High School: Love On, my new little weekly addiction, with KBS deciding to air only one episode a week after tossing and turning over whether to air the drama at all, High School: Love On looks set to become that little unknown drama, that will gain a large following, much like TV Chosun’s Bride of the Century (at least in my opinion). However with only one episode airing per week the drama looks to be a long journey for viewers and hopefully it doesn’t lose viewership as it goes along because it does look like it will be that small breath of fresh air to people, as most teenage centric dramas are, High School: Love On revolves around the story of a drama loving angel whom accidentally comes in to physical contact with a human when she tries to save him from dying and thus is turned in to a human herself.
Whilst having not one but two male idols as two of the three main characters does make you pause for a bit, the two boys from Infinite (Lee Sung Yeol and Nam Woo Hyun) do a pretty good job in the first episode and this isn’t the first time either of them have been in a drama, it’ll also be interesting to see the two members play rivals in this drama. Our leading angel, played by Kim Sae Ron, easily pulls off the childlike mischief of an young angel whilst also giving us an air of maturity when it is called for. She’s basically a god knows how old angel who just happens to be stuck in a teenagers body, and her job is to collect the souls of the departed (she’s basically a reaper, but for some reason in Korean she’s an angel).
I found the first episode pretty cute and loved the little angel and her love of dramas, especially the scene where she gets up to follow Woo Hyun to his bedroom, cause that’s just what happens in dramas and he asks her what happens after they get to the bedroom (man its hard to think sexy thoughts when Sae Ron is like 13 years old in real life), I’m looking forward to future episodes of this drama cause like I said before, it just seems like a breath of fresh air to watch not to mention it’s so pretty, so without further ado, on to the first recap.
The drama opens up 2 years in the future at a university campus and the caption on the screen tells us that it’s Spring 2016. Our lead Shin Woo Hyun (played by Infinite’s Nam Woo Hyun) is seen rushing up the steps towards a lecture hall when he bumps in to a mystery girl causing her to drop her books, murmuring a quick apology he picks up her books and hands them to her and she quickly rushes off before he can hand her the last book. A sudden burst of rain sends him running for cover, where a mystery girl steps up next to him seeking shelter under her umbrella. Woo Hyun looks over to her and notices the golden key necklace she’s wearing, his hand reaches for his own necklace in the shape of a silver lock.
“You…” he starts to say, only to have her suddenly walk away. As we rewind back to Spring 2014 he thinks to himself, “In the time in my life when you were my every moment, we loved. And in this moment now, I’m looking at you”.
Present day Woo Hyun quickly serves his scooter to avoid hitting a teenager who is crossing the road, time slowly stops and then freezes altogether. Our angel (Kim Sae Ron) who is watching the whole thing unfold on the rooftop of the nearby building quickly pops down and tugs the teenager back a few steps and then pops back to wherever she goes when she’s not in the human world. Time restarts and the only one injured is the poor onion that gets stepped on the by the indifferent teenager, and that everyone is the first meeting between future rivals Woo Hyun and Hwang Sung Yeol (played by Infinite’s Lee Sung Yeol)
The next day our two leads cross paths again, Woo Hyun performs CPR on a man who has collapsed on the sidewalk whilst our angel is here to collect the mans soul. She informs the confused soul that she is the one who guides the dead humans and that in situations like this; most humans call her an angel. As the mans body is rushed to hospital our hero realises that he is late to class and rushes off, our angel side steps him in time and lets out a relived smile, however she is not so lucky when he is called back by the policeman who was at the scene because he dropped something. Woo Hyun comes running back and this time goes through the angel who drops her trusty black book filled with names of the souls she will collect next. “We and humans are different beings. That’s why even if our hearts pass, we can’t feel it. But after I met him, unusual things started happening”.
Woo Hyun rocks up to school to a bevvy of admirers and you realise that he’s that cool kid in school, who’s cool without even trying. One of his crazy female stalkers has been skipping out on classes due to him and her mother, who is the president of the parent committee is not impressed with Woo Hyun and basically does what all bitchy drama mothers do and degrades him and insults his homegrown roots and basically makes you want to bitchslap her across the face a few times. Because he retaliates Woo Hyun is called to the principal’s office, but something catches his eye along the way.
Meanwhile our angel is busy watching Wonderful Season and one of the angel sunbaes asks her what her obsession with human dramas is, she tells him that watching the dramas give her a feel for what human emotions are like, “What pain is, what joy is, what it feels like to love, why people love despite knowing they’ll break up, or why they live despite knowing they’ll die.” Sunbae reaper basically tells her to focus on her job and poofs out. Just as the drama is getting to a good part, the angels’ book of death names signals a new client and she abandons Lee Seo Jin and Kim Hee Sun.
Our angels new client happens to be none other than the daughter of the crazy rich lady and who is she with but none other than Woo Hyun, he does some reverse psychology on the student and tells her that they’ll jump together and climbs up to join her, the sky suddenly gets darker and the angels book goes crazy with the death name jumping from Woo Hyun to Jin Young (the female student), the angel tries to get a hold of her malfunctioning book but loses her grip on it and it plunges towards the ground, quick as a flash she pops down to get her book. Woo Hyun meanwhile seizes his chance and pulls Jin Young off the edge, losing his balance in the process.
The angel looks up just in time and throws up a protective barrier to protect herself and Woo Hyun, however that fizzles out and the two are knocked out cold while her trusty book of names also disappears but not before we see that it landed on Woo Hyun’s name.
Next thing you know both of them are in hospital beds. Woo Hyun is amazed he survived the fall unscathed whilst the angel is confused why he’s talking right at her, she lets out a scream once she realises that he can actually SEE her and then panics once she realises that her notebook has now disappeared.
Outside the hospital Woo Hyun tries to get the angels name and address but she tells him he wouldn’t believe him even if she told him, he tells her that he’ll believe it, when she points at the sky he just shakes his head in disbelief. The angel suddenly notices that she now has a heart beat and freaks out again but she brightens up when she spots her sunbae across the road, Woo Hyun pulls her back before she can get hit by a nearing car and as she hugs him close she realises that he has a heartbeat as well. The angel calls over her sunbae and fills him in on her predicament and asks him to help her find a solution, to Woo Hyun’s eyes however it just looks like she’s conversing with air.
He takes her to the police station in the hopes of delivering her home. When she’s asked for a name by the police officer the angel casts her eyes around and comes up with “Bi Yi-Seul” however because that name makes no sense at all the officer concludes that she must have meant “Yi Seul-Bi” and she nods along like that’s what she meant all along. Relieved Woo Hyun leaves his contact details with the officers and gets up to leave only to be pulled back by Seul Bi looking at him with puppy eyes.
However before he can leave crazy mum rocks up to the station with his teacher in tow and wants to file some type of report, basically he either has to transfer schools or pay her an enormous sum of money for bullying her precious daughter into thinking of committing suicide. Seul Bi pipes up that she was a witness to the scene and that none of what the “bad ahjumma” is saying is true, wanting to avoid another headache Woo Hyun leads her outside and tells her to stay, Seul Bi gets a look in her eye that does not look like it will end well for anyone. Back inside the precinct it seems the nice police officer has an idea of what’s going on and knows that the teacher submitted a falsified report. The crazy lady walks out to find her car defaced with words like,” liar!” painted on it.
In the next scene we see Seul Bi covered with paint on her face and scrutinising how one of the boys is eating his ddeokbokki, when Woo Hyun’s grandma asks her how old she is, she replies that she’s never bothered counting which earns her weird looks all-round so she just points at Woo Hyun and says that she’s his age. Grandma tells Seul Bi that she can stay for as long as she wants.
Since Seul Bi doesn’t have any clothes grandma lends her some of her old things and she ends up looking seriously quirky, grandma hands a box over to Woo Hyun that came from his father in the States, and he hands them over to Seul Bi and tells her she can have them since dad never bothers to get him the right size. Seul Bi asks him where his mother is and silence ensues, grandma tells Woo Hyun that he should get some sleep.
Woo Hyun gets up to go to bed and Seul Bi grabs a pillow and follows him, telling him that’s what normally happens in the dramas. He asks her what happens when they get to the room and she thinks for a bit before telling him that it goes dark (oh man seriously if she was like 4 years older this would be such a perfect drama!!!). Woo Hyun lies down in his bed and fiddles with the gold key necklace which we saw the mysterious girl wear in the beginning and wonders aloud about where his mother could be.
Seul Bi sneaks down later that night and has a taste test of all the drinks in the fridge and Woo Hyun passes her on his way out to see Jin Young who’s called him out to apologise for her mothers behaviour. When he tells her that they shouldn’t see each other anymore she grabs on to him and says if he dates her she’ll put a stop to his transfer. Woo Hyun, however is only half listening because he’s spotted Seul Bi who starts to do random exercises whilst pretending that she wasn’t spying, he motions her over and tells Jin Young to let go of him, citing that his girlfriend is here.
The two walk along and Woo Hyun notices that Seul Bi’s shoelaces are untied and bends down to do them for her. She tells him not to worry about her misunderstanding that she’s now his girlfriend cause she’s seen this act many times in dramas. She asks him if him transferring is a bad thing and takes his silence to mean that it is indeed a bad thing, he tells her it isn’t bad it just means that his memories get taken away and there are some memories he could live without. Seul Bi tells him that humans are way too complicated and he tells her she talks as if she isn’t human. The two come to a stop and look at the night sky, Seul Bi wonders when she’ll ever get to go back, she waves her hands at the sky and yells, “Look here! I’m here”, Woo Hyun looks over at her and smiles, he follows her lead and yells, and “I’m here also!”
The next day Seul Bi is picking up beans one by one to practice her chopstick skills whilst trying to figure out how to get out of her situation with her sunbae, he asks her why she’s practicing and she tells him that humans need this skill in order to live and eat and that they have many good things to eat on this plane, he performs some quick telepathic moves and gets the remaining beans in the bowl and tells her not to forget that she isn’t really human. Seul Bi looks forlorn as she apologises to her sunbae as he gets up to leave, she tells him that she’s just apologising for everything (awww in that moment she really does look her 13 years of age)
Sung Yeol turns out to be the son of the nice police officer who helped Woo Hyun and Seul Bi out, but he doesn’t get along well with his new step mum, whom he accuses of breaking up his parents marriage. Step mum says some words that hint at the fact that Sung Yeol doesn’t have the whole story on what really went down.
Jin Young’s mother comes to cause havoc for Woo Hyun again and this time whips out a hefty car repair fee for the damage caused to her car. He pulls Seul Bi outside to ask whether she really did that to her car and when she tells him that she did it because she thought the ahjumma was being unfair to Woo Hyun and she wanted to help, he reaches his tolerance point for her and tells her that he doesn’t know her anymore. Despite her pleas that he’s the only person that she knows in this world, he walks away from her. Seul Bi walks along dejectedly with her sunbae reaper following along on the other side of the road (omo I sense some feelings here).
Woo Hyun gets back home and goes to throw out the tattered clothes that Seul Bi was wearing on the day of the accident. A frustrated Woo Hyun goes out for a late night bike ride, whilst our angel friend is rummaging in the trash for something, she comes across an abandoned soft toy and clutches it to her, saying that they both share the same fate of being abandoned. Suddenly it starts to rain and Seul Bi runs to seek shelter outside a convenience store.
She ends up plastered to the window when she sees Sung Yeol eating ramen inside the convenience store, unlike Woo Hyun however her expression of hunger does not affect Sung Yeol, muttering to herself about how unjust the world is she yells out “bad guy!” just as Sung Yeol walks outside with an umbrella. Sung Yeol looks at her in shock and she tells him that she wasn’t talking about him, her eyes light up however when she spots the umbrella and she sidles over to him ending up in cute couple proximity, and confusing Sung Yeol. Sung Yeol moves the umbrella around a few times and she follows it adorably, pulling her out of the umbrella he walks away wordlessly. “You’re just like Shin Woo Hyun!” she yells after him, leading him to walk back and shove the thing in her hand and walk away again. Happy once more Seul Bi stands in the rain under the umbrella and looks around in wonder.
Seul Bi wanders around aimlessly and wonders if she is going to die whilst living in human form, she wonders what she needs to do in order to go back to her life, “I want to go back” she says as she contemplates the passing cars with a serious expression.
“I’m going back”, she states as she drops her umbrella and walks in to the path of an oncoming car.
Oh man all the little angel wants to do is go home right now after being abandoned by Woo Hyun.
I really like the quirkiness of this drama, and whilst I haven’t been following this drama from the get go, I’m glad to have stumbled upon this little piece of cute. Neither of the Infinite boys acting is anything to write home about, but neither is it something to rage about, and I have hope that as the drama steadily progresses that both of them will improve. Kim Sae Ron is really awesome in her role as the drama loving angel and it’s a pity that she is so young because she would be so shippable with both of the boys, it does make me wonder though if we will get any tease type scenes (you know those normal drama type scenes where you totally swoon over the hotness of both leads being in air sharing space) because of her young age, but I guess we can’t have everything in a drama *sighs*.
The one person that I could live without in this drama is the crazyass mother who’s basically a cliché rich drama lady down to a T, but once again no drama is ever without a character that you can hate, so hate her I will.
Most definitely the two cutest scenes for me in the first episode would have to be when Woo Hyun ties Seul Bi’s shoelaces for her and that cute umbrella scene that she shares with Sung Yeol.
On top of that it’s interesting to see how despite how long she’s probably been an angel, Seul Bi sees things in good and bad, she knows that Woo Hyun is a good person and when she see’s him being threatened by the bad ahjumma she wants to defend him and acts on well meant yet childish impulses of “people who do bad things should be taught lessons”, because she wants to help and protect Woo Hyun but she doesn’t realises that her actions will cause an even bigger problem for him afterwards. It’ll be interesting to see how she does once she enters high school, because that place is a jungle.
I’m also interested to see what happened in the lead up to that opening sequence, because the two have clearly become separated for whatever reason, and something did happen to the both of them for her to end up with his necklace and for him to be wearing the lock to her key. So the set up of the next 19 episodes is basically the story of how they fell in love, and what happened in the lead up to our opening.