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
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 email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "High School - Love On" Episode 19"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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