The High School King and The Queen of Dorkanoonas


A quick follow up on High School King as it came to closure this week. Beware, here there be spoilers.  Venture forth at your own risk.

Seo In Guk was delightful to watch as Min Suk in this drama. I like SIG alot, and enjoy his work.  Reply 1997 is an excellent drama and he was wonderful in that drama.  But I really loved him as Min Suk.   He was so animated, and just so great at portraying an 18 year old full of love and life.  I may watch this drama again just to focus on him, gosh, his facial expressions and body language rocked.


Lee Soo Hyuk-I loved watching this actor too, for many reasons, and WOW. That man is FINE. He has really matured and is filling out.  His character, Yoo Jin-woo was not particularly a good person or bad, and the char dev was a bit superficial, but still enjoyable.  I liked the anxiety issues, I disliked it being used in mainly as an effort to manipulate sympathy for the character.   I seriously loved the characters wardrobe.  The white pants,  The tan sweater.  The gray shirt.   The suits.  His butt in those pants in Episode 3.  Ahem, back to the drama.

jinwoochecking outWhat I was doing while watching this scene, checking out the assets.

I enjoyed watching the cast in whole and especially enjoyed the family moments.  I liked that Min Suk and Soo-young used their words, most of the time.

Soo-young grew on me, but I never really completely enjoyed her, or the actress, Lee Ha-na.    I love quirky characters, but wow.  She was extremely hard to watch especially in the first half of the series.  Soo-young is the almost creepy Queen of Dorkanoonas.   The problem with creating a creepy dorky character, you have to give them something to be creepy and dorky about in life.  Did she like to watch movies, or do volunteer work,  or collect something, or hell, go bowling?   Seems like she liked purses?   The good thing is that they never really made her into the ugly duckling turns into a swan.  While sometimes frumpy, she could equally be stylish, and not ugly, just her expressions made her extremely offputting.  She stayed goofy, just toning the goofy down a bit more in the end.  I liked that she was a stand up person, she made her decisions, and she took action.  This character did act, did have agency.   I did enjoy her sexual awakening, and her enjoyment of learning that she had “power”  over men.   That was endearing.  While I dislike manipulation,  I am guilty and admit that I enjoyed watching her try to awkwardly manipulate Min Suk as she tried out her newly found this guy likes me power.  I really wished I could have liked this character better and  I really wish they had refrained from the stupid girl admin assistant trope.

dorkanoonaYou had your chance to BE big trouble.  Sigh.

The drama was a bit uneven and even a little choppy, but full of life.  It was a charming little drama for the most part.  I liked that they touched on a character with anxiety.  I loved that they took the ‘all star’ athlete and said hey, let’s make him like millions of other high school ‘all stars’ that have injuries that end their athletic careers, and they have to think about how to live without their sport. No, none of the issues were touched on in depth, and  Jin-woo’s issues were pretty much dropped.  Once Min-suk and Soo-young got together, Jin-woo pretty much had nothing to do and his storyline was wrapped up and we really did not have much time with Jin-woo in last 5 or so episodes.

I did not much care for the marriage plot, it felt silly and a bit wtf.  I felt the ending with Soo-young’s voice over a bit odd.  I will have to go back and check the beginning to see if she did a voice over and this was a bookend.  I just never felt this drama was focused on it being her story, so that end voice over seemed odd.

The cameo  in the last episode of the actress that portrayed one of my favorite female weirdo characters was just a bonus.

I’d recommend this drama for anyone looking for a feel good rom com type drama with enough “issues” to keep it interesting but nothing that dragged on too long.  The last couple of episodes dragged a bit and a bit filler with contrived conflict.  It would have been nice if they had fleshed out the secondary characters a bit more, and in the last five episodes instead of dragging out the romance, the time was used to flesh out or advance Jin-woo, or spend some time with a side plot with Jung Yoo-Ah and Min Suk’s besties.



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Caitlyn Burton
    Aug 14, 2014 @ 09:39:32

    Agree entirely with everything you said. Soo Young did have voice overs during the show though so the last one wasn’t entirely out of place.

    The marriage thing, I fully expected them to mention it and think about it but then decide not to do it, so in the beginning when everyone was telling them what a stupid idea it was, I figured that was the show making fun of itself. But then they did end up getting married. I loved how they did the second proposal though, with Min Suk and the bag of popcorn. Soo Young’s blurting out of “lets get married” was an impulse but Min Suk’s proposal wasn’t, so I actually really liked that. It’s still stupid that they got married but 3 years later, they were still happy and going about their lives together, and I appreciated that. Min Suk didn’t need to go overseas and grow up a bit before committing to her, he can just grow up and figure out his future all with her by his side.

    I never got over Soo Young’s facial expressions, she annoyed me right up til the end, but i didn’t mind her character overall, and I loved the couple together so much. So damn much!

    They definitely ran out of plot near the end, stupid considering how many other characters they had.


    • randomsoju
      Aug 14, 2014 @ 18:58:38

      Thanks for clearing up the voice overs. I just could not remember others. So I guess that is why it kind of hit me in the face in the end.

      I thought the popcorn thing was cute too. And you are spot on about that versus the Soo-young impulse. I have no problem with the marriage thing really, I just think it seemed forced into the plot as filler?


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