Check-in Review: Dream High 2, Episode 7 – Renewed Faith

Moderate spoilers.

I’ve been enjoying KBS’ Dream High 2 so far, but Episode 7 renewed my hope in the show. It had everything that made the first series so loveable.

First off, episodes 5 and 6 had both awesome parts and really horrible parts; some fun and genuine heart and some annoyingly contrived cruelty.

But episode 7 was a culmination of what appears to be Hye Sung’s (Kang Sora) turnaround. The turning point for her in terms of starting to get her confidence and belief in herself.

After the frustratingly annoying universal shunning of Hye Sung in the last episode (even by her so-called friends who in this episode were suddenly bawling their eyes out after reading her letters to them), the realization by both JB and Yu Jin (her possible suitors, naturally) that Hyesung may be more than what they initially thought of her.

Though Dream High is no doubt an ensemble drama, Kang Sora is the lead of the series much like Kim Soo Hyun was last year. This episode finally put the spotlight on her and in turn gave much needed heart and sincerity to the show. The moment in episode 6 when we finally see and hear Hye Sung’s true talent, though predictable and expected, was no less moving and impactful.

It was refreshing to see the characters realize their own idiocy and cruelty. It’s never going to be an easy road for the heroine of a drama. But there are those times (and it happens often on Philippine dramas) when the heroine gets mistreated and ridiculed and tortured too much that it gets annoying. Sometimes though, the payoff makes it all worth it. And even though we’re just about halfway through the series, seeing the critical turning point for Hye Sung begin does make all the crap she just went through worth it.

You can’t help but be positive about her future as well as the future of the show going forward.

As for the series so far, we’re finally getting deeper into the relationships of the characters. Not just romantic relationships, but friendships and teacher-student relationships as well. Forging those connections between the characters helps forge connections with the audience.

The writing has tightened up as well, the music is being integrated much better into the show (and sometimes the best part of the show as opposed to the first two episodes), and there is much more depth to at least the main characters.

In spite of that, Jiyeon’s Rian is probably the most awkwardly developed character so far. She’s been characterized as a bitter, selfish, entitled snob with nothing to make you sympathize with her at all. She’s being characterized as a standard villainess with no signs of redeeming qualities just yet. That’s in contrast to what little we’ve seen of Hyorin’s Nana and Park Seo Joon’s Si Woo having definitely left me wanting more of them. Not to mention the absence of Ailee and lack of any kind of development for second fiddles Ui Bong (Jr.), Soon Dong (Yoo So Young) and Hong Joo (Kim Ji Soo).

All in all, Dream High 2 is heading in the right direction and episode 7 has gotten me excited in the show again.

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