Rating:
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156

Moorim School: Episode 1

Moorim School makes a very good first impression, with interesting characters and a mysterious school that promises a lot of secrets to be revealed. A touch of magic gives things a bit of flavor that should have viewers coming back for more, to see if it can fulfill the promise of a mystical and bizarre world just out of reach. There’s a lot of potential here, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store.

EPISODE 1 RECAP

A man runs through an ancient forest, carrying a tiny bundle in his arms — a child. He’s chased by several men, and seems more concerned about his young charge than himself. He leaps obstacles in a way that seems unnatural… and so do the men following him.

The man confounds his pursuers for a moment by climbing a tree, but one of them sees his reflection in a very dangerous-looking dagger. He flings the dagger but the man avoids it easily, though his evasion lands him right in the middle of his three would-be captors.

They fight, and the man leaps, twists, and avoids injury without ever letting go of the little girl in his arms. He takes a few minor injuries but finally gets away, and when it’s safe, he stops to get his breath and whispers, “We’re almost there,” to the little girl.

The man gathers some sort of energy into his hand, and when he places it on a nearby tree, the energy ripples into the tree and then through the ground, infiltrating the nearby forest. Gathering speed, the energy races through the forest, igniting glowing, mystical symbols on any tree it touches.

The pursuers catch up, but the energy the man has put out has created some sort of barrier that distorts their perceptions while it protects him. They have no idea they’re only a few feet from him and the little girl, and they finally turn and leave.

Eighteen years later, a young man sleeps peacefully, while elsewhere giant posters of his face decorate a concert venue. He’s YOON SHI-WOO (Lee Hyun-woo), an idol from a group called Mobius. He apparently makes it a habit to sleep through rehearsals, as his manager is taking a verbal beatdown about his latest absence.

Shi-woo wakes slowly, only belatedly realizing that his phone is ringing frantically. His ears ring as he finally hears his phone, but he makes the excuse to his frustrated manager that the phone was on vibrate. When he hangs up, the ringing and pain in his ears worsens.

Another young man walks through an airport and groans, “Here we go again,” when a virtual army of suited men comes to greet him. He sees a photo of Shi-woo modeling for his father’s company, Sanghae Group, and takes offense to the color of the poster. At first he’s angry that the color hasn’t changed per his order, but when told his father wanted it kept the same, he pretends that it was all his idea.

This is WANG CHI-ANG (Hongbin) son of a large Chinese-Korean conglomerate. He imperiously orders the suited men to bug off, but he’s told that they’re here on the chairman’s orders. One of the men comments that his Korean is very good (his mother is Korean)1, and Chi-ang’s face goes quietly furious. He doesn’t even need to utter a threat — just his obvious displeasure is enough to have the man quaking.

Chi-ang is expected to put in an appearance at Shi-woo’s concert that night, which his father’s company is sponsoring, but he declines the car his father sent for him in favor of his own motorcycle. He finally gets some alone time while riding, taking in the sea air and almost certainly breaking several traffic laws.

Later Chi-ang calls his mother, and promises to make his father proud and bring her back to China with him. He’s not happy that she practically lives in exile, but she’s quick to tell him that she’s moved. They make plans to meet at her new home in the morning, but she looks worried once they hang up.

As it turns out, Chi-ang’s father is in Korea, and they’re planning to send him to private school instead of back to China. Mom is concerned that it’s a strange place, but Chi-ang’s father (Lee Bum-soo) tells her ominously to just do as she’s told. After Mom is gone, Chi-ang’s father tells his assistant that his son won’t be easy to deal with. But he’s determined to send him to this school, as it will make him useful. How, we don’t know yet.

Shi-woo looks worried as he showers (a broody shower scene, so soon?) and rubs his ears uncomfortably. The camera lingers on an unusual pendant that he’s wearing, as if it’s important.

Chi-ang walks into a hotel room and sneers at the mess, and calls for someone to come clean up. Then proceeds to shed his own clothes and leave them laying wherever he throws them.

He’s startled when someone walks out of the bedroom — it’s Shi-woo, who still hasn’t checked out of this room. The two half-clad youths glare at each other, neither wanting to be the first to react… and then Shi-woo groans, assuming that Chi-ang is a sasaeng fan here to harrass him.

A young girl, SHIM SOON-DEOK (Seo Ye-ji) makes dumplings by hand and brings them to a booth at the concert venue, but the ajumma running the booth complains that the spoiled Seoul kids here aren’t buying their country food. Soon-deok doesn’t let that get her down, and says in a loud voice that these dumplings are Shi-woo’s very favorite thing to eat. That gets the fans’ attention, and it’s only second before their booth is overrun.

Shi-woo and Chi-ang both call their men in to figure out this mistake, but neither boy is willing to concede to the other and move to another room. Shi-woo is gobsmacked when Chi-ang has no idea who he or Mobius are. When he explains that they’re the star act in tonight’s concert sponsored by Chi-ang’s company, Chi-ang says that they can just be taken out of the show, then.

Shi-woo looks momentarily stunned, then just laughs that he can rest tonight. Chi-ang’s assistant tells him that Shi-woo’s fans make up the majority of the festivalgoers, and they’ll have to refund all that money if Mobius cancels, but Chi-ang is just all, That’s fine, I have enough money.

Mention of his father’s displeasure if that happens finally sways Chi-ang, and he’s forced to relent, though you can tell it just kills him. But he pretends that he’s being magnanimous, and warns Shi-woo to be grateful and do his best tonight. He exits, accidentally taking Shi-woo’s jacket and leaving his own behind, and leaves Shi-woo looking like he wants to bite someone.

Word of the boys’ confrontation reaches the concert venue, where Shi-woo’s company CEO is furious with Chi-ang for trying to throw his weight around with the talent. Shi-woo’s manager complains about his charge as well — he doesn’t come to practice, he doesn’t talk with the other members of Mobius, and he never answers his phone. There’s a rumor that he’s about to jump ship to another management company, which would mean bankruptcy for his current company.

Soon-deok sells out of her dumplings, and she think she sees a girl she knows. When the girl doesn’t turn at her call, Soon-deok figures it must not be her. She’d never come to a place like this anyway.

The mystery girl makes a point to watch Chi-ang as he throws his weight around at the VIP entrance (excuse me, VVVVVIP, ha), but he can’t back it up because his company ID card is in the jacket he left in Shi-woo’s hotel room. He does find Shi-woo’s medicine dispenser, which is bad because Shi-woo is backstage having a bad attack of pain and loud ringing in his ears.

Chi-ang finally gets to his seat, whining at his assistant as if it’s his fault he lost his ID card. He finally smiles when the lead singer of a girl group seems to toss him a wink, and we see that the mystery girl is also in the audience but paying little attention to the show.

As Mobius is announced, the mystery girl slowly reaches into her jacket. The group takes the stage lead by Shi-woo, and she yanks a sign out of her clothes and shrieks, “Shi-woo oppaaaaa!!” Meanwhile Chi-ang’s expression goes sour to see that annoying guy from the hotel again.

Shi-woo seems to be on autopilot, and in the middle of their song his ears begin to ring again. He pulls himself together and finishes the performance, though the momentary blip leaves a few people concerned. As the group strike their final pose, the stage lights above Shi-woo start to spark alarmingly. Suddenly the entire bank of lights falls directly towards where Shi-woo is standing, but he doesn’t move, unable to hear everyone screaming at him.

The mystery girl rushes the stage, and it’s her frantic approach that makes Shi-woo finally look up. He sees the lights falling stright for him and puts up his hands defensively — and a familiar-looking cluster of energy reaches up and stops the lights’ fall, holding them in midair. But it only lasts a moment, long enough for the mystery girl to see it clearly, then starts to fall again. She grabs Shi-woo and tackles him to safety, just as the lights crash down.

He’s shocked, so she speaks quickly: “Are you okay? Can you not hear well? Does it hurt? Come to Moorim School, Dean Hwang can probably fix it.” She’s dragged off the stage by security, but she calls the name Moorim to him again, telling him not to forget.

Shi-woo tells CEO Choi that he just couldn’t hear people telling him to move because he was focused on the song, refusing a trip to the hospital. But he does ask for a break, and not just for a day — he wants to take a year off. CEO Choi wants to argue, but says they’ll talk about it tomorrow.

Once he’s alone, Shi-woo shrugs off his bravado and sinks with exhaustion. He’s already seen a doctor, who warned him that he could lose his hearing permanently. All the doctor knows is that the hearing loss isn’t physical, it’s psychological, and he suggested taking a break. From Shi-woo’s sad, weary eyes, I can believe it.

But it’s not as secret as Shi-woo would like, and his manager tells CEO Choi that Shi-woo’s recent meeting wasn’t with the rival company’s CEO at all, but a doctor. Strangely, CEO Choi just laughs, even when the manager reminds him that their company won’t make it without Shi-woo.

CEO Choi crows that the heavens have helped them, because he can’t afford to pay Shi-woo anymore, and has been wondering how to get rid of him. He suggests they make use of a recent rumor about a female idol that Shi-woo dated and broke up with.

Chi-ang shows up to retrieve his jacket and ID card, but Shi-woo isn’t answering his hotel phone. Chi-ang wonders if Shi-woo went to the hospital, but he’s out thinking by the river. Shi-woo hears his phone ping, but there’s no message, and he wonders if he’s hearing things now. It’s actually Chi-ang’s phone, which is still in the jacket in Shi-woo’s car. Shi-woo sees that the message is from “Mom.”

Chi-ang’s father talks to someone named Chun Hee-joon on the phone, assuring them that Chi-ang will be “at that place” in the morning. He advises the person not to rush, that all will happen in due time. But once he hangs up, his assistant asks what will happen if Chi-ang quits like he’s quit all his other schools. “There is always a solution. He thinks the world of his mother.” ~shudder~

Soon-deok (in an adorable chicken helmet) delivers takeout to a hotel, but when she calls the customer to come out to get it as the hotel doesn’t allow outside food, she’s told they don’t want it anymore. But she’s resourceful, and sells it to a couple walking out of the hotel.

A girl stops Shi-woo’s car by standing in his path, and jumps in despite his protests. She’s frantic with worry over him, and he assures her angrily that he’s just fine thankyouverymuch, and orders her out of the car. Instead she hugs him with a shaky, “Oppa!”

But this is all a setup, and we see that she was instructed to do this by CEO Choi, and that she’s not at all happy about it. She’s Da-rim, the girl-group rookie who was supposedly dumped by Shi-woo recently, and she’s eager to get back at him for the cold way he treated her.

Shi-woo has to physically throw Da-rim off himself, and walks around to open her door and angrily invite her out. She warns him that if he refuses her, she won’t be able to save him. This makes no sense to him but he assumes she’s being irrational, and pulls her out of the car. They’re immediately approached by some big threatening guys, and Da-rim says that she tried to warn Shi-woo. The men loom over Shi-woo, while his manager cringes around a corner.

Soon-deok happens to drive by on her scooter right at that moment and sees what’s happening, and wisely advises herself to stay out of it. But when the men start to physically threaten Shi-woo, one of them gets a chicken helmet upside the head. Tiny little Soon-deok stands there smiling like an angel, and sweetly asks the men not to fight.

She says she’s already called the police, and right about then Shi-woo sees someone in a nearby car taking pictures. He whirls to Da-rim and tells her to leave, and that he’ll take care of whoever was snapping photos. He follows them in his car, while his manager texts CEO Choi that “it has begun.”

The paparazzi arrive before Soon-deok can respond to Da-rim’s question of whether she’s also working for CEO Choi, and Da-rim bursts into crocodile tears for the press’s benefit. She tells a story for the news which makes Shi-woo look as though he abandoned her to the thugs, and paints Soon-deok as her bewildered savior.

Shi-woo defends himself to CEO Choi, saying that the thugs were after him and Da-rim was never in danger, so he went after the person snapping pictures. But of course by then the truth is no longer relevant, so Shi-woo wants to find “that chicken girl” and do a press conference with her to tell the real story. He’s suspicious that Da-rim set this whole thing up, what with thugs and reporters just happening to be right there. But Shi-woo’s bad reputation among reporters (he gives cranky interviews) don’t make them inclined to report in his favor.

Shi-woo’s manager makes a slip that the reporters hate him so much, one from a scandal rag was there without even having to be asked… oops. That doesn’t get past Shi-woo, and he wants to know what it means, though we don’t hear the answer.

Later Chi-ang finally catches up with Shi-woo and demands his belongings back. But Shi-woo’s had about enough of people demanding things from him today, and just gets in his car and drives away, which does little for Chi-ang’s regard of him. But Chi-ang barely has time to complain before two men grab him from behind and wrestle him into a car.

We see that Shi-woo had figured out that CEO Choi was behind Da-rim’s approach and the thugs’ attack, and asked if it was because he’d asked for a break. CEO Choi had non-answered that Shi-woo should just take some time until his ear heals, and he’ll contact him.

Soon-deok ignores a lecture from her father about fighting with street gangs (and aww, he’s blind, and yells in the wrong direction), since he seems all bluster and no bite. Her aunt (I think?) has the exact opposite philosophy, that his daughter should fight when she witnesses injustice. Aunt starts to mention Moorim School and gets her mouth plugged with a rice cake by Soon-deok. She runs off to go fishing for dinner before Dad can ask any more questions.

Chi-ang isn’t about to go quietly, and continues kicking and biting his captors even after they’ve got him in the car and on the road. To get him to calm down, they call his mother, and he calmly tells her he’s been kidnapped. Again. Mom tells him that it’s Dad who’s kidnapped him this time, in order to send him to Moorim. Apparently he refused when they asked him the first time.

Chi-ang doesn’t want to go to college at all, thinking he can just inherit the company without needing education, and anyway there’s no school in the world who will take him anymore. At that, Dad grabs the phone and informs Chi-ang that being the heir isn’t a given, and orders him to go to Moorim for one year and behave himself.

Dad hangs up and tells Mom that this is necessary, because Chi-ang “needs to be reprogrammed.” Mom objects, but Dad promises that if Chi-ang graduates without being expelled, she can take him to China with her. She’s a little dim, but she does figure out that Dad has some sort of ulterior motive, wondering if it’s that hard to graduate from Moorim.

Chi-ang pretends that talking to his parents took all the fight out of him, and asks to go to the bathroom. He’s let out by the side of the road, though the men stay within a few feet, but he calls them perverts and makes them turn around. He makes a break for it, yelling that he won’t go to Moorim School, but he ends up cornered on a cliff over the ocean.

Chi-ang threatens to jump if the men come any closer, saying that he can’t swim, and that his parents will have their hides if he dies (even though he was born out of wedlock, he says, which is an interesting tidbit of information). Then he manages to overbalance himself, and falls into the ocean anyway. I kind of love how he gets karma-slapped every time he tries to pull rank on someone.

But Chi-ang wasn’t lying about not being able to swim, and he quickly starts to lose consciousness. Someone — a girl — dives into the water to save him, and he opens his eyes to see Soon-deok, and thinks to himself, “she’s pretty.”

Soon-deok pulls Chi-ang to safety (huffing and grunting and not at all elegantly, ha), and she whines when she realizes that she’s going to have to give him mouth-to-mouth. She psychs herself up and leans in, but just before their lips touch, Chi-ang opens his eyes and asks, “Are you a mermaid?” Then he passes out.

Shi-woo arrives home to find that his fans are now all anti-fans, screaming for him to leave Mobius. They rush his car, pelting it with eggs, and Shi-woo just sits there taking it, until they all leave.

He remembers meeting Mystery Girl onstage at his concert, and how she’d known about his hearing loss. She’d said that someone named Dean Hwang from Moorim School could help him. A quick internet search turns up nothing, and he chastises himself for even considering it.

Chi-ang’s phone (which is still in Shi-woo’s backseat) rings with another text from his mother, asking him to call her when he gets to Moorim School. Shi-woo perks up to see the name of the school, and now he knows that Chi-ang is expected there.

Chi-ang wakes to a stomach massage, which makes him smile until he realizes that it’s not his mermaid, but her blind father. Alarmed, he runs outside in only a pair of ajumma pants, but outside has even scarier things like weird aunts butchering fish with gigantic knives. Aunt admires his bare torso (she’s not alone) and Chi-ang takes in the strange surroundings… and passes out again. He’s really kind of a wuss, isn’t he?

He wakes with an appetite and eats like a horse, and tells Soon-deok’s father and aunt who he is and how he ended up in the ocean. He makes grand promises of a reward for saving him, but they both just think he’s gone nuts.

Chi-ang asks about the girl who saved him, so they send him outside to find her. When he sees Soon-deok hanging laundry, everything goes all slow-motion and Chi-ang gets starry-eyed at the pretty. Soon-deok is not so affected, and actually wrinkles her nose when her aunt informs her that he claims to be a chaebol.

Chi-ang eagerly and magnanimously offers to grant Soon-deok a wish for saving his life, which really only serves to make him look more insane. She’s just all, It’s fine, just go home, I have to go to school now, hee. Aunt tells him that Soon-deok could kick his butt because she’s a student at Moorim School, and suddenly Chi-ang perks up.

Soon-deok covers his mouth, since her father would kill her if he heard she goes there, which is right when his parents show up. Mom is ready to scrap this whole thing and take her baby to China, but Chi-ang’s changed his mind. He wants to go to Moorim. His father is skeptical of Chi-ang’s motives, but Chi-ang swears that he’ll do things right at this school. In return, when it’s time to go back to China with his mother, he wants to bring one other person along.

Shi-woo follows the map that Chi-ang’s mother helpfully texted to him, showing that Moorim is actually a mountain. He finds himself on a remote forest road on Mt. Moorim, and gets out to walk.

Chi-ang and Soon-deok are also walking in the forest, with Chi-ang whining, “Are we there yet?” every few feet and driving Soon-deok crazy. She tells him that not everyone can find this school when he asks if it’s always this hard to get there, and she wonders why doesn’t he know anything about it already.

She stops to pick herbs on the way, and Chi-ang gets distracted by a butterfly (I’m dying at how he gets less tough and more childlike, the more we know about him) and he tells Soon-deok that in China, that breed of butterfly is said to bring good luck. He runs off to catch it for her, and gets himself good and lost.

Soon-deok wonders if Chi-ang ran away on purpose and goes looking for him, but she runs into Shi-woo instead. She’s as surprised to see an idol in the forest as he is to recognize the girl who beat up those thugs the other night. Shi-woo assumes that Soon-deok was part of the setup then, and that she’s been sent here by CEO Choi for some nefarious purpose.

He loudly demands to know how much she’s being paid to ruin his life, but she swears that she was just helping. He grabs her arm and asks who she’s working for, which is when Chi-ang finds them and yells for Shi-woo to take his hands off her.

Chi-ang tackles Shi-woo and they both go rolling down the hill, which seems to trigger some reaction in the mountain itself. The wind picks up, thunder rolls, and all the trees start to grow a layer of vines around their trunks. A path seems to open between the trees, and the boys watch, wary but unafraid.

The disturbance can be felt at Moorim School as well, and the whole place shakes. A man looks up, sensing something important, and we see that it’s the same man who saved the little girl in the woods eighteen years ago, DEAN HWANG ( Shin Hyun-joon). All of the students and instructors are affected by the school's rumbling, and wonder what's happening.

When the wind dies down, Chi-ang and Shi-woo can see the path clearly, which leads right to an old building… Moorim School. They forget their fight and walk the path together, as the forest closes itself up behind them.

The students and teachers come out to see what caused their school to shake as if an earthquake hit, and they seem to come from many different cultures and countries. They watch Chi-ang and Shi-woo approach, and when Dean Hwang comes out to welcome the newcomers, the students all bow to him respectfully.

Dean Hwang looks over the two new students, and thinks to himself, “The seal has been unlocked.”

COMMENTS

First impressions are good, very good. I’ve been burned by strong starts that fizzled out by the end a few times recently, so I’m cautious to get too excited, but I can’t help it — I’m a little excited. At first look, this drama has quite a lot of my favorite things going for it, and a solid premise that still manages to feel as though it’s going to be doling out surprises for some time to come. Aside from my love of dramas with a mystical element to them, the casting in Moorim School is spot-on, with a few notable newcomers who impress me on first viewing (not to mention, I love how multi-cultural Moorim School itself appears to be).

Lee Hyun-woo is a particular favorite of mine, so I expected him to be good, and I’m not disappointed. It’s been over three years since he played a non-cameo role in a full-length drama, and his break from television to make movies seems to have served him well. He’s developed a maturity he didn’t carry before, and I’m enjoying just watching him even when he has no lines in a given moment. He can play an entire scene just with his eyes, without saying a single word, and the character of Shi-woo will need that sort of groundedness as he tries to find his footing in a scary new world. I have every confidence that Lee Hyun-woo is the right man for the job, and I hope we get more of him and his story in the next episode. Hongbin in particular is a lovely surprise, as I’m unfamiliar with his acting work (and though admittedly I’m a huge VIXX fan, he’s never really been on my radar much), and I’m pleased that he seems better than most, as green idol-actors go. He’s got the intensity needed for a character of this type, and plays the spoiled overindulged chaebol son to the hilt without going over-the-top with it. Occasionally I caught him acting, but I believed him more as the character shed his tough exterior and turned out to be a little unsure and insecure. I’m looking forward to seeing more out of him. Seo Ye-ji is also a recent discovery of mine, and I find her a breath of fresh air that promises bring some sparkle to the show. She’s so expressive and fearless as an actress, unafraid to get down and dirty, or look silly, or whatever the part calls for. She impressed me greatly in Last, and I’m looking forward to seeing her play a more lighthearted and spunky role.

In fact, my only complaint at this point (and it’s not really even a complaint, since it could phase out) is that while trying to be mysterious, the show is simultaneously a bit heavy-handed with the hints to the audience. Lingering camera shots on things we’re supposed to note are Very Important Clues, or bits of random exposition, as if we’re not capable of understanding what’s happening without being explicitly shown. But I’m willing to overlook this if it fades out once the story really kicks in, because I much prefer when a show assumes its audience is smart enough to catch onto the Very Important Clues all on our own.

I like that Shi-woo and Chi-ang have a history together, though it’s a short one — it will make their interactions at school that much more layered, knowing that they have reason to dislike one another, even if it’s a short-lived dislike. It’s much more compelling than just finding themselves simple school rivals. They’re both very much Alpha males in their personal lives, though for different reasons: Chi-ang for his money, and Shi-woo for his talent and fame. Neither of them is used to being unsure and off-balance, and trying to maintain that Alpha status without the thing they’re used to falling back on will be a hard lesson for them both. Seeing them stripped of their confidence and superiority, and forced to compete on equal-yet-unfamiliar ground, will prove to be a whole lot of fun, I think. And they’re a lot more alike than they realize — I sense an epic bromance in the making.

There are a lot of quirks about the show’s storytelling style that make it a fun watch so far, and I really hope those things carry through as we delve deeper into Moorim School itself. The way Soon-deok looks like an angel but does everything with little to no grace or tact. How Chi-ang tries so hard to be the hardass chaebol but only ends up embarrassed every time. There were many times just in this premier that, just when I thought I knew what was coming next, things suddenly flipped and something entirely different happened. Let’s admit it, often dramas can get pretty predictable, so it gets me excited to find one that keeps me on my toes. The show seems to have a sense of fun and whimsy about it, while still promising to tell us a compelling and serious magical tale. It makes me all bouncy, anticipating what’s to come. At this point it’s all just one big mystery: Why does Moorim School exist? What are the students being trained to do? What is this strange power they seem to have and why is it important? Why does Chi-ang’s father want him there, and was the mystery girl sent to the concert to tell Shi-woo about the school, or was that just a happy accident? I don’t know about you guys, but I can’t wait to find out the answers.

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Woah, it seems more interesting than I thought!

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Yeah it has a Harry Potter meets The Mortal Instruments feel to it. And both are my favourite books!

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The Mortal Instruments started its life as a Harry Potter fanfiction (and eventually the author switched out the names of the characters when she was approached to publish the fanfic as a book), so I'm not surprised by this.

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Whoa I didn't know this! Thanks for sharing that trivia, it's no wonder I loved these two series so much!!

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yeah, she was a well known fan back in, like 2001 lol. But a lot of people lost respect for her after she was found to have plagiarised part of her fanfiction from other works, notably a Pamela Dead book and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

And then there was a major controversy about her scamming other fans into buying her a laptop, and cyberbullying people who were critical of her/made any reference to her fandom past. She's from a very rich family so she's managed to get her lawyers to threaten legal action against literally anyone who refers to her past, but a lot of HP fandom remembers or has been told about her.

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*Pamela DEAN, sorry.

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Goodness...wow. I didn't know all this. I guess I was just living under a rock since I just enjoy reading books but not necessarily was enough of a fan to look up details about it. Thanks Pogo

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@Taekie - trust me, it's not surprising a lot of fans don't know about this - she and her legal team try their level best to scrub it from the internet (fun fact: she changed the spelling of her pen name when she published her book, probably because 'Cassandra Claire' searches turned up a lot of results talking about her plagiarism)

but yeah, she's quite a piece of work.

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Getting some dream high like vibes from the show ... just the right bit of cheese for a idealistic high school drama ...could be interesting

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yeah, this has definitely taken its cues from the Dream High school of high school dramas - not sure whether that's a good thing or not, it all depends on the writing.

Acting-wise, well, Lee Hyun-woo is great as usual, but Hongbin makes N look like an expressive thespian genius.

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Yook Sungjae would have been better in Hongbin's role...

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nope, Yook Sungjae is better than this garbage, he made the right decision to stay out.

School 2015 was bad enough in terms of sloppy plot but this is worse in several other ways.

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I can see why they offered that role to Yook Sungjae, although they probably also offered it to the others.

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@Pogo.

Agreed. Hong bin goes through the motions with no emotional delivery whatsoever. Quite caricature.

And I like Seo Ye ji in her last few dramas (Last, Nightwatchman records). Here? Not so much. I hope her performance improves in later episodes.

There's only so much sub-standard acting I can take (supporting cast included) before I'm off to the next show!

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lol you spoke my mind. I like Seo Ye-ji well enough, but she comes across as really obviously 'acting' here. As in, a 25-year-old trying to act like a high schooler - she looks young, but her line delivery just kills any chance she had of it being believable that she's a teenager.

She's better than dead-eyes Hongbin, for sure, and if this drama went for full campy they could have used her too-mature line delivery in some Not Another Teen Movie style, but I doubt Moorim School has the self-awareness for that.

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I'm torn. I know Lee Hyunwoo has the potential to shine and I'm excited that he's finally taken on a leading role, but I don't know if it's worth it to watch, or even skim, this drama for him, considering that half of his scenes are with Hongbin. I totally agree with you on how he has absolutely no emotional delivery, and putting that in constant, direct contrast with how expressive Hyunwoo is... Everything just falls short. And I think it's cool that Moorim School is trying to be diverse (both the drama and the school itself), but the majority of the supporting cast is just not doing any favors for the drama. Soon-deuk is an interesting character on paper (she's the one who does the rescuing), but for some reason, I just don't really care that much about her. The only character I'm actually mildly curious about is Shiwoo's Fangirl...

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but Hongbin makes N look like an expressive thespian genius.

savage!!! omg, at least hongbin can emote lol

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lol Hongbin can say lines while wearing makeup and standing in front of the camera, if that's what counts as 'emoting'. idk if that's just his natural expression or a cosmetic surgeon had a hand in making him so expressionless, but watching him and Lee Hyun-woo together is an exercise in Compare & Cringe.

like literally the only way he could possibly be worse is if he was fluffing his lines on air. The nicest thing I have to say about him is, at least he's tall?

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oddly enough, we're all pretty sure that his entire face except possibly his googly alien eyes is natural.

meaning that this is just how his face is all the time

(he is indeed very tall)

you're ruthless, bruh...

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I admit I am quite vocal in my displeasure over bad acting, but this was pretty mild compared to what I've said about some other idols in the past lol. At least your boy isn't shameless enough to be going after lead roles...and this drama is dumb so it's not like he's potentially ruining a good story.

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"my boy"? wang chiang or haddong? shameless is hakyeon's middle name and he's going to go for a lead role if anyone so much as gives him the time of day. i swear...

hongbin is just here for the publicity and i'm okay with that. he's not my fave and this is not the secondhand embarrassment i suffered through with hakyeon, trust me. it's just the regular kind.

out of curiosity, how long are you going to stick around? this is looking kind of messy already and you have standards.

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lol I meant Chi-ang, the boy from this drama :) N actually grew on me in Sassy Go Go but he isn't ready for second lead roles, forget main leads!

I will say this much about Hongbin - his particular brand of bad acting doesn't set my teeth on edge the way, say, Taecyeon does. He's just a bit blank/frozen, not smarmy, and that does make a difference to my irritation levels on witnessing bad acting.

As for how long I might stick around, I've not yet done ep 2 but might go up to ep 3-4, to see if this show finds its groove. They should have their setup done by then, beyond that is a waste of time.

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thanks for the clarification (and the good word for n - seriously, thanks). hongbin is okay but he is not by any definition my boy lolllll. i hope this weird theater group boyband disbands by next year, my poor heart can't take this :P

well, that's good. hongbin is probably the most attractive member of vixx and he's going to continue getting offers like this, probably. as long as he doesn't completely embarrass himself, right? (and he has definitely showed signs of improvement... his mv acting is much better these days.)

well, if i manage to stick with it, i'll let you know how it pans out :)

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Agree!! Among the three leads, Lee hyun-woo was the only believable one. I thought the other two where either trying too hard or hardly trying.

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I tried watching the first ep but ended up fast forwarding most of the parts.
I don't know if it's because I've been spoiled with many well directed, well acted dramas recently (eg reply 1988, Cheese in the Trap, Remember:Son's war), that I feel the acting fell short and the story is too cheesy to be taken seriously.
The first scene also put me off, as it was so obvious he was holding a mannequin instead of a girl during the fight.
But I might prob still read the recap to see if there will be improvements :)

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uh. it's a real girl actually. i watched their interview

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I meant not during the whole sequence of course.But it was pretty obvious that at some parts he was holding sth lifeless.

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Yep. There's no way they filmed the whole sequence with a real girl.

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why would they do that for real doh ,it obviously has to be a mannequin

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Totally agree. This one will not be on my must watch list unless things improve. I was not impressed with Lee Hyun-Woo at all. Seo Ye-Ji has me somewhat interested, but will have to see a couple more eps before I commit or bail-out.

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Yeah, I have to agree that I felt some of the acting and directing fell short after watching so many near flawless dramas lately. That doesn't mean it I don't think it could improve, especially once the introductions are over and the characters develop and become less two dimensional. I just hope the next episode is less about pissing contests, frosty (or wooden), chaebol stereotypes and spoilt pop-stars, and more about what could can make this drama special- the magic of Moorim School, the friendships and (somewhat overt), mystery.

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I must add that while the show lacked in some areas, how nice was it to see the girls being being the badass heroes while the boys were floundering around and needing rescuing?

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Thank you! I'm surprised more people didn't comment on this. That alone makes me want to watch more, because when does that ever happen in a drama? That, and I totally want this foursome to grow into power ranger besties who fight against evil etc, etc. XD XD XD

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i just hope it keeps happening - not on a level where the boys are so bumbling that they need girls to take care of them constantly, but on a level where it would be genuinely cool to be soondeok or our second woman lead, you know?

can we make this a low key girl power fantasy? i'd be down for that.

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don't forget abs exposure contest! OMG they did it countless time in just two episodes

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I honestly really like this drama since episode 1. Insted of commenting negative things such as 'dead eyed hongbin' calling him emotionless, ya'll should motivate them to improve their acting skills not criticizing them! They are TRYING HARD MOTIVATE THEM TO TRY HARDER! DONT BRING SOMEONES SELF ESTEEM DOWN. please guys some of these comments can be regarded as bullying. ?

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I like ye response. This drama is unique with casting new actors. Some not trained for serious acting like other dramas with seasoned and experienced actors. Give them space and time to improve. The better ones guiding the 'learning' ones. I look forward to see them improve at each episodes. Fighting all actors. Comments are constructive to make you grow. Take it in positive lights and I want to see you grow comfortably and steadily into the roles and improve as you act. Fighting.

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am i the only one here because of Shannon and Lee Hyun Woo?? haha....
oh my! since when did our cutie boy Chan Doo turned so manly?? :D

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This show could easily turn into a disaster, but I like what I'm seeing so far despite the cheese. And I really enjoy Ye-ji's screen presence. I've never watched her in anything before, but I hope this stays good so I can see more of her.

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Yes!this is it.it's about we saw something mystical,and i must say this show already has me excited.

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I am not sure. seems slightly kids stuff

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I'm surprised that I really enjoyed the first 2 episodes of Moorim School.
I guess in the midst of all the other good shows that I'm watching now (like Cheese, SFD, 1988 and Gaekju), Moorim may seem a bit cheesy and ridiculous, but it has a pull factor for me.
I'm looking forward to see how the friendship will be forged and how they discover their power (especially Shi-woo). Lee Hyun-woo is awesome.

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Honestly, I had fun watching the first episode. Second episode not so much, and based on the previews for episode 3, I'll probably won't be able to watch past ep 4. That's as far as I'm willing to go unless this show stops the clichés. I'd rather rewatch Harry Potter.

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I really liked the first episode, too, and I honestly believe they should've resolved one conflict by episode 2.

Because of that, I want to skip episode 3. Show has so much potential to be fun, and there's so much mystery that makes me want to look forward to it but that pacing choice irks me.

They should've taken a page from Sassy Go Go's breakneck pace. SGG didn't have a lot of mystery behind it.

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Cute cute cute...I've been looking forward to this recap all day. An inevitable bromamce coming up...i hope we don't get to a point where both guys will get tangled in soon-deok's charm like in cheer up. Anyways moorim school had a strong start...I'm rooting for it

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I agree and the touch of mystical is like a topping to the cake...I've got high expectations; i pray they don't get crushed

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I can already see the sales pitch for this drama: "It is like Harry Potter goes to Dream High; idols and chaebols learning magic. And yes, let's throw in some martial arts." There is more cheese in this one than Cheese in the Trap. But hey, I watched the Taiwanese drama Moon River, so I think I can handle the cheese.

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I LIKED IT ??1st ep was well paced with satisfactory ending. Watched 2nd as well. If you are not a scifi fans (i.e. Harry Potter, X-Men), then this is not the K-drama for you.

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If you are not a scifi fans (i.e. Harry Potter, X-Men), then this is not the K-drama for you.

Well, it's certainly not the kdrama for me, but that's because of the sloppy writing, average at best acting (apart from Lee Hyun-woo that is) and budget special effects.

It's most certainly not because I don't like the genre (lifelong sci-fi/fantasy fan here, and the Hogwarts comparisons are straight-up insulting to Harry Potter)

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I usually never ever comment ( hence the name) but the mysterious vibe has me hooked. Thanks for the recap LollyPip!!

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I didn't finish the episode. I think I'm getting too old for these kind of dramas (I think when I was a teenager I probably would have enjoyed it though lol).

I find Lee Hyun Woo ok as an actor, idk who decided to give Hongbin this role, but he is so thoroughly unconvincing they obviously have no idea what they are doing.

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Maybe they had no other options since Yook Sungjae rejected the role...

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It's Hogwarts for Ninja's!! Hahaha

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I don't think it's a particularly well written or well made drama, with many scenes (and characters) we've seen in dozens dramas before and it did also feel sloppily put together here (like those Very Important Clues or those extremely obnoxious, rather 2-D cookie-cut-out characters etc)... but I didn't realise there was going to be a fantasy element to this drama, which I do like (it makes me yearn for a superbly done, narratively complex fantasy drama tbh).

Neither Chi-ang and Shi-woo we haven't seen before but I like Soon-deok, because she's just a cool girl.

I'll probably try a couple more episodes as I'm not watching anything else at the moment. Since I had zero expectations for this, it's somewhat entertaining (I'll bail when the predictability/clichés become too much).

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I was surprised by the first two episodes and am willing to give it a go. I do agree that the fact they linger on items, like the necklace, does seem to go overboard, and I'm curious to see how this how magical/martial arts thing is going to turn out.

I fully admit that I can not wait for the next episode. I hope it doesn't disappoint. I'm new to the whole kdrama biz, and loved "my love from another star", "she was pretty", "rooftop prince", (and am currently watching "iris") and a few others. Any other shows you guys can suggest would be awesome!

Thanks!

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if you want a good fantasy drama, try the following (if you haven't seen them already, that is:

- Splish Splash Love (only 2 episodes long!)
- Arang & the Magistrate
- Queen In-hyun's Man

For an actually good high school drama, I'd suggest the following:

- Answer Me 1997
- God of Study
- Sassy Go Go
- Shut Up Flower Boy Band
- School 2013
- Angry Mom

I'll be honest, they're all better than Moorim School looks likely to be.

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Thanks for the list! I have been trying to play catch up with older dramas while on break at work. (my coworkers know that when the headphones are on I'm mentally not there! lol) I do like serious dramas and romantic ones as well. high school ones are okay, but there's only so much high school romance/comedy I can take! I'm almost done with "rooftop prince", on the last episode actually, and I'm feeling all types of tears! crying at work is not a good thing! ha! I'm debating on what show I should watch next, thank god for dramafever!

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was that really a good first impression?
it felt cheap and forced.
they even had to namedrop the United Nations.

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+1

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Hello! been waiting the recaps all day, to make my self sure if its worth to watch, and "maybe" i'll give it a try since this drama is a lee hyun woo comeback after years, with more mature acting and finally become lead role.

I gotta admit I was excited and skeptic at the same time about the premise. excited because of the fantacy things on it, and skeptical if they cant make it good and just screw thing up when the ratings will not reach the target. i didnt care much enough bout rating honestly, but most of dramas seems like screwing the story till the end when the ratings is low.

and the list of new actors in it are interesting. i never heard any of VIXX song or just know the member, much more for hongbin, but imo, he looks like im siwan here (am i the only one who thinks like that???) and seo ye ji looks like she will play her part well, being innocent and charming and all, it seems promising.

Thank you for the recap DB, always read the recap here but never approriately comment so I must say sorry too perhaps hehe.

*off to watch*

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Pretty cheesy start, I suggest haha.
KBS always has this bravery to cast mediocre/not-so-popular/new actors. Some turn great, some... meh.

Obviously, one of the main reasons to watch this is Lee Hyun Woo on small screen again. Down side, I still find the rest (Excl. the elders) awkward, also the scenes are dragged too much (I mean, 'broody shower already huh?' (Have yourself in the second ep too) and when they fell at Mt. Moorim and found the school, it felt like it was dragged way too long.)

I'm a big sci-fi movie fan, so yes it excites me, but will be probably disappointed if they execute this poorly:/

PS: And I hope they chill down a little bit, when it comes to school thingy, I don't really need romance or intense eye-gaze whatsoever. Friendship, bromance, girlfriends, and coming-of-age will do:)

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I'm a guy, so I hate the broody shower, but I love that it's basically a punch line lol.

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Seo Ye Ji reminds me of Jung Ryeo Won

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I see it!

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Thanks for the recap Lollipop

I'm hoping the show will deliver in the right proportion
So far, it looks entertaining, i'm giving it a go

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To be honest, after watching this episode and the next one, I'm not quite sure whether I like this drama or not. I've rarely been so at sea with a drama before. Usually I can tell after the first two episodes if I will really like the drama, or if it will be a 'dump' and I'll just have to endure it.

Although I love the premise (spell Harry Potter here) and I like that it is refreshingly different, there is something about the acting or directing that feels 'off'. It reminds me of those badly made 80s Kung Fu movies I watched growing up, in which there was little plot and a whole lot of fight scenes, and it didn't help that it was dubbed in English! . The acting of Lee Hong bin and Seo Ye ji feels caricature and doesn't feel real, and the flow of the scenes feels kind of choppy.

That being said, I'll give this drama a few more episodes to see if it works for me or not. I do like that they have a solid cast of international actors, that adds a good feeling to it.

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I dont like it & end up wondering who the heck that lee hun woo anger that he paying it via moorim?
It was cheesy & feel forced. The special effect also....
I get it that they wanted to establish r/ship btwn them but come on.. even standard romcom used cliches better than that.
lee hun woo can act but that is a given tho. He after all quite successful as child actor. The rest are not giving good first impression??

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edit:
lee hyun woo

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well , i myself , only came to watch this drama because of LHW . and i did find some parts were rather weird? lol but its addicting for me.. like i didn't realise the ep ends already lol. that. good

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I liked it! It IS a little cheesy and a bit over the top but I think it's fun to have some shows like this. It's basically like something you might see on a US cable channel *coughcoughShadowHunterscoughcough* aimed at the YA urban fantasy/romance crowd. They have some solid adult supporting actors including the Dating Prime Minister/Number One as Hongbin's Dad, who is Almost Certainly Evil because of that casting.

Seo Ye-ji is doing a fine job with this material. Her character in Night Watchman was so unpleasant and a total energy-suck but it's clear that was the character and not the actress. She was good in Last and I'm interested to see her do a hybrid comedy-action role. Her mom, Miss Korea's Queen Salon Lady and her dad, That Actor Who's Been In Everything No the Other Other One Who's Been in Everything look to be a riot.

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I liked Seo Ye-ji in Last, which is why it's a shame this drama is hellbent on making her into this classic Candy (another one).

and while I like a dose of fantasy novels for teens, the author of Shadowhunters has a longstanding reputation as a plagiarist and bully from her Harry Potter fanfiction days, which is why I can never support her work.

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And thus this show is already 1000% better!

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I know, right? This show is dumb but at least it's not plagiarised. Not that we know of, anyway.

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I've seen Seo Yeji in Night Watchman and Last. She's Not a good actress. SYJ is not bad but she is mediocre. She tries to be expressive but her acting is Not believable.

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Sorry but after watching 1 and a half episodes, I just gotta say that nothing is good about this drama. Everything is bad.

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I am not familiar with the 2 male leads at all. I watch it for SYJ as I like her in LAST.

Episode 1 was surprisingly interesting and the 2 male leads are not bad. Will continue to watch and see how it goes.

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The premise is so interesting!

The acting though.. I'm excited about Shin Hyun Joon's performance and I'm taking notice of Seo Ye Ji's now as well, but the two lead guys so far have very little presence, methinks, like I'm not convinced they're feeling what they're feeling.. but still in a way that I find tolerable and can believe could get better (or maybe just that I'll get used to it), especially with such a fun premise for a story. Can't wait to see more!

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I liked it!!!
Can't wait for the next episodes!!!
The time flew really quick when I watched the first episodes and I really realy hope it will stay great and be even better!
Also LOVED the soundtrack!!! I'm off to download it somewhere!!!
See ya!

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Hi!
Can you tell me what the soundtrack is? I love it too!!! But I don't know what it is...

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I'm not watching Remember. Talk about cheesy. I didn't get through the first episode. Why? Because it's supposed to be an adult melodrama yet from episode 1 it's full of the same tropes. This show on the other hand doesn't even pretend to be about "real life". It's fantasy and billed as such. So I find this less cheesy because it's upfront about it's intentions in the first place.

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@TJ. IKR. I gave up on remember as well and liking this drama. Remember had to many LOL, inconsistent/sloppy writing.

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LOL agreed. Time will tell if it's actually self-aware about its own genre, but I do like how it's not exactly trying to pretend it's something it's not.

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Hold up...there's an established actor in this lot. I didn't know who Lee Hyun Woo was nor did I know which guy was the idol actor but in all honesty...both were TERRIBLY bad!!

I like the premise, it's something I haven't really seen explored in kdrama land so that's a plus but the acting needs a lot of work. May tune into episode 2 out of curiosity though.

And omg SHANNON is in this! She's so cute!

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Thanks for the recap.. I keep waiting since yesterday! :)

I really hope people not judge this easily, but it's ok, we have different taste...
I personally love this genre and decide to watch till the end.

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"She’s so expressive and fearless as an actress, unafraid to get down and dirty, or look silly, or whatever the part calls for."Sorry, I thought it was because SYJ had no nuances and could only act like in a bad sitcom. Does the part call for clown-like expressions every millisecond ? No everyone is Jeon Ji Hyun for god's sake.
Honestly not sure if we watched the same drama or not. Everyone but LHW can't act, it's a no-brainer Youngjae passed this one. The plot is vapid, they don"t even try to give scenes a semblances of verisimilitude. It's the low budget version of Boys over flowers with the same super annoying lead actress and dead-eye second lead. No wonder it dropped already in ratings. waste of my time through and through. If anything I liked the OST though.

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yeah, SYJ was mugging all over the place - 'expressive' she may be, but not in any believable way.

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I wouldn't put it in the exact same words, but I agree with your sentiments. Even so, I think the drama will embarrassingly be a guilty pleasure of mine to watch, or at least I'm hoping it gets better.

And yaaas I actually feel in love with the OST more so than drama!

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I can feel the guilty pleasure vibe...but then SYJ shows up and makes a face. Or Hongbin is just there. I am sorry, I can't deal.

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Wow, you're recapping this show after all. I have to admit I'm a sucker for this kinds of stories, and though a lot of the things here felt a little clichéd, and neither Hongbin or Seo Ye-Ji impressed me ( both were either over or underacting), I'm fully willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. It does have a campy fun element to it.

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I think if this drama embraced its own cheesiness and was somewhat self-aware about how dumb it is, we'd have something worth watching.

But as it stands...... NOPE. Even Scholar Who Walks the Night did better at the 'cheesy fantasy world' part than this.

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Maybe because Scholar has better group of actors.

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Wow Lee Hyun-Woo can REALLY act. Sadly, I think he's the only one who can in this drama. (My own personal opinion)

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Thank you so much for recapping!

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I like it! ^^ Pace and storyline is good so far. Can't wait to see what kind of powers they have and who broke the protection barrier(seal).

Thanks for the recap! :)

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I went in with zero expectations just to watch something and I liked it. It is ridiculous at times even over the top but it was always gonna be exactly that. They sell what they promised. Yes, direction and quality could be better but I've seen worse. I liked all four actors. I liked the whole mermaid scene and the dynamic the four kids share. I dont really know how to explain this. But I want to know more and already have sailed ships. For me...mermaid couple it is for now. Lets see. I also really like Chi-Ang's mother and the blind dad and aunt.

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I kind of liked it. It is incredibily cheesy but I somehow don't mind it. The school environment totally reminds me of Dream High. Harry Potterishy, yeah, but come on Moorim High is not even worth a nail of Harry's dumb cousin.
Anyway, I like the characters. I like that we have two jerks (at least now they are), Shi-woo and Chi-ang, as main characters and not the usual good guy-bad guy. And I must say the thing I'm the most interested in is the bromance between them.
Soon-Deok is ok. I like the actress while the character seems too exagerated sometimes, but she's not a bad main lead. After watching the second episode, I already like the other girl more.
The first scene (just like another scene in the second episode) made me laugh so much. Come on, that is ridiculous hahah.
I hope they'll give a good developement to the magic part, not too cliché.
As far as romance is concerned I'm already thinking that Shi-woo wil end up with Soon-Deok and Chi-ang with the other girl (I really need to learn her name!).

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I mean I don't want to say I'm judging... But I'm judging. How could anyone think this is good? It feels like it jump straight out of Disney Channel. It's incredibly cheesy, and Hongbin's acting is downright embarrasing. Even when they're supposed to be taken seriously, I'm laughing my head off because the whole thing is so ridiculous. And oh my god the music. I know its a show filled with pretty boys and like three idols, but all the music sounds like the bad idol music of 2010. And this wouldn't be an issue if it was at least played at the right time. But you know maybe that epic moment at the end when they discover the school wasn't the right time to play some crappy pop song which is supposed to induce squee, which just ended up feeling jarring and forced. This music director needs to be fired. I won't even crap on the foreign actors because thats not even their faults that the lines when they speak in Korean sounds a bit strange because you know pronunciation (with the exception of Daniel who is one of the better actors in this show which says something seeing that before his rise to fame in Abnormal Summit he was just an average citizen). But then the lines they are given in english are that much more cheesy and embarrasing and its so out of place. I just- I can't with the whole thing, and I feel kind of bad for Lee Hyun Woo but not really since he picked this show himself. The one thing yhe show has going for it is its so bad its good. I could laugh at this all day, and I intend to keep watching it because it will probably keep on beung ridiculously and hilariously awful, which I can settle for since this is obviously going to be a mark of Lee Hyun Woo's and Shin Hyun Joon's and Lee Beom Su's careers. *grabs popcorn*

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< its so bad its good

Right? (Having watched 2 eps by now.) It's so bad that it's somehow entertaining – for now at least (my patience will run out at some point for sure).

I think the premise is pretty neat & I like the mystery of LHW's character, but the execution, on every level, is just terrible. The acting (although I half-feel the fake-acting is as if done on purpose, at least with Mermaid-girl), the characters (could Chi-ang be any more cliché/2-D? – I blame both the writing and acting here), pacing, and so forth.

<I won’t even crap on the foreign actors

Their lines are like no one would *ever* say that. But at least Daniel and Sam are delivering them pretty well. However, the whole idea forcefully throwing foreign students and half-Koreans in there... *rolls eyes*

I feel like some one who has never cooked before is at work here: they've got lots of ingredients (some good, some with a bit of rot that needs to be cut off, some almost excellent) but they've dumped everything – unwashed, unpeeled, roughly chopped – into the pot totally at random, hoping for the best. Which is, of course, a messy explosion (sort of like what happens in the kitchen in ep 2).

Random observations: they've got the school's name in every nook and cranny. But they haven't figured out what they're called, as it's "Moorim Institute", "Institution of Moorim" or just "Moorim" (while the show's official English name seems to be "Moorim School"). Talk about inconsistent branding! And, in any case, with their status as a top-secret school, what need have they got to have the name everywhere? Can't they remember where they are?

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oh my, i forgot daniel from abnormal summit was in this! i stopped watching this episode halfway through, but i'll give it another try until i see daniel haha

also, agreed. i feel really sad that lee hyun woo chose this project... he really needs to be a lead in a higher quality drama :(

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it's hilarious how bad it is since it's so cliche.

but i keep watching since the actors are really handsome and the slow-mo makes me laugh

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This is soo cool. Watched the first two episodes and itching for more. I really think it will be interesting even if it is a little cliche. Planning to watch till the end even if it gets predictable. Go Moorim School!!

BTW Lee hyun woo has improved a lot since his last high school drama to the beautiful you.

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lmao at everyone taking this seriously, even the drama itself doesn't take it seriously. It's campy and unapologetically so.

Yes, it's very childish and kind of stupid tbh but they said they wanted to try a new genre. And they are doing that.

The drama makes for a good laugh, i don't know if that's what they were going for but it is super funny once you just let things go and run with the story they are trying to tell.

I love that Chiang thinks he's some huge big shot but not even the people who are in his payroll take him seriously. He's all talk. But you can tell right from the start that he's a nice kid. He cares about his mom, and know how to back down.

Also, the female leads are badass too and i love that.

As for people wondering how they got big stars on this show amongst tons of newbies, i think the filming schedule was incredibly tempting. Pre-produced (the started filming a week before Oh My Venus started filming) and because it's a huge ensemble cast, not a lot of time investment.

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You must have missed the part where the production team announced this was going to be a game changer of a show that will propel hallyu in a new dimension with the highest quality production.
Guys have an awesome sense of humour, gotta give him that.

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They did? Because i follow all the developments of this drama and completely missed that. They did say they were going to multicultural cast to appeal to a wider audience.

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KBS has announced production of a new drama, Moorim School, but what surprises me about the announcement isn’t its plot or subject material but the bold claims the broadcaster is putting forth, calling the series “killer content” that’ll usher in “a new Hallyu paradigm” to break the “stagnant drama market” out of its current plateau. That’s a pretty big promise; you sure you want to be talking so big so early?

http://www.dramabeans.com/2015/07/kbs-announces-global-youth-action-romance-murim-school/

Guys.

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Damn... they really know how to talk big huh?
I dont even remember which KBS drama wins the rating war last year since most of them usual didnt even manage to get 10% (minus the weekends dramas).
And they thought Moorim can help them with that?

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I would not mind them trying to carve a niche with a less liked genre that they would make likeable, even if it's not my cup of tea. That would entail having monetary resource and talent to do so.

As it is, I believe they took Hongbin to draw in the fandom portion, Eugene because there could be interesting partnerships with YG like Moonshot (although at least she is not obnoxious) and seo ye ji for a reason that I ignore. Don't believe for one second that she was trying to embrace the parodic aspect of the show. Its very structure and subplots, as well the initial intention they announced do not suggest that it was going to be a pastiche of the genre. Besides LHW, no-one here has the ability here to make fun of themselves.

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(!!! i didn't know lollypip is a vixx fan. nice)

I told myself I would give Moorim School a fair shot after 4 episodes but that didn't happen because I love procrastinating and cheesy martial arts shows and ~*acting*~. (to be fair to myself i only watched the first episode.)

Most people seem to know exactly if they'll like this show or not from the first two episodes on, and that's good. You either love the campy anime fantasy kung fu genre or yourself (lol). That being said, I'm not sure what people were expecting from the cheesy fantasy movie poster line-ups and tag-lines...? Were people expecting an actual school? Realism? I went into this expecting Power Rangers and, uh, look what we have here.

Lee Hyunwoo is good. I'm not really certain why people are bagging on him? He's doing fine, much better than his peers. He's got a basic sense of how to react and seems to know exactly what he looks like. It's not a life-changing experience watching him, but it's not like he breaks the illusion here. I'm shrugging about Hongbin - he's not my favorite member of VIXX and I get the feeling that he equates widening his impossibly large eyes with acting, but he's also fine, thankfully. I'm rooting for the kid, get that acting experience. Seo Yeji is my favorite - she seems to be fully aware of the exact genre of this show and is embracing it. I am rooting for Soondeok, my ideal ending is her getting $ick amount$ of ca$h money and buying out both Shiwoo's entertainment company and Chiang's business conglomerate and living like a chaebol queen for the rest of her days.

Right now, I hope this show starts showing signs that it's self-aware? Like, not to the point where it MUST tear itself down for every cheesy cliche it presents (cliches aren't bad wtf ppl), but to the point where we know that it does know that it's hashing through covered ground and maybe challenges itself to do something new every so often. Otherwise, it is going to feel like a self-indulgent shambling zombie going through the motions of the genre, and ew, no. Other than that, I'm sitting back and letting the cheese-fest fantasy CG pretty take me wheresoever it will. (if we have rubbersuited monsters at some point i will be over the moon!!! god i love cheesy sentai shit)

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<her getting $ick amount$ of ca$h money and buying out both Shiwoo’s entertainment company and Chiang’s business conglomerate and living like a chaebol queen for the rest of her days

LOL. (Chaebol Queen Soondoek could be a drama of its own.)

<Right now, I hope this show starts showing signs that it’s self-aware?

My feeling at the moment is that half the actors are aware that the whole thing is a joke of sorts (i.e. that they are in a cheesy, over-the-top fantasy show), while the others are taking it rather seriously, trying very hard to acting without having the skills to do so....

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can we skip the fantasy drama and get to chaebol queen soondeok's adventures in street food vending? i could watch her making exaggerated faces and selling water to fish all day. make a comedy out of it, i don't even care, i just want her to kick my ass.

so what you're saying is that this is that awful atla movie? the bright side is that this is looking way better than that awful atla movie. i have low standards and i can sit through this.

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I'm not familiar with the atla movie?

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Avatar the Last Airbender movie, that is.

I haven't seen it but even I know it's legendary for being [email protected]^$#^&* awful, the animated series was great but saying people were bitterly disappointed by the movie would be a vast understatement.

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Probably that's when the Director chimes in and explain what the intent of the show is. Cos that's kind of his job.

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are you looking to a director on a project with a frankly extravagant pre-recorded time schedule of a work about korean power rangers for any kind of consistent, stable direction

i mean i don't know if i would but i'm also not thinking too hard about it given the above, maybe the director is a peter jackson style genius and knows exactly what he's doing

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Can safely bet on the fact that he's not.
I agree what one should not expect too much, however there is one thing I am sure of: in K dramaland, you don't intentionally do a show that is "so bad it's good", aiming it for low ratings and doom.
Especially not when it's pre-recorded and openly intended for other markets, when it's not even that funny, except in a painful embarassing way. I guess they just wanted to sell whatever lame product to China thinking they'll win some cash either way. Which is insulting to China.

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Right now, I hope this show starts showing signs that it’s self-aware?

So do I tbh. Cheesy fantasy can be handled two ways - either

a) play it straight and emotionally invested (and don't look embarrassed or self-conscious of the cheese). This is rather hard to do if you don't have the acting chops to make it believable.

or

b) embrace the camp and go all-out, with a little wink and nod to the audience. This drama seems like it's a better fit for approach b, but I wonder if they know it yet.

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just came off the second episode and option b isn't looking too hopeful... both because i don't think it's pointing that way and because the thing is fully pre-filmed, we're going to get the same tone all the way through.

(chiang's little poke at the piano music in the middle of the night was cute though, i liked that)

do we know how many episodes this show is getting? at this rate twelve would be enough but twenty-four would be overkill. fifty would be... better than twenty-four, if only because it would have extra time to wiggle around with one tone or another (plus the actors would have enough time to grow into their roles! which is a hit and miss hope, i know, but it's happened before.) i would prefer if this show stayed zippy, though. really zippy.

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As of now, it's 20 episodes which is quite stunning to me actually...

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... prepares holy water and rocky road

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We might need to start organizing a prayer circle for lollypip.

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Exactly, I wont judge those who dont like the drama. To each their own but I dont mind the cheesy, fantasy high school genre. Its a fun watch and episode 2 had some weirdly funny stuff that had me laughing at how weirdly awesome the scene ended up being. Its a light hearted not to be taken seriously drama which works for some, I guess.

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I enjoyed this show and really loved the music the most. Some parts are really slow and boring, but I enjoyed the mystic parts and fighting. The music still keeps me watching and enjoying the slow parts.

Lee Hyun Woo suddenly didn't look like a child anymore.

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I am impressed. I assumed it was going to be cheesy, but wanted something light (to offset "Remember"). This was awesome. :) Hongbin was a real surprise. If I didn't follow the news, I'd thought he was a rookie actor, not a member of Vixx.
I was sad that Sungjae turned this down (well not at that time) - I could see him act in this role, but Hongbin isn't bad. He has nice physique which I think may be more suited for this drama :Dl (I hope he's legal as I type this...).

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Hongbin was born on 1993. He's been legal for a while.

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