As I may or may not have shared, when I originally heard of Dream High, I was a bit skeptical about watching. All (practically all) idols? Meh. Idols are many times, wannabe triple-threats. We’ll see mediocre singing, rapping, dancing, and acting all thrown in together with little true skill. But I decided to give it a chance. Because of Suzy and Wooyoung and IU (actually listed in order of importance). The storyline itself was pretty interesting too.
And it didn’t disappoint. In both ways of failure and success — Suzy’s acting in the first few episodes was honestly, hilarious. It was so bad…and it got (kinda) better…but still worse than a ‘rookie actor,’ as in someone who trained to be an actor, not a singer or the likes, just a plain actor. In terms of success, the drama produced appealing performances and collaborations that I thoroughly enjoyed. I might even call it one of the best dramas of 2011, seeing how many flopped, but still in a sense that Dream High was of the higher-average sort of drama (not yet a ‘good standout’ drama personally like the ranks of My Girl and Giant, but getting there).
But on to the main point I was trying to get across with this article.
Although I protested the idea of a Dream High 2, I have once again succumbed and am planning on watching it. But first, I should speak of what made me not want to watch.
Dramas are not like experiments. They are not supposed to be repeated over and over again. And if they are, they should most certainly not produce the same results. One drama should not follow another’s procedures and storyline. Also, Dream High‘s storyline seems a bit on the rigid side and creating a ‘direct’ spinoff (with the same base and entertainment companies/people involved) won’t seem to be have too much open-ended-ness.
Of ‘spinoff’-type dramas that followed another drama’s main storyline, whether directly or not, some failed and some succeeded. Athena: Goddess of War, IRIS‘s successor, was unfortunately a flop. Although it had a stellar cast, it failed to live up to the action and hype of IRIS, that was carefully exhibited with many action-filled shoot-off scenes, a moving plot, and great suspense. Meanwhile, the High Kick (Unstoppable High Kick, High Kick Through the Roof, High Kick 3: Revenge of the Short Legged) trio has excelled. The whole foundation of the spinoffs was very flexible to begin with; the only things they really had to keep (so I’ve observed from watching the latter two) was the family-centered sitcom idea, the interactions of two families, and some sort of small hint at kicking/legs. And they have succeeded in continuing to bring funny, charming, and heartwarming anecdotal episodes every night for the most part (*cough* if it weren’t for the last few episodes of High Kick Through the Roof). And finally, the last spinoff-esque drama I’m going to mention, Giant (of East of Eden). Both are period dramas and are revenge/love/melodrama stories and although I don’t believe any of the people involved in East of Eden were part of the production of Giant, the two share many similarities at a glance. But while East of Eden failed in its repetitiveness and plot that traveled in circles, Giant cleaned up this ‘mess,’ proving to be an ‘East of Eden gone right’ sort of series.
So the acting in Dream High was bearable because I was watching for some of the cast…but we don’t know about Dream High 2‘s yet. All we know so far is that it’s mainly one actress, three idols, and two trainees who trained to become [undefined/all-around] idols.
Thank goodness SM Entertainment isn’t taking part in this. I know that it has a few actors/idols-turned-actors and all, but still…just the idea of having SM Entertainment ‘infiltrate’ Dream High makes me shudder.
Woah. That was quite a mouthful. How did I get so far on a tangent just talking about spinoffs? Somehow I put that all out. But anyways, as I was saying. The main reasons why I succumbed and decided that I’m going to watch Dream High 2.
1. Kang Sora
No, no, no. Not because of We Got Married. I’ve long since stopped watching that show (after the Alshin couple left and before idols truly infiltrated [just out of curiosity, how many of you have even followed We Got Married since the true beginning of the show?]). So I first heard of her through Huh Gak’s Hello music video where everyone was like ‘Kang Sora! I know her from WGM!’ But her main, true claim-to-fame in my eyes is the film Sunny. It sold 5 million tickets in Korea and is personally one of my favorite Korean movies. And after learning that Kang Sora was that girl in the movie, I decided that seeing her in Dream High 2 might be cool.
2. Display of Originality
So far, Dream High 2‘s various releases have proved that Dream High 2 isn’t really Dream High 2. It features ‘rival groups,’ not just in-school competition, and has people with various talents — a guitarist (Jung Jinwoon), a saxophone player (?). It also seems to have completely new personae, and is thus far displayed as something that can stand on its own two feet — without needing to use any part of Dream High as a crutch or as backup. If it is truly like this, I wouldn’t mind seeing a Dream High 3 either (although I know that that would be quite excessive).
The only thing that I am worried about for Dream High 2 is the large cast that was displayed on their poster. Are all of them supposed to have some sort of significance and their own story, because if they are, I’m afraid things will be crammed and unable to really highlight any individuals as individuals.
But still, Dream High 2, come on. Show us that you have what it takes to stand up to Dream High. And maybe even trump it. And outdo it.