Dream High is a television series from South Korea that was first broadcast in 2011 by KBS2. Lee Eung-bok was the drama director while Park Hye-ryun was the writer. The drama was about six students from Kirin high school, a performing school of arts that had dreams of becoming K-pop idols. They aspired to develop their talents and become big in the industry of entertainment. During their school years, when they were still undergoing personal growth, they developed skills such as dancing, singing as well as songwriting. Being teenagers, they went through love life and developed feelings towards one another. However, they strived to debut supporting and guiding one another since every student had a fine share of his or her strengths and weaknesses. This paper will focus on the analysis of music in the drama, presentation of K-pop in the story, the message in the drama as well as real life events that correspond with the drama.
Dream High, a KBS drama, has combined drama and music in different situations and proved that the picked songs fitted the circumstances perfectly. Hye-ryun, the writer, chose music that expressed what the characters felt in various scenes thus making the fans laugh and cry (http://www.ondemandkorea.com, 2011). Park Hye-ryun contemplated picking songs for different episodes with Eung-bok, the producer, and Park Jin-young, the music and dance producer. In the first episode, “Goose Dream” there was a song used in the audition of Hye-mi and Baek-hee. There were also songs played on the piano by Baek-hee such as “Summer Time” as well as “I don't Know Anything But Love” that captured the audience. In the second and third episodes, the song “Someday” by Pil-sook and “Only Hope” that Hye-mi sang in the bathroom became very popular. Moreover, in the third episode Baek-hee performed “Bad Girl Good Girl” by Miss A. and the song foretold the character she would eventually become. In the fourth episode, “Last Concert” was sung by Sam-dong in the battle with Jason and “Maybe” was sung when Sam-dong dated Hye-mi fitting the situation perfectly. Subsequently, in Episode Five, “Winter Child” by Hye-mi was performed when she passed her monthly test. In episode six, Sam-dong sang for his mother “Song for My Wife” and later the paradise song when imagining his fake showcase.
All the core scenes in Dream High were accompanied by music. For instance, the soundtrack performed by Suzy known as the “Winter Child” was about a child who was born in winter but did not know the exact date of birth. “Loving You” was sung by Pil Suk while she was playing the guitar. The song was performed during the audition together with Jason. Shortly thereafter, the two expressed their feelings and kissed unexpectedly. Eventually, the drama came to an end when Hye-mi sang “Only Hope of Moody Moore”.
The story presents K-pop as idol culture or in-house production of the star with characteristics of total entertainment with visual image-based dance moves or better signature moves. The choreography in K-pop is crucial and integral to the songs performed. Nonetheless, K-pop is a non-radical, non-sexual as well as non-deviant group of multi-members from boy and girl bands. The story involves six students making their dream come true with a cast of real K-pop stars (“K-Pop Turning Points. Shin Joong-hyun and Seo Taiji Break New Ground”, 2011). Additionally, the story is popular among teenagers.
The status of popular music in the story looked back to Korean past missing the edge to face the challenge of modernizing world. Furthermore, popular music also distributed through the new technology of sound recording. In all, popular music in Dream High contained a good message and promoted a specific moral lesson.
The drama’s message is a young student’s passionate group journey through music to fulfill their ambitions, overcoming all life hazards due to the guidance of the teacher who motivated them. The drama, with fantastic music, is touching and gripping. The use of music such as “I have a Dream” portrays how efforts are imperative to live out great dreams (Chung-un, 2012). It reveals how a difficult situation could be made easier by smiling at the fears. Formation of the main characters in Dream High can make one feel like they are real people, not just tools to relate a fictional television story. Throughout the drama, characters change without explanation but later in the Dream High series flashbacks take the audience back to the trainee days where all the characters were a big happy family.
There were real-life events that correspond with the drama that was released in 2011. For instance, when Hye-mi gets a text message asking her to a meeting in the basement studio, she, just like many teenagers would do, grumbles that she only needs to express her annoyance at the traitor, but in reality she is primping to meet the love of her life. In real life, it is important not to regret your choice after making a decision since there is a chance to prove it is the best. It is worth noting that it is easy to perform according to the moral of the drama but very tough to implement its principles in real life. However, they made the drama inspirational and memorable.
The Korean Wave, as it is indicated in the drama, denotes popularity of Korean music and dramas in Asia. The wave is as a result of growth in Asian media market that supports national culture (“K-Pop Turning Points. Shin Joong-hyun and Seo Taiji Break New Ground”, 2011). Moreover, the drama has interwoven themes of family, relationships, romance as well as war. The Korean wave includes K-pop, gaming, animation, and TV dramas among others.