So Dream High 2 is a train wreck and a half, but it certainly didn’t have to be. The first two episodes had a lot of thematic and character development potential, but the show didn’t deliver on any of its set-ups. The drama is unsalvageable, but damn, it could have been something really interesting if it had just stopped taking itself so seriously. Dream High 2 is all pretense and no charm.
Putting on my writer’s cap, if I were sitting at my desk trying to figure out what the hell to do with this premise, there would have been major changes to the script:
1. Rian is our protagonist. She’s the face of her girl group: famous, pretty, and spoiled, but terribly lonely because the other members isolate her. Rian has no confidence in her own talent – even though she dreams of being respected as an artist for performing the music that she loves. She used to date JB, but when she comes to Kirin, it’s under the threat of member changes to her group.
2. Enter our second lead Hye-sung: the dilapidated school’s golden girl. Beautiful, charming, and talented (hell, if they wanted to keep Kang Sora, she could have lipsynched to a better singer). Hye-sung wins over the music executives with a powerful performance, and catches JB’s interest from day one. However, Hye-sung sees Rian as a rival, and she’s determined to use the member change-up to enter into showbiz. Hye-sung manipulates the people around Rian against her so that she’ll be kicked out of the group for sure.
3. And then our hero, Yoo-jin. A slacker rocker with little ambition that initially is wrapped around Hye-sung’s finger, usually performing back-up for her performances. Until he meets our protagonist. They begin a bickering friendship, Yoo-jin not understanding the appeals of idol life and Rian not understanding Yoo-jin’s carefree aimlessness. But he shows Rian her true potential, and she leads him to discover his dreams, and they fall in love – with the necessary jealous meddling from JB, our second lead.
4. That begins a rivalry between the boys as they try to outperform each other for Rian’s heart. Aw. But Hye-sung is quick to paint the boys’ pissing contests in a different light, causing Rian to believe that the boys are fighting over Hye-sung. Typical K-drama. (No one told me I couldn’t use cliches.)
Rian goes solo and becomes a huge star. They all become friends in the end. And they live happily ever after. It’s a very symbolic journey of finding yourself, not underestimating your potential, not letting people define your talent, finding the true music inside of you, etcetera, etcetera.
And basically you’ve got yourself a safe, easy, fool-proof drama. No deep meaning, just mindless fun. Sprinkle in a dash of carefully chosen performances, pop-culture references, and dark humor and voila – a drama with heart appears. I would watch this Dream High 2, I dunno about anyone else.