Don’t Leave the Maknae Unattended: High School King of Savvy

dramas kimchi High School King of Savvy poster bigger

Y’know, there’s a reason that Kmuse’s name is Kmuse. She really is my inspiration when it comes to picking dramas. I’ll whine that I have time to kill between finishing a series and waiting for the poll to close and she ALWAYS has the perfect solution. She’s also happy to promote Seo In Guk to new fans anytime, anywhere. And for very good reason. Because of her, I’m now a huge fan myself.

dramas kimchi High School King of Savvy Director Min Suk

Starting my SIG education with Answer Me 1997 was a great move. Enhancing it with I Remember You was an excellent move because it gave me a good idea of In Guk’s range. And then to watch High School King of Savvy sealed it–checkmate. In Guk’s portrayal of a high schooler who impersonates his much older brother was flawless. He was SO different from the other characters I’d seen him play, and he made Min Suk believable — tender and vulnerable and fiery and bold. I could go on for a long time about his brilliance in this role, but I’ll just sum it up by saying that this drama succeeds because of him.

dramas kimchi High School King of Savvy Jung Soo Young

This is no slight to Lee Ha Na’s acting, however. She was shining in her role as quirky Jung Soo Young. I had a hard time watching her at first because she was putting her reserved and awkward self out there to her unrequited love, but as the drama moved on, I was pleasantly surprised by her core of steel. Soo Young may not have been treated well in the beginning, but she was NOT a doormat. And she retained her quirkiness throughout the series — there was no attempt to make her more appealing. No makeover. No “this is reality” lectures from the more aware people in her life. Instead, she became loved because of her good heart, her kindness, and her hidden capability. By the end, I absolutely loved her character.

dramas kimchi High School King of Savvy Director Yoo

The character that I had the most conflicted feelings about was Director Yoo Jin Woo. He seemed cold and distant at first, but Lee Soo Hyuk did a fantastic job of conveying the heart-breaking loneliness that dominated Jin Woo’s life. Even when he was rude and deserved a hearty slap to the face, I still felt for him because he was trying his best to hold his life together. I didn’t really succumb to Second Lead Syndrome in this drama, but I really was rooting for Jin Woo to find happiness in his life.

dramas kimchi High School King of Savvy Gramps

The plot was well-crafted. The mystery of Min Suk’s older brother’s disappearance and the everyday life, both of the high schooler and the office worker, were seamlessly intertwined. The side characters in this drama fleshed out the story so well. I think Assistant Manager Yoon and Min Suk’s senile grandfather were some of my most favorite characters. I loved the subtle touches of their stories and how they shaped the narrative. The only thing I would wish for is better female friends for Soo Young, but it worked out just right.

dramas kimchi High School King of Savvy Min Suk two sides

I highly recommend High School King of Savvy. It hits all the right notes and the romance is absolutely adorable. There’s a part where Min Suk is talking about being ticklish and Soo Young’s reaction cracks me UP. So watch for that. :D The ending is perfect and sweet and made me smile. This is going on my rewatch list.
(Gentle Viewer Alert: There’s some backstory abuse and a fair amount of swearing. The worst is bleeped out, of course. I’d say it’s about a PG-13 level. No violence, though, unless you count hockey games as violence.)

Thanks to all of you who voted in the poll! The race was amazingly tight. I’ll be reviewing the winner — Secret Garden — next. I definitely had a lot of fun trying to guess which drama would win.

Until next time, drama fans!

Karie the Maknae

Dramas with a Side of Kimchi

0 thoughts on “Don’t Leave the Maknae Unattended: High School King of Savvy

  1. I guess the hockey will make this even more of a plus for me, then! Although, it is a sport that takes a fair amount of time to suit up or out in. My husband reminded me, though, that if you need a body double, it’s really hard to tell who exactly is in that gear.

  2. Loved this drama, in solidified by love of Seo In Guk after seeing him in Reply 1997. Its been so long since we’ve heard any news about him. I hope he’s ok.

  3. I liked SIG a lot in Answer me 1997 but it was High school king of savvy that made me fall in love.
    Such a slice of life treatment to an over the top premise!
    And i loved grandpa…he was so cute

  4. Seo Inguk definitely going to be the face of Korean dramas; i might seem exaggerated, but he was indeed the most natural actor among his peers. I loved him since High School King of Savvy, and what makes him even more amazing is that he can totally become any character that he choses to be; and this talent are rare amongst Korean actors nowadays. His military accident might slow him down, but by the time he finally decide to make his comeback, there would be no turning back for him. The King of Kisses was made for acting, and he would do much great roles in his filmography in the future onwards. If you want to watch more of his acting calibre, try 38 Task Force and Shopping King Louie. You’ll be amazed at how good and how much difference he could make at both of the character; of Yang Jung Do and Louie. Trust me, you will not regret it. 😊

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