allkpop TV Guide: Dream High 2 Ep. 13
Official Synopsis: Kirin Arts High School has fallen from its status as a top academy of arts into dire financial straits and is in danger of closing. This season follows a new group of students after the previous group graduated. The school is taken over by OZ Entertainment Agency, who transfers their own idol stars over to the school to avoid the law that prohibits underage entertainers from performing after 10pm. Competition arises between the troubled students of Kirin and the newly transferred idols from OZ.
Ratings: Ratings for ‘Dream High 2‘ deteriorated to an even lower 6.4%, a drop of .2% from last week’s episode. With the ratings for ‘Dream High 2′ continuously declining, it can only hope for a slight increase to change the trajectory. SBS‘ ‘History of Salaryman‘ is enjoying much success as it continued its crown with a 19.1%, hoping to break the 20% with its final episode tomorrow. Meanwhile, MBC‘s ‘Lights and Shadows‘ is still enjoying high ratings despite losing its first-place to ‘History of Salaryman’ as it holds a rating of 17.5%.
Recap of Ep. 13: Immediately after producer Shin Jae In announces JB as the eliminated student, Hyesung (Kang Sora) frantically plans to sacrifice her super-idol candidate position for JB. But with stinging words, Shin Jae In crumbles Hyseung’s confidence in loving and protecting JB’s dreams. Like a slap across her face, he tells her that by JB choosing the weakest student as his partner, he failed to show enough ambition to become a super-idol.
With the female students bullying Hyesung for dismantling JB’s dreams of becoming the super-idol, Rian (T-ara‘s Jiyeon) helps Hyesung by fending the predatory fans. While the two enemies create a ‘peace treaty’, Yoojin (2AM‘s Jinwoon) teases JB as he hopes to cheer him up, slowly becoming friends.
Producer Shin Jae In breaks the startling news: the next challenge will be the ultimate audition to determine who will become the super-idol. The challenge of composing a song to emotionally move a special person begins with the students taking writing and acting classes from Teacher Jin Man (JYP) and Teacher Taeyeon (Choi Yeo Jin). While the students hone their songs to perfectly express their passions, Hyesung aches over JB’s elimination, and the threats as well as torn, bloody teddy bears sent by JB’s own version of berserk fans only adds salt to her wound.
Broken up after seeing Hyesung’s distress, Yoojin berates her for still liking JB and ultimately confesses his feelings for her, shocking Hyesung. Emboldened by the promise that he will rise above JB, he signs the contract with the OZ Entertainment and begins his activities as a celebrity with TV interviews and endorsements.
Meanwhile, Hyesung is agonized after seeing JB’s intense nightly dance practices. She decides to gives him her self-composed song, “Together”, and delivers some heartbreaking news. Telling him she wants to stop everything, she repeats Rian’s words: “Stars? It’s only good when you look at it from far way. Up close, it’s so-so.”
Still taking in Hyesung’s words, JB rushes out of the room to chase after her. However, he encounters a child picking up a soccer ball in front of an oncoming truck. Putting his life on the line, he jumps in front of the truck to save the child…
[ Note : This post reflects the opinions of the author, not necessarily those of allkpop ]
‘Dream High 2′ went to the rotten buffet of Korean dramas, the food items rotting with triteness. Selecting the cliche I-have-to-break-up-with-you-because-you’re hurting scene, along with the ‘car crash’ and stirring in the financially unstable parents to the story (rather than picking up a pair of shears and the right hair dye for JB), ‘Dream High 2′ not only cut that splintering thread of dreams and hopes, but the emotional affinities with the characters as well. The train headed for ‘dreams and talents’ as well as the challenge of choosing to hope against all odds, instead swerved to the melodramatic romance of dreams vs. love.
I truly loved how JB wasn’t melodramatically depressed with the elimination and genuinely portrayed the essence of persevering for your dreams, but his character became flat. Although all those shippers will adore him for becoming a puppy dog for Hyesung, it makes him lose the spirit of his dreams. His burning desire to feel that pulsing energy of enjoying the stage (like he had told Yoojin), and the ambition he had during his blood and sweat filled years of nightly practices, all fall apart at the seams. No, I’m not saying he should have gone down the path of giving up love for his career. But if he had really wanted to taste the pure elation of his dreams, he could have paved his own avenue, shoveling the ground every second to discover an underground road to stand up on the stage again.
Does anyone also have some anger towards producer Shin Jae In? Producer Shin Jae In slaughtered Hyesung’s dreams with that scapegoat. I had actually liked the producer in contrast to the heartless director as he truly understands the value of friendship with teamwork and emotions, but I had bad intentions when he essentially said dreams are about winning, not the passion.
Ultimately, too many mismatched puzzle pieces that had no significance in the story interrupted the flow of the episode. Even though Yoojin’s confession was heartwarming and a consolation, it was anticlimatic. Not only was there no set-up to create hype for his confession, but because ‘Dream High 2’ already focused too much of its energy in developing the JB-Hyesung loveline, there was no room in Hyesung’s heart for Yoojin. In addition, Rian’s mother’s counterfeit item scandal and Yoojin’s sudden decision to sign a contract with OZ created abrupt lurches in the continuity.
Although I’m butchering the episode with criticism, there were some truly heartfelt moments. I liked how Jinwoon confronted his painful past brought on by his parents with a letter to his mother, as well as the transformation of competitors to friends with both Rian-Hyesung and JB-Yoojin.
I truly hope the train travels back to the road towards dreams, and the youthful exuberance and passion it highlighted in the shining moments of this drama. I didn’t board the train to cry over lovers, sudden injuries, and sacrificial lambs, but to shed tears of empathy, relating with the characters’ hardships in achieving their dreams.