If I have to define High School King Of Savvy in one word, it would be warmth. And affection. And Seo In Guk. It’s a charming drama with adorable characters and soaked in sweetness that just leaves you with a pleasant taste.
Seo In Guk stars as a high schooler who has to disguise as his elder brother due to certain situation and work in place of him in this large firm. The show then displays his struggle through various events he experiences there — in work, love and family.
What really amazed me in this show was that even when it has a premise that calls for lots of fantastical and over-the-top antiques, the drama’s canvas sets itself in slice-of-life colours. The show is grounded in reality with believable characters. For instance, the home of our hero, which doesn’t appear to be a set but looks lived in. The drama is brimming with fun and lightness and at the same time, there are heart-tugging moments. The comedy makes us laugh and smile and the romance is sweet. Relationships are one of the strengths. There is a feel-good ambience with equal proportions of comedy and poignancy. On similar lines, the soundtrack also has a soft, indie feel to it.
The characters are well-written. Starting with our hero, Min Suk, he is cheeky, playful, mischievous but with a heart of gold and very caring. I loved his bromance with his two best friends — their scenes are truly great and hilarious and very natural. His grandpa is the cutest, who stole my heart completely. I loved Min Suk’s family dynamics which also includes his father, another great character.
Coming onto our heroine Sooyoung, she doesn’t employ cutesy tricks to make you adore her. She might seem very awkward and clumsy but is endearing and mature as well. And that makes this odd couple a good match as her naivety balances out with his age. She had a nice growth arc in the drama but it was gradual and organic as she becomes more confident but remains the same nice person she always was. I loved that the drama didn’t give her a makeover and that our hero even says that he likes that she is so weird! I loved how the drama showed their differing views owing to their age, with the acceptance that the age difference is present.
I liked her relationship with her sister Yoo Ah. The latter initially irritated me with her clinging behaviour but showed lots of maturity later on that finally put her in my good books. Jin Woo is our second lead who is rival to Min Suk in love and work. I liked him and was glad that he never turned into someone full of conspiracies and manipulations. I adored the bromance we got between him and Min Suk.
Min Suk’s office team has a great part to make this show what it is. Their everyday gossips, worries, rapport, complains, friendships — everything is an add-on. Especially the scenes with Min Suk and Team leader Kim are simply awesome.
I think the whole foundation plot of two lookalike brothers and the reasons for whole plot of switching identities was handled very lightly and it went with a whimper. Too easily resolved and the older brother came too late in the game to give him room for growth or our understanding of him or have any sentiments for him. Also the wedding in the end looked too immature as a decision. The extension did take away some pace from the drama.
Seo In Guk is charming and plays his part with elan. He looks perfect as a high school student, bringing just the right expressions and mannerism and so much warmth to his part. I can say that he is the heart and soul of this show. Lee Ha Na melts into her character as she superlatively shows that awkwardness that comes with low self-confidence and she also has her moments to shine. The pair has a great chemistry. Lee Soo Hyuk is HOT! I love his voice and he made his character more interesting with his charm. A shout out for Kang Ki Young and Lee Tae Hwan for excellently playing their parts as our hero’s best friends with great comic timing. The rest of the cast is terrific. The camaraderie between the whole cast is wonderful.
Finally, High School King Of Savvy is a warm, funny, adorable and charming show that makes you fall in love with Seo In Guk all over again!
My Rating: 9 out of 10