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.

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I Watched So You Don’t Have To: June Drama Premiers – Savvy Trot Gunman

Joseon Gunman Trot Lovers

So this last drama cycle should be deemed a  disappointment, with no crazy successes (MLFTS), cult obsessions (SLA), or even so bad/crazy its good (God’s Gift, though for a couple weeks Doc Stranger was vying. Then the complete suckiness took hold).  So with the next cycle gearing up, I figured I would try watching the first weeks worth and deduce the critical and popular reaction.  Then three months later we can all see how wrong I’ll be, Yay!  I will try to keep everything organized so people can use this as a guide if need be.

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Dishonorable Mention – IHYV not Including Secret Garden Reference

Note: What follows is nothing but nonsense, but can be considered a precursor to the next Top 5- Best instances of dramas including a reference to the massively popular 2010 hit.  Hopefully, that should be released before the weekends out, but in the meantime, enjoy… whatever this is.

Seriously what gives? as its been shown previously, have SG cast member, will often produce SG callback. So have two SG cast members (possibly 4 with guest roles), who were always in scenes together which also featured an unrequited love – crickets.  UGH.  It could have been as simple as a glance of recognition, or upon meeting having one of them remark about having deja vu, remarking on his sexiness and/or musical ability, I mean come on! Soooo what follows is an excerpt of a conversation I  had with myself while watching an episode of I Hear Your Voice.

Me: Oye! Another scene with both of them [Sang-Hyun and Jong Suk], emotions running high, tempers flaring, obvious jealousy but not a single twinkle of some Secret Garden recognition, it’s like they are hiding the truth!

Myself: Calm down geeze, Sometimes I can’t believe we come from the same genetic material. Check what network IHYV played on, bet it’s different than SG.

Me: Googling..Googling…and both are SBS affiliated. Got anymore ideas Einstein?

Myself: You really need to work on your clichéd putdowns… Well, and I know this hurts, but perhaps the writers didn’t want to draw attention to other dramas because it takes you away from this one.  This is a fully immersive story and universe, with detailed attention to its characters.  So even if a couple of actors happen to have worked together previously, the fact is these are different fully drawn characters that don’t need to rely on silly references to appease a small section of viewers like some pop-culture parody laden Shrek movie.  This is like Pixar Y’all – all world building, no filler.

Me: Wow your out of your chair and everything, which is strange considering we’re the same person..  Well fine then, you [Myself] make some decent points.  But I still feel they are missing the easy lay-up to referential humorville. Population: me. Oh well tis not to be I reckon…Hey whose that guy on-screen meeting Oska?

Myself: Le sigh, you mean Yoon Sang-Hyun? His name in this drama is Kwan-Woo just ya know FYI..  But I haven’t a clue, appears to be a cameo of some sort.  Let me check.  … … …

Me: Hey, who is the ajusshi? Been in anything worth watching?

Myself: Definitely not.

Me: Okay, whose acting weird now. What’s he been in?!?

Myself: erm hes fromgentlemansdignity.

Me: You just quickly whispered Gentleman’s Dignity didn’t you? Which is preposterous as whywould a drama as refined as this not only refer to another drama, but refer to one whose creator/writer created Secret Garden before writing this Gentleman’s smignity nonsense.

Myself: I never said I was right, it was just a theory.

Me: Hm, well you were so full of it you were practically on top of that Greek Trojan thing, declaring the drama of having such dramatic purity that IHYV would never stoop so low.  Well here’s a thought – This drama is really just platform in which copious amounts of products can be shilled out to the masses.  I mean Lee Bo-Young would go into caffeinated shock with how much the character uses her special tea filters and coffee shop lattes.  Plus this cameo is the character from Gentleman’s Dignity meaning that show takes place in IHYV’s universe.  Thus taints your idealized IHYV world, that one where serial killers get the job done decades at a time, almost dying gives you sucky magical powers, and where the law was created by toddlers.

Myself: 1st off, was that a thinly veiled reference to “get off your high horse”? Not your worst I guess. Secondly, this hypocritical nonsense coming from the fan of said drama where switching bodies is caused by precipitation. And lastly, you done venting yet?

Me: Never! In fact this is why my snark needs to be let free, as taking everything so seriously watching these dramas will drive me nuts! So, since Me wins this round I will say that the slight mockery snarkfest will not be reined in!  At least not until the day comes when YSH and LJS are in yet a third drama together where the only other possibility remains.  They become the OTP of all OTP’s and ride off into the sunset.

Myself: And that my friend, is why we are the same person. I concur vehemently. Let it commence!

Lee Jong Suk Yoon Sang Hyun SG IHYV

Quote

“Tea, what tea….

“Tea, what tea… You should remember [this] with flesh” – Lee Sun-Jae (Yoo Ah-In) Secret Love AffairSecret love affair - Hye Won hug

That quote deserves a RAWR to nth degree! Thanks for memories SLA, I hope future show creators/directors take note, because that is how you make a television show.  Excellent for it’s duration, with no lulls or out of place character beats, the only major downside is the benchmark it set for future dramas (especially melos).  While I’m still mulling over the final episodes events, let us all remember the reason any of this was possible.

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The Piano Man Behind Billy Joel and Secret Love Affair

billy joel

With my latest obsession in the jTBC hit Secret Love Affair, I’ve really gone down the rabbit hole in ways I’ve only done with a handful of American shows, and a first for a Korean drama.  I know i’m not alone, soompi forums and sites like Outside Seoul have produced brilliant thought-provoking discourse coupled with several amazing theories that seems to only add to the wonder that is SLA.  I’m usually horrible at thinking of such theories but perhaps it was my inner DJ/music aficionado that led to this.  In episode 12, Sun-Jae (Yoo Ah-In) and Hye-Won (Kim Hee-ae) listen to an uncut, uninterrupted 4 minute Billy Joel classic, “The Piano Man”.  Though I’m not sure if it was as impactful to Sun-Jae and the Korean audience who doesn’t understand English, but for me I was sold.  I noticed some similarities to the characters in SLA to the people Billy talks about in his song.  Below are the lyrics and scene in question

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Top 5 – Reasons I started this blog

5. To feed my insatiable appetite for K-Dramas and the television medium.

4. To give me an excuse to make top five lists (inspired by film of my life, High Fidelity)

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3. Because it’s not like anyone thought of this before. http://outsideseoul.blogspot.com/2012/08/kdrama-linkapoloza.html

2. Though K-Dramas have taken up the majority of my viewing habits as of late, English speaking shows (aka only shows where I don’t need subtitles… mostly) have been my primary time suck since Oceanic flight 815 survivors landed on an polar bear infested island… So during that past decade, the medium known as TV has changed a wee bit, K-dramas included. You could say I explore this, the commonalities of US and Korean television, and basically go all Venn diagram on this bitch topic.

1. Because sometimes I gotta get the feel good inc.™ out, whether it be the daily bathing routine of Hyun Bin – Lather (in my sexiness). Rinse (clothes, hair optional). Smolder. Repeat smolder only with side of soulful brooding. ..Image
Or perhaps learning the proper drowning technique from swimming champ Jan-Di.Image                                                 … and maybe on those rare occasions put what I call my analytical mind cap on to talk about television using big kids words, but who are we kidding its mostly soulful brooding. Mmmmmmmm soulful brooding.

soulful brooding