High School King of Savvy: First Impressions

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TvN’s new Monday-Tuesday series, High School King of Savvy, started last week, and because I adore Seo In Guk (The Master’s Sun) and Lee Ha Na (Merry Mary with Ji Hyun Woo), I took a look at the first two episodes. I’ll be honest; I had high hopes for this series because of the two principal actors, supported by an impressive supporting cast of actors like Lee Soo Hyuk and Philip Choi.

As much as I wanted to like this series, though, based on the first two episodes, I wasn’t impressed. I’ll give it another week (this week) before I make my final decision. In the meanwhile, here’s the basic premise of the story and my impressions…if you’re interested. 😉

Nutshell and Musings: The series revolves around Lee Min Suk (Seo In Guk) who unexpectedly steps in for his long-absent older brother, Lee Hyun Suk, a business genius who has been studying abroad in Germany ever since their parents suddenly passed away almost ten years ago. Luckily, Min Suk looks exactly like his older brother despite their age difference of more than 5 years.

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Apparently, his brother’s ridiculous request–impersonate him for the next two months at his new job with a major Korean company while he takes care of some “important” things–has Min Suk reluctantly agreeing to lead a double life. Oh, did I forget to mention that Min Suk is in high school and the ace of the ice hockey team?

Of course, all the employees under his brother’s supervision are thrilled to make his acquaintance and try to kiss up to the new department head…not realizing that he’s merely a high school student stepping in for the real Lee Hyun Suk, who makes random phone calls in true “cloak and daggers” secrecy and urgency. *rolls eyes* Truly…I did want to like this series. I did!

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The two men who are in the “know” are Hyun Suk’s immediate boss/director and the team leader who recruited him from Germany in the first place. Of course, both men are appalled by the fantastical situation but reluctantly go along with the situation due to pressures from above and for fear of their own job security.

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The one clear ally that he has is Jung Soo Young (Lee Ha Na), a mousy secretary who rashly confessed her love for the Project Team leader, Yoo Jin Woo (Lee Soo Hyuk) only to be summarily rejected by the man. And as typical of many Kdramas, the man has a father-figure complex as the son of the company’s CEO but one who just can’t seem to do anything to please his father.

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Min Suk’s home life is quite prosaic as he lives with a “father” who kindly takes him in as his own son after the suicide of Min Hyuk’s father and his mother’s unexpected death from the shock. Add into this non-traditional family a grandfather with dementia, and tvN has concocted an interested premise. If only…if only the story could seem more dynamic and innovative than it is. 🙁

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In trying to juggle his brother’s work life and his own school life, Min Suk has to suffer through the bullying of his sunbae, who’s furious that the team’s ace has been skipping out on practices…and just before the “big” match, at that.

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And of course, each star athlete needs a crazed fangirl (think Answer Me 1994), which we have in spades with Jung Yoo Ah (Lee Yeol Eum), who insists on calling Min Suk “Hubby.”

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In the show’s defense, though, it does a credible job thus far of making Min Suk’s “adjustment” to the corporate world not so “adjusted” as business terminology goes in one ear and out the other…literally.

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By the end of Episode 2, Min Suk and Ha Na find themselves thrown together with greater frequency, and the viewers know clearly that she’s going to become his biggest and staunchest supporter (think Protect the Boss, which I absolutely loved! here)

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Episode 2 ends with the three characters in one of the company’s hallways as Min Suk tries to avoid detection from his stalker fangirl (incidentally Soo Young’s younger sister) by shushing his unsuspecting secretary against the stairway door while a curious Jin Woo looks on.

As you can tell from this lukewarm first impressions, I’m not quite feeling the series…yet…even after two episodes. *sad sigh* Perhaps I’ll warm up to it with today’s Episode 3 and tomorrow’s Episode 4. After all, despite my work schedule, a girl’s got to stay healthy and exercise, right? 😉 What better motivation than watching Korean dramas while one is on the treadmill? 😀

So…what is keeping me vested in the show if I’m less than thrilled?

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There are these nuggets of “Oooh” and “Ahhhh” that keep me hopeful for better things to come. Take for instance the above picture as Min Suk deftly scales the school gate and nimbly flies over it. A perfect 10!

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Then, there’s the cute “Victory” pose that Min Suk flashes at his secretary Soo Young after their first successful presentation together in the preview to Episode 3.

So despite my less-than-thrilled reaction to last week’s episodes, I’m hanging in there, hopeful for better things to come. After all, this show stars Seo In Guk and Lee Ha Na. It’s got to be good, right? *hopeful*

If some of you are watching this and love it to pieces, please leave me comments on why you love it. Perhaps those comments and gushes will help me see this series in a different light. 😉

Below is the 7-minute highlights reel from tvN:

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Snoopy's Twinkie

Created Musings back in 2010 when viewers were frantically searching for SungKyunKwan Scandal recaps. She currently blogs and comments from the US. You can also find her on FB (@SnoopysTwinkie), twitter (@twinkiedramas), and YouTube (Twinkiedramas).

3 thoughts on “High School King of Savvy: First Impressions”

  1. I’m watching it and loving it because it’s making me laugh a lot . It’s far from perfect, but the comedic aspects alone will keep me, at least for now anyways.

  2. Awww I’m sad that you didn’t like it as much as I did. I know that a lot of people are already out off by the possible noona romance, but for now (I’m at ep 2) I just see them as friends. What I really like from this is the teen played by Seo In Guk. He’s a little dense, but he is just so spot on as an awkward teen. His antics make me giggle like a little girl. Just so cute!!

  3. I hope you’ll give this drama another chance! Not really one for noona romances, honestly I read recaps for the first 2 eps because I was a skeptic. But I started watching with ep 3 and this is quickly becoming one of my favorite dramas for the summer. Though the plot requires some suspension of disbelief (maybe A LOT, heheh), there are some really lovely details/moments that keep the drama grounded.

    I am loving how some relationships are depicted, particularly between Gramps and MS as well as the one between the sisters. The more recent eps also show a different side to crazy stalker girl that is really endearing.

    Despite the outlandish plot (do the teachers really never notice how MS is always gone?!?), the main characters seem like real people. I would love to hear your thoughts on the show if you’ve continued to watch!

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