High Kick Through The Roof (AKA High Kick! 2)
I am going to try something different for this post that I have been wanting to try for a couple of years, if I dig it or others dig I might do it more often with other posts. Although I will not do this with every post, it will pretty much be relegated to the ones about T.V. shows, movies, and animation, but will not be an all time thing. It will depend on what I have time for, what I can recall of a given show/movie/animation, and if I can word it correctly. For now, I will try it with this post and the next post to test the waters to see whether I can work with it comfortably and if people end up liking it. Hopefully I won’t overcomplicate it, which I admit I have a tendency to do. So here goes!
High Kick Through The Roof (or High! Kick2) is the spin-off of the first series Unstoppable High Kick (or High Kick!). The show is about two sisters who have been living in the mountains with their dad and now live with a well-to-do family when they have to escape their home when their father is captured by the loan sharks he owes money to. The two girls go through a culture shock as they are exposed the vastly different ways of life in Seoul.
I tried watching the first series that this show is spun-off from but I just had a hard time trying to get into it, even though it had one of my favorite Korean actresses, Na Moon-Hee. It wasn’t that it was bad by any means I just couldn’t get in to it. Maybe after I finish with this one I might give it another shot when I have time (Who knows?).
I really liked High Kick Through The Roof (High Kick! 2), I think it definitely has a charm to it that not even most American soap operas and sitcoms can come close to. Although this show isn’t my fist exposure to Korean television; that honor goes to Jewel In The Palace (Dae Jang Geum) and My Lovely Samsoon (My Name Is Kim Sam-Soon) (I will review this someday). I admit I was hesitant about watching this at first because I wasn’t digging the first series all that much, but I have to admit that I was delightfully surprised when watching the first episode.
My father and I are pretty much hooked on this show. How can we tell? Because like anything where people get emotionally invested, we will literally talk about the characters and we are still talking about the characters from those we mutually like to the ones that are our personal favorites to episodes that have become our favorite, as well as putting in our two sense about the developing situations and relationships. When we are watching the show we cannot wait to watch the next episode to see what happens next.
The Characters (My thoughts on them):
I do have a question before I start; is there a reason that a good majority of the characters pretty much go by each of the actor’s names? Is this an ego thing or was this done for simplicity or some other reason? It would be as if, for example, you had Linda Carter in Wonder Woman playing the role of Wonder Woman’s alter-ego Linda Carter. It kind of makes no sense. Anyways…
After the first two characters I will separate the characters into two categories; The Lee Family house where the first two characters and live and work, and the Traditional House (because that is my understanding from how it is referred to as) where a group of the characters are roommates. Hopefully it will make sense (we’ll see).
I like that Se-Kyeong has a bit of a reserved wonderment about her new surroundings as she gets accustomed to living in the Lee’s house, working around the Lee family, and getting used to them. She is a bit simple, but that doesn’t mean she is dumb by any means. She picks up on things rather quickly when she is trying to get the hang of something. She can be very stubborn when she is standing her ground on what she believes. She does make sure that her sister goes to school and is studying well.
She prefers to be able to do and provide for herself and her sister, because she wants to be as self-reliant as she possibly can. Which times does frustrate those who have the genuine intention of trying to help her out.
The most heart-wrenching thing Se-Kyeong and Shin-Ae was the episode where they meet up with their father again after being separated, only to have him leave because he needed to be somewhere for a job to pay back the money he owes. Especially the hide and seek game towards the end of the episode.
Shin-Ae is Se-Kyeong’s younger sister. She is very bright, outgoing, and at times fearless. Like her sister she works very hard at everything she does. There are moments because of her simple nature, and her new surroundings that she becomes gullible to what Hae-Ri can convince. After a while she ends up knowing better. She is also very perceptive the feelings of everyone around her.
The only thing with Shin-Ae is when the show has her reacting negatively towards various circumstances, like in one episode where she becomes addicted to one of those crane machines, it just comes off as rather weird when it is completely outside of her nature.
The Lee Family House
Mr. Lee is pretty much the patriarch of the Lee house, he is also the president of a small food company that he runs with his son-in-law and vice president Bo-Suk (whom he also berates and treats like crap a lot of the time). He also is victim to explosive gas which leads to some pretty funny and memorable scenes. Like when he broke wind in his granddaughter’s face (the bratty one below), but it was also the reason for one of his secretaries to quit. His previous wife died when it was assumed he was cheating on her with a co-worker, which was actually a misunderstanding. For a while he had to keep his romantic involvement with Miss Kim a secret from his family, especially his own daughter.
My favorite moments are when he is acting like a complete ass, and then realizes he is acting completely foolish. Especially when he gets jealous of Julian (below), whenever he sees Julian giving her any slight form of affection. I still think he is a bit of an asshole, but he does have moments that do redeem him. I will admit I am quite jealous of him and Bo-Suk (also below) because both of these guys can rock a suit, although Mr. Lee’s are much to be desired.
I am convinced that the character Lee Ji-Hoon answers the question; what if Clark Kent never turned in to Superman, had no powers and was an intern at a hospital. Seriously the actor does kind of resemble Christopher Reeve to some degree, although I don’t think it would hurt to put some actual lenses in his glasses (you can easily tell). He definitely is the anchor of sensibility in the Lee household. I like when he puts his sibling and the rest of their family in their place when they are acting like complete asses. It is hard not to like Ji-Hoon, especially with his attitude that no one should be taken advantage of or have their self worth diminished. Which was evident in the episode where Jung-Eum gets a job selling books at some shit company, and he sees first hand how the boss treats her and the other employees.
Hyeon-Kyeong is a gym teacher at the same high school that Miss Kim (below) is vice-principal of. She is a bit of a tom-boy, let me rephrase that; she IS a tom-boy. Everything about her demeanor pretty much screams tom-boy. She is also a bit heady, and really doesn’t like the idea of her father falling in love with anyone else, and keeps reminding and reprimanding him about the death of her mother.
Along with her father she tends to overpower her husband Bo-Suk, even to where she is disconcerting towards his feelings a lot of the time. What she does to her own father she tends to also do to her husband.
I admit there are times where I do like Hyeon-Kyeong and there are times I think she is a complete bitch. Especially when she is pretty gung-ho on proving her point to the point where she gets pushy. Like in the episode where her and Miss Kim disagree on whether women should be doing the same things as men.
Bo-Suk is Hyeon-Kyeong’s husband and the vice-president of the same company that Mr. Lee is president of. He is also a bit incompetent, not to say he doesn’t mean well (depending on the situation), most of the time Mr. Lee is throwing him out of the office for something Bo-Suk didn’t do correctly. He also has a tendency to flopping on to his bed and throwing a tantrum like a two-year old when he doesn’t get his way or when he feels he isn’t appreciated. When something does come out in his favor, like winning in various sports activities for the company or beating Shin-Ae at rock-paper-scissors, he has a tendency to let it go to his head to the point where he becomes annoying.
There are also times where he treats Se-Kyeong like shit to the point where you will be shouting at the screen for her to punch him in the dick. But then he gets his comeuppance and everything works out. He does have moments when he is civil, but when he decides to let the dickhead out you end up coming to hate him (at least for me anyways). He is also the reason for a couple of forest fires.
When it comes to him and his wife I’m not sure I would say they are the best parents by any means, nor would win any trophy for it if they actually made an effort. Especially in the case of Hae-Ri. He is a good guy when he tries to, but most of the time he’s an ass.
Jun-Hyeok is Hyeon-Kyeong and Bo-Suk’s first child. He is a bit of an angsty teen, but the nice thing is he isn’t that way all of the time throughout the show. At times he is also the sensible anchor of the show but he also has a bit of the father’s and grandfather’s tendencies. Especially when he becomes jealous of anyone socializing with Se-Kyeong, whom he has a crush on. He is also being tutored by Jung-Eum (below), who is helping him raise his grades in school but also has a tendency of busting her chops (I really didn’t want to say balls).
There are moments when he does bounce between angsty teen and mopey teen. Don’t get me wrong, he does have a good heart, especially the one episode where Jung-Eum is being bullied and he comes to her defense.
Don’t let the cute exterior fool you, this kid (the character) is a complete brat. When Se-Kyung and Shin-Ae come to live in the Lee house she treats them like utter crap. This has one category for ownership; everything belongs to her. She also has two categories for dealing with people; “Farty Butthole” and “non-Farty Butthole” (I am not typing the Korean term for this since I do not know how to properly pronounce it myself). This is that kid you never want to make friends with, especially when her offering for being friends is handing you an almond that has already been in her mouth that she has sucked the chocolate off of that she expects you to eat it because she doesn’t think it being in her mouth is dirty one way or the other. If you do not accept it you’re automatically a “Farty Butthole”. She is pretty much the result of parents who are invested too much into their own bullshit in order to raise a child, let alone give them any type of attention. There is one thing I will admit, about the character that is, she does have her moments of actually acting like a human, but it is pretty rare (or at least that is what I have seen so far).
If you do end up watching this show you might want to turn your television/computer volume down, especially if you are using headphones. This kid’s tantrum screams can reach some ear shattering decibels that can be painful. The actress behind this character really does a good job, I would probably take a bet and say that the actress is probably more subdued than this character. Just saying.
Ja-Ok (or Miss Kim most of the time) is the owner of the traditional house (I really do not know what the actual term is, because the subtitle for it went by so damn fast that the only thing I could make of it is that her house is a traditional house) in which she rents rooms out to Kwang Su and Yoo In-Na, Julian, and Jung Eum. She doesn’t really charge the tenants much if anything at all because she feels that is much happier to be with people you enjoy being around than being alone (or at least that is what I took from it). She is also the vice-principal at the same high school where she works with Hyeon-Kyeong, and also Jun-Hyeok attends. She also has this habit of punishing those who are late (and some other things) by twisting their nipples. This also makes me glad I do not have kids, because if any teacher did this type of thing I would teach them to grab and twist back.
For the majority of the show her manner can be sweet, but she can be a bit rude and outspoken when she wants to be, especially when she is exchanging rude sentiments back and forth with Hyeon-Kyeong. I think she is a bit of prude most of the time, but this can also be attributed to the fact that she has a far different mindset than of those younger than her. I do love her reaction to Hae-Ri’s offering of friendship.
Kwang Su and Yoo In-Na
In all honesty Kwang Su and In-na are a couple that means well. Both are aspiring musicians/songwriters, unfortunately neither have a job, can barely scrape by, but are quite inseparable. Although they do have moments of scheming to either get what they want or need. Especially in the episode where the entire house had to stay with the Lee’s, and they were trying to either steal some or all of the expensive coffee that Hyeon-Kyeong received as a gift.
They do add a good amount of hilarity to the show, especially when Julian’s mother comes to visit and they go out of their way to show that they can play traditional Korean music, but it would be safe to say that modern music is more of their thing. Also Kwang Su has a bit of an odor problem, which the other denizens of the house are not shy to tell him about.
Julian is an American (played by a French actor/model) who also rents a room in Miss Kim’s house. He started out as a private English tutor, but then received an offer to work at the high school with Miss Kim and Hyeon-Kyeong. His catch-phrash (I shit you not!) is literally “Oh my god!”, and he says it in such a dull way that you want to beat him with a shovel. There are moments where the writers make him seem smart, but also make him seem like a dipshit.
I liked the one episode where Julian and Hyeon-Kyeong end up in the hospital because of a butt-shot incident gone wrong. I’m not explaining.
I honestly believe this actor and character were brought in as both eye-candy and for international appeal. Don’t believe me? Google Julien Kang, go ahead, this post will still be here by the time you get back. Hell! Even if you take a couple of months to get back to this post after some heavy breathing and sweating, and you come out of your fantasy and realize you have a house, power, and car payment due. Just make sure you thank me if you discard your Fabio paraphernalia.
I also believe that the writers pretty much used their assumptions about Americans rather than doing too much research. Probably because the reality is pretty grim.
My father and I have reached the conclusion that hands down Hwang Jung-Eum is THE coolest character of the show. Because she is a bit more childlike than most of the adult characters. Not to say that she completely reverts to a child, there are moments where she kind of does, but in the sense that she is a lot of fun and funny a lot of the time. From how her facial gestures change when she reacts to certain things that are said to her or that she overhears. She is also a bit of a lush (she can’t hold her liquor), which completely works against her at times given the fact that she couldn’t hold a secret if her life depended on it if she is inebriated.
I think every one of us has had a friend like her or knows someone who is kind of like her.
High Kick Through The Roof (High Kick! 2) is a very funny and a very good show. Hopefully my information isn’t too far off and aren’t dissuaded from giving this show a shot.
If you would like to check this show out you can watch it through Crunchyroll’s streaming channel or here on their website. Be warned: The show is pretty addicting.
There! It took me only…what…four hours to write this. Hopefully you dig.