First Impressions: “Perseverance Goo Hae Ra”

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The premiere of “Perseverance Goo Hae Ra” certainly started with a bang! There is some sort of advertisement filming for Seohan Arts University, which seems to be the university our main characters attend. Though the context is still a little fuzzy—being that most of the main characters seem to be present even though they don’t all actually appear until later in the episode, and it goes straight to an unrelated scene—this opening scene definitely caught my attention!

1. The Superstar K auditions showcases our main cast’s talent.

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Our main three, Goo Hae Ra (Min Hyo Rin), Kang Se Jong (Kwak Shi Yang), and Kang Se Chan (Jinyoung), rush to the “Superstar K” auditions. Here, we meet the rest of our main cast as they show what they are made of. The fraternal twins Kang Se Jong and Kang Se Chan perform together in a duet, while Henry (Henry Lau) comes in and starts beatboxing. This sets off a cool montage of everyone singing the same song in their own auditions where Jang Goon (Park Kwang Sun) and Lee Woo Ri (Yoo Sung Eun) also kill it!

Goo Hae Ra, on the other hand, had eaten some peanut cookies earlier, and her face swelled up as a result of her allergy. However, Goo Hae Ra is undeterred and does her audition anyway. Even though her voice is wonderful, the judges not so secretly sway away from her because of her not-so-pretty face. But in the end, she is let through to the next round like the rest.

2. Goo Hae Ra’s childhood is explained.

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We quickly find out that Goo Hae Ra wants to become a singer for her father. He had been a songwriter, but had died of a heart condition on her 11th birthday while writing a song for her. Goo Hae Ra ends up finding the song, and wishes to become a singer so that her father’s final work can become known. It is during this point in her childhood that she moves to where she is now and meets the twins.

3. Awkward encounters lead to even more awkward encounters.

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It becomes clear pretty quickly that Goo Hae Ra has feelings for the older twin, Kang Se Jong. It also becomes clear that Kang Se Chan has feelings for Goo Hae Ra, and those feelings are likely stronger (or at least far more apparent) than his brother’s.

Earlier, Kang Se Jong had let Go Hae Ra borrow his sweatshirt. So after spritzing some of her perfume onto it, she goes to return it to him. When she goes inside his apartment, she finds that he’s showering and decides to wait. Suddenly, there is a scream from inside the bathroom and Goo Hae Ra charges in without a second thought.

Kang Se Joon is terrified of bugs. As he tries to get away from the bug in the bathroom and Goo Hae Ra tries to kill it, the two end up tripping over each and Goo Hae Ra falls on top of him… in his towel… Kang Se Chan soon finds the two and becomes obviously jealous.

The next day, Goo Hae Ra ends up confessing her feelings to Kang Se Jong, but she refuses to let him answer until they have completed “Superstar K.”

4. Kang Se Chan’s feelings get the best of him.

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Kang Se Chan is always trying to make his way into Goo Hae Ra’s heart, but it’s clear that it’s not happening the way he wants it to. Whether he knows it or not, or maybe he just won’t admit it to himself, he is always trying to steal Goo Hae Ra’s attention away from his brother.

One night, Kang So Chan texts Goo Hae Ra and tells her he will come walk her home after she finishes working. Goo Hae Ra lies and tells him that she got off early and already left. Unfortunately, when she does get off work, she finds him waiting there as if he knew. He cheerily tries to offer to pay for dinner, but she rejects his offer.

As a last-ditch effort, Kang Se Chan oversteps his boundaries and kisses her. Goo Hae Ra quickly pushes him away, but he catches her wrist so she won’t leave. She quickly becomes angry and establishes that they are just friends and that friends don’t do these things.

5. Our full main cast try to work hard as a group, but…

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When everyone gathers for the next round of “Superstar K,” they are broken into groups. Kang Se Chan offers to be one of the leaders and ends up choosing the rest of the main cast. Henry being the ball of energy that he is, quickly votes that they do a dance performance and suggests a few crazy things. However, Kang Se Jong proposes that they do an acapella instead because of their time crunch. Even though the rest of group sided with Kang Se Jong, Kang Se Chan voted in favor of Henry.

In the end, they went with a performance. While everything started great and things were looking up, Henry ended up falling and ended up bringing the performance to a halt. The judges were not pleased by this. In the end, the group was told that they were disqualified.

How will things turn around for the group?

My First Impressions:

I honestly LOVED the cheesy “High School Musical”-esque number in the beginning. I’ve been pumped for this drama ever since I first learned of it. Besides my bias towards Jinyoung (shout-out to my fellow Banas!) and Henry, I was excited that there was going to be another musical drama like “Monstar,” but better. Because I myself am a musician (a violinist like Henry, actually), over half of my life has been engrossed in music. So when I get the chance to see my two passions collide, I’m stoked.

Overall, I’m super pleased so far. The humor is right up my alley, and I can’t wait to see what route the show will take. I’m also looking forward to how each character is going to grow—especially Kang Se Chan. While I predict that he and Goo Hae Ra are going to be the actual couple of the show, Kang Se Chan has a lot of maturing to do before that should happen.