WHYNOT Media has been one of the leaders in producing Korean web dramas since launching in 2016. And their 2021 romantic drama Light on Me (새빛남고 학생회/Saebit Boys’ High School Council) might be one of the best web series yet.
In addition to the charming cast and story, Light on Me succeeds where other series might come up short. And specifically, it’s the limitations of web series format. Many web series, as enjoyable as most are, feel more like full-length feature films chopped up into easily-consumed mobile-ready chunks. Light on Me, however, feels like a full-fledged drama series. And that in and of itself is refreshing and enhances the already strong story and cast.
Light on Me centers around Woo Tae Kyung (Lee Sae On), the blunt and straightforward loner at Saebit Boys High School. Deciding he wants to try a different approach to his school life, his teacher advises him to join the school’s student council. There he meets the handsome and popular school president Shin Da On (Choi Chan Yi), the seemingly cold and reluctant Noh Shin Woo (Kang Yoo Seok) and the energetic mood maker Namgoong Shi Woon (Go Woo Jin).
The series follows along as Tae Kyung learns how to make friends, while Tae Kyung, Da On and Shin Woo figure out their romantic feelings for one another. A situation made even more complicated with Da On’s close female friend Lee So Hee (Yang Seo Hyun) who has had a crush on him for years.
With a growing number of fans around the world, more and more BL dramas are being produced across Asia. And Korean production companies are well-positioned to deliver high quality series, especially with the already established goodwill toward Korean dramas in general.
Being able to take the qualities that have made Korean dramas so successful around the world to present different and previously uncommon stories into mainstream Korean culture has been great to watch. And Light on Me is a wonderful example of that success.
Featuring many familiar hallmarks of the typical Korean romantic comedy and drama as well as the welcome touch of high school and teenage angst, Light on Me is a fun and lighthearted time. But it also is able to touch upon deeper and more serious themes as well. Thoroughly enjoyable and irresistibly charming, the series is able to seamlessly bring together many essential moving pieces for a complete package.
First, probably the most important piece of the puzzle is the cast of characters. And the series features immediately endearing and charming characters. Each distinct and well-developed characters brought to life by a talented young cast. Lee Sae On, Kang Yoo Seok, Choi Chan Yi, Go Woo Jin, Yang Seo Hyun and Lee Ki Hyun (as their teacher Seo Haet Bit) all do their part to deliver pitch perfect performances which elevate what is already strong material.
Next, the writing and execution of its well-rounded story about friendship and love is helped greatly by the series’ format. It feels like you are watching a traditional television series. And that allows for the deserved focus on each character and plot development in a way that easily has you engaged and invested.
In addition to the charm and sheer likeability of the characters, cast and story, there’s also a welcome bit of sincerity in how the story unfolds. It can feel both realistic and like a fairy tale. The story and the characters are relatable and heartfelt, no matter your background. And to be able to be that way, Light on Me has to do almost everything right.
Which they do.
It’s not often I leave a series with such a positive and happy feeling as I did when I finished watching Light on Me. Even its two OST theme songs, “Spark” by A.C.E and “Fever” by MOOK, have left a lasting impression. (Both are already on repeat in my playlist.) But that speaks to just how everything truly comes together to make Light on Me the well-rounded success it is. With charm, sincerity and a thoroughly enjoyable story, Light on Me is simply a joy to watch.