Now the bullying situation actually resolves itself. I'm sure I've written that multiple times by now but this time it looks like the situation is actually going to stick as Seul-bi receives a direct apology from her tormentors. Another reason why is because the bullies don't actually stop being bullies. They simply redirect their attention somewhere else. It's just as vicious and just as mean, and consequently "High School - Love On" effectively sells the message that no one has actually learned anything from the experience. They've just redirected it.
Joo-ah has certainly had her bad moments, and helping to set Seul-bi up was one of them. But this episode we're constantly reminded of why she was so hesitant about doing the right thing and coming clean. Joo-ah knew that the moment she admitted to any kind of shortcoming the scorn of public hatred would reflect right back on her. It's depressing and all too appropriate to see that the Seul-bi and friends are the only ones sympathizing with her- because they are grateful that Joo-ah turned honest and know what it's like to be hated by basically everyone.
Outside of this dark storyline the episode mostly just centers around cute romance mechanics. After the scare from the loan sharks Woo-hyeon has gotten his act together, although its clear that he's frequently reminded of his mother's spiritual presence. Not literally- she is completely dead after all, angels notwithstanding. It's more that he's accepted that his grandmother wouldn't want him to wallow in grief forever, especially since so many problems remain unresolved.
As far as the angel mechanics go, it's clear that "High School - Love On" is attempting to make some kind of ethical statement on what it means to be human versus angel. Unfortunately I'm not terribly sure what that statement is, mostly because the mechanics of what angels are in this universe aren't totally clear. They appear to be close enough to humans that the not-really-self-help books that Seul-bi reads mean something to her.
Which I suppose from a narrative standpoint is the easiest possible way to get in to the subject. Truth be told I'm not terribly interested in the worldbuilding here, since it would take the drama in too fantastic a direction when to date most of its strengths have been pretty down to Earth. Besides, let's not forget that, however serious its attempted statements are regarding death and bullying, "High School - Love On" is a romantic teen drama starring pop stars. Sometimes you just gotta have fun in the fomentation room.
Review by William Schwartz
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "High School - Love On" Episode 10"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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