The Gist: Go Hye Mi (Suzy) doesn’t have an ounce of doubt that she’ll get in when she auditions for an arts academy. She gets knocked down a peg when the staff doesn’t choose her, but her geeky, shy friend Yoon Baek Hee (Ham Eun Jung). Baek Hee overnight transforms into a sleek stylish star to be, quickly becoming Hye Mi’s rival. Hye Mi can’t give up on her dream and the school takes pity on her, saying if she can get two other students to come, they’ll let her in. The first is cool and friendly Jin Guk (Taecyeon) and the second is hillbilly kid Sam Dong (Kim Soo Hyun). Together, all of them end up on the road to superstardom, but only one of them can be mega famous.
Played by Wooyoung and IU respectively, these two quickly become my favorite characters. Jason was pretty much the most talented person on cast and his ability to like Pil Sook despite her weight issues was adorable. Then, we get that beautiful moment when Pil Sook comes into her own and pretty much just kills it. They are an adorable couple and I love it.
There’s nothing like some good frienemies to make a show go round. I love it how Hye Mi and Baek Hee square off and push themselves to new places to best each other. In Baek Hee’s case, this starts to get a little scary, like injuring people scary, but that’s what makes her a good antagonist. I’ve said it before but I love a good reconciliation and trying to watch these friends turned enemies try and become friends again is one of the most engaging things about the show.
Hye Mi gets Sam Dong to come to the school with rather obvious seductive tactics and a fake confession. From that point on the romance goes through a psycho roller coaster, ultimately forming a love triangle between her, him and Jin Guk. I generally have a problem when the final matching doesn’t become clear or make the most sense throughout the show. Pretty much until the end, it could have been either of them. That, of course, leads to definite intrigue while watching, but I wish I felt more solid about the ending pair.
Honestly, at writing this, it’s been a little while since I watched this show. Still, the music was utterly unmemorable to me. I can’t think of a single song. With so many strong rivals – You’re Beautiful, Heartstrings, Shut Up Flower Boy Band, Mary Stayed Out All Night – Dream High kind of falls behind as far as producing striking, memorable music. In this aspect, it’s probably my least favorite musical drama.
But really though – it looked like the actors were freezing to death, even when they were supposed to be inside the school. As soon as I read a video comment pointing out that you could see their breath, it was all I could notice the whole time. I ended up just feeling really bad for them, which was totally distracting.
This isn’t a critique I generally hold strongly because on some level, everything’s been done before. While DH has its unique qualities, but nothing about the show made me think, ah, that’s new and exciting! I’d say that Dream High was the first musical drama I watched and even in that regard, it has now been surpassed by so many others. It’s crazy popular and even merited a sequel, but I found myself somewhat bored with the storyline.
So… for as much buzz as this show gets, I found myself ultimately unimpressed with it. The romance was confusing and left me feeling a bit strange. If you’re looking for an excellent musical drama, I feel like there are so many more that I prefer. It’s got a strong cast and some interesting relationships, but it’s not something I wanted to re-watch and didn’t keep me particularly tuned in while watching it the first time.
Final Grade: C
Picture credit: dramacrazy
Picture credit: dramacrazy