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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "High School - Love On" Episode 19

2014/12/12 | Permalink

With this episode "High School - Love On" moves into the final stretch. The opening title spells out in full clarity that we've just about reached the point where Woo-hyeon and Seul-bi will separate, although, as the drama's first scene noted, they are almost certainly going to reunite. Consequently most of the focus here is on tying up the drama's spare plotlines. Which is a problem, because most of these plot points aren't well-defined enough to have coherent resolutions.

The result is an hour of everyone basically just being friends. There are some bumps along the way- three trips to the emergency room that I counted, all for different characters. Yeah, that's a pretty excessive way to try and drive up the dramatic stakes. And the effectiveness is only further lessened by the fact that all of these instances were fairly last minute. Like most of "High School - Love On" lately, there hasn't been any real buildup.

About the only thing that I learned from this episode is that Korea has really nice indoor winter parks. Seriously, that whole montage was pretty remarkable. Obscure winter sports, dogs, tubes? I only wish I knew what such institutions were called so I could go one. Note that it's not a particularly good sign when the nicest thing I can think of to say about an episode is that it makes for a fairly effective commercial advertisement.

On one level I can understand the appeal of having a mostly happy fun-filled episode after all the bad things that have happened. The ending for "The Full Sun" honestly didn't make that much logical sense, but I was willing to accept a little incoherence because all the characters had been through so much and had made a genuine effort to improve as people. By contrast, Woo-hyeon is still picking fights for no good reason. That part of the opening alone is a fairly good indicator of how little character development there's actually been.

"High School - Love On", for its promising beginning and sometimes intriguing storylines, has cumulatively not actually been much of a narrative at all. Even the supernatural aspects haven't shown much purpose. Writ large the drama has just been a vehicle for Woohyn and Lee Sung-yeol to do some acting work that's not so intensive it damages their normal performance schedules. For fans this is an all right enough concept. But as serious storytelling "High School - Love On" has left a lot to be desired.

Review by William Schwartz

"High School - Love On" is directed by Lee Eun-mi-II, Seong Joon-hae, written by Lee Jae-yeon and features Nam Woohyun, Kim Sae-ron, Lee Sung-yeol, Choi Soo-rin, Shin Hyun-tak and Lee Joo-sil.


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