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Kim Yoo-jung out, Gugudan idol Kim Se-jung in for School 2017

Girl group Gugudan’s Kim Se-jung has been confirmed as School 2017’s new lead heroine, the role that Kim Yoo-jung (Moonlight Drawn By Clouds) was originally offered. However, Kim Yoo-jung’s agency, SidusHQ, announced that she decided to decline, and while that’s too bad, the School series does have a history of giving rookies a chance to become breakthrough stars. Some notable School alumni who got early starts in this franchise include Jang Hyuk, Bae Doo-na, Kim Rae-won, Jo In-sung, and Ha Ji-won.

This upcoming season tells the coming-of-age story about the complicated and secretive lives of 18-year-old high school students who are more often called by their school rank than their real names. Despite their frustrations, they find out how to make their own way in this world that seems to be a stagnant cycle of school and home.

School 2017 will be Kim Se-jung’s debut drama project, although she’s been active in many variety and music programs as a popular idol member. Her character’s name is Ra Eun-ho, an optimistic cheerful girl who has kept her place as rank six of 280 students at her high school, solely to fulfill her dream of becoming a campus couple with her college-age crush.

The character has a unique talent for drawing web comics, which is the major she wants to pursue at university. One day, while trying to find a new inspiration for her comics, she somehow is caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, and gets marked as a delinquent student. Then begin all her adolescent-life struggles that are explored throughout the drama. The production team for School 2017 said that Kim Se-jung was chosen for her naturally bright personality and vivacious energy, which made her a perfect match for Ra Eun-ho.

Directed by PD Park Jin-seok (Naked Fireman), KBS Monday-Tuesday drama School 2017 will begin in July after Fight My Way finishes its run.

Via IS Plus, Xports News

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I'm so excited since I love Kim Sejeong so much! She has such a wonderful personality and I know she will give it her all to do her best as her first lead project! She deserves the best!

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Please remember that Eunji and Hyeri did well with their respective Reply series' characters, and let's hope for the best from both Sejung and Rowoon.

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Joy too did very well and many found her a highlight of Liar.

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Joy did a pretty good job, but I was referring specifically to the Reply series. These idol actors may not always go on to do great in other projects, but I have faith in the Reply series' casting director that they do well in at least the Reply series.

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I think both of your points can be combined. The casting choice made by the casting director of the Answer Me series, and giving the chance to rookie idols (or actresses/models).

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In javabeans's words, she was a delight (or it could be SailorJumun/festerfaster's words... one of them three said she was a revelation, and one of them said she was a delight... I can't remember exactly who said what, but I think I'm right about javabeans...)

I hope to see her in a new drama soon, not necessarily as the lead since there aren't too many youth dramas. I'd rather she had more choices.

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I always make sure to watch the School series regardless of how well-known the cast is, because they all become significant names in the industry later on. Of course we know the recent ones like Kim So-hyun, Yook Sung-jae, Nam Joo-hyuk, Kim Woo-bin, Lee Jong-seok, but there's also Gong Yoo, Lee Dong Wook, etc. The track record for golden casting is too good to ignore.

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Rowoon? From SF9? Was he cast as the male lead??

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Not as the male lead, but, yes, he did get a role.

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Mori, please decline so I don't have any reason to watch this drama 😅😅 ❤

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I'm concerned for our sweet snowman too. Would he play the college-age crush? But if this drama is set in SCHOOL we wouldn't see him much. :/

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We still don't know about his role, but I hope he will do a college drama, instead of high school drama, especially after saw him as mr sweet snowman. ❤

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Still, forgot to say that a story around a girl who is not top/bottom of her class and has normal dreams sounds appealing... if they can do that AND still give us plenty of handsome Mori I have hopes for this. ;)

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The premise is quite interesting but I am no longer a fan of high school drama, what more with unfamiliar new faces. hmm.

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That's the whole point of School though? Unfamiliar young actors (though not so much with Kim So-hyun in 2015) getting a possible breakout role.

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Yes you're right. It is just me who is no longer interested. 😊

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I'm still a sucker for good high school or college dramas. Maybe because I've been on the teaching side of things too.

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Well even Kim So-hyun was more known for being a child actress back when she took on School. School definitely helped her get fully on the lead-role track for every dramas after (or not the lead role but a role in the juggernaut that was Goblin).

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I so hoped Yoojung will get same career boost like Kim Soo Hyun had from school 2015. Too bad. Hope she plays another school themed drama and this time she is the main lead and sweet love line with cool boy.

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She doesn't really need a career boost though, she just did Moonlight, which was fairly well received, and she's been well known and popular for years already

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I totally agree with you. KYJ already well known since she was a kid, and even more popular when she had LITM. it was a wise decision for KYJ to reject the role since she is not a rookie, and give other rookie a chance to shine. I respect her more in this part. Why need a career boost, when she doesn't need it. People will be drawn to her and acknowledge her because she is KYJ.

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"Fairly well received" is an understatement. The drama hit 20% repeatedly, it was syndrome-inducing in SoKor and was popular overseas too (just look at the number of comments in dramabeans recaps). She received lots of attention from it, not to mention lots of awards and CF deals.

KYJ doesn't need the School series. But the School series needs KYJ to boost its visibility since School 2015 flopped in ratings unlike School 2013.

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??? KYJ had Moonlight which created a craze in SoKor and is popular internationally too (thus her two overseas fan-meets). School 2015 averaged single digit ratings but Moonlight peaked at 23.3%. She is the youngest to be included in Gallup and Forbes charts last year. She doesn't need a boost from the School series at all.

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I believe the male counterpart has also been decided or close to closing the casting choice?

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I saw comments on it being SF9's Rowoon

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Her co-stars are quite old 27, 33. KYJ would have been the only teen.

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Did she decline because of the controversy?

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What controversy?

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The unnecessary and constant comparison with KSH

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Her nails controversy.

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Oh. I knew about the controversy but this is the first time I saw a video of it. I think she would be pointed out more for her posture instead of the nails. Oh well. She at least survived this issue.

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I was being facetious. It was an attitude controversy to be precise.

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I think it's more of the production schedule conflicting with her schooling/the School series being for rookies and she's not a rookie. She's been saying that she wants to focus on her school this year since it's her last. Since this drama will likely be liveshot very early into its production, it will take a huge chunk of her school year.

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I hope this goes well for her! I've seen her on variety shows and she's so nice and friendly :) wishing her success!

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Oh my god, this is wonderful news! Kim Sejeong is a precious gem and deserves all the breaks she can get. She's debuted several times in the course of two years, and I hope this year's debut as an actress will boost her fame and revolutionize her career. Sejeong is ❤!

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*in the course of ONE year!!!

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Oooh I like the descriptions of the plot and character so far! And I've really enjoyed Sejeong in variety, which was really unexpected as I tend to find female celebs mostly bland, but she's got a lot of screen presence and is not afraid to show a different kind of personality than the regular images. I hope that charisma will transfer well to acting!

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I'm glad Kim Yoo Jung turned this down. It was a smart move on her part. It wouldn't have been ideal to cast an actor who is more famous than all the other cast. So we can enjoy the ensemble cast for what they bring to the table. I believe both male and female leads have been cast. Now if they can only perform as well as their counterparts in Solomon's Perjury, I'm sold.

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I agree but I still hope YooJung could play a student in other drama because It's one of her dream role. She probably consider School 2017 because of that even though she knows that it is a platform for rookie/rising actors. I want to know what made her decline but I know disclosure of such is most of the time, impossible.

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Pretty sure it was her agency that made the final call because from her fan meeting interviews it seemed like she wanted to take on the role.

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I wish they'd cast more rookie actors rather than rookie idols. It's really unfair that a rookie actor has to do so much more to prove themselves worthy of a lead role than a rookie idol would. It would be nice if production crews spent more time on making sure their drama was actually good, so they don't have to rely on people watching it solely to see their favorite idol. I'll still watch this to see if it's any good (and hopefully more in line with School 2013), but my interest has waned considerably.

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School 2013 featured an idol too (Ryu Hyoyoung).

School as a franchise is famous enough that they don't need to give two figs about any idols for buzz, they can get that in their own right. Also I do see your point about rookie actors, but if the idol in question can act, I don't have issues with them taking lead roles.

of course, I have no patience with people who make excuses for crappy idol-actresses ranging from "she's all natural/beauty is a talent too!" (not having had a nose job does not make someone a good actress) to blaming everyone and their dog for said idol's crappy performance. It's just that I'm willing to see this one act before saying she doesn't deserve the role (if she sucks, then out it is).

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Agree. There are tons of rookie actors worthy of lead roles but these idols keep getting the roles. I mean, they could really nail a role but shouldn't rookie actors be considered first since acting's their forte? Well, no matter what I know I will be watching out for School. I loved both 2013 and 2015 and can;t wait for this. ♥

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I don't know, being a rookie actress doesn't guarantee that you're much better as an actor. Those who grabbed those chances are and are good get big so we remember them more. But there have been plenty of rookie actors awful performances. With the way the industry works nowadays for young trainees, it's almost indistinguishable anyway, because so many trainee actors have started off as idol trainees before changing path (either because they failed to debut, or it wasn't for them), and many idol trainees get the same acting lessons. Kim Min Jae, Gong Seung Yeon, Kim Min Seok, etc.

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I think that's something of a false equivalency idol fans like to bring up to defend castings of people who've shown themselves to be crappy at acting.

Every single rookie non-idol actor who's broken into the limelight in the last couple of years, has got it only after either a steady stream of minor and supporting roles, or a performance that catches serious attention despite their being cast in a role that comes fourth or fifth down the casting list (Park Bo-gum, Yoon Kyun-sang, Chae Soo-bin, Ji-soo, Kwak Dong-yeon) , if that. Which speaks to just how good they have to be, if they are to be given even the slightest shot at significant drama roles - the kind of roles that routinely land in idols' laps without their having shown a performance even a tenth as good as the non-idols have to.

The whole 'they were trained as idols/actors' argument doesn't really hold any water either - what matters is what they do onscreen/in front of the camera, and from what I've observed, there's been a longstanding pattern of idols not having to be at all good to get cast in roles again (and I doubt the 'they bring revenue' argument either, given the poor ratings of most dramas with idols in the lead over the last few years and the recent THAAD ban choking off Hallyu in China) This is not addressing the ones who actually are good at acting, though - just the ones who aren't.

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Last I heard, she was being considered for a different role - more like a girl who was obsessed with diets and makeup? Rather amusing that they switched her to lead the minute Kim Yoo-jung turned down the role.

That said, I'm not willing to be down on this particular casting - she's age-appropriate and I've never seen her acting before so I'd rather see what she's like in the role before writing her off.

(I think it's fair to say that while we beanies are harsh on bad actors, we judge on the basis of having watched them at least once).

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Sejung and Joy share a lot in common. They are both known in real-life for their charming and bright personalities and smiles. Also for being willing to drop their image and show their weird crazy dorky selves (I love how they're both so out-there. Joy is known for being Satan and dorky and Sejung for being just like an ahjussi/oppa. lol.). So here's to hoping it'll work out this time too, and she too will be able to transfer some of her charms into her role.

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Oh no... this is a reply to that comment thread up there. Not a separate comment :/

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I'm glad to see her get the lead -- I hope she does well. I'd also, if I'm wishing, to see her fellow IOI cast member Kim Sohye get cast as well!

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Yes, Kim SoHye should go back to her day job as an actress instead of taking a spot from trainees who were actually training to be idols.

She was good at acting with Seventeen, but so were MinGyu and WonWoo.

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Glad Kim Yoo Jung decline...shes too big of a star to be in this series anyways. And Se Jung is a good choice too..

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To be honest, I'm glad that Kim Yoo Jung declined. I would love to see her in a School drama, but it would just fuel the fan war.

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I like the sound of it. I hope they don't make it cheesy, but I trust the team.

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The plot sounds really good. I enjoyed School 2013 immensely. And it sounds from everyone's comments above that the actress comes across as sweet and personable on variety (I know nothing of Gugudan). So can we hope that she brings an earnestness to her role and makes this a worthy entry into the School franchise?

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Surprisingly the comments here are a lot more positive than the last idol casting news i've read aka TLAHL.

I do genuinely wonder why. Is it because she is not a big 3 idol so people are not as highly skeptical with company using their power again? (this is a genuine question, im just curious)

Anyhow, school is all about producing up and coming stars so i hope this is good and please i dont want messy romance focus school like 2015. i might drop it f that happens again lol

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Sejung is the "it" girl right now in Korea, her appearances in variety shows raises ratings. She also doesn't have as many antis as Joy. Red Velvet debuted with a lot of negative sentiments (it was troubled times for SM) and had huge number of antis in 2014. If you look at the number of dislikes in their music videos, you'll see. Then, because Red Velvet is rivals with famous girlgroups like Twice or Blackpink, that's more antis. Joy was also fat-shamed a lot so a lot of antis are jealous of her many fans because they don't think she "deserves" all that. In short, it's complicated. ^___^""""

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it is surprising to me that her antis even come here to dramabeans to show some hate then.

with all the previous comments they said joy and sejeong had some kind of likeable personality and is able to drop their image and stuff. that is why i am genuinely taken aback but how the receptions differ

so i was wondering whether it is the backlash of big 3 idols because i have never heard of either gugudan or her personally since i am not that into kpop

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You also have to consider that among the big 3, SM in particular gets rise of the most negative feelings. Followed by distant second JYP, and faar less negative feelings for YG.
On the other hand, IOI/gugudan don't have the same hate-base. So in terms of casting news, Sejung gets the best of both worlds. The benefit of having fans as an extremely popular idol, and not the hate baggage that comes with the fame that SM has. Not that it's all roses. Sejung's appearance too (specifically her athetic physique/thighs) have been subject to scrutiny. Although it's nowhere near the level of body-shaming Joy had to go through for years. It's pretty terrible how these young girls are being treated by internet keyboard warriors with just hate in their souls.

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(in case I'm misunderstood, when I refer to SM/JYP/YG, I refer to their artists as actors, not the company itself)

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Well, kpop and k-drama, those two worlds aren't that far apart. So there are many kpop fans here like myself (noona-ARMY). Antis, are just kpop fans who don't like some other kpop acts. It's not that surprising to find them here :)

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Now that you mention it, I just noticed how different the reception of this one against Joy's casting.

Honestly, I am one of those skeptical about Joy immediately getting a lead role for herself without any experience. BUT it's because of my selfish noona heart that can't accept the fact that she was with Sungjae in We Got Married. She did well in TLAHL (I'm not extremely impressed but she is far from bad) and I do love her talent in singing.

As to why Sejong is so loved, I guess it's because she came from Produce 101. I haven't seen much of her but because of her nickname, 'god Sejong', I'm looking forward to this one. I want to know how she'll do with acting.

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I am seriously a bit clueless. LOL. I know she has a stint on WGM with sungjae. I have not watched it yet but is it because you are unfavorable of her pairing with Sungjae that you are initially skeptical of her casting?

I am not that expose to WGM and the idea of it seems quite foreign to me.

Ah. Ive heard of Produce 101. That is a survival show for idols right? So she is part of IOI. Oh, now i know

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Just think of WGM as two celebrities playing house and taking that opportunity to flirt.

Produce 101 is a survival shows for mostly idol trainees. Sejung was instantly popular, and had the second-most votes. She's pretty big in Korea right now, and internationally as well.

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Her solo stint also topped charts for a long time (it's good). Her group gugudan songs on the other hand, do not do too hot on the charts. So it's a shame, but like I said, as a solo she's super well known so casting her is smart PR move, but gugudan's lack of fame doesn't bring in the usual idol drama.

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Well, you certainly provide all the answers for my curiosity. i guess the hate warrant from previous casting is due to her group which is in competition with the other huge 2 current girl groups.

Meanwhile, for Sejeong case the hate is less warranted since gugudan is not such a huge star as a group(?) i think people expected casting for this to be with bunch of newbies too because it is the school series. Because i am a bit eh when people that backs up previous casting is suddenly called her fans meanwhile this news is pretty cool and calm without any idol hating.

well, that answers my question. thanks!

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@excitable you also have to consider that as a criticism, it is much more plausible to say that SM had abused their power than Jellyfish, which is a fairly big agency with many successful acts, but not in the same level.
So even if people wanted to use that argument with Sejung, they can't use it, hence you see it almost none of it. If there is any criticism they want to make, they'd have to direct it towards the production team for casting a popular idol. With Joy, the argument can be made to sound plausible, so if there are people who want to use it, they can, hence the criticism of the production crew can be diverted to another outlet and directed at the agency of the actress-idol.

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Ahww im a little bit disappointed that KYJ didn't accept it.
But KSJ fighting!!! Love the school series. So i will trust the judgement of the crew

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After reading the drama plot, i'm so glad that KYJ declined.. making romance the centre of a school life story put me off. The romance overshadowed the schools issues in school 2015, and I hated it.. i would love to see more of school 2013 kind of plot

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Completely agree!

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SUCH HAPPY NEWS!!! I've been following her since Produce 101, and absolutely love her friendly, hard-working, outgoing personality - I've been wanting to see more of her, and this sounds like the perfect vehicle to break her into acting. I hope she shines. ^_^

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I'm a big fan of Sejeong. That girl is a bundle pf joy. She has so much natural onscreen charisma. I think she'll do well in this.

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*of

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Kim Se-jeong has an aura about her that will make her endearing and lovable as a female lead, but now that SF9 Rowoon is cast as the male lead my biggest fear is that these puppies will fall in love :( Okay maybe that might be a good thing. BUT MAYBE NOT

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Awwww!! I love Kim Se Jeong!! She's definitely on her way up to be a very well-rounded entertainer, not just singer/MC, but she can add "actress" now too =)

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Since Yoo-jung is now out, I'm going to have to pass. I don't think this series will focus on bullying since the synopsis screams light-hearted youth romance, but the possibility that it will be there is triggering to me. I rarely watch high school dramas because of this.

Best of luck to Kim Sejeong, Rowoon, and the rest of the cast.

P.S. Isn't Mori too old to be playing a student? And I heard Han Joo-wan is in talks to be here as their teacher, but he just got cast in a movie with Im Soo-jung.

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Rather than Sejung, I'm really curious about Rowoon's acting skills. He's a total sweetheart, and super talented as an idol. I enjoy him on lipstick prince. But as an actor, I have no clue. I can't imagine him taking on any role but one of a sweet guy with his image. School could be a good opportunity for him to shed off that very image and broaden it.

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The reason why I didn't want Kim Yoo Jung to take this role is to give rookie actresses a chance -- keyword being "actresses." Isn't two rookie idol actors a bit much? Not to mention, there's an actual actor in RoWoon's group, or is ChanHee too young for SeJeong?

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Nice. To me, the most important part is the plot and script so if that delivers, I'm in.

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I LOVE Kim Sejeong so so much, as do many other beanies in this thread! She's an absolute sweetheart with so much talent and potential. SF9's Rowoon is one of my favs too, and we've been given snippets of his acting potential in some of SF9's MVs, as well as their mini drama Click Your Heart. It makes me soo happy and proud to see young idols who act well (Eunji, Hyeri, SungJoy, etc) and I can't wait for School 2017!

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I am so glad Yoojung made a wise decision and rejected this role. I am positive it was her decision, and not her company, because she wants to focus on school at the moment (role model already). But really, I am thankful because at least those potential fanwars are extinguished (for now). Anyways, someone once said that if you are a Kim Yoo Jung fan, you have to be patient. I'll be patiently waiting for her next drama~

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i hope she does well.

was actually hoping they'll choose kim hyun soo (solomon's perjury) or jung da bin (she was pretty). i think both girls are very good actresses.

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