School 2017: Episode 16 (Final)
Is it time to say goodbye already? I’ve become so invested in the lives of our students that it’s hard for me to imagine that we won’t be tagging along anymore on their everyday adventures at Geumdo High. There’s still some loose ends to wrap up before we send our kids out into the world (or at least, their senior year of high school), but I’m going to spend this hour savoring what I love most about the show—the friendships, the laughs, and the heartfelt relationships that our characters have built with each other on this crazy journey called school.
FINAL EPISODE RECAP
After revealing himself as X to the whole school, Tae-woon makes his way to the front of the hall, stopping to face Eun-ho. After a beat, Eun-ho walks toward him, and to his surprise, she plants herself right next to him in solidarity.
Though he looks flustered, Tae-woon proceeds with his plan: Declaring that he’s X, he calls out the school for framing Eun-ho. But Eun-ho jumps in quickly to contradict him, telling everyone, “That’s not true. I did it with him.”
Her confession sends a ripple of shock throughout the crowd. Unsettled at the turn of events, Director Hyun barks at the administrators to take care of things, leading Principal Yang to decide that all students should be sent back to their classrooms for now.
Security guards move to usher students out of the hall, but everyone freezes when Byung-gu calls out loudly, “X is awesome!” That gives other students the courage to chime in with words of encouragement, and soon enough, the entire hall erupts in applause and cheering. As Tae-woon looks around at his classmates in bewilderment, Eun-ho takes his hand, offering her own show of support.
Afterward, Tae-woon scolds Eun-ho for confessing to be X, but Eun-ho defiantly says it’s true that she was an accomplice. When Tae-woon suggests going back to the adults to say that Eun-ho helped him out just once without knowing what she was getting into, Eun-ho refuses, asking him, “If you protect me, what will happen to you?”
Tae-woon’s father interrupts them and pulls Tae-woon away to reiterate that he was supposed to keep out of trouble. Tae-woon responds dispassionately, telling Dad to take care of things as he wants, since he’ll need to make sure that the news doesn’t go public.
Dad asks Tae-woon angrily if this is what he wanted—to ruin Dad’s reputation. He says that this won’t get him to change, and tells his son not to get his hopes up.
In class, Byung-gu and his classmates debrief, marveling at how corrupt the school must really be for Tae-woon to go against his father as X. One student wonders if it’s okay for them to just stay quiet: “Shouldn’t we do something?” Yes. The answer is yes.
Sa-rang has a similar conversation with Bo-ra and Dae-hwi, telling the group that she wants to expose everything that’s happened. Though Bo-ra seems to be onboard, Dae-hwi is a little more cautious, worried about everyone getting in trouble. Sa-rang points out that Eun-ho and Tae-woon have already been exposed, and vows to punish Principal Yang and Vice Principal Park, too.
Meanwhile, the two administrators freak out about their corruption being exposed publicly. Vice Principal Park already seems resigned to their fate, even suggesting that they turn themselves in, but Principal Yang keeps hope alive, telling his colleague to focus on keeping a lid on the truth.
Principal Yang underscores this point to Director Hyun, but unfortunately for them, Director Hyun says there’s been a leak already.
Cut to: Director Hyun meeting with the steering committee, looking cornered as the scary moms basically tell him that he’s on his own. He protests that the committee’s help is needed to protect the reputation of the school, but the parents just laugh, saying they can transfer their kids at any time. They warn the director to fix things himself, and do it quickly.
That evening, Director Hyun orders Principal Yang and Vice Principal Park to punish Eun-ho and Tae-woon according to the rules, and to expel them both. The administrators react with surprise, but Director Hyun doesn’t budge, remarking that the other parents will be furious if Tae-woon receives special treatment.
The next day, Teacher Gu tells Tae-woon and Eun-ho that the administration is leaning towards them dropping out voluntarily, at least on paper. It gives them a weeklong waiting period, rather than an immediate expulsion. As the two nod unhappily, Teacher Gu sighs that he doesn’t know what they did wrong.
Teacher Shim bursts into the principal’s office, determined to give him a piece of his mind about running the kids out of school, but finds the place empty. So instead, he grabs a photo of the principal and delivers his smackdown to the photo instead, calling the principal “broken-down junk” and attacking the photo with finger flicks, lol.
Teacher Shim looks cowed when Principal Yang discovers him at that moment, but he quickly shakes off his fear and makes his displeasure known to the principal. He defends his students’ actions, saying that they did what they did because the school’s such a mess.
Principal Yang threatens to fire the teacher for his insolence, but Teacher Shim comes back with a threat of this own, telling him that the teachers won’t just sit by and watch. He then deliberately picks up some trash on the floor, clucking loudly that there’s so much trash in the office, hee.
Tae-woon and Eun-ho joke about her being perfectly suited to be X’s girlfriend and Eun-ho sighs that it’s a difficult job. When Tae-woon asks if she regrets it, she asks if he’ll take everything back if she does. Taking her hand, Tae-woon says he worked too hard to get her, so he’ll never let go of her hand.
She laughs that they’re so alike—short-tempered and rash—and Tae-woon remarks that she seems too happy for someone who’s getting kicked out of school. At that, Eun-ho changes the subject, wondering to Tae-woon how they should spend their time out of school.
The two end up at their lookout spot, where Tae-woon sincerely asks Eun-ho if she’ll be okay not returning to school. Smiling, she asks what choice she has, then leans her head on Tae-woon’s shoulder, enjoying the breeze. When she says that she didn’t know these things when she was in school, he tells her that she can from now on.
At school, Byung-gu glumly hangs around Tae-woon’s empty desk, clearly missing his friend. One of Hee-chan’s buddies wonders what’ll happen to Tae-woon and Eun-ho, leading Hee-chan to smugly respond that they’ll be kicked out, purposely glancing at Dae-hwi behind him.
Dae-hwi exhales in annoyance and does some provoking of his own, loudly saying that he smells trash. When Hee-chan takes the bait and gives Dae-hwi a shove, Dae-hwi coolly apologizes, only to throw another barb, daring Hee-chan to tattle to the principal again.
Hee-chan responds by asking Dae-hwi what he’s going to do without Tae-woon around, but it’s Dae-hwi who gets the final word: He asks Hee-chan what he’s going to do without someone to help him pick out exam questions, snidely remarking that it’ll be hard to maintain his fifth-place ranking. Burn.
On their day “off,” Tae-woon and Eun-ho head to a café, where they’re treated to a surprise visit from Sa-rang, Bo-ra, and Dae-hwi. Eun-ho lights up to see her friends, and as she happily gossips with Sa-rang and Bo-ra, Tae-woon watches her, a sad smile on his face. Next to him, Dae-hwi watches Tae-woon, looking worried for his friend.
Later, Tae-woon thanks Dae-hwi for helping cheer up Eun-ho, noting just how much she loves her friends and going to school. Dae-hwi tells Tae-woon they should just come back to school, and asks if he couldn’t beg his dad for help on his knees.
Tae-woon dismisses Dae-hwi’s suggestion, saying that it didn’t even work when he’d tried it when Joon-ki died, and that his dad’s reputation always comes before his son. Sighing, Tae-woon says that he felt like he could do anything for Eun-ho: “But why is there nothing I can do for her?”
Back home, Tae-woon faces off with Dad again to ask him to let Eun-ho return to school. This time, though, Tae-woon uses terms that his dad can easily understand: He threatens to go public with the details of the school’s corruption himself unless Dad reverses his decision on Eun-ho.
Furious, Dad calls out Tae-woon for choosing his “puppy love” over family, but Tae-woon says he’s not doing this because of his feelings, but for a fellow classmate. (Um, okay.) Dad says that if that’s true, then Tae-woon should prepare to go study abroad, saying that’s the only way to make it a fair trade.
The next thing we know, Teacher Shim visits Eun-ho’s family restaurant with the good news: Eun-ho can return to school. Though her parents are excited, Eun-ho seems wary of this development, and she asks if this means Tae-woon can return to school too. His smile fading, Teacher Shim hesitates. Argh, Tae-woon took the deal, didn’t he?
Eun-ho wastes no time in confronting Tae-woon about his sudden decision to study abroad, asking if he made a deal with his father so that she could return to school. A grin pasted on his face, Tae-woon denies that he did such a thing, telling her that he wanted to go abroad to study design, and that the timing was right for a new start.
Though he claims that he’s super happy about the decision, Eun-ho sees right through him and asks, “Then why do I feel like you’re lying?” Tae-woon’s smile falters for a second, but he sticks to his story, telling her that things worked out for them both.
Looking defeated, Eun-ho tells Tae-woon to do what he wants, since he won’t listen to her anyway: “It’s your life. So study abroad, or drop out of school. Do what you want.”
When Tae-woon returns home, Dad reminds Tae-woon to stay out of trouble until it’s time for him to leave. Tae-woon quietly asks his dad if he’s not curious why he became X: “As a dad, shouldn’t you want to know that first?”
Dad curtly says that he’s not interested in Tae-woon’s stupid behavior. In response, Tae-woon asks his dad if he knows what he fears most: “That when I’m an adult, I’ll end up like you.” It’s only after Tae-woon shuffles off to his room that Dad finally looks up, seemingly affected by his son’s words.
Tae-woon submits his withdrawal form to Teacher Shim the next day. Teacher Shim reluctantly accepts the form, but reminds him that it won’t be processed until after the waiting period. Tae-woon nods, then asks him for a favor: to make sure that Eun-ho returns to school.
Eun-ho takes a snack break at the convenience store in the middle of the day, still on break from school. She enviously watches a group of girls in school uniforms having lunch together, recalling the fun times she had with her friends.
Later as she’s distributing fliers, Dae-hwi catches up to her and asks if she’s doing okay. Eun-ho bravely says she is, but Dae-hwi tells her to stop pretending. “Say it’s too hard, that it hurts. Can’t you do that?” he asks.
Eun-ho says she shouldn’t, because admitting the truth will only hurt others. But Dae-hwi reminds her that she’s hurting too, and tells her to say it out loud. He says that way, “Others can say they’re hurting and lean on you too… like Tae-woon.”
Dae-hwi updates Tae-woon on Eun-ho’s status later that night, telling him that despite outward appearances, Eun-ho seems to be struggling—she hasn’t even returned to school yet. Tae-woon pauses, but says that she’ll be fine once some time passes.
Dae-hwi challenges Tae-woon’s decision to study abroad, asking if it’s really for Eun-ho’s benefit. He asks Tae-woon to think about coming back to school, tossing out ideas on how to make it happen and telling his friend that he’ll do whatever it takes to help.
Tae-woon gently interrupts Dae-hwi to ask, “Will you let me resolve this on my own?” As Dae-hwi blinks back tears, Tae-woon reminds Dae-hwi of all that he’s got on his own plate.
Nam-joo receives a text from Dae-hwi saying that he’ll be waiting for her at school tomorrow, and she stares at the message pensively. She’s back in her school uniform the next morning, but she only takes a few steps away from her apartment before sighing and turning back.
That’s when a hand grabs her wrist, surprising her—it’s Dae-hwi! Not letting go of her, he promises to stay by her side at school.
As expected, Hee-chan’s buddies immediately jump on Nam-joo when they spot her back in school. They barely get a few insults out before Dae-hwi forcefully comes to her defense, warning them to stop bothering her. Dae-hwi tells them in no uncertain terms that Nam-joo’s still his girlfriend, and threatens to kill them if they mess with her again.
Feeling bolstered by Dae-hwi’s support, Nam-joo speaks up too, telling the crew that she actually wanted to die because she was so embarrassed. Though she apologizes for lying and promises not to do it again, she says that she’s not trying to cover up what she did.
She says that she’s going to face her lies head-on: “So curse at me if you want, and judge me all you want.” With that, she walks into their classroom, earning herself a thumbs-up from Bo-ra and Sa-rang. Dae-hwi follows her in and brags to them about his awesome girlfriend, and Bo-ra and Sa-rang sarcastically put their thumbs away, heh.
Eun-ho takes her box of webtoon drafts out to the trash, where she’s hit with the memory of Tae-woon telling her not to give up on her dreams. That’s enough for her to pull out her phone and give him a call.
Ha, now it’s Eun-ho’s turn to use chicken as an excuse to see Tae-woon, as she shows up at his house with food, claiming that she’s there because he’s a “VIP client.” Tae-woon smirks at her unique way of saying “I miss you,” and though she denies it at first, she quickly turns serious, telling him that she’ll go back to school.
She says that she’s going back because she really likes school—that’s where her friends, her life as an eighteen-year-old, and her dreams are. “And, I’m going to wait for you,” she adds. “I think it’s my turn to give to you.”
Taking a step closer to him, Eun-ho says she’ll stay by his side, and that she wants him to think about what he wants from life, so that his decision to study abroad isn’t just about saving her, but a choice he makes for himself.
When Tae-woon says that it may take him a while to figure things out, Eun-ho responds that she’ll wait and root him on, no matter what his decision might be. She says that she hopes he’ll find a way to return to school by himself, then leans in sweetly to ask if he can do that for her.
Tae-woon can’t help but smile back at her, and he pinches her cheek as he mutters, “Seriously, you’re really getting on my nerves.”
Tae-woon makes a late-night stop at the lookout to talk to Joon-ki, saying out loud that he’s not sure what to do. He says that he started being X to feel less guilty toward Joon-ki, figuring that he’d cause some trouble and then quit school completely. “But now,” Tae-woon says, “I want to go back to that crappy school. What should I do?”
Officer Han pays Director Hyun a visit to offer him a chance to confess to his crimes and hand over evidence—otherwise, she says she’ll report him herself. As Tae-woon eavesdrops on their conversation, Director Hyun asserts that he did nothing wrong and asks for proof of her claims.
Officer Han admits that she doesn’t have solid evidence, but asks if he won’t resolve the issue for Tae-woon’s sake, and for the students of the school. Director Hyun just scoffs at her and says that she should get ready to be reassigned quickly.
After doing some thinking, Tae-woon calls Eun-ho out to tell her that he’s realized something: His father is the reason he became X, and why he hated school so much. Tae-woon says that he has a lot of things to work out with his father but didn’t have the courage to confront him directly, so he hid behind X’s mask to do so.
Eun-ho says reassuringly that she hopes Tae-woon can resolve his issues with his dad as himself and not X. Looking up at Eun-ho with puppy dog eyes, Tae-woon asks her to root him on by his side.
On his way home, Director Hyun receives a video from Tae-woon: the footage documenting expired food in the school’s freezer. This leads to yet another confrontation between father and son, and Tae-woon tells Dad that he’ll have to take responsibility this time. But Dad’s answer is the same, as he tells Tae-woon that he’s survived much worse.
The next day, Tae-woon enters the police station, only to see his dad there too, talking chummily with the police chief. Tae-woon looks rattled at the encounter, but he does what he came to do, and turns over a USB drive to Officer Han.
Officer Han worriedly asks Tae-woon if he’ll be okay. Nervously, Tae-woon stutters out a “yes,” and then a quick “no.” Taking a shaky breath, he admits that he’s not okay at all, saying he doesn’t really want to give her the evidence. But he refuses to take the USB drive back, telling Officer Han that unless he does this, his father won’t change.
Tae-woon says the thought of losing the father he knew scares him more. Fighting back tears, Tae-woon adds that he actually likes his father, and that Dad’s the only family he’s got: “So please use this to help me not lose my father.” Oh, my heart.
Principal Yang and Vice Principal Park are busy fretting about their futures when Officer Han walks in to announce that they’re being called in for questioning, musing that she’s not sure yet if they’ll be witnesses or suspects in her case.
Officer Han calls Director Hyun into the station next, but it’s only to return the USB drive that Tae-woon gave her—sadly, she says there’s nothing on the drive that proves Director Hyun did anything illegal.
Looking satisfied, Director Hyun gets up to leave. But Officer Han stops him to say that Tae-woon was really afraid of losing his father, and that he turned in the evidence because he thought his dad wouldn’t change otherwise.
She asks Director Hyun to think about how Tae-woon must have felt when he brought that in: “He may act tough, but he’s just an eighteen-year-old boy. Someone who needs his dad desperately.”
Back home, Tae-woon startles to find his dad sitting at his desk, waiting for him. He quickly heads the other way, but his dad calls out gruffly, “What are you so unhappy about? I tried my best.”
Tae-woon shuffles back in and tells Dad that he knows. He says that he wishes that his dad would be more like other parents and tell him not to lie, or not to badmouth his friends, and to take responsibility for his actions. Instead, he says Dad’s always tried to cover things up or make things go away.
Tersely, Dad answers, “Fine. I’ll do that from now on.” Confused about his dad’s sudden turnaround, Tae-woon stumbles for words before just walking away. Heh. Just before Dad gets up from Tae-woon’s desk, he notices the photograph of Tae-woon with Joon-ki and Dae-hwi and studies it, marveling at how much Tae-woon’s grown.
And just like that, Director Hyun decides to turn himself him and get a fresh start. After asking Teacher Gu to think over his offer to become principal of Geumdo (whee!), Director Hyun shares his plans to move to a small school in the countryside to learn how to be a better educator, and to donate Geumdo High. He asks Teacher Gu to turn Geumdo into a decent school until then.
Happily back at school again, Eun-ho hands Tae-woon a gift, telling him that since he’s no longer X, he shouldn’t wear black anymore. He smiles when he sees the shirt she bought him, but true to form, he pretends not to like it to tease her. That ends up backfiring when he’s forced to ask for the gift back by calling her “noona,” and even though he complies with aegyo on top, Eun-ho just runs away from him teasingly.
As Director Hyun formally delivers his statement to the police, Vice Principal Park stops by Principal Yang’s soon-to-be former office to pick one last fight, using banmal and warning the principal to be careful if they meet out on the streets, hee.
Back home, Tae-woon helps his dad pack up his things. When Tae-woon wonders if Dad’s going to be okay on his own, Dad just tells him not to be arrogant at school, since he’s not the director’s son anymore. Tae-woon replies that he can’t not be arrogant because he’s so amazing, and Dad one-ups him by saying that Tae-woon got his amazing genes from him.
Eun-ho struggles with a broken bike chain again when Tae-woon rolls up with a brand-new bike, dinging the bell to get Eun-ho’s attention. After jokingly asking if the gift is “too easy,” Tae-woon leans down by her old bike to show her how to fix the chain.
Eun-ho quips that there’s no need, since Tae-woon can just fix it for her every day. At that, he pauses, then says that he doesn’t think he can for a while. Wait, why?
He consoles a sobbing Eun-ho up on the roof, telling her that he’s thought a lot about it, but that his dad’s the only family he’s got. Oh, is he moving to the countryside with his dad? Though she can’t stop her tears, Eun-ho forces a smile and says that Tae-woon’s all grown up now, and that she’ll let him go.
Looking emotional himself, Tae-woon warns Eun-ho that she’d better not look at other guys while he’s gone, and she tosses back death threats of her own if he smiles at other girls. He tells her that he’ll visit every weekend and Eun-ho promises to visit him too, only to be told that she probably can’t since she can only get there by bus, ha. As he wipes away her tears, they do their best to smile at each other.
Sometime later, Eun-ho imagines Tae-woon walking up to her in the hall and stopping to lean in close, just like he did when she was first searching for X. In class, Eun-ho takes Tae-woon’s seat, laying her head down on his desk like he used to and staring off into space. Eventually, she’s the last one left in class, and after looking around, she walks out of her classroom. “Just like that,” she narrates, “we became seniors.”
It’s a new year and a new school under Principal Gu, who walks the grounds and stops to help Sa-rang’s mom out with the trash. But as Eun-ho walks the same paths she did with Tae-woon, she notes that the school is just as chaotic as before, and that “the sky is blindingly clear and bright, as we were back then.”
Eun-ho catches us up on the rest of the Geumdo crew: Young-gun’s training to pass the running portion of the police exam as Bo-ra cheers her on, while Officer Han’s held on to both her job and Teacher Shim (to the dismay of poor Teacher Jung).
Kyung-woo and Issue are busking together, still in search of their dreams, and Sa-rang isn’t on the path to becoming a civil servant anymore, and wants to be an “average citizen” now. Dae-hwi and Nam-joo are as close as ever, being super lovey-dovey and grossing everyone out, ha.
Eun-ho continues to use their old hideout to work on her webtoon, which is about her and her friends, but she says that her grades are still terrible, and Hanguk University will probably remain a dream for her. (Sad!)
She says that more kids have started wearing hoodies to school, and that whenever she sees them, she remembers someone that she misses—and lately, she’s really been missing him.
We check in on this certain someone in his new house, where Dad presents Tae-woon with a box of chicken for breakfast. Though Tae-woon grumbles about it, he ends up chowing down on it happily. When Dad asks how things are going with him and Eun-ho, Tae-woon grins and says sheepishly that they’re “hot.”
At his new school, two female students shyly stop Tae-woon to hand him gifts, calling him “oppa.” Taken aback by the attention, Tae-woon takes a minute to say that he has a girlfriend, but before he can actually get the words out, a voice calls out sarcastically, “Look how happy you are.”
Tae-woon’s eyes grow wide as he registers Eun-ho in front of him, looking pretty peeved. She saunters over to Tae-woon and demands that he give the gifts back and winds up like she’s going to break some heads… and then launches in to the most cringe-worthy display of aegyo ever, whining and pouting and using her entire body to indicate just how upset she is to see “opppaaaaa” with other girls.
Tae-woon smiles goofily at Eun-ho like she’s the cutest thing he’s ever seen, gladly abiding when she demands that he tells his admirers (and everyone else around) that’s she’s his girlfriend. Repeatedly. Once his fans take off, he happily asks her how she got here, but Eun-ho suddenly drops the aegyo and asks him if he wants to die, lol.
They catch up at a nearby bus stop, with Tae-woon complimenting Eun-ho on her webtoon’s increasing popularity. She says that the hero just confessed to the heroine and everyone’s crazy for it, heh. She in turn nags Tae-woon about not sending her his new bike design by this week like he promised. When the bus arrives, Tae-woon holds onto Eun-ho tightly as she tentatively steps on, her eyes squeezed shut in fear.
She seems to relax a bit once they take their seats, but that only lasts for a few seconds, and the two hop back off the bus immediately. As Tae-woon coaches Eun-ho on her breathing, she narrates that she still hasn’t overcome her bus trauma.
“Wounds don’t heal so easily. True feelings hidden inside are still fragile,” Eun-ho continues. “But, the fact that you don’t stop walking is as important as arriving somewhere.”
Tae-woon narrates that he hid himself behind the mask of X, “But I learned to take off that mask and to face the world, as my true self, as someone more mature than before.”
And as the two happily walk on, laughing and enjoying each other’s company, they narrate together: “That’s the truth I learned in school.”
Aw, that was a sweet ending for our couple, and for most of our Geumdo friends overall. Though there was nothing earth-shattering about the way we wrapped up our X storyline, I was happy to see that in the end, Tae-woon and Eun-ho’s efforts to fight for justice (along with the rest of our X crew, of course) didn’t all go to waste. As impossible as it might have seemed in the beginning, Tae-woon finally got through to his dad, and they were able to expose the corruption at school and bring about change. And not only that, Tae-woon got what he was really fighting for: a restored relationship with his dad, and Eun-ho—continuing her happy, average life as a teenager, and as his girlfriend, of course. Yay for happy endings!
Now, with that said, I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed at the way we wrapped up the series, given just how good the show was throughout much of its run. I think what I was missing most towards the end of the series was the balance we’d seen in earlier episodes between the X mystery, the relationships among our main trio, and the glimpses into some of our more minor characters’ lives. I was really longing to see more of Tae-woon and Dae-hwi in particular, as I loved their arc throughout the series, but with the heavy focus on Eun-ho and Tae-woon’s relationship toward the end (which I still loved, I swear!) it didn’t leave us enough time to go deeper into how their friendship might have evolved after their falling out and reconciliation.
The show did find little ways to remind us of their deep-rooted friendship—for example, in this hour, I loved the way Dae-hwi kept trying to convince Tae-woon to come back to school under the guise of making Eun-ho happy, when to me, it was so clear that he really wanted Tae-woon to come back to school too. But it did feel like their friendship took a backseat to their respective romances, and it felt like a wasted opportunity—their partnership to take down Hee-chan remains one of my favorite moments from the series, and I wanted to see more of those kinds of interactions.
I also found the conclusion to Eun-ho’s story a bit frustrating—for all the time we spent on Eun-ho’s dreams and her desire to become an artist, the Eun-ho we saw at the end of the show didn’t seem to have any other dream than being with Tae-woon. Even her webtoon seemed to be more of a vehicle through which to tell her love story with him, rather than a legitimate way to pursue her dream of becoming an artist. I especially hate that she still considers college to be a reach—she was so close to getting into Hanguk through that competition! Can’t she try again? Of course I’m happy that she’s found happiness with Tae-woon, but I still want more for her future!
Despite my issues with the latter portion of the series, I enjoyed School 2017 very much for what it was—a breezy and light summer watch that did a great job capturing what it feels like to be young, a bit directionless, but optimistic about the future ahead. And yes, I’ve complained about Eun-ho’s somewhat regressive ending, but it’s really hard to ignore that this series has created one of the most adorable couples I’ve had the pleasure of watching in any kind of drama, high school or otherwise. I think I’ve already said all that I can when it comes to Tae-woon and Eun-ho’s relationship, but I’ll add one more thought: Thanks to all that leaning and smooth maneuvering courtesy of one Hyun Tae-woon, the show delivered some of the most heart-fluttering moments I’ve watched this year—and that’s really no small feat for a high school show.
Finally, I have to give a shout-out to our three leads for doing an awesome job all around. Se-jung surprised me by consistently turning in a natural, likable performance, and I was impressed with Jang Dong-yoon’s layered portrayal of Dae-hwi’s complicated character. But hands down, my favorite thing to come out of this show has to be Kim Jung-hyun and the way he made Tae-woon into a character all his own—who knew a bad boy could be so goofy and dorky, but oh-so-swoony when it counts the most? All I know is that Kim Jung-hyun has got himself a new fan after this show, and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s in store for our young cast members. Hopefully, it’s more good dramas, since we can’t get enough of those.
- Premiere Watch: School 2017, The King Loves, Man Who Dies to Live, Reunited Worlds
- Underdog student dreams of breaking into the elite ranks in School 2017
- A mystery, a suspect, and a hero for School 2017
- Riding bikes and motorcycles in School 2017’s first teaser
- Fresh faces for School 2017’s classroom
- School 2017 secures its leading bad boy, good boy
- School 2017 adds more students and a teacher to its lineup
- Kim Yoo-jung out, Gugudan idol Kim Se-jung in for School 2017
- Jealousy, Rebel’s Kim Jung-hyun up for School 2017