Sunday, September 27, 2015

Drama Review: White Christmas


A series of deaths, including murder and suicide, take place over eight days in a private, elite high school deep in the mountains, with the students cut off from the outside world and in highly volatile and unstable emotional conditions. The drama deals with the question of whether evil is organic or environmental, and the potential for adolescents to be extremely empathetic as well as equally cruel.


Deep in the mountains of Gangwon, the private, elite Soo-sin High School is attended by the top 1% of students in the country. Their stellar marks are the result of constant pressure and a strict punishment system, to the point where students avoid any activities outside of studying. It is in this atmosphere that seven students and a teacher remain at school for the winter break, joined by Kim Yo-han (Kim Sang-kyung), a psychiatrist who was forced to take shelter with them after he was injured in a car accident nearby. Stranded from heavy snow, they spend eight days together ― from Christmas Eve to New Year's Day.

Park Mu-yeol (Baek Sung-hyun) is an honor student who chooses to remain in school during the winter break after receiving an abusive letter. Jo Young-jae (Kim Young-kwang) is a detested bully who attacks other people to hide his inferiority complex. Yoon Soo (Lee Soo-hyuk) is a disturbed, but rich student fronting a rock band. Yoon Eun-sung (Esom) was once a popular girl in school before having a sudden change of personality.

At a time when everyone else is celebrating the holidays, the students realize that the anonymous letters they each received were not the result of a harmless prank; there is a murderer in their midst. A question lies unspoken: Are monsters created, or are humans born monsters? - source taken from Wikipedia

Drama Queen thoughts 

I have heard of this popular Mystery-thriller Korean drama and was looking forward to watching the hot and hunky model-actors in the show. Yes, the drama made headline because of its impressive, intriguing and creative story line, jam pack with a bunch of rookie actors. Other than the above strength of this drama, i am also impressed with the character development of all the characters in this drama. One thing to take note is that ALL the actors had their own moments to shine in their own ways. The theme of each episode was well matched with the focus of each story the writers were trying to convey.White Christmas is definitely one of my favorite Korean drama of all times and i am going to tell you why when i do a drama recap of the drama in my next post. Despite having 8 episodes in total, the story was well pace and there is never a dull moment in the drama special. Here is an introduction to the characters in the drama:

Lee Soo Hyuk as Yoon Soo

Character: Cool, weird, Troubled

Yoon Soo was born in a rich family. His father is one of the associates of the school, having spend lots of money to get his only son into the private school. He had a bad childhood which left him emotionally unstable. Therefore, he took drugs to relief his pain and to escape the "monster in the corner," Most of the time, he was seen hiding in a corner with his headphone on his ears. He has aspired to be a musician and eventually escape from this school but an unexpected incident caused his dream to burst into bubbles. Lee Soo Hyuk is one hot model with a "blank" expression. His character in the drama is mainly starring blankly without much dialogue. The moment that he shined in his acting skills is when he slipped into depression and struggled with his "inner demon".

Hong Jong-Hyun as Lee Jae-Kyu

Character: Quiet, pleasant

Lee Jae-Kyu is a meek and pleasant teenager that does not seem to have any enemies. He enrolled into this school as a replacement after another student left the school. He is a quiet person that apparently seem to be harmless and is always following orders from anyone that is in control at that moment. (Yo-Han, Mireu, Choi Chi Hoon, Moo Yul).  Most of the time, he simply blended into the background, being rather unnoticeable. Somehow, i feel hat Jae Kyu seem to be hiding something about himself. I have a feeling that this person is not as simple as we see. Hong Jong-Hyun nailed the role in the drama with his subtle facial expression and and a sudden expressive of emotions in one of the scene. 

Baek Sung-Hyun as Park Mu-yeol

Character: Upright, heroic

Park Moo-Yul is a hardworking student who is very intelligent but could never surpass Choi Chi Hoon. His father is a doctor and his mother sacrificed herself to save him when he was a child. As a result, he felt indebted to his mother and tried his best to live his life but was burdened by the fact that he caused his mother death. Baek Sung-Hyun did well in his leading role as the heroic Park Moo Yul. He shined in the scene where his struggled with himself to save Choi Chi Hoon or leave him to die, since he had always been secretly jealous of Chi Hoon and hated him to the core for stealing his thunder.

Sang Joon as Choi Chi Hoon

Character: Intelligent, cool, calm, aloof

Choi Chi Hoon is a genius that always achieve the first place in school.  He live in his own world pretty much like Yoon Soo and he apparently does not recognize or remembers his fellow classmates. There is a reason why he does not associate much with others and he does not show his emotion easily. Later on in the episode it is known that he is unable to be in touch with his feelings, to put it simply is that he has a lack of emotion because of the way his brain function. I love Sang Joon in this role as Choi Chi Hoon. He is so cool and calm in every situation, there seem to be nothing he could not accomplish! 

Kwak Joon Wook as Yang Kang-Mo

Character: Observer, Inferior complex

Yang Kang-Mo is hearing impaired and he enjoys photography using his camera. He looked suspicious and creepy sometimes. There were other times when he came across as sensitive and mysterious, keeping to himself most of the time. Behind that smile, he seem to have some inferiority complex and he chose to be an "outsider" sitting on the fence to view the things that happens around him. I am pleased with his character development towards the end of the series. Talking about his growth, i am a little surprised that he has decided to be a participant in a situation rather than being a "camera". 

Kim Woo Bin as Kang Mireu

Character: Fearless, daredevil, Smart

I can't seem to think of any actor that is able to portray Kang Mireu as well as Kim Woo Bin does. Yes, I love the different layers of this character. Kim Woo Bin have great screen presence and has a bad ass attitude, I like his smile and his every single gesture make his character very charismatic and attractive. Kang Miireu represented one of the alpha male  among the other two (Choi Chi Hoon and Park Moo Yul). 

Kim Young Kwang as Jo Young Jae

Character: Coward, bully, violent, self-centered

Jo Young Jae is the least favorite character among all the boys in my opinion. He is a coward that puts on a brave front, while resorting to violence to protect himself. He refused to let people know about his insecurity and he only bullies people who are weaker than him. We clearly sees that he does not dare to touch the alpha males in the group and was afraid of them. After he revealed his childhood memories about his abusive and overbearing mum, i can understand why Young Jae is confused about moral values. I sympathize with him, having been brought up in such an environment where he learn to be self centered and is unable to tell what is right and wrong. It is true that Jo Young Jae is not a bad person, he is only too weak. 

Esom as Yoo Eun Sung

Character: Cold, distant

Yoo Eun Sung used to be a cheerful and bright girl in high school. She became cold and distant after her mother affair with the chauffeur. Not only that, she encountered another blow when Moo Yul broke up with her.  She even entertained the thoughts of committing suicide and fortunately survived. I do not have much comment on Esom, except that she did moderately well in her role and is fortunate enough to work with those hot model-actors on this film. 

Kim Sang Kyung as Kim Yo Han

Character: Evil, twisted, manipulative

Kim Yo Han is a serial killer and is a  psycho who tried to be God by executing those people that he deem unworthy to live in this world. He is a very manipulative person that has lost his morale compass along the way in his life, I had always suspected this mysterious person and my intuition is right after all. I supposed Yo-Han is also a good psychologist, having help the students to solve their personal issue. His question about monster is created or was nurtured leave us pondering about this subject too. 


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