Hindsight Review: KBS’ Dream High Finds Its Perfect Pitch

No spoilers. Click here for First Impression Review.

Or should it be KBS’ Dream High Ends Pitch Perfect?

It is always an awesome feeling when you find pleasant surprises on television.

KBS’ Dream High is one of those pleasant surprises.

When the series began, I was hopeful that it would be a nice mix of many different genres that could come together the potential of a “fun, breezy, but thoroughly enjoyable viewing experience.” But I also hoped that the series would aim a little higher to be more than that.

And quite surprisingly, it did. I didn’t expect anything more than something breezy and fluffy, but Dream High grew into an inspiring drama full of heart.

Similar to KBS’ Master of Study last year in the same timeslot, us viewers met a group of underdogs whom we all grew to love and care about as they themselves grew. Dream High‘s group of misfits, talented underdogs went through ups and downs together, against each other, with each other… a bumpy journey to be sure, but a thoroughly engrossing one.

With dashes of lighthearted humor and toe-tapping (and effortlessly infused) musical sequences, the series’ main attraction remained the stories of these six kids with dreams. The growth of their talents, their confidence, and their friendships were believable and realistic and made the finale all the more satisfying. They had to face both good and bad, the series again surprisingly going deep and touching on issues in Korean entertainment other production would dare not to.

The series did its job by making you feel fully invested in the characters that its satisfying, yet open-ended finale was pitch perfect. Though there were happy endings all round, their stories were and are certainly not over. Like real-life, not everything can be tied up nicely with a pretty bow. And Dream High‘s finale, and really the entire series, could have gone down a road of clichés yet they were able to stay grounded in reality and it made all the difference.

The final hour of the series was the culmination of the 15 previous hours. It began with the familiar mix of humor and drama and music, but the finale seamlessly transitioned to a brilliantly edited final 20 minutes that reveals all we wanted to know about the near future of the characters, but still left us wanting more and left us dreaming about their distant futures.

It was an emotional and moving final chapter and like the entire series, very refreshing for a Korean drama. It only got better and better by the week, also a rare occurrence on Korean television. Dream High may be one of the most complete Korean dramas I’ve ever watched.

Bolstered by a charming and likeable cast and powered by fast-moving writing and great direction, Dream High showed you don’t need the big budget or the big name stars to make a winner.

Watching the series aim for the stars, like its characters, and actually reaching them, like its characters, is definitely a hugely pleasant surprise. One that, the more I think about it the coming days, may make Dream High one of my all-time favorite Korean dramas.

Pitch perfect indeed.

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