Drama Recaps
Dream High concert and final thoughts
by | March 1, 2011 | 152 Comments

Yesterday saw the end to Dream High, so Tuesday’s episode was a(n edited) broadcast of the concert, which was the drama’s way of putting a spin on the familiar special broadcast format of behind-the-scenes clips, NGs, and stories from the drama shoots.

It also gives me a chance to weigh in on the ending, since I didn’t get a chance to do that with the finale, and send off this unexpected gem of a show, which didn’t inspire too much confidence pre-premiere but somehow showed us all it had the humor, heart, and wit to become a keeper.


“어떤이의 꿈” (Someone’s Dream), from the concert. [ Download ]

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The concert also gave the stars a chance to take the stage and show their live-performance skills, which, admittedly, left a little to be desired but were no less appreciated for the effort. The special started off with “어떤이의 꿈” (Someone’s Dream), the song that started it all for Jin-gook and Baek-hee at the first showcase, which is posted above.

(I didn’t rip all the songs from the special because a number of them have studio versions. This one’s on the soundtrack, but not sung by the cast members.)

A few clips from the drama remind us of the almost-showdown between Jason and Jin-man, though the latter backed off from a dance-off out of timidity. How much do I love that the special gives us that showdown, with the bonus of seeing both Taecyeon and Wooyoung donning the hilarious red suits from the Jin-man flashback, joining Park Jin-young in a dance… to MC Hammer’s “Too Legit To Quit.” Oh man. I’m getting childhood flashbacks already, back to the days of sky-high bangs, hi-top sneakers, and parachute pants.

The concert’s talky portion segued the event into more standard special segments, in the guise of “special awards.” It’s a clever way to incorporate the usual behind-the-scenes bits into a larger theme, and Taecyeon beat out his castmates as the on-set jokester, with the penchant for busting out into cute, silly dance steps when he thought the cameras weren’t rolling. (He joked that seeing the compilation of his behind-the-scenes moments, he felt “betrayed” by the cameras, since he had thought they were off.) Wooyoung and Kim Soo-hyun had their share of goofing off, but they both ceded that the win belonged to Taec.

The second “award” was really just an excuse to segue into the NG portion, and Park Jin-young reportedly was the worst at flubbing takes (it was his acting debut — though really, he was pretty fantastic in the clips that made it to air), although he had some competition from the rest, particularly Suzy, whose fatal flaw was dissolving into laughter at inappropriate moments. JYP even earned the nickname of “Hollywood actor,” which he explained came from his many NGs, which came as a result of him not being familiar with lighting and technicalities while acting. So he’d joke when he messed up that, “This is really different from how they do things in Hollywood.”

Fans of the Milk Couple — Wooyoung and IU, aka Jason and Pil-sook — will probably thrill to hear the story of how the two actors slipped away alone for a dinner away from the rest of the cast (earning mock outrage from Taecyeon at being left behind). He’d paid for the dinner (she said things were so awkward that all they did was eat), which he said was because he was her elder, and then asked her to buy him dinner next time. So the second time, they went to a barbecue restaurant — with their respective staffs in tow — and IU said he’d eaten so much (expensive) beef that frankly she’d been a bit worried about the cost, only to discover that he’d paid that time, too.

The MCs teased that he seemed to be inventing excuses to hang out, and while personally I think the story’s a little weak to be launching any big romance theories, it’s better than nothing, eh?

A gentle question about Suzy’s difficulties while filming were a roundabout reference to the slew of criticism she received for her acting earlier in the drama’s run. The staff presented her with the third award — for being hardworking — and she laugh-cried as she tried to explain how touched she was.

Truth be told, I don’t think the criticisms were too far off-base, since acting really is Dream High‘s biggest flaw, in my opinion. I came to love Hye-mi’s character — non-emotive facial expressions and all — and found her really endearing, but I can’t help but think that had Suzy and Taecyeon been better actors, Dream High would have been a better drama. I say that as an enthusiastic fan already, but one who can’t quite give it full marks because there were too many scenes where I saw what I ought to be feeling rather than felt those emotions from the acting outright.

More performing was followed by a segment where aspiring music-lovers/students were brought out as real-life versions of the Dream High counterparts, such as the girl who’d lost a great deal of weight and has begun to be taken seriously by her peers. The students were given two gifts each, both of which are pretty sweet: a musical instrument (a keyboard for one, a guitar for another), and their own versions of the drama’s K pendant to remind them to keep dreamin’ on.

As far as fandom paraphernalia goes, it doesn’t get much better than that pendant, does it? You could practically hear the envy emanating from the audience. Oh, okay, maybe from me too.

And with that, the special ended with two of its most recognizable tunes: “Dream High” and “거위의 꿈” (A Goose’s Dream), the latter of which is posted below and was kicked off by Hye-mi’s li’l sis. [ Download ]

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And there you have it.

Though I’ll still say that the drama could easily turn a Season 2 into a success, as far as this season’s concerned I’m pleased with the way things wrapped, and glad that an extension wasn’t ultimately granted, if having more episodes means that the rhythm of the finale would have been tripped up. It had just the right mix of giving fans what they wanted…but not so much that it became an exercise in fanservice that provided cute and fuzzy scenes at the expense of continuity or story strength.

That’s really the thing I hate when I’m talking about the perils of fanservice, because pleasing fans, in and of itself, is hardly a bad thing. As a fan I wouldn’t have minded a few more scenes of my favorite couple(s), but not if that compromises the flow of the story. It’s when you have finale episodes that are purely about giving up that Cute that they don’t even bother attempting narrative logic that I get grumpy.

Perhaps the drama’s awesome flashes of meta awareness were enough to satisfy the fanservice quotient, and who doesn’t love a good pop-culture reference? (The “Tell Me” reference in the finale CRACKED. MY. SHIT. UP. Trust JYP to manage a promo op for the Wonder Girls while giving us a clever plot point AND a self-referential joke.)

I liked that the kiddos stuck together rather than split up their group, but that after some time had passed, they’d all moved on to their individual successes. It makes sense that at that moment in time, in 2011, their dreams were all in sync and the group was at its strongest with everyone onboard, each member a key part of the whole. But dreams are, if anything, a launching pad to further dreams, so the years naturally take them on their own paths, but thanks to the fact that they started in the same place, they’ll always have those shared moments rooting them together. Not that they couldn’t have remained friends if they hadn’t done that, but I just love the way it ended up working out. Sam-dong’s journey has taken him to the highest heights, replete with the greatest loneliness, because he’d had the greatest dreams. The drama may have finished with each person in a successful position, but it almost seems to say that success is just the (happy) byproduct of living a life in pursuit of those dreams, that lifeblood of souls. More than achievement of romantic love, or even the expression of friendship, that’s a message I can get behind.

For me, Dream High was a happy surprise, and a prime example of why expectations and reality don’t always line up. In fact, it’s usually the opposite, given how many fantastic-sounding dramas ended up flopping — or, more likely, merely boring. And I won’t argue that Dream High is some genius work of art, because sure, it had its flaws and its obvious plot twists and its (sadly) lapses in acting from the cast. But where it succeeded was in melding commerce and art, making the most of what it was and keeping the energy pumping and the jokes free-flying, while never losing sight of the emotion and warmth at the center.


152 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. ohemgee

    JYP is just too much.

    and i can’t get enough, LOL.

    • 1.1 ohemgee

      ok, and the hugs at the end of goose’s dream made me tear up. :'( i will miss these dream high misfits and their ridiculous teacher yang!

      • 1.1.1 no name


        i felt as if i was part of the cast and it just breaks my heart to part with them. will surely miss my mon-tues fix!

    • 1.2 Ani

      JYP AWESOMENESS I will miss but loved oh-so-very-much:

      1) When he scratched his ass and than shook hands with Yon-sama with said hand
      2) Robo-teach and his entrance with the Terminator theme song playing in the background
      3) His failed attempts at trying to name the group was either Albatross or R2D2 and his motions to accompany the names
      4) His happy moment for being the songwriter for the group’s title track with the Star War’s theme song in the background
      5) How easily he was pleased when Hye-mi said he could put on a school uniform and be mistaken for a student
      6) When he got mad at the Mob-Boss-turned-Music-Company-President and said that you don’t sing with your face (oh, and the sad reality that JYP doesn’t have much in the looks department X,( ….)
      7) How he is soooo confident about his dancing skills and singing
      8) AND SO MUCH MORE!

      I liked Jinman from the moment he scratched his ass (gross, I know), but he was too hilarious to not like.

      • 1.2.1 Severine

        Jin-man was one of my favorites. I can’t believe JYP had never acted before, because he knocked this role out of the park. I’ll miss him dearly. And, omg, the “too legit to quit” dance in the special was the best three minutes of my life. LOL.

    • 1.3 Rina

      His scenes never failed to make me laugh!

    • 1.4 orenji

      Taecyeon & Wooyoung – My Valentine (Dream High Concert Special). this one was cut from actual broadcast.


      *crossing fingers they’ll upload Suzy & Soohyun’s Maybe*

      • 1.4.1 Rachel

        Yeah! I was wondering why they missed that song out. I love that song.

  2. Biscuit

    How I’d die to be there!

    Dream High was such a pleasant surprise because it kept you interesting for each episode until it’s end. Sad to see it end, but I guess any longer would have it’s charm slowly get worn out.

    DH’s style is very different from many K-dramas, yet for some reason, it did better in keeping you hooked for every episode in comparison to even big budget dramas (*cough*Athena*cough*). Surprise, surprise?

    • 2.1 Rina

      Compared to other dramas, this one was actually one that I wasn’t very interested at the start. It wasn’t until I read the first recap did I decide to give it a try…so glad I did!

      • 2.1.1 nona

        same here but after that i’m hooked…

        how i loved this drama, you wouldn’t have a feeling of skipping any episode.

        i like the ways DH use its music to its advantage! i really love all the songs here

  3. Celest

    Totally agree with you. Dream High was a great surprise and a gem. Not many dramas nowadays focuses on many of the actors’ growth. I loved the character transformations that resulted by the end of the series.

    I would totally watch this concert just because of the Jin Man, JinGook and Jason dance number. MC Hammer ftw!

    • 3.1 bobbie

      All kinds of awesomeness. Had to pause it whilst watching ‘cos I couldn’t stop laughing when Woo Young and Taec came on stage.

  4. K (not the pendant, but the first letter of my name)

    Thanks so much for this! Now im twice as excited. 😀

    • 4.1 lei

      now, don’t tell me your name is Kirin?? 🙂

      • 4.1.1 Bluefyre

        It’s probably Kim or something. 😀

  5. ilukd

    I can’t help but think that had Suzy and Taecyeon been better actors, Dream High would have been a better drama….. exactly my thought …. Dream High for me actually belongs to SamDong … As a whole cause i didn’t expect anything form this drama .. so it hit me to my heart … not bad at all

  6. Penn

    I’m missing this show already.

    • 6.1 Rina

      I’m having withdrawls…I miss you, Show!

    • 6.2 alove

      I miss KSH 🙁

  7. rose

    i like this drama how it evolved and how things turn out to be …. it like you know what will happen but not quite what you expect and that the charm of it , i may be not be totally inlove with it but liking it better than the others ….

  8. h311ybean

    I haven’t seen the whole concert thingy yet, but didn’t fail to watch the JYP & Co. dance number 😀 I do remember those high tops, Hammer pants and sky-high bangs (I guess I should be glad I only had one of the three).

    If there’s going to be a Season 2, I’d like for it to center on a new generation (although the teachers are more than welcome to stay on), with maybe just occasional references to the original kids. You’re right about the drama ending just as it should, with lots of flexibility between the debut and the epilogue for fans to use their imaginations 🙂

    • 8.1 Rina

      I agree, I think that it would best that it was a new generation (maybe with Hye-sung?). The teachers can still be part of it, maybe a cameo from a few of the original cast?

  9. Dorothy

    Love your recaps! Will check out this series based on your reviews. I really loved “The woman who still wants to marry”. Started watching that series because of your great comments!

  10. 10 Alvina

    This is going to sound odd but I loved the way the series’ characters ended up…

    and I’m loving even more that PIlsook became fat. It’s weird but somehow, I related to her more because she just did whatever made her feel happy lol.

    I guess that was the biggest “lesson” of this drama.

    • 10.1 lixin64

      Me too! I LOVED that Pilsook got fat again. It’s just like the scene where she was telling Jason that she was happy with herself “back then.” It’s sending a message that you don’t have to be skinny to be happy or successful. Loved it =]

      p.s. How cute was the umbrella scene w/ Wooyoung and IU??

      • 10.1.1 marisa

        I loved that too. She became big but not quite as big as in the beginning. She looked truly content.
        Isn’t this what life is about – being comfortable in your own skin?
        Also enjoyed the fact that our 3 heroines looked healthy – an important impact for thinness-obsessed girls in Korea and everywhere.

        p.s. I almost skipped this drama because of teenage overload (I was 15, 15 years ago) but I skimmed through the first 4 eps and became addicted to Crack High.
        GirlFriday is just the biggest crack enabler!

  11. 11 Uhh..

    Imagine if there were more episodes added, then we might of seen Samdong return to Korea in episode 17 and reunite with HyeMi.

  12. 12 Lanselau

    Ohh I will miss so much this drama, I think I have to watch it again 🙂

    It’s just I don’t get why SM and HM have to end separated…, I guess life is that way, you can’t have everything… 🙁

  13. 13 sora

    thank u sooooooooooo much Javabeans!!

  14. 14 butter

    Didn’t originally intend to watch this drama at all – but after reading the second recap (go gf!) was pulled into the glorious story and…. well…. the joy of watching glorious “noona-slayer” Kim Soo-hyun.

    You did mention he was legal, right?

    Thank you soooo much for the recaps and for being my constant K-drama inspiration – looking forward to the next one!

    • 14.1 Bluefyre

      Oh yes. All 23 (24 in Korean years) years legal. 😀

      He totally doesn’t look it. Even my Korean friend (who’s the same age) was shocked to learn he was.

      I want moaarrr Kim Soo-Hyun! lol

      • 14.1.1 lala

        isn’t he actually 23 though? what’s korean years?

        • mycorrhizoid

          There’s a different age counting system in Korea.

          Basically to get someone’s Korean age you take their actual age, add a year (this is to represent the “year” the person spent as a fetus) and then add another year if it’s past the New Year but before their birthday (everyone turns a year older on the New Year, so that everyone born in a certain year is always the same age).

          So, being born on February 16, 1988, Kim Soohyun’s international age is 23, but his Korean age is 24.

          But Wooyoung, born on April 30, 1989, is 21 internationally and 23 in Korean age.

          It’s kind of confusing, I think the “everyone gets a year older at the same time” thing is so you can always tell whether someone was born in the same year as you by asking their age (and you need to know that to know how to address them).

    • 14.2 nona

      lols….i was actually one of the noona’s slayed by KSH….

      can’t stop listening to his music…

    • 14.3 sandra

      xD I love how everybody who loves him is so far from his age! I’m not older, I’m actually younger than him(16), so that would still be illegal for me -.- Anyways, I can still dream~

  15. 15 hmmm...

    The ending to Dream High reminded me of the ending to Hana Yori Dango Season 1. Where Makino and Domyoji had to be seperated, and Domyoji gave Makino the pendant. Dang it. Dream High reminds me of Hana Yori Dango more then the Korean Boys Over Flowers.

    • 15.1 Bluefyre

      Now that you mention it, you’re right!

      Here’s to hope for Season 2, I guess? Haha. One can dream after all 😉

    • 15.2 mojaslatka

      I had that thought too. I hope there will be season 2. I really miss dream high.

  16. 16 xylophonic

    I cried for at least fifteen minutes after the finale. I was happy that Sam-dong got his fame (hence, tears) but I was also fairly heartbroken at the thought of his loneliness (hence more tears), and that was the biggest issue I had with the finale. Still, it’s a just a small qualm, since it was very realistic and I do appreciate that.

    Man, how much do I love that this is the first drama in ages where the phrase “Noble Idiot” hasn’t been uttered not even once (from what I can remember)? This is real-life drama at its finest, at least as far as the ending message goes, maybe specific situations aside. I loved how Pil-sook didn’t stay super skinny, it just made me love her (and the writers) even more.

    I know I said I was all for Baek-hee being K, but how it turned out makes much more sense, however bittersweet it may be. You’d probably think Baek-hee would be a lot happier as K though, wouldn’t you?

    • 16.1 kay

      i believe it was used once in ep 13 by girlfriday when jin gook refused to say why he beat up president yoon. but i guess in this case, it actually worked.

      • 16.1.1 xylophonic

        Oh yes, I did think there was one time. I agree that it worked, since most people saw through it anyway xD

    • 16.2 saraha

      Same here. I still can’t get over the finale– that Samdong and Hyemi are not together physically because they’re individually pursuing their own dreams and that entails SD to be away.

      It’s sad… but realistic. I was thinking about if the ending catered to fanservice; I would have enjoyed it, but it would not have made as much of an impact as it did. (This is my biggest gripe with Sungkyunkwan Scandal. Love the drama, but I hated how the ending all dealt with the CUTE fanservice at the expense of rationality and reality.)

      And “Only Hope” kills me now. I swear, this song fits the SD-HM storyline better than it did the Walk to Remember story. Although my gripe is with Suzy’s lackluster/expressionless performance of the song…

      • 16.2.1 Belle

        Hi pardon my intrusion but I just had to jump in and agree with your comment about “Only Hope”! I’m never going to listen to the song the same way again haha.

      • 16.2.2 Natalie

        omg i love how you mentioned how frustrating the finale of Sungkyunkwan Scandal was, I couldn’t stand the finale at all and it ruined how smart and awesome the first half of the series was…

        for me i absolutely agree, i would have been happy if they gave Hye Mi and Sam Dong the ultimate happy ending together, but it was realistic, bittersweet and very satisfying that they gave them both their dreams, but have them on separate paths… but the ending off with the kiss was enough to keep me happy.

        i have no idea how much happier i would be if they were more fanservicey but i think the last kiss left a much bigger impact on me as opposed to if it were a fanservicey cute scene between them.

      • 16.2.3 Samz

        HAving the same issues here :'( I want them to be physically together so badly

      • 16.2.4 xylophonic

        Good point, remembering the SKKS finale only helps me to appreciate DH even more. >< And you put it very well in terms of how much it impacts us; it managed to incite an emotional reaction from me, and will therefore be much more memorable whereas I forgot about SKKS a couple days later. Oog. That finale made me cringe.

    • 16.3 Rachel

      I like that this ending, for once, was realistic. Although I still feel heartbroken for Sam Dong and Hye-mi! :'(

      I think Baek-hee would have been too laden with the guilt of all her past wrongdoings to reach such heights of fame, and, in a way, leaving her friends behind. Also, it would have been unrealistic for her to reach such heights considering all the scandals she was involved in.

      On top of that, I believe her character needed to learn that success is not always about being no. 1. Compared to her other groupmates, you could say she was the ‘least successful’, becoming a Kirin teacher. But the fact is, she had her time in the spotlight pursuing her dream of becoming a singer. And now, as a teacher, she is happy with what she is doing. That’s all that matters in the end.

  17. 17 kay

    aww little hye sung is too cute 😀

  18. 18 Bluefyre

    Agree, agree, and agree.

    Especially with this:
    “Sam-dong’s journey has taken him to the highest heights, replete with the greatest loneliness, because he’d had the greatest dreams. The drama may have finished with each person in a successful position, but it almost seems to say that success is just the (happy) byproduct of living a life in pursuit of those dreams, that lifeblood of souls. More than achievement of romantic love, or even the expression of friendship, that’s a message I can get behind.”

    So good! I love those three sentences. 🙂
    Thanks so much JB and GF! It’s been an incredible journey and I’m glad I could have shared it with everyone.

    Here’s my playlist for the Special Concert that I posted before:


    My favorite performances were definitely “Somebody’s Dream”, “Dreaming”, “Someday”, and “Goose’s Dream”.
    The “Dream High” performance (which I was looking forward to so much… :/) was kind of disappointing…though KSH was real good as always in it. 😀

    Thanks for the good times everybody!

    • 18.1 Samz


    • 18.2 Rachel

      Agree! I’d say almost everyone let themselves down live on stage, except for IU, Woo Young and KSH. But Somebody’s Dream was really good.

  19. 19 Daniela

    Yay! Usually the final episodes have your opinion and girlfriday´s opinion. So in My Princess and yesterday, I was wondering what were your final toughts, and here they are! Not that i dont like girlfriday´s opinions, because I do, but i like yours too.

    Ok, I agree. Hahaha. I dont have much to say. I agree with you. For me, Suzy did a good job in episode 16 when she is saying goodbye to Sam-dong. Kim Soo Hyun would had completely overshadowed her (sorry if it has bad grammar), but she managed to be in the same level. Hm, I cant complain much. I love her non expression face and character.

  20. 20 ni

    yay! I’m surprised you recapped a special – don’t think that has happened before on this blog, has it?
    I think Suzy got by with her own charms – she might just have “it”; that’s why she was (arguably) the most visible out of Miss A, even though the other 3 members are fierce and charismatic. But yeah, I can see how it could have been at another level with an actress like Park Bo Kyung. I still love her interpretation of Hyemi, however, and am only bothered by Taec’s overcalculated acting. Sigh. He’s like…Song Seung Hun in the making, from the good looks to the stiff acting…

    I’m happy with the ending. It’s Dream High, after all, not Love High (OH THAT DREADFUL MV FROM GROUP K!). It reminds me of a jdorama, “Buzzer Beat”, where the main couple also parted to support each other’s dream, but at the end, the girl ditched her dream to come back, and they kissed passionately. I was happy for them, and happy as a viewer, but then was left with disappointment. The whole point of the series was about this couple who respected and supported each other’s seemingly impossible dream, and that was why they fell in love. Now she just ditched her dream like that and came back? o_O Only after a year? If Samdong won 10 Grammies and came back after, say, 10 years, and found Hyemi, who was well-established not unlike Gummy or Lee Sooyoung, and then proposed dating, I wouldn’t have a problem with that. heck, even Jang Dong Gun took 8 years to be able to get married to Go So Young. Celebs just have to live differently…
    It was also appropriate that they chose their dreams – they were so young then. If 8 years later, they dated someone else, I wouldn’t be surprised. Just the fact that they still think about each other in 2018 is comforting enough for a Sammi shipper like me ^^

    • 20.1 ni

      oh sorry I meant Park Bo Young T_T

    • 20.2 Daniela

      I think that Coffee Prince also won the honor of a recap to the special episode

    • 20.3 Bluefyre

      Hit the nail on the head you did! 😀
      Especially with that last paragraph.

      As for Suzy, I’m happy with her. I hope she’ll improve more and more after this. And I’m glad she was with Kim Soo-hyun in the ending scene emotionally, etc. She wasn’t as bad (or maybe slightly better) as Eun-jung in her debut drama Coffee House.
      Suzy reminds me of YEH so much sometimes…especially in some angles. She does have it. And for a hardworking 1994-er, she just might 😉

      • 20.3.1 yayayaya

        I actually think eun jung’s acting in coffee house was better than suzy’s in DH =| i think why eunjung seemed to be not as good was because she was in a cast full of experienced and very good actors (kang ji hwan anyone? 😉 ) so thats probably why ><"

        • Maddy

          I don’t think you can really compare the two acting jobs. The characters were written very differently. HM had a lot of character development whereas SY was pretty stunt until the last ep or so.

      • 20.3.2 cantika

        same with my thought^^
        Suzy is very similar to YEH…and i hope she will be succed like YEH, Suzy fighting! (I still remember how YEH’s acting was critized, but salute, she was keep going on, i wish the same for Suzy:)
        Just love Suzy personality, and her strength! Right that she has her own charm^^, she is cute but she behave just as herself, not trying to be girly at all (not like ussual artist), even she know she can do it n all men ll charmed by her beauty^^

        • Rachel

          I agree! I think she has potential, because she has personality and charisma. Every rookie actor goes through rocky patches during their first few dramas. With hard work, I think she can make it good.

      • 20.3.3 sara

        “Suzy reminds me of YEH so much sometimes…especially in some angles.”
        I think I’m alone in this thought, Suzy really looks like YEH. and as a 17 years old she wasn’t bad at all. I really love all the cast and believed their characters even though they had some lacks.

    • 20.4 saraha

      Totally agree. I would have had an issue if they gave up their dreams just to stay together… I’m all for fanservice but only if it makes sense and serves the story (not the other way around).

    • 20.5 katiamon

      i think the same too, it would have been such a waste if Hye Mi had to give up her dream to be by Sam Dong’s side…. all the efforts, sweat and tears would have been for nothing. this was a good ending.

      • 20.5.1 Rina

        For a second, I was worried that they would have Hye-mi change her mind and go to Julliard. That way she could be near Sam-dong.

  21. 21 hannah

    I don’t think they were separated in the end maybe by distance but not the hearts hehe. It’s more of an open ending.. It’s up to our imagination how we want the story to continue. Sure I would have liked to see more of SD&HM together but in the end we know that HM also share SD’s feelings and I’m happy with that. Not to mention the sweet kiss :).

    • 21.1 Rachel

      But realistically speaking, I wonder how their relationship could have lasted for the whole 8 years.. That length of time is quite a stretch on a long distance relationship.

  22. 22 Ani

    This was a fun drama and I will mis loads about it. The couples, the bromances, the frenemies, the teachers, the cuteness, the funny, OH-EM-GEE, I’ll miss everything about it. GAH! But I don’t think I want a season 2, but I wouldn’t mind a sort of special episode where we at least get to see Hye-mi and Sam-dong getting together again (not that they were ever apart in heart/thought), but I wouldn’t mind them at least seeing each other again in person. Oh man, there’s too much I want to know about the characters like the “WHAT NOW” question. I mean, I want to see a reunion up in here. X’D

    Anyways, thank you jb and fri for the awesomeness. Thank you Beanie family for the awesome/entertaining comments. Thank You Dream High for showing us what it means to pursue your dreams.

    • 22.1 hmmm...

      I think if there is a season two… then I believe they are going to cast a new group of students. They might keep the teachers though.

  23. 23 peanut butter

    Ahh, I just finished watching the special. O will so miss this drama! I did like that I got to see all the actors singing together! Suzy’s inappropriately timed laughing was so cute! And the special even had a Milky Couple moment!

    Btw, I also laughed me head off a the matching suits of the deadly funny JYP+WooYoung+Taecyeon trio! Too! Funny!

    Now, can I have a K pendant too?

  24. 24 momosan

    Taec could not stop grinning during that Hammer-dance. That and the Milky Couple FTW!

  25. 25 kotatsulove

    Where was the “Tell Me” reference? I completely missed that!

    • 25.1 Ashnia

      during episode 16, when JYP suggested that they as in dream high the group can promote themselves by putting a up a UCC and he showed himself dancing Tell Me and how it became a viral video and everyone started dancing to it so dream high could do it as well.

      • 25.1.1 kotatsulove

        Hahahaha. That’s really clever.

      • 25.1.2 Rachel

        Wow that’s smart. Haha. JYP and YJM FTW. Some of the best songs on this show were written by him too.

  26. 26 Lamy

    Yessssss! I was waiting for another post so I could spazz again. heheh.

    Loved this drama. So much. Just started rewatching it 🙂

  27. 27 Zachary

    Love you Suzy!!!! You’re the BEst

  28. 28 Tae

    suzy, suzy,suzy,suzy,suzy,suzy,suzy.
    i’m in love wif you!!!

  29. 29 orenji

    i’m kinda disappointed that they cut Soohyun & Suzy’s “Maybe”. totally waiting for that. they cut a LOT of performances and talking to fit in 1 hour time.

    i want K pendant too. it’s so nice for them to give it to the students as an encouragement to do better. Dream High is just awesome. i’m so gonna miss all them.

    Thank u,Dream High!

    • 29.1 Samz

      Me too i was waiting for maybe 🙁

      • 29.1.1 Rachel

        You can find it on YouTube.

    • 29.2 Shiong

      I hate when Winter Child sang by Eun Jung it suppose sang by only My Suzy

  30. 30 imoan.naomi

    I really didn’t want this show to end ( which is why I’m watching the KBS World re-broadcast, lol). This special had a lot of great moments, but I was really touched when Suzy started to cry. Even though she wasn’t the greatest actress you could tell she but her heart into this show. Also when Seohyun (Hyesung) came out to sing I thought she was the cutest ever. Round that out with a Too Legit dance trio and how could anyone be disappointed?

  31. 31 bjharm

    Frankly I have a thing against boy/girl bands..I think it just covers up lack of real talent to keep turning out endless bands of this kind that Korea does or worse kills off possibly real talent from individual talents by forcing them to fit into a band. I also dislike that dance and looks have to matter more than being a real singer…what they where teaching was how to be an entertainer..not a singer..to an entertainer these days it seems real singing talent takes a long distant third to looks and stage dancing..and lets face it a lot of idol pop ‘singers’ can not even sing that well.
    But for all that I enjoyed the drama and it really got my respect when they added in the sexual abuse storey line..so thumbs up!

  32. 32 AuntieMame

    Your comments stated beautifully my sentiments about this drama. Putting the quality of the acting aside, which, at least, wasn’t terrible, I found nothing to criticize in each episode.

    Since the kids are idols with their own fan base, they, naturally, had a lot of appreciative fans.

    However, there was one person who was overlooked. And, that was Teacher Yang Jin Min. Rather, it was the actor, Park Jin Young.

    I could watch this man dance anytime and anywhere. His dancing is absolutely spectacular. And, he has a natural talent for comedy; with a great sense of timing. He made the character of Teacher Yang Jin Min an absolute delight to watch and totally memorable. How can anyone forget his R2D2 or Terminator Robot imitations, among his many other hilarious quirks! :w00t:

    He is not only an artist, but a craftsman of the highest caliber. I am so glad to have made his acquaintance through this drama. 😀

    As always, thank you for another great recap and for your insightful comments.

  33. 33 Dara

    Thanks for recapping this special, totally unexpected! I really love to hear yours on the finale, and here you are. Thanks again.

    Love the ending sequence so much but it left me with sadness, when HM said his path is lonely it was so sad and it sounded like she was not with him then (otherwise why lonely?). But it was a beautiful ending nonetheless.

  34. 34 Meder

    ‘there were too many scenes where I saw what I ought to be feeling rather than felt those emotions from the acting outright’

    When I watch first and read your (and GF’s) recaps later, I find that the awkward scenes now make sense. But when I read your recaps first and watch afterwards, I anticipate the scenes, expect the emotions, and nothing.

    Example: I shed a tear from reading your recap of when HM found out about SD hearing loss. But felt awkward when I watched the very scene I had cried about. You and GF really should write some novels or collab on a script. Shoot I’ll even make do with short stories. You ladies are Good Job!

    IAWTC…’had Suzy and Taecyeon been better actors, Dream High would have been a better drama’. Overall, good drama, nice pace and adorable cast. Nothing to watch now that this and My Princess are over. Will wait for your recaps before I invest time in the new dramas – nothing looks all that promising. Thank you JB and GF!

    • 34.1 Rachel

      I agree on the point about My Princess and Dream High being the ultimate dramas for this first half of the year. Don’t see any decent ones to watch as of now.

  35. 35 joicy

    I see a lot of comment that they watch the show because of KSH, and criticize Suzy and Taec. I agree that the show would be better if Suzy and Taec were better . However I don’t agree that the criticism normally emphasize on the role of Samdong and kind of de-value the role of JG and , maybe HM. Dream High can’t be this good without the idols, even though they are lack of many things, they are still very enthusiastic and good in acting as art students/singers. The dance and performance in this show is excellent and that’s the unique thing that makes it stand out. Suzy and Taec are good enough for that purpose.

    • 35.1 Steph

      Surprisingly, I actually loved suzy, and how she grew as an actor in the drama. But taec…. oh taec…. He should do more awkward roles like in Cinderella stepsis. Cus he is always awkward.

      • 35.1.1 dom

        me too! I grew to like Suzy for every bot-ness she has… her acting grew as her character developed.. and I like it!

        I think taec awkwardness is from the fact that he was obviously to concern about how he looked on the camera… Maybe he’s afraid looking like a dork like he usually does when the cameras off..>.<

        • msim

          She was a perfect match for that role.
          Hyemi isn’t always at ease with her own feelings and if she is – she very guarded due to her family’s history.

          I totally get her. My “congratulations” face is very similar to my “grouchy” face.
          It has its own charm and appeal (I hope).

    • 35.2 idless

      Dream High can’t be this good without the idols, even though they are lack of many things, they are still very enthusiastic and good in acting as art students/singers. The dance and performance in this show is excellent and that’s the unique thing that makes it stand out. Suzy and Taec are good enough for that purpose.

      Exactly. I don’t really consider the writing of the series as genius – It’s good but even if they’re replaced by better actors (or in this case professional), they lack the IT factor and charms of idols, which was what the characters are supposed to be. Even KSH better acting among his peers couldn’t convince me that he is a good dancer, but he is decent singer.

      Another contributing factor to the success of DH is JYP himself. Without his musical talent and experience, the series wouldn’t be able to provide such entertaining tracks and also realistic insight abt idols trainee/debut/talent agency. DH was in fact his idea, which he is grateful to come true.

      Even if there is DH2, if JYP is not onboard behind the scene, I have little confidence that a sequel or spin off will surpass or even emulate the success of this series.

      Just my 2 cents.

  36. 36 Steph

    “But where it succeeded was in melding commerce and art, making the most of what it was and keeping the energy pumping and the jokes free-flying, while never losing sight of the emotion and warmth at the center.”

    It’s genius, how they bring it all together despite their flaws. It is so heartwarming to see a drama like that. It might make it to my top ten after I rewatch but I doubt so. I’ll just keep it in another box of my heart.

  37. 37 Dianne

    I was preoccupied all day if there would ever be a post about the DH special and dang, I couldn’t be happier that this is here! Thank you JB!

    I really loved Jingook`s character in the show but to learn that he is a funnyguy behind the scenes, aww.. I fell all over again.

    I haven’t really watched the special but I hope it would be subbed too..all of it/no cuts. And how much do I want to watch the dancing trio? Little Hyesung singing? The Milky couple? And Hyemi tearing up getting a recognition like that.. Couldn’t even put my feelings into words.

    And oh JB, before reading your take on it, I had wanted more from the finale. I mean, like a bunch others DH fans, I wanted to see SD and HM get together
    to have a confirmation that they were indeed together because HM`s dedication “to someone who had to walk a lonely road” kept bugging me (so SD was lonely? does that mean they weren’t together?) But now I realized that I wouldn’t want the ending any other way. Twas just perfect. And realistic. They were kids in 2011 so they still need to grow and be better individuals, meet other people, go to places, challenge themselves even further.. AND even after all those years apart, they still wanted to be with each other/always thinking about each/continued to serve as inspiration to each of them –now thats a LOVE I can actually believe in.

    Also, I was so moved when HyeMi laughed-cried because in a way, its like the Show was her Kirin High, taught her to be better. Instead of losing heart because of the criticisms, she worked hard to redeem herself (much like how the Misfits proved themselves and became Dream High!). But personally, I don’t really mind Hyemi`s not so spot on acting because I adore her in all her Hyemi-botness.

    Thanks heaps JB and GF for your thoughts and great writing skills.

    Can’t believe I don’t find myself switching channels whenever a music video of a Kpop act is played on MTV/Ch V. I actually watch those now! Hahaha. Which is unthinkable for me to do pre-DH days. Though can’t say I’m a Kpop convert now, maybe after DH2? Heh.

    • 37.1 Rachel

      I agree with everything you said! I will think twice before switching over from one of those K Pop MVs next time I chance upon one!

      Perhaps Suzy’s awkward acting served to accentuate the hilarious Hyemi-botness, but definitely didn’t help when it came to her emotional scenes.

  38. 38 Elisa

    Loved every second!

  39. 39 dom

    I totally agree that the acting (especially from taec) sometimes cringe the heck out of me, but the lame acting was rescued by the GENIUS writing.. gosh.. I really like if they made a novel or comic based on this drama. It would be killer.
    besides the writing, the heart of this drama is the MUSIC. you can’t deny the pure love of music that pours in to the OST’s. JYP…I feel your passion..
    *bow down to the greatness of the vinyl wearing super producer hit maker God*

    all and all, this drama is a gem! i would recommend this to every teen or young adult who (still) has dreams.

    ps : does anyone think that KSH is a good singer? That kid has some enviable talent..

    • 39.1 Rachel

      YES he is actually a pretty good singer, and I think he does hold his own against the pros like IU and Woo Young. Taecyeon, Suzy and Eun Jung, on the other hand, didn’t seem to pull it off so well.

  40. 40 Beng

    during the live concert performance, Jason and IU stand-out in terms of voice. the others seems to mess up. Though i understand the case of Kim Soo hyun since he only trained 3 months before the start of the drama to learn to sing. He really is one amazing actor. I hope in his next KDrama, he will truly be the lead actor.

    Thanks again JB and GF for the wonderful recaps.

  41. 41 superman26

    wow! i didnt expect dat there will be a summary of the Concert~ awesome~ manz.. i really like the way you wrote it~ and i cldnt agree more.. as much to my craziness of wanting the episode to be more~ and hoping for more WooU couple screen time~ i guess.. dis is the best~ the storyline mite be abit off if they continue further..

    I am so happy u summarised dis… and nw.. i will be able to download the concert and watch it~

    Thanks for the summary~ c”,)

  42. 42 ayaka

    I totally loved the drama and am gonna miss it superly !
    If Suzy or Taec had been better at acting, i’m sure it would’ve become an even better drama. IU and Wooyoung did pretty well. Eunjung did awesome ^^
    I wish they didn’t cut out performances.. I wanna see them all T_T

    Other than that, I sorta feel Eunjung didn’t get the spotlight she deserves tho.. She didn’t even get a solo to sing for the OST even though she’s a great singer.. I know this is basically a JYP drama, but it would have been nice for her to have gotten at a song or at least in a song with someone.

    • 42.1 Maddy

      I think the complication with her singing an OST would be that they’d have to pay extra to employ her as a singer.

      • 42.1.1 ayaka

        but IU got a solo to sing in the OST so i thought it was a little sad that Eunjung didn’t get one too :s

        • nina

          lol..you compare iu with eunjung?eunjung got a nice voice but i think she sounds pitchy sometimes..and yeah,iu is JYP’s sweetheart..he even praised her a lot during the recording..i prefer suzy’s voice than eunjung though…but i like baek hee more than hyemi

          • Maddy

            @ ayaka, I think employing IU as an actor would cost less than employing EJ considering this was IU debut.

            @Nina, I’m one of the few who don’t believe IU’s voice is as phenomenal as everyone insists. She has a nice range, but sounds hollow and lacks power. The tone of her voice is very breathy and soft, which is nice and feminine, but I prefer a voice with more support… think Whitney Houston. I do realize that she has the typical korean ballad voice, just not as good as the actual ballad singer (think Yeonji from Seeya, similar tone quality, but has more support/power to the voice)

            EJ definitely has pitch problems, and I think part of it is her voice is quite nasally. The girl needs to work on pitch and tone control though.

            Suzy reminds me a lot of IU, but it’s a bit more supported. I think she the nice balance to do pop and ballad songs.

            Personally, I think the best “idol” singers would be Davichi duo. MK has similar tone quality to IU and Haeri has the power vocals.

          • sara

            I didn’t find Eunjung voice too much nice, actually I really like Suzy voice (when they did duet either in drama or on stage, Eunjung voice annoyed me a bit) and I think her voice had a key role to put her lead instead of Eunjung.

  43. 43 dramabuff

    OMG!!! I teared up watching JYP’s “Too Legit to Quit” number. Couldn’t help but feel proud for his success despite harsh criticisms. He reminded me a lot of an article on Hwang Jung Min winning awards and showing those who looked down on him for his looks.

  44. 44 Julili

    Anyone here knows who wrote this drama?

  45. 45 Lady Seoul

    Awesome. I miss it so much already! <3

  46. 46 ck1Oz

    Oh my.The songs are making me tear up.I’ve got memories associated with this drama now.

    That doesn’t happen often.No matter the criticisms about acting and all.The storylines for this drama really carries well.

    I will miss Dream High.It will be a special memory for the young cast as well.Just like Jin Gook’s narration during the debut stage in ep 16.

  47. 47 gustave154

    Just wanna say that Kim Soo Hyun’s song Dreaming won Cyworld Song Of The Month for February 2011!!! that is an outstanding achievement!! Kim Soo Hyun please debut as K!!! =)

  48. 48 rainerust

    Okay this is going to sound like a silly question but…where are you guys watching this, subbed? I can’t seem to find subs for this SP anywhere, which is majorly annoying me, and I don’t want to watch anything without the subs.

    That said and done, WHAT am I going to do on my Tuesdays and Wednesdays now?? (Since the subs come out a day later than the dramas) I loved Dream High, although I agree that there were awkward parts that were fairly disconnected in that I could see what they wanted me to feel, but just wasn’t feeling it.

    I really wished there’d been a bit more about 2018 though. It felt a little bit rushed to me, and arggg I’m dead curious as to whether SamMi reunited! There was no hint! They could have been keeping each other in their hearts for years on end and NOTHING could have come out of it! …sigh, the bittersweet ending haunts me.

    That was my only complaint about the drama (well, sans the acting at times), because I loved the ending for every other character – Baekhee as a teacher (which makes sense), Kyungjin and Teacher Kang married, Jingook as a successful star, and Jason and Pilsook together. It was lovely! Drama was so witty that even with all the commercial undertones, I applauded it for its courage, subtlety and cleverness. When will a drama like this come along next?

    • 48.1 John

      kimchi drama has the drama with english subs.

  49. 49 K

    Hi JB! Thanks for your awesome comments-was a lil’ disappointed when I found out that you didn’t cover the last episode alongwith GF. I love GF’s wittiness yo but somehow, I really don’t feel complete without hearing your take on it since its so well thought out and i love the way you highlight the subtle nuances shared in a drama..
    I agree about the acting part and I’m really glad that the drama still managed to hook me despite that-all thanks to KSH n the writers at first but then later on,the others grew on me too coz of the amazing character development! I love love the way you have described the ending coz that’s how I felt too but really didn’t have the eloquence to put it through…
    I started on K-dramas quite accidentally but it was your blog that truly hooked me onto them since I came to appreciate and understand so much more besides just watching a pretty drama.
    Thanks for the wonderful job that you guys are doing! You all in some way have added something to my life and boy,am I so glad that google found me this website =) <3<3

  50. 50 Y.

    For me, the only way DH could have ended in a better way was if a flight ticket to Korea would have been shown when they showed the K pendant right before we discovered K = Sam Dong. I was longing for a SamMi reunion, that kiss in 2011 isn’t enough, I wanted an ending like manga’s Card Captor Sakura or, at least, a hint it was going in that direction ;_; But I like they didn’t give up their dreams, even if that meant they weren’t physically together.

    Aside of that, I was pretty surprised I enjoyed DH that much. I was curious about it because I liked the cast, but I think I didn’t start watching it until ep.13 or so was broadcasted. But yeah, JYP and, specially, Kim Soo Hyun stole the show for me. I’m really looking forward to the later’s next project (please let it be a lead role!).

    And +1 to those wanting the K pendant. I’m sure I’ll buy it when I find it, it’s a nice reminder to pursue our dreams and so 🙂

    Thank you for the series recap and the ripped songs!

    • 50.1 Kim

      my thoughts exactly! I loved the ending and all and i didnt even need to see them reunited necessarily but atleast a scene where he has plane tickets back (preferably the scene where he picks up the old photo maybe next to his tuning fork?) or even someone mentioning that K is visiting Korea would’ve been much nicer imo hehe like the reporter stating that K has plans to visit the country.

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