Drama Recaps
School 2013: Episode 2
by | December 4, 2012 | 110 Comments

Yaaaay, it’s so good. I love it when high school shows are done well, with substance and heart. The characters are layered, the circumstances realistic, and the story has so much potential to be interesting without the conventional drama pitfalls. And Lee Jong-seok’s angsty Go Nam-soon? Gah. I LUFF HIM SO. He tugs at my heart in that perfectly perfect way, and I’m toast.


The teachers run in to find Nam-soon standing there by the window post-chair-grenade incident in shock, looking totally guilty (and slightly like he’s afraid of his own strength, which is frightening).

Uhmforce demands to know what happened—was it a fight? They ask with whom, but Nam-soon remains characteristically tight-lipped.

Principal Im sends away a disapproving gaggle of mothers and to her credit, the first thing she asks is if anyone was hurt. But she takes the opposite approach from what they’d expect, and tells the teachers to cover it up. They don’t need a violent incident on their record, not now.

Nam-soon sits in the teacher’s office nervously, looking down at his hands like he’s scared of them. In-jae comes in to tell him that he’s off the hook in an official capacity, but she still wants to know what happened, and sends him back to class.

The VP tells all the teachers that it was just an accident, which doesn’t sit well with In-jae and Uhmforce. The others assume it was troublemaker Jung-ho who fought with Nam-soon, but he never made it to roll call today, so is assumed to be absent.

The rest of the class comes back from the assembly to find Nam-soon sitting alone in class. They wonder about their boarded-up window, but there’s no one else around to tell the tale.

It’s only when Nam-soon has a moment alone that we see him wince in pain. His ribs are covered in bruises, and we flash back to the fight, where Jung-ho knocks him to the ground and then kicks the living crap out of him. Oof.

Star teacher Se-chan gets introduced to the staff, and smirks to see In-jae get reprimanded by the principal for her bad students. He passes by Nam-soon on his way out, and recognizes him as the cake delivery boy.

Nam-soon just tells him to mind his own business, and Se-chan coolly replies that it’s just what he intends to do. He walks away, sincerely not giving a damn.

In-jae finally catches a break in the case when she sees the nerdy victim Young-woo being ousted from the teachers’ bathroom. She guesses correctly that he spent the whole assembly hiding in there, and asks if he saw who threw the chair.

Young-woo: “I did.” Huh? Flashback to the fight: Jung-ho kicks Nam-soon, who finally has enough and grabs the chair. He raises it above his head…

…when Young-woo runs in, grabs a different chair, and throws it clear through the window. Everybody freezes.

Nam-soon runs to the window to see what damage it might’ve caused down below, making eye contact with In-jae. Jung-ho is long gone already, and Nam-soon tells the scared little Young-woo to hurry and run away. Aw.

Young-woo (who’s clearly got some sort of developmental disability) stammers frightfully if he’ll be transferred to another school, but In-jae tells him it’s okay. Once alone, she lets out this long sigh that just says it all.

She heads back to her desk to find Jung-ho sitting in her chair like a little punk, demanding his phone. She starts to ask why he’s like this, but he snaps at her to either hit him or be done with it, and snatches the phone out of her hand.

She finds PE Teacher Jo and asks if she should really cover up the chair incident—is that really what’s best? The problem being, of course, that the ones who’d end up getting punished are the ones who got hit, and not the other way around.

Teacher Jo is in agreement, but adds wisely that you always forget the punishments you received for the things you did do, but you never forget the ones for the stuff you didn’t do.

Nam-soon trudges home and gingerly lies down in his bed, clutching his ribs. He says aloud softly, like a familiar chant, “It’s okay. It’s okay… It’s okay.” A tear falls. Gah, somebody hug this boy.

He goes to school the next morning and finds his name plastered on a disciplinary rap sheet for the chair incident. Young-woo arrives behind him and looks up guiltily. But Nam-soon just shushes him and smiles. Awwwww.

His classmates bombard him with questions, which of course he doesn’t answer. They start a bet about who really threw the chair (Jung-ho vs. Nam-soon), when Jung-ho and his lackeys arrive. He makes a crack at ex-president Min-ki, whose mom is here again.

She’s clearly one of those moms, and even Min-ki seems embarrassed. She’s here to kick up a fuss about the chair thing, and given that Nam-soon took the class president job from her precious son, she’s probably going to make sure he suffers.

Nam-soon gets called to the principal’s office, and Jung-ho makes a point of getting in his way, but Nam-soon shoves past him. Ha-kyung stops him in the hall to ask if he really threw the chair, wanting him to tell the truth and get rid of the problem.

He looks at her in surprise—is she worried? About him? Ha-kyung: “No. I just don’t want to be stuck with all your work.” Pfft. He pretends to think about it, and answers, “Nah, I’d rather make you suffer.”

In-jae talks to Nam-soon alone, and asks why he won’t tell her what happened. Nam-soon: “Because I don’t want to tattle.” He says he’d rather just take the punishment and be done with it.

She surprises him by saying that she knows Young-woo was the one responsible, and tells him to go back to class. He looks at her hesitantly, but she assures him, “I don’t tattle either.” She sends him off with a smile.

So then she bravely faces the principal and Angry Mothers Club alone, which doesn’t go over well. They demand Nam-soon come and take responsibility for the chair-throwing, but In-jae holds her ground and says he isn’t the one who threw it.

They still demand his presence then, because someone has to pay, but In-jae says it won’t do any good: “Kids, they call that tattling.” She says he’ll take the blame and punishment over being the one to tell on his classmate.

PE Teacher Jo backs her up, explaining that they teach kids not to tattle in school. But Min-ki’s mom isn’t so easily thwarted, and Principal Im says covering up someone else’s wrongs is punishable too. In the end, Nam-soon gets stuck with a week of community service.

Ha-kyung stops Se-chan in the hallway, and he recognizes her immediately from his tutoring class. She asks him (more like commands him) to act like he doesn’t know her. He calls her back… but only to correct her grammar. Ha.

The principal rips into In-jae, who continues to argue that if they’re going to cover it up, they should cover it up fully, or just investigate the matter openly for what it really was—school violence. But Principal Im says it’ll reflect on In-jae (since they’re all her students), and says that sometimes they just need to turn a blind eye for everyone’s good. “That’s what school is.”

Min-ki’s mom casually shows her dissatisfaction with In-jae being her son’s homeroom teacher, and suggests that it’d be awfully nice to have Se-chan take that job.

Principal Im bristles, but Min-ki’s mom passive-aggressively says she’ll make sure the other moms don’t misunderstand this chair incident as school violence, and tells her to think on it. Dude, PTA moms. They’re like the mafia, just better dressed.

Se-chan saunters into class and tells them to throw out everything they’ve been taught up until now. If their goal is to get into college, all they need to do is study for the college entrance exam. So he’s basically got a test-prep mentality, in that you only need to study the test to beat it, and who gives a flying crap about learning the subjects.

Nam-soon puts his head down for a nap, which Se-chan calls him out for. “Am I boring you?” Nam-soon says no, it’s just that this doesn’t really apply to him since he’s not going to college.

Se-chan doesn’t take offense in the least, and offers up that anyone who doesn’t intend to go to college needn’t show up to his class ever. Now’s the chance to step out, or forever hold your peace.

He barely gets the sentence out before Jung-ho and his lackeys spring up and walk out. Nam-soon gets up too, and so does Young-woo. That surprises Se-chan (since he looks like a bookish nerd), but the other kids say Young-woo’s actually last place in their class.

He trails out after Nam-soon sheepishly. “You’d be bored all by yourself.” Aw, are they buddies now? He says thanks for the chair thing, and Nam-soon smiles, “If you hadn’t thrown it, I would have… so thank you.”

He asks why Young-woo threw it, and he stammers, “You threw it for me… that comic book.” Why does that statement make it sound like it was the first time anyone’s been nice to him, ever?

In-jae comes back to her class to find that Nam-soon was kicked out and that they were told not to read their literature homework if they want to get into college. Yeah, I’d have that look on my face too.

She confronts Se-chan (How hilarious is it that she purposely stands two stairs up to be eye-level with him?) and says he can’t just kick students out of class—this isn’t an after school tutoring business, but a school, where they teach everything, including life lessons.

He scoffs that they sure are doing a fine job of that, what with chair-throwing cover-ups, where “one kid throws, another hits, and yet another takes the blame.” Urg, he’s aggravatingly right about that.

She wonders how he knows so well though, and it turns out that he witnessed the whole thing. Flashback to him hearing the fight from the bathroom, after which he peers into the classroom to see it all. Ah, so Nam-soon saw him there, which explains the earlier mind-your-beeswax comment.

She can’t believe he didn’t stop the fight, but he says he hadn’t actually signed the contract to start teaching here yet… so not really his purview. Ass much?

He asks what Young-woo’s deal is, having since learned that he’s the last-place student. He points out that if In-jae didn’t know it was him, it makes her incapable, and that if she did know and covered it up, it makes her a coward. So which is it?

He leaves her gaping in disbelief, but she’s got an even bigger problem on her hands: Principal Im overheard their conversation, and stops her to ask who Young-woo is. Crap.

Up on the roof, Young-woo wonders if this is okay because it’s his first time ditching class. Nam-soon laughs that he’s kind of a goody-goody (yunno, for being last place and all).

He asks if Young-woo likes school since he’s never late and never absent. Young-woo: “I like my school uniform. When I put it on, I feel just like everyone else… normal.” Well that’s just heartbreaking.

The bell rings so they head to the stairwell, but it’s at the worst possible moment: all Nam-soon hears is the tail end of In-jae’s conversation with Principal Im, where she’s explaining that Young-woo (whom the principal only knows as “that slightly slow kid”) had a reason for throwing the chair.

Aw crap. Now she looks like a big ol’ tattletale lying liar. Nam-soon quickly covers up Young-woo’s ears so that he can’t hear what’s going on (So. Cute.) and glares down at In-jae. She doesn’t see them up there.

But the principal is on a warpath, and in no time Young-woo’s mom is called and he’s about to be transferred. We learn that he was admitted under a signed contract that he’d have to return to a special school for the developmental disabled if he caused any trouble.

His mom asks In-jae if something can’t be done about it because Young-woo likes this school so much, and Nam-soon walks by shooting laser beams out of his eyes, though In-jae doesn’t see him.

The kids wonder who tattled on him, and guess that it must’ve been Nam-soon. What, now he’s gotta take the fall for this too??

In-jae asks Uhmforce if there’s a way around the transfer, but the other teachers try to stop her, arguing that it’s for the best and that In-jae oughtn’t stick her neck out when she’s not yet a permanent hire.

She sticks to her guns anyway with the principal, but gets handed a petition for a homeroom teacher swap (submitted by Min-ki’s mom). Lordy, among the things on the list of complaints: “Weak” and “Young female.” WTF? Principal Im makes it clear that she’s on thin ice—she can’t handle Young-woo, Jung-ho, and Nam-soon all in one class, and one more incident puts her job on the line.

She hides out in the nurse’s office and notes that it’s particularly empty today. The nurse says kids only come here to avoid class, and In-jae wonders why kids hate the classroom so much, and the nurse says teachers hate it too.

In-jae muses that they picked the wrong profession then. Nurse: “Then what about you? Why do you teach?” In-jae: “I guess I still like it… school.”

The next morning she comes in to find her class half-empty, and when she asks Nam-soon if he’s doing his job and collecting tardy fines, he gives her the silent treatment.

It’s saying a lot that you can tell when a taciturn kid is just being his usual quiet self, and when he’s giving you attitude, but he makes it clear. One of the other kids calls him a traitor for ratting out Young-woo, which she notes.

She calls him to her office to ask if the kids are giving him a hard time, but he shrugs it off. She can tell he’s mad at her about Young-woo, and tries to explain that she didn’t have a choice in the matter.

Nam-soon: You didn’t have a choice, so you ignore your promises. You didn’t have a choice, so the guy who hit gets away with it. You hide the stuff that’ll cause problems and slip out of it unscathed. You ask for money at every turn and threaten when we don’t pay. How is Teacher… no, school… any different from Oh Jung-ho?

Oh. Burn.

Wow, that’s appallingly astute. Se-chan walks in on them and has the same reaction, wondering how a kid that smart is failing academically.

In-jae leaves school that night with heavy shoulders, after having been compared to the bully who makes her life a living hell.

The next morning she lines up the tardy students and asks the class why they don’t pay their tardy fines, and they confess that it kind of feels like they’re being ripped off, adding that last semester Min-ki paid it all out of his own pocket to keep the peace.

In-jae says it’s a conditional agreement, but the class clown says being held up for lunch money by the bully is a conditional agreement too—you pay, I don’t beat you up. Ha.

She relents, and tells them that from tomorrow on, they won’t collect tardy fines in this class, but they’ll have to memorize a poem each day they’re late instead. They groan, but the general mood is a happy one. Nam-soon’s face softens a bit, but when she looks over at him, he’s just staring out the window as usual.

The sign-up list for Se-chan’s special class fills up in no time, and he still intends to only choose ten students from the list. PE Teacher Jo (who was a teacher here when Se-chan was a student) asks why he quit teaching so quickly, saying it’s too bad he doesn’t have any students. He uses the word for “disciple,” by which he means, he doesn’t have any lasting relationships with students.

Se-chan says that tutoring is teaching too, and that he’s probably had more students than even Teacher Jo has had over the years. But Teacher Jo means it differently, “Those are customers. Love or hate, you have to be tossed and fried together to have disciples.”

Se-chan says he doesn’t much care to keep any of those. Teacher Jo says fine, but he shouldn’t kick students out of class anymore. “If a teacher kicks a student out of a classroom, where do they have to go?”

So then after his next class (through which Nam-soon stands outside), Se-chan tells him to come back in starting tomorrow—who knows, he might change his mind next year about wanting to go to college.

He says that you need strength in this world to get anywhere, and if Nam-soon had more strength, he wouldn’t have taken the fall for something he didn’t do. “Just look at Young-woo.” That raises red flags and Nam-soon realizes that it was Se-chan who ratted Young-woo out. Well thank goodness. I was so upset that he was mad at In-jae when she totally kept her word.

He flares up at Se-chan and asks him directly, and Se-chan scoffs at things like loyalty and honor, “You try and take your measly high school diploma out into the real world. Loyalty? There’s no such thing.” Hey, Dark Cloud of Jaded Drudgery, what is your deal?

Nam-soon says he couldn’t attend before because he was kicked out, but from now on he’s choosing not to go. “I don’t care for lectures from a tutor.”

The next morning, In-jae collects her tardy poems. The class clown makes a show of reciting a song dedicated to Ha-kyung which just annoys her, and though In-jae laughs, she makes him memorize a new poem for tomorrow.

She asks Nam-soon to recite his, and he doesn’t answer her. She asks haltingly if he’s really not going to do it, and tells him to spend the rest of class standing at the back wall. He complies without a word.

Suddenly Principal Im interrupts class with Young-woo and Mom in tow, saying that he wanted to say goodbye to his class before going. In-jae tries to stop it, wanting to talk his mom into stopping the transfer, but the principal makes it clear this isn’t a negotiation.

Young-woo stands in front and thanks them, “I really liked this class,” and turns to go.

Suddenly, from the back of the room, still facing the wall, Nam-soon begins to recite his poem (“Flower” by Na Tae-joo):

Nam-soon: You have to look closely
To see that it is pretty
You have to look long
To see that it is lovable
You are the same

Augh, this kid. Why is he so awesome?

In-jae smiles, her eyes filled with tears. Young-woo smiles sheepishly too, as Nam-soon walks out of class first.

Young-woo bows to Teach and heads out, and In-jae stands there for a long moment… and then bolts out of class. She stops Young-woo in the hall. The entire class spills out into the hallway to watch the showdown.

She turns to Young-woo’s mom, and even as Principal Im tries to talk over her, In-jae blurts out that she can oppose Young-woo’s transfer, which makes it void. The whole class cheers, and Young-woo is welcomed back to school. Yay!

Everyone files back in, leaving In-jae alone with the principal to deal with the aftermath. She says she can fire her if she wants, but the principal doesn’t seem interested in firing her for something like this, and lets it go.

Only she turns right around and asks Se-chan to take over that class. He flatly refuses, but Principal Im says he’s not really in a position to say no, since he lied about his real reason for coming to this school. Whoops.

In-jae has earned some points with her kids now, and they eagerly volunteer to join her after-school class (rather than Se-chan’s)… only then they don’t show up. Nam-soon is the only one to walk in, and even apologizes for the other day.

She beams and then they get to work calling the other kids.

But Principal Im walks in and gapes at the empty classroom, pointing out In-jae’s lack of ability to even fill a class. She says it’s time to step down as homeroom teacher… and in walks Se-chan.

“I’ll be taking over as homeroom teacher.”



Oh man, what a good conflict, just when In-jae was turning that sinking ship around. She juuust managed to curry some favor with the kids and even got Nam-soon to come back around, and now they’re going to take them away from her? And Nam-soon can barely be bothered to care even now… but with Se-chan as his teacher, he’s just going to shut down in every way. It’s going to get much, much worse before it gets better, isn’t it?

Se-chan is a really interesting character because I totally hate his guts when he says such horribly jaded things (especially to the kids), but he’s clearly hiding a lot of insecurity—he’s got a chip on his shoulder AND a massive ego, but he’s sharp and (often infuriatingly) right about a lot of things. I like the setup of him being the direct opposition to both In-jae and Nam-soon because he’ll challenge them even if he drives them crazy, and more importantly, they’ll change him. I look forward to his arc of becoming a real teacher.

In-jae is fantastic and her story is very Biscuit Teacher-esque, which makes me love her for trying to make a difference in these kids’ lives. You really get the sense that she’s just trying to make it through the day, and that one crack in one kid’s armor is a victory for her. I love her warmth and her idealism, and the fact that she’s not some angel with all the right answers. She just seems like every young teacher out in the real world, asking herself all the right questions about what on earth her job really is.

There’s something so sweet about her wanting Nam-soon’s respect, and I love the running bit where he says something to her and she turns around and uses his words to fix a problem. Like he’s smarter than her, but powerless, while she’s in a position to do something, but lacks the know-how. They’re both sort of stumbling around, but they make the cutest pair (not romantically—I just mean they’re on the same bus, so to speak), and watching them both change and grow as a result of their interaction is a really nice and immediate payoff.

The emphasis on Nam-soon’s loneliness is the thing that really tugs at my heart. It’s not a hit-you-over-the-head kind of thing, but everything about him feels lonely in a subdued way, like he’s just accepted that he’s alone. His house is empty, the classroom is empty, he’s always looking away—he feels like an island, in that perfectly adolescent nobody-gets-me way.

He’s so young but already he has an over-developed protective instinct, always running around saving Teach and Young-woo and everyone but himself. His reaction to the chair incident was so interesting—because we don’t know how far he was about to go before Young-woo stepped in—and it makes me wonder if he’s been beaten by Dad maybe, given the giant pendulum between choosing to be beaten up rather than hit back, and then anger snapping into violent rage. It could just be him getting fed up with Jung-ho’s bullying, though I’m sure that’s going to be a long-term problem for his character that we’ll see fleshed out. It’s one of the many things I like about the show—it takes its time and reveals characters layer by layer through each new conflict, and has me chomping at the bit for more.


110 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. kbap

    Thank you for the recap! I love these two episodes 🙂 Can’t wait for next week!

    • 1.1 pabo ceo reom

      This drama is hitting all the right notes for me. It’s cracktastic!

  2. JoAnne

    This is SO good – I cannot wait to see what happens next!

    • 2.1 chocopie83

      next.. is kim woobin XD

    • 2.2 girlatsea

      Me too! Love it already

  3. Ivoire

    Thank you for the recap, GF!

    • 3.1 Sabah

      Ivoire, are you watching this? I mean have you actually watched the episodes? If so, what do you think?

  4. Jinny

    Thank you for the recap 🙂 so grateful to the subbers on Viki for having it subbed already; I watched it and LOVED every moment of it. In particular I loved Nam-soon’s speech to In-Jae and her reciprocation when she said they can memorize poems for being tardy instead 🙂 I also loved when Nam-soon said his poem as Young-woo was about to leave. This show is seriously tugging all the right strings in my heart; I have exams soon and all I can think about is the preview for ep 3 😛

  5. Mari

    I just watched both episodes. The recap clarify a few things I missed. So thank you for that. That lil boy is breaking my heart. I just want someone to help him and make him smile.

  6. Annie

    Bromance always trumps romance in my book; moments like those between Nam Soon and Young Woo are the ones which truly tug at your heart.

  7. KZ

    Yes. My eyes teared up when Nam Soon was saying his poem. He’s a good guy. Can’t wait till episode 3. Looks like some love lines will be established.

    • 7.1 Nokcha

      My eyes welled up with tears as well. I think we all knew Young Woo would be returning, and I liked the way they handled it.

  8. mary

    If it’s already THIS good, I don’t know how my screen will cope with the awesomeness explosion once Woo Bin comes in to the story.

  9. kaeseorin


    • 9.1 JoAnne

      Serious – it is so good WITHOUT Woobin and I forgot he was going to be there and then I saw the preview and now its just CRAZY good

      • 9.1.1 news

        Yay!!! I was wondering when he was going to stroll in with his charisma. Absolutely can’t wait!

        • bjharm

          hmmm he could be the new jjang and put that bully under control..past time

          • JoAnne

            I hope so, but I am very curious about Oh Jung Ho and I hope they develop his backstory a lot more. Although that actor was terrific in White Christmas, he had a pretty small role in Shut Up Flower Boy Band. I’m not aware of anything else he’s done. I’m hoping that this role gives him an opportunity to shine! Especially with such other, terrific actors.

    • 9.2 heayun


  10. 10 rainbow

    thanks for the recap..

  11. 11 nomu nomu nomu

    Two episodes in and I like it so far. Now *this* particular new premier, I can happily say, has real substance and heart that I’m all on-board with.

    *officially added to Mon/Tues lineup along with KoD*

  12. 12 neener

    I’m just gonna read the recap because I can’t wait for the subs!!!!!!!!!

    and I’ll definitely watch it later!

    • 12.1 kenz

      the subs are pretty fast in viki.c o m. Its up before the recaps if you wanna watch it but I get more inside through javabeans and girlfriday’s recaps which they do it awesomely. It just a great show that I wanna get any deep meaning or anything that points out to every single audience.

  13. 13 srkambbs

    This might be wrong ethically but I just can’t ignore the chemistry between the teach and Nam soon. They are so perfectly balanced together lol

    • 13.1 Annie

      Chemistry doesn’t necessarily have to be romantic; I got more of a camaraderie vibe.

    • 13.2 Ga-eul

      I feel the exact same way lol. Now I want LJS and JNR to be paired romantically in another romcom (noona romances, anyone?). Sparks will be flying in every frame and at every moment.

      But yeah I agree a teacher and a student becoming a couple would be completely unethical.

      • 13.2.1 Silverteem

        I don’t think it’s such a BIG deal. At least this guy is already of legal age. 🙂

        • Ga-eul

          Go Nam-soon’s only 17 (at least that’s what I thought)…. he’s still a minor, right?

          • Mic

            Well, technically the age of consent in S.Korea is 13… 😛

  14. 14 Ara

    This show has caught my attention but Daniel Choi and Jang Na Ra still have no spark for me; otoh, I like Lee Jong Suk and Park Se Young together. What a pretty couple.

    • 14.1 gaeran.mari

      completely agree I like the namsoon-hakyung pairing.I don’t like the teacher pair either but that’s due to jang na ra.I don’t like her acting or the character she’s playing,I’m kind of disappointed she’s getting so much screen-time.Daniel choi otoh is doing well in this role his character is quite interesting.

  15. 15 bjharm

    Interesting how they different between a ‘teacher’ and a tutor and how in reality they are indeed totally different things. While Se-chan maybe a great tutor he clearly a pretty much a failure as a teacher and frankly a human being, so it going to be interesting to see if and when he starts to change..right now he doing the kids more harm than good. perhaps next week they start on his story and make him more likeable. In jae is clearly the link between child and adult student and teacher as she not quite a student any more but nor is she quite a teacher either..or at lest the jaded ones she has to work with. I can not see it heading into full Biscuit Teacher mode..as in romance…Indeed do they even need a romance..as it seem to be heading to an open ending as a matter of course. If so it would be more a crush thing and any real romance at lest for the teachers would be Se-chan and In jae, unlikely as it feels right now,,it would be just hard for the producers to resist revisiting in some way BFB.

  16. 16 Abbie

    Wonderful. I’m so in love with this show now. Lee Jong-seok is amazing.

    I’m really loving this show, and am so happy Young-woo got to stay. Yay!

    I’m eagerly anticipating the arrival of Kim Woo-bin’s character. Hopefully next week, right? Can’t wait.

    Thanks for the recap, Girlfriday!

  17. 17 news

    Young-woo: “I like my school uniform. When I put it on, I feel just like everyone else… normal.”

    This is the best statement about school uniforms. When I taught English in Seoul, my students and I would have long discussions/debates about the advantages/disadvantages of school uniforms and I’m so glad they included this bit in a conversation. It’s subtle but revealing.

    • 17.1 JoAnne

      It actually wasn’t until THAT moment that I realized this character was actually someone with more than just a case of extreme shyness and stuttering. What a subtle performance he’s giving! And Lee Jong Seok with him – this is my first time seeing either actor, but I know their portrayals will stay with me for a long time.

      • 17.1.1 Carole McDonnell

        So true. They didn’t have a light flashing, “Child with learning disabilities.”

        I wondered about the extreme. It seems as if in this town there is extreme inclusion with the special ed child, the troublemakers, and the best test-taker, in one class (no special ed classes in the school) or the special ed kids have a school all to themselves? Am I understanding it correctly?

        The principal’s attitude toward the student with the disability was so business as usual. I would think she would give the kid a break because of whatever issues.

        In the country where I live there were some big scandals a while back about standardized testing and how some high schools didn’t allow special education kids to take the test in order that the school’s overall rankings wouldn’t look bad. Principals and administrators are masters at academic gamesmanship.

        • news

          Ah, you know what? I haven’t watched episodes 1 or 2 yet; I’ve just read the recaps, but I totally forgot that he has a “disability” in which case, there’s even more layering to his statement regarding school uniforms. One of the advantages of school uniforms is that it puts everyone on an equal level at school regardless of social and economic background, but in Young-woo’s case, (to him) it also hides his disability.

          What a battlefield school can be and I hope this drama continues to deliver controversial topics.

  18. 18 Natalie

    Thanks for the recap! Another solid episode. Still in love with Nam-soon. This all reminds me of “To Sir, With Love” 🙂

    • 18.1 JoAnne

      YES. I kept thinking about Room 222 from when I was really small, and Fame without the acting/singing/dancing aspect (the original one) but really, yes, To Sir, With Love. Something was tickling the back of my mind when I was hearing the updated Turtles song and that must have been it – the era.

  19. 19 melonhead

    This reminds me of a Japanese drama “The Queen’s Classroom” (Jyoou no Kyoushitsu) that had a back story with troubled kids as bad (if not worse) than this. Loving this so much!

    • 19.1 Annie

      There will be a Kdrama remake of Jyoou no kyoushitsu this spring!

      • 19.1.1 melonhead

        Really?? Wow, I wonder who will play Amami Yuki’s role? Probably someone with a LOT of gravitas though..

    • 19.2 owl

      Have you seen Freedom Writers? It is an amazing movie based on true events in a hardcore high school in California.

      • 19.2.1 Dita

        yeahhh,, it’s a good movie.
        It’s one of the movies for the “teachers wanna-be” must watch…

  20. 20 Angelalala

    This episode still makes me ship nam soon and in jae… Idk why, they have a great connection! ( romantically and not)

    • 20.1 Wildflower

      Haha, they do have great chemistry.

      I’m still shipping HeungsooXNamsoon though. x)

  21. 21 piggy68gal

    I totally teared up when Young Woo said his goodbye to the class and Nam Soon recited that poem. OMG, it was heartbreaking and touching at the same time. Definitely my favourite moment so far. And I love their friendship 🙂 I thought it to be pretty unexpected, and really sweet. Also, Nam Soon breaks my heart. Lee Jong Suk is so good at this!!!
    I really can’t wait for the next episode, I saw Kim Woo Bin in the preview, yayyyy 😀 And I also hope to see more characters’ storylines being developed.

    • 21.1 tika

      me too !!!! i thought i was being to sillyy

  22. 22 cheekbones

    Oh, so good ! I got teary eyes already. Gah, that boy…….

  23. 23 crazedlu

    I think I love Lee Jongseuk. A lot. And I loved him tons already from High Kick.

    I was impatient and caught the raws today and found myself gushing throughout the entire thing. No romance. It was Namsoon’s loneliness, bromance, and the makings of a great teacher-student relationship that got me good.

    I’m loving Injae so far.

    I very thoroughly remember having a k-drama moment in a bathroom stall during lunch after one of my classes decided they’d play with their new, young student teacher. I’m pretty hardcore when it comes to being teacher, but it was too much to take in that day, so, I cried. Ha. But after lunch, I told them I knew that maybe I didn’t have their respect, and that’s fine, but I at least deserved a chance to earn it. And… they turned out to be one of my better classes. Now 4th hour… 4th hour… that’s another story. Heh. Crazy that that was only a year ago.

    All that to say, Injae feels real. And it’s nice to see Jang Nara playing her well.

    They’re doing a great job so far–writer, production, and actors–I’m excited. Hope they keep it up. Wednesday seems so faaarr.

    • 23.1 crazedlu

      meant monday.* mehheh.

  24. 24 cruthy333

    I wasn’t expecting to love this show, but I do.
    And Nam-Soon, my bleeding heart is yours! Haha.

  25. 25 owl

    Happy Together by the Turtles playing in the background – wow! Who unearthed that 60s song? Very very cool!

    Luv this kdrama! My heart ached the whole time for Nam Soon. The weight of the world is on his shoulders, but so far, we don’t know much of his story. “I’m alright. I’m alright” alone and hurt – oh, baby. It’s too much to handle! What a major fail of a school system and adults. Standing up for Young Woo was some awesome super bromance. Their roof talk made me cry so hard. When Young Woo gave his “fighting” goodbye, I cried even harder!

    Kang Se Chan isn’t exactly clueless, but as a cyber–teacher with a reputation, he beats the system by avoiding it. That means avoiding the students too . . . chalk one up for his former teacher, Jo Bong Soo, for calling him out on that.

    Cheers for the class coming through for In–jae when she came through for the underdog!

    X marks the principal – evil one!

    You know what they say, “The only ones who dig high school are the football team captain and his girlfriend.” For everyone else, it sucks big time. S2013 has that one right.

  26. 26 exquisitemelody

    aww, yay! I like this one! I’ll continue reading 😀

    Are Nam-soon and In Jae supposed to get together in the end? Because I dunno…I have issues with teacher/student like that…

    • 26.1 canxi

      I don’t think you have to worry about that. I’m feeling like the teachers aren’t getting any love-lines. The most that can happen is Nam Soon developing a crush on In Jae, and even that to me, seems like it won’t really happen. I’m hoping she becomes like…a mom to him T_T *tear tear*

      • 26.1.1 bjharm

        In Jae as big sister perhaps not his mom, as for romance well as it a school setting that always makes for a pretty open end..um ..ending but I would say if any it would be a crush thing..either unspoken or quickly got out of the way. If it was a comedy/rom it would be the long haired student that keeps ordering him around. As for the teachers, well looks very unlikely unless the male one has a big personally change.

  27. 27 faranak

    WOW!!!! I LOVE SCHOOL 2013 <3 great show I LOVE NAM SOON :* he's such a great boy …..woah. thank you soooooooooooo much for recaping it :*

  28. 28 Sajen

    so are we sure that this Jang Na Ra is the original, that they’re not making clones every couple years or something because she’s 31 and could still easily pass for a high schooler herself, or maybe she sold her soul to the devil for eternal youth, cause I know a lot of celebrity faces are plastic but they still age just not Jang Na Ra.

    • 28.1 bjharm

      yep the chinese gapped her when she went over in 2003..now each year they put out a new clone made from the original vertion..that would make her Jang Nara v10.

      • 28.1.1 mary


        Your comments made my day 🙂

      • 28.1.2 justcommenting

        great humor.

  29. 29 rose

    oh my god! i cant wait for next week. i think kim woo bin’s character and nam soon will have a bromance going on, a little later though. and kim woo bin is going to be the jjang

  30. 30 pigtookie

    That’s it, I am now onboard this school 😀

  31. 31 dbfan

    me likey this show. Me likey this show a lot!!

  32. 32 Noelle

    I can’t wait for Woo Bin to come in and shake things up a bit. I can see him being the tipping point for JH and NS. Maybe what binds them together. I want his character to be the glue… like what LMK was in Shut Up.

    Thanks for the recap!

  33. 33 JenJen

    Loving the series so far. Vaguely reminds me (in a good way) of the Japanese drama series (though mainly the first of the series) Gokusen but less comedy/more emphasis on the emotions. squee~~ my type of drama 🙂

    • 33.1 okiejune

      Me too – for a while I was expecting In Jae to leap into the kid fights with total ninja fighting skills.

  34. 34 Sheryl

    I completely teared up at the whole poem bit. Excellent recap, bravo. ^^

  35. 35 Dita

    I love it (or him ^^) already…

  36. 36 dany

    I really like this, I watched it raw and I can’t wait to watch ep 2 again with subs. Thank you!

  37. 37 sol

    Thanks for the recap, Girlfriday!
    i can’t wait to see Woo Bin. Lee Jong Suk rules!

  38. 38 swui

    AWESOME AWESOME episode. I love Namsoon with Youngwoo and Namsoon with Injae. The poem he recited was so lovely and spot on – I was tearing up at that too. And the bit about the uniform…

    I kept rewinding the some of the scenes (first time I’ve done so in non-romance scenes) but it was so so beautiful that I just had to watch it again immediately.

    I don’t mind if they go biscuit-teacherish with Namsoon and InJae but I don’t it’s going to happen. I see In-jae being paired up with SeChan and Namsoon most likely with the VP.

    I already love the class (it feels like high school jdoramas minus the over-the-top teachers – don’t get me wrong I love those too) and can’t wait to see them get along better with InJae and SeChan. Even the class clown is adorable with his dramaqueenish attitude. LOL. My new crack.Yay

  39. 39 stefaniesugia

    thanks for the great recap! I really can’t wait to watch this drama *waiting for subtitles to be released* T.T

  40. 40 lucylee

    O.M.G. Just started watching this drama and did two eps in one go. Seriously, this drama is made for me. I was a teacher in a public school once and was physically intimidated by boys bigger and taller than I, and I’ve done the private academy thing too.

    Lurve this show already.

    So much potential and pace is fast-paced with all the right elements of angst and suspense.

    Soooooo ditching I Miss You to focus on this drama and King of Dramas.

  41. 41 Carole McDonnell

    I am so in heaven right now. Two — count ’em TWO!!!!!!– great high school dramas being subbed now.

    I’m currently watching School and the J-drama Piece!!! Oh my gosh!!! Such riches!!!!! I was born to gush! And — sigh, joy, bliss!!!– I am just gushing over these two dramas.

    I’d forgotten how crappy high school could be for the wrong kind of person and how the popular kids –to whom popularity came so easily– could be so laissez-faire as they lead such entitled lives. Kinda interesting comparing K-drama moody troubled teens with j-drama moody troubled teens. And the angst is done so “normally.” No over-the-top suffering (yeah, speaking to you, Missing You.) Just regular normal really bad teenage suffering that some of us can relate to. I especially feel the Mom-fear that Jung-Ho has. And that sweet little kid who is being bullied.

    My crush on Nam-soon in “School” knows no bounds. What a sweet, sweet, kid! Okay, my crush is kinda bounded by Mr Smug Teacher from Gangnam, Se Chan. Daniel Choi can really do no wrong.

    Back in the day, before I retired, I used to be Finish-not-fail teacher in an urban NY city. I was in charge of getting the troubled kids (pregnant girls, girls in the lesbian prostitution gang, a kid dying of AIDS, kids in and out of prison, drug-dealers) to somehow graduate. I got to see a lotta sorrow. Life for kids is definitely tough…although I don’t remember every seeing any teacher who was as smug as Se Chan. Not in my town anyway. But then again, the school I taught in wasn’t Gangnam style. Maybe teachers from rich towns are more like that.

    Thanks for the recap.

    • 41.1 JoAnne

      Much respect for the work you did. You made real differences in one more than one life, I am sure. And if not in theirs, then perhaps in the lives of the children they already had/might someday have. Thank you.

      • 41.1.1 Carole McDonnell

        Thank you so much. Teaching is one of the things in my life I’m most proud of. The importance of a high school diploma is very important, even in the hood. I’d like to believe that some kids got good jobs because they had me nagging them, calling up their folks, and running interference.

        The saddest experience of teaching is always when a student dies and watching my favorite student — who had contracted AIDS as a baby– die….and visiting him while he was in the coma in the hospital. That was heartbreaking. Teachers do good work and sad work. Thanks for your kind words. Hopefully, being a writer in my old age will be as important to the lives of people.

  42. 42 Ga-eul

    I certainly liked episode 1, but after episode 2, I’m in love. This drama is exactly everything I wanted it to be, and more.

    For one, Lee Jong-seok is amazing. This is the first time I’ve ever watched him in anything, but he’s JUST SO GOOD at all the nuances and subtleties. Plus, he’s only 23. This guy has a really bright future ahead of him.

    Also, I really really enjoy how realistic and raw this show is. As a student, I can totally relate to all the issues/themes/ideas the show brought up – the hypocrisy of the system, tutors vs teachers, individual vs society, idealism vs pragmatism, etcetc. If anything, it all feels so…. REAL. And with so much heart. Eek. I wuv this show. Don’t let me down, okay?

    Thanks for the recap, GF!

  43. 43 Lilian

    I’m so so in love with this drama now. I keep wondering when we will learn more about Se Chan because it is revealed that he is not exactly a goody two shoes too. So what is it that made him realise that education can give him power and status? And Nam Soon, yes, he needs more love…..he is overly independent now but slowly starting to lean on others , including Young Woo!

  44. 44 TokyoDogz

    ive seen many japanese school dramas and loved them. cuz in the end its about friendship and not being alone.
    this is my second or 3rd Kdrama about school and so far im really liking it! friendship and trust rules over romance in my book. btw check out a japanese drama called LIFE. your gonna be like wtf and cry, but your also gonna be like ahw friendship. loved the recap!

  45. 45 Ally

    I love a great drama with…LAYERS!! The story, the characters, everything! It really tugs my heart just reading this T_T thank you girlfriday~~~~ <3

  46. 46 kopytko

    I wasn’t really looking forward to this drama, thae beginning didn’t fascinate me either, but I think I might have a look at several more episodes. But contrary to most viewers I don’t care very much about the characters, some are more interesting, some are less, like in any decent drama. What is interesting for me are teachers’ policies. The everlasting question whether school needs to prepare for exams or develop human beings is here and I am looking forward to the way it is going to be discussed here.

    Strange thing, how immune to Daniel Choi’s charm I am… But it may be caused by the fact that he’s so concentrated on pumping the exam results by means of doing exam-type tasks, which I sincerely hate and disapprove of.

  47. 47 cv

    I have to to say, after watching the first two episodes, it’s starting out very good. I like all the characters and conflict–realisticish…lol Can’t wait to see how the teachers and students change for the better. ^^

  48. 48 Liz_B_L

    In Jae is the kind of teacher I want to become. I’m still a student teacher, so I teach a few lessons in a few different classes. There is not yet enough time and space to connect with the students. However, when I start teaching after graduating, I want to become a teacher like In Jae. Besides being a teacher, I also want to become a person whom they can trust.
    Since I’m a student teacher, I can really connect with this drama. Especially the scene in episode 1 where she tried to take the cellphone and almost got hit by her student. It’s the biggest fear of every teacher. Really love this drama!

  49. 49 Angelalala

    Loving it so far but i heard that the PD’s woll be pairing lee jong seok and the VP together… Hopefully not, i currently don’t really like her character that much :/
    Does anyone know how many episodes this series will be?

  50. 50 Silverteem

    I like the drama so far. But I think the acting is a bit dry. But it’s very promising nonetheless.

    Jang Nara’s and Jeong Seok’s characters have a certain spark on them. I thought they were brothers and sisters at first… the way that they stare at each other, you would believe that they truly cared for each other.

    I could totally see a teacher-student love angle potential here. 🙂

    • 50.1 justcommenting

      Same. The 8-year age gap looks non-existent. But it definitely won’t happen.

      Anyway, the drama’s really really good by the look of the first 2 episodes. Really hope it doesn’t lose steam as it goes on. It’s a drama that can do without an actual romantic plot. The only real flaw is that Park Se-young looks awkward in the drama. Maybe it’s just her character, but I don’t really like the idea of Lee Jong-suk and her together. Seriously, the “teacher-student love” is more appealing if not for the fact that it’s frowned upon in society, and dramas can’t really be encouraging that sort of stuff.

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