THE SHORT VERDICT:
Youthful, fresh, and with just the right amount of angst, Who Are You – School 2015 is an engaging watch for most of its run, and even manages to feel cracky in parts.
On top of the typical teen problems, Show layers a missing-twin-swopped-lives arc that amps up the dramatic tension. Add on a confusing love triangle which ups the crack factor, and I was a eager happy camper through much of the show.
Despite some of the acting falling on the stiff side and an ending that loses steam, Show manages to remain a fun watch overall.
THE LONG VERDICT:
To be honest, when I started watching this show, I’d just recently finished watching Angry Mom, and I wondered if the two shows would be too similar for me to properly enjoy School 2015, since both shows are set in high school, and both feature bullying quite prominently, to boot.
Thankfully, I actually had nothing to worry about. Even though there are some similar themes on paper, the two shows and their drama worlds feel different and easily distinct.
While Angry Mom feels darker and grittier, and is often viewed through an adult lens, School 2015 shines more of the spotlight on actual student life, and tonally, feels more like a real high school drama than Angry Mom.
While my affection for School 2015 doesn’t quite match my (big, big) love for School 2013, I still liked it a whole lot, and consistently looked forward to its next episode.
OST ALBUM: FOR YOUR LISTENING PLEASURE
Here’s the OST album in case you’d like to listen to it while you read the review.
WHAT I LIKED
From the very beginning, our story and our characters are effectively and efficiently set up, along with many intriguing questions that made me want to know more about the characters, their stories, and their world.
Even after just the first episode, I came away feeling a little hooked already, which is a very good thing indeed.
If I had to distill what made this show work for me, these are the 3 major things.
1. The Twin Mystery
Even just on paper, Show’s swopped identities mystery hook already adds interest and dramatic tension to take our story beyond a typical high school story.
In execution, I really appreciated that Show turned out to be more layered and complex – and therefore more intriguing – than I’d expected, in terms of how it handled the swopped identities arc between our twins Eun Byul and Eun Bi (both played by Kim So Hyun).
Originally, I’d thought we’d get a fairly straightforward scenario of Eun Bi escaping her sad life, and enjoying the perfect life that Eun Byul had. But, as it turns out, Eun Byul’s life wasn’t quite so perfect, and Eun Bi has to face the consequences for the life that Eun Byul had left.
I found this arc not only interesting, but also thought-provoking. So often, what appears good and perfect on the surface really isn’t so good or so perfect, once you dig a little deeper. And that’s what we see when Eun Bi really starts trying to live her life as Eun Byul.
As she discovers more about Eun Byul’s life, so do we, and that journey of discovery kept me very much engaged.
To add to the intrigue, we learn quite quickly that it was Eun Byul who had saved Eun Bi, only to then position Eun Bi to take over her life, while Eun Byul herself disappeared.
Why would Eun Byul do that? What actually happened to Eun Byul afterwards? Was she dead or alive? These were all questions that kept me curious as I watched the show.
2. The Love Triangle
Not gonna lie; the love triangle between Eun Bi, Yi An (Nam Joo Hyuk) and Tae Kwang (Yook Sung Jae) was a big fat cracky hook for me.
I liked both boys, although I did root for one more than the other (details later!), and it was cracky goodness to see the two boys falling for Eun Bi in spite of themselves.
It was all the more cracky to me, in the sense that I just loved the idea that Eun Bi, who’d been bullied and ostracized pre-twin-swop, was now enjoying so much care and attention from not one, but two nice young men.
In that sense, it almost felt like Life was making it up to her, y’know?
And even though the boys were constantly at each other while jostling for Eun Bi’s attention, I thought it very sweet and very telling, that they would readily join forces and work together, when it came to protecting Eun Bi. Sweetness. I loved it.
3. Relatable Student Issues
Kudos to the writers, for making screentime for several issues that spoke to the more everyday types of student issues.
The immense pressure to do well and excel; the roles that parents play, in either being a source of stress, or a safe haven for their children; the various forms that bullying take in school; Show made room for all of these minor arcs to each get their time in the spotlight, even as our dual major arcs of the twin mystery and the love triangle continued their trajectory.
This had the effect of helping to make our drama world feel all the more like a real high school, and I found it a very nice touch.
With an ensemble cast, it’s literally impossible to talk about all of our characters. Here, I give the quick – and sometimes not-too-quick – spotlight to several of our main characters.
Kim So Hyun as Eun Byul/Eun Bi
Playing two different characters in a single show is a challenge for any actor, and Kim So Hyun does an admirable job of playing both Eun Byul and Eun Bi.
Not only is it easy to tell the twins apart without having their surroundings spell it out for us, she plays both characters with nuance and heart.
That’s no small accomplishment for an actor of any age, and I find her ability to imbue both sisters with what feels like effortless layers and facets very impressive indeed.
Sure, she’s quite the veteran, having spent a mind-boggling 13 years (of her 16 years of actually being alive) in the industry to date. Even so, her ease and maturity in fleshing out Eun Bi and Eun Byul as distinct characters is no small deal. Kudos indeed.
My only (minor-ish) gripe, which probably has as much to do with the writing as it has to do with the delivery, is that in the later episodes, the characterization of both sisters becomes a little flatter than before, and each sister is brought to more extreme points of the personality scale to emphasize their distinctness.
Broadly speaking, this meant that Eun Bi seemed a little too docile and sweet, while Eun Byul seemed a little too bold and sassy.
While I would’ve very much liked both sisters to have retained the nuances in characterization that we get in the early episodes when they were living in different worlds, I still think Kim So Hyun did a pretty fantastic job of both characters.
Sassy, opinionated, and bold to speak her mind, Eun Byul was a refreshing and interesting character that I wanted to know more about.
The problem is, I feel like Show gave Eun Byul the short end of the stick. In terms of screentime, from exposition to development to resolution, almost everything about Eun Byul’s story felt rushed. A lot of what we do learn about her, we learn through Eun Bi’s experience.
In that sense, I felt like Eun Byul never got a chance to get properly fleshed out as a character, and that we as an audience therefore never got a real chance to connect with her in a genuine and solid manner.
She felt more like a shadow of a character; a mysterious distant person that we spend more time hearing about, than actually spending time with.
I thought this was a big missed opportunity, particularly in terms of Eun Byul’s relationship with Eun Bi (more on that later).
Comparatively, we get to spend a lot more time with Eun Bi as we follow her on her journey of discovery and growth.
Ultimately, this made her feel like our protagonist, much more than Eun Byul ever was. While that could’ve been Show’s intention all along, it did feel like Eun Byul had gotten sidelined in favor of her twin.
In general, I liked following Eun Bi on her journey and watching her grow and evolve and basically find herself, as she faced the situations before her.
The trajectory, where we see Eun Bi grow from cowering before bully So Young (Jo Soo Hyang), to eventually standing up to her while living as Eun Byul, was one of the most satisfying arcs in the show.
I loved the moment in episode 8, for example, when Eun Bi is awesomely badass in response to So Young, who confronts her in the auditorium. The swag that she wears and her boldness in the face of So Young’s threat completely disempowers So Young, and I love it.
Unfortunately, in emphasizing Eun Bi’s strong empathetic streak (which is totally a good thing too), Show missed a huge opportunity, and that is to have had Eun Bi stand up to So Young, not as Eun Byul, but as herself.
Coz I honestly don’t think strength and empathy have to be mutually exclusive traits.
Still, I found Eun Bi likable and easy to root for, and even though there were times when I felt like her journey of self-discovery was a little slow, I could rationalize that things like change and growth can take time.
Nam Joo Hyuk as Yi An
You guys have probably figured out my “type” by now, and Nam Joo Hyuk – who’s gorgeously tall, lean, sculpted, and in possession of a set of nicely strong brows – fits the bill nicely. Yes, he’s got a long way to go with the acting, but I can’t deny that I like what I see.
As Han Yi An, Nam Joo Hyuk gives off a wholesome, clean-cut, sporty boy-next-door sort of vibe, which I really dig. I love that Yi An is the kind of boy who’s loyal, and who cares.
Add on the fact that Yi An is a hardworking, dedicated competitive swimmer (the abundance of shirtless! Bonus!) who’s not a genius, but simply someone who worked really, really hard to get to where he is today, and my big soft spot for Yi An was pretty much sealed.
His sweet loyalty to Eun Byul, combined with his slight touch of dork amid the star sportsman aura, gave me warm fuzzy goofy grins.
Plus, those broad shoulders are so yum.
There are two major points on which I’d like to defend Yi An. Yes, I like Yi An and it could be that I’m biased. At the same time, I do feel that Yi An as a character got a lot more flak than he really deserved, so here’s my two cents in Yi An’s defense (hey, that rhymes!).
Generally speaking, one of the major complaints about Yi An is how much he withdrew into himself in episode 10, and spent a long time not actually doing anything, compared to Tae Kwang, who was actively seeking out Eun Bi.
In Yi An’s defense, the poor guy had a LOT to process and deal with. Not only the fact that the Eun Byul in front of him wasn’t really Eun Byul, but that Eun Byul may have well died, AND, his swimming career was on hold indefinitely. So much to process, at just 18 years old.
It’s a lot to deal with all at once at any age, and even more so, when you’re just 18. I thought Yi An acting up this episode was understandable, even if it wasn’t popular.
The signs that we got, that Yi An was slowly coming to terms with Eun Bi’s identity, and starting to relate to her as herself instead of her twin, were subtle, but they were enough for me.
In episode 12, we see him putting his arm around Eun Bi to walk her home, this time knowing that she’s not Eun Byul, and later, we also see him texting her by her name. This helped me to know that in his own way and in his own time, he was coming around to who Eun Bi is.
2. Anger towards Eun Byul
Again in defense of Yi An, I felt that his anger towards Eun Byul in episode 13 – essentially for her deception – was understandable.
He’d been through a very intense emotional rollercoaster because of her, and I felt that Eun Byul didn’t seem to have considered how he might have felt.
I felt that Eun Byul’s abrupt way of showing up, and expecting him to just deal with it and accept her, was rather insensitive. In Yi An’s shoes, I’d be upset with her too – at least for a while.
Yook Sung Jae as Tae Kwang
Yook Sung Jae is impressively pitch perfect as the angsty teenage rebel with the hidden wounded soul.
It’s hard to believe this is only Yook Sung Jae’s second major acting role (he was also very good in the underrated Plus Nine Boys). He’s quite the natural onscreen, and portrays Tae Kwang with nuance and heart.
Honestly, I think credit largely goes to Yook Sung Jae’s delivery, for the large amount of love that Tae Kwang received from S2015’s audience.
I really enjoyed Tae Kwang’s journey of growth and healing, and thought it was one of the best character arcs in the show.
Every step that Tae Kwang made, away from being the resident rebel without a(n apparent) cause, towards becoming a balanced, focused young man with healthy, happy relationships with his friends and family, made me happy.
Tae Kwang tugged at my heartstrings in episode 12 especially.
From the phone call where he can’t bring himself to talk to Mom (Choi Soo Rin), to when he gets all dressed up to go to her wedding, only able to lock eyes with her from afar; it’s all extremely poignant.
And then, after a terrible misunderstanding with Dad (Jun Noh Min), Tae Kwang’s confession to Eun Bi, knowing that she doesn’t reciprocate his feelings, and this tiredly persistent hug, as a tear quietly escapes his eye.
Awww. Poor baby. This scene is just all so heart-tugging, and sweet, and sad, all at the same time.
Although the vast majority of viewers desperately wanted Tae Kwang to get the girl, I honestly think that Show’s decision to focus his arc on platonic and familial love was the better choice.
As much as Tae Kwang needs love, I feel that it’s not romantic love per se that he really needs, at this point in his life. He needs love, period. Love from friends, love from family. He needs to be loved, and know what it feels like, to be loved.
And I appreciate that we get to see glimmers of that, in his friendship with Eun Bi, in his connection with Teacher Kim (Lee Pil Mo), in his interactions with Yi An and his dad (Lee Dae Yeon), and of course, in his relationship with his own dad.
It made me happy to witness that healing happening, as little love sprouts finally become visible (not that Tae Kwang’s dad never loved him before) in the later episodes of the show.
Jo Soo Hyang as So Young
Ugh, So Young. I disliked her, so much. I hated her gloating smirk, I hated that she seemed to take actual pleasure in bullying others, I hated that she never seemed to feel remorse, even when her actions led to very serious consequences.
Essentially, So Young as a character aggravated me a lot, which means that Jo Soo Hyang did an excellent job with the character.
I found So Young’s behavior disturbing on so many occasions. Here are just the more alarming instances:
- When she would feel no remorse even while under the impression that Eun Bi had committed suicide as a result of her bullying.
- When she felt no relief when she realized that Eun Bi had lived instead of died.
- When she determined to kill Eun Bi in episode 8.
- When she blithely ruined Yi An’s competition in episode 9 with her taunting text, and then felt no remorse when he got into an accident that ruined his shoulder.
Show paints a context for So Young that helps to humanize her – her parents are downright awful, and the worst role models ever – and resolves her arc by making her suffer the consequences of her bullying ways by having her new schoolmates ostracize her, but I never found the resolution satisfying enough.
I wanted So Young to be truly sorry for her actions, not just because she ended up suffering because of them, but I wanted her to really feel sorry for the trauma she’d caused other people.
In essence, I wanted to see that she had an actual conscience.
Also, I wanted to see her receive formal punishment for her actions, many of which were actual crimes. Show should’ve sent that message, that all the physical and emotional abuse that So Young was guilty of, is serious stuff in the eyes of the law.
I think seeing So Young spend time in some kind of detention center or institution would’ve gone quite a long way in making Show feel more satisfying overall.
Lee Pil Mo as Teacher Kim
Special shout-out to Lee Pil Mo, whom I felt was perfectly cast as the kids’ homeroom teacher. I found him warm and quite adorable as the teacher with Heart, and I really liked the firm yet caring way he interacted with the students.
It’s a pity that Teacher Kim’s arc feels shoehorned in, but I did appreciate that Show spent some time exploring his perspective and backstory.
As brief as it is, I like the way Teacher Kim’s arc is treated in episode 15, in the sense that we see him leaving the school, not to satisfy a rule or a law, but to satisfy his own conscience.
I respect that he feels he needs the space and time to think and find his direction and passion all over again. After all, how can one truly teach without passion, right? And in the end, I do love that he finds his passion again, and squarely in the classroom too, where he belongs.
As with the characters themselves, there are way too many relationships in this show to be able to do them all justice. Here’s my spotlight on some of the more major relationships.
The OTP Loveline
Like I mentioned earlier in this review, the love triangle and its related developments was one of my biggest crack factors while watching this show.
I thought the writers did a good job of making both boys worthy contenders for Eun Bi’s affections. With Yi An’s melty-cozy brand of loyal friendship on the one hand, and refreshingly honest interactions with Tae Kwang on the other, Eun Bi was, objectively speaking, spoilt for choice.
Show did a pretty good job teasing this arc through most of its run, so that shippers in both camps weren’t even quite sure what the outcome would be, till the very end.
Yi An and Eun Bi
As you’ve probably gathered by now, I was on this ship rather the Tae Kwang-Eun Bi one, from pretty early on in the show.
Much as many viewers felt like Tae Kwang ought to get the girl – not only coz of his wounded soul appeal, but also because he understood and supported Eun Bi in ways that everyone else couldn’t while she was living as Eun Byul – I rooted for Yi An because, well, Eun Bi liked him.
The fact that I liked him too, was bonus, but secondary.
I mean, despite the numerous reasons that one might think of, of why she should choose Tae Kwang, in the end, the heart wants what it wants; the heart wants who it wants, as any one of us who’ve ever been in love (reciprocated or otherwise) would know.
On top of that, I actually found the developing dynamic between Eun Bi and Yi An pretty interesting in and of itself.
From the very beginning, Eun Bi struggles with any and all of Yi An’s gestures of affection towards her, because as far as she’s concerned, that affection is really for her sister.
And so, whatever sweet and swoony things that Yi An does for her, it’s hard for her to respond. Her integrity doesn’t allow it, and she feels a sense of responsibility to Eun Byul, to keep Yi An at arm’s length.
From Yi An’s point of view, it’s even more confusing. “Amnestic Eun Byul” feels like a whole new person to him, and one that he likes even more than the old Eun Byul, as he admits in episode 7.
That arc, which evolves into that of Yi An eventually discovering that Eun Bi is her own person, and coming to terms with it, then sifting through his feelings and figuring out what he really feels for whom, is a progression that I found interesting, engaging and yes, squee-worthy too.
Some (many?) viewers found Yi An’s change of heart, from liking Eun Byul to liking Eun Bi, unnatural and unbelievable, but I actually found it pretty plausible.
Given that Yi An’s nursed a crush on Eun Byul for so long, I could easily believe that at some point, it became more of a habit than he realized.
Also, given that Eun Byul consistently responded to his affection with mock sarcasm when she was in a good mood and actual cold shoulders when she wasn’t, I couldn’t blame Yi An for being drawn to Eun Bi’s more gentle, sweet-tempered nature.
Plus, she quite clearly liked him back, while Eun Byul had steadily sent him mixed signals at best.
With that context, I actually was very much on board with Yi An’s growing feelings for Eun Bi, and rooted for both he and Eun Bi to recognize said feelings.
The Yi An Appeal
1. When he’s being cute and adorable
I just found it quite adorable that Yi An has the habit of sitting on Eun Bi’s porch when he’s missing her or thinking about her. Even more adorable is the fact that he absolutely doesn’t want her to know.
It’s super cute that he runs all the way back to the sports center in episode 7, just to keep up the ruse that he was totally at the pool when she’d called. Hee.
2. When he’s being gentle and serious
As lovable Yi An is when he’s being dorky-cute, I love it even more, when Yi An takes a break from his friendly banter to be gentle and serious.
I loved this beat in episode 7, when a timid Eun Bi asks him if they’re still good friends even though the Eun Byul that he knows now is very different from the Eun Byul that he’d known before.
After ribbing her about the answer being dependent on how she does, I love the gentle yet intent look in his eyes as he admits that he seems to like the new Eun Byul more.
I found that gaze, followed by this shy smile, very melty indeed.
3. When he’s focused
It’s true that Yi An needed a good number of episodes to work through his feelings and come to terms with them. When he finally figured it all out, though, I found his brand of focused purposefulness very swoony indeed.
I basically love how Yi An handles himself in episode 15. Well, aside from the way he punches that random guy, which was just the writers shoehorning in a way for him to be at the police station at the same time as Tae Kwang.
Other than that, I really liked how he handles the romance front. Once he’d figured out how he felt about Eun Bi, he goes about handling it, one piece at a time, setting things in place until he feels ready – and free, really – to go to Eun Bi to make his feelings known.
From letting Tae Kwang know how he feels (above), to fulfilling his gold medal promise to Eun Byul, and getting closure for his one-sided love while retaining their friendship, to maintaining a healthy rivalry with Tae Kwang and showing gruff friendly concern to Tae Kwang when Tae Kwang was down, to finally seeking out Eun Bi and spending time with her, and expressing his intentions to her.
That’s actually really grounded, mature thinking from an 18-year-old, and if that’s what we get from Yi An’s time of extended brooding, I say it’s well worth it, coz I find his wholesome focused sort of approach very melty indeed. <3
Tae Kwang and Eun Bi
In my mind, there are 3 main reasons why Tae Kwang appeals to many viewers as the right match for Eun Bi.
1. They’re both wounded souls
Because they’ve both experienced deep hurt and rejection in their lives, they are able to understand and empathize with each other in ways that extend beyond what other regular people can offer.
In that way, it feels like they’ll each be able to help heal other’s hurts. It also feels like they fit together, kinda like how two broken pieces put together might make a whole, perhaps.
2. They can be honest with each other
From pretty early in the series, they know each other’s deep dark secrets. Eun Bi knows that Tae Kwang’s mother is a top star, and Tae Kwang knows that she’s not really Eun Byul.
Because they know each other’s secrets, they can be honest with each other and not worry about putting up a false front when they’re talking to each other. The freedom to comfortably be oneself is a precious outlet, and effectively positions them to become close.
3. He protects and helps her
When So Young transfers to Segang High and begins to be suspicious of Eun Bi’s true identity, it is Tae Kwang who consistently comes to her rescue.
Better yet, he often takes the opportunity to put So Young in her place, like in episode 6, where he simply says to her, “Do you want to die?”
Particularly because So Young is such an aggravating character in our drama world, it feels like Tae Kwang should be winning all the points, for scaring her, even temporarily.
Like I mentioned earlier in this review, I felt that the writers’ decision to make Tae Kwang’s character arc about platonic and familial love and healing was a good one.
While it was painful to watch Tae Kwang struggle with his unrequited feelings for Eun Bi (poor baby), it was actually gratifying to see the positive effect that she had on him.
When Tae Kwang was in her orbit, he smiled more, was happier, and behaved like less of a rebel, even. And I believe that the reasons for that actually go beyond the context of his romantic feelings for her.
Just because of the kind of person that she is, she has that effect on him, and that was meaningful to witness.
I particularly liked the beat in episode 13, when we see Tae Kwang playing with the kids at House of Love. It’s the first time we see him being so carefree and happy, really, and seeing him so happy made me happy too. 🙂
Eun Byul and Eun Bi
Considering that Eun Byul and Eun Bi are the two characters squarely in the center of our missing-twin-swopped-lives storyline, their relationship with each other was naturally of great interest to me.
While Show did a decent job of giving us both Eun Byul’s and Eun Bi’s backstories, and I did like what we got in terms of a feel for their relationship, I wished Show could’ve given us more.
I found it really poignant that both Eun Bi and Eun Byul were people who were living in guilt.
Eun Byul felt guilty for having ‘stolen’ Eun Bi’s life, while Eun Bi felt guilty for ‘causing’ Eun Byul’s death, and also for causing the people at House of Love to believe that she’d died.
I wondered how they would heal each other’s wounds as they interacted with and got to know each other, and really looked forward to seeing them reconcile.
What I loved
In episode 13, we finally get to see Eun Bi and Eun Byul together, and I love that the twins are just so happy to be together. It’s so cool that they would instinctively reach for each other, even though they really barely knew each other.
I also found it extra sweet that Eun Bi would be able to instinctively address Eun Byul as unni.
I loved, too, Eun Byul’s fierce protective instinct towards Eun Bi. Whether giving So Young a (pretty darn satisfying) smackdown for what So Young had done to Eun Bi, or rushing to Eun Bi’s side when she perceived Eun Bi was danger, like she did in episode 15, Eun Byul’s unni instinct is dialed up to strong-and-unapologetic, and was pretty great to watch.
Essentially, it feels like Eun Byul and Eun Bi complete each other, in the most endearing way possible. They’d both felt alone, in different ways, and now they have each other. Aww. <3
What I didn’t love
So I get that live shoots made it hard to have Eun Byul and Eun Bi in the same frame, coz not only does doing that take twice as long to shoot, there’s also lots of editing involved.
Sadly, it actually was pretty obvious that Show was purposefully keeping the twins apart in scenes.
Like in episode 16, when Eun Bi hangs out with Song Joo (Kim Hee Jung) and Shi Jin (Lee Cho Hee). It would’ve made perfect sense for Eun Byul to have been there too. Instead, we’re told that Eun Byul had arranged the party just for Eun Bi to spend time with the girls. Boo.
One of THE things I really would’ve loved to see, was both twins going to school together. That would’ve been so great, to see them making themselves at home in Segang High, both as individuals and as sisters.
Ahhh! How much fun would that have been?
But, we never get to actually see something like that, simply coz it’s too time-consuming and technically difficult to do, given the time available. Which is a huge pity, and rather frustrating, coz that’s exactly the stuff that I wanted to see.
Double boo, and a big ol’ pout for good measure.
Tae Kwang and Teacher Kim
While it’s a secondary arc, I couldn’t resist giving a quick shout-out to the blossoming bromance between Teacher Kim and Tae Kwang. Their odd-couple pairing just makes their bromance all the cuter.
I thought it was very cute how Teacher Kim and Tae Kwang keep meeting on the rooftop and end up sharing moments of mutual counsel.
Teacher Kim’s kindness and acceptance felt like just what Tae Kwang needed in his life. And it tickled me that in spite of Tae Kwang’s rebel ways, he actually ended up being a voice of reason to Teacher Kim on more than one occasion.
Most notably, it’s Tae Kwang’s words that eventually convinced Teacher Kim to turn himself in to the police. That’s deep influence indeed.
I was sad that Teacher Kim left, but I found it really cute that this doesn’t stop their bromance from blooming, and Teacher Kim’s departure actually causes them to become chummier instead of more distant.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE SO MUCH
I really liked how Show focuses on character and relationship development.
What I didn’t like so much, was that Show tended to be rather lax in the logic department, and enjoying this show required some serious suspension of disbelief, especially with all the stuff that related to the twins and Eun Bi’s switched identity.
On top of that, some arcs felt shoehorned-in, and several plot points got connected in distinctly clumsy ways.
[SPOILERS THROUGH THE END OF THE REVIEW]
On top of the stuff I’ve already mentioned in this review, here are a few more examples of the stuff that I didn’t like so much in the show.
- With both twins alive and well, there’s an unidentified person’s ashes wearing Eun Bi’s name in a niche that no one seems to have thought of straightening out.
- There is way too much wrist-grabbing in this show. More often than I’d like to admit, I felt like the two boys were playing a literal tug of war and Eun Bi was the rope on which they were tugging.
- Eun Byul’s return was too long-drawn-out. Show shouldn’t have teased so much with this arc, coz by the time Eun Byul actually appeared, it felt like old news.
- The arc around Teacher Jung (Lee Shi Won) felt extremely jerky. One moment she was cartoony-bright, then she became darkly borderline psychotic, and then – poof! – she was suddenly all tears and forgiveness.
While I didn’t find it terribly hard to shrug of these weaknesses in order to enjoy the show, it does make me wistful that this show could’ve been so much better, without them.
THOUGHTS ON THE ENDING
In the end, it feels like Show ran out of time and just stuffed as many plot points as it could into the remaining minutes of its run, never mind filling in the gaps of how characters actually got from point A to point B.
Of all the things that Show served up in its finale, my single most favorite bit, is that Eun Bi now shares the same last name as her sister, and that she comes back with more of Eun Byul’s sass as well.
On the downside, it would’ve been nice to see how she got to this point, after being so meek all series long.
Another downside, was that Show didn’t give Yi An the attention he deserved as our romantic endgame. We should’ve had more screentime with Yi An, so that more viewers would’ve been on board with his and Eun Bi’s arc.
All in all, despite the ending feeling more like a highlight reel that got shoved in, in place of actual storytelling, and despite said ending feeling quite anticlimactic and rushed, I genuinely enjoyed my watch of S2015, and will unabashedly think fondly of the fun cracky times that Show did give me, in spite of its flaws.
What can I say, I’m optimistic that way. 😉
THE FINAL VERDICT:
Enjoyable and even cracky in parts, despite the rather underwhelming ending.
FINAL GRADE: B
they in fact had found a body. but the body’s face was obliterated or whatever so no one could recognize her. but everyone assumed it’s eunbi because her best friend (the girl eunbi protected from soyoung, and the reason eunbi was bullied in the first place) put eunbi’s name tag (which she found in front of the school, where eunbi left it) next to the body by the riverside.
I also tried to understand who was in the urn and I wonder if it’s an empty one. How would they know if she’s dead if there’s no body? Any reports about someone jumping would be put down because it was believed it was Eun Byul.
Yeah, that didn’t make any sense, did it? 🤪
Thank you for this review.. especially your take on yi an – eun bi relationship.. i guess many did not understand the subtle ways yi an and eun bi showed their affection towards each other ..so happy that they finally ended up together..
Thanks for enjoying the review, Shen! 🙂 And hi5, for also rooting for the Yi An-Eun Bi ship! 😉
Yi an and eun bi? B-U-L-L-S-H-I-T. I like tae kwang and eun bi more
Just my opinion. Han Yi Ahn was the biggest asshole character in the whole drama. He didn’t actually help Eun Bi in any sort, lest in only one occasion. His presence and antics were an emotional trauma for Eun Bi who was already going through so much. Even after knowing that she is not Eun Byul but Eun Bi, he acts like such an ass. And after that has the audacity to go after Eun Bi! have a hit on her? woah such an ASSHOLE.
Honestly it has been a while since I’ve watched dramas (been watching since a little girl because my mum’s a fan), but W- Two worlds got me hooked again and I started a Lee Jong Suk- marathon. After watching School 2013, I watched this one and I LOVED IT. Like the youthfulness, the student life, the love triangle- EVERYTHING. I kinda feel lost now…any recommendations to a similar drama?
Hi there Aya! I’m glad you enjoyed this show – and School 2013 too, since that’s one of my all-time favorites as well! If you’d like a more recent drama that’s also full of youthfulness and student life, you could check out Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo. I absolutely loved it, and highly recommend it! You can check out my just-posted review here, if that helps! 😊
thank you for the review..
i like yi an too.. he is sooo sweet, loyal and tolerant. If yibi shipper considering a few, mine is rare.. lol.. i am yibyul shipper and my shipper is sooo miserable XDD.. until mid-ep i keep thinking that yi an like eunbyul and after eunbyul showed up again, i screamed “finally yi an will be with his-right-girl” but…. ugh.. i am sooo heart broken and i even cant manage to finish it until now.. its like, you got cheated by your man.. lol.. but i am trully enjoy the story about student and their school problem in this drama.
Aw, I know what you mean – it’s always painful when your ship doesn’t sail! I’m so pleased you still enjoyed the show. In particular, I’m happy that you liked Yi An too, coz I feel like Yi An got more flak and less love than he deserved. Because of this show, I now have a nice big soft spot for Nam Joo Hyuk, and I can’t wait to see him in Weightlifting Fairy. 😍
This is one of the best School 2015 reviews I’ve read so far! Though I am a HUUUUGE Taebi shipper, it made me appreciate the show more. I didn’t dislike Yian, it’s just that the show got so inconsistent halfway. I miss these characters so much but I don’t think I’m ready (yet) for another round of Taebi heartbreak. LOL! High school dramas are my weakness and I hate it HAHA
Awww, thanks Yani!! 😀 I’m so glad you enjoyed this review, particularly since you’re more on the Taebi ship!! You’re right, this show did get shakier in its later episodes, compared to its earlier ones. Like you, I loved the characters in spite of Show’s weaknesses, and I don’t discount the possibility of another watch sometime.
And, hi5 drama sista, I love high school dramas too! When they’re done right, that is. There’s just something so feel-good nostalgic about it, when it’s done right. <3
That’s true! 😀 If you don’t mind, may I ask how old are you? 😀 We seem to have the same taste(s)! 😀
Ooh.. you never ask a lady about her age (gasp!) XD Let’s just say that I’m probably older than you think, since most people who do know my age are surprised by it. ^^ Lol, I’m so mysterious! XD
Oops sorry about that! Haha. I’ll just assume we’re about the same age then 😛
Hahahaha! I probably am not the same age as you, but hey, as long as we FEEL the same age, why not, right?? ;D
I just finish watching School 2015 yesterday and I cant seem to move on with it so I started searching for reactions. I like your review, I mean we share some reactions. But not the yi ahn – eun bi team, yes I do think that the writers did a good job on bring platonic and familial love to tae gwang. What I dont like about yi ahn is how he fell with eun bi. He fell for her knowing that she is eun byul, its like ‘oh eun byul’s a changed girl now, i like her.’ He sees her as eun byul, on the other hand, tae gwang fell for eun bi as eun bi. I mean, tae gwang is the perfect guy. And yes, i like tae gwang because he is like the knight in shining armor of eun bi and is it that what guys are supposed to be? In my many years of exictence watching k-drama this is the first time i had the second male syndrome. Actually, tae gwang didnt seem a second male after all, for all of the things he did and been through. Honestly, Han Yi Ahn looked more of a seond lead than the male lead. (please dont be mad at me.) Just one thing, I didnt like about your review is your defense about Yi ahn, I mean yes, he has A LOT of things to process, to do, to think, etc. Then what about of the things that tae gwang had been through? I think that’s A LOT BIGGER than yi ahn’s problem. Tae gwang was a guy who hasnt felt loved for ten years and became numb for ten years but he was able to care about eun bi in the most special way. Yes, he deserve those platonic and familial love, and I accepted eun bi with yi ahn (although it looked like a open ending even though, eun bi accepted his feelings she still said that its still not the right time for her to like someone, And who knows what would happen in next few a years in their world). There’s still some injustice about it. What did yi ahn do about her situation? Be angry, made her feel pathetic because she’s lying about her identity. Oh there’s one thing, he saved her from kang so young and got into an accident. Its still injustice. One thing I’m missing about the yi ahn and eun bi couple, is chemistry. They dont have chemistry, AT ALL. Still, i accept the couple.
Im so sorry that I have to say these words but its just an opinion, my opinion. And we all have opinions and insights. Its just that fate bought me to this review and tadah! I have to say something. I love the taebi couple, I feel like they are perfect with each other. Well, the fact that they won a couple award, it just means that they have chemistry. And we all know that I’m not the only one who thought of that. Once again, please dont be mad. I’m just saying what i felt and the drama was really great! (minus the romantic aspect though) They portrayed the problems of a student having and what it really means to be a teenager. Again, please dont be mad. Truth to be told I really do like your review. And all these rubbish is just my opinion, and feelings just like what you had in your review. 🙂
Hi there, welcome to the blog! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your thoughts about this show and its characters. I’m glad you managed to enjoy this review even though we seem to have different points of view about the love triangle. That’s something that I really appreciate, when drama fans are able to disagree agreeably. 🙂
i really enjoyed the drama so far but i really dislike the idea of lee eun bi stealing go eun byul s life and friends.i would recommit this drama to anyone because while i was watching this drama i was always on the edge of my sit, wonder if eun byul is still alive and making theories and believe me i dont normally do that especially to dramas or films
I get what you mean.. it does feel like Eun Byul got her life stolen from her. It helped when I thought of it as Eun Bi “borrowing” her life, or “taking over” her life, coz it was so hard on their mother to believe that Eun Byul had died. In that sense, it felt more like Eun Bi was trying to do something helpful, rather than something malicious like stealing Eun Byul’s life. And yes, this drama did manage to keep my on the edge of my seat too, and in spite of its flaws, I’d recommend this one. I’m glad you enjoyed it! 🙂
I know this is a bit late, but I have to say this post gave me so much LIFE. Every point was well made and logical. I was so convinced I was alone in cheering on Han Yi An, and I loved how you broke it down in your post with why he was a good character and a good match for Eun Bi. Every point you made in his defense is what I’ve been waiting for someone to bring up, and they made sense it wasn’t just a biased defense (I’m a bit biased as well, but you brought reason with your argument).
I loved how you also pointed out how bad a romantic relationship would have been for Tae Kwang at this point in his life. I mean he was a very sympathetic broken kid, but just like Eun Bi needed stability and love in her life so did he. And THANK YOU for pointing out that what’s important was that Eun Bi liked Yi An, and she shouldn’t be guilted for doing so. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who began to feel uncomfortable about her and TK’s conversations towards the last three episodes. What really got me was Kim So Hyun’s acting, though. If you watch her during the scenes where he keeps bringing it up over and OVER that he knows she doesn’t like him, but it’s “okay” she looks so uncomfortable to the point where she was on the verge of tears. At that point it began to feel like harassment, and it was telling, if he can’t see how physically uncomfortable she is every time he mentions it, to the point of tears, and he does this again and again, how would he behave in an actual relationship? I couldn’t be really upset with him. I think this was just proof of his desperate need for love, and all the damage that had been done to him over the years, but it absolutely convinced me that he didn’t need romance in his life quite yet and that it would have been a bad idea for Eun Bi to try to make it work.
I seriously can’t thank you enough for this post, it made me super happy to read it and to see a much more fair review of this show than I’ve seen anywhere else. I’ll definitely be coming back to your blog to read more reviews!
Hi there, rain! Welcome to the blog – and I’m so happy that you enjoyed this review! 😀
Yay that we’re on the same page about Yi An and the direction that the writers took with the OTP arc in the show! So many other viewers felt differently in wanting Tae Kwang to get the girl that I definitely knew that I was in the minority with this one. It’s always so nice to find someone else who feels the same way – high five, drama sista! 😉
Absolutely, I did also feel that Tae Kwang’s behavior towards Eun Bi towards the end of the show came across as borderline harassment. I definitely interpreted that to mean that he’s not ready for romantic love, there were just too many emotional wounds that needed time to heal. While some viewers might argue that a love relationship with Eun Bi can help heal those hurts, I actually think that’s a really unhealthy sort of dynamic. When you make your romantic partner your main source of happiness, there’s just too much that can go wrong. It would probably have ended up damaging him even more in the long run, if/when she disappointed him or let him down. After all, Eun Bi’s only human. Which is why I was very content with where the show went with Tae Kwang’s arc, to have him start to experience platonic and familial love. 🙂
Yeah, it bothers me when a character makes their love interest solely responsible for their happiness and well being, so I’m glad they didn’t encourage that here. And, thanks for the welcome! Seriously, great blog! It’s the perfect mix of analytical reviews and fan girl appreciation! I look forward to reading more!
Aw, thanks rain! 😀 I’m so glad that you like my little corner of the interwebs! I look forward to more chats and squees with ya! <3
Who Are You: School 2015 (2015) #Kdrama Review Collection
Gosh, I am FINALLY finding more people on TEAM Yi-Bi!!! Personally, as much as I sympathized with TG, I found him too unstable for Eun-Bi, who actually needed balance after all that she went through. Many people saw Yi-An as a loser or boring, I thought he was fantastic. I was glad the show made the good guy win (although technically TG wasn’t a real “bad” guy), he had many qualities, especially being hard-working, focused and grounded. This is exactly why Eun-Bi ended up falling for him. Both were pretty laid back, and they reflected and complemented each other. 🙂
Aw, YAY for another Yi-Bi supporter in the house! 😀 Exactly, I found Tae Kwang too unstable for Eun Bi, and I just didn’t think that a romantic relationship was what Tae Kwang needed in his life anyway. With all his emotional baggage and issues to work through, it’s more than likely that any romantic relationship he might’ve embarked on, would’ve been under a lot of strain, and would have suffered for it. I prefer the direction that the writers took, of giving him platonic and familial love instead. And I so didn’t think Yi An was boring! I loved that he was a loyal, dorky, hardworking star athlete. So cute! If only Nam Joo Hyuk had more experience and skill at the acting, that would’ve been even better! Totally agree that Yi An was the better choice, for Eun Bi. 🙂
I didn’t watch the drama but only read recaps here and there….and I was totally on Yi An- Eun Bi ship! Because of the reasons you mentioned and most importantly, Eun Bi liked Yi An. Also, he is so dreamy and swoon worthy!!!!
I didn’t watch the drama but only read recaps here and there….and I was totally on Yi An- Eun Bi ship! Because of the reasons you mentioned and most importantly, Eun Bi liked Yi An. Also, he is so dreamy and swoon worthy!!!!
Oh, I thought you would’ve watched this one, snow.. I actually really looked forward to each new episode. Mostly for the love triangle, and for the Nam Joo Hyuk charm – I can be easily contented that way 😉 If you liked Yi An and were on the Yi-Bi ship, you should totally watch this sometime. Nothing like seeing the dreamy in action, right? 😉
Initially I was wary to watch it as what made me love School 2013 was its realistic portrayal but when I read that 2015 version was going to have twins and mystery, somehow my interest went away.
Ah, I see! Yeah, S2015 was quite different from S2013. I like S2015 quite a lot, but my love for S2013 is way, way bigger, I must admit! Still, since you like the Yi-An and Eun Bi pairing, I think you’d enjoy watching this sometime. Maybe during vacation, when you can marathon to your heart’s content 😉
Nice review. I watched the first six episodes then stopped for awhile. Finished, and overall enjoyed the show. I would give it a C+.
I agree with all your points and thought that Eun-bi and Yi-an were a more realistic couple. Although, Tae-gwang was able to grow out of his isolation because of Eun-bi.
Great to see such a great veteran cast in this drama. The younger cast did a good job, in my opinion the actress who portrayed So-young hit it out of the ballpark, however, I agree that we should’ve seen her and her parents get family counseling, with some sort of punishment for So-young (and her father too, for trying to blackmail Tae-gwang’s father for campaign money).
Also, I was really touched by David Lee’s performance as Park Min-joon, his conflict (with the demands of his mother, and her unethical activities, etc.) and satisfying resolution toward the end of the show felt more complete than other aspects of this show, showing conflict and a realistic and healing resolution.
There was one incident that I recall not being resolved, Eun-byeol’s scream in the girl’s bathroom stall, when the class was on a trip, could it have been just staged by Eun-byeol to set up her disappearance? Just curious.
Anyway, thanks again for your review.
Thanks dracomama, I’m glad you enjoyed the review! 🙂
Yes, I do agree that Min Joon’s arc was a good secondary plotline.. It was robust enough and had a solid resolution, plus, it was pretty realistic too, from what I’ve heard about Korean high school life. My bad, for not giving it at least a shout-out!
As for Eun Byul screaming in the bathroom stall, you’re right, we never do get a proper answer about that. I rationalized it as her just screaming out of fright over possibly nothing, but it’s definitely a plot hole. Coz as far as we were told, the only thing that was done to her at the time, was that the lights were switched off and she was left in the dark. Nothing about someone actually threatening her while she was in the stall. I don’t think that Eun Byul purposely staged it to line up with her disappearance. I got the impression that she’d intended to disappear quietly without leaving a trace.
another nice review! 🙂
who (and what) do i/you/we (really) love? body excluded (twins), the show tells us it’s the feedback that matters (most) … but is it really?. Eun Bi and Eun Byul were too different for my taste. i would have liked the show more if they would have been much more alike and also both liking Yi An … thus forcing Yi An to make a choice, be it a rational (longer “history” with Eun Byul) or a emotional one (better “feedback” from Eun Bi). well, i guess i’ll have to wait for a sci-fi kdrama with advanced cloning. 😀
Thanks INTJ, I’m glad you enjoyed the review! 🙂
I feel like Eun Bi and Eun Byul had a little more of a similar vibe in the beginning of the show.. at the end, when they were reunited, I felt like they were purposely extra different, just to emphasize that they were two different people. I agree that a more complex treatment of the twins and their relationships with each other and with Yi An would’ve made this a more interesting show. Very similar to what you said, I think the difference between a longer history with Eun Byul but not such a natural fit, personality-wise, versus a much shorter history with Eun Bi, but a personality fit that feels more natural, would’ve been interesting.. Which one would Yi An have chosen? In which case, we’d definitely need Nam Joo Hyuk to develop stronger acting abilities, to showcase it all 😉
” even manages to feel cracky in parts.”
Cracky! Have you just invented a new word? 🙂
Lol. I wish I could take credit for it, Martin, but it’s actually a term that’s been used a fair bit, in describing the addictive quality dramas can have 🙂
beautifully written as always.
I don’t regret watching it, but the ending and how they handled most of the storylines were a letdown for me. I mean, Show was so dramatic sometimes… Like in the early episodes with the girl who stole from her mom and she ended up transferring. By the way, Show made it look like it was so easy to transfer student from one school to another, when it’s not supposed to be so easy? The girl was living literally next door from Eun Byul, so when she transferred to another school, did the whole family move to another neighborhood in like 2 days? I mean, if she weren’t Eun Byul’s close neighbor, I would have been more touched by the whole emotional goodbye sequence. And more interactions between the girls and their friendship would have been appreciated :-x… Especially after Shin Ji and Chong Joo found out about the twins. Their reaction of just rolling with this surreal story was verrrrry convenient. And when Eun Bi comes back, it looks like they had no contact at all for the past 6 months. And so she went to Seungri High School (I’m sure she had In Jae as her teacher xD) just for 6 months to find her true self, then she transfers AGAIN to come back to Sekang High for her senior year. And it looks like that in all of this, the mom had to sell her store and they moved to another house and then they come back to their previous house? I really didn’t undestand this aspect of the ending.
Anyway, I feel that Show lost his focus around episode 9,10. It’s like the writers built the foundation for many interesting themes but didn’t go all the way with it just… because? Like for the love triangle, I agree with everything you say about how the lack of screen time for Yi An is the main reason for most people not considering how and why he was a valid potential love interest. Considering all his scenes, I think the writers wanted to make the viewers care by torturing him (the fact that he missed 2 important competitions to play the knight in shining armor, the fact that his shoulder was already in bad shape before the car accident, the fact that he didn’t know if he’d ever swim again)… It could have worked if Tae Kwang, on the other hand, didn’t have what is considered as “bigger” issues. I feel like Tae Kwang and Yi An were built as a mirror to create ultimately some bromance because they actually had two major points in common to earn sympathy : no mom and no real friends (the writers made it look like that Eun Byul was really Yi An’s only friend. He didn’t even have friends in his swimming team!). However, Yi An had what precisely Tae Kwang was desperately craving for all through the drama : a strong relationship with his father. Therefore, the fact that Yi An came from a poor background, was a bad student and swimming was presented as his only way to succeed in life, didn’t matter when opposed to Tae Kwang who, despite his wealthy background, had some serious parent issues to deal with that affected him since he was little….
Yi An knew Eun Bi wasn’t Eun Byul nearly since the beginning. The amnesia was convenient for him to convince himself that he was facing the same person who had forgotten all about her previous personality. When he gives her the Teddy bear, there’s no more doubt in his mind, although he wants her to be Eun Byul b/c this was what he had hoped for for the past 10 years. Show didn’t give him enough credit for his journey: going from crushing on his best friend for 10 years to building the beginning of the type of relationship he had ever wanted… It could have been enough to fill the plot for an high school drama. * cough * So Show had actually gone for the most interesting love triangle way (imo) as in presenting TWO NICE guys and it would have made sense for Eun Bi to hesitate. Instead Show still managed to create the Second Lead syndrom by beating down the “lead” male character which was not, for once, the rich guy who hides his big heart behind his coldness and childish ways. To sum it up, being good friends =/= the duty/obligation to fall in love… but Show kinda failed to give clear reasons, and I really mean clear, why Eun Bi’s choice made sense in her logic. On that aspect, I blame the editing and directing. Like the hugs scenes: Eun Bi doesn’t return Tae Kwang’s hug, but it doesn’t look clear to me that she returns Yi An’s hug in episode 15, although I’m pretty sure she returns it, but the angle doesn’t make it clear enough. Deleted scenes showing Eun Bi clearly expressing her interest in Yi An were uploaded and the directing makes it all about Tae Kwang instead. How she rejects him and hurt his feelings while the other way to film the scenes would have been to show how Tae Kwang would still be a silent witness in the background but Eun Bi is the one at the center of the scene and her attraction to Yi An is clear. No mixed signal to the viewers (who can still be team Tae Kwang).
What I liked about Yi An was how he respected boundaries and let Eun Bi have some space (minus the whole wrist grabbing, really Show? it happened so many times in this drama and it even made me more uncomfortable b/c they’re teenagers, so social skills in the making here. ANYWAY). Unpopular opinion, but while I think Tae Kwang was cute and was definitely a great friend for Eun Bi to rely on, when the love feelings started becoming more apparent, I was a bit uncomfortable by how the writers chose to make it happen b/c I found him… invasive? Is that the word? And it was under the pretense that she was the one making him act this way and she was to blame for not returning his feelings. Like during the 3 last episodes, most of their interactions were him saying to Eun Bi that he knew she didn’t return his feelings and that he was okay with just being friends, that he didn’t want things to be awkward between them… Yet, the fact the writers had them hold this convo more than once kinda made it lose its purpose. It made him look that he was not that okay with being friends (which itself is okay. it’s hard to like someone when this person doesn’t like you back) and he kept telling her so, putting the burden on her for not returning his feelings. You pointed out how him playing with the kids was the first time Tae Kwang was genuinely happy and carefree… But the way the writers made it happen made me feel like it was a bit of an unecessary intrusion into Eun Bi’s love shelter. Like she could have been there for a few days, and he’s scared she won’t come back so he shows up unnannounced… or they talk over the phone and he feels her hesitation about coming back or not and he decides to go remind her in person that he’s waiting for her. Show has her going to Tonggyong in the morning and he’s there in the evening, spending the night (where was the orphonage director, by the way?). I mean, objectively speaking, him going to Tonggyong was a grand and sweet gesture, but the context and all didn’t win me over. However, I think the writers were trying to have a mirror effect with Yi An who had already witnessed Eun Bi and her relationship with the kids, but he had done it from a distance (you know when he went to the funeral home and he sees her cry while the kids walk by) in a moment of sadness whereas Tae Kwang imposes himself into her world in a moment of happiness, a world that he wants her to leave for her to come back by his side because she makes him happy. To me, Tae Kwang represented the struggle to find the thin balance when you love someone and you want to show it to them but you don’t always know how to do it in a way that THEY would appreciate. On the outside, it looks all sweet and swoon-worthy, but when you’re the one at the end of this unsollicited attention, it’s not all great either, especially when it comes from someone nice b/c you may feel guilty and sorry for them. At the end of the day, he was the character with the most development imo. From the beginning to the end, his emotional journey is a roller coaster that makes you care for him without deep analysis.
I agree about So Young character. Falls into the category of Show not going all the way with what it prepared. Her having remorse wasn’t enough… Okay, she has an eating disorder too and her new school will probably be like hell, but what she did was indeed criminal acts and law should have been involved at some point. Especially because her father worked in this field. Sure he could have find a way to let her off the hook, but it should have been shown or mentioned somewhere.
Hm I’m going to stop here. I wrote a lot ><" but considering how you're one of the few reviews I read who expressed everything I thought (in a much nicer and effective way xD) about School 2015, so yeah I wrote a mini essay.
Wow~ you really did write a mini essay on S2015, dear Sunny!! 😀 How fun, that you have so many thoughts about this show!
HAHAHA! Your points on Show’s logic fails are so spot-on! XD All that transferring certainly looked wayyy too easy, ESPECIALLY since moving was involved! And yes, I really really wanted to see the twins interacting more – just them, and with friends too. I know it’s a big ask, given time and budget constraints, but really, it would’ve done so much in making this show more robust.
You’re so right, about Show pitting the boys against each other, and basically making Tae Kwang more of a bleeding heart, so that it was easy to overlook Yi An’s own less-than-stellar circumstances, in allocating our compassion and loyalty.. So many viewers rooted for Tae Kwang to get the girl, and were deeply upset when he didn’t. As you said, Show very likely made the love triangle’s outcome more uncertain than it needed to be, coz that very likely gave the hardcore Tae-Bi shippers some measure of false hope. It’s probably why so many of them are still sore at the show, for having toyed with their feelings, in a sense.
I do get what you mean about Tae Kwang coming on strong, and not really respecting boundaries. While his behavior is played as romantic in the show, most people would probably find the same behavior awkward, and yes, invasive, in real life.
And YES. So Young SO needed some kind of formal justice meted out to her in the context of our drama world. Such injustice, that she didn’t get some kind of criminal record, for the terrible things that she’d done! >.<
i’ve been meaning to write my own review but i’m so not in the mood… 😡 😡 so i just took this chance to express some of my thoughts
Hahaha! But, you’ve been ON FIRE with the translating, lately! So many interviews! *salute!* I am super impressed. To be honest, I can’t imagine that you’d have any more time or mental bandwidth, to review shows as well! I wish I were as productive with the reviews as you are with the translating!
Hii, this was a really nice review, like usual:)) I had actually been looking forward to this review for a long time as i rather enjoyed this drama.
I really liked how u showed the pros and cons of this show. And i totally ship Yi An and Eun Bi together too, hehe. I found them really cute as a couple. and i agreed with you that there are a few logic problems in this drama. But i really liked the fact that this drama was rather light-hearted and was fun to watch.
Though i also wished that they had elaborate more on the twins’ time spent together and Yi An and Eun Bi’s relationship later. Hehe. I am rather greedy.
And thanks a lot for the great review:))
It was a pleasure reading it.
Aw, thanks Kate! It’s so nice to know that you enjoyed this review, AND that you were looking forward to it too! Makes me feel all important and stuff 😉
Yay that you ship Yi An and Eun Bi too.. I found them a good match too. And YES, wouldn’t it have been so awesome, if we’d gotten to see more of the twins spending time together, and getting to know each other, and creating a shared world of friends and school together? I know that would’ve made me really, really happy! Even so, like you, I really did enjoy watching this show. I even found it kinda cracky at times, which is a Very Good Thing with any drama. ^^
Great review! I love how you weigh in the situations for both boys very nicely and ESPECIALLY because you leaned more towards Yi An. Since I was on the TaeBi ship, this final defense for Yi An really helped me wake up and let go of the remaining bitterness towards the ending and Tae Kwang’s unrequited love. And on giving Yi An more screen time, I felt like the writers could have made Yi An more vulnerable, hurt, and heartbroken when he found out that Eun Byul “died”. Maybe he could have confided in his dad about his inner turmoil while crying and, in addition, sharing a little more father-son bonding time. It was also a shame that Yi An didn’t even cry when he visited Eun Byul’s “ashes”, but that’s probably more of an actor limitation. If he had truly, sincerely cried during that scene, I definitely would have rooted for him a little more.
I totally agree with you on wanting Eun Bi and Eun Byul to go to school together. I also felt the obvious technical and time constraint issues when they forcefully separated the twins. Ahh, technology… And twins….. 🙁
Thanks for such a beautifully written review!
Aw, THANKS dramakook! That’s so great that you enjoyed this review, especially since you were on the TaeBi ship and I wasn’t. It definitely shows how open-minded you are, to be able to accept and even appreciate my defense of Yi An, even as someone who rooted for Tae Kwang all the way! 😀
I completely agree that I’d have loved to have had more insight into Yi An’s emotional journey, and scenes like him processing the news about Eun Byul’s “death” would have helped viewers feel more connected with him as a character. Because I’ve personally seen how some people process their feelings by withdrawing into their personal hermit cave, I could rationalize that that’s what Yi An was doing. And since most of the people that I’ve seen doing that have been guys, that made it easy for me to reason that Yi An was doing the typical guy thing by retreating into himself and bottling it all up while he figured things out. At the same time, I suspect that the writers’ choice to make Yi An that sort of guy, probably had something to do with Nam Joo Hyuk’s limitations as an actor. I’m pretty sure if they’d had a more skilled/experienced actor playing Yi An, that the writers might’ve more confidently given us more scenes of Yi An working through his emotions.
About Eun Bi and Eun Byul not actually going to school together – argh! I wanted to see them in school together SO BAD. It would’ve made the entire show for me, to see them walking down the hallways together, surrounded by (now mutual) friends, sitting together in class and helping each other with schoolwork, having lunch together in the cafeteria, being great partners during gym class.. all those little mundane things that make school-life what it is, I wanted to see the twins do together. THAT would’ve made this show SO MUCH MORE FUN. Ah well.. in my drama dreams.. 😉
This was SO not my cup of tea. Everything started to irritate me the further along the drama got. The main characters (apart from Tae Kwang – but that’s probably all Sung Jae ^^), the story with all the logic fail and especially the love triangle… ugh, so annoying. I didn’t finish S2015.
I think I’m finally too old for high school shows. XD
Hahahaha!! This show is DEFINITELY not your cup of tea, Timescout!! I’m surprised that you even attempted it! XD If there’s a high school sort of show that I can imagine you watching and possibly liking, it would be Angry Mom. Did you check that one out? It’s requires some suspension of disbelief, but is otherwise robust and well-written. And it manages to be both gritty and uplifting in one, which is quite remarkable, really 🙂