High School King of Life Conduct – Halftime Review

Note: This article discusses plot points through episode 8.

Considering we are halfway (definitely, maybe, depending on extensions) with the TvN drama, thought I would update my overall feelings on how this show is doing thus far. Savvy?

King of High School Life Conduct Episode

Oh dear-y, I haven’t gone this head over heels for a rom-com since My Love from the Star*, and even then I fully believe this will be the better drama when it’s all said and done.

*Maybe the trick for rom-com success is having horribly meandering titles that feature multiple name changes.  Because seriously, no matter how you say it (King of High School, High School King of Savvy and/or Life Conduct) all suck and don’t really speak to what this show is about.

HS koS shopping cart 2014-07-09 01.26.18 HSKOS running blurry 2014-07-09 02.29.43

I will attempt to refrain from total Seo In Guk fangirling, but come on, dude owns this role, totally making the Min-Seok character his own.  He has such a naturalistic acting style, one that is not often showcased in K-Dramas, and even then he manages make each character different.  There almost seems an improv like quality to this production, which can be shown from his character’s off the cuff remarks (his grandpa exchanges), to group scenes (employees talking over each other).  This is very reminiscent of a American style of comedy (I’m thinking of shows like The Office, Parks and Recreation, Parenthood, FNL) that has less rigidity to follow the script and allows for more free-following dialogue.  I’ve read that many actors prefer this, and can even be a way to better get a feel for a character.

Reason 341 why the live shoot should die a horrible death: No way this format would be utilized if they were crunched for time in a full-on live shoot capacity.

One thing I have really appreciated in recent episodes is how they expanded the little sister character.  Slowly they are giving her more to-do than just stalk and balk, such as the adorable relationship she has with her Unni/maternal figure. Which means I am already bracing for the freight train of age revelations to be revealed.  And though we can all see the obstacles that lie ahead for our OTP, I remain thoroughly impressed in how organically it was all set up.

The sisterly bond is probably the highlight (non SIG related of course) of the show.  Their relationship is so touching without being overly saccharine or dramatic.  So even if little sis has some crazed stalker tendencies*, having her heart broken upon the realization her “hubby” could turn into brother in law (ouch) will and should make Soo-Young rethink things about her new boy-toy.High school king of life conduct

*And who am I to judge? In high school I became too infatuated with a Geometry teacher/lacrosse coach with the last name Flood.  So, I created a “Flood Club”, had people inform me of his whereabouts via “Flood Watches”, even got a secret picture (a la’ Say Anything), and a secret autograph on graduation day. Was I clinically insane? YES, but… he was perfection and… the hormones made me do it?


Oddly enough, I feel zero discomfort at the whole HS kid wants to mack on an adult who happens to be his employee.  Perhaps because I’ve been there, (the employee-manger scenario, but was way past my teen years okay!) but more likely is the actors are much closer in age and unless Min-Soek’s friends are around, I basically forgot the high school angle all-together.

That said, MS/SIG is totally believable as a high-schooler which is why it makes so much sense that a charismatic, self-assured teen with crazy hormones would feel the need to declare his love 5 episodes before k-drama adults do.

Random Hits:

*Love the tertiary character’s also, like the  little man employee that’s always ignored, or the president’s two lackeys.

*The entire sequence leading up to the kiss was wonderful. Everything from the building up and breaking down of typical romantic sequences (Running to the airport, near-misses, car accidents), to their eventual smoochy-time was perfection.

*Another instance of this show laughing in the face of normal K-Drama scenarios: when slightly annoying female worker owned up to not informing Soo-Young of the message.  In 90% of other dramas this would become a huge deal that would be dragged out for episodes.  Slow clap show.

*Slings are the new sexy.

*Soo-Young has sometimes careened into the overly pathetic/strange (though this was mostly confined to two episodes), but I stand firm that her character is a refreshing change in that she is actually that weird and not just “dream girl weird”.

*Robert Pattinson has apparently become the new Brad Pitt for all future Hollywood references. As long as K-Stewart doesn’t supplant Jolie than I shall allow it.

*No idea why I suddenly decided to let the personal info fly, but apparently the show gets to me in all the right ways.

*As for my prediction, still in play I reckon, though I don’t think hyung will be coming back anytime soon.  I heard there was a deleted scene featuring little sis and Jin-Woo, so you never know….

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