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 10 p.m. Competition arises between the troubled students of Kirin and the newly transferred idols from OZ.
Ratings: Yet again, KBSs Dream High 2 reached another low with a 5.7% rating, but was able to end with an increase at 6.6%, as it left the stage despondently for the much-anticipated drama, Love Rain (starring Girls Generations YoonA and Jang Geun Suk) to take over. The highlight this week was SBSs Fashion King (starring Girls Generations Yuri, Yoo Ah In, and Shin Se Kyung), which achieved a respectable 10% rating with its pilot episode and a decrease to 8.9%, which could be attributed to viewers wanting to catch the finale episode of Dream High 2. The two Girls Generations members will have to compete against each other, as Love Rain might be the hindrance to high Fashion King ratings. Meanwhile, MBCs Lights and Shadows was able to regain its crown back after History of Salaryman completed last week with a high 22.2%.
Recap of Ep. 15: With the beautiful rendition of Together by JB and Rian (T-aras Jiyeon), Rian returns to Kirin Arts School and thanks Hyesung (Kang Sora) for the singing opportunity. Meanwhile, JB is playfully annoyed at Hyesung for not singing the duet song with him, and makes her promise to buy food.
Meanwhile, after Hong Joo (Kim Ji Soo) sings an emotional song for Nana (SISTARs Hyorin), Yoojin sings a song dedicated to his crying mother in the audience. With the conclusion of the Super Idol auditions, he announces the finalists: Ailee, Ui Bong (JR), Hong Joo, Yoojin, Si Woo (Park Seo Joon), and finally Rian. Producer Shin Jae also decides to give Nana and JB the opportunity to become Super Idols too as both have health conditions they had to tend to.
While the students congratulate themselves on making it this far, Hyesung takes JB out for dinner to fulfill her promise. Although Hyeseung wants to officially break up with JB, he doesnt let her and begs her to stay by his side until his leg gets well, to which she reluctantly agrees to. However, JBs wish is in conflict with PD Jae Ins offer of training her to become a composer. He had offered her an intern position thatll train her to become a composer, as Hyesung is ultimately accepted to Berklee School of Music. Although she truly wishes to attend, her promise with JB makes her hesitant to accept the position.
PD Jae In asks JB to help persuade Hyesung to pursue her dream in America, to which JB agrees to. To the surprised Hyesung, he announces that he doesnt want to have any sorrowful or melodramatic farewells with her, as he will be busy performing and Hyesung will be studying in America. Hyesung ultimately decides to pack up and depart for America, while the other Super Idol members prepare for their solo showcases that will determine who will embark on a solo career with EMG World Record.
On the day of her departure, Yoojin convinces JB to officially say goodbye to Hyesung. Despite his hurt leg, JB rushes to Hyesung and lies to her, hoping to comfort her and telling her that his leg is fine. While Hyesung begins to cry, JB takes her in for a hug
Recap of Ep. 16 (Finale): After Rian finishes her sexy dance performance, JB runs in to perform after meeting Hyesung at the airport. However, his dance performance is brought to a halt as he falls to the stage with his leg in pain, destroying his hopes of performing on stage that day. While Rian and JB have a heartfelt discussion, Rian cries for him, and Yoojin confuses the crowd by only playing his signature G Minor chord. He tells the surprised audience and PD that he doesnt know yet what he wants, what his dreams are, and chooses not to pursue the Super Idol path.
The performances conclude with Rian singing Day after Day for a moving performace, and recounting her personal journey with her friends. Although Rian wins the award to pursue a solo career, she decides at the end to join her friends in becoming the Super Idol. The Kirin Arts students graduate, while Hyesung sends a letter from America to her friends, unable to attend.
Eight years pass and we see how the students are achieving their dreams.
JB becomes a producer as he helps Ailee record her song. JR becomes the dance teacher of Kirin Arts School, dating Yi Seul who takes over her fathers position as the principal of Kirin Arts School. Meanwhile, Teacher Jin Man (J.Y. Park) hilariously does a dance performance for a star audition, with J.Y. Park, his alter ego, criticizing the performance as a judge. However, he dances in delight with the female teachers as he gets accepted. Si Woo still trails behind the Nana-Hong Joo couple, who perform together. Meanwhile, Yoojin becomes a Kirin Art School teacher by day, and a rocker by night.
Viewers see Rian as a Hallyu actress, and shes poised to star in Hyesungs newest musical, Dream High. With an audition process of both the graduates and current students of Kirin Arts School, the production begins for Dream High, which will be a biographical story of the Kirin Arts students. As the drama cast gives a heartwarming rendition of Dream High (from the original series), the students show off their everlasting friendship.
[ Note : This post reflects the opinions of the author, not necessarily those of allkpop ]
The most I can say for the penultimate episode isit was cute. Cute moments of jealousy between JB and Yoojin, cute hand holding and dating between JB and Hyesung, cute flirting between Rian and Yoojin. Sugary and sweet like cotton candy, but left with a taste of emptiness after watching. The drama does have its significant plot changes, announcing the Super Idols, healing the relationship between Yoojin and his mom, and Hyesung finally achieving her dream, but all of them are just too nicely tied.
The winners of the Super Idol contest were much too predictable, and had no special meaning to the idea of dreams. Take Ui Bong, Si Woo, and Ailee for example. All of them had the talent in the beginning of the show and we all knew they were going to succeed. But what character development did we see throughout the drama? Did we see any of them truly pour their heart and passion out into achieving their dreams? All of the idols who came to Kirin Arts School had the talent, sans Rian, who at least showed some hard work in practicing dancing for an episode. The only plot that rotated around them were freak accidents, which didnt really shatter their illusion of their dreams in a heartbreaking way, or lovelines.
While I like that Hyesung is finally achieving her dream, I feel like the jump from her dream of becoming an idol to a dream of becoming a composer was too much of a leap. The drama didnt devote too much time to Hyesungs practices in singing and dancing, and left the improvement she showed in We are Class B performance at that. Now, it feels like her dream of becoming a songwriter is too much of a Plan B, too much of a Oh. Since Im not talented enough to become a singer, might as well become a songwriter. Yes, the drama did hint at the possibility of Hyesung becoming a songwriter, but they never really portrayed Hyesungs acknowledgment of that talent, or the passion in pursuing that new dream. And where does this scriptwriter career come from? (And why is Rian an actress now?)
With the ending, the drama changed gears too much. When Rian and Hyesung were giving their emotional speeches, I thought it would be about learning to change their dreams through their hardships, finding what they truly love by pursuing different dreams, because that is what reality is. Failing and having to give up that dream for something that is ultimately even better. But, no, the speeches and the drama (Rian giving up her solo career) emphasized friendship apparently, which I did see, but wasnt really too invested in. On another hand, one reason I think the drama did poorly both in my book and the viewers ratings was the mixed up plot. Its good to have twists, but this was like shifting the whole plot to a different destination. That includes who the main character is. I felt like the dramas promotions were all Kang Sora is the main protagonist. But, it was Jiyeon who ultimately stole the spotlight, as she is the one who helps Yoojin and JB in their journey for their dreams and becomes the super idol.
Now becoming a fangirl, where was the kiss? The resolution to the love lines? JB-Hyesung? Even Rian-Yoojin? And please, fire the hair stylist. It looked like JB and JR had noodles growing out their heads, while the stylist tried too hard to make Yoojins hair into Presley style.
On a final note, while the drama does have its emotional moments, cute moments, and funny moments, they are all just moments. During that minute, its funny or its worth a bucket of tears. But, put it into the overall plot and it just doesnt fit like mismatched puzzle pieces. What I got from watching this drama: some laughter, a few smiles, a few moving lines, and a kindling obsession over 2AMs Jinwoon (who I truly hope I get to see as an actor again, in a good drama).
What are your final thoughts?