Drama Recaps
School 2013: Episode 1
by | December 3, 2012 | 83 Comments

Oh, I like this show a lot. Yay! It’s been a while since I responded to a show strongly and immediately, but I feel like School 2013 has the potential to be something special. It’s all there, with interesting and well-acted characters, layers of conflict, and done with a nice vibe.

The show feels different from other high school dramas, which I find refreshing. Less trendy, more atmospheric. A little bit of bite, but not so much that it feels like a grim show. To the contrary, there’s a lot of room for character growth and heartfelt moments, with some light-hearted interludes keeping things from going too All Serious, All The Time.

SONG OF THE DAY

Daybreak – “꿈 속의 멜로디” (Melody in a dream) [ Download ]

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EPISODE 1 RECAP

We open in a high school to scenes of ordinary school life: students in class, taking tests, hanging out. A teacher voice-overs the famous Emerson quote, “All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” He continues, “Where children hide, and adults don’t know—this is school.”

Next, we catch up at nighttime with a teenager on a scooter, making a delivery. This is GO NAM-SOON (Lee Jong-seok) and he carries his package in.

Inside a classroom, teacher KANG SE-CHAN (Daniel Choi) confirms to his disappointed class that he will be leaving his position here. He’s clearly a popular teacher here, and they pout about his departure. In the class is a familiar face (Park Se-young), whom we’ll get to know in a bit.

This is a nighttime academy (cram school), and judging from the attentiveness of the class it must be the kind where overachiever students go to supplement their learning (rather than, say, the remedial sort). And when Teacher Se-chan pulls out his legendary notes to distribute to the class, they’re excited to get their hands on such a coveted book.

Delivery boy Nam-soon interrupts this class; one of its students ordered the cake. Feeling generous about his grand farewell, Se-chan offers one of his sacred notebooks to Nam-soon too—prompting an outcry from the others of “It’s not fair”—only to have Nam-soon say with supreme indifference that he doesn’t want it. Blink, blink. This barely computes in Se-chan’s brain.

Seeing the cake, Se-chan tells his class that he’s feeling good today and will let them off early to party. So magnanimous when he’s the guest of honor, isn’t he? Only… the kids blankly tell him it’s for a student’s birthday, ha. Se-chan covers his surprise and disappointment, but what was momentarily funny is now tinged with an air of melancholy. If this is an example of how well the drama is going to engage its mood, I’m gonna really like what School has to offer.

So Se-chan shuffles out of class practically ignored by his class, though he perks up when a student comes out of the class behind him. He’s bolstered by this one show of loyalty by SONG HA-KYUNG (Park Se-young)… only she isn’t here to see him off. Aw. I love that this teacher’s got an ego, but also that it can so easily be punctured.

Ha-kyung catches up to Nam-soon at his scooter and asks if his errand service really does anything. They aren’t friends but they recognize each other from school, and Ha-kyung asks how much it’ll cost to ensure that Nam-soon will keep his mouth shut—she doesn’t want anybody to hear that she was here at this academy. Hm, interesting. Is she ashamed, or is she uber-competitive?

Nam-soon can’t even be bothered with her and rides off.

The next morning, Nam-soon readies for school. Aw, he’s waiting for his rice cooker to finish cooking, but with just minutes to spare he can’t risk being late. He takes some of his hard-earned cash from his money tin instead and catches the bus.

A tomboyish girl sidles up to him with a friendly grin—LEE KANG-JOO (Ryu Hyo-young)—but he barely acknowledges her. Then a trio of mean-looking bullies pushes toward him, and without a word Nam-soon gives up his seat. He’s far from scared of them, but you get the sense that he’d rather just do the easy thing than stir up trouble.

The girl, Kang-joo, follows him to the other side of the bus and asks if he’s nice or dumb. Nam-soon doesn’t answer.

The trio of bullies intercepts Nam-soon on the road to school, pulling him aside. They want to “borrow” some money, and Nam-soon hands over his five, asking for two back. They laugh in his face.

The punkass leader, Jung-ho, offers him a cigarette (pushes one on him, more like) and clarifies that they’re not stealing the money; they’re borrowing it. Nam-soon rejects the smoke and scoffs.

On to the administrators: A younger teacher, JUNG IN-JAE (Jang Nara), catches up to the older Teacher Yoo. Ha, In-jae actually took a taxi to school so she could avoid the students smoking in front. (She would have to discipline them, but must lack the confidence. Or maybe just authority.) Teacher Yoo is the more pragmatic sort, saying that she ought to just turn a blind eye.

It’s the beginning of term and the school, Victory (Seungri) High, has lost a homeroom teacher (“After thirty years of teaching, (s)he must not know how to run a class now that corporal punishment has been banned”). Thus the teachers have to figure out who gets stuck with the hard-to-manage Year 2, Class 2.

The vice principal suggests In-jae, and the other teachers are happy to let her have it. Vice Principal Woo reminds his staff to keep the slackers in line, mindful that the school’s producing terrible grades right now. Especially the second-years.

As anticipated, Class 2 is a mess and out of control. In-jae tries to assert some authority and slams her book down to get their attention, at which point we see that the class contains some familiar faces—indifferent Nam-soon, tomboy Kang-joo, bookish Ha-kyung.

The principal has a problem on her hands: A report came in this morning, with photo evidence, of their students smoking outside school. The pics are of Nam-soon and bully Jung-ho. Crap.

Jung-ho and his posse stroll into class late, without a care. In-jae can’t ignore Jung-ho’s blatant rebelliousness and orders him to spit out his gum and sit up. He sticks the gum under his desk and purposely settles back for naptime.

But the entrance of stern Teacher Uhm has the students sitting up at attention—they don’t like him or his disciplinarian ways, but they listen to him. He orders them to place their hands on their desks while he conducts a brief search, and they mutteringly obey.

Jung-ho sticks his pack of cigarettes under the desk using his gum, so when he’s singled out, the pack isn’t on him. Teach orders Nam-soon to search Jung-ho’s desk for him… and the cigarettes fall to the ground. Arg. This is not going to end well for Nam-soon, is it?

The teacher pulls the two boys out of class and tells them to write their confession statement. Jung-ho takes the denial route, since the photos don’t clearly show their faces, and says he can’t confess to something he didn’t do. “Why don’t you hit me?” he goads, knowing that the teacher can’t. Nam-soon remains quiet.

The other students learn wonder at Nam-soon being included since he doesn’t smoke. But they know he’s in deep water with “Uhmforce” on the job. (HA! They didn’t name the character Uhm Dae-woong fer nuthin’.)

Principal Im tells the teachers that this isn’t merely about smoking, but a blight on the entire school’s image. Make an example of those boys.

In-jae has to go to the actual book to see what the rules are, and there’s a catch-all clause for bad behavior that gives the school grounds for expulsion.

Uhmforce takes Nam-soon aside and asks him to confirm that Jung-ho is the guy in the photograph. When he doesn’t say anything, the teacher asks if he’s scared of Jung-ho, or if they’re buddies now. All Nam-soon says is “no” and “no,” giving no explanation for his silence.

In-jae follows him out to ask if he smoked. He says no, and she urges him to tell everything, wanting him to know that he could really get kicked out. He either doesn’t believe her or doesn’t much care, and just says it’s unlikely the school would be that careless.

She doesn’t have his confidence, and pores over her book of students. A small number of them have already dropped out. The stress gets to her.

She plucks up the nerve, though, to face Teacher Uhm and state that as their homeroom teacher, she can’t accept the school disciplining students based on a photo that doesn’t even conclusively show their identities. She uses the same word Nam-soon did—the school can’t be that careless. She warns that if this proceeds, she’ll file her objections.

Ha, but she doesn’t see till it’s too late that she has an audience—the principal and vice principal. Whoopsie. If anything, this makes her seem defiant, and she’s mortified.

She apologizes to Uhmforce afterward, but to her surprise he backs her up, though he says she should have picked the proper time and place to say it. At least the boys’ punishment has been deferred, and she’s pleased to hear it.

Nam-soon is welcomed back to Class 2, but Jung-ho storms inside in a foul mood. When the class president asks for his tardiness fine, Jung-ho bullies the poor kid next to him for it. His buddies loom threateningly and slap the boy around, demanding cash.

Nam-soon tries to ignore the growing tension, but finally he has enough and chucks his book at the bully’s head. But instead of fighting, he steps in with a smile and asks the victim a pleasant question, as though he’s completely oblivious he’s interrupting anything.

It breaks up the moment, though it only makes Jung-ho’s posse madder at him. One bully starts after him, but Jung-ho holds him back. For now.

In the next period, In-jae tries to conduct her literature class and orders Jung-ho woken from his nap. He makes a point of taking out his phone, and she storms over, determined to assert some authority. Even his friends warn her to back off—clearly Jung-ho’s a lost cause—but she’s taken her stance and confiscates the phone, telling him he can have it after school.

But that pisses him off, and Jung-ho actually grabs her—so forcibly that she’s completely rattled. The other students are too scared to step in, and Jung-ho grabs his phone back.

Trying not to lose it, In-jae just walks out of class in silence.

Just her rotten luck, then, that she’s on lunch duty and Jung-ho cuts in line right in front of her, mocking her with his phone. In-jae confronts him again (oh, honey) and says she’ll have to call his mother—and that finally gets a rise out of him. She takes his phone, and he starts talking to her in banmal, and now they’re both pissed off and yelling.

He calls her “not even a real teacher” and finally she loses her cool and slaps him. Uh-oh. We’ve only been told corporal punishment has been banned a half-dozen times already. Jung-ho grabs her like he’s about to punch her in the face—and thankfully, someone steps in. Oh thank god. It was getting a little too real up in here.

Nam-soon shoves him back and warns, “Cut it out, bastard.” Jung-ho grabs him menacingly, just as Uhmforce arrives. Oh thank god, again.

Outside, In-jae watches her class playing soccer and is joined by a sympathetic PE Teacher Jo. She attempts a laugh, but she’s near tears as she admits that she can’t do a thing as a teacher. Teacher Jo says encouragingly that she’s doing a good job.

The next bit of advice comes from pragmatic Teacher Yoo, who reminds In-jae that she’d cautioned her not to work too hard. Why kick up a fuss with the kids? The other teachers think it’s a good thing she’ll soon be rid of the punk (for the smoking picture), but In-jae says, “I don’t know yet, what kind of kid Jung-ho is.”

He’s currently lounging outside with his buddies, pointedly avoiding their conversation of what they’ll do after high school. Hm.

In-jae pulls Nam-soon aside, asking him to tell Jung-ho to pick up his phone. He awkwardly thanks her for sticking up for him this morning—and she awkwardly thanks him back. Aw. They’re cute. Nam-soon advises her not to confront the kids, adding that she’s weak.

Principal Im asks In-jae to confirm the reports—did Jung-ho use violence against her? They’re all eager for a reason to cut him loose, but she doesn’t confirm or deny, asking for more time to talk it over with Jung-ho. Principal Im allows it, but warns that if this happens again, In-jae will also be on the hook.

That afternoon, Principal Im makes a special announcement to the entire school, wherein she lays out their dire situation. The school is in the bottom of the heap of all the schools in Seoul, grades low and reputation miserable. She’s been principal for six months—ah, that explains her fervor for turning this ship around—and says that they’ll be tightening up the rules and punishments around here. And they won’t hesitate to start expelling students, either.

The statement is met with mostly incredulity by the student body, and dismay by the staff.

Ah, and now we come back to Se-chan. He’s talking with a prosecutor friend, glum about his job prospects. I’d assumed he’d quit the academy for a cushier gig, but as it turns out, he was forced to quit because he was caught giving illegal lessons for exorbitant fees.

He complains that he barely even did that, but he won’t be able to recover his position without some image rehab. His prosecutor buddy advises him to “donate” his talents for a good cause, and in six months he’ll be able to resume his former gig.

Thus it is with extreme reluctance that Se-chan is persuaded to go back to… gasp… public school.

The next day, In-jae begins class with the election of leaders. To everyone’s surprise, overachieving Ha-kyung volunteers as vice president, though it seems more like a resumé-booster for her. She admits she’d rather be veep since president is the one stuck with all the work.

On to president nominations. This class treats it more like a punishment than anything, since it’s a hard job to be the one keeping peers in line. Some joke nominations fly around, and then—that victim from the day before timidly nominates Nam-soon. Aw. That is so sweet. Even if it makes Nam-soon look like a deer in headlights.

Principal Im asks for a list of the school’s bottom ten students. She notes that a bunch of them are from Class 2, and a bunch more are on leave. Two have been caught for smoking twice; third time earns expulsion. Nam-soon is on the list.

Principal Im tells her VP to take the list and post it. Is she going to shame the school into reform?

The vote results in a tie between Nam-soon and the current president, and you can practically see Nam-soon willing the other guy to win. Jung-ho stalks in late, sees the results — and offers up the tie-break with a smirk, voting for Nam-soon. Ha. What a way to say fuck-you.

As the new leaders, Ha-kyung and Nam-soon have extra duties like distributing materials to the class. Ha-kyung keeps a meek, polite attitude with the teachers but drops the nice act with Nam-soon, telling him to do all the work himself. And if he cuts into her study time, she’s gonna kill him.

She walks off, reads the board, and smirks at him. He goes in for a closer look… and sees his name on the Worst Students list. Eeeeeek. He just sighs, “Damn, that’s embarrassing.”

In-jae looks at the same list glumly, knowing that her own job is on the line. If a teacher amasses too many low performers, it reflects poorly and could lead to firing.

Teacher Yoo sighs over In-jae’s lot, since it’s an uphill battle at best. That class was barely functional with the former president (the best of the worst), but now that Nam-soon is the president? That’s just asking for misery all around, she says.

In-jae goes out for drinks that night with her friend, the school nurse. The nurse guesses that In-jae’s feeling down, guessing that it was her first time hitting a student. “What now?” her friend asks.

“I don’t know,” In-jae says. “If I hang in there, will I figure it out?”

Somebody else has been drinking: Nam-soon picks up his drunk father at the police station. He tells his father he was elected president with an air of self-deprecation, but it’s enough to make you wonder whether he’s hoping for a sign of approval, or just acknowledgment. But Dad’s dead drunk, so out of it that he has to be tied to Nam-soon’s chest for the ride home.

Time for the beginning-of-term open house. Teachers prepare the school for parents, and In-jae asks her class to please, for the love of god, just don’t cause trouble.

As the class files out to go to their next period, Nam-soon hangs back to help his victim-classmate, Young-woo. Jung-ho comes in late as usual, itching for a fight as usual. He picks on Young-woo and demands more money, so Nam-soon steps in to face Jung-ho himself.

Jung-ho shoves him to the ground and tells him to cut it out, and stop acting the president.

Today marks Se-chan’s first day at Victory High, and despite his distaste at the gig he’s fully confident he’ll raise grades and be outta here in one semester. He strolls into the hall with his usual bravado and asks the nearest student if she’s a good student—what’s her ranking?

Only, it’s In-jae and she corrects him: She’s not a student. Ha, he self-corrects quickly and says of course, he meant the school. She returns that fathers usually don’t come to these things, and it’s his time to correct her: “Don’t you know who I am?”

Oh man, he just pulled the do-you-know-who-I-am. Lulz. I guess he’s just that famous as an educational guru, and soon he’s ushered along by the VP.

At the assembly, Principal Im announces their special guest, Kangnam’s star teacher Kang Se-chan. He also happens to be an alumnus of Victory High, and thus was happy to accept a position here.

The parents mill around, loving the good-looking and well-known teacher. In fact, it’s like In-jae’s the only one who doesn’t know who he is. I suppose a Western equivalent might be the Kaplan test prep guides, and he’s Kaplan. Or Kumon.

Back in the homeroom class, Jung-ho’s goading Nam-soon for a fight, poking him in the chest and slapping his face. Why’d he step in? Does he take Jung-ho for a pushover?

He shoves Nam-soon into a desk, and finally Nam-soon’s temper flares and he grabs the first thing he touches to swing it at Jung-ho. A chair.

We don’t see what happens next, though I’m praying Nam-soon gets a hold of his anger, but we do hear the yells from the hallway. Principal Im leads her group of teachers and parents outside to give them a tour… and a chair smashes through the window (which, Phew and also, Oh no). It falls from the second floor and crashes at their feet.

In-jae looks up in surprise — and sees Nam-soon’s face at the broken window. The mothers start walking away amid disapproving murmurs of how the school can’t control its students, which sends Principal Im into a first-rate seethe.

Teachers race up to Class 2, where they find Nam-soon standing there in shock.

 
COMMENTS

Yay for strong premieres. There was a lot going on, and a lot of plots to set up with a lot of faces and names. Yet it didn’t feel confusing or hard to grasp, because we had a solid core of conflict and emotion that it was enough to ground us in the setup. We saw lots of faces, but weren’t inundated with too much backstory; I appreciate that this drama is backing off on the infodump and is trusting us to warm to the rest of the cast gradually. Coming so soon on the heels of Jeon Woo-chi, I’m particularly grateful for that.

For that this episode can thank two characters in particular, who have very different but equally relatable places in the story that make your heart pull for them. I mean, of course, Jang Nara and Lee Jong-seok, whose In-jae and Nam-soon characters feel like well-considered, fully fleshed out people.

Jang Nara has a teacher type we’ve seen before, but I liked the way she approached hers. There’s naivety and idealism there, but it wasn’t done to such an extreme that I felt annoyed with her for being stupid, or excessive. You almost want to tsk-tsk her for her idealism, but it’s the thing that makes her someone to root for—that she hasn’t given up on the kid everybody’s given up on. She almost wants to, but she just can’t bring herself to—and I suspect that this is as much about her as a teacher and a person as it is about him. She has to believe that she can do something, that she’s not a useless figurehead who takes roll call, as you suspected she was thinking when she confided in the gym teacher about not being able to do a thing. So Jung-ho means more than just the kid who gives her trouble at work.

Speaking of whom, I like that Jung-ho isn’t some soft, dramaland version of the misunderstood kid. I’m pretty sure that’s where they’re going with him, but the viewer is fully aware that he’s a troublemaker, and if we’re with the characters in thinking him a lost cause, it’s a lot harder-edged a portrayal. He’s not oozing with charm to make up for his brashness, and you don’t necessarily want to cut him any slack. He’s the instigator, he’s the one you think would solve everyone’s problems by just going away.

Except, that wouldn’t solve his problems, whatever they are. It’s too easy to just get rid of him; it’ll be an interesting test of In-jae’s character as a teacher to see how she solves the problem including him. If she can, that is. I suspect this will not be an easy project.

Interestingly, Jung-ho tenses up noticeably whenever his mother/parents are mentioned, so I’m sure there’s something there. I even wonder if that could be a thread of connection between him and Nam-soon, who has my heart bleeding for him already. I LOVE HIM. So much.

I wondered whether this was residual love for his character from High Kick 3, who admittedly shares similarities with Nam-soon. They’re both aloof, indifferent, and removed students who are good kids at the core. But Nam-soon’s story seems more nuanced, and I think I’m going to like his trajectory even more. I’m looking forward to seeing how he comes out of his shell of indifference—which I’d bet my hat on being not quite as indifferent as he appears on the surface. I have faith that the show will take us to interesting places with him, and I can’t wait.

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83 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Ivoire

    Thank you so much for the recap!

     (0)


    • 1.1 Ivoire

      Off to reading now. I will put this show on the back burner as well, while reading the recaps and seeing how it goes.

       (0)


      • 1.1.1 pabo ceo reom

        Finally got around to watching the first episode and I absolutely LOVE it so far. I’m hooked!

        P.S. Who else wanted to b*tch slap Jung-ho at least a dozen times? Sit down kid!

         (0)


    • 1.2 rainbow

      i just love Nam Soon ♥

       (0)


  2. JC

    Thanks so much for the recap!
    I’m really excited for this show~ :D
    I think I might wait until it’s over/almost over though, and marathon it if it’s any good, just like I did with Flower Boy Band and Dream High.

     (0)


  3. Danna

    Heh, so I completely forgot this show was going to air today….must remedy this soon…i think I’ll wait till tom when ep 2 is up

     (0)


  4. lovepark

    Thanks for the recap. The show looks slightly grim (in a good way) and promising.
    I love that the song of the day is Daybreak’s Melody in a Dream! So good~! :-)

     (0)


  5. h0ns

    Thanks for the recap.. I like it.. and I’m definitely going to watch it..

     (0)


  6. tiffany

    thank you so much for the recap!! i was really looking forward to the premiere of this drama :D cant wait for more eps to come :)

     (0)


  7. Ani

    Oh geez, now I want to reqatch some of my favorite Gokusen episodes. I know Gokusen doesn’t have the most realistic or layered character compared to what this one seems to be… But man, nothing like a show about kids that need someone to believe in them. Or kids that just need a little guidance and a push in the right direction.

     (0)


    • 7.1 oozzeee

      ,8 doesn’t help that they look like MatsuJun and Oguri.. they may not look pretty, but boy, do they make me giggle with glee.. :)

       (0)


      • 7.1.1 Ani

        I don’t know. MatsuJun and Oguri Shun are good looking in my eyes. But I always did skew more towards enjoying Gokusen 2 and 3, but that’s because if I remember correctly, I watched the Seasons backwards: 3, 2, 1. HA!

         (0)


        • 7.1.1.1 alua

          Matsujun and Oguri sure a pretty. Especially Matsujun :-D

          It’s just that J-actors are more diverse in their beauty (there is a wider range of what’s considered beautiful), with K-actors they all have a rather similar way of being beautiful.

           (0)


        • 7.1.1.2 la dee dah

          I’m surprised that you were able to watch all three. I actually watched the second one first, then went to watch the first one… and found the shows were pretty much the same but with different students! Then I heard that the third one was the same as well with different students! I actually found the characters in the first one more enjoyable.

          For me, this show reminds me more of GTO, because while Gokusen was about mostly students who were already friends who had the same attitudes towards school, GTO had a mix of students like the smart one, the quiet bullied one, the mean ones, much like the students in School 2013.

          Thanks to DB for the recap!

           (0)


  8. crazedlu

    Been slacking on these k-dramas. Work work work. Blegh. Muuuust waaaatch.

     (0)


  9. nomu nomu nomu

    Haven’t watched the first episode yet, as I am still waiting for subs. For now, I’m only reading the opening paragraph but am happy to hear it got a good first impression. This might be a good addition to the other Mon/Tues drama I’m watching. *hoping it stays good*

     (0)


    • 9.1 nomu nomu nomu

      correction: subs is out at viki.com

       (0)


      • 9.1.1 JoAnne

        yay I’ve been looking forward to this!

         (0)


  10. 10 sPark*

    I was so excited for this and I’m glad they didn’t go for the slapstick comedy route. I am in the right mood for a school drama, so I’m loving it already :) It does have all the stereotypes from previous school dramas, but I don’t mind. I just hope they can do something fresh with them.

     (0)


    • 10.1 alua

      Me too! Loving this already.

      Really like Nam-soon.

      This is so much more so my thing than the Cheongdamdong Alice I watched earlier this morning.

       (0)


      • 10.1.1 FlexibleSamurai

        Oh my god, me too. I love Nam-soon so much!

        And this actor is sooo good. He emotes so well – and not only his eyes and face but his whole body shows emotions.

        I’m definitely going to watch it and cheer for him!

         (0)


  11. 11 hpn88

    this ended up being a lot more serious than i anticipated but in a good way. Nam-soon, the bully and Jang Nara’s characters seem like they will have an awesome arc in the story. I can’t wait for them to develop Park Se youngs, Daniel choi’s characters and hopefully Kim woobin will show up tomorrow!

     (0)


  12. 12 cheekbones

    I can feel it already that this is gonna be my next drama crack. Yeshh !!

    Thanks for recapping !

     (0)


  13. 13 ilovedramas

    OMG OMG should i read it or not ???? because i really really want to watch it! :(

     (0)


    • 13.1 a

      read it read it :)

       (0)


  14. 14 dewaanifordrama

    Thanks for the recap! Just watched the first episode and I really liked it. It seems like we’re going to have lots to think about, cheer about, cry about, and think about with the character arcs of these characters. And I also already love Nam-soon as well.

     (0)


  15. 15 scircus

    Was waiting for this all evening; got a tad bit worried you wouldn’t recap this o: (Going to lay off watching anything until after finals though. Plus, there’ll be a nice few weeks’ cushion on episodes :3)

    Anyway, thanks <3

     (0)


  16. 16 ninji

    Yay. Weeeeeer. I haven’t even watched this yet, so how can a recap – which I haven’t even read – make me so happy?
    Thanks!

     (0)


  17. 17 Almontel

    thanks for the recap…i didn’t know what to watch on Mondays when I cam across your recap about this series…
    so here i am..
    i do like the premiere, makes me want to see more..
    so this is Jang Nara and Daniel Choi’s second team up from Baby Faced beauty, correct?

    Can’t wait to see what happened…

     (0)


  18. 18 KZ

    Love this drama already. So glad too. Needed something new to watch after Nice Guy ended. Can’t wait till ep 2. Hate that I love his drama though cuz now I’ll be impatient.

     (0)


  19. 19 owl

    Nobody does supreme indifference better than a high school guy – nice, javabeans!

    Simple math: Kang Se Chan + Jang Nara = love

    Hey, anytime a desk flies outta the 2nd floor window and lands at the feet of the PTA tour group, I’m in.

    I’m thinkin’ Highscrewl 2013?

     (0)


    • 19.1 ilovedramas

      NO!!! not jang nara and danielchoi.because if it turns out that way it wont be fun to watch!

       (0)


      • 19.1.1 owl

        But I love it when tall, boyish handsome DC leans WAY down to do the romantic kiss thing. If it’s another high school/teacher romance (FBRS style) – that won’t be as fun to watch.

         (0)


        • 19.1.1.1 mommai

          My husband is a foot and a few inches taller than me, and as romantic as those kisses can look, they’re pretty awkward and not that comfortable on a regular basis. I get a lot more forehead kisses than lip locks if I’m not standing on a couch or something ;)

           (0)


          • 19.1.1.1.1 owl

            Funny. But still, on the wide screen, it’s a swoon and being carried away in my mind moment…

            ~Oh. What was I saying? ~ (*Snap. Back to the here and now. Drat.)

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      • 19.1.2 Annie

        lmao, who did you think she would be paired with?

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  20. 20 tiffany

    so fun! i love doing these polls hehe XD

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  21. 21 Christine Robinson

    The principal is from High Kick 1

    The teacher is from High Kick 2

    The student is from High Kick 3

    he he…just saying:)

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  22. 22 Kei

    The characters are really interesting and i’m intrigued by Nam-soon, is he afraid, indiferent or is he being cautious? and why? wow strong start.

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    • 22.1 Nallali

      my thoughts exactly cuz it’s not like he ain’t got the balls and am pretty sure he can wipe the floor with that idiot, most bullies r sissies acting tough anyways, always depending on their ‘wingmen’…ugh! i really can’t stand bullies!

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  23. 23 sesr

    wish they picked a more attractive cast

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    • 23.1 ilovedramas

      the cast IS interesting and attractive.

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    • 23.2 Ditu3ka

      Then it would look even less authentic. It´s not Dream High , I´m glad. Most of those kids are way more attractive than some ordinary class.

       (0)


  24. 24 Kelinci Biru

    oh. Lee Jong Seok and Jang Nara is adorable.

     (0)


    • 24.1 Natalie

      Agreed! Love them

       (0)


  25. 25 rose

    don’t you love the way nam soon smirks when in jae repeats his words? and thanks for the recap, i only watch the shows after reading your recaps.

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  26. 26 swui

    It is unexpectedly engaging…even for a first episode. Definitely my next crack

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  27. 27 kumon

    Yaay for the love of Lee Jong Suk. I’ve been waiting for years to see him as a lead in a drama. Seeing him here, he does improve a lot everytime he tackles a new drama and or movie. He seems to follow after her role model noona from his talent agency, another multi-talented artist, Ha Ji Won. I can feel the correct proportion school angst vibes from this drama. I got hooked by the first episode.

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  28. 28 shiki

    gokusen + dragon sakura = like!

     (0)


  29. 29 sisa

    Ooooh. I like! It’s been a while since I feel excited to watch a series. I’m wishing for Lee Jung-seok and Jang Nara pairing.

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  30. 30 neener

    just watched this episode before reading the recap and damn!!! my heart beats fast whenever something bad is about to happen!!

    it did feel like a little Gokusen though….just a tiny little bit :D

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  31. 31 Carole McDonnell

    oh my gosh!!! Now I’m real picky about this kind of drama but THIS looks like a shoujo/shonem YA drama I could love!

    And I have a bit of a crush on Daniel Choi so…well….getting a glimpse of him doesn’t hurt.

    Thanks so much for the recap. Gonna watch

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  32. 32 rainbow

    Thanks for the recap :)

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  33. 33 Sammy

    Totally watching this show.

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  34. 34 Laurita

    Loved it. Way to start screwing up my exams though… Still, love it already.
    That feeling of mixed fear and wanting to do the right thing – so familiar. Totally familiar. And that bad student. And these other students who choose to do nothing. That’s what I call realistic. And my school is even not in Korea.

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  35. 35 Natalie

    I am amazed at how much I already LOVE this drama! Nam-Soon is definitely my favourite character. I’m also wishing for a Lee Jung-seok and Jang Nara pairing

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    • 35.1 Annie

      … there’s nothing romantic about teachers getting involved with students, male or female. I say this as someone with teaching experience.

       (0)


      • 35.1.1 Natalie

        Of course it is a very serious issue. I just implied I liked the pairing, not that I wanted that pairing to be romantic. I think they could easily build up a meaningful relationship between the two without it being so.

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        • 35.1.1.1 Natalie

          Hopefully this drama will be taken in a good direction! :)

           (0)


  36. 36 dany

    I started watching this after reading your comments and boy do I like it! Thank you so much for recapping it.

     (0)


  37. 37 Nallali

    it was a bit of a hard watch cuz bullies literally make my blood boil, looks good though so here’s hoping the bullying won’t be taking centre stage for most of the rest of the drama

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    • 37.1 Unnursvana

      Yes, I hated him. He totally reminded me of some of the boys that I went to school with. I wanted to hit him tbh, or yell at him the whole time.

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  38. 38 Unnursvana

    this was very interesting and not what I was expecting at all. I was expecting something more trendy, like God of Study + Dream High. I can’t say that I am in love with it yet, but I will definitely watch the next episode.

    I might wait until it is over and then marathon it though. I don’t think I have time for watch it right now and when I will be staying with my family of Christmas I have horrible, expensive internet and I will probably try to watch as little online as I can. But if I fall in love with this show then I don’t know what I will do -_-

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  39. 39 crazedlu

    I LOVE THIS SHOW.

     (0)


  40. 40 Noelle

    OMG DRAMABEANS IS WORKING FOR ME AGAIN! I missed you guys.

     (0)


  41. 41 Ditu3ka

    So much like Japanese school doramas. I see many similarities. I really really like the start.

     (0)


  42. 42 Angelalala

    I’m glad i’m not the only one that wants a jang nara x nam soon/jong seok pairing, there’s just chemistry between them!
    Choi daniel was good for baby faced beauty… I think it’s jong seok’s turn ;)

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  43. 43 Abbie

    Wow, what a good first episode. This drama draws us in slowly without dumping a lot of backstory on us. I’m reminded, just a bit, of Answer Me, 1997. I can’t put my finger on why that is, but I like it.

    I loved Lee Jong-seok in High Kick 3, and I think he’s doing a marvelous job here. Nam-soon is my favorite so far. Also, I don’t think he threw that chair. I think Jung-ho did, and then ran off. But, we won’t know until episode 2, which I’m really looking forward to.

    Also, I think I’ve found my drama-crack for the end of the year. I love high school dramas.

    Thanks for the recap, Javabeans!

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  44. 44 Ga-eul

    I’m a bit late to this party, but in any case I really love how this show started:D It has this raw, feel-good vibe that pulls you in.

    Also, my heart melts whenever Lee Jong-seok is on the screen and it doesn’t help that he’s a pretty amazing actor to boot.

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  45. 45 Bu Young

    Wow! First episode was crazy packed and the ost is amazing! Lee Jong Seok is brilliant, the moment he stood up for the less popular kid, i already knew i’d like him. I’s so rooting for Nam Soon! I also love the fact that even though he’s the hero..he can’t fight. What I mean by this is that I’m so use to kdramas and the hero who saves everybody and some how knows how to fight but this is more realistic.

    Oh Jung Oh gets on my last nerve and I applied the actor and Jang Nara for portraying that part where he grabs her so well. I was soooo scared for her. And that last part where they threw the chair out the wind, i was literally frightened! Beautiful, beautiful cinematography(:

    As for Daniel Choi and Jang Nara’s reunion, hehe, I don’t think much of Baby face Beauty, which is a good thing. I wonder how it is for them to meet again though. In Jae’s character isn’t too far from So Young but In Jae definitely has a lot more balls than So Young. Jang also looks more attractive in this role. In the BFB I felt like she was about to fall apart an minute, but she looks healthy and bright here.

    Ah, looking forward to being part of this drama fandom, lol(: Hakgyo, fighting!

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  46. 46 Lilian

    A surprisingly good start. I am loving it so much. It reminds me of Answer 1997 in the sense that it always makes me want to learn more about the different characters. And yes, the two that stand out are definitely Jang Nara’s and Lee Jong Suk’s.

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  47. 47 John

    javabeans~

    Thanks for the recap. I liked the first episode, more than Alice. Looking forward to seeing Ep. 2

    Oh, and Park Se-young looks good in a skirt.

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  48. 48 tarianant

    When he chucks his book at the bully’s head, I was torn between swooning and a desire to adopt him :P Finally a drama worth to watch. I’m in. Thanks Javabeans.

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  49. 49 Beekinga

    This 1st ep left me wondering, and I do hope someone can shed some light about it. Illegal tutoring. What does that mean? Can’t people tutor or ask for private lessons? Weird that.

     (0)


  50. 50 Dazzed

    Can anyone tell me what song was playing when In-Jae was getting out of the room after she defended Go Nam Soon and Oh Jung..
    Thanks

     (0)


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