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Sassy Go Go: Episode 1

Sassy Go Go starts off with a high kick as we’re introduced to the students of Sevit High, and all the problems that come along with attending a school that prizes grades above all else. The show has all the cuteness and charm it promised, plus a lot of heart and depth that come as an unexpected, but welcome, surprise. There’s a lot more to this than a group of misfits teaming up to be cheerleaders, and if I was excited before, I’m positively bouncing in my chair to see more now!

EPISODE 1 RECAP

A young girl walks onto a high school campus early in the morning, the building lighting up as if to greet her, and in voiceover she says that school has an air of youthful romance. The scene shifts to show her in study hall, laughing at the notice that academically, she’s one hundred ninety-sixth out of two hundred students. She thinks to herself, “Crazy bitch,” as her smile turns to tears.

This is our heroine KANG YEON-DOO (Jung Eun-ji), who studies hard but just can’t manage to do any better than bottom of her class. She wasn’t born brilliant like the high-achievers, who are also rich, good-looking, and have great personalities, and muses that life isn’t fair.

Yeon-doo enters a darkened storeroom where several other students sit, and they all check their rankings together with an air of utter seriousness. They all did badly, some even worse than Yeon-doo, but they bolster each other’s spirits. These kids are the dance club, the one place where they excel.

One year later, Yeon-doo’s second year of high school. In the middle of practice the dance club’s sound system goes silent — the students trying to study in the next room have unplugged it where it was snuck through the wall and into their room. HAHA, the dance club resorts to charging their tiny generator with a bicycle.

These kids all go to Sevit High School, which is proud of its track record in sending students on to top-rated colleges. The faculty and parents hold a meeting in which they discuss their plans to send at least fifty percent of this year’s graduating class to one of the top-three Korean universities.

The parents wonder if they’ll continue to allow clubs, which take away from crucial study time — particularly one club whose noise disturbs other students. Principal Choi stands to state that they plan to abolish any clubs that cause a disturbance.

Meanwhile the dance club blasts their music as they practice, and the study club cranks up their classical music to counter the pop coming through the walls. It spurs them to crank their music louder, and so does the study club — this goes on until the dance club’s generator sparks and burns.

They decide to handle this in person, and the two groups of students face off. One of the girls in the study group, KWON SOO-AH (Chae Soo-bin) gets a text from her mother, who’s at the school for the meeting, and she grimaces.

Yeon-doo takes the offensive as the leader of her little club, but she flounders a bit when the student vice-president and first in his class KIM YEOL (Lee Won-geun) gets in her face and says they should spend more time studying. She counters that her club is restricted from the things that make studying so easy — you know, like electricity and air-conditioning.

She admits they didn’t do well on the placement exam, which Yeol spits is what happens when you’re stupid. Them’s fightin’ words, and the dance club is ready to rumble, but Yeon-doo asks if they can’t just use their electricity.

We’re introduced to the two groups: Yeol’s group is Baek Ho (White Tiger), the cheerleading club, but in name only. All of them are in the top five percent of their class, the school’s cream-of-the-crop. Yeon-doo’s group is Real King, the street dance club, bottom five percent of the class and shame of the school.

Yeol goes too far and tells the dance club to grovel if they want electricity, and that’s all Yeon-doo can take. The two clubs fight, but it’s hilariously nerdy on both sides. Yeon-doo’s big move of head-butting Yeol ends in her trying to untangle her hair from his name tag while he stands with his hands in the air. HAHA.

Just as she breaks free and makes as if to punch Yeol for real, Teacher YANG TAE-BUM (Kim Ji-suk) breaks up the “fight” and sends everyone back to class. And just in time, because the parents and faculty parade down the hall about two seconds later.

Another teacher, TEACHER IM, figures something is up and he just about cries when he sees that the dance club has broken the generator. He assigns demerits and declares that if this sort of thing happens again, their club will be disbanded. The principal is just itching for a reason to dissolve their club.

Soo-ah meets her mother outside, and she doesn’t even ask about anything other than her studies. She’s angry that Soo-ah ranked second in the class, and makes it clear that kind of failure won’t be tolerated again. Damn.

Though Yeon-doo and Soo-ah are technically club rivals, they’re also roommates who seem friendly when alone. Yeon-doo complains about the imbalance in the way the school treats the clubs, so Soo-ah suggests the two captains just talk it out. Awww, that’s adorably naïve. Anyway, Yeon-doo doesn’t think Yeol will ever give an inch.

Soo-ah heads to a student meeting, and the Baek Ho students find their study room completely destroyed. Someone set off a fire extinguisher, and the assumption is that Real King is responsible. But Real King also finds their practice room vandalized, with “Real King OUT!” painted in red on the floor and their equipment tampered with.

So Yeon-doo sits down with Yeol to discuss a peace treaty. She offers him a cola and gives it a good shake before handing it over, and she starts by mentioning how unfairly her club is treated. Yeol just grins that life is unfair, get used to it, which infuriates Yeon-doo.

She kicks the stool out from under his feet right as he pops the cola and flails away from the spray. Her own vehemence knocks her legs out from under her, and she falls on top of him, faces uncomfortably close.

Yeol doesn’t seem one bit nervous, and offers for her to get off… or they could just go for it. He actually tilts his head to kiss Yeon-doo, but they near a noise and see someone’s smartphone taking a picture. We don’t see who took the picture other than that it’s a female student, and she sends the photo to the school to report Yeon-doo and Yeol for immoral behavior.

Teacher Yang just laughs when he gets the text, then rolls his eyes when Teacher Im catches sight of the picture, knowing that Teacher Im will tattle to the principal. Soon enough a notice is posted that Real King faces disbandment over this issue.

Yeon-doo marches to the principal’s office, where Yeol happens to be smirking over the “unfairness” of his club getting off scot-free. He actually comments that it’s too bad Yeon-doo’s family doesn’t have money and power like his, but the principal isn’t as accommodating as he thinks — she does plan a little punishment for him.

Teacher Im bars Yeon-doo from the office, so she asks him to at least tell her who took the picture. Whoever they are, they know that she and Yeol weren’t really kissing. She’s further incensed when she realizes that Yeol got in to talk to the principal and not her, but Yeol just says that their statuses are different. Gah, you’re such a jerk.

Yeon-doo grabs Yeol’s shirt, but the principal comes out so Yeol cozily bustles Yeon-doo away to talk. On the roof, she asks why he didn’t just tell the principal that they never kissed, but he says they wouldn’t believe that anyway. The principal only cares about getting rid of Real King.

They wonder who could have turned them in, and Yeol has some theories about someone holding a grudge. He’s not interested in telling the truth about the non-kiss, though — one, because it wouldn’t benefit him. Two, because it won’t do any good. And three… and here he leans in uncomfortably close… because the two of them aren’t close enough to deal with hardship together.

Yeon-doo heads back to class, whining and stomping over Yeol’s refusal to just tell the truth. She sees some guys playing basketball in the gym and goes in to talk to her friend, HA DONG-JAE (N). He’s awfully popular, with a gaggle of girls screaming his name on the sidelines, though he turns out to be a bit of a heodang.

His teammates gripe when he lets the other team get a point and win the game, and Yeon-doo steps in to get his back. Dong-jae points out that he’s made half the points in this game, but he just doesn’t like getting hit, and then he uses Yeon-doo as a shield when the guys go after him. Okay, I already love this guy.

Later Yeon-doo keeps Dong-jae company while he shoots baskets, wondering why he plays when he hates physical contact and his teammates hate him. She whines about Real King being disbanded and Dong-jae just grins at her cuteness. They share a strawberry milk and Yeon-doo ignores a call from her mother, sure that she’s heard about her getting demerits.

Mom is currently working in her cafe and having a meal with Yeol’s father, and the two seem to be old friends. He teases her for having no pride, and she preens cutely and says she doesn’t show her pride to him — okay, she’s precious. She wishes her daughter could meet a man like him.

Yeon-doo fixates on Yeol’s refusal to tell the truth, now complaining to Soo-ah about him. She runs off when she gets a message thet Real King’s room is being emptied, and Soo-ah takes out her phone to delete the picture. Ooooh… she set them up by suggesting the meeting, then caught them in a compromised position. Not so friendly after all.

Yeon-doo arrives at the club’s room to find the school removing all of their equipment, while the Baek Ho kids stand and sneer. Yeon-doo sadly remembers when the graduating students passed down the care of Real King to her, and she’d promised to keep it alive.

The ruckus brings Principal Choi, and Yeon-doo swears to her tearfully that she won’t cause any more trouble if only she lets them keep their club. Even Yeol seems taken aback by her heartfelt plea that this club is their life and breath, but the principal just says that if the school strangles her so much, she can transfer.

The other Real King members are beaten, ready to give up and just focus on studying like everyone else. Yeon-doo pretends to be okay for their sake and agrees, though they seem disappointed that she didn’t even try to rally their spirits.

Yeon-doo goes up to the roof to sit with Real King’s evicted equipment, and she turns on some music and slowly begins to dance (the song is “Fly Like An Eagle” by Tiger JK feat. Yoon Mi-rae). It becomes clear why she loves this so much — she completely transforms when she’s dancing.

Yeol helps his roommate and fellow Baek Ho member SEO HA-JOON (Ji-soo) apply some pain patches to his bruised back, asking if it was his father’s handiwork. Again. Ha-joon just says he didn’t do well on an exam, and waves away Yeol’s concern. Yeol is understandably unwilling to take He won’t beat me to death as an excuse.

Yeon-doo sits on the roof until after dark, cursing Yeol, the snitch, the school and the entire world. She surprised by Yeol, who came to the roof to cool off, and she admits that the unfairness of this whole thing is driving her nuts. Yeol goes inside without comment, but when Yeon-doo heads in herself, there’s a note on the door telling her to make a poster if it’s that unfair.

She takes his advice, enlisting Dong-jae’s help as they sneakily hide out in the laundry room. They’re surprised by Soo-ah (HAHA, did they really think that just hiding their faces would make them invisible?) who worries that it won’t be effective just coming from Yeon-doo, and suggests she ask Yeol for help.

Yeon-doo declines which makes Soo-ah unhappy, and Dong-jae muses out loud that the number two would be happy if number one got demerits and slipped down in ranking. Maybe not as dingy as he seems, this one. Or maybe he is, as he deadpans, “Who is Soo-ah?”

We get a flashback as Soo-ah is briefed by an adviser on Yeol as her primary rival. He’s too smart for her to beat him academically, so she’ll have to find another way, like demerits on his report card. She’s advised to make friends with the other Baek Ho kids, because there’s one thing she lacks — impact. She only ever studies, and has no extras that colleges look for.

On her way out, Soo-ah’s told to avoid Yeon-doo, as she has nothing to offer. Soo-ah disagrees — Yeon-doo will do anything for a little kindness. She could prove useful.

The students gather around the next morning to see Yeon-doo putting up her poster, but she’s caught by Teacher Yang. HA, he just tells her she should do this stuff before dawn. When Teacher Im comes close, he buys her time to finish putting the poster up. Okay, we officially like him.

Yeon-doo puts up posters all over the school, followed closely by Teacher Im who tears them all down. But someone (Teacher Yang?) takes a photo of one of the posters and sends in a report of unfair dissolution of a club to the Ministry of Education.

Yeon-doo resorts to standing outside the school hollering about injustice, while Dong-jae loyally stands with her holding her strawberry milk. Principal Choi comes out to confront her, but she loses her composure when someone approaches.

Ah, it’s someone from the Ministry of Education, having come to investigate the report. Apparently Yeon-doo has gotten famous online, and the Ministry isn’t happy about Sevit’s suppression of club activities.

And with that, Yeon-doo is of the hook. But there’s backlash, as all the students are now required to turn in their cell phones at the start of class every morning, and a two-week ban on leaving the grounds is instituted.

At lunch Yeon-doo’s tray is knocked out of her hands by some kids who are angry about the new school restrictions. They know the school will be going through their phones looking for that photo to find the whistleblower, and they all have things on their phones that could get them in big trouble. Surprisingly, it’s Yeol who tells the students to back off.

Yeon-doo appeals to Teacher Yang about the restrictions, but he claims they’re just to encourage the students to study more. She wheedles for him to just tell her who tattled on her, and he only orders her to class.

But when he leaves, Yeon-doo is tempted by the cell phone that he left on his desk. She sneakily pulls up his texts, and sees that the report and photo came from her supposed friend, Soo-ah.

She confronts Soo-ah right away, who completely changes once she realizes she’s caught. Shiver, her eyes just go dead. She laughs when Yeon-do asks if she’s even her friend, saying that nobody in this school would be her friend.

But they still have to sit through music class, and when it’s Yeon-doo’s turn to perform, Soo-ah doesn’t join her as they’d practiced. Yeon-doo sings alone, and it’s painfully obvious that not one classmate is paying attention, which seems to hammer home Soo-ah’s words.

Emotional, Yeon-doo’s voice cracks on the high note, and she stops. She walks right up to Soo-ah and barks, “You look down on people, right?” She tells Soo-ah that she may seem to have everything, but not to misunderstand — everyone knows about her (her home situation, I’m guessing), and feels sorry for her.

On a roll, Yeon-doo turns on Yeol next: “Did we kiss or not?” He just laughs and she asks if he likes everyone thinking they kissed. And as long as everyone thinks it, they may as well make it for real. She leans over his desk and invites him to kiss her, right now, but he just smiles nervously.

She moves on to the lunchroom bullies, and tells them it wasn’t her who’s responsible for the restrictions, but the principal. Why are they taking it out on her? To the rest of the class, she says they’re all the same — they’re so obsessed with grades, they’ll ignore a friend who needs them.

The teacher finally stops Yeon-doo, but Soo-ah has something to say now. She asks if Yeon-doo is so different from them, and Yeon-doo admits that this whole situation has enlightened her. She’s played into the “grades are everything” mindset of the school, and has been laying low because of her poor grades. So, she’s quitting. She packs and goes, though she’s already wondering if she went too far.

Back at school, Dong-jae dumps one of his strawberry milks over Soo-ah’s head, innocently wide-eyed as he admits that he did it on purpose. And now he’s won me over completely. He calls Soo-ah by name and says that from now on, he’ll remember exactly who she is.

Soo-ah’s mother and advisor confront Principal Choi about the Ministry of Education complaint and Soo-ah’s school performance, and is that a bribe they’re counting out? Mom says she’s also sent her a new office refrigerator, and inside, Principal Choi finds boxes full of (I assume) cash.

Yeon-doo goes home, where her mother expresses incredulity that the ban against students leaving the school early was lifted. Yeon-doo looks shifty-eyed, and Mom’s no fool — she knows Yeon-doo left without permission. Yeon-doo just wails that the food is salty, and bursts into loud tears.

Yeon-doo spends the night in her room, doodling notes to herself (“I’m not happy” “I want to be happy”). She looks around the room at her own uplifting, self-supportive notes, and wonders where it all went wrong. She thinks that she never used to give up — but if she doesn’t give up, it won’t end.

There’s a sound at her window, and it’s Dong-jae, from his bedroom next door. HA, they live so close he can poke her window with a pole. He says he has bad news, and even worse news… bad news first, she lost a lot of points for leaving school.

We don’t hear the “even worse,” but it has Yeon-doo charging back to school the next morning looking ready to kick ass and take names. She steels herself and barges into the Baek Ho club room, and announces herself: “Starting today, I’m taking over Baek Ho.” What?

COMMENTS

I like it! Quite a lot, in fact. I’m a bit disappointed that we haven’t gotten to the cheerleading stuff yet, because I have a feeling that’s where all the fun will be. But I get that this episode had a lot of ground to cover in order to introduce us to the vast cast of characters and educate us on how the school operates. And really, if that’s my only complaint, then it just proves that this show is so good so far that I can’t wait to see more. Overall, my first impression is very positive, and I’m eager to see where this all takes us.

A lot happened in this first episode, but it didn’t feel rushed, and I felt like we got an adequate introduction to all of the key student players and teachers. There’s a sense that there’s a lot more to all of them than what we’ve seen on the surface, so I’m anticipating peeling back the layers and getting to knowing everyone better. I have a feeling there will be quite a few surprises during the course of the show, particularly in the areas of what make these kids really tick and why they do what they do. There were a lot of interesting things teased, such as Yeon-doo’s mother and Yeol’s father knowing each other, Ha-joon’s father who apparently beats him for not getting perfect grades, not to mention why Soo-ah’s mother insists on her being first or she’s an utter failure. It makes me excited for all of the character growth we can expect, from all directions.

Speaking of which, I love how committed the Real King kids are — it’s just a little dance club, but in a school where they’re the bottom of the barrel, it’s all they have that makes them happy. When there’s only one thing you’re good at, you cling to it at all costs. And Yeon-doo in particular isn’t a quitter, so whatever the “worse news” was, I’m excited that she grabbed it by the horns and took full advantage to get back to school. She may not be the best student, but dammit, she can be the very best one hundred ninety-sixth there ever was.

One of my favorite things about Sassy Go Go is the casting, it just seems pitch-perfect all around. Jung Eun-ji’s Yeon-doo is adorably spunky, yet vulnerable and innocent, and I love her complete loyalty to her club. Eun-ji is just perfect for this role, because she acts with a lot of maturity for her age — she makes me forget she’s just barely twenty-two. I’ve seen all of her dramas and she’s yet to do less than utterly impress me, and I feel that this drama will be no exception. Lee Won-gun as Yeol is so snooty you just want to punch him, yet he manages to be the cutest thing ever, all at the same time. I’m less familiar with his work, and in this first episode he mostly just got to sneer, but even so, I sense that he’s got a lot to offer. I’m looking forward to seeing more as Yeol is revealed to us. The rest of the cast seems every bit as capable and endearing, particularly Kim Ji-suk as Teacher Yang and N as Dong-jae — and of course Ji Soo as Ha-joon, who I’m positive will make me sob and ache for him as much as he did in Angry Mom. Everyone is off to a great start, and it makes it exciting to be at the beginning and still have the entire run of the drama ahead of us.

At first, I’ll admit I was firmly in the “why isn’t Ji Soo the lead?” camp along with many of you, but now that I’ve seen Jung Eun-ji and Lee Won-gun together, I completely understand why Lee is the lead. Even though they only had a couple of scenes together, they have crackling chemistry, and their matching snarky grins add a dose of mischief to their interactions. Casting isn’t always about who is the “best” actor, but about how the ensemble works together — and it would have been a shame not to take advantage of the fireworks that go off whenever Yeon-doo and Yeol are in the same space.

All in all, I think we’re off to a great start. I wasn’t expecting to care so much about these kids so quickly, and it only bodes well for the show as we go forward. Once we mix in some dance and cheering into these students struggling to find their place in the world, things can only go up from there!

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Really? I think it was a very weak start. Yes, acting is good and there were few cute scenes... But the negative environment of school was very clichéd and disappointing. And I couldn't see much depth.

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Wait ill u see what happens in ep 2!

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Totally agree about the school environment, full of clichés and annoying characters. Ep 2 was worse for me. But I'm looking forward to the cheerleading part, even though the reason for starting the team was a bit ridiculous for me. Still Eun Ji is awesome and worth watching, so I'll stick around for the ride.

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Coming from an exclusive, academic-driven private school, I actually think the school environment is spot-on (Yes, it's very cliché. Yes, it's a bit extreme. But sometimes you need to exaggerate in order to drive a point). I think the problem for some viewers is that there are a lot of dramas about high school woes and stuff, and there's not enough diversity in what they're airing. But that's because it's still relevant. They're showing these things because they know that someone out there is gonna feel like these characters get them. Also: the school is a bit of a caricature but it's never just about the setting. It's about the people in the setting and how they react when they're forced to stay in that setting.

On a lighter note: I don't know why, but Ji Soo always reminds me of Yoo Ah In. They're both so adorable and I'm glad they're both simultaneously starring in dramas right now.

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Ji Soo does remind me of Yoo Ah In, you are not the only one :)

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I agree with this a lot. I went to a private school as well, although I'm pretty sure it wasn't nearly as stressful as the elite schools in Korea....but as much as this is full of 'cliches', there's also a reason those cliche's exist. This stuff is exaggerated but still real. What I really liked about this show (since there are ten billion school shows) is how full of energy everyone seems to be. This is a really lively show, even with it's darker moments. I didn't pause to get up and get a drink/use the bathroom/etc. a single time during either episode.

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Yes, me too. The same cliches we have seen so many times before. I didn't like the main girl acting too much, felt she was overacting a bit, maybe to seem childish.

She is also a dancer with slow thinking when she falls on top of a guy. And the evil second place girl just happened to be passing by, so silly.

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Ditto, I think coming off the back of so many recent High School dramas, everyone is desensitized. So if this is supposed to be a PSA about the harsh conditions of education in SK, the message is getting lost.

The ratings are abysmal, even in this day and age of low/sub-par ratings. Episode 1 was an unbelievable 2.2% and episode 2 was 3.2%. Yes, young people watch online, etc. but with the idols in this drama and their fan base, it also indicates that many people are checked out.

It also doesn't help that the drama is miscast. Perhaps, they need to go the School 2013 route and make this a bromance between the male leads.

p.s. Am I the only one that is usually unimpressed by the dances in these dance dramas, renditions, etc. The dancers/dances always seem so stiff, and for the girls, you can expect the same hair flips and body rolls, meh..

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In this drama, I can let the not-particularly-impressive dance routines slide - these kids are supposed to be a high school dance club, not professionals.

The story makes it clear they do this for love of dance, but they're not professional or top-level performers. At least on that level, they're in the clear.

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She didn't just happen to pass by, she was the one who suggest that YD talk to Yeol. She was waiting and watching for something to photo that would look damning out of context.

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Exactly, Soo-ah is the one who set them up and hoped for a compromising position to get caught on camera.

and we should note, she tried to do it again by suggesting Yeon-doo should go meet with Yeol while she was making the poster - she was probably hoping for Yeol to trigger another incident of close proximity, so to speak. (she'd already seen him be the one to pull Yeon-doo in for an almost-kiss)

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I can see how it may seem like a cliche since similar themes were explored in recent dramas, as it pertains to the school environment; but it's also a reality of the school systems in Korea. No wonder then theme keeps popping up in dramas. It's interesting that the main character said something akin to 'the same school systems that fosters an environment where children would do unethical things to be #1, also creates future government officials who accept bribes."

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I liked this speech, maybe it was the only thing in entire first episode. The cliches I didn't like were mostly about the stock characters and the unreal situations and not the environment itself.

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Liking the show so far, but please.. please.. let's stop with all the multiple hugely overused cliches. Why does every one of these type shows have to have the kids all line up in rows in these stereotyped faceoffs?

It is not the themes that bother me, it is the fact that the people are reacting in exactly the same way as in 20 previous high school shows.

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>Why does every one of these type shows have to have the kids all line up in rows in these stereotyped faceoffs?

Yes, thought the same. I also can't believe any school would put the street dancing club room next door to the quiet study room for top students. That was so lame.

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well, technically Baekho is supposed to be the cheerleading club (probably because the top % of students need a "spec" and cheerleading can be that for them in name only, since there are no legitimate cheerleaders) so I can get why a cheerleading club would have its digs next to the street dance club......

but why is the school dumb enough to put those two rooms next to each other at all?

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Cliches aside, having the two teams line up in front of each other makes me chuckle. Where else except a high school drama/movie are you going to ever see that? Last time I remember seeing this though was back in Sunny.

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sunny? the movie? it was a fantastic one! those girls. that friendship. that dance. :D

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Liking the show so far, but please.. please.. let's stop with all the multiple hugely overused cliches. Why does every one of these type shows have to have the kids all line up in rows in these stereotyped faceoffs?

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Oh I'm so enjoying this drama. It's light and breezy, and yet has plenty of heart. Thank goodness it shows up to save my Mon & Tu.

Hope to love it as much as 20Again.

Lee Won-Geun looks so sweet when he smiles; his eyes disappears like Lee SY's.

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I'm also enjoying the drama. You're right, it's light and breezy. I hope they don't turn it..."warm and cozy".

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NOOOOOOOOOO don't even mention that drama, i don't want Sassy Go Go to end up like that. Its 1st ep is still better than any W&C ep.

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Thank you @LollyPip!!

@KDaddict?JCW

Yay for Mondays and Tuesdays!

Yes I like the manhwa look, the candy colours... even in Yeon Doo's home and the overall energy and chemistry of the characters. Such sweet, lighthearted fare for the start of the week. :)

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*Wave*
So glad we are loving 2 dramas at the same time.
It's been a while. Hee hee.

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@KDADDICT

Have you been watching "She was Pretty"? Admitted I haven't started watching either sassy go & and I only started watching she was pretty, but I am dying waiting for weds and thurs because I love she was pretty. And I know u were a huge healer addict like me (heheh those times were crazy) so mayb u should watch it, u won't regret.

Sassy doesn't look appealing to me, but maybe because u like it I might give it a try

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Honestly, just after 2 episodes I prefer Sassy to She Was Pretty any day. For one, these high schoolers are much more mature than the adults in the other drama. The obstacles they face and the friendships they form are more real and relatable. The characters in SWP are caricatures which in a way is also enjoyable.
Just my two cents!

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@azfih, Hello friend,
Thx for the recommendation. I tried SWP. The screaming in ep 1 sent me running for covers. It literally gave me a headache. The overacting is off the charts. I don't mind the hair and skin condition, but the behavior I couldn't stomach. She was so poised and graceful as a child. Pity.

I agree w fab?hilleo's comment when comparing SWP and SGG. Ep 2 of SGG gives it so much more heart too.

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I loved the first episode. By the second episode not so much, because I felt I was watching a rehash of other high school dramas. However, I feel that once the cheerleading part starts I'll be back on board.

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I am not so sure, though I do have some hope. None of the actors are anything like real life athletes or gymnasts, and actual cheer leading nowadays is all of that. I am guessing that they will have a lot of shots with stand ins from a real cheer leading team.

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absolutely loving this drama!!! Jung Eun-ji is the best!!!! love the leads and can't wait for the next episodes!!!! also thankyou for the recap!!!

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I like it. My only complaint is N's acting, which didn't bother me in this ep..but ep2..yeah.. I like him when he is with Eunji tho.

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Yay! Thanks for the recap. I'm so excited about this show from the casting to the writing to every character. It's too bad it's airing while Six Flying Dragons and Glamorous Temptation is airing because likely those two will be the ones competing for the top spot. I can only hope this show will keep doing well and maybe blow up internationally? Am I asking for too much? I am especially glad that Kim Yoo Jung said no to this show, because Jung Eun Ji plays this character with such bravado and strength, and between the two, she's an idol and so obviously, she's the better dancer. Also, her chemistry with Lee is out of this world. I like how is character seems to sort of be secretly vying for her cause just because. Sometimes I think he just enjoys fighting with her. Especially when he was talking with the principal, it was clear there was some hatred for the very system that gets him all the benefits, but punishes people like the Real King members. It's really awesome to see that crackling chemistry between the leads, and Lee does a really great job playing up the more mysterious aspects of his character. Ugh, everything about this show sits right to me. I love school romance and underdog stories more than anything, and I think it's so important to keep the conversation concerning the corruption in the Korean educational system going. I'm going to watch from beginning to end for sure. Wow, this was long, but I'm gushing. So excited!!!!!

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I'm really loving SGG, pretty much everything about it except for one thing... which is the amount of BB Cream/ foundation they're putting on the leads. Found it a bit disturbing.

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And the pink lipstick on Jung Eunji, it doesn't suit her at all and nor does it suit the look of a high school kid. And they didn't even apply it properly, she got a bright pink line on the inside of her mouth and very little on the edge.

she's a cute and pretty girl but the MUA doing everything they can to spoil her looks.

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yeah i can't stand her lipstick too. but just so you know, it's actually a trend in korea :O they're called 'gradient lips'. I really don't get how that, became a trend... lol

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Sometimes people really shouldn't follow trends like sheep. It just makes her lips look like she put colured lip gloss over chapped lips.

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I kind of don't care though. I mean, who can properly out makeup in high school anyway?

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yeah but who wears that much makeup in high school at all? Unless they're part of some goth/theatre clique....

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Drama is perfect so far!! It has everything: bromance, romance, drama, realism, good acting, writing and directing. Episode 2 has one of the saddest scenes I have ever seen, definitely will stay on my mind for a long time.

About Jisoo, since he is one of my favorites so far: does he looks so good in Angry Mom? OMG, he is gorgeous! Wish I had watched but it simply isn't for me.
I was waiting to watch something with him and I'm happy I can now!! Really like all the cast though, never saw N acting but he is good and Eunji is amazing, of course. Male lead reminds me of L from Infinite.

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Well of course Ji Soo looks this good in Angry Mom, that is what started his career. As a matter of fact I think he was better there. I'm hoping that this drama will give him a chance to shine.

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LOVE IT. I love the vibe.

Everything seems perfect.

I want to kick the annoying parents, consultant and principal tho

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OMG thank you for recapping! I honestly was wondering if there'd be one as i didn't know but im glad Lollypop you're doing this :D
Um and on a side note, i know kim yeol is being a bitch but the chemistry he shares with Yeon-doo is amazing and i really am shipping the two of them ^_^

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The first episode is okay. I like the cast, but the drama piles on the cliches. If every Korean school was like the ones in kdrama there would be no school administration with any form of competence.

I was thrilled to see Ji soo in this drama. After Angry Mom, it's nice to see him pad his green drama experiences . But I hope he's not typecasted as the Highschooler with a dark angsty past.

Eunji does a good job as a feisty competent heroine and her and the male lead have good chemistry. No complaints there. Oh, the second female lead does a good job of being detestable.

And N is the weakest link in a competent cast, but I don't want another case of second lead syndrome like school 2015.

It's a fun drama, but KBS's really losing the monday tuesday ratings battle. Makes sense out of the three dramas in the time slot based on content alone this would come in last.

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It’s a fun drama, but KBS’s really losing the monday tuesday ratings battle.

I am actually heartened that it's just a 12 episode drama and an obvious filler for the next one. It just means that KBS isn't gonna cut this!

Although Descended from the Sun better do well ratings wise after this or I'll imagine some top managerial level grumping.

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Maybe that's why this is a high school drama with all rookie actors, they can't afford to pay high fees for top actors when ratings are so low.

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I agree about JiSoo. I really hated to see him in another abused high schooler full of angst role. Specially since his role seems pretty one dimensional right now. I hope his character grows and he stands out like he did on Angry Mom.

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obviously some things are a cliche, dramas exaggerate. Not all korean schools are this bad to their students, just like not all korean parents are nasty, useless or dead the way dramas show.

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Lol, YeonDoo is certifiably innocent and naïve. She confronts her project partner right before its presentation! She couldn't do that AFTER the presentation?

But she's beautifully eighteen. And the world will change her (if it doesn't she's fantastic).

I adore this show, even if some parents and a certain principal are looking like psycopaths now.

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It's so cute! I almost died when Eunji's mother says "I hope she meets a man like (Kim Yeol's dad)" and the next cut is Yeon Doo saying Kim Yeol's dwad if she meets him. And then "French kiss, deep kiss, whatever. Just do it!" I really like this OTP.

I don't understand all the complaining about how the high school is depicted as a negative environment though. It's a real fact that many schools all over the world have environments that makes many of their students miserable, either through excess academic pressure or ignoring bullying. Or just lackin resource for their students, or not understanding that teenagers are normal people, and discriminating against them for stupid reasons. It's not everyones experience but it is a very common one.

at least Yeon Doo has a nice mother though. Not like most kdrama parents, but the other characters got the kdrama useless parents.

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I mean "Kim Yeol's DEAD if I meet him", sorry

I like the cast, they do really well. Jung Eunji is a great singer but I was impressed that she could make herself sound so ordinary and not like a good singer at all in the music lesson. Also Chae Soo Bin, I remember her from Spy where she made a good impression even in her small role. People praised her a lot on the recaps.

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MWAHAHA the "French kiss, deep kiss, whatever. Just do it!" dare. You know he'll take her up on it before the drama's done.

I also like that Yeol is so flirty with Yeon-doo from day 1, but only when they're alone. He isn't like that with any of the other girls, and he manages the task of being maddening and adorable all at once with such ease.

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I agree with most of you guys. Kim yeol is such a flirt and there's nothing wrong with that. i find it extremely cute seeing how they're rivals but have such a great chemistry between them.
And sometimes the way he acts is kinda confusing. does he like Yeon Do or not because it seems like he does? but idk i think he's just playing around.
anyway i don't care about the cliche parts, everything is so cliche nowadays anyway.
when i watched the 1st episode, i've only been watching for 10 mins and i fell for Lee Won Geun already. this guy has the cutest smile and i wonder how can someone be so hot and cute at the same time. I like Jisoo too!

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Weirdly I got Maid Sama's 'Usui-Misa' vibe from the lead couple.

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You're not the only one haha! Boy I miss that anime

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Me too... Usui rocks

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oh my god!!! so true....i was wondering why am liking the lead's character so well...yes he is like usui...a jerk yet not a jerk...cute yet pretty hot...when he bites his lips...wow...n yes eunji is like misaki...fiesty yet mong when he approaches her...aaaahhhhhhh....

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Totally agree! I guess this is why the male lead (and his chemistry with the female lead) is sucking me in!

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I never thought so many people thought same like me and watched/read kaichou maid sama ?

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now I'm going to check this manga out haha

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Yeah, you can see it in the chemistry between the two. The resemblance is stronger in Kim Yeol.

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I dunno but I feel the plot was a bit rushed. And I haven't seen any chemistry between the leads. I'm giving it a chance only for ji soo. But, also he had only a few scenes.

Hope it will get better next week.

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This drama felt different long enough to get me hooked. Still ended in similar waters though.

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Yeon doo's mom is cool. Love her. Also Yang teacher! I hope he can do more for the kids.

Like you said, i think the OTP chemistry is great.

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I started this drama solely 'cause of JiSoo, and the first episode was a slight let down for me, the amount of screen time he had was disheartening considering the fact that he is one the main characters. I really don't want him to have similar roles in every drama, he has tremendous potential as an actor (which I saw in the second episode) and in this show I want him to have a love line! Okay that came outta nowhere :P
But nonetheless, I want him to evolve as a character like he did in Angry Mom, keep the bromance alive and burning with Kim Yeol (am I the only shipping them more than Yeon-doo and Kim Yeol? O.o), and if possible then please a love line for the boy, with the short-haired girl from Eunji's squad! (I have a feeling that they might end up together)
Pretty please, drama gods?

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ahahahah me too!!!
I'm sad that he only got this much scene in this drama.
But in here he is one of the top student:" huff but i really miss bokdong:""""

nooo love line pleaseee:" i want him to be with kim yeol only wkwkwkkw

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BokDong-ahhh, *sigh* blame JiSoo oppa, for being this adorable!
Ikr? Long live the bromance! :D
Ohh and can we have more JiSoo shirtless scenes? :3 *fingers crossed*

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"and if possible then please a love line for the boy, with the short-haired girl from Eunji’s squad!"

omg lol same thoughts! it's so weird because in that small amount of bickering, I already felt a chemistry. or maybe I just desperately want Ji Soo to get all smiles because of a cute crush?

I also find this weird liking for when every time Ji Soo and Jung Eun-ji are in a scene together. I do love her with the charming Lee Won-geun, but I guess even before the shoe started I really ~shipped~ her with Ji Soo (maybe for a future project, pls?)

Anyway, I hope this show keeps up the work. It's only 12 episodes after all and I am expecting the story to flow fast and smooth for the sake of everyone. I definitely like the contemplative and angsty undertones, and how well they blend with the colorful comic off-shoots. ;)

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*show

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You just can't help it, blame it all on Ji Soo! Damn, if this amount of fangirling continues I don't know how I will react if they actually end up together!

This is my observation or probably the fact that I desperately want him to fall in love, but whenever Real King and Baek Ho are having a face-off it's always Ji Soo and that perky girl pitted against each other :3

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I like it, I like it, I like it!!

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me too me too me too!! i'm like bouncing in my seat right now. can't wait for next week!

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One of the best parts for me, is the dancing. The dance sequences are very modern and on point. A contrast to Twenty Again, which lacked a bit. So I'm very happy to see a drama about dance, that's hip and fun!

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I was bored since all the dramas I want to watch are slow on being subbed. So I was surprised when I found myself actually laughing out loud during a few scenes. This may seem like it's just fluff at first, but it seems to be dealing with some dark themes too. I like it because it adds more depth. I'm looking forward to some people regaining their conscience, however Soo Ah may need the whole length of the drama. Actually I might prefer it if she stays manipulative till the end.

Thanks LollyPip for the great recap!

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I LOVE living in Korea!!! This is the second drama that is using my son's school for location shots. Although the cast is not as "pretty" as Heirs I'm still turning into a total fan girl again.

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Lucky you!

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oooh I remember your updates from the Heirs set! So this is the same high school? They must be working really hard considering they only began filming a few weeks ago.

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The school looks amazing! I was so impressed by what I saw. Is it an international school by any chance?

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Yes, it's the international school in Daejeon. You can kind of see the school's logo in the background in one of the scenes. The campus is only 3 years old so it still looks really nice.

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The ratings are quite unfortunate so far but I hope it will get better and even popular. I'm just worried how everything will play out since it is only 12 episodes long and I'm not sure if they can cover everything tastefully without rushing. It has potential and if they keep everything solid until the end, then that's good. There are a few scenes I got embarrassed by though maybe it's just me because I get embarrassed easily. And N's acting isn't that great either...I get irritated when he shows up. It makes me wonder what it would've been like if a different actor took the role.

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I didn't expect to love this drama this much, but i lurve it! Already watch both episodes and it's truly enjoyable.. Not all light and breezy but it has deep meaning and it own darkness as well.. Can't wait for next week..

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Although the plot is slightly cliche is some parts u cant deny the cast did great. Damn, that female lead Jung Eun Ji can act! When she started choking and getting teary in while singing during the music class got me teary as well .Way to go girl!

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this drama is good! and eunji is very awesome!
i watched ep 1 without sub before and can understand the story very clearly!
I even can feel so angry and give tears for Yeon Doo being treat badly by Soo ah.

i watched the 2 ep today and it's getting better... just can't wait till next week (especially for N's character).

oh, i noticed that international viewers are getting increase and enjoy this drama too by watch in viki or dramabay.
:D

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I like it, I don't know why many people complaining about clichés, it is a school drama and it us good that it is concentrated in school student's problems, different than School 2015 , where the plot is not at all affected without a school premise.

The the lead actor is driving me crazy, he has a strong resemblance with someone but I can't remember who is that. I can't even remember if the person is from dramas or my real life :( ...

Btw, are KDY's mom and KY's father dating????? Is it not disturbing???

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The male lead actor looks similar to the actor who played police officer in OH MY GHOSTESS.

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I thought about him, KY looks similar with that person when he smiles, but it's not like IJH :(

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Ohh.. Then he might be any other actor, or maybe real life person:)

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OMG I was totally going to write that the male lead looks like a young version of Im Joo Hwan to me! Maybe that's why I do like the lead a lot so far ;) so perhaps I'll keep watching this drama for all the characters, which I mostly do like right now :D

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+1 on 1st paragraph

I'm also wondering about her mom w his dad. What's going on? Wouldn't that affect their dating?

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The vibe that I got from the "oldies" was that they're NOT dating though YeonDoo's mom seems to be a big flirt when dealing with Kim Yeol's dad and he just takes it like an old friend. Kinda like Park JongHo and Choi YeongJin's relationshop pre-last-episode, with the roles reversed.

I mean, certified couples don't really flirt that much... right? And rarely does the flirting only come from one side, right? They're like old, close friends with a "something for the other" on YeonDoo's mom's side.

Those two are suspicious...

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Ha ha ha :D I was kind of agreeing with your explanations but at the end you only got suspicious about them!!!!!!

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Well, if the ratings don't improve, maybe the producers will order the writers to switch mid-stream and go full makjang. Like bringing in the birth secret trope: could YeonDoo's genetic father be Yeo's dad which would obviously play havoc with the OTP.

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I hope Sassy Go Go doesn't end up with a Love Rain situation (where parents planning to marry apparently would render the OTP unable to be a couple because in Korea, even adult stepsiblings are considered related by law and therefore unable to marry). This is really the wrong genre for that kind of thing!

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I didn't have any expectation on this drama before it on air but damn i am on the boat now!
I do agree the 2 leads have chemistry, yes a HUGE chemistry which attract me to watch live!
EunJi as usual she can act and her performance is even better than her last drama, just hope she can get a better offer after this!

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i really liked this drama, it has a good story and the characters are relatable

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Loving it so far! Thanks so much for the great recap! ;) I'm looking forward to the further development of our characters. The actors are doing a wonderful job at drawing out my emotions and keeping my attention. I LOVE YD's mom! Lol
Mahalo nui again. :) aloha

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I thought the first two episodes were pretty decent...not terrible but nothing radically different from the other high school drama's we've been given before....that being said, I do like the chemistry between the leads and Eunji is perfect for this role (it actually reminds me a tad bit of her role in Reply but hey, she's got the sassy part down in both).

My only gripe with the first episode (besides N's horrendous acting, sorry guys, but he's pretty bad)...is that there was little to no background, I felt like we were sort of thrown into the middle of it all, without much context or history of the school...nothing about how much Eunji has "endured"...I would have liked a little more "fleshing out" of the circumstances and characters.

I think I'm going to stick to it because I know the cheerleading parts are going to be fun...and I like the leads a lot

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I kinda found that I liked that there was little background, that way we can discover more about the characters as the drama goes on but yeah, I understand what you're getting act.

Yeah, it's fun! I'll probably stick to it too

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I think we actually get a good enough idea about Yeon-doo's high school experience so far, over the course of the action. I like it that way really, less time spent on exposition and more on characters.

(it doesn't take Sherlock to tell that a girl ranked 196th out of 200 in a hypercompetitive grade-oriented school, is going to be treated like she's at the bottom of the pile)

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In my school days i always hated the toppers and promised myself to never be even an inch closer to them in anything!EVERYTHING!! So i always admired characters like Shi-won or Yeon-doo and hated Yeol but in that face-off i was going 'you mean guy' to 'he is just too damn cute'..

Ji-soo had such a tiny screen time! And also he MUST have a great character growth and a good love line.

Chemistry was so good, i totally felt the sparks when they had that face-off.
I didn't find N's acting that bad and i hope he doesn't love her, no heartbreaks plz!
Glad Eun-ji took this role.

Seems, everything happens for a good reason! Be good, please be good, Show, save me from Twenty Again's withdrawal! Its nearing..

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I don't know but in my school even in college I got very helpful "Topper" students, we even were friends, not just classmates!!!
It is the mediocre students who you don't want to help other in studies, in my school toppers were so confident that they really did not fear to help someone mediocre or another top student. It was always a healthy competition :)

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Toppers Should be confident and Should be helpful. But my school they always literally looked down on you and the teachers..they were so supportive of the bunch because each would help other's career prospects. Toppers got their certs and Teachers got bonus promotion.

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If JiSoo does not have a love line, I'll probably go barmy :P

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I would actually prefer it if Ji-soo DOESN'T get some kind of shoehorned-in love line, poor Ha-joon has enough on his plate without worrying about girls.

And anyway, his #1 is Yeol. No girl can even compare (this is one drama where I can pretty safely say there will probably be no love triangle where two bffs fall for the same girl)

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Seeing Ji-soo bruised like that is bringing some bad memories but also good ones. Looking forward to seeing more of his character; we know he is capable.
I really like the tone of the drama so far, yes it's about a high school where uniforms are mandatory just like above average grades, but it's admirable how the poor underachievers are such a tight fun group who stick up together and are trying to make their HS time a memorable one despite the odds against them. Go Real King!
That principle is making my skin crawl. Teacher Yang definitely makes up for it for being so awesome.

Yeon-doo and Kim Yeol make such a cute couple.
And I'm just glad that two-faced Soo-ah is busted so early on, thank you drama.

Thanks for the recap Lollipop!

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The Real King kids are not poor lol You saw Yeon Doo's house. Does it look small to you? The room, living room, the building is big. They just lack on academics, not on lifestyles. They may not be elite and rich like the Baek Ho kids, but they are definitely not poor. First of all, if they are so, so poor, they wouldn't be able to even attend to a school like that lol All of these students have good family backgrounds for them to be able to attend this kind of school.

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I am a lil bit nervous about Yeon doo's mom and Yeol's dad relationship.......

I am excited about this drama.
Cannot wait for ep 3.

Great recap! Thank you very much :)

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I am not complaining about the cliche high school story.

I think it was much better than I expected: the story, the character, the badass heroine, and the cocky hero.

Thank you!

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Love it. Love it. Love it. Thank you for the recap!
Thank you so much!!

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I wasn't expecting much but I enjoyed it! Just watched the 2nd episode and it was just as good. Eunji is great (as expected) and Lee Won-geun, although he may not be the strongest actor, is always so likable in all his roles - something about him is so charming. Chae Soo-bin has a lot of potential IMO, she's already so fun to hate. And I'm looking forward to seeing more of Jisoo's character and N's character, they probably have the most interesting story arcs.

Didn't realize it was only 12 episodes, I'll probably see it all the way through. Looking forward to episode 3!

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I'm not sure what everyone else was expecting... the show is only twelve episodes long, has a budget the size of my pinky, and has a rookie cast. Is this going to be another Answer Me? Nah. It's going to be kind of saccharine and full of cliches because that's easy and for a project this fast, you need easy. I can see where the criticism about the acting is coming from, but cut the

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show a small break when it comes to the plot. This is basically an idol drama with a few bigger names in the cast who need some material to fill out their resumes. Does it necessarily need to be revolutionary? (Okay, maybe... I mean, if the plot or the acting gets really bad, I'll drop it like a hot potato. I have some self respect. I'm just not in this expecting SUFBB... I'm mostly here for N and my princess Eunji. I think I'm the target audience, actually. Whoops, there goes my argument.)

My point is that this is a very specific kind of show catering to very specific kinds of people... the ratings don't surprise me, the reactions from the people watching it sort of do. Why watch this when Six Flying Dragons is on? I'd guess this drama season is pretty dry but SFD looks pretty good. (This is me dancing around the "y'all bored tho" argument. Disrespectful, I'll stop.)

I liked this first episode, although the second episode rang kind of false for me (which I will cover in the next episode's recap.) I appreciate that these two episodes had to set up a LOT for the cheering to happen and they did so with a lot of gusto. The pace of the episodes hung between speedy and breathless, which is something I liked a lot in SUFBB. This is always a good sign, at least on the production end of things; they know they only have 12 episodes to work with so they're cutting out everything unnecessary and leaving in everything that means something. Good team. (Not sure if the comic style shots were a necessary addition, but they aren't too intrusive either.)

The thing that jarred me the most in the first episode was the in your face presentation of Ha Joon's background with his father - Jesus, way to put your cards on the table. I'm not sure if I buy the presentation there. The acting was good, and the pacing of the scene was fine and understandable, and I welcome the opportunity to explore how close Yeol and Ha Joon are... I am just unsure if this was information we needed right away. This is an short show, and I understand the need to put everything we need to know up front so the plot can get underway, but presented the way it was, the scene just felt like shock value and sympathy points for a character whose actor is already well loved. It sets up a LOT of expectations and dramatic potential for both Ha Joon and Yeol's character arcs and I can't help but wonder if the payoff will be worth it. I hope it is, for the sake of the show as a whole. Don't give me an abuse arc and mess it up, okay? :(

The thing that I love and am prepared to dig my grave for is team Real King - we don't even really get a chance to get to know them over the titling cast, which is the hugest shame. If they're introduced with more loving detail and screentime with regards to their relationship with Yeon Doo than her quote unquote best friend Dong Jae, then give them to me! Introduce them, maybe? With names? This is just me whining because honestly they seem...

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... kind of peripheral to the main character plot and I don't want them to be. They are nice and I like them.

The rest of the first episode is fine, frankly. It's not mindblowing, and I'm not saying I was doing much more than losing my mind over how cute Eunji and N are, but the episode was more than watchable and I found myself enjoying the ride. That's not hard to do, to be honest, but I'm still happy it's cleared that hurdle, at least.

I think everything else I have to say about these episodes can be saved for the second episode recap, which (???) should be coming soon, hopefully? Thanks for the recap!

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I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!

I TOTALLY felt the chemistry. I thought I wasn't going to watch this show but now look. I can hardly wait another week!

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I decided to break my streak of no kdramas this week and watched this and Six Dragons. I had seen the trailer (the longer one) so nothing happens in the first two episodes that wasn't basically already shown....but I still enjoyed it! Do I think it's going to be life-changing? No. But it's still fun.

I do think it's a bit predictable at the moment but it's got time to pull out some new stuff, and I actually like the cast. I mentioned it above but they all seem really full of energy. I am curious how they'll try to keep this light touch with soem of the serious topics they've decided to tackle.

The only thing I'm a bit confused/wary of is Dong-jae. I'm not entirely sure what his situation is and I'm hoping that they did their research on it.

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I agree that Ji Soo does remind me a bit of Yoo Ah In. It's not in their features, but in the way they act: they both have very mobile, open faces capable of revealing a lot of feeling, especially of sorrow and vulnerability.
As for the high school, yes the cut-throat elite school is a cluche but it also holds some truth. My eldest daughter went to a school like that, where the students are really stratified with the top tier trying every angle to get into the Ivies. We did not make her younger sisters endure that school. That hypercompetitive atmosphere really does take a toll. Five students committed suicide.

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The really ugly parts are often glossed over, with only passing references in most high school dramas - this is no exception. There is a reason why suicide is the #1 cause of death among 15-24 year olds, and the education system is a major factor.

I would like to see a drama that actually addresses that, and that dug a little deeper into the actual stresses placed on students in such an environment where test scores are the ONLY important thing.

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In ant grades/"spec"-oriented academic institution, people happily overlook or ignore how poisonous such environments can be to their students.

There is something really screwed up about a system that equates teenagers' grades to their self worth and decides that if you have low grades, you're a lesser human being - and it's even more screwed up when the students themselves buy into that mentality. I went to one such school for two years, and let's just say I was VERY glad to leave it.

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oop I meany ANY, not ant.

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And this is the saddest part "..even more screwed up when the students themselves buy into that mentality..".

From one article "Preparing to get to the best American universities has become something of a national obsession in Korea,” said Alexander Vershbow, the American ambassador to South Korea..."

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in connection to what you said about the obsession - I watch this talk show "abnormal summit" and there is an american guy who used to work in administration at his university. he said they always had to put the applications from south korea aside and had to deal with them separately. why? they were all pretty similar to each other because koreans usually use templates. they don't show much of their uniqueness.

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I have read similar reports from other articles. One dean I think from UCLA said something like "you could cover the names and pictures, and it would look like 100 identical applications", and noted that often the deciding factor was not grades, but something that indicated almost anything different.

I wish I had bookmarked the article, but cannot find it again.

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LOL ! What a kickass drama totally Eunji's style ...I would like to do a trademark on this character. No one can establish this kind of credibility like her that to in first scene and first episode. sassy sassy go, but please someone correct the makeup and that lip stip or wat ever it is. It looks fake. She was sooo adorable in 1997 with her lovely hairstyle and just simple gloss. Plz take some time on her hair and makeup. I wish the direction also do some good work, the dance scene on the terrace eagle soaring is a awesome concept , wish it was taken in a more elegant way.

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LOL ! What a kickass drama totally Eunji's style ...I would like to do a trademark on this character. No one can establish this kind of credibility on first episode like her. Sassy sassy go, but please someone correct the makeup and that lip line or wat ever it is. It looks fake. Nowadays kids do dress very smartly. I wish the scene direction also did some good shots, the dance scene on the terrace .. eagle soaring is a awesome concept, Every kid in the school go thru this stage of being outcast and depressed and she danced with such a grace wonderful, wish it was taken in a more elegant way.

The core of this drama is good, parents expectations , children's aspirations and schools contribution. But still in all this finding a tiny space of joy is what makes school so amazing.

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I agree about Eunji's makeup, they put way too much of it on her!

A rather more fresh-faced look (or even less of that damn pink gradient lip) would look so much prettier and more appropriate for her character and the fact that she's playing a high school student.

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Thanks for the recap Lollypip!

Jung Eun Ji's swagger whenever she walks just kills me. lol

I think the drama itself is off to a good start. The first episode doesn't hook you right away but at least it accomplished introducing the vast amount of characters, their relationships to one another and their motivations.

I just need to readjust my thinking that Jung Eun Ji's character is not the same as Sung Shi Won though because every time I see a scene where people start messing with her, I kept getting disappointed that they walked away with their teeth intact. lol

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I LOVE THIS. Just like you said, LollyPip, this is the perfect balance between adorable fluff and lots of heart, brought to life by an excellent cast (well, mostly excellent - 4 out of 5 main actors hitting all their marks isn't a bad score!)

I also agree that Jung Eun-ji and Lee Won-geun are perfectly cast as the main leads. Bright but outspoken characters like Yeon-doo are perfectly in her wheelhouse, but she does them so well, and makes Yeon-doo so endearing and natural, that I have to give it to her.. Yeol is a but different from the standard high school kdrama jerk hero, since he tends to err on the side of snark rather than pure assholery. And I find it a wee bit refreshing that he's so flirty with Yeon-doo, even if it comes via an obvious trope like the fall-on-top-of-each-other scene. They have good enough chemistry to sell it, and Yeol's three-option pattern makes me laugh a bit.

I also liked the girls' friendship at first, but the minute we saw the wavy front bits of Soo-ah's hairstyle on the girl sending the pic, the game was up. I'm glad Soo-ah's busted , but she seems to be a character who could be more than just an automaton scheming her way to the top. Chae Soo-bin does a really good job of bringing out both Soo-ah's vulnerability and her cruelty, well done there. And Ji-soo in what looks like Bok-dong mk.II, but no one's complaining. (not quite as impressed with N, who suits the role of class deadpan because you can get away with not forming much expression on your face, but it really hampers him in scenes where he needs to be more than smiley and quirky.

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I like the show. It's nice and light and breezy.

The main OTP is <3 I ended up searching their presscon pics to see if I could spazz over them more. I think it's their smiles and the nervous/shy eye contact between them. And the way Yeol just goes with it instead of freezing in shock.

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Wow! Eunji got a new nose!

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if she did, she needs to ask for her money back because that looks like the exact same (and very pretty) nose she had in Answer Me 1997. Ain't nothing new about it.

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ha! your style of replying is kind of cleverly awesome! just sounds like the badass Sung Shi-won!

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Some says the first ep was week because of too many cliche. For me, it was interesting! A cliche that may not be common to my school (when i was still in school) but something to make us realize that yes, such sh*tty things happen and we obviously just turn a blind eye! I totally adore Eun Ji and Ji Soo and yeah.. i feel bad they won't be a pair here but seeing them in one series, i'm a happy camper. I see this drama with a lot of potential. Adorable cast (they all look so fresh). ^_^ Sassy Go Go... Fighting!

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God i just love this show so much!
Yes this is quite cliche but so what?... when things in the show likely really happened, i think it would be better if we didn't focus only on that 'flaw'.
Jung Eun Ji done well, i mean really well, her chemistry with Lee Won Geun... just want to packed them together ><
And though N's acting is quite bothers me, his character still win me over~.
For Ji Soo~ ooooo this boy, i know i'd cry for you soon, dear
Oh the Soo Ah, haa you really lived such a hard life, sweet girl.
Well, thank goodness, this show saved my mon-tue night~

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I liked the first episode. also I knew that the roommate friend wasn't to be trusted.

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44% of Korean Ivy League Students Quit Course Halfway

If you think the Korean school and obsessed parent thing is only in dramas, read this http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2008/10/117_32124.html

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WELP.

I feel for those kids.

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