School2013 continues to be… a middling drama. Watchable yes, but ain’t pulling. Nope, don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate or dislike the drama, I don’t resent the characters, I like it but not truly impressed (for some very different reasons than most), it’s just that it isn’t as hooking and engaging as I want it to be i.e. the realistic slice of life kind of school themed drama that I’d expected it to be. I get what drama is trying to show, the reality of school life, the hidden and unsaid problems, the complexes, depicted from the teachers and students’ perspectives. I know drama wants to deal with school issues realistically, and I totally understand and I appreciate the effort.
Sadly, direction and execution aren’t as smooth and compelling, some of the sub-plots are resorting to being redundant and overdone, and drama is taking the arcs of those plots a bit too far, much veering towards the the mystery thriller genre. But there are things which I’m happy with (for completely biased and fangirly reasons), there are moments which moved me, scenes which tugged at my heart and made me cry. As much as I think this drama isn’t up to my expectations, I’m still watching and and hoping for it to get better (or rather, hoping that I’d come to love this drama) *being positive here*.
If you’ve followed me before, you’d have known by now of my fangirly love for the BFB OTP Daniel and Nara. That drama wasn’t a great drama overall, but the OTP made it work beautifully, with blasting and lovely chemistry thruout. When it was announced they’d come back to a new drama, I literally jumped from my seat, shot thru the roof, reached cloud nine. How good oh drama Gods you are for giving me my BFB OTP a second chance! 🙂
So I know School2013 won’t focus much on them being the OTP ( I don’t even know if they will ever happen given the recent news of the love-lines in drama getting the big cut because of viewers’ weird aversion to romance in school dramas as of recent), so this post is to spam everything and anything In Jae and Se Chan/Nara and Daniel the way I like it. I may not get plenty of them in the drama, but the least, I can still expect some very meaningful exchange between them as teachers and mentors with different teaching methods. If drama doesn’t gimme the OTP, I can dream on the way I like whenever I want. <333
I’ve said earlier that I don’t think In Jae and Se Chan are particularly interesting or intriguing characters on their own accord. I think they’re well acted by both actors, but not compelling enough individually for me to feel for them. But somewhere towards the end of Ep 4 and thruout Ep 5, I start to see the connection and sparks between them, the catch of heart and genuineness in their conversations, most particularly in relation to their students. Daniel and Nara already have cute enough chemistry (they can do no wrong together, it’s been there since BFB!), but its the gradual understanding and developing respect between each other as teachers to their students which have been getting to me lately. They may have opposing opinions all the time, disagree on each others’ teaching methods, but overall, it’s the concern they have for their students that count. And the more touching and moving when you see them work together despite their differences to resolve matters in class. Se Chan is starting to show interest in things other than grades and results, that is something.
I’m disappointed that KBS and drama team have decided to take off all love lines from drama, because both Se Chan and In Jae (as well as Nam Soon-Ha Kyung) do have potential to go further based on chemistry and their interactions alone. If drama wants to bring it on without romance entirely, they have a difficult hurdle to pass. Because realistically, crushes and love do happen in school, between students, even between teachers, there’s nothing terribly wrong or unfocused about that. If anything, it also can be an interesting issue worth dealing with. But if drama manages to do just that, give us something more than just romance and bullies, you can color me impressed.
My OTP (dun care if it doesn’t happen lalalalalaa~~):
And of course, the one scene in Ep 5 that elevated the episode from boring (1st half) to awesome:
This is where reality hits In Jae and Se Chan. Faced with the pressure and frustration of not being able to help and guide her students, In Jae breaks down inside while trying to put up the right and disciplined front before her students who just do not want to try, in anything. I loved this scene a lot, compared to the many unnecessary scenes of Nam Soon and Jong Ho/Heung Soo which were essentially mere repetition of earlier scenes. Nara nailed it, Daniel even more, it was a heartfelt scene mixed with such layered emotions from both teachers and students (tho less effective acting wise by students). It’s scenes like these which make an impact, which truly make a point to show the internal dilemmas faced by teachers and the obliviousness of students who are rebellious without true intent to rebel. This scene reminded me vividly and clearly of a period in high school, of a teacher who cried in front of his students because of his shy nature (opposed to the unabashed vocal class). He tried but he failed, and he left after a year. It’s sad when we come to realisation that we’ve stepped over the line, the scar will forever be there. It may be over-ideal in this drama, but it shows pretty truly, how much a teacher has to endure to be the way they are, the face they have to put up, internally and externally. This is exactly the kind of stuff that the drama needs, things that we are able to relate, we as teachers, students…etc. It’s what I meant earlier about issues that are void of cliches (drama wise) but yet are truth of realities that need to be acknowledged and zeroed in on in school.
And much more? We see something different in Se Chan now, about how things are not just about good grades and results, and that they are the only guiding mentors to the students who may not know know what they really want, and who may not know that there is SOMEONE out there who cares. Of course I squeed in glee when Se Chan stepped up to “rescue In Jae” (I get my OTP-ness this way I’m a happy girl!), but the crucial point was none other than when I sensed the sudden spark of realisation in Se Chan’s eyes, that yes, someone cares, and she cares deeply and more than anyone else, even more than her own self. So good.
I think the Nam Soon-Heung Soo angle is good angle worth exploring, and I like that they share a dark past. Tho I’m a lesser fan of Nam Soon than the rest (because I lub Kim Woo Bin more as an actor), I do think he’s an interesting character with communication problems. BUT, this mystery and bully thing needs to die right away. It’s getting a bit tiresome to the point of grating because it’s kinda like they’re beating around the bush. They give us something, and they take it back, it’s not going anywhere. I sense that writer wants to give their relationship more mystery and intrigue, but sadly, it’s not my cup of tea. I just want drama to move past Nam Soon’s past, and just give us the deal between them already! Give us the bromance already!
As much as many people are intrigued by the potential love line between Nam Soon and Ha Kyung (I feel sorry for fans who ship them because it’s already reported their budding or even hinted romance scenes are going to be reduced or cut off totally), I am strangely fine. I think it’s because I am not particularly affected by both characters and the actors playing them, and hence my inability to feel them as a potential OTP. Lee Jong Seok is decent tho isn’t particularly exerting much (because he doesn’t want to TALK!) but Park Se Young, I’m sorely disappointed. Icy cool she may try to be, all I see’s just stoic expressionless Ha Kyung (girl is indeed better off doing lively feisty).
And last but not least, the most unlikely OTP but one which I’d love for to happen:
There’s probably only 0.01% of chance that this OTP may happen, no it’s NOT gonna happen. But for some reason, I find them totally lovely and compatible together! They had brief encounters, not more than 1 minute in total in Ep 3 and 4 and I already knew from then that they’d be awesome as a pair. They are the bickering type that I love the most, sassy girl who tames the aloof and cold guy – PERFECTION! I also think both Hyo Young and Kim Woo Bin are better actors than the main NS-HK pair, and are rawking their characters in their own ways.
Sadly tho, due to the cut of lovelines, they’re not gonna have a chance with each other. ;( I can only hope for brief interactions between them in future eps as I have a feeling HS’s line’s gonna be restricted to that involving NS and Kang Joo more towards HK. If we only had Anthony Kim to look at this hehe.
Overall, School2013 is still okay. I’m not thoroughly bored by it but not entirely invested either. If I end up finishing this, it’ll only be for some of the reasons I’ve stated above.
Last but not least, please give me more cute Se Chan and In Jae <3333
credits: as tagged / School2013 and Daniel baidu bar /