What a wonderful lil gem of a show this is? I don’t think many ppl are watching but seriously, this is good hearty stuff!
The kids are AMAZING!
Never seen the original Japanese version of The Queen’s Classroom, so expectations were never high to begin with. But the soon I got into it, I’m all crackstatically addicted to it and I love it. The story, the characters and their back-stories, and how they deal with situations that crop up at school. Nothing is too over-blown or overdone, the problems are realistic (and cruel too IMO T__T) and though drama’s a bit rough around the edges, you get a feeling that it doesn’t aim to please. And it doesn’t need to.
This drama is not your usual K-drama, it feels different from the norm. It doesn’t sugar coat the problems, it doesn’t beautify the characters, it makes you think about issues that you may not want to think about. The approach I’d likened to how most Japanese dramas are dealt with, the tone and mood not exaggerated by teen-bopper K-music, the direction laidback, and the flow, it’s just not very K-drama-ish. Which I really like, because it’s refreshing and piques on our curiosity a lot more, we never know what to expect from it.
This show is all about the kids and their witch teacher Ma Nyeo Sa, a very strange but alluring character that never seems to go beyond that darkish attire and veil. A character that doesn’t show emotion, who rationalises everything with such peculiarity that one may not understand. I’m still trying to figure her out to be honest. She’s unfeeling but she cares in the most bizarre of ways. You can’t really tell if she’s putting forth the real her, pretense or a bit of both. I don’t like her (because frankly she makes life hard for others), but I don’t dislike her either because I believe she has a story to tell and there’s a bigger plan behind for the kids. She’s such an amusing character and so different from what we’re seeing nowadays, strange but interesting. And Go Hyun Jung? She never fails to command.
But the stars of the show, the kids! I never thought I’d say this, but from now on, Korean kid actors/actresses will be categorised as “ACTORS’ and not child actors to me anymore. If they deserve an award for best actor/actress in my book, they deserve it. They should scrap and do away with awards for Best Child Actor/Actress because seriously, these Korean kids are so freaking good, they’re more than qualified to beat some of very own adult actors.
There are a few main players in Ma Nyeo Sa’s classroom, and all of them are of their own and distinctive characters. We have the boisterous but lovely lil Hana, the always so kind and generous hearted, played so naturally by the wonderful and daebak Kim Hyang Gi (seriously you’ve got to see this girl act, she’s so GOOD!). We have the top student So Yeon who doesn’t show much emotion, but is actually quite the righteous girl herself, the always bubbly and talkative Dong Goo who is not always happy as others think but is a ball of fun whenever you need to liven up, the bitchy and jealous Nari, and the creepy reclusive girl Bo Mi. Though not all of them are likeable (esp Nari and Bomi, who constantly put Hana in a difficult position), the drama paints somewhat justified reasons behind their actions and zeroes in to the stories and motivations behind their actions. These kids are just like us, adults, they have troubles and conflicts that they can’t deal with but have to face up to, they hide their feelings, not wanting others to see their weaknesses, they deal with the same amount of pressure and insecurity we deal with in the real world. It’s quite an intense and uncomfortable watch if you put yourself in their shoes, some of us have definitely been there and it hurts if you know what it feels like.
And more than anything, it’s how they deal with a teacher like Ma Nyeo Sa, who just isn’t your conventional guardian/mentor at school. I really have no idea what her approach is, other than ridiculing her students and putting them through hellish discipline. Perhaps she wants them to toughen up? And not to take certain things for granted and at face value? The way she cares, it’s so imposing and frightening at times you might even wonder whether it’d affect the kids’ mentality and their perception of things. I’m a believer of positivity and believing in the good of things, just like Hana, it’s always good to see the good in the bad. Though realistically one should always stand up for herself and not condone or put up with certain things (e.g. bullying), if the heart is kind and loving, only good things will come out of it, for oneself at least. At least Hana stays true, and never stops believing.
You don’t have eye-candies in this show, even Go Hyun Jung is keeping it realistic by not enhancing her looks to command attention (in fact she doesn’t need to because she’s a charmer herself). You don’t have hot guy falling in love with pretty girl in the show, no OTP to fawn over, only the teacher her students and their problems. It’s somewhat like School2013 but less idealistic.
I’d recommend this to anyone who loves a drama with issues that are relatable, and kids who can act and carry a show like champs on their own.
Who needs a hottie?
credits: photos as tagged