimchi cheese smile is funny,,
and again I recommend Capital Scandal again, yep it was a real nice drama ^^

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I miss those days when Javabeans made very fun summaries of Witch Amusement! Eventhough it was no A-class drama but it surely was A-class humor material. Not all dramas can be mocked in such a fun-filled manner. So Witch Amusement must be unique and has its "good points". LOL. I see Invinsible Parachute Agent was mentioned, then I think Super Rookie should be too. It also has Han Ga In! IPA has less of a plot than Super Rookie but definitely has "good points" like Witch Amusement.

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> I feel like a pervy almost-ajumma
> (clinging to late-stage noona-ness as long as I can)

Keke! Love this line :) I can definitely relate...

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drama drough... quite a boring and painful dry spill...
i'm might just take a breather and switch to movies... reading your last post i tried ''Bad couple''... the first episode was def a winner...and yes that lil girl is a cutie pie...so as soon as i get used to the main character's hairstyle i might get back to it... :P i had tried ''hello! miss'' , but i got bored by episode 6. no need to watch this series if you've already seen ''my girl '' because they are both too similar...and only a few details were changed...tried ''attic cat'', but so far it reminds me too much of ''chun hyang'' with him being chased out of the house every other day...but i'm nonetheless still intrigued, so i might get back to it...

question: any opinions on ''fantasy couple''??

well, so my search continues...

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I am glad that there is another person like me who wants to see the recap of Goong.I tried everywhere to look for Goong episodes but none has it.They told me it was copywrited .A friend of mine has the dvd but unfortunately the subtitle sucks .Javabeans, can you please do the recap of Goong.I would really appreciate it and I know a lot of people would want to see it too.

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I hear that Unstopable High kick is great and i really want to watch it, i didn't read ur post because I was afraid of spoilers. lol
should i start watching the sitcom?

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Right now, I recommend you:
Sweet Relationship from Taiwan.

You'll love it ^^

You can watch the trailers here:
http://www.veoh.com/userVideos.html?username=intangiblefs

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im actually sad that i didnt get to start high kick! im such a huge jung il woo fan after seeing the later eps. lol. i wish i started it. im watching kimchi cheese smile, another sitcom that followed hick kick. its a bit funnier i must say. the cast is funny. consisting of shin goo, euldong (song il gook's mom), lee hyeyoung, and some other younger casts. the other cute guys in the series including kim sanho, and kijoon. adorable i must say. hahaha but nothing beats jung il woo at being so charistmatic, adorable, loveable all in one. :)

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thundie, i've got my eye on evasive inquiry agency... ;)

Sorry to say, I don't have any plans to recap Goong. With the already existing numerous comments, thoughts and opinions floating out on the drama, and its immense popularity, I don't think I'd be adding much to the Goong-related discourse.

Fantasy Couple was a fun drama -- even when it was silly and frivolous, it was paced nicely (trust the Hong sisters for that!) and kept the fun going.

And as for High Kick -- ultimately it's your decision to figure out if it's worth your time or not. As with anything, there are pluses and minuses. The good thing is, the stories progress kinda loosely, so if you get bored, you can skim or skip through the lesser-exciting episodes without missing much. I will say the characters really grow on you, and if you find even one you particularly like (most likely it's Jung Il Woo, just going on probability, although Kim Bum sure is a cutie too), it'll probably be enough to keep you going.

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Javabeans, don't you start ;) the power of yr blogging! I'm a sucker for that hint-of-romance type of dramas...(Good bye Gong Yoo, Hello Jung Il Woo?) My work practically came to a standstill during CP :P But I am fan of your writing. Thanks a mil :)!

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I hear ya with the boredom. I blazed through Taereung National Village super fast (loved it, btw! thanks for the recommendation!) and now I'm rewatching Goong to stave off the boredom. Oh, and crocheting. Maybe next I'll rewatch Dae Jang Geum. Oh, what I wouldn't do for another Coffee Prince level drama ... heck, I'd even settle for another Witch Yoo Hee.

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i am big fan of hyun bin and jung il woo , .first meet hyun bin in i am sam ,i liked him
i meet il woo in highkick , he so cute. they ...cute....beautyfull......prretty.....hot......perfec in my eyes
singer and boy band i love tvxq (dbsg) , big bang , a little ft island . anybody know news of all them .know me , please. thanks
i know a little english ,do not laugh me

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and fly to the sky . i love them too

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amail n fs aq sama. add aq jika punya something bout star korea

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Oh, I wish I could watch this sitcom, I live in Brazil and we don't have any channels that broadcast this kind of show... ¬ ¬ Only American stuff, damn! xD

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Oo Im really love watch High Kick WoW

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where can i watch high kick episodes with english subs online im looking for episode 13 onward plz help much appreciated message me on youtube or crunchy roll user name hacked2day for both tyvm in advanced

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i like highkick so much!!!!!!!! i'm so obsessed about it!!!!

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i think Jung Il Woo looks so hot!!!!!!

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i dont like the person who wrote this story! this person shouldve tried to do better!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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i meant summary not story...

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i like kim hye sung so much.....

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Does anyone know where I can watch Unstoppable High Kick with english subs?

Only videos I can find are the unsubbed ones on Veoh and a list of links of the episodes on youtube, but nearly all of them are missing and have been deleted due to copyright.

If anyone knows, please let me know!

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Hi Key,

You had mentioned that your friend had a dvd of highkick series. Do you know how your friend was able to get one? I purchased a copy of the series from Australia but has Chinese sub. I understand Korean, but my husband who actually loves this show does not and would like to get my hands on dvd with ENG sub. Please let me know. Thanks.

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that girl who plays yummi...she reminds me of the girl in Big Bang`s HaruHaru MV-the main charector in I Am Sam.

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javabeans,
can you tell me a website where i can watch highkick?
youtube and veoh took out the show and i dont know any websites to watch it so can you help me to find?

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dammit i thought it was the lee min ho from boys before flowers. :)) nevermind. but i still wanna watch it cuz of kim bum!!:))

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go to tudou and search 不可阻挡地 high kick :) hope it helps

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Jung Il Woo is very great. he is wonderful in my eyes.

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.. kim sang bum is an unstoppable high rated gorgeous!!! wahaha.. col me!

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