Drama Reactions & Reviews
Dream High 2: Series Wrap-up
by | March 26, 2012 | 161 Comments

As you know, we started out with hopes for Dream High 2 that quickly fizzled, and recaps were dropped after the first two weeks. I don’t regret that choice in the least, but I did continue watching the show out of curiosity, and now that it’s over, I’m weighing in with some overall thoughts on what worked for the show and what didn’t, and why I feel like it had what it took to make a good show but never got there.


Dream High 2 OST – “Hello To Myself” [ Download ]

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Note: Spoilers are everywhere!

The Plot…

Let’s do this in hyperspeed, hitting the main points:

Picking up where recaps left off (with Episode 4), the Superidol audition series commences, with each stage focused around a certain theme. The tension mounts between Hae-sung and Ri-an, who are on opposite teams (idols versus underdogs), reluctant roommates, and rivals for JB’s affection. I know, it’s weird; JB has something of an offscreen lobotomy and goes from sneering derisively at Hae-sung (because he still has feelings for ex-girlfriend Ri-an) to declaring that he likes Hae-sung a few episodes later.

Yoo-jin continues to help hapless Hae-sung, who has so little self-esteem that she lets everyone walk all over her, and then apologizes to her harassers. Eventually she becomes the school outcast and even her friends ditch her, shuffling away for fear that her suckitude is contagious.

You’d think that Yoo-jin, the confident, brash lone wolf who doesn’t care what anyone thinks and who likes Hae-sung, would be the one who’d step up and stand by her side in the moment of need. And he tries a few times, early on. But as the drama progresses he falls behind, either failing to come through or getting there too late. Maybe Yoo-jin’s failure to come through in crunch time is what makes him ultimately unsuccessful in love. (I know! So frustrating.)

Instead, JB is the one to extend a friendly hand when everyone else is shunning her. It’s strange, because he was the assy mean boy who looked down on her. I’m not sure why he changes his mind, and it’s one of the drama’s several hairpin turns, but we go with it because we have to if we’re going to buy the rest of the plot. (Although I don’t think we buy the rest of the plot in any case.)

Hae-sung is ostracized and ridiculed to such extremes — even by her own teacher — that she decides to leave school, per her father’s wishes. And for some inexplicable reason, after she leaves her “friends” cry over her departure, even though they were the ones who ditched her just an episode ago. Ugh. It’s this flip-flop that makes the supporting cast hard to care about for the rest of the drama, even though they have some cute moments. To feel the cute, though, it almost requires you to turn off your brain to the part that can’t quite make sense of their behavior changes.

This is a problem that pops up in multiple instances: that to enjoy what’s unfolding in the moment, you have to actively ignore what just came before it. Consistency is a major flaw, with little thought to story or character integrity.

JB follows Hae-sung back to her hometown to try to bring her back, and works his way into the good graces of her family. Yoo-jin follows one step behind, and gets distracted by swooping to Ri-an’s rescue, which sets up the four-way conflict for the rest of the series. Except, the drama really only fixates on the JB/Hae-sung angle, dropping potential development along the Yoo-jin/Hae-sung and Yoo-jin/Ri-an fronts. Basically, Yoo-jin is the drama’s saving grace, and then he’s wasted.

Ri-an pulls a few dick moves, like stealing Hae-sung’s first song composition, “Hello To Myself,” and claiming songwriting credit for it. Hae-sung, problematically, is such a pushover that she isn’t angry (thankfully, both boys are angry on her behalf) but actually manages to work up some gratitude to everyone for performing her song, even if she wasn’t credited for it.

On the upside, she’s belatedly acknowledged as songwriter and discovers her new talent. With that goal, Hae-sung decides to come back to school and is welcomed with open arms, including the teacher who’d turned against her, who has now turned back. There’s a lot of character turning in this drama.

At about halfway through, we enter the kinder, gentler half of Dream High 2, where characters are suddenly warmer to each other, even if it’s not quite understood why. It makes for a cuter, fuzzier watch, because I enjoy watching characters bond and support each other. But it does have the countereffect of dropping narrative flow, with everyone getting along.

This lack of clashing and tension means that the conflict has to redirect to other outlets, and that happens in the form of (1) romance, (2) sudden injuries, and (3) the Superidol auditions.

With the romance angle, JB admits he likes Hae-sung, and they start dating. She finds herself the target of fangirl hate, but deals with it even though everyone’s accusing her of being too ordinary to attract JB oppa’s affection.

There’s some lingering friction between Ri-an and Hae-sung regarding JB, but it never flares into anything serious because it seems the drama wasn’t sure whether to make Ri-an into an antagonist or keep her likable. And so it does both, to middling effect.

Even the idols-versus-underdogs tension loses what bite it had earlier on. It’s understood that everybody is still competing to make it to the Superidol group at the end, but the competition lacks… well, competitiveness.

In Season 1, there was a raw, cutthroat element to the students’ efforts, which is missing here. When somebody loses in an audition round, they sort of sigh in disappointment and then move on — no ratcheting up of tension, no intensified drive to win. It makes it hard to root for these kids when they don’t seem to care very much.

For instance, the idols lose the “B” round (which I’ll talk about more below), and they look kinda bummed about it. Then JB shrugs and says that as long as Hae-sung won, he’s happy. Sweet for a boyfriend to say, but with the stakes supposedly so high (it’s a super idol group, not just idols!), there’s a curious lack of intensity.

A problem that presented itself early on was the huge disparity of talent between the idols and the underdogs. The idols have already made it; they’ve proven their musical and dancing talents and are working as professionals. The underdogs weren’t merely underprepared, but it’s doubtful whether some of them even have any talent to begin with (I’m left wondering why pseudo-psychic Soon-dong, for instance, ever bothered to come to Kirin in the first place, while the headmaster’s rebellious daughter Seul is nice as a character but merely an accessory on the music front — she raps, sort of).

So, the drama levels the playing field by taking a few of our idols out of commission. Nana develops cysts on her vocal cords that require operation and recovery, and JB gets hit by a truck. (Urg!)

Plus, since Nana can’t sing while she’s healing, HershE is disbanded. The boys of Eden decide to take matters into their own hands and announce to the public, without consulting their management, that Eden will disband in solidarity. Which is nice of them, but again, it begs the question: If you’re going to give up your dream so easily, why am I rooting for you again?

Plus, at this point Shi-woo is back and cheerful and adorable, having magically cured his womanizing, street-fighting, troublemaking ways. I don’t complain about liking him all of a sudden; it’s just that I’m not entirely certain this is the same Shi-woo; is he really the good twin who’s managed to swap places with the evil Shi-woo, who’s maybe locked up in a basement dungeon somewhere? (Except… would that make good Shi-woo the bad one? Hmm…)

These aren’t actually bad things to have happen, in that you need a little dramatic tension for the characters. Especially once it’s revealed that the whole Superidol auditions are really just a sham, to develop JB into a world star (against his knowledge, ’cause, yunno, that’s a good idea) — and the only reason Yoo-jin was picked to join the Superidols was because it would literally piss JB off and therefore make him work harder.

Here they co-opt that marathon-running term, pacemaker, dubbing Yoo-jin the tool that’ll keep JB on course. Instead JB gets hit by a truck.

I do like the conflict of the pacemaker, since the boys were set up from the start to be fierce rivals. I wanted to see that play out, I wanted sparks to fly, I wanted the competition swinging from one to the other and back again, in a constant push-pull of dynamic one-upsmanship.

That could have then been reinforced by the romantic rivalry, because Yoo-jin’s pining for the girl who’s dating JB (sort of), who’s sort of still got a thing with Ri-an (sort of), who has a few flirty moments with Yoo-jin (sort of). See the problem? Enough with the sort ofs, Drama, and just get to the damn point!

I’m sad that the Yoo-jin/Ri-an story never went anywhere romantic, because of all the potential couples, they had the most chemistry. Part of my mental block with JB and Hae-sung is that they had zero romantic rapport — I kept seeing her as a noona humoring her cute little brother. Their real-life ages weren’t solely to blame, but the fact that Kang Sora’s four years older than JB surely didn’t help.

I wanted to see Hae-sung and Yoo-jin have more flirty moments, but for me the Ri-an loveline was the bigger dropped ball. I say that because Yoo-jin’s relationship with Hae-sung was like a life coach urging his client do better while she felt sorry for herself. With Ri-an, I felt a reciprocal dynamic, with both of them turning into unexpected sources of emotional support for each other.

Yoo-jin turns out to have a painful past, with his early fame as a now-embarrassing child role ending with his parents’ bitter divorce. Now he’s estranged from Mom, and it’s Ri-an who prods him to make amends. He, in return, is there to poke and prod Ri-an, and they develop a cutely bickering rapport.

Meanwhile, the Hae-sung and JB line undergoes a frustrating bout of noble idiocy, because Hae-sung is told she’s holding JB back. For one of the audition rounds, he had picked Hae-sung to be his partner, which everybody believes to mean he chose failure, just so he could be with his girlfriend. Ergo, love over career. (It requires a few leaps in logic, but I see what they did there.) So to bring JB’s focus back, she’s asked by several people to let him go, using that dreaded phrase, “…for his own good.”

She breaks up with him, and he sort of refuses to acknowledge it but sort of doesn’t insist on staying together, either. Instead, they continue kind-of-not-dating for a while. Gah, this drama is so wishy-washy it drives me up a wall. And then back down. And then around in circles. It can’t decide which way to go so it goes all ways, and gets nowhere.

Then, to return the favor, JB is later told he’s holding Hae-sung back, because she has the chance to go to Berklee School of Music and turns it down to be with him. Therefore he should let her go “for her own good,” and off she goes.

And this leads us to…

The Ending (WTF?)

By the time the last Superidol audition rolls around, the extraneous characters have been whittled away and our finalists are the usual suspects: The idols, with Yoo-jin, dancer Eui-bong, and guitarist Hee-joo up for the final six spots.

There’s an added carrot dangled in front of the kids: the one winner will get the chance to be sent abroad solo as a world star. ‘Cause world stardom works like that, don’tcha know: Just drop an idol into a ready-made slot, and presto, fame!

Ri-an rocks the audition and wins with a heartfelt song she composed, using lyrics Yoo-jin had written (this time taken with permission). JB has been hiding from everybody that his leg still pains him and collapses onstage. And Yoo-jin? He throws the competition for himself, choosing not to be pushed down another path before he’s ready, like he did as a child star.

So, the two people who don’t make the Superidol group are the ones we probably most expected: JB and Yoo-jin. Those who make the group: Ri-an, Nana, Ailee, Shi-woo, Eui-bong, and Hee-joo.

Ri-an chooses, however, to give up the solo gig and stays with the Superidols, saying that she made it this far because of her friends, and doesn’t think she can continue on without them.

When we jump forward eight months to graduation day, the Superidols have become big stars. Yoo-jin’s just a regular high school student, and he welcomes them back to school with a big wave. When asked how they feel about their respective fates, Yoo-jin and Ri-an echo each other: It wasn’t that they gave something up, but chose something else.

Then, we skip forward eight years….

…and here’s where the massive disappointment sets in. (Even deeper, I mean.) I’m pretty sure the drama chose the eight-year jump to mirror Season 1, but in my opinion this show really shouldn’t be drawing any more attention to the season-by-season comparisons.

The former Superidols all come back to Kirin High, mobilized by Yoo-jin… who is now a teacher. WTF? You have the most charismatic, most musically interesting character and you make him a teacher? Urg, my heart feels for poor Yoo-jin, so wasted.

In the intervening years, Nana and Hong-joo have become a successful vocal duo — her voice can’t sustain a solo career, but together they’re doing well. The love triangle that served as comic relief is still going strong, with Shi-woo huffy over Nana paying all that attention to Hong-joo. What’s that guy got that he doesn’t?

Back in high school, Seul had patched up her relationship with her dad and asked to be allowed to train as a manager. He’d put her in charge of the Superidols, and now she’s coupled up with Eui-bong, who teaches at a dance academy.

This is one of the only satisfactory resolutions, both romantic and otherwise, because while their cute little loveline never occupied much screentime, it was one that made sense. Eui-bong was the one who urged her to make nice with her father, and was happy for her when she finally did.

Meanwhile, Ri-an left idol-dom behind to become a successful actress who has been to Cannes, so I’m assuming she learned how to act at some point. JB is now a producer, who is working on a song recorded by Ailee, a non-dancing solo singer.

Hae-sung flies in from the States… having become a successful Broadway director? Um, okay. But what about the newfound talent and her gift for writing songs that resonate with the mainstream pop market?

Yoo-jin is implementing a big musical at Kirin, which is titled “Dream High” and features the story of an ordinary, untalented student named Shin Hae-sung. Funny how “Dream High” was also the name of the movie Ri-an shot with Sam-dong in the first episode. Drama, you’ve already used that meta joke — you’ve gotta keep them straight!

The musical is supposedly a Big Effing Deal and will be a joint collaboration between alumni and students. Curious, then, that there are no students onstage other than Hae-sung’s little sister, who’s now a student and who’s meant, I’m sure, to echo Hye-mi’s sister in Season 1’s “eight years later” epilogue. It’s weird.

The epilogue is essentially an excuse to give us a final dance number with our main cast, who tell us in alternating voiceovers that nobody has achieved the dream they had at the outset, but that now they’ve all changed and developed with their dreams.

The end.

The Characters

The drama is riddled with writing flaws, but in my view the biggest one — the one that I can’t rationalize or get past — is that the characters don’t make sense. It wasn’t even a simple matter of not liking the characters, but that I often had no idea what they were doing that I couldn’t decide whether they were supposed to be likable or unlikable. They were just… there. Doing stuff. Pushing the plot along.

If I care about the characters, I can put up with a lot, whether it’s questionable conflicts or bad acting or strange musical interludes. When you get invested in a character, you might start feeling like they’re real people, not just tools for telling a fictional TV story who are destined to live comfortably within their four walls, with no connection to your own life or the real world.

When I don’t care about the characters, no matter how great the story is, I’ve already got one foot out the door, my mind only partially engaged. What Dream High 2 did, seemingly, was tick off boxes to make sure it had all the components there — the voice, the rebel, the rocker, the outcast — without figuring out how to turn those single elements into real people.

And it’s not like it’s not possible. See Dream High 1 for proof of how, with a little thought, a seemingly flat character can break out into more dimensions. The underdog in the beginning isn’t the underdog at the end; people freed themselves from their initial trappings and went on to develop facets. In Season 2, everybody’s all surface.

One huge failing was the character of Hae-sung, who should have been the one we rooted for whole-heartedly to overcome her mediocrity and find her talent. Yet even when she tapped into her songwriting potential, she was such a frustratingly weak, meek character that I just wanted to shake her. She starts out with such low self-esteem that when people abuse her, she practically apologizes for sucking so hard that they were driven to the abuse. She means to be modest when saying, “I have no talent, but…” What I hear is a morose, sad character who has no spine. And no matter how much you want to give somebody spine, that’s something they’ve got to figure out for themselves.

I thought that as the drama headed into the final stretch, at least we could look forward to her spreading her wings and standing on her own two feet. After all, she outlasted JB in the audition round, and is still in the running for making the Superidol cut. And what does she do?

She declares, “My dream is… making JB’s dream come true.” She gives up her second original composition and forfeits her audition slot to him, to keep JB’s dream alive. Blech. I want to like her, but I just can’t get past her wishy-washy, mealy-mouthed nature. You want to yell at her to have more respect for herself — you can have a spine and still be a good person!

Speaking of JB: He’s another flawed characterization, though rooted in a different problem. In the drama, he’s the one marked for superstardom — so much so that their hoity-toity producer designs the competition to hone his talents. This is a point that requires suspension of disbelief, because everybody waxes poetic about JB’s superior talents, and then he goes out and performs and I’m left wondering, Him?

I mentioned this in the last podcast, that the drama was unwilling to actually portray the characters as they were described and therefore sacrificed story credibility for vanity. Ri-an’s supposed to be HershE’s pretty face and nothing more, yet she takes the stage and Ji-yeon sings well — because you can’t have her singing poorly, can you? Similarly, Yoo-jin is supposed to be a poor dancer who gets schooled by JB — and while Jin-woon shuffles a few steps, in the end there’s no real disparity between the two.

There was also the laughable “Proposal” themed audition, where JB and Hae-sung sing a song together that gets everybody marveling with jaws dropped, saying that Hae-sung radiates light and has never been better… but the song is mediocre at best.

As a result, confused viewers are left wondering if the characters are supposed to be good or bad in this scene, rather than trusting the drama’s presentation to tell us.

As I said, characters change without explanation, which is bad enough. But in some instances the drama essentially rewrites its own history, like with the idols. At the outset, Eden is on the verge of self-combusting with Shi-woo always in trouble and JB wanting a solo career. The HershE girls acknowledge that Ri-an holds them back and an early episode shows tension between Ri-an and the others.

But later in the series — in its Nice Half — flashbacks take us back to the trainee days, when they were all a big happy family, forming bonds that have lasted till the present day. Not only does it confuse you, it invalidates its own self by changing its tune later down the line. Oh, then maybe Eden wasn’t a contentious duo after all. Maybe Ri-an didn’t suck. Even though Episode 1 tells otherwise.

I won’t complain about the characters getting nicer, because despite the show’s numerous stumbles, at least the cute moments between the cast buoyed the tone. If I didn’t think too hard about why the characters were behaving in such a way, I could enjoy the squabbling, the petty rivalries, and the group bonding. They never got me in the heart, but as a loose string of amusing encounters, they were fine. Better light-hearted fun than needless angst, right?

In that, I’m reminded of the K necklace: cute, but random. The pendant makes brief appearances throughout the show to get passed along from person to person. It’s supposed to be a callback to Season 1, though it doesn’t have the same function: Last year, we were curious every time it got passed on, because we know that the person left with the necklace would be K. Here, it has no such meaning. Ri-an gets it from Sam-dong when they’re shooting “Dream High” in Episode 1, and it acts as a good-luck charm. But it carries no real significance — it’s an empty meta reference, is all.

As for the romance: a huge dropped ball. A show doesn’t have to have clear-cut romances to be satisfying, and I can think of a number of dramas where that’s true. Dream High 2, on the other hand, actually sacrificed story logic to keep its romantic entanglements alive, so it’s especially aggravating that nothing concludes to satisfaction. (Seul and Eui-bong notwithstanding.)

No Yoo-jin love? Damn, if you were going to leave him hanging at the end, you could’ve at least given Hae-sung and JB their neatly tied romantic ending (and I say that having disliked their relationship). How can this show have given up everything it had going for it and exchanged it with everything that didn’t work? Urg, urg, urg!

The Music

I’ve already outlined my dissatisfaction with the musical numbers in the previous recap, and I won’t belabor the same points here. Suffice to say that the same complaints hold true throughout the show, although they did improve. The 10-minute music-video montages that cluttered the initial episodes mostly worked their way out of the show, and the musical numbers that remained were mostly tied into the audition process. So, score one for relevance.

I did wish they’d taken more care to be realistic with the performances, which all sounded like CD tracks laid over a scene. At times I was confused whether the characters were supposed to be singing “live” or if they were lip-synching — like in the scene when the Eden and HershE idols band together and sing (“I’ll always be by your side, I’ll hold your hand”), and suddenly there’s background music in an a cappella (?) scene. Where’d that MR track come from? In another scene where Hong-joo performs onstage with his guitar, suddenly we hear cello and piano accompaniment. Er?

The thing is, the raw, in-the-moment version is often much more moving anyway. Shut Up Flower Boy Band showed us that, giving us performances that sounded live — and so did Dream High 1, in fact. Pil-sook’s hospital guitar scene with Jason listening outside the door? Guh, had me in near tears. Trust your story, I want to say.

However, there were some shining moments too, with several musical numbers rivaling Season 1 for thematic resonance. Many didn’t, but a few selections elevated the show by tying in a performance to a character arc, like with Hae-sung writing “Hello to Myself,” or the underdogs coming together to write “B List Life” together. Given only the word/letter “B” as a prompt, they struggle to make meaning of the direction — is it Bi (as in singer Rain), or bi (literal rain), or B (the letter)? They draw on their status as the misfits and compose the lyrics that go:

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Dream High 2 OST – “B๊ธ‰์ธ์ƒ” (B List Life) [ Download ]

I am a boy, just a boy
Just one boy out of countless others,
I’m not special, with nothing to show off
I am a girl, just a girl
the kind of girl you’d just pass by
I’m not pretty at all, just totally ordinary looking

We are the B, B, B list life
We want to be A list
We are ab, ab, abnormal
and want to stand at the top
We are the B, B, B list life
We want to be A list
We are ab, ab, abnormal
and want to stand at the top

I’m just a nobody, with no real use
Just sweating pointless beads of sweat
More than my own frustration,
I tire seeing those frustrated expressions around me

One day I’ll find that special something inside me
Will that day come?
Before I lose the dream fading inside me
Will I be able to shine my light?

There was also Seul’s song selection for the last audition, which was supposed to be sung on behalf of someone else. She toys with the idea of using the moment as a great big fuck-you to Dad, who embodies the philosophy of “Dirty Money.” Thankfully with some urging by Eui-bong, she changes her mind and chooses a song about a childhood dream she’d forgotten as she grew older; “But when I’m troubled, I want to run and play like a child… In my bygone childhood, I dreamed a beautiful dream of flying in that yellow balloon.”

She offers a balloon to her father mid-song — outing their relationship to the school — and tells him she wants to try liking him from now on. And crusty old Dad sits there holding a balloon with a big goofy grin on his face. *Tear.* That might’ve been the only moment that made me feel something in the heart, and I wish there had been more like it.

In that same audition, Yoo-jin extends the olive branch to his estranged mother, whom he’s always told people was dead. At Ri-an’s prodding, though, he manages to invite her to the show, and dedicates “I’m Sorry” to her, singing his apologies for hesitating and hiding his feelings.

These are the flashes that showed us what the drama could have been, if it had tried a little harder, if it had stayed a little truer to its characters and not tried to stuff them into an imitation of Season 1.

Final Thoughts

I feel like Dream High 2 pretty much encapsulates the Korean concept of mi-woon jung, aka hate-affection. It’s the kind of grudging attachment you develop despite feeling friction, irritation, or outright hate. It’s true of the characters — they start out all awash in dislike and clashing personalities, and grow into their bonds — and it’s true of myself as a viewer.

Clearly there was something there that kept me tuning in, despite the numerous frustrations with the show, so it wasn’t all bad. It’s just that you really do have to lay aside that need to make sense of the world, to have a story with a proper rise and fall, or a resolution that fits with the rest of the show. Funny enough, I think if I’d stuck with recaps of the show, I would have quit quickly, and with a lot of aggravation — recapping requires a much closer watch, and the show just doesn’t hold up to that kind of scrutiny. As a casual viewer, though, I was more willing to turn off my brain and shrug when something didn’t make sense, just to see where they were going.

Sadly I think the ending nosedived from the rest of the series (which was already on shaky ground), because it neither worked for our characters nor gave us satisfactory conclusions. If you’re abandoning logic to the wind anyway, then why couldn’t you just throw in some happy resolutions and fanservice while you’re at it? Funny that the whole show was a big ol’ exercise in fanservice at the expense of narrative, but it didn’t even deliver on that last front.

If I have one takeaway from Dream High 2, it’s Jin-woon, who was charismatic and looks to be pretty musically talented to boot. The others, I could take ’em or leave ’em. (Mostly leave ’em.) A lot of us were willing to give this drama a whirl based on the strength of the original, but if the Dream High franchise continues, it’ll have to prove itself all over from the beginning.


161 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Mawiie

    Thanks for sticking with it when none of us did ๐Ÿ˜‰ We are lazy watchers who’d been spoiled by dramabeans xD

    • 1.1 ~Feather~

      true that

      • 1.1.1 zoya muskaan

        this is an awful drama, the main girl was ugly i wish jiyeon was the main girl and the both guy was good looking , season 1 hats off was an amazing drama but season 2 stinks and least make some couples have an happy ending even in season one suzy didnt end up with kim soo hyun :@ wanted them to end up together so badly

        • Drama lover

          Suzy bae did end up with kim soo hyun in season 1 although I sorta wanted her to be with OK teac yeon๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰
          And you are so true about season 2 being dumb I hated the main girl character and her and I hate their storyline I actually watched till ep 6 and now I am going to skip to ep 15 to see Suzy bae’s cameo appearance

    • 1.2 Jossy

      Tehee the things you do for us DB ๐Ÿ™‚
      Personally, this drama sucked, granted there were a few things that touched my black heart (B~ B~ B~). It had sooo much potential to be soooo much better but it was just ridiculously-awful. Augh it’s kinda sad I care as well. Aiya!

  2. kbap

    Oh sigh. So, so disappointed. Okay, maybe not so much, as I lost all hope for this drama halfway through. But still, reminiscing how awesome Dream High (first season) was last year, it makes me a little sad. And Yoo-jin. Oh sigh. So wasted. He was the best character, with most depth in my opinion, and he ends up being a teacher? Seriously? Poor Jinwoong, I hope he has more promising roles in the future. Though this show wasn’t as popular as Dream High 1, hopefully people know more about him as an actor and he can go on to act in better shows! He’s the only person I loved and cared for in this show. The rest, meh.

    • 2.1 polly

      Yes u r rite…Jinwoon is talented enuf…i really wish he gets a better role next time…i dont want to see him wasted coz of a bad drama! I guessed i watchd this whole mess just for him…never been so disappointed!

  3. milkmustache

    I had such high expectations for this show. It’s a shame that it was NOWHERE near as good as DH1. I really like Kang Sora, but Hae-sung was so annoying. I even liked Ri-an better than her.

  4. j.sama

    I watched this show when i needed to fall asleep =)

  5. Rovi

    Even though I wanted to recap this (I really do, y’know…), but the pressure from starting from ep.5, and I’m still underdeveloped (read: my drafts are uber too long, fuuuuuu), with relying totally on subs, I’m toast, really…
    …maybe I was just too reliant on JB & GF… *sigh*

    …and from the mess that went with it, I dunno if I can really complete it until 16…urghhh~ Heaven give me strength please…

  6. Zef

    For a drama about following your dream. It doesn’t make sense that all their dream are crush at the end.

    • 6.1 Mystisith

      Nightmare Low.

      • 6.1.1 Cruelsummer


      • 6.1.2 JoAnne

        Even I gave up.

        But I developed a real fondness for my little Chicken Beak and I will look for him in other things in the future, because he looks like he has ability, and that deserves a better chance than he got.

        • Mystisith

          JoAnne, Chicken Beak (you don’t mind if borrow your endearing nickname don’t you?) is definitely the diamond in the coal mine, and i will wait for good news too.

          • JoAnne

            I don’t mind at all – some day, when he’s more famous, little KDrama newbies will ask us venerable oldies ‘but why do they call him Chicken Beak?’ and we will smile, and talk about the hair cut that brought attention to his interesting nose, and the terrible horrible no good drama that we tried to love, just for him.

      • 6.1.3 amarablack

        wahhh… I feel heartbroken… I kept a tiny flame of hope burning just in case drama could get better but sadly…. it ain’t so

  7. li~~~

    i’m still completely in the dark as to why jb and hae-sung were together. looking at it chronologically, in episode 5 he was a total dick to her at the training camp. then, in episode 6, he hears her sing once and then BAM ATTRACTION.

    …wait, what?

    characterization-wise, i actually think they made sense; hae-sung is struggling because she believes she’s not as talented as everyone else. jb, with a similar inferiority complex stemming from his first kirin audition, would probably empathize with her. and then that could lead to more. except it had NO set-up. at all. ugh.

    btw, did anyone else smash their head on the table when yoo-jin only figured out that jb was the same kid from the audition in like episode 9? i was like…is anyone really that forgetful/stupid? the only thing different about jb was the height of his hair.

    so if that wasn’t any indication, this thing drove me bonkers. bonkers. what a waste of kang so-ra and jinwoon’s music skills.

    • 7.1 kimcheese

      i felt like yoojin was aware of jb’s identity the entire time, and that’s why he hated him so much? and then he comes out saying “oh it’s you!” and i was just like… what.

  8. yeosneaux

    DH2 is not as good as DH1.

  9. halaure

    This show had some sort of inexplicable draw. I was originally only going to stick around until episode five, but for some reason I found myself tuning in despite telling myself that it was a waste of time. I hated all of the characters, yet I couldn’t look away. Was it the power of K-pop?

    • 9.1 h311ybean

      For me, it was more like the draw of a hot mess – you just can’t seem to look away.

      • 9.1.1 WTF

        LOL I know it’s like watching America’s Next Top Model-it’s so bad, yet you can’t stop watching, the whole time thinking “What’s Tyra gonna do to top this season?” lol.

        To be honest, whether you look at the drama from far away or up close, it’s just Total Chaos. The rivalry mixed with romance, mixed with competition mixed with ostracism is fine enough. Why add unnecessary characters and “drama” like the Shaman girl (what was the point of her??) and the flashbacks that make you like the characters you’re supposed to hate, and sudden changes in mood/personality, and weird character developments, and car accidents, and Hae Sung leaving school so many times? (btw, how did she graduate from high school while barely attending?) Enough, just Enough.

        Note to Korean writers and directors: SOMETIMES LESS IS MORE!
        p.s Thanks JB, you left me satisfied that you mentioned all the inconsistencies. I felt that great relief you feel after you take a huge dump, when I finished reading ur post LOL.

        • kimcheese

          i love your similes, hahaha. i know exactly what you mean.

  10. 10 sarang

    Yay thank you for the series review javabeans. I completely agree with you. Although, part of the reason why I think the characters became inconsistent was because the script writer was changed halfway (I don’t have a source but I’ve heard this is what happened). It explains why everyone had sudden personality changes. It also explains the sudden cease of development between the original pairings, YooJin/HaeSung and JB/Rian. Now I’m left wondering, what if the original writer had stayed on.

    The whole Super Idol Contest intrigued me at first but like you said it didn’t really serve a purpose, I didn’t or rather couldn’t find myself rooting for any character, because there wasn’t a reason to. No one really had ambition or drive to even care to win the thing. It just felt lukewarm and filler-esque.

    The shining star in this drama, in my opinion, is definitely Jin Woon. He was so believable as Yoo Jin and needless to say charming. I was disappointed that he was kind of pushed aside and only had minimal development towards the end.

    Overall, I enjoyed the series. There were definitely major flaws in writing and in the characterization, but it was still entertaining to watch.

  11. 11 ~Feather~

    i didn’t bother watching, i just read the recaps, but it contnued to deteriorate. After i read the recap for the final ep, i didn’t have any patience or sympathy left for the show. it was a waste. i had only watched about 3 eps in the middle when i thought there was going to be development on the romance front, alas, since i was rooting for yoo jin throughout, i was sadly disappointed. especially at the end where he turned out to be a teacher. the only thing that satisfied me at the end was the at ui bong and seul were dating.

  12. 12 danni

    I think I stopped watching around episode 14 because I knew there was no way this show could get any better and it had already dIsappointed me on so many levels and I was sure the ending would just push me over the edge. I thought it would get better after the B class competition round, but it didn’t. I wish the show hadn’t decided to toss Yoo-jin to the side and push JB so much because he was the best thing about the whole show.I wasn’t rooting for him and Ri-an to be together, but they were an adorable pair as friends.

    Gah, DH2, why did I even bother?

    • 12.1 Ariel

      Yeah I stopped around the same time I promised myself that I would finish this sucker after all the episodes dropped but my stomach just couldn’t take another WTF moment. Thanks JB for wrapping it up, now I don’t have to finish it and I’m so happy. It did not help that I was watching this show in sync with SUFBB the disparity in story execution was so glaring that DH2 suffered in comparison. I can’t help imagining if Jin-woon was cast in SUFBB instead.

      • 12.1.1 Everlastingsong

        Same here. I started SUFBB a bit later, but once I watched it, I couldn’t watch DH2 after that. Yoo-Jin was definitely the only character of the main 4 who I cared about…until I really started liking Rian for some reason.

        But this recap and all the comments accurately capture my feelings about this disappointing drama.

  13. 13 blahibloop

    urgh i’m so bitter about this. even when i watched with subs, i still couldn’t understand anything that was going on.
    haesung was a useless character tbh. i don’t understand where her “composing talent” came from when yoojin criticized it in the first episode. all she did was ruin what was left of jb & rian’s relationship.
    jb was frustrating. i couldn’t understand how he could be such an asshole to her and then an episode later crush on her.
    everytime rian was nice, i questioned her motives. the drama made her the bitch in the beginning, but suddenly one day she’s nice enough to get her mom to make breakfast for everyone…?
    jinyoung (or uibong) had much more talent than the drama said. even when he was singing “badly” you could tell he’s doing it on purpose.
    nana/hongju/siwoo love triangle was unnecessary. was it supposed to be funny? BORING, and a waste of park seojun’s acting too.
    soondong … no.

    the only redeeming quality about this drama is jinwoon. and a little uibong. i wish the drama would have explored more of uibong/jb rivalry, especially since they gave us that conflict in the first episode and the dance battle. but then they just fizzled out…like everything else. ๐Ÿ™ sigh.

    • 13.1 JoAnne

      Seriously: Rian. With every nice thing she did, I expected it to be like the audition where she played the crowd. IE – only nice because it sets up an opportunity to be evil. So every time she was nice, I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. Except it almost never did. Or when it did, it was more like she placed it gently on the ground, rather than dropped it.

  14. 14 Funkypicklez

    Did both dream high dramas have the same scriptwriter?

    • 14.1 blahibloop

      nope, only one of them from DH1 stayed and worked with this one.

    • 14.2 ellie

      It seems like Park Jin Young wrote DH2. It was all about him and his artists. And to promote the ugly a– Diamond Tears Headphones that look like they are made from the cheapest fake Swarovski crystals when light reflects off of them.

      BTW, I really liked Kang Sora from Sunny. I really disliked her as Hae-Sung.

  15. 15 21

    I am so glad that I never got on this ship or else its time truly wasted.

  16. 16 h311ybean

    KBS World is currently airing this drama (Ep 12 is tonight) and I continued watching even after DB stopped recapping it… because I wanted to pick on stuff :p and there was a lot to pick on, including some of the things mentioned here. Even though I’ve been thoroughly spoiled, I’ll still watch because heckling my TV is fun, haha.

    I agree that Jinwoon was the bright spot of this drama, even though it was plain in some parts that he was trying way too hard to be funny. I know he’s young and relatively inexperienced, so I’m hopeful that he’ll learn as he goes along, if he decides to pursue acting.

    And So-ra gets an honorable mention for the scene with the apples tumbling out of her locker.

    • 16.1 Jossy

      I flick on kbsworld sometimes too just to see if by some gramazing miracle the dramas become somewhat better, but, ugh, No. It hasn’t.
      2 more weeks till this disaster is off and hopefully not into another~ Love Rain please be good-ish.

      • 16.1.1 h311ybean

        No, they just show whatever primetime dramas are showing in Korea, just a few weeks behind. I’m not sure about the rest of the time. And unfortunately, KBS World is the only decent Korean channel we get from our cable provider, so it’s on almost 24/7 on my K-drama addict mom’s TV.

  17. 17 Dwarf

    I’m glad I wasn’t so curious about how this series would panned out to spend my time watching it. Thanks for the review JB. U saved my time and sanity. And what a waste of Kim Jung Tae…..

  18. 18 asianromance

    Thanks for the series wrap-up!

    I managed to tune in for most of it -even if it’s just to fast-forward to all the Yoo-jin parts and the music. I did give up after the episode with Nana and the cyst. Watching it isn’t so bad as long as you’ve given up on the hope that there will be an actual story and take in each episode without considering the series as a whole. Now that I’ve read this recap and it’s hitting me how awful and inconsistent the writing is- I won’t be revisiting DH2 for the ending stretch.

    I guess I am grateful for this drama in getting me to notice Jinwoon. I never really thought he was all that handsome until DH2.

    • 18.1 Daniella

      AGREED! (Jinwoon part especially)

    • 18.2 kbap

      Yep, agreed. Fell in love with Jinwoon, fell out of love with those that I had some minimal love for (which is…erm…none? I need to think about it).

    • 18.3 Cruelsummer

      Agree re: Jinwoon. He smiled in that first episode and I was like “Wait…who are you again?” *Google search*

    • 18.4 Linda165

      Jinwoon wasn’t really a surprise to me because I am a 2AM fan. In fact, I became interested in DH2 after learning about his casting. He’s such a charismatic boy.
      And I enjoyed his musical numbers the most, especially his duet with Rian (Clazziquai’s Romeo N Juliet). It was very beautiful.

      G MINOR!!!!!!!!!!

      • 18.4.1 JoAnne

        …see, I went looking for 2AM after seeing him in DH2.

  19. 19 Ani

    Yeah, I watched this show while keeping a firm hold over the fast forward button. As someone pointed out, and I don’t know if this is true, but apparently when JB gained a viewer fan following the writers decided to make him the male lead in this show? BIG MISTAKE! I stuck around hoping Yoojin and Haesung would end up together, because they made more sense to me than the JB-Haesung pairing. Hell, I was expecting Rian and JB to get back together again because their’s seemed like a relationship meant to be. Even at episode 14 I was waiting for the drama to give us the Yoojin-Haesung pairing that was hinted at from the beginning. Alas, it was not meant to be. The ending was total bullshit and off putting. Like others, I am pretty thankful that at least we got the Seul-Euibong pairing, but it really is no saving grace for this damn train wreck. GAH!

    • 19.1 Cruelsummer

      These were my thoughts exactly. I was so pissed off that Haesung and Yoojin didn’t happen. It was really obvious that the writing had changed to favor JB (who I think is lame. I really don’t get the hype). I think with Yoojin, Haesung would have fleshed out to be a stronger character. She had fire when she was with Yoojin, with JB she just seemed like a charity case. Like you, I held out hope until ep. 14.

  20. 20 stars4u

    So much talent wasted on this drama…

  21. 21 crazedlu

    GAH! this show should be punched in the throat. sucks! i got really annoyed reading through the stupid storyline. jinwoon wasted. :'( thanks for the post. i didn’t want to cringe through the last episode.

  22. 22 pohonphee

    Am I bad person laughing while reading the B List Life lyric? I don’t kmow why I never get interested watching any drama with musical theme. Maybe someday I’ll try to watch one of those. Off watching Love Rain *snerk* I kid I kid I kid but my ahjumma heart calling me

    • 22.1 h311ybean

      No, you are not a bad person. In fairness, I thought the “B” number in the show was cute in a homespun kind of way, but the song itself makes my skin crawl :-p

      • 22.1.1 WTF

        I cannot look at the letter ‘B’ the same way again, they have literally drilled the song in my head~ Get it out somebody!

  23. 23 Daniella

    I’m one of the people who didn’t really like Dream High 1 so when the first few episodes (first 4) of DH2 came out, I was very surprised that I was looking forward to the rest of the Drama…then…something went wrong…horribly wrong. Like you said before, you could tell the writers became lazy. It reminded me of papers I write at school and I get lazy in the middle but at least I bring myself back at the end….
    It was like how did JB go from being this Douche Bag to immediately being this sweet guy without any visual change in his character? Personally, I never EVER liked the JB-Hae Sung story. I was really really pissed off when they started with of Yoo Jin and Hae Sung love line, getting me all worked up and then…they have her with JB who was mean to her for whatever reason? Uh…what?

    I’d take DH1 over this one any day, no matter how catty the other one was. My poor Yoo-Jin/ Wasted!

  24. 24 zodd

    Hated Kang Sora’s character. Though it was the fault of the scriptwriter for having write her to be that way. Didn’t care for JB’s character either. Only Jinwoon and Rian I cared for.

  25. 25 hpn88

    For me the characters just fell flat – especially Hae-sung. I just never felt invested in anyone except Yoo-jin. He felt like real person. Sadly the writer choose NOT to make the interesting/moody rocker portrayed by someone who was actually doing a good job on the acting front the main character but instead choose the stiff/unemotional kid.
    (I think Jin-woon’s groups comeback to the music scene meant less time for filming therefore less of Yoo-jin ๐Ÿ™

    I really wish they’d kept going w/ Yoo-jin/Ri-an too. They were the best and had actual chemistry.

    Ughhh….wasted potential

  26. 26 jazza

    I thought I was the only disappointed with the ending of this series. I thought they would give us a pretty descent ending. They just wasted Yoojin’s talent by making him a teacher at the end. And how did Hyesung ended up as a musical director. hahaha. We clearly know that she have a talent in composing then he became a musical director?!

  27. 27 cv

    Thanks for final recaps on DH2 JB.

    The storyline was just messed up right from the beginning. I don’t know if they had a storyplot ready before they started shooting the drama but gosh, the story went everywhere and yet no where. IF they didn’t have a story and wanted to cater to the fans, I don’t understand why there’s no romance happy ending–that’s what most fans want anyway.

    Yoojin’s character was good the first few episodes–then it went downhill. Like he lost all his confidence and his story became incomplete and the writer just threw in random things for him to do and fill in the spots. I had liked that he and HS was together and the underdog when the superidols came to the same school…but then nothing–they went nowhere and it was written that she’s into LB and vice versa while JW just watches and do nothing.

    And the ending? WTF?! This was one of the sorriest ending ever! Seriously… I’ve seen bad ending before but this one takes the cake. I thought the final round ead going to be something climatic, with YJ at least singing something awsome and turning down the idea of being superidol just to pissed them off, but nope, he does something stupid–not even worth watching. Geez weez.
    Even worst, 8 months down the road–graduation then suddenly, it’s 8 years. Wow, really? If you are going to time jump just to end a show, make sure the writing is sound proof make sure the characters matches their ages. I was cracking up when I saw the parents meet each other and saw that they didn’t age at all but felt like it was just a few days later rather then 8 years later. Please make the characters believable by at least graying the parents hair or make sure they dress differently accordly to their ages.
    I felt it was really rushed at the end which made it really bad considering that the whole show wasn’t all that, they had to make the ending—blah blah, the end. I’m thinking, that’s it? really? I don’t feel anything like rooting for any of the characters but just pissed that i wanted something good from the show but didn’t get anything in return.
    At least watvching this series definitely let me now how bad writing/directing and inconsistency can definitely make a good idea show go down the drain.

    • 27.1 Joy

      HAHAH “the story went everywhere and yet no where” word.

  28. 28 Mellie

    So much truth, I was actually snapping my fingers as I read this. The show literally went nowhere and didn’t use all the potential element it had at all and do not get me started on JB/Haesung. One day JB still has feelings for Rian and the next he’s in love with Haesung and all his aspirations go out the window. Then there’s Haesung who’s determined to be better and become an idol but wait she’s got JB so she’ll become even more spinless and concentrate her energy on that fail relationship she nd JB had going which by the way was so detrimental it wasn’t eve funny.

    The only two characters I felt actually had anything going for them was Rian/Yoojin. We got to see Rian’s backstory with JB, her family life and her developing friendship with Yoojin and I feel like that was enough for me to see why she acts the way she does and how when she’s comfortable like around Yoojin she lets her guard down and OMG the injustice that the writer did to yoojin’s character was the worst. Here we have a rebel rocker who has a love for music and the only thing they could do was make him a teacher as if it wasn’t bad enough that they ignored him most of the time for stupid JB/Haesung love life. He deserved better, at least Yoojin/Rian helped and had each other cause if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have wasted my time watching this drama.

  29. 29 Cellel

    Me throughout the entire drama: ?????????????????????

    I’m still not quite sure what happened to the characters in the drama.

    • 29.1 Cellel

      Just a bit of clarification: I just couldn’t keep track of the flip flopping is she or isn’t she of the drama. After watching the finale only one word came to mind, which was “L A M E.”

    • 29.2 h311ybean

      I know what you mean. No disrespect to everyone who’s said that they had more sympathy for Rian vs. for Haesung, but after 11 episodes I still have no idea whether or not I’m supposed to like Rian’s character. It seems that she’s going to be nicer from this point on, but she was so selfish in the beginning and I don’t see the progression from there to Nice!Rian. She just seems to have suddenly become nice.

  30. 30 Kukilas

    I agree that you never really felt connected with most of the characters, and never really rooted for them. In Dream High 1, you totally side with the underdogs and wish for them to succeed, cause you can see the drive, ambition and desire for them to meet their dreams. In DH2, you don’t know who to root for, cause it seems like the characters themselves don’t know what they want. They seem to give up on their own ambitions and dreams too easily.

    This was such a waste of good talent. Jinwoon and Hyesung started out as plucky characters with good chemistry. I had thought they were the OTP to root for, and by the middle of the drama, I was confused as to why the romance was being developed between Hyesung and JB. JB started out as such a stupid prick and all of a sudden, he’s a knight in shining armor? Its like there was no clear OTP whatsoever for you to really root for as well.

    I only stayed onboard cause of Jinwoon. He was really the only one I was left caring anything about. He pretty much was the only bright spot in the drama for me. Its a shame cause Kang Sora can act well, but they gave her such a weak character that she didn’t have a chance to make shine.

  31. 31 Den

    Thank you! I didn’t have anyone to talk/discuss about this drama but now I feel relieved. I just hope that JYP learned from this awful mistake hoping that it won’t affect JB & JR’s debut. Was it just me or the only storyline that had a closure was JYP’s? just sayin’

  32. 32 yellow2006m

    I waited till the week before the last 2 eps aired and I marathon watched this show. I remember I was watching episode 8 and I paused it and asked myself what the F&%K is this show about. So like a crazy person I cussed up a storm for about 15min yelling at the computer screen and at myself for wasting my life away on this show. But I figured it couldn’t get any worse. Oh boy was I WRONG. This show was a train wreck and I feel It doesn’t deserve the title of “Dream High” the name should be changed.

    And that whole JB and HaeSung bull sh!t WTF were they thinking it made no sense…..

    and then they F-ed that up too.

    I waited with such anticipation for this show to be so horribly let down.

  33. 33 hanie

    I watched it after SUFBB ended and it was a mistake. I dunno who actually the main lead because if based on the promo poster, Haesung and Yoojin but somewhere in the middle it switch to Haesung/JB. Maybe it was explained but I missed it since I keep on hitting the fast forward button. Haesung/JB didn’t have any chemistry btw them and it is painful to watch. They should expand Rian/Yoojin because at least they had some kind of chemistry.

    I agree with Javabeans in term of consistency. They had none, plot wise or character wise. I don’t understand why Haesung join the Super idol competition since she cant sing in earlier episode and still can’t sing in latter episode. pfffttt. And what is wrong with JB? Dude, you got eliminated, at least feign some sadness or whatever appropriate emotion but he just a happy bf. la la la la it is okay as long as haesung made it.. what???? why you become an idol at the first place?

  34. 34 Veronica

    Still now I don’t get that drama at all, I think the Kirin necklace lost it’s touch now the drama should be renamed dream low, or don’t dream at all. Somebody give me back the 16 hours I wasted!!!! I swear I watched rooftop prince and one episode was so much better than all 16 episodes of dream high 2.

    • 34.1 cv

      Dream low”— LOL— would be more appropriate. OR just totally a different title other then dream high 2. It definitely does not have anything to do with dream high 1 other then the necklace and the school.

  35. 35 Joy

    I absolutely LURVE 2AM Jin Woon and my love for him would have sustained my watching of this show. However I can’t believe he got shafted by a poorly acted and poorly written character JB to be part of the OTP that I just gave up. Thank the heavens for SUFBB.
    How could this suck the way it did after Dream High 1?

  36. 36 ninji

    All I kept waiting for in the drama was for Jin-woon and So-ra to get together. And I curse those posters for making me thinK they were gonna be the OTP.

    • 36.1 cv

      Haha! me too! I was like, oh, YJ and HS while JB and Rian. Cool OTP—four main lead with the others as side characters. It would have been better if they concentrate on these four rather then on everyone. Too many characters–poorly written to be in a 16 episodes series.

  37. 37 ninji

    All I kept waiting for in the drama was for Jin-woon and So-ra to get together. And I curse those posters for making me think they were gonna be the OTP.

    And what was up with no kissing whatsoever.

  38. 38 Cruelsummer

    I was almost afraid to read. I know if I wrote the wrap-up it would be littered with expletives for wasting 16 hours of my life. I just couldn’t let it go because I kept waiting for it to work. I think it was the case of the “sort of” that you mentioned. They kept hinting to things that just never materialized. So frustrating.

    Thank you, Javabeans. This was a wonderful wrap-up and I feel like it’s given me closure that I didn’t get from this mess of a drama. Your views echoed my sentiments. This really could have been something special. They completely wasted Jinwoon. I hope in the future he can star in a decent project and be able to laugh about this disaster later on.

  39. 39 Viki

    I watched every episode and I did enjoy it as a little side-line when I am suppose to be doing my homework on Mondays and Tuesday. However, I do agree with you that this drama is flawed. The ending seriously left me with a “WTF?” 1 thing, they just left JB as never able to dance anymore…and there’s no emotion attached to it. Meanwhile, when Samdong discovered he had that hearing problem, I WAS CRYING MY EYES OUT. Even though this drama did have some points where I teared…I feel like the story is pieced together here and there…

    Ahh, I wish it were better. ::Sigh::

    Strongest K-Pop Survival looks like a more promising show though! I wish you guys did like a…weekly recap…

  40. 40 Linda165

    Yes JB, to everything that you said. Plus, Park Seo Joon (Shi Woo) is my new boy toy.

    Regarding Seul’s song, I read somewhere it is a remake of a ’70s song, that DBSK also sang. Here’s the link for the hilarious DBSK video:


    • 40.1 h311ybean

      Just echoing the Park Seo-joon love. It’s a shame that he forgot to stick to being a tough guy/wild child so early in the series, but the boy is cute ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • 40.2 JoAnne

      He was cute but seriously? Why was he even IN IT? I mean, what was his purpose? Why make him all mysterious and bad in the beginning and then do nothing with it, and turn him into Nana’s hotter puppy with no explanation? Not that I think he should have had an explanation when no OTHERS were forthcoming…but seriously, why was his character even there. Not unhappy seeing him but…wasted.

  41. 41 Sajen

    I think the main reason this was such a letdown is well the existence of season 1 as well this is what I and probably most people expected from season 1 a piece of moldy stale bread, but instead what we got from season 1 was a multiscoop ice cream cone proving that it is possible to make an idol based show that is not made for re-fried zombies but yay for the production team and giving us our stale moldy bread in season 2, I hope they make a 3rd season and redeem themselves,

    but as for actual thoughts on season 2 the only reason to watch is the Nana love triangle as everyone else is boring and or annoying especially the main love square

    • 41.1 Sajen

      also the failure is made especially annoying by the fact that they had T-ara’s Jiyeon who has shown flashes of possessing Eugene level acting chops in her other projects who knows with a little more age and experience she might even surpass Eugene as one of the best idol actors ever but the writers and director let her and everyone else down, I’ve heard that Kang So Ra is talented but I haven’t seen her in anything else so I can’t say

      • 41.1.1 Sponge

        You definitely need to watch Sora in Sunny, she’s talented, its just her character here was so blergh. *cringes*

        • mizzxtiffany

          I agree! Sora was great in Sunny!!

  42. 42 Hanna

    So. Much. Waste.

    I’ve seen Kang Sora in Sunny, and she was good โ€”ย she played a strong character and it really, really worked. Here? Ugh.

    Jinwoon is 1/4 of a ballad group, and he’s not a dancer, though he’s been trained in dance (like everyone in JYP Ent. has), but he released a rock song (album? can’t remember which) a while ago that was really good, why not let him be MORE rock?

    And then Hyorin (Nana) and Ailee.. two of the strongest female vocalists in kpop today. Seriously. Ailee gives me goosebumps, especially after a cover she did of a Whitney Houston song. You got to see a LITTLE of Hyorin’s talent, but pretty much nothing from Ailee. WHY did you bring in such talented vocals then?!

    I’m not even going to mention the plot, because I never understood what it was.

    • 42.1 Jackie

      If you got goosebumps from her Whitney Houston cover, then you NEED to watch Ailee performing ‘Halo’. It’s absolutely disgusting

  43. 43 Roxy

    The only thing I liked about Dream High 2 was the Lee Seul and Ui Bong couple. Also, their performance of “B List Life”, but that was mostly because it featured Lee Seul and Ui Bong at the beginning of the performance being all cute. And that they were the only couple that actually ended up together, so that’s a plus right?

    Ultimately, Dream High 2, you disappoint me. I want to love you, I really do, so I kept watching. But it was just because Dream High was just that wonderful.

  44. 44 chisaicherry

    I tried, i really really tried to like DH2! I watched it, religiously and lied to myself, saying “it’ll get better with one more episode” and tried so hard to shut off my brain…But with each passing episode, I ask myself over and over again how can DH be so good, but the 2nd one suck so so so badly??!!

    Poor Yoojin…

    Thank you for writing the wrap up of this show so that I have a place to say, Amen Sista!

  45. 45 Kkkwondering

    I agree 100% with this article. Dream high 2 just didn’t make sense at all. I think the problem with this was that they had too many characters, so they couldn’t actually concentrate to develop their storylines. In the end the whole show was just a way to introduce less known or soon-to-debut

  46. 46 Yue

    I’ll watch this… When I’m bored enough. Apparently my love for 2AM is never going to be enough to put me through the drama. It’s just horrid, the first episode and I feel like banging my head on the keyboard.

    HS/JB – No chemistry. It felt like watching siblings amusing each other and the thought of them being a couple is just… EWWWW!

    YJ/RA – I would have loved to see more of it, I liked how two rebel (kind of) souls interact. It was like they could have been best friend that drive each other insane and if they ever get together, you just can’t help but root for them.

    YJ/HS – I was hoping for this, I seriously was. I mean, when I watched DH1, I was not a fan of JG/HM from the get go. I don’t think someone like JG would suit HM well and I was right. But, unlike JG/HM, YJ/HS if they had given it a chance and develop the characters a bit more, I think they two could have been interesting to watch… I mean, there’s no even SERIOUS love triangle there… I was like… Whatever…

    JB/RA – This is a nuclear relationship. Imagine Eminem and his ex-wife and you’ll see how this would go. The couple was not meant to be from the beginning and you know it already.

    The ending… I saw the last episode out on a whim… I was like…WTF?! I mean, seriously… I was severely disappointed. Why can’t they have made it a bit more grand. It was like bland for me. So, HS became a big-shot director, RA went to be a Hallyu star bla bla bla… And why the hell are they trying hard to make another Milk-Couple… Seriously, NO ONE couple can upstage IU and WooYoung… <3

    Seriously, I get the whole nod to the first series, but, having another character to be a teacher was like… Can I just slap you? There are millions of ways they could have made it. They could have made it that the Headmaster/Counselor (Right?) Called them back or something… Why can't YJ be like Hyde? – It's JRock, look him up, he's epic in my book. And HS, even to the end she irritated me… RA was… Why the hell are you trying to be Baek Hee? She's suppose to be SD like… *sighs* I can't watch this… Someone would have to bribe me with more 2AM stuffs… Seriously…

  47. 47 anotheraddict

    Oy veh! Few dramas have exasperated me as much as this one did. (Ditto: jb’s critique– if you look closely, you can still see some steam coming out of my ears.) I was even mad that they set the B List Life song (that has some of the most ridiculous lyrics ever) to a catchy tune that I couldn’t get out of my head. The show’s message about pursuing one’s dreams was just as convoluted as the plot and the characterization were.

    I’m another one who mainly stayed around because of Yoo Jin– what an unfulfilling ending for him. ๐Ÿ™ DH2: you suck! I hope your “suckitude isn’t contagious” (great turn of phrase, btw).

    At least DH2 introduced me to Jin Woonie– he made an adorable Yoo Jin and I loved his Mianhe song.

  48. 48 Sponge

    Thanks alot for the wrao uo! I was curious about what happened after i (thankfully) dropped this series around episode 6? (right before the sudden nice change? which is pretty amusing cause i think that might of drove me bonkers).

    I just could not seem to like ANY of the characters in this show which suprises me so much, and the couples? ergh…. you have got to be kidding me. The recap was pretty confusing because the show just.. didn’t make any coherent sense, i wish i liked it, i wish i could of had a good season 2 for dream high, the first season was just lovely. Thankfully SUFBB is my saving grace.

  49. 49 ella zala

    I hate Dream High 2. nuf said

  50. 50 Mimi

    Dream High 2 lets face it was created to fully just promote JYP’s artists and their upcoming projects. For example you bring suzy back to the drama only to have her cameo as a member of Miss A when she should have come back as hyemi. Argh it had so much potential but the plot just wasnt there. I feel like Kang Sora’s character was to meek and got overshadowed by the second leads. Jinwoon has potential as an actor but he shouldn’t have chosen this as his debut. Overall i gave this drama a chance seeing as the first one was great, but it lacked a good plot. Like at least give them a rival school or something.

    • 50.1 bjharm

      lol you hit the nail on the head there. This is not a drama it is a showcase for the companies talents, story and plot takes backseat or is ignored all together. If I where the korean public I would actually feel insulted that they put this on my TV screen and has the cheek called it a TV drama rather than a very long boring promo for the companies Idols.

    • 50.2 kimcheese

      suzy cameos as a member of miss a, not as hyemi?? wtf?

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