I was fresh out of Forbidden Marriage (another funny warmhearted light kdrama you must watch, see my review) and wondering what else to watch, then I came across teaser of Crash Course in Romance that is quite unique. I did not know what to expect, there seems to be math hagwon-related story (hagwon is Korean after school tutorial which is a huge business in academic-centric Korean culture) but also slow burn romance hint then also funny comedic thing going on, I can’t fathom how to connect this. The first one seems like Penthouse-type makjang story I don’t quite prefer but then the rest is very interesting to me. But I quite like Jung Kyung-Ho, both in Hospital Playlist and Crash Landing on You, he has very interesting cynical humor he played well, but Jeon Do-yeon am not familiar also. Anyway, I decided to take a peak even it is just episode 1, which is unusual of me. I am a binge-ish type, I need at least 4 episodes to already get going or even more.
I do not regret. It is one of the most entertaining Kdrama series in recent time that gets me laughing hard not just smiling or laughing silently. Jung Kyung-Ho comedic timing and cynical humor mixed with fiery conflicting acting as teacher with a past is played well. It is sometime a bit overboard but that’s what comedy is all about. Jeon Do-yeon also played well as single mom ex handball player, complementing Jung Kyung-Ho nicely. Roh Yoon-Seo and Lee Chae-Min also played nicely as students in the midst of preparing for CSAT in very highly competitive environment. Particularly like Oh Eui-sik who played Nam Jae-Woo who has Asperger spectrum, who played it well to shed light on the life of someone with Asperger spectrum in an uplifting and funny way. This story will not be complete (as backstory of hagwon) without the tiger moms who focus their lives on their children and push both hagwon and their children to the limit, sometime crossing the boundaries. Kim Sun-Young, Jang Young-nam and of course Hwang Bo-ra are the best actresses to play the moms being veteran actress.
The story focuses on Choi Chi-Yeol (Jung Kyung Ho) who is a very highly popular and brilliant math after school tutor in a hagwon. He is brilliant in a simple way he taught difficult math but also he put on a bit entertainment to lighten the mood as well being considerate to his team. As he spend so much of himself in teaching, he has nothing left for remembering names nor caring too much for others including his own team. With his past and his load, he became sensitive, taciturn and difficult, he has difficulty in eating and sleeping. He then met Nam Haeng-Seon (Jeon Do-Yeon) who used to be a handball national athlete now turn to run banchan buffet (side dish ala Korea) dosirak (like Japanese Bento). She runs it with her handball team mate (Lee Bong-Ryun) which is almost like family to her. Nam Haeng-Seon has a lot of energi being ex athlete and has sunny disposition which is exact oppostie of Chi-Yeol, their interaction thus become very interesting. There is a mystery running through the series that gives a darker undertone for the series. There is a story equally interesting on how far as mother you push for academic for your children and reminder on how sometime we never realize how far we have gone to pursue academic achievement, and it may not be always be the best for the children. For sure it can turn mothers into a bit of monsters when self control is not exercise, which competition amongst mother sometime slowly become toxic and mothers forget in the first place the right reason to focus on children’s academic. Sobering warning to mothers and fathers out there.
It is interesting to see the math hagwon played very nicely into the story, you can see the prop is typical hagwon, luxury vs medium house story but the math classroom also dominate some of the scenes to give a realistic vibe to the story. Banchan buffet dosirak and food also played strong backstory very nicely as well. The scripts are well written and the stage is well structured to make the entire story ( todate ) enjoyable. Therefore it gets rewarded very high rating at 12% for their last episode from already solid average rating of ~7%.
A great drama / comedy / mystery to watch and discuss with your girlfriends, children and even husband with interesting dilemma that makes great dinner table topics.
Verdict : a must see