It’s my first time to watch a drama with such short running time. High End Crush is a 15 minute Korean-Chinese collaboration webdrama aired on Chinese web portal Sina starring Jung Il Woo and Jin Se Yeon.
Jung Il Woo plays a top entertainment company CEO named Choi Sae Hoon while Jin Se Yeon plays Yoo Yi Ryeong, an ordinary country girl who agreed to appear in one of Sae Hoon-produced music videos. And with a plot so trite, we all know that this successful but haughty boss will soon fall head-over-heels in love with the conservative girl who used to live in the mountains. The only difference is that there is no clichéd love triangle. Bora’s character Min Joo didn’t eventually become a jealous bitch just as most self-centered top star characters do. Constantly telling her that she’s pretty is enough to appease her.
I miss Jung Il Woo since I haven’t seen any of his projects after The Moon that Embraces the Sun. He had another sageuk called Diary of a Night Watchman but I didn’t even bother watching it after reading netizens’ complaints about its cast’s acting abilities. Besides, I never really liked him in that genre. Jung Il Woo is much more charming in romcoms although he usually plays the stereotypical rich, arrogant, man-child. His role in High End Crush is reminiscent of Cha Chi Soo in Flower Boy Ramyun Shop but I find him more endearing here maybe because Cha Chi Soo was a spoiled heir to the biggest food conglomerate in the country while Choi Sae Hoon, though vain and irascible, is a gifted and hardworking businessman. It’s better when we actually get to see where all the main character’s wealth is coming from. Seeing Jung Il Woo does the whole rolling-on-the-floor, mumbling-to-himself, crazy love-struck is the best thing I’ve seen this week. He sure knows how to make women’s hearts flutter and his comic timing has gotten better.
Jin Se Yeon’s been getting a lot of criticisms due to her incompetent acting skills. Well, I can’t really disagree with that because she looks a little zoned-out and unnatural at times. She’s so lucky though, to have worked with some of the most good looking and sought-after leading men in this Kdrama generation: Ji Chang Wook in Five Fingers, Joo Won in Gaksital, Kim Hyun Joong in Inspiring Generation and Lee Jong Suk and Park Hae Jin in Doctor Stranger.
The first time I saw her was in Gaksital and I thought Mok Dan’s character was too much for a young, rookie actress to handle. This time in High End Crush, she could at least act more naturally. She’s neither gorgeous nor voluptuous but just like her character Yoo Yi Ryeong, Jin Se Yeon has some innocent and charming attributes, the girl next door type who is perfect for romcoms. The problem is, there’s nothing more to it. To be honest, she’s pretty but quite boring.
80% of the chemistry was taken cared of by Jung Il Woo. The drama focused more on Choi Sae Hoon’s point of view: how he suddenly changed, how he struggled to figure out why he’s changing and how he is going to handle a feeling that’s new to him. Yoo Yi Ryeung is quite two-dimensional and Jin Se Yeon’s lack of expression isn’t helping.
What made want to watch this drama ’til the end isn’t entirely the romance but the bromance. I can’t get enough of Choi Sae Hoon and Section Chief Heo. I’ve just recently watched the latter in a similar role but a different genre when he played Ahn Soo Beom in Remember-War of the Son. Since Reply 1997, Lee Si Eon has always had a knack for comedy and he was able to showcase that once again. He was a great wingman to Choi Sae Hoon. Maybe if Nam Gyu Man allowed Seo Boom to be a friend to him the way Heo was a friend to Sae Hoon, Gyu Man wouldn’t have ended up as a seemingly soulless person.
Other than Jung Il Woo and Lee Si Eon, there weren’t any other particular things that makes the show different from other romcoms but High-End Crush is a fast and feel-good web drama that needs to be enjoyed and not overly examined. And since Choi Sae Hoon’s character is in the entertainment business, expect some good music and a bunch of cameos including Monsta X and Jung Kyoung Ho.