Just Bananas About: Week of 7/1/13

So SHINee recently released a single for the drama, The Queen’s Classroom.  If you’ve been watching the drama, you know that “초록비 (Green Rain)” is the uplifting ending theme song for the drama.  It’s not a particularly unique song but it is catchy.

SHINee – 초록비 (Green Rain)

샤이니(SHINee) – 초록비 (Green Rain)

However, I’ve been on quite the emotional rollercoaster ride with the drama.  I really wanted to watch the drama because of the talented young actors casted in it.  There’s Chun Bo Geun, Kim Sae Ron and Seo Shin Ae.  It’s been many, many, many years since I’ve seen Go Hyun Jung in anything.  She’s played some strong female characters over the years but I certainly didn’t expect her to come off so cruel here.

So the synopsis goes that Teacher Ma Yeo Jin (Go Hyun Jung) is a tough-as-nails teacher who pushes her students to the edge by showing them the harsh reality and the unfairness of life so that they’d have the tools to overcome defeat.  I don’t know if that was the point of the Japanese version of the drama but the synopsis is quite deceptive.

The description seems to indicate that Teacher Ma or as the kids like to call her Ma Nyeo (witch) isn’t the antagonist in the drama.  However, the kids start turning on each other because of her and while most schools try to prevent bullying, it’s the teacher who is the bully here.

It’s hard to watch as she smirks and puts down her students with a condescending tone even though what she tells them is essentially true.  I think I would have an issue with the drama if they decide to turn her character around because we’re only 6 episodes in and I’ve found myself being shocked at the horrible things she’s told her kids.

The drama also has a dark fairy tale aspect to it as it resembles Matilda or A Little Princess.  Even the instrumental soundtrack sounds a bit Harry Potter-esque.  It’s hard to watch as she smirks and puts down her students with a condescending tone even though what she tells them is essentially true.  She brings “the teacher has eyes in the back of her head” to a completely new level.

Despite that, I’m moved by some the leading young actors in this drama.  The kids are the protagonists and leading the pack of Class 6-3 is Shim Ha Na (Kim Hyang Gi).  For a kid actor, Kim Hyang Gi is a fairly new on my radar but her emotional depth is pretty impressive to watch as she tries to stay positive despite problems at home and school.  She’s the one who tries to rally the students together but despite her efforts the stress of school has begun to take a toll on her.

Although my favorite kid is Oh Dong Goo (Chun Bo Geun).  He’s been dealt a hard life and while he doesn’t have much interest in school, he tries to stay positive.  He’s not swayed by what people think of him; he’s just going to try and live his life to the best of his ability.  I almost thought Teacher Ma had a turning point when she advised him on the best way to deal with the bullies who have been beating up on him but Dong Goo learns the hard way that she doesn’t need his support.  She rather rule with fear and severity rather than be respected.

Despite the harshness of Teacher Ma, the kids are really the highlight of the drama which has me rooting for them to overcome her.  And the music video for SHINee’s “초록비 (Green Rain)” is pretty cute as the group dances with some of the drama’s cast.

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