I don’t know why but I’ve been on a short drama kick lately. It might have something to do with the fact I’m still buried under twelve feet of boxes or maybe I’m just being a slacker… Whatever the reason, there’s something to be said for a drama you can finish in a day. You can watch it and move on with your life (or onto a new drama) without feeling like you’ve just invested eighteen years of your life into something. It’s a nice feeling, really, which is why I’m recommending you give Puberty Medley a go this weekend.
Originally airing on KBS2 in July, 2013, Puberty Medley (or Adolescence Medley as it’s also known) is the story of Choi Jung Woo (Kwak Dong Yeon), a high school transfer student who finds himself quickly caught up in the drama of school life. Having transferred schools more times than he can count, Jung Woo has made it a point to never get involved but when he learns he’s transferring to Seoul only two weeks after moving to the country, he decides to abandon his principles and have a little fun. Stepping in to defend a kid from the school bullies, Jung Woo quickly finds himself the school hero but that’s only the beginning. Volunteering to represent the school at a national singing competition and asking out the class president in front of everyone, Jung Woo finds himself at the center of everyone’s attention but this fame comes with a price. He’s got to go head-to-head with the school’s best fighter. Of course none of this matters to Jung Woo because he knows he’s going to be transferring to Seoul in two weeks time. Or so he thinks.
With only four, hour-long episodes, you’d think Puberty Medley wouldn’t have a lot of substance to it, riding more on adorable characters and cute gimmicks to keep the audience entertained. (I mean how much can you really cram into a four-hour drama?) However I’m happy to tell you that’s not the case with this one. I was pleasantly surprised to find, as I watched this drama, that there was actually a lot of depth, not so much in the story-line but in the characters themselves, or more specifically in Jung Woo. I love it when a character grows in a drama, learning life lessons which help him become a better person, and with this particular drama, our hero grows a lot. I like the way this drama chose to focus its attention on our hero and really dig into his character, rather than try to keep us entertained with an overabundance of light and fluffy. Granted there are some fluffy moments in this drama as well but they’re not the focus so they’re very well-received.
With this being a high school drama, you know there are going to be some rather melodramatic moments. After all, it’s not high school without the drama! Dealing with typical high school themes: bullying, pressure from parents to excel, friendship, first love, finding your dream and making it come true, you kind of know how this drama is going to go before you even sit down to watch it but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth your time. Sometimes you need a little feel-good, high school drama to brighten up your day and this is a good one, if that’s what you’re feeling.
I can’t say too much about this one because if I do I’ll end up giving everything away (and that’s just not cool) so I’m going to wrap things up here. If you’re a fan of high school dramas, cute first loves, characters who learn some valuable life-lessons and a story-line that leaves you feeling content in the end, Puberty Medley is the drama for you. It’s cute and sweet, yet it somehow manages to sneak in some potent truths about life, and you can watch the entire thing before your friends finish their Lord of the Rings marathon. Heck, you can practically finish it before your friend finish watching the director’s cut of The Fellowship of the Ring, which means you have time to come back here and let me know what you thought and still have time to meet up with your friends before the battle of Helm’s Deep. (And yes, that would be my not-so-subtle way of asking you to let me know what you thought of this drama by leaving me a comment below!)