Mini-Impressions: High School King of Savvy and Fated to Love You

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Summer drama season has fully kicked off and there are so many new releases to be discussed that I hardly know where to start. I've spent the last week and a half trying to catch up with the new dramas. In this post, I'll be tackling High School King of Savvy and Fated to Love You, giving my overall thoughts on their first episodes. 

I'll probably do another Mini-Impressions post on other new dramas I've checked out recently, so stay tuned for more.

Also, a small disclaimer. I won't be commenting much on the plots of these two dramas as I expect those who read this post to already know what the shows are about. These are just my reactions and thoughts about the first episodes, without any further explanations. Hopefully you don't feel too confused.


I was quite looking forward to High School King of Savvy (thanks to the awesome teasers) and, for the most part, it didn't disappoint me. It's just the kind of drama that I think I would enjoy watching during summer - humorous and light-hearted. But since the drama will probably be focusing on the growing-up process of our lead character, I'm sure we can expect lots of heartwarming moments to come in the series further on. 

The story is a little flimsy, though. But I guess if the plot is centered around a high-schooler pretending to be his grown-up brother at a large company, then it's probably a given that you need to overlook some logical flaws. I mean, since it's part of the premise I can let some things slide.  

I'm quite invested in our main character Lee Min Suk (Seo In Guk) and his personal journey. Our teenage hero is a rather ordinary hormonal high school student who's great at hockey but fails hard at academics. While he isn't cocky or arrogant, Min Suk does have that youthful confidence which makes him rather popular with the ladies. But what I love most about Min Suk is how caring he is towards his dad and grandpa, even though they aren't really blood-related. There's definitely also a part of him that also looks up to his hyung, though their relationship is distant. I'm not sure whether hyung turns up sometime during the series, but I'd love if the brothers' relationship would be explored further. 

And I'm not exaggerating when I say that the role seems like it's meant for Seo In Guk. He does an absolutely wonderful job at portraying Min Suk, which shouldn't really surprise me, considering how much I loved him in Reply 1997. He's totally carrying this show.

I feel rather fond of the second male lead as well. It's partly because I like Lee Soo Hyuk in general, but it's also because Yoo Jin Woo seems like a fairly intriguing character. He isn't assy, but he isn't the exactly the nice-guy type either. I really liked how he wasn't mean to our female lead, even though she clearly made a fool of herself and overstepped boundaries with her love confession (which I'll come back to). Yet he was still honest with her and turned her down without any confusion. 

Our female lead Jung Soo Young (Lee Hana), however, is seriously testing my patience. Based on the teasers alone, I had a feeling that I might not like her, but now that I've seen the drama I'm honestly worried. I felt so much second hand embarrassment for her in episode 1. I can forgive her for having a crush on her boss and reading his nice manners as something romantic. But then following him into the men's room and confessing her feelings to him there made her seem like lunatic. Even worse, she humiliates herself further by getting wasted and drunk dialing him to apologize, like a million times in a row. To top it off, she passes out on the street and poor Jin Woo has to come and pick her up. WHAT EVEN...?

After that kind of behaviour I really need her to pull herself together, but I'm not sure whether the writer bothers to develop her character that way.   

As for the romance...Well, I'm not a fan of cradle-robbing heroines (ahem, Big). So I'm hoping for a miracle that Soo Young ends up with Jin Woo instead cause honestly, Min Suk's still in high school. And that's not really okay in my book.

But I'm probably gonna watch a few more episodes of High School King and see whether I like it enough to keep in in my watch-list. 


Meanwhile, Fated to Love You turned out to be much wackier than I expected. While I am all for wacky fun times, I'm not sure how long they're gonna last.

You see, since I have seen the first half of the original Taiwanese FTLY (no spoilers, don't worry), I have certain expectations and worries about the Korean version. While the two first episodes of the Korean FTLY put my heart to rest about some things, I still feel a little cautious going in. The thing is, I recall some really melodramatic turns half-way through the Taiwanese original, which make me rather concerned for the Korean version. Judging from the changes that the Korean version has already done, I am keeping my fingers crossed that the writers will not copy those melodramatic parts from the Taiwanese FTLY.

Nevertheless, I did enjoy what we've seen so far. There's a lot of comedy, which I like, though most of it is pretty slapstick. Perhaps what I appreciate the most is that our main characters are all much more to my liking than they were in the original. 

As expected, our hero Lee Gun (Jang Hyuk) is super wealthy and a successor of a large company. Differently from Ethan Ruan's portrayal, however, the character is much much more eccentric this time round. And for me personally, eccentric chaebol characters are much more interesting to watch, rather than just assy chaebol characters. I do hope Jang Hyuk finds a nice balance between the character's wacky side and his more serious side. I also liked that despite his pampered and conceited personality, Lee Gun does have his heart in the right place. But I'm not yet fully convinced that he won't turn into a massive jerk later on.

Jang Nara's Kim Mi Young, on the other hand, seems to have won me over already. Although awfully naive and timid, Mi Young could grow into pretty awesome female lead if some of Lee Gun's self-assurance and confidence rubs off on her. In fact, I could see the two characters complimenting each other very well. It certainly did seem that way at the end of episode 2, when the two connected quite quickly. They had a nice friendly dynamic between them that I'd love to see more of in the coming episodes. 

As for the second leads, I have pretty positive impressions of them, even though we didn't get much info on either. Lee Gun's sweetheart Nam Se Ra (Wang Ji Won) pleasantly surprised me by being fairly down-to-earth and playful, despite being described by Lee Gun as a graceful ballerina. How I wish she'd stay that way and did not turn into a jealous green-eyed monster later on in the series, but I don't think we can count on it.

Then there's Daniel (Choi Jin Hyuk)...And if you follow me on Twitter, you probably know how I feel about Choi Jin Hyuk being in a second lead role. Based on the little I saw of him in the two first episodes, there's not much to say about him besides the fact that he is super cute with kids. I expect we'll see more of him in this week's episodes.

Overall, I'm feeling mostly optimistic about the Korean version of Fated to Love You. I like the characters, I could see myself getting into the romance (despite the obvious distraction called Choi Jin Hyuk), and I feel like I need something as fun as this for the summer drama season.

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  1. I have watched taiwan version of Fated to love you and currently watching korean version. Indeed, korean version win. Comparing with the actors and actresses, it seems that the koreans are able to express themselves better in dramas.

    1. Considering the fact that the Taiwanese version is older, certain improvements in the Korean version were already expected. But I do agree that the lead actors/actresses are doing a good job in the Korean FTLY.


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