What's Up!

Jan. 5th, 2012 01:47 pm
[personal profile] rosdrise
I've watched the first 10 episodes of What's Up and kind of love it. Well, maybe not love but I definitely like it a lot more than any other dramas I've watched recently.

What a wonderful surprise this drama has been! Honestly, I've had such a bad attitude towards dramas recently, that I didn't expect much from this. I mostly just checked it out for Oh Man-seok (especially because I just powered through a re-watch of Vineyard Man (Taek-gi~~~~)). He didn't show up until the end of episode 2, but it didn't matter, because the show itself was just so solid.

I never watched Dream High, so I don't know how it compares to that high school counterpart, but the college story is pretty great. It's pretty funny, genuinely touching, and a little dark. Just how I like my shows! But it really just comes down to the characters. And they are excellent. Here's a quick rundown:

Jae-hun: In what is very much an ensemble, I guess Jae-hun is kind of our main character. He's the one we initially meet and follow from his hoodlum shenanigans pick-pocketing drunk guys on the street, to unintentionally causing a man's death, to seeking escape in acting school (because that's a thing?). He's great at lying, but when he ends up in the musical theater department, he's more than a little out of his depth. Jae-hun's the type person that isn't afraid to voice his opinion, but at the same time keeps his strongest emotions very close to his heart. He's got a pretty deeply engrained sense of pride, but isn't beyond setting that aside for his friends. It's also pretty funny how completely unaware of pop-culture he is.

Tae-hee: Oh boy, Tae-hee is the kind of character that walks a really fine line with me. See: Go Mi-nam (You're Beautiful) and Seung-yeon (Coffee House). She's a talented singer and actress and a sweet girl (who talks waaaaay to much), but has a horrible sense of direction. She can be pretty funny and the scenes with her dad are lovely. But sometimes she appears to have the intellect of a toddler (complete with the shuffling. OH HOW I LOATHE IT. It's not charming to walk around like a child).

Do-sung: What an awkward young man. Seriously, he's just such a goofball. For all appearances he's a relatively quiet student with a great voice. Little do his fellow students know he's actually a Secret!Internet!Popstar! But he had to hang up his mask because his rising policial-star mother wants to keep him hidden (I'm guessing he was born out of wedlock). Then when a reporter stalks him even after he's started attending college, she wants him to quit that. So, that's frustrating. I'd feel sorry for him, but then he does things like hang onto a police officer's leg to stop his friend from being arrested and I just laugh.

Doo-ri: I think Doo-ri's back story might be my favorite. She could easily have an entire drama centered around her. Before Doo-ri was born, her mom was a singer who's popularity was about to explode. Instead, she stepped down to get married and have a baby. Unfortunately the happy family she wanted never came together and her husband started to cheat and basically disappeared from her life. The solution? Obviously you live vicariously through your child. So Doo-ri's childhood was full of fluffy pink dresses, singing classes, and EXPECTATIONS. When in reality all she wanted to do was laze about in flannel and play video games. She's abrasive and stand-off-ish, but watching her melt and learn to want to care about and be cared for by people is great.

Byung-gun: I've seen 10 episodes and they haven't really done much with this character. We know his family isn't aware of his enrollment in an arts college (I can't remember what he told them) and he can not sing in front of people. Like... ANYONE. He's nervous the majority of the time and quite similar to Do-sung in many ways... but more physically goofy? I'm not even sure how to describe it. He's fun to watch though.

Chae-young: The writing for this character gave me a bit of whip-lash in the beginning. We knew she was a B-list actress looking to improve her skills in hopes of being taken more seriously. I though she was going to be this cool-type character who wanted to take her acting seriously. But then they went down the road of lazy, sneaky diva... which was disappointing. Then, in these last two episodes we've started to see the cracks in the facade. She's really incredibly anxious about her position at her agency and with her job, and it's been hinted that the way her company handles things isn't always in the healthiest manner.

Sun-woo: What a disaster of a person. He's living in his office, stashing bottles of soju around campus, and can't be bothered to teach or, you know, shower. He was some soon-to-be big deal musical star, but when his girlfriend, who he dumped because he felt too beholden to her, died in front of him, he left the world of musicals (and went to live in the mountains?) and hasn't sung sense. He has an unorthodox (read: lazy-ass) way of teaching, but there are glimpses of actual knowledge. But the director of the school despises him and is dead-set on getting him off campus. Anyway, after dealing with a few demons (like meeting Tae-hee, who was his girlfriend's niece) and picking up a few more issues (such as Doo-ri crushing pretty hard and leading to a big old scandal) he's cleaned up his act a bit.

That covers our main cast, but everyone in the extended cast is pretty great too. I highly suggest this drama to everyone. Who else is watching?!
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