I have been wanting to do this 4 episode test* on Sassy Go Go since the first two episodes of this high school kdrama aired. Yes, it is that good. Now that 4 episodes have finished, I’m going to go over a few points and and then delve into the amazing 4th episode. It’s the episode that really made me just feel all over the place.
First things first, let’s discuss the basic plot, Apink‘s Eun Ji plays Kang Yeon Doo. She’s the leader of the hip hop dance team (which includes Beloved Eun Dong‘s scene stealer, Kim Min Ho) “Real King” and is one of the lower scoring students. With the fate of the dance team’s future in her hands, the students join forces with the top elite study group led by charismatic Lee Won Geum as Kim Yeol. He’s the #1 student. He could care less about Real King, but he’s all in when it comes to defending his best friend Seo Ha Joon, played by Ji Soo. Add in the bitter and unloved #2 student Kwon Soo Ah (Chae Soo Bin) and fuckery ensues.
There are some obvious tropes: rich against poor, love/hate, bumbling assistant, bullying, kiss asses and so on. Luckily SGG does them well without seeming overdone. What I didn’t expect is the amount of mental health issues that they seems to confront head on. Suicide, self-harming, childhood trauma, and maybe more in future episodes. It’s tough to see and digest, especially knowing that these are all valid and real issues kids are dealing with today. Korean dramas tend to gloss over them, but SGG is handling them by showing them. There are no cut away shots. We see Ha Joon bloodied from cuts. We see Soo Ah’s best friend’s sensationalized funeral. We see Dong Jae’s body seize up when a trigger happens. It’s a scary place to be as a teenager. Even scarier when you only have your friends, when your family should also be there for support.
Ji Soo is the stunner here. While I think Im Siwan is quite talented, if he rests for a moment, I think Ji Soo would give him a run for his money. I’m calling that right now. Sure Siwan has the ahjummas, but Ji Soo has the noonas.
Yeon Doo and Kim Yeol have very obvious chemistry. The friends closest to them noticed it first, but I think them being “mortal” enemies gave them a dose of denial. More on Yeon Doo than Kim Yeol. He seems to relish in his attraction to her. I kind of love that. She surrenders her ill will towards him pretty fast though. I think it is because she knows no matter what, she has more than herself to lean on. Sometimes that’s enough to try things and have adventures. Even if they involves a dance competition in which you win a rice cooker to feed a bajillion people. One day you’ll get that audio set, Yeon Doo.
I was worried about Kim Ji Suk in this. I have been waiting for him to be a lead in a drama, but here he is as supporting character Teacher Yang. It’s okay, he is the best teacher ever! He seems tired of the politics in the school (as with the assistant to the principal), but at the same time, he knows some of these kids have a lot of pressure to succeed. He doesn’t like it and with that, he is like a silent cheerleader (natch) for the kids. Teacher Yang needs a break, too. Fortunately he finds the kids he can rely on. Now if we can find out more about the cheerleading coach, Nam Jung Ah (Lee Mi Do). We know she likes to manipulate the rules to get what she wants, but what is it? I have no idea, but I like her and Teacher Yang being partners in crime.
Then we have bromances. Oh, but not just any bromance, Ha Joon is the other half of the main bromance here with Kim Yeol. Let’s marinate on that for a moment with this emotional shower. Okay, not the one you might expect, but this is how serious this friendship is. Ha Joon is fucked up. With his self harm and abusive father, his salvation is Kim Yeol. It’s a bond thicker than family, but as fragile as fine china. We see the pain flow between them and it hurts. It hurts really bad.
KY: I know things that are wrong. I’m going crazy, too, but so what? What can we do?
HJ: So that’s why…
KY: That’s why! Let’s not do anything. Let’s not laugh, let’s not breathe and let’s not cry. Let’s just stay still as if we’re dead. That’s what the adults are telling us what to do.
HJ: So that’s why I’m gritting my teeth and enduring. Because of you.
Um, how much do I love these guys? Obviously too much because they had another emotional shower after this and it was much happier and I had to screencap. Granted, I’m only showing Ji Soo in this pic, but believe me, it was a fun scene. They were laughing and breathing. They weren’t gritting their teeth. There are quite a few bromances in Korean dramas, but to see one with friends so dependent on each other to just live just hits me in the gut.
We have 12 more episodes to go and if this momentum keeps up, this drama will make it into the top 5, maybe top 3 of the year. That’s huge you guys. It’s enough to make me forget Dream High, which I’m still bitter about Jin Gook and Hye Mi not getting together, but Yeon Doo and Kim Yeol can finally hit the nail in that coffin. India of Drama Debussie knows this. It could have been perfect, but no, I digress.
This might be one of the longer OhKDRAMAs so far. This means I really like this show a lot.
What is your favorite high school/college drama? Comment below or tweet me @cherylfornia!
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*4 episode test – An unofficial test that is given to Korean dramas in the dramaverse. First taught to me by India of DramaDebussie.com, it is basically a trial watch of a drama. If after 4 episodes, it does not progress well, you drop it without any conscience.