Moorim School tells the story of a special school that teaches martial arts and emphasizes honor, faith, communication, and sacrifice. After a sharp fall from popularity, the lead member of a top singing group starts attending the school along with the spoiled son of a chaebol.
The first thing to know when going into Moorim School is that, yes, it is cheesy. But it’s cheesy in a good way. The story has a fantasy premise that includes the use of some magic. We learn early on that singer Yoon Shi Woo (Lee Hyun Woo) has some sort of gift.
Moorim School is kind of like a cross between Dream High and Harry Potter. I enjoyed the mystery that is Moorim School as well as the fantasy elements. The location of the school nestled deep in the woods is absolutely gorgeous and adds to that magical feel.
Lee Hyun Woo was a great choice for our leading man. His character, Shi Woo, is cold, unhappy, and suffering from a painful condition with his ears. He has many demons to battle as he begins his journey of learning at Moorim School. I enjoyed watching his transformation from a spoiled singer into a mature, wise, and selfless young man.
Hong Bin plays the spoiled but carefree rich boy well. His character’s personality was fun and outgoing and in many ways opposite of Shi Woo. Chi Ang has a journey of his own to go on. While he starts out more of a nice guy, he has to deal with overcoming his desire to rise to a powerful position through the wrong means. It’s a journey that pits him directly against Shi Woo.
I adored the bromance between these two guys. They really are the primary relationship in the drama, and in many ways it is their story. They start out as rivals who completely hate each other because of a clash of their personalities.
But the two bond during a survival journey to the famous Moorim peak, and their relationship definitely improves. But things become strained again as both guys develop feelings for Shim Soon Duk. But that’s not the only issue the two guys have to overcome as many trials will really test their friendship.
I quite liked Seo Ye Ji in the role of Shim Soon Duk. She is lively and very animated. She’s also a strong girl who can easily take on anyone. She gets caught in the middle of our two guys and also has to deal with some unsettling truths about her family. She put forth a very strong performance.
Hwang Sun Ah (Eugene Jung) is the final member of our group. At first, she adores Shi Woo as a dedicated fan, but then she ends up crushing on Chi Ang from afar. As the daughter of the headmaster, she has spent her life at Moorim School, but even she doesn’t know all of it or her father’s secrets.
I will concede that some of the acting wasn’t as good as it could have been. On the plus side, Moorim School boasts a large international cast with actors from different countries. While I think that they were better than many foreign actors we see in Korean dramas, a lot of them were still a bit stiff in their delivery. But it’s always great to see people from across the world acting side by side.
I also would have liked to have seen a bit more depth from Hong Bin and Eugene Jung. They weren’t bad at all, just a little green. I do think that Hong Bin actually gets better as the drama goes along, and I thought he handled some of the emotional scenes toward the end of the drama very well.
Lee Hyun Woo didn’t get a lot of opportunities to display his acting ranging because of his character’s personality. But when given the chance, he was able to move me through the subtly of his delivery. Seo Ye Ji effortlessly portrayed her character, and I think she is genuinely talented and definitely the best of the group.
The veteran actors were mostly decent too. Shin Hyun Joon as the Headmaster of Moorim School is always a very capable actor. He did spend a lot of time brooding in his office, but I still really enjoyed his character.
And I always love Lee Moon Sik. He plays Soon Duk’s blind father who is completely against her attending Moorim School. His reasons are slowly revealed as the drama progresses. This guy always brings to life whatever character he plays.
Moorim School definitely has plenty of flaws, but this is one of those dramas that just clicked with me. I loved the school setting along with the fantasy premise. It almost had a nostalgic feel to it that reminded me of shows I watched in my early teens.
It has a very interesting bromance between Shi Woo and Chi Ang that I really enjoyed. The romance between Shi Woo and Soon Duk is also very sweet.
Whether or not you will enjoy Moorim School depends on what you’re looking for in a drama. If you’re looking for realism, this is not your drama. The story is a bit cheesy, but also refreshing and different. The acting is decent, but not the best.
It’s a great story if you enjoy themes such as friendship, loyalty, and good overcoming evil. If you can just sit back and enjoy the little fantasy world it creates and just go with it, Moorim School is an enjoyable ride.
My Rating: 7.5/10
Click here for more Kdrama Reviews.
Sign Up to receive email updates of kdrama reviews, casting news, trailers, and more.
I was surprised that I enjoyed Moorim School. I went into it with low expectations because of the abysmal ratings. I expected to drop it, but ended up enjoying it all the way through, in spite of the flaws you accurately point out.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I was really excited about it after initially seeing the trailers, but then almost everything I heard about it was negative when it came out. There were a couple people that did seem to like it, so they gave me some hope that I still would. And I really did.
I’m sad it suffered from such poor ratings, but I think it’s more the type of story it is that didn’t resonate with the Korean audience. And I do understand why it’s flaws would be enough to put off a lot of people. But I realized immediately I needed to look at it as more of a cheesy teen drama, and with that mindset I had no issues enjoying it, and I too was surprised just how much I liked it 🙂
LikeLiked by 1 person
Pingback: Best Korean Dramas of 2016 | Kdrama Kisses
Pingback: Lee Hyun Woo and Red Velvet’s Joy to Star in Korean Drama The Liar and His Lover | Kdrama Kisses