Connie Francis - Stupid Cupid
It's really catchy! (Mandy Moore sang a cover version for the soundtrack of The Princess' Diaries)
The kids are just loitering about when homeless guy shows up unannounced, startling everyone. Byung-gun tries to guide him away out of kindness but homeless man ignores him and addresses the class aloud, asking if there is a degree holder among them.
Chae-young’s roomie rolls her eyes in disdain. Homeless man looks at her and surmises that she’s the kind that would be satisfied if she marries before she graduates. Chae-young smiles at that but her smile vanishes quickly when he directs his barb at her next – she’s a B-grade actress who never really made the A-list despite being in the business for 10 years.
Jae-hun who has been napping wakes up and Tae-hee clues him in on the strange man. Homeless man overhears her comment and strides over. Eager to protect her, Do-sung politely requests that he leaves if he’s neither a student nor a lecturer. Homeless man declares, “ I should be a …lecturer”. That got everyone’s attention.
Lecturer tells everyone to stand and look at the floor-length mirror. He asks that if any of the girls feel they are prettier than Kim Tae Hee, to raise their hands. No one does and the boys laugh. He remarks that they don’t have the looks to make it big, the girls are mad. Next, he asks if any of the boys think they are better looking than Jang Dong Gun. Byung-gun cutely starts to raise his hand but lecturer interrupted by remarking that whoever thinks so should see a psychiatrist. LOL.
He goes on by picking on Chae-young, asking her opinion on the rate of achieving stardom even with the perfect face and body. Bottomline, he tells everyone that they’re hopeless cases. Chae-young doesn’t take it that well and despite her respectful tone, insisted that there are plenty of famous stars who do not possess the looks but earn 100x over what he’s being paid, earning applause from her classmates. Point taken, lecturer rephrases himself, “To be a star, you need to possess outstanding looks or outstanding acting abilities….and you guys don’t have it”.
Just as he turns away, Jae-hun asks, “What if….such a person exists…a genius actor”. Lecturer asks incredulously if he meant himself. Jae-hun replies nonchalantly, “Yeah, me! Could be me.” Phewit. Talk about confidence. He’s brimming with it. Lecturer looks surprised (or perhaps a little impressed maybe?).
He divides the class into two teams – team A and team B - and tells them to come up with a musical in 2 weeks. Ya’ know, seeing that they’re such geniuses, it shouldn’t be that hard. Is he trying to prove his point and make them face reality or is he challenging them to defend their dreams?
Whatever his motives, Jae-hun is game for it. In fact, he looks positively excited and asks to be excused from greeting the seniors as a reward for the winning team to which the lecturer agrees. Jae-hun is so caught up in the moment that when he actually pauses to give it some thought, he asks Do-sung blankly, “What is it he’s supposed to do?” LOL. So cute.
Lecturer (Sun Woo Young) enters his old neglected office and unpacks his…trolley. Ha. He looks broodingly at photographs of himself and a woman. Gf? Wife? Dead?
He hides the photos when Prof Yang storms into the room, accusing him of going back on his words – he has sworn he’d never show up in this vicinity again. Sun sheepishly says he’s changed his mind. She knows that he’s been to see the kids and tells him off for belittling the kids’ aspirations – he has no right to speak of dreams. Uh-oh…his tone changes as he tries to placate her and change the subject.
Prof Yang presses on, flamed by the discovery of his soju bottles, chiding him for ridiculing the kids’ dreams. The continuous talk about broken dreams seems to hit a raw nerve because he takes a swipe on her – “Prof Yang should know a lot about dreams, even though her dream is to be an actor, but she’s not even good enough for supporting roles, so she settles for a school only to discover it’s a musical school. Despite having no knowledge on musicals, she persisted because even then, it’s a stage and beside that stage therein lies her dream. So is she happy now?”
Prof Yang seethes and challenges him to keep up his act for she would not hesitate to personally push him off the edge, so that he’ll never rise again. Phew…that was intense! Great great acting.
Unrepentant, Sun chugs down a bottle of soju and his mind wanders back. Flashback reveals a disheveled looking Sun receiving a letter. A woman’s voice narrates the content of the letter which basically informs him that Eun Hye’s beloved niece/nephew is among the new intakes to lure him down from his brooding hole up a god-forsaken hill somewhere. I’m guessing Eun-hye would be the girl in the photo…but who would be the nephew/niece? Clue – he/she’s missing a mother’s love.
Team B (Jae-hun, Do-sung, Tae-hee, etc) is listening to a song, the one randomly selected by Doo-ri from which they are supposed to create a musical. Poor Jae-hun is clueless again when the matter of a script is brought up. You have much to learn dearie. *chuckles* Chae-young’s roomie reveals that Team A (Chae-young, Byung-gun, Doo-ri, etc) already has a script!
Well, Chae-young’s script actually comes from her scriptwriter friend, who’s a professional. Hey…that’s cheating.
Chae-young’s roomie marvels at the fact that Jae-hun has never seen a musical in his life. Haha. I’ve never seen one too. Anyway, the group has yet to find someone to be in charge of music arrangements. Do-sung instinctively hides himself, well not literally, just by turning aside.
Someone suggested Lee Soo-bin. And so we learn more about him, courtesy of an out-of-breath Tae-hee – he’s an award-winning genius composer who’s been active since his high school days, composed for movie soundtracks but has never received an interview, thus his identity is a mystery.
Well, that famous Lee Soo-bin is currently helping out Chae-young with her musical while she’s busy pulling strings trying to get publicity for their musical, obviously still offended by Sun who ridiculed her lack of star power. Soo-bin and Chae-young have opposing views on stardom – he avoids it like the plague while she craves it with her soul. She sums it best when she says, “Even when I cry alone in the room, I want to look pretty doing it…” She demonstrates the path to stardom with a pen on the sloping piano lid – because the pen is moving against gravity, even if it takes a break, it will fall – much like how she’s working towards achieving success.
Tae Hee is regaling Jae-hun about how her parents met, comparing them to the characters of the movie Roman Holiday in which a princess meets and falls in love with a commoner during a night excursion.
She enthusiastically reenacts how her father was singing in the park, singing snippets of the song “Shot through the heart” (Bon Jovi) and Rock & Roll (Led Zepellin) and finally “Stupid Cupid”(Connie Francis), complete with adorable dance moves with Jae-hun who joins her mid-song. The song continues to play in the background while we see a montage of everyone practicing for the musical.
Meanwhile, Jae-hun’s friends are still indulging in their thieving activities, albeit not as smoothly. They knock out a man and panicked when they saw blood, running off in fear.
They bump into the local thug, who has been nursing a grudge against Jae-hun. He orders his henchman to check things out so that they could “cooperate” with the police. Uh-oh.
Sun continues to be a thorn on Prof Yang’s side, disregarding the rules and basically turns the school into his home. She orders him to fulfill his teaching hours, videoing their conversation as proof. Well, Sun tries. Half-heartedly. During a class, he throws away Chae-young’s notebook into the wastepaper basket to the music of Slamdunk (Japanese anime about basketball). Ha. Declaring that acting is not something you learn through notes.
When it’s Prof Yang’s class, she sarcastically comments on how everyone seems so relaxed and confident that they’re not taking notes at all. Ha. Everyone scrambles to take out their notebooks, except poor Byung-gun, who’s not prepared one this time. Aw… And so the contrasting styles of the two lecturers are stressing out the students. I totally understand. I get that too L
Now Team A has got a script and their music. Now they need dance choreography. Byung-gun is a tad late in volunteering, missing his chance to impress Chae-young. A male member of the group volunteers and she flashes him a big smile. Then she announces that they should decide on the leads. Doo-ri slyly recommends another female member, Yang Ji-eun who’s experienced in musicals, much to the displeasure of Chae-young. She plasters on a fakey smile, pretending she’s unaffected while the boys audition for the male lead.
Byung-gun starts but he is so nervous he starts to ramble on the origin of the song instead of you know…singing. When he does sing, he sounds so pathetic you feel for him. Everyone stifles a smile and he smiles depreciatively. Chae-young though, blows her top admonishing everyone for taking it lightly what it means to be on stage and warns them not to joke around on stage. Whoah…cool it girl. Byung-gun looks so upset I thought he might cry…
Byung-gun heads to the gym alone late at night…miserable. He murmurs softly that he was not messing around, he was just too nervous. Aw…he’s breaking my heart.
He sings alone, softly but imagines hearing some music right after he sings, freaking him out. But he drifts more and more into his imagination and imagines himself singing “Those Magic Changes” (from the movie Grease) Korean version, complete with a 60s hairdo and tacky glittery costumes, and everyone else (his classmates) backing him up, serenading his beloved Chae-young. That was so cool!
I’m getting used to the tone of this drama which could be alternately quirky and light or intense and dark. One moment I’m mesmerized by the intense emotion and in another I’m smiling at the quirky characters. Having said that, I think it’s safe to say that a lot of emphasis would be placed on character growth, god knows each of these characters seem flawed or troubled enough, and I’m not just talking about the students. Sun and Prof Yang also seem to nurse some kind of hurt or disillusionment and I think it’d be great if the adults also get rediscover their love and passion through the kids. Certainly, there’s a lot of plot threads going on and I’m curious to see how the writer plans to tie everything up.
The music is great. Of course I had to do some research on the names, which means this recap took even longer than usual. But I’m quite a fan of the songs they used in this episode, and the songs sound very familiar, so I needed some time to try and place them. Ha. I’m so glad they are balancing all that story with some awesome songs in between, without going too overboard. It’s like a toned down version of Glee – with a better plot.
I personally feel that the tone of this drama is more realistic as compared to fluffier drama like DH, the conflicts and problems played out more seriously. Which is why the characters’ pain and struggle affect me more. Jae-hun’s situation in particular, reminds me a lot about the Michele Pfeiffer movie, Dangerous Mind.
So far, I’m interested in everyone’s characters so I hope that each of them will get their screen time highlighting their own story and struggles. And it should be quite a challenge balancing all that characters…