Ah, Moorim School, you poor thing… You really could’ve been something special. I appreciate that the actors were still trying to give their all even with the low ratings and eventual cut. But it did show in the second half of the drama that the writers pretty much walked away and gave up. I came in with high hopes though, so I wasn’t just going to give up along with them.
(*After the picture below, there are loads of spoilers, so save yourself now if you haven’t finished the series.)
All right, so this show was obviously trying to be big and over-the-top when the budget, well, wasn’t. And though it was sad to see a good idea slowly deteriorating, I had a decent time watching either way. The romance between Shi Woo (Lee Hyun Woo) and Soon Deok (Seo Ye Ji) made me pretty giggly, but I did go into fits of cringing at times when they suddenly decided to be way too dramatic. The downside is that the entire love square was so dramatic that it took up most of the drama, when it should’ve been more about all the students and self-discovery. I almost think it should’ve followed School 2013‘s footsteps where it jumped to many different characters without losing too much focus on the main leads.
I just hope there’s more out there for Lee Hyun Woo after this because he needs a good drama under his belt, for goodness sake. I thought he was adorable in To the Beautiful You, and he was cute here too (That gaze, ack. If only Oppa would look at me that way…) but I’ve seen him do much better work in his movies. It’s not even him, really, because I did love watching him in this. The drama just didn’t allow him to do much. A great actor like him deserves a great script is all I’m saying.
I mean, the writers did a… fine job of wrapping things up, especially considering it got cut down from 20 episodes to 16. But as expected with any cut, it did feel horribly rushed. Like, okay, here’s Shi Woo’s happy ending, here’s Chi Ang’s happy ending, etc, etc, everyone’s happy, the end. And I’m, of course, not objected to happy endings; I just think they have to feel earned.
As for Hong Bin, he didn’t necessarily wow me, but he did well with what he had, and he managed to make Chi Ang likeable—at least, when he wasn’t acting overly obsessive over Soon Deok. Again, like Hyun Woo Oppa’s character, the writers could’ve given Chi Ang more to do. He spent most of his time at Moorim lusting over Soon Deok and giving Shi Woo shit for liking “his girl.” Perhaps, it would’ve been a smarter move to have him get over her sooner, which would’ve given more room for the bromance and his loveline with Seon Ah. Then, his ending would’ve felt earned. He had some nice, heartfelt scenes with Seon Ah here and there, but to suddenly see them as a couple at the end was like Whaaaa…? You have to fill us in on the details, Drama. You can’t just skip seven years like it was nothing! Grrr…
Chi Ang and his storyline did annoy me, but overall, he was a good kid who was just a little lost. I felt for him and like a proper noona (even though Hong Bin’s actually older than me heh), I wanted to push him in the right direction. And yeah, it was sooo freaking corny, but in the last episode when Chi Ang’s father reached out to save him, I teared up a bit. I blame the music and Hong Bin’s surprised puppy face, okay? *sniffles* It really was sweet though. Father-son moments in dramas always get to me.
Along with Chi Ang, all the students and teachers felt either poorly written or forgotten by the end, which again, I just find sad. I know this show wanted to explore a lot of different characters, but they were forced to make limitations due to a low budget, among other issues. It’s really too bad. *sighs* But, on a brighter note, one of the highlights of the show, for sure, was the soundtrack. No joke, I loved every single song and I’m quite frustrated that I can’t find it on iTunes… My favorite track is probably “Hey Girl” by B.I.G. I thought it matched the feel of the drama perfectly—heavily cheesy, but oh-so fun.
Is it Worth Watching?
It’s not an amazing drama. And it’s not a great drama. It’s really just okay, if I’m being completely honest. It kept me entertained in the same way shows like The Vampire Diaries and Teen Wolf do. I know they’re hokey, but I’m addicted to them anyway. I was never really dying from impatience for the next episode of Moorim School like I am with Descendants at the moment, but when a new episode did come up, can’t say I wasn’t a liiiiiiittle happy inside.
So, give it a chance if you’re in the mood for a silly, easy watch, but skip it if you’re looking for something a little more deep and serious.
Personal Rating: ★★★☆☆ / Objective Rating: ★★☆☆☆