For School 2013, “absolutely love” is such an understatement. I think I’m head-over-heels in love with it, and here’s why:
1. Dry Spell – And I don’t even mean I’m not in the mood for drama-watching because by golly, dramas to me are books to most people (no pretense here; I read only when I feel like it, but drama-watching is breathing, I tell you). What I love about writing a review on a particular drama, or a year-ender even, is I get to count how many dramas I’ve already seen, and for this year it’s *goes to MyDramaList* 15 dramas!
Now before you go congratulating me or getting dumbfounded by that fact that I’ve actually seen 15 dramas already (most of them runs for 16 episodes, btw), I have to be honest: None of the 14 (School 2013 is the 15th) dramas drove me nuts (in a good, I-don’t-know-how-I-go-on-living-now-that-you’re-finished kind of way). I call it a dry spell because 2012 was a great drama year (Arang and the Magistrate, Shut Up Flower Boy Band, Queen In Hyun’s Man, Answer Me 1997!!!) and a tough act to follow.
But before people actually start telling me “What a waste of time” (which I will answer in my head “HOW DARE YOU” while smiling sweetly), I did love some of the stuff I’ve seen before School 2013, including:
- Sungkyunkwan Scandal – worth the hype, and not only because of Yoo Ah In and Song Joong Ki (Yoochun who?)
- Flower Boy Next Door – Que Guem and his bubbly disposition will always have a place in my heart ❤
- That Winter the Wind Blows – because Jo In Sung
- Biscuit Teacher Star Candy – because Gong Yoo and Gong Hyo Jin. Mostly Gong Yoo
- Dating Agency Cyrano – the “kidnapping” scene bogged me off but it had its moments
- The Innocent Man – because Song Joong Ki (I think by now we’ve already established dramas and their men can make me stay despite the crazies)
- Monstar – BECAUSE OH EM WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE! *sings Atlantis Princess, possibly in a duet with Kang Ha Neul*
- Pasta – If I had someone like Chef in my workplace I’m never leaving work early ever again
- The Master’s Sun – because So Ji Sub unleashed his inner funny!!!
Still, I think I need to give credit where it’s due. If not for Lee Min Ho’s boring drama Heirs (I kid you not), I would not have seen how great an actor Woo Bin is and would not have thought of picking up School 2013 ever. I always shy away from school dramas because, really, as much as we all loved high school, let’s face it: a school is just one of the most overrated drama setting.
But School 2013 proved to be different — so different, in fact, that I finished it in less than a week without even noticing how the episodes flew by.
2. It looked and felt like a tamer, more realistic version of Gokusen. No, the teacher is not some gangster boss or anything, but she had as much of a heart as Yankumi, maybe even more. To borrow from Teacher Kang (Daniel Choi), she’s “the teacher I want to be”. Just halfway through the drama, I wished it was School 2012 instead of 2013 so I got to watch it before my one-year stint as a high school teacher. I suspect things would have been different, better.
3. Faith in humanity restored: The
bromance friendship of Go Nam Soon and Park Heung Soo. Watch 2013 and you’d know this is a waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better bromance than that of Song Joong Ki and Yoo Ah In’s in Sungkyunkwan Scandal. It’s the kind of bestfriendship I’m most envious about, and it really works in the high school world. Although I’ve seen it transcend past that stage and through college, I’m not sure if it happens after that. I hope it does, and I hope I find my Park Heung Soo soon (tingin ko kasi ako yung Go Nam Soon if ever–barumbado haha)
4. Spot-on portrayal of high school. Unlike in Heirs where their high school is divided into a weird class system only the rich will understand (think Boys Over Flowers), a real high school has everyone mixed in one class — the perfect recipe for disaster. But this is precisely why it’s exciting, and why the children’s issues were so real to me, compared to, say, the mopy angst over at Heirs (sorry so much hate for that drama I’m only watching for Woo Bin, really. Not even my Kang Ha Neul love is helping).
I will stop at 4 because I’m running out of words for now, but I’ll update this as I go on. After all, I don’t think this School 2013 hangover will be over anytime soon ❤