We start the episode by rewinding back lớn when the B-team first composed the song. JYP admits he’s trolling us with this tuy vậy by asking them whether they think they can beat the sure-to-be amazing performance of the idols by singing “B…B…B…” He then tells them lớn express what they think when here each part of the song. Once they do, he says their choreography is done & rides into the sunset. Back khổng lồ the performance now, the crowd apparently loved their children’s song, even Ji Soo who was making fun of them in the previous episode. Seul even has a moment with her father when their eyes meet, who I think should’ve been the only one cheering for that performance since it’s what he always wanted from her.

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Now it’s time for the idols to perform. Nana is apparently having problems with her voice again, but refused to lớn go lớn the doctor like Si Woo wanted her to. She nods when he asks if she’ll be able to lớn complete the performance & agrees to go khổng lồ the doctor afterwards. We lead off with Ailee’s solo dance and cover of BEAST’s “Rainy Days”, then segue into JB and Si Woo’s performance of John Park’s “In the Rain”, & finishes their group performance of Kim Tae Woo’s “Love Rain”. However, at the high note, Nana’s voice fails her. Everyone is shocked at her mistake, but the group quickly continues as if nothing happened. Rian, who is watching from the hospital, seems concerned for Nana as well. She has, however, tossed the flowers that JB gave her into the trash.

Now that all the performances were done, Producer Shin tells them the true meaning behind his hint. What he wanted was lớn see how groups would react lớn unforseen circumstances, having a plan “B” in other words. He points out that the Hye Sung made a dance mistake, but because her teammates acted quickly, nobody noticed. He goes onto say that the idol group failed in this regard, because they allowed Nana to lớn sing even though they knew her voice wasn’t in good condition, và paid the price for it.

After the performance, Teacher Ahn’s group is celebrating with her homemade bibimbap. They’re convinced they got first place & are happily eating when JB walks in & kills the mood. Yoo Jin thinks he’s here to lớn kneel in front of him for losing, but actually Hye Sung invited him to eat with them. When asked if he’s sad that Yoo Jin won, he says that he’s just happy Hye Sung won. This leads the others into thinking they’re dating, which Hye Sung emphatically denies, delighting Yoo Jin. Ui Bong then notices that Hong Joo isn’t eating. He says he just has no appetite, but is obviously concerned about Nana’s condition.

Meanwhile, at the hospital, Nana finds out he has vocal cysts in her throat. Surgery is an option, but there could be side effects like her voice changing or a decreased range. Because of this, she then decides that she’s going khổng lồ quit school. Ji Soo refuses lớn accept it, since Nana tells her the doctors said it was a flu, and tells her lớn just rest for a while and make a decision later.

Afterwards, JB is waiting in the practice room when đam mê Woo and Ji Soo walk in. She asks where the other are và Si Woo says Ailee took Nana khổng lồ the hospital. đắm say Woo is mad that Nana is taking all the blame và that they admitted her khổng lồ the hospital. He thinks it’s the President’s way of getting rid of her like he did with Rian. JB tells him khổng lồ calm down, but he turns on his partner saying that he’s probably glad that Nana’s gone because she was better than him. JB says that’s not true since they’re a team, but then mê say Woo brings up the fact that he wanted khổng lồ go solo in the beginning of the series and storms off.

Teacher Ahn is holding class with her group about public perceptions of idols when JB walks in and says he wants lớn join since nobody else is in his class. There’s conveniently an empty seat next khổng lồ Hye Sung và the two engage in a very forced lovey dovey exchange. Yoo Jin interrupts them by throwing a piece of chalk at JB & the two have a brief fight in which Yoo Jin accidentally kneels in front of JB, much khổng lồ everyone else’s amusement. They eventually start drawing and Yoo Jin is displeased to see JB helping Hye Sung out by holding her mirror so she can draw herself. Principal Joo sees this & thinks that JB likes her, but JYP, who happens to lớn walk by, disagrees with him. Principal Joo says that, from his own experience, for idols like JB, normal girls are more attractive than idols. They then sneak in the fact that he’s now the new student counselor.

Meanwhile, Ji Soo is trying to convince President Lee lớn not disband Hershe
E. She says she can get Nana to come back, but President Lee won’t hear of it. Between Rian’s issue and Nana’s vocal problems, he is of the opinion that they can’t continue properly as a group even after their ban is lifted. Seul, for some reason, just happens lớn be listening in & looks disappointed with her dad even though he really didn’t say anything I felt she should be mad at him for. They notice her there as well và he looks shocked that she overheard them. Again, why he’s so shocked, I have no idea.

At the hospital, Rian receives a text from ham Woo telling her that Nana was admitted lớn the hospital she’s in for a cold. Seems Nana is intent on keeping this a secret even from him. Ailee, however, is in on her condition và covers for her when Rian asks why the nurse says she’s taking tests if it’s just a cold. She tries lớn show concern for her, but Nana shrugs her off. Rian is hurt by it, since Nana was always friendly lớn her, & says she’ll just ignore them lượt thích they did her.

Back at school, Teacher Ahn’s group is continuing their lessons by drawing their own images of themselves. Yoo Jin’s was my favorite as he just draws a star shape và the word rock and roll next to it. Seul và Ui Bong trash each other’s pictures & walk over lớn see that Hong Joo drew a picture of Nana. JB, on the other hand, drew a picture of Hye Sung. She’s embarrased by the attention & when it’s her turn lớn show her picture, she refuses, saying it’s not done yet.

Yoo Jin is now meeting with Principal Joo và asks him if he’s doing the right thing regarding the Idol auditions. Principal Joo asks him what happened to the “rock spirit” he was always talking about, but Yoo Jin just says that now he has someone he wants khổng lồ beat. He then brings up Producer Shin’s pacemaker analogy, khổng lồ which Yoo Jin says that if he was in a marathon, he wouldn’t be the pacemaker, he’d be in it khổng lồ win it.

Back in the classroom, Hye Sung is still working on her self portrait. JB is still hanging around for some reason and, because he’s bored, he decides to lớn snoop through Hye Sung’s bag. He finds her sketchbook & sees all the drawings she’s done of him. She’s embarrassed that he saw them và asks her lớn give it back, but he playfully plays keep-a-way with it. The two tumble and, of course, she ends up falling on him with their faces just inches apart. After they separate, it’s obviously awkward between them & he rips out one of the pictures và takes it as a “modelling fee”. President Lee just happens lớn see this, and he is not pleased.

Producer Shin announces the next challenge: they have 12 hours khổng lồ upload a video, và the most views after another 12 hours will be the winner. Ui Bong says they lost this one for sure since the other team is all idols, but Yoo Jin points out that only JB is left. Hong Joo isn’t there for the announcement because he’s busy making Nana’s hospital bed. He brought her a rose and a penguin stuffed animal, but si Woo then walks in with a giant bear the kích thước of him. The two are surprised khổng lồ see each other there & Si Woo tells Hong Joo not lớn spread any rumors about this. Mê mệt Woo then busts out a suitcase full of food & drinks for Nana, much lớn Hong Joo’s dismay since he already lost in the stuffed animal competition. He even brings her One Piece manga, which I would highly recommend reading as it’s a good series. đam mê Woo finally notices Hong Joo’s penguin, but Hong Joo is too embarrassed khổng lồ admit it’s his. Hong Joo then quickly leaves, without seeing Nana. After Hong Joo leaves, mê mệt Woo receives a gọi from JB, but decides not to lớn pick it up.

It seems JB only called him lớn prove lớn Teacher Ahn’s group that he can’t contact the other members of his own team. He says he’ll help them with their video clip first if they’ll help him with his later. At first he asks for Hye Sung, but Yoo Jin won’t let him so JB asks for Yoo Jin then since he just needs someone lớn hold the camera. They then proceed to run through various ideas that they feel will make the viewer laugh or feel moved, as those are 2 criteria that Teacher Ahn identified as for why videos get alot of views. Hong Joo then shows up, but he’s visibly depressed và just walks away. A deliveryman shows up with food, courtesy of JB, & this all of a sudden makes him okay in Yoo Jin’s book.

While Hong Joo is moping in his room, Hye Sung & JB stop by lớn cheer him up. He tells them that he wasn’t able to see her và so Hye Sung decides to lớn drag him to lớn see her. When Nana arrives back in her room, she is happy khổng lồ see the wall decorated with all sorts of animals. Bet ham mê Woo wishes he hadn’t told Hong Joo earlier that Nana likes the zoo. Plus points too for making đắm đuối Woo’s bear angry by adding eyebrows and the universal anime angry mark on its forehead. He then dramatically pulls back the curtain he was hiding behind và starts playing the guitar. He talks for a little bit & then starts playing 2AM’s “This Song”. Hye Sung, JB, Yoo Jin, và some nurses are listening lớn his performance outside, when JB receives a call & immediately goes back lớn school.

Seems Ji Soo wasn’t able khổng lồ convince President Lee & news breaks that Hershe
E is disbanded. Rian’s mom is distraught at the news, và she remembers a conversation she had earlier with President Lee about this. Rian seems to lớn take the news better và is calm as she walks over to lớn Nana’s room. On her way, however, she overhears two nurses talking about a patient with vocal nodules being the reason why Hershe
E broke up. Oops. Rian immediately goes to lớn Nana, but she’s no longer in her room.

Back at school, JB is out looking for answers of his own. As he reaches the door to the President’s office, he overhears President Lee và Ji Soo arguing. Ji Soo begs President Lee khổng lồ reconsider, but he doesn’t budge. He thinks she’s become overly attached to the girls because she’s reminded of how her own group, Scream, disbanded. President Lee then pulls out Nana’s medical and tells Ji Soo of Nana’s condition.

When Yoo Jin và the others get back lớn school, they’re praising Hong Joo for a job well done with Nana. Hye Sung asks if they’ve seen JB, but the other say they haven’t seen him. He apparently waited for Ji Soo khổng lồ leave & is now talking alone with President Lee. He tells JB not lớn concern himself with Hershe
E và to focus on the upcoming auditions so that he’s not beaten by Yoo Jin. He also hints that he knows about him and Hye Sung & to make sure he gets back to lớn the top.

Meanwhile, Rian is on the phone with yêu thích Woo, frantic that she can’t find Nana since she was discharged. As they’re talking, Rian seems khổng lồ have an idea và runs off. đắm say Woo also seems khổng lồ have thought of something, và starts driving off in his car.

Back at the school, Teacher Ahn’s group is still brainstorm for their idea. Producer Shin walks up to them và compliments Hong Joo for already being an mạng internet star. He also mentions it was great timing since the đoạn clip was released at the same time as Hershe
E’s disbandment. Before he leaves, he adds that sincerity really does get through khổng lồ people. The group is confused about what he’s talking about, but Teacher Ahn quickly appears and shows them the video clip someone uploaded of Hong Joo Singing lớn Nana.

Si Woo & Rian apparently had the same idea và reach the practice room at their company where Nana has locked herself in. He breaks down the door and the two try khổng lồ comfort her. Mê mệt Woo still doesn’t know about Nana’s condition, but she finally tells him. Nana laments the fact that her voice is everything to her, which upsets Rian since she feels that Nana doesn’t value their friendship. At this point, JB shows up as well & says that Nana can get better with treatment và that they’ll protect her to the end. Ailee then shows up and the idol group is back together. JB và Rian look at each other and we have another flashback to their trainee days.

We see the first time Rian meets Nana and Ailee. They were told she’ll be in charge of visuals in her group & inspect her face. She passes their test, but they start laughing when she tells them her real name, Lee Ji Kyung. Nana then decides that her new stage name should be Rian. The e
Den boys then walk in và the girls try khổng lồ protect their new friend from ham mê Woo, who they jokingly say is a player. The five of them then pose for the camera.

Back at the school, Hye Sung is busy doing her math homework when Seul wakes up. Hye Sung tells her that when things get confusing for her, she does math problems lớn unwind. Seul’s method for dealing with problems is khổng lồ just cut them off. She confides in Hye Sung that there’s someone she likes, but the guy keeps doing things that make her angry. Her dad, obviously. As they’re talking, they hear a crowd outside và go investigate.

As Producer Shin và President Lee are driving, President Lee receives a gọi saying something happened at school & so turns the car around. The Eden boys are holding an impromptu press conference và announce their disbandment. They thank President Lee for the opportunity they gave them, & vow to lớn return as better artists under Producer Shin’s care during the Super Idol auditions. As a final gift khổng lồ their fans, they start singing a tuy vậy that they apparently sang trọng with the Hershe
E girls as trainees. This turns into a flash mob to lớn g.o.d.’s “One Candle” with everyone smiling và singing along, including Teacher Ahn và Ji Soo who are watching from a walkway above them. At the end, Rian and JB realize they’re holding hands, but rather than break apart, just smile at each other.

Final Thoughts

I don’t even know where to lớn start with this episode. It was definitely another step back in my mind, that’s for sure. The whole interaction with Hye Sung và JB is way too sappy & it’s not really doing much for the story. I am also not a tín đồ of how JB keeps flipping between each side. Every time they build up a sense of conflict between the two groups, he just goes in và ruins it. Yoo Jin seems legitimately annoyed at JB, but he buys him a meal & everything’s okay? I also don’t like how quickly Nana’s issue seems khổng lồ get solved. In a span of just one episode, she goes from being depressed that she’s going to lose her voice khổng lồ being happy again because of her friends. The flash mob scene also seemed really out of place for me. Maybe it’s because I’m comparing it to the kết thúc of Dream High where that was pretty much the final resolution for everyone, but this seems like it should’ve also been at the end.

While I also think that this resolution was a bit fast, I was actually okay JB resolving his issues with the other idols. Their biggest concern with him was that they felt he didn’t care. Publicly disbanding Eden without President Lee’s consent lớn them was a bold move that showed he is actually on their side.

All in all, I was very disappointed with this episode và I hope it gets back on track.

Special Bonus: Hershe
E và Eden performing g.o.d.’s “One Candle”. While I didn’t like the timing of it, I really enjoyed the performance itself. Jiyeon and Ailee rapping was definitely the highlight.

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This 2012 follow-up drama, lượt thích the original Dream High, follows the students at a performing arts school, chronicling their challenges as they fight to lớn achieve their dreams of becoming idols and performers. Their interactions are complicated by rivalries, history, family drama, and romantic attractions.

This 2012 follow-up drama, like the original Dream High, follows the students at a performing arts school, chronicling their challenges as they fight lớn achieve their dreams of becoming idols and performers. Their interactions are complicated by rivalries, history, family drama, và romantic attractions.

Dream High 2: Series Wrap-up

by javabeans


As you know, we started out with hopes for Dream High 2 that quickly fizzled, and recaps were dropped after the first two weeks. I don’t regret that choice in the least, but I did continue watching the show out of curiosity, và now that it’s over, I’m weighing in with some overall thoughts on what worked for the show và what didn’t, and why I feel lượt thích it had what it took lớn make a good show but never got there.


Dream High 2 OST – “Hello to lớn Myself” < tải về >

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Note: Spoilers are everywhere!

The Plot…

Let’s vày this in hyperspeed, hitting the main points:


Picking up where recaps left off (with Episode 4), the Superidol audition series commences, with each stage focused around a certain theme. The tension mounts between Hae-sung and Ri-an, who are on opposite teams (idols versus underdogs), reluctant roommates, và rivals for JB’s affection. I know, it’s weird; JB has something of an offscreen lobotomy và goes from sneering derisively at Hae-sung (because he still has feelings for ex-girlfriend Ri-an) to declaring that he likes Hae-sung a few episodes later.

Yoo-jin continues khổng lồ help hapless Hae-sung, who has so little self-esteem that she lets everyone walk all over her, và then apologizes to her harassers. Eventually she becomes the school outcast & even her friends ditch her, shuffling away for fear that her suckitude is contagious.

You’d think that Yoo-jin, the confident, brash lone wolf who doesn’t care what anyone thinks & who likes Hae-sung, would be the one who’d step up và stand by her side in the moment of need. & he tries a few times, early on. But as the drama progresses he falls behind, either failing lớn come through or getting there too late. Maybe Yoo-jin’s failure to lớn come through in crunch time is what makes him ultimately unsuccessful in love. (I know! So frustrating.)


Instead, JB is the one lớn extend a friendly hand when everyone else is shunning her. It’s strange, because he was the assy mean boy who looked down on her. I’m not sure why he changes his mind, & it’s one of the drama’s several hairpin turns, but we go with it because we have lớn if we’re going to lớn buy the rest of the plot. (Although I don’t think we buy the rest of the plot in any case.)

Hae-sung is ostracized & ridiculed khổng lồ such extremes — even by her own teacher — that she decides khổng lồ leave school, per her father’s wishes. And for some inexplicable reason, after she leaves her “friends” cry over her departure, even though they were the ones who ditched her just an episode ago. Ugh. It’s this flip-flop that makes the supporting cast hard khổng lồ care about for the rest of the drama, even though they have some dễ thương moments. Khổng lồ feel the cute, though, it almost requires you to turn off your brain khổng lồ the part that can’t quite make sense of their behavior changes.

This is a problem that pops up in multiple instances: that to enjoy what’s unfolding in the moment, you have khổng lồ actively ignore what just came before it. Consistency is a major flaw, with little thought lớn story or character integrity.


JB follows Hae-sung back khổng lồ her hometown lớn try khổng lồ bring her back, and works his way into the good graces of her family. Yoo-jin follows one step behind, & gets distracted by swooping to lớn Ri-an’s rescue, which sets up the four-way conflict for the rest of the series. Except, the drama really only fixates on the JB/Hae-sung angle, dropping potential development along the Yoo-jin/Hae-sung and Yoo-jin/Ri-an fronts. Basically, Yoo-jin is the drama’s saving grace, & then he’s wasted.

Ri-an pulls a few dick moves, like stealing Hae-sung’s first song composition, “Hello to lớn Myself,” and claiming songwriting credit for it. Hae-sung, problematically, is such a pushover that she isn’t angry (thankfully, both boys are angry on her behalf) but actually manages khổng lồ work up some gratitude to lớn everyone for performing her song, even if she wasn’t credited for it.


On the upside, she’s belatedly acknowledged as songwriter và discovers her new talent. With that goal, Hae-sung decides to lớn come back khổng lồ school và is welcomed with mở cửa arms, including the teacher who’d turned against her, who has now turned back. There’s a lot of character turning in this drama.

At about halfway through, we enter the kinder, gentler half of Dream High 2, where characters are suddenly warmer khổng lồ each other, even if it’s not quite understood why. It makes for a cuter, fuzzier watch, because I enjoy watching characters bond and tư vấn each other. But it does have the countereffect of dropping narrative flow, with everyone getting along.

This lack of clashing & tension means that the conflict has lớn redirect khổng lồ other outlets, & that happens in the form of (1) romance, (2) sudden injuries, and (3) the Superidol auditions.


With the romance angle, JB admits he likes Hae-sung, & they start dating. She finds herself the target of fangirl hate, but giao dịch with it even though everyone’s accusing her of being too ordinary to lớn attract JB oppa’s affection.

There’s some lingering friction between Ri-an và Hae-sung regarding JB, but it never flares into anything serious because it seems the drama wasn’t sure whether khổng lồ make Ri-an into an antagonist or keep her likable. & so it does both, lớn middling effect.

Even the idols-versus-underdogs tension loses what bite it had earlier on. It’s understood that everybody is still competing khổng lồ make it to the Superidol group at the end, but the competition lacks… well, competitiveness.

In Season 1, there was a raw, cutthroat element khổng lồ the students’ efforts, which is missing here. When somebody loses in an audition round, they sort of sigh in disappointment and then move on — no ratcheting up of tension, no intensified drive to win. It makes it hard to root for these kids when they don’t seem khổng lồ care very much.


For instance, the idols thua thảm the “B” round (which I’ll talk about more below), and they look kinda bummed about it. Then JB shrugs và says that as long as Hae-sung won, he’s happy. Sweet for a boyfriend lớn say, but with the stakes supposedly so high (it’s a super idol group, not just idols!), there’s a curious lack of intensity.

A problem that presented itself early on was the huge disparity of talent between the idols and the underdogs. The idols have already made it; they’ve proven their musical & dancing talents and are working as professionals. The underdogs weren’t merely underprepared, but it’s doubtful whether some of them even have any talent to lớn begin with (I’m left wondering why pseudo-psychic Soon-dong, for instance, ever bothered to lớn come to lớn Kirin in the first place, while the headmaster’s rebellious daughter Seul is nice as a character but merely an accessory on the music front — she raps, sort of).


So, the drama levels the playing field by taking a few of our idols out of commission. Nana develops cysts on her vocal cords that require operation & recovery, & JB gets hit by a truck. (Urg!)

Plus, since Nana can’t sing while she’s healing, Hersh
E is disbanded. The boys of Eden decide to lớn take matters into their own hands and announce to the public, without consulting their management, that Eden will disband in solidarity. Which is nice of them, but again, it begs the question: If you’re going to give up your dream so easily, why am I rooting for you again?

Plus, at this point Shi-woo is back và cheerful & adorable, having magically cured his womanizing, street-fighting, troublemaking ways. I don’t complain about liking him all of a sudden; it’s just that I’m not entirely certain this is the same Shi-woo; is he really the good twin who’s managed lớn swap places with the evil Shi-woo, who’s maybe locked up in a basement dungeon somewhere? (Except… would that make good Shi-woo the bad one? Hmm…)


These aren’t actually bad things to lớn have happen, in that you need a little dramatic tension for the characters. Especially once it’s revealed that the whole Superidol auditions are really just a sham, to lớn develop JB into a world star (against his knowledge, ’cause, yunno, that’s a good idea) — & the only reason Yoo-jin was picked khổng lồ join the Superidols was because it would literally piss JB off & therefore make him work harder.

Here they co-opt that marathon-running term, pacemaker, dubbing Yoo-jin the tool that’ll keep JB on course. Instead JB gets hit by a truck.


I do lượt thích the conflict of the pacemaker, since the boys were set up from the start to lớn be fierce rivals. I wanted khổng lồ see that play out, I wanted sparks khổng lồ fly, I wanted the competition swinging from one lớn the other and back again, in a constant push-pull of dynamic one-upsmanship.

That could have then been reinforced by the thắm thiết rivalry, because Yoo-jin’s pining for the girl who’s dating JB (sort of), who’s sort of still got a thing with Ri-an (sort of), who has a few flirty moments with Yoo-jin (sort of). See the problem? Enough with the sort ofs, Drama, và just get to lớn the damn point!


I’m sad that the Yoo-jin/Ri-an story never went anywhere romantic, because of all the potential couples, they had the most chemistry. Part of my mental block with JB và Hae-sung is that they had zero romantic rapport — I kept seeing her as a noona humoring her xinh tươi little brother. Their real-life ages weren’t solely to blame, but the fact that Kang Sora’s four years older than JB surely didn’t help.

I wanted to see Hae-sung & Yoo-jin have more flirty moments, but for me the Ri-an loveline was the bigger dropped ball. I say that because Yoo-jin’s relationship with Hae-sung was like a life coach urging his client vì better while she felt sorry for herself. With Ri-an, I felt a reciprocal dynamic, with both of them turning into unexpected sources of emotional tư vấn for each other.

Yoo-jin turns out lớn have a painful past, with his early fame as a now-embarrassing child role ending with his parents’ bitter divorce. Now he’s estranged from Mom, and it’s Ri-an who prods him to lớn make amends. He, in return, is there to poke & prod Ri-an, and they develop a cutely bickering rapport.


Meanwhile, the Hae-sung và JB line undergoes a frustrating bout of noble idiocy, because Hae-sung is told she’s holding JB back. For one of the audition rounds, he had picked Hae-sung khổng lồ be his partner, which everybody believes lớn mean he chose failure, just so he could be with his girlfriend. Ergo, love over career. (It requires a few leaps in logic, but I see what they did there.) So khổng lồ bring JB’s focus back, she’s asked by several people to lớn let him go, using that dreaded phrase, “…for his own good.”

She breaks up with him, and he sort of refuses to lớn acknowledge it but sort of doesn’t insist on staying together, either. Instead, they continue kind-of-not-dating for a while. Gah, this drama is so wishy-washy it drives me up a wall. & then back down. & then around in circles. It can’t decide which way to lớn go so it goes all ways, và gets nowhere.


Then, to return the favor, JB is later told he’s holding Hae-sung back, because she has the chance khổng lồ go to Berklee School of Music and turns it down to lớn be with him. Therefore he should let her go “for her own good,” và off she goes.

And this leads us to…

The Ending (WTF?)

By the time the last Superidol audition rolls around, the extraneous characters have been whittled away & our finalists are the usual suspects: The idols, with Yoo-jin, dancer Eui-bong, & guitarist Hee-joo up for the final six spots.

There’s an added carrot dangled in front of the kids: the one winner will get the chance to lớn be sent abroad solo as a world star. ‘Cause world stardom works like that, don’tcha know: Just drop an idol into a ready-made slot, & presto, fame!


Ri-an rocks the audition and wins with a heartfelt song she composed, using lyrics Yoo-jin had written (this time taken with permission). JB has been hiding from everybody that his leg still pains him và collapses onstage. And Yoo-jin? He throws the competition for himself, choosing not to lớn be pushed down another path before he’s ready, like he did as a child star.

So, the two people who don’t make the Superidol group are the ones we probably most expected: JB & Yoo-jin. Those who make the group: Ri-an, Nana, Ailee, Shi-woo, Eui-bong, & Hee-joo.


Ri-an chooses, however, to lớn give up the solo gig and stays with the Superidols, saying that she made it this far because of her friends, và doesn’t think she can continue on without them.

When we jump forward eight months lớn graduation day, the Superidols have become big stars. Yoo-jin’s just a regular high school student, và he welcomes them back to school with a big wave. When asked how they feel about their respective fates, Yoo-jin and Ri-an echo each other: It wasn’t that they gave something up, but chose something else.

Then, we skip forward eight years….


…and here’s where the massive disappointment sets in. (Even deeper, I mean.) I’m pretty sure the drama chose the eight-year jump to mirror Season 1, but in my opinion this show really shouldn’t be drawing any more attention to the season-by-season comparisons.

The former Superidols all come back khổng lồ Kirin High, mobilized by Yoo-jin… who is now a teacher. WTF? You have the most charismatic, most musically interesting character và you make him a teacher? Urg, my heart feels for poor Yoo-jin, so wasted.

In the intervening years, Nana and Hong-joo have become a successful vocal duo — her voice can’t sustain a solo career, but together they’re doing well. The love triangle that served as comic relief is still going strong, with Shi-woo huffy over Nana paying all that attention to lớn Hong-joo. What’s that guy got that he doesn’t?


Back in high school, Seul had patched up her relationship with her dad & asked khổng lồ be allowed khổng lồ train as a manager. He’d put her in charge of the Superidols, & now she’s coupled up with Eui-bong, who teaches at a dance academy.

This is one of the only satisfactory resolutions, both romantic & otherwise, because while their xinh tươi little loveline never occupied much screentime, it was one that made sense. Eui-bong was the one who urged her lớn make nice with her father, và was happy for her when she finally did.

Meanwhile, Ri-an left idol-dom behind khổng lồ become a successful actress who has been lớn Cannes, so I’m assuming she learned how to act at some point. JB is now a producer, who is working on a song recorded by Ailee, a non-dancing solo singer.


Hae-sung flies in from the States… having become a successful Broadway director? Um, okay. But what about the newfound talent and her gift for writing songs that resonate with the mainstream pop market?

Yoo-jin is implementing a big musical at Kirin, which is titled “Dream High” and features the story of an ordinary, untalented student named Shin Hae-sung. Funny how “Dream High” was also the name of the movie Ri-an shot with Sam-dong in the first episode. Drama, you’ve already used that meta joke — you’ve gotta keep them straight!


The musical is supposedly a Big Effing deal and will be a joint collaboration between alumni & students. Curious, then, that there are no students onstage other than Hae-sung’s little sister, who’s now a student và who’s meant, I’m sure, khổng lồ echo Hye-mi’s sister in Season 1’s “eight years later” epilogue. It’s weird.

The epilogue is essentially an excuse to lớn give us a final dance number with our main cast, who tell us in alternating voiceovers that nobody has achieved the dream they had at the outset, but that now they’ve all changed & developed with their dreams.

The end.


The Characters

The drama is riddled with writing flaws, but in my view the biggest one — the one that I can’t rationalize or get past — is that the characters don’t make sense. It wasn’t even a simple matter of not liking the characters, but that I often had no idea what they were doing that I couldn’t decide whether they were supposed to be likable or unlikable. They were just… there. Doing stuff. Pushing the plot along.


If I care about the characters, I can put up with a lot, whether it’s questionable conflicts or bad acting or strange musical interludes. When you get invested in a character, you might start feeling like they’re real people, not just tools for telling a fictional TV story who are destined to lớn live comfortably within their four walls, with no connection lớn your own life or the real world.

When I don’t care about the characters, no matter how great the story is, I’ve already got one foot out the door, my mind only partially engaged. What Dream High 2 did, seemingly, was tick off boxes khổng lồ make sure it had all the components there — the voice, the rebel, the rocker, the outcast — without figuring out how to lớn turn those single elements into real people.

And it’s not like it’s not possible. See Dream High 1 for proof of how, with a little thought, a seemingly flat character can break out into more dimensions. The underdog in the beginning isn’t the underdog at the end; people freed themselves from their initial trappings and went on lớn develop facets. In Season 2, everybody’s all surface.


One huge failing was the character of Hae-sung, who should have been the one we rooted for whole-heartedly to overcome her mediocrity & find her talent. Yet even when she tapped into her songwriting potential, she was such a frustratingly weak, meek character that I just wanted lớn shake her. She starts out with such low self-esteem that when people abuse her, she practically apologizes for sucking so hard that they were driven khổng lồ the abuse. She means to be modest when saying, “I have no talent, but…” What I hear is a morose, sad character who has no spine. And no matter how much you want to give somebody spine, that’s something they’ve got khổng lồ figure out for themselves.

I thought that as the drama headed into the final stretch, at least we could look forward khổng lồ her spreading her wings and standing on her own two feet. After all, she outlasted JB in the audition round, and is still in the running for making the Superidol cut. And what does she do?

She declares, “My dream is… making JB’s dream come true.” She gives up her second original composition and forfeits her audition slot khổng lồ him, khổng lồ keep JB’s dream alive. Blech. I want to lượt thích her, but I just can’t get past her wishy-washy, mealy-mouthed nature. You want lớn yell at her khổng lồ have more respect for herself — you can have a spine và still be a good person!


Speaking of JB: He’s another flawed characterization, though rooted in a different problem. In the drama, he’s the one marked for superstardom — so much so that their hoity-toity producer designs the competition lớn hone his talents. This is a point that requires suspension of disbelief, because everybody waxes poetic about JB’s superior talents, & then he goes out and performs and I’m left wondering, Him?

I mentioned this in the last podcast, that the drama was unwilling to lớn actually portray the characters as they were described và therefore sacrificed story credibility for vanity. Ri-an’s supposed to lớn be Hersh
E’s pretty face and nothing more, yet she takes the stage & Ji-yeon sings well — because you can’t have her singing poorly, can you? Similarly, Yoo-jin is supposed to lớn be a poor dancer who gets schooled by JB — & while Jin-woon shuffles a few steps, in the end there’s no real disparity between the two.

There was also the laughable “Proposal” themed audition, where JB & Hae-sung sing a tuy nhiên together that gets everybody marveling with jaws dropped, saying that Hae-sung radiates light and has never been better… but the song is mediocre at best.

As a result, confused viewers are left wondering if the characters are supposed to be good or bad in this scene, rather than trusting the drama’s presentation lớn tell us.


As I said, characters change without explanation, which is bad enough. But in some instances the drama essentially rewrites its own history, like with the idols. At the outset, Eden is on the verge of self-combusting with Shi-woo always in trouble and JB wanting a solo career. The Hersh
E girls acknowledge that Ri-an holds them back and an early episode shows tension between Ri-an and the others.

But later in the series — in its Nice Half — flashbacks take us back khổng lồ the trainee days, when they were all a big happy family, forming bonds that have lasted till the present day. Not only does it confuse you, it invalidates its own self by changing its tune later down the line. Oh, then maybe Eden wasn’t a contentious duo after all. Maybe Ri-an didn’t suck. Even though Episode 1 tells otherwise.


I won’t complain about the characters getting nicer, because despite the show’s numerous stumbles, at least the xinh đẹp moments between the cast buoyed the tone. If I didn’t think too hard about why the characters were behaving in such a way, I could enjoy the squabbling, the petty rivalries, & the group bonding. They never got me in the heart, but as a loose string of amusing encounters, they were fine. Better light-hearted fun than needless angst, right?

In that, I’m reminded of the K necklace: cute, but random. The pendant makes brief appearances throughout the show lớn get passed along from person lớn person. It’s supposed khổng lồ be a callback to lớn Season 1, though it doesn’t have the same function: Last year, we were curious every time it got passed on, because we know that the person left with the necklace would be K. Here, it has no such meaning. Ri-an gets it from Sam-dong when they’re shooting “Dream High” in Episode 1, & it acts as a good-luck charm. But it carries no real significance — it’s an empty meta reference, is all.


As for the romance: a huge dropped ball. A show doesn’t have to lớn have clear-cut romances lớn be satisfying, và I can think of a number of dramas where that’s true. Dream High 2, on the other hand, actually sacrificed story lô ghích to keep its thắm thiết entanglements alive, so it’s especially aggravating that nothing concludes lớn satisfaction. (Seul & Eui-bong notwithstanding.)

No Yoo-jin love? Damn, if you were going khổng lồ leave him hanging at the end, you could’ve at least given Hae-sung & JB their neatly tied thắm thiết ending (and I say that having disliked their relationship). How can this show have given up everything it had going for it & exchanged it with everything that didn’t work? Urg, urg, urg!

The Music

I’ve already outlined my dissatisfaction with the musical numbers in the previous recap, & I won’t belabor the same points here. Suffice lớn say that the same complaints hold true throughout the show, although they did improve. The 10-minute music-video montages that cluttered the initial episodes mostly worked their way out of the show, and the musical numbers that remained were mostly tied into the audition process. So, score one for relevance.


I did wish they’d taken more care to be realistic with the performances, which all sounded lượt thích CD tracks laid over a scene. At times I was confused whether the characters were supposed to be singing “live” or if they were lip-synching — lượt thích in the scene when the Eden and Hersh
E idols band together and sing (“I’ll always be by your side, I’ll hold your hand”), & suddenly there’s background music in an a cappella (?) scene. Where’d that MR track come from? In another scene where Hong-joo performs onstage with his guitar, suddenly we hear cello and piano accompaniment. Er?

The thing is, the raw, in-the-moment version is often much more moving anyway. Shut Up Flower Boy Band showed us that, giving us performances that sounded live — & so did Dream High 1, in fact. Pil-sook’s hospital guitar scene with Jason listening outside the door? Guh, had me in near tears. Trust your story, I want khổng lồ say.

Xem thêm: Thanh xuân của ai không mơ hồ / 谁的青春不迷茫, thanh xuân của ai không mơ hồ (p2) #phimcuocsong

However, there were some shining moments too, with several musical numbers rivaling Season 1 for thematic resonance. Many didn’t, but a few selections elevated the show by tying in a performance lớn a character arc, like with Hae-sung writing “Hello khổng lồ Myself,” or the underdogs coming together lớn write “B các mục Life” together. Given only the word/letter “B” as a prompt, they struggle to lớn make meaning of the direction — is it Bi (as in singer Rain), or bi (literal rain), or B (the letter)? They draw on their status as the misfits & compose the lyrics that go:


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Dream High 2 OST – “B급인생” (B các mục Life) < tải về >

I am a boy, just a boy
Just one boy out of countless others,I’m not special, with nothing to lớn show off
I am a girl, just a girlthe kind of girl you’d just pass by
I’m not pretty at all, just totally ordinary looking

We are the B, B, B danh sách life
We want to be A list
We are ab, ab, abnormaland want to lớn stand at the top
We are the B, B, B list life
We want lớn be A list
We are ab, ab, abnormaland want to stand at the top

I’m just a nobody, with no real use
Just sweating pointless beads of sweat
More than my own frustration,I tire seeing those frustrated expressions around me

One day I’ll find that special something inside me
Will that day come?
Before I lose the dream fading inside me
Will I be able khổng lồ shine my light?


There was also Seul’s tuy vậy selection for the last audition, which was supposed to lớn be sung on behalf of someone else. She toys with the idea of using the moment as a great big fuck-you khổng lồ Dad, who embodies the philosophy of “Dirty Money.” Thankfully with some urging by Eui-bong, she changes her mind & chooses a song about a childhood dream she’d forgotten as she grew older; “But when I’m troubled, I want lớn run & play like a child… In my bygone childhood, I dreamed a beautiful dream of flying in that yellow balloon.”

She offers a balloon lớn her father mid-song — outing their relationship khổng lồ the school — & tells him she wants to try liking him from now on. And crusty old Dad sits there holding a balloon with a big goofy grin on his face. *Tear.* That might’ve been the only moment that made me feel something in the heart, & I wish there had been more lượt thích it.


In that same audition, Yoo-jin extends the olive branch khổng lồ his estranged mother, whom he’s always told people was dead. At Ri-an’s prodding, though, he manages lớn invite her khổng lồ the show, & dedicates “I’m Sorry” to lớn her, singing his apologies for hesitating & hiding his feelings.

These are the flashes that showed us what the drama could have been, if it had tried a little harder, if it had stayed a little truer to its characters & not tried to lớn stuff them into an imitation of Season 1.

Final Thoughts

I feel like Dream High 2 pretty much encapsulates the Korean concept of mi-woon jung, aka hate-affection. It’s the kind of grudging attachment you develop despite feeling friction, irritation, or outright hate. It’s true of the characters — they start out all awash in dislike & clashing personalities, and grow into their bonds — và it’s true of myself as a viewer.

Clearly there was something there that kept me tuning in, despite the numerous frustrations with the show, so it wasn’t all bad. It’s just that you really vì have to lay aside that need to lớn make sense of the world, to lớn have a story with a proper rise and fall, or a resolution that fits with the rest of the show. Funny enough, I think if I’d stuck with recaps of the show, I would have quit quickly, & with a lot of aggravation — recapping requires a much closer watch, & the show just doesn’t hold up to lớn that kind of scrutiny. As a casual viewer, though, I was more willing khổng lồ turn off my brain & shrug when something didn’t make sense, just khổng lồ see where they were going.

Sadly I think the ending nosedived from the rest of the series (which was already on shaky ground), because it neither worked for our characters nor gave us satisfactory conclusions. If you’re abandoning súc tích to the wind anyway, then why couldn’t you just throw in some happy resolutions and fanservice while you’re at it? Funny that the whole show was a big ol’ exercise in fanservice at the expense of narrative, but it didn’t even deliver on that last front.

If I have one takeaway from Dream High 2, it’s Jin-woon, who was charismatic và looks lớn be pretty musically talented to lớn boot. The others, I could take ’em or leave ’em. (Mostly leave ’em.) A lot of us were willing khổng lồ give this drama a whirl based on the strength of the original, but if the Dream High franchise continues, it’ll have to prove itself all over from the beginning.