Search This Blog

29 November 2019

K Drama Review: High Society (2015)

This K drama was not on my to-watch list. Next in line for me was another Park Hyung Sik drama. But I saw this listed on the PHS Philippines Facebook page so I bumped it up on my list.


I watched Juror 8 prior to this one. However, I don't think I can write a review about the film because I lack materials about the real story on the first jury trial in South Korea. I would have wanted to read more on the real thing so I can compare it to the movie. I suspect that the film greatly veered away from the real story because I can't seem to find comparisons or reviews. In any case, it was okay. Two hours worth of Park Hyung Sik is still better than nothing. :)


Going back to High Society. It was challenging to watch this drama because it was neither on YouTube nor Netflix. It was not on Viu either. Fortunately, there are some K drama/Asian drama websites out there. You just have to deal with the usual spotty connection problems. And it's not downloadable so you can't watch it offline.


                                             


High Society is about two chaebols, a girl (Uee as Jang Yoon-ha) and a boy (Yoo Chang-soo played by Park Hyung Sik), who were initially set up to meet for an arranged marriage. But of course, rich kids marrying each other would be boring. So they really can't end up together.

Chang-soo falls in love with Yoon Ha's poor best friend, Lee Ji-yi (Lim Ji Yeon), who happens to be a part-timer in the grocery owned by Chang-soo's family. Ji-yi only finished high school.


                                                 


Yoon-ha, on the other hand, falls in love with Chang-soo's friend and colleague, Choi Joon-ki (Sung Joon). Joon-ki comes from a poor family too but he's well-educated. He works as a deputy manager in the family corporation of Chang-soo. He's a very ambitious guy who wants to marry for money. Yoon-ha, although a rich kid, was neglected by her family. She was also a part-timer in the grocery of Chang-soo's family.


Complications arise when Chang-soo's mom opposes her son's relationship with Ji-yi. She went as far as having Ji-yi kicked out of her apartment. Yoon-ha also finds out that Joon-ki had an ulterior motive when he first approached her so the two break up as well.


There are other side stories but that's the main plot. Joon-ki and Yoon-ha are supposed to be the main characters with Chang-soo and Ji-yi being the supporting love team.

I've not watched enough K dramas but I would often read reviews of some dramas being your typical K drama. I get them now. High Society had quite a number of those formulaic stuff. There was the bromance between Chang-soo and Joon-ki. Then the typical jerk chaebol who would fall in love with a poor person. Then the shower scenes, which could honestly be done away with.


I guess I'm supposed to enjoy this drama because it's a love story. However, after watching heavy and socially-relevant shows like Angry Mom, Strong Girl Bong-soon, and Suits, I have to admit that this show just really paled in comparison and felt so empty and superficial. But it has Park Hyung Sik, so I endured the 16 episodes.

I didn't really like the main characters - Joon-ki and Yoon-ha. Joon-ki seemed so boring and heartless. There was just something off about him. Or should that be a good thing because it means that he really portrayed his ambitious character well? I'm not so sure. The only time I warmed up to his character was when he finally showed some affection towards his parents.

Yoon-ha looked average compared to Ji-yi. It didn't help that she had this weird smile/lips. I didn't like her both in the heavy drama and the supposedly funny scenes. She did look the chaebol part with her nice clothes and make up but over-all, her acting was probably the weakest link here.

Ji-yi was a natural. She was funny, charming, and lovable. She was pretty and cute at the same time. I loved her skin. She acted well too. I felt her happiness and I felt her sadness as well. I was really rooting for her and Chang-soo. I loved how she held her ground against Chang-soo's mother. I just didn't quite understand how a nice girl like her could fall in love with a jerk like Chang-soo who was overly arrogant at the start. But I guess that's how love is, sometimes it defies logic.

Park Hyung Sik as Chang-soo was superb as usual. I already know that he can play the chaebol part well through Strong Girl. And that he has this to-die for stare that you just can't help but fall in love with him. He just looked better in Strong Girl because (I know I'm being shallow here) of the way his hair was parted. Haha. He really looks better with long hair/hair with bangs such as here and in Strong Girl unlike the clean cut look he had on Suits and Juror 8. :D

Chang-soo played the jerk part really well. But he was also convincing as a guy who was madly in love with Ji-yi. I felt his pain when his mom was trying to separate him and Ji-yi. And I loved how his character bounced back and managed to convince his mom that Ji-yi was the one for him. I would say that Chang-soo and Ji-yi's love story was the brightest spot for this drama.

Other things I liked include the family angle especially on how parents would do everything for their children. Although not clearly evident, I still felt the love of Yoon-ha's parents for her. Sometimes, some people just really express their love differently. It was amazing how Chang-soo's mother had a change of heart after seeing how her choices deeply hurt her son. And my favorite parent-child story line was Joon-ki's. His parents were just the epitome of true love - weathering storms together and choosing happiness no matter how difficult life may be. Their love for their son was just wonderful. Even if their son was clearly embarrassed of them, they still loved him unconditionally.


I also learned some nuggets of wisdom from the show. I could not agree more with Yoon-ha's mother when she said that it's sad how youth is such a short time and we spend much longer time as adults/grown-ups. Indeed. Wouldn't it be much lovelier if we had a longer time as teenagers with not a care in the world and just a little bit of time as adults? Adulting is tough and although we're supposed to be wiser at this point, we all know that that does not mean life will be much easier.


I also loved how one of the rich characters (not sure if it was Yoon-ha's mom again) said that we all have to live the lives we've been dealt with. True, it's difficult to be poor, not knowing where you're getting money for your needs. And the rich seem to have it easier than most of us because they have lots of money. However, it does not necessarily mean that they are always happier. Their lives can be just as complicated and lonely as those of regular people. So, yes, let's live the lives we've been dealt with and trust that God would only give us what we can bear.

Chang-soo also did a Hello Love Goodbye like pronouncement. He said he'd marry Ji-yi even if it meant getting divorced the following day. He'd take one day, 10 days, etc. Just like Alden's character in Hello Love Goodbye, Chang-soo was willing to take whatever love was given to him, no matter how small, short, and limited. Because that's love. Chang-soo was willing to take the risk because you need to try things so you won't have what ifs and regrets later on. 


Music here was quite nostalgic because their main song was the same one used in Wonderful Days. I couldn't help but remember Dong-seok and Hae-won while watching the show.


Over-all, High Society was just okay. I now understand what a typical formulaic K drama is. Don't expect something deep and serious. But it's still worth watching because of Park Hyung Sik. :D


Noona says...it's a 3.5. 

No comments:

Post a comment