THE CABBAGE PATCH KIDS SCHOOL OF ROCK
Four friends who banded together in their youth to form a rock band, Excellent Souls or ExSo, for short, reunite years later. Discovering that none of their lives turned out as they planned, Lee Min Ki (Lee Hong Ki) convinces his friends to revive their band dreams. After the death of his grandmother, he inherits the family farm in his small village hometown of Hadeurokri. Min Ki schemes that they could earn money to put together a new album by growing and selling cabbage.
Lee Hong Ki is pretty good at playing the self-absorbed types and although his role here as Min Ki reminded of his role in Warm Farewell, I still enjoyed watching him. The camera really plays up his comedy with extreme close-ups and it couldn’t hurt to have a musician as the drama’s lead.
However, I was delighted to see Lee Ha Nui (aka Lee Honey) expand her horizons as an actress in the role of Kang Yoon Hee. I’ve only previously seen in her roles where she was very well-educated and refined but here she’s not afraid to get down and dirty with a countrified accent, ahjumma flower pants and an amusing cackling laugh.
I think I enjoyed her scenes the most when Yoon Hee and Min Ki would butt heads. Sure, there are an OTP but underneath that they feel like friends who bicker, fight and resort to childish antics.
Lee Shi Un and Park Min Woo have already proven that they can be adorable and weird. I think that’s what makes them so personable as Yoo Han Chul and Kang Hyuk, respectively.
On the other hand, Kwak Dong Yun is a relative newcomer for me. I’ve only previously seen him in Inspiring Generation and his emotionally compelling acting was great. There were times when I found Han Ki Joon’s cold city guy personality a bit off color but he had really great chemistry with Song Hwa Ran (Han Joo Hyun) that I looked forward to see how far their romance would blossom from week to week. In fact, Hwa Ran is an undocumented foreign worker and you don’t really find that plotline to be a romantic barrier for most K-Drama couples which made their story unique.
The town is filled with many quirky characters and each week they deal with a new dilemma but what was consistent were the same running gags for many of the characters. From Park Sang Deuk’s (Suh Dong Won) drunkenness to his grandfather’s (Jo Sang Gun) who has fierce fighting skills but hands out a collection of almonds he’s sucked on to Yoon Hee’s aunt’s (Lee Il Hwa) fusion cooking abilities. I find it hilarious that Lee Il Hwa’s character was great at cooking in the Answer Me series but all the characters would shirk in horror if she attempted to make anything beyond ramyun. The seaweed chocolate fondue had to be my favorite.
With all these characters, I felt that some characters really didn’t get the attention that they needed. Min Ki and Yoon Hee are at the top of that list. While I don’t feel like I need their romance to be fleshed out like Han Chul and Lee Soo Yun’s (Kwon Min Ah) romance, I think the drama does flat line the pacing of their storyline by having Min Ki spend weeks trying to figure out whether his feelings indicate something romantic or not.
All in all, the drama was the perfect, lighthearted weekend drama. Was it the perfect drama overall? No. Would I watch the drama again? Probably not. However, while it was on, it amused and entertained me.