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Dream High concert and final thoughts

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.

SONG OF THE DAY

“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.

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I'll be missing DH too, but more importantly, the recaps :'(

What are you going to recap next ? 49 Days ? Ever thought of New tales of Gisaeng :D ?

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oh, i really wanna hear comments from girlfriday so badly, somehow, i just can feel the same heartbeat as hers about this DH...
and i m satisfied with Suzy acting, HM will be different with another actress^^ (even better actress i daresay:)

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I love this drama! I wish they had showed abit more of the future and left it less open ended...I'm glad Sam Dong was K!

p.s Can someone explain the 'Tell me' reference?

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in 2007, Wonder Girls were so popular with their Tell Me's dance. people started to do dance cover...from policemen to students. (just like in the drama,people start posting videos them dancing to DH). it's so crazy back then...There's even a documentary dedicated to Tell Me mania.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1mAT6vwPxg

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Oh, i really love dramabeans.. this is like my #1 site for k-drama so i trust in thee wise judgement & thoughts!!! keep up the fantastic work!!! i love u & dream high!!

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My dream was K being a group but it was too unreal so I am content to the second dream in place - Sam Dong.
I am really greatful for all of your recaps that were my drug untill the subs release. Most of your observations were as similar as mine so I was really happy to know that although there were people who liked the show, did not forget that it had many ways to improve.
If this drama could be a base for more of such kind and, of course, better, I would be the first to watch them.

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It was nice watching the concert and the actual performances of the six of them on stage. I think IU was, as usual, amazing. She’s got that pitch that every singer should be jealous of, really. Even when doing lives, she manages to sing perfectly, and although I had already seen videos of her shows, I was still impressed by her in this concert. The one that surprised me the most was Wooyoung though – I mean, come one, it took me 16+1 episodes to realize he was not just dancing but also singing – and quite well, with that ! Suzy was, well, okay. Taecyoung was, as usual, awesome dancing, and alright rapping. I was a tad bit disappointed by KSH in the first songs, though he got better by the end of the concert, but then he is an actor prior to being a singer, and it’s lovely-Sam-frickin’-Dong, so he’s all forgiven bwahaha. I gotta say, my biggest disappointment was Eunjeung. As much as I enjoy listening to T-ara and I love the song Winter Child / Happy Birthday in DH, her voice in the performance made me cringe. Oh, she was in tune, but it’s just... Her tone is not my cup of tea, I guess.

Highlight of the show? Taecyoung’s fail at dancing on Genie, and Sam-dong’s “sweeping dance” – or whatever it was. I don’t even speak Korean but I still burst out laughing at that part. And then, JYP. Oh, we’re going to miss you, JYP. You better come back soon in a DH season 2! We want to have more Birds/Star Wars/Too Legit to Quit moments! Albatrosssssss!!! (Anyone else thinks that it should not be named Dream High but Fly High, regarding all the birdy references?…)

Finally, I want to stress a point that no one has: the greatness of Ma Do Shik throughout DH. I mean, the big, great, bad villain as a comical relief? I’m lovin’ it! Wasn’t the “*points at the scarf* Ma! Do! Shik! M.D.S.! *shark smile and theme music playing in the background as K pendant appears*”just simply epic??? Every scene he was in was worth watching because he was so damn hilariously creepy.

That being said, I’m going to miss DH, not as much for the acting – apart maybe KSH, who left me speechless when running after that bus in episode 15 – as for the Fun, the Cute and the Music. The scriptwriter’s made the awesome job of giving us a well-written, fun, COHERENT! (yes, MP, I’m looking at you here) and thoughtful story. Milky shall remain known as the high school ideal couple. And Dream High – the song – will go on making me feel young and happy whenever I’ll listen to it. Yes, this DH’s holy Trinity: in the name of the Fun, the Cute, and the Music, Amen, Dream High.

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OMG, i can't believe it's over. Crack high is one of my favs. I still can't believe it's over. This drama made me realize that dreams can be reached, I just have to work hard. I cried, laughed and worry with everyone, like I was a part of Dream High. Thank you Dream High. Thank you javabeans and girlfriday for sharing and doing caps. Awesomeness! =)

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Parachute Pants.
CAN'T TOUCH THAT!
:)

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DH is not bad as a drama, but I still prefer High School Musical. Do not know why, I guess those kids can sing better in HSM as compared to the chipmunks in DH. nevertheless, I find Jason and Pilsuk combination really cute!! ^^

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If there was a sequel to this what year would it be? Having futuristic time is kind of strange. It is already 2018 for the show. What year is it when they all perform on stage together? Are they Sophomores, Juniors, or Seniors? And what year is it when Sam-dong leaves for New York and they actually kiss? It might be difficult to start at 2018 and continue to tell the SD-HM story due to the future time instead of NOW.

What I noticed was that all of Hye-mi's other friends were at her 100th concert. All of the other friends are in the audience except one, who appears back stage in performance garb (I think). He sacrificed a CF to be there. I do not know what a CF is. Is it significant? Maybe "K" and Hye-mi are performing on the same night. You'd think she could have worked her schedule so that Sam-dong could be there. After all, if he has sold millions of albums he has money! Just a funny and unsatisfying way to end this show, especially for those who are rooting for SD-HM. The 2-3 year wait for lovers to endure which generally occurs at the end of some dramas seems to be extended in this story. It is a bit unnerving even though considered "realistic" by some.

It kind of bothers me that so many people are pleased with the ending. So many dramas end ambiguously or somewhat open-ended. This one borders on ambiguity from my perspective. It repeats the theme of a love interest being absent while another one who loves her may get a chance. I know, I know, her song is suppose to satisfy us.?? She has a better connection with her audience (and us) on her "Winter Child" song.

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someone on soompi wrote this and i really like this interpretation of the ending:"I also feel that the ending was not a true open ending. Sam Dong argued that she was his music and without her, there would be no music for him. What a truly beautiful statement. It was her saying that he has to soar to greater heights before she would "consider falling for him" that got him to leave for America. And although we never got an open confession, he knew with the photo in her wallet, and her chasing after the bus that there was no "considering", she had already fallen for him. And he was just going to America for his other love - his music.
As K, you can see he still misses her (the photo, the tuning fork, the pendant) and she still misses him (dedicating her first song to him). Now that he is on top, he will surely return to his first love - her.
I really liked someone else's analysis of how he gave up the "fake" heart in exchange for her "real" heart. Kudos to you for enlightening us. "

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I think BYJ had a real say in the striving theme of the story
because it reflects his history and personality ( his book beauty of korea expresses this philosophy). His presence on screen was expendable ( even preferred by some) but I think his
feel for the story was very important. ( He was a poor kid who had alot of failures before his success) and thought about doing this for many years.

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I. NEED. A. NEW. CRACK. NOW!!!!

I cried with Suzy at the Finale... Seems like the rest of the cast are used to ending a drama/series...

Will miss this drama.. Crossing fingers for DREAM HIGH SEQUEL.. Even if its new Idols as long as Cameos fro original cast happen and the same HEART and AWESOMENESS is there.. :D

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Am I just weird..or was I the only one that liked the acting in Dream High and had no problems with anyone? I thought it was believable and nothing they did, took away from the drama. To me, it was perfect and I loved it. I still do. I think they all did a great job and even blew me out of the water because I wasn't expecting them to be so good.

It could be a season 2..hahaha I wish though. =D

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you are not alone.

for me, i guess it is because i don't understand Korean at all. i watch the way they act and read the live-transcap. above all, i don't have either positive or negative expectation about the idol acting prior to the show starting. basically, i just let the story and characters led me feel all the way.

reading the recap from this website also helps me to confirm my understanding. thanks for both JB and GF for their good work. but i frequently did not follow their comments.

i like the way the show ended between HM and SD. after 7 years, they still think of each other. it is unlikely that during these periods they did not contact each other at all. what the show did not show does not mean that it does not happen. :) think about SD who always keep chasing his dream - "HM" it is so clear to me that everything he did is to make HM accept him. HM will have no reason to reject him after he got the Grammy.

the show let us fill in the blank spot with our own imagination between HM and SD. and i enjoy that freedom.

.... i imagine that after getting the Grammy, SD comes back to Korea and shows her his award. then SD proposes to HM. since then, they have never been apart and lived happily ever after. where and how, i don't care..... :)

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Thanks jb and gf. I actually dropped this drama after episode 3 because i cant feel anything for the heroine. I didnt like hyemi from the start. I was sad that baekhee was turning into the bad second lead when i actually liked her character first. I also liked jingook and sam dong so i thought i will not watch 16 eps of these two adorable boys fight it out for this unlikeable robot. Then i read the energetic and enthusiatic recaps and i started liking the developments for the milky couple so i picked it up again. Then it became addictive. There are two archs in the story that got me going. Who is k ( i was rooting for jin gook)? Who will get the girl? I think this is the first kdrama in a very long time that got us thinking and guessing till the very end. Normally, it is clear from episode 1 who is the OTP. Here, we didnt know if hyemi will end with jingook or sam dong. I am all for that guessing game, especially since the show presented two adorable characters. I would be happy with either jg or sd (sorry fans). Btw kdrama lords, can you just make taec a happy person in a drama who eventually gets the girl? He is too hot to brod and cry a lot. Now that is unrealistic. Find a real girl who will say no to taec (shout out to taec, this noona will take you anytime.)
I also would want to mention wooyung and iu. Is this their acting debut??? I loved every scene that have those two. Iu is adorable, just listen to her say "jason" like her heart flutters everytime. And wooyung has real talent. He was the most consistent artist in the concert amisdst a group of singers and professional concert artists. I think i am leaving dream high a converted fan of wooyung and iu. Chipmunk, you take my heart away.

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I LOVE DREAM HIGH just the way it is :)

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Taecyeon was the most wrongly cast. They should've chosen someone younger, fresher and better acting-wise. Suzy was an okay choice. Everyone else was really good.

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Suzy's lovely voice also helped ^^

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After Dream High, I tried to search other dramas and came across thorn birds. LOL. JUST. LOL.

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I enjoyed the drama but JYP was hands down the best thing about it imo. Hahahaha I heard he rated himself a B- for his acting but honestly I would give him an A. Jin Man made me laugh soooo much <3

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Thanks jb and gf for all your recaps. I wasn't planning on loving this drama, but you know what they say. Sometimes you don't choose who you're gonna end up loving. Anyways, watched the special. It was nice with all the behind the scenes. A little shaky on the singing, Wooyoung though is probably the best out of them all. Was really impressed with his vocals, rap or otherwise. His dancing too, not bad! All in all, great drama. I'm really gonna miss it :(

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i have a stupid question... hope you indulge this noona.... why is jason and pilsuk called the milk or milky couple????

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their couple's name is WooU which means Milk in korean.

Wooyoung + IU = WooU

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Waaaaaaaah~!!! T^T It has come to an end too soon (even tho it ran for like 2 months...still...)

Taec is always the jokester aka dork, even in 2PM...like a kid trapped beastie's body...
FYI: It was much surprise when I saw that his "dad" (Hyeon Moo-jin, played by Choi Il-hwa) became mayor of Goyang-shi (that scene when he was fiddling around with an iPad)...I know that Goyang is a real city in Gyeonggi-do, but I can't help but laugh out a bit since goyang-i is Korean for cat, and Taec is known to be a fan of cats (even going so far as to vandalize Nichkhun's math book with drawings of OkCats...)...

WooU ARE real...hope to see more of the couple soon...

Has anyone noticed that the K pendant has the words "INSTANT KARMA" repeated twice along the circular border of the pendant???

...and finally, WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!! Hye-seong-i!!! And she was so cute when she was narrating the 1st teaser trailer of Dream High
Memorable line in teaser trailer: No, no, not a giraffe, it's Girin Arts High~...!
(In transliterated Korean, "Ani, ani, girin aniya, Girin Yego-inira~...!"; girin BTW is also Korean for giraffe)
I loved that Jin-gook ended up with somebody (Go Hye-seong; it was so cute when she kissed him in 2018 as she did 8 years in the past), at least someone containing a bit of Hye-mi...

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THANK YOU javabeans and girlfriday for the awesome reviews and updates! Truly enjoyed reading your recaps! I've been a silent reader here at Dramabeans, but I just HAD to add my two cents before bidding this drama goodbye...

For me, Dream High was a fun, emotional ride - it seemed to start off on a silly, light-hearted note (I'll admit, I sniggered a little at the beginning when they were making such a HUGE deal of someone winning a Grammy), but, it got so much better, episode after episode. I would have never expected it to be so good (or so touching and thought-provoking, for that matter).

The acting, on the whole, was alright, considering they are mostly idol singers. JYP was awesome though - I never would have guessed that this was his first acting gig. KSH was the true actor amongst the youngters - he definitely breathed life into Sam-dong. But I think more than anything, the cast members (teachers included!) all seemed to have great chemistry with each other, and that made for an endearing ensemble.

For the SAMMI shippers who are still heartbroken over the ending, I highly recommend you watch this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LeZgaUsYLMo

It sort of just takes the ending and adds a bit more to it

The timing is PERFECT - it actually sounds like it's giving us a glimpse of Sam-dong's thoughts in 2018 (that's what it sounds like to me anyway...) I must have watched the first 50 seconds of this video like a dozen times (or more).

Yeah, I was also disappointed that there were no interactions between Sam-dong and Hye-mi in 2018. I agree with whoever suggested that it would have been comforting to see a plane-ticket next to his tuning fork and photograph, to show that he would return to Korea (and to Hye-mi) after winning his Grammy. However, I think the finale was still satisfying for all of the characters, and I like its open-endedness. Besides, Sam-Dong DID end up with her - she promised to give him her official answer/confession after he returns (we just don't know WHEN, specifically). Otherwise, why did the producer/director/writer decide to break up their "farewell" sequence in order to end the film with their kiss? And if they still love each other after spending SEVEN years apart, they're pretty much soulmates. They'll surely reunite some day.

Anyway, farewell Dream High, I'm going to miss you (...who am I kidding? I already do...)

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Can somebody tell me where can I watch the Special episode with english subs? I really want to know what they were laughing about.. Thank you so much for your help..

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Can't wait for season 2. I hope the main lead would be same, the trio KSH, Suzy and Taecyeon. And please add more scene between Sam Dong and Hye Mi, i just love it. Eventhough i hear many critics about suzy's act, but i can't stop adoring her from the start till the end of the show. Fighting Suzy Bae!!

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At first, i was so drawn into this drama. As the drama progressed, i gradually lost interest. :\ I liked the drama. However, some of the parts just seem to drag on a bit... soso drama. I loved the performances though.

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i think its goood movie

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I want look happy ending, not confused ending

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IU and Wooyoung!!!! hope they will have their own drama!=)

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is it possible that they will com to the philippines and perform the dream concert here ?? i really love watching this series over and over again .. :)

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hello hi is my darymaa Thanks for you awesome commente -weas lill diesppinhk you l love you dream high l love you scene where he picks up the old photo maybe next to his tuning fork ] preferbly the scene where he plcks up the old phoro maybo next to fork ] or even someone mentning thak k is visiting korea would ve been much nicer hehe like the reporter stating that k has plans to visit the country l love you dream high love you

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