There aren’t a lot of Christmas-themed dramas out there — it’s kind of a bummer. This is most likely because Christmas isn’t a major holiday in Korea — usually couples hang out and probably share an adorable Baskin Robbin’s Christmas-themed ice cream cake. Huge family gatherings are reserved for the Lunar New Year so Christmas isn’t such an important day of the year – in fact most people work on Christmas!
But, we did recently come across a gem of a Christmas drama.
A bit of a disclaimer though — this isn’t your touchy-feely, magic of Christmas drama. This is a gritty tale of the darker side of higher education in Korea – and thus it’s the perfect drama to watch when you get sick of watching “Love Actually” for the fifteenth time in a week.
“White Christmas” is the tale of seven students who choose to remain behind at their elite high school during the Christmas break. They seem to have nothing in common and no reason not to take advantage of their only vacation of the year, but on the first evening they discover that they were all given a black letter cursing them for their sins and stating that one of them would die on Christmas. They had stayed behind because of the letter – some were curious, some wanted to investigate, and some were terrified. The story unfolds quickly — coming to a close within an 8 day period — but it’s a wild ride as the students fight for their lives and try to figure out who exactly is behind the black letters.
The story is already gripping enough, but the other reasons to watch this drama? The stars.
Recently famous for his roles in “Plus Nine Boys,” “Pinocchio,” and “D-Day,” one of his biggest early roles was Jo Young Jae in “White Christmas.” He sticks to his typical acting style – the jokester character, but this time he is a bit darker and it’s a perfect mix.
2. Lee Soo Hyuk
“White Christmas” was Lee Soo Hyuk’s first drama role and wow, he really delivered. His character had perhaps the most conflicted backstory but Lee Soo Hyuk pulled it off with the grace of a veteran actor.
Hong Jong Hyun begins the show as a meek second year student, seemingly quiet and a young victim to all of the craziness unfolding around him. But, in testament to his acting ability he is about to pull off a nice 180 and keep his character believable and very much human.
4. Sung Joon
Another actor for whom “White Christmas” was his first role! Sung Joon starts the series with a stone face but as the story progresses and his life is put in increasing danger, his mask cracks and you finally begin to see that his character is just as multi-faceted as the rest of the students. I was definitely shocked that this was his first role, ever.
5. Kim Woo Bin
“White Christmas” was, you guessed it, Kim Woo Bin’s first drama role! His character was known as “Crazy Mi Reu” and Kim Woo Bin perfectly portrayed the special brand of “crazy” that had earned his character his nickname.
I’ll admit, I went into “White Christmas” expecting the cast of male models to be attempting to get by on looks alone. Afterall, murder mystery is not an easy genre to tackle as your first role. However, the entire cast blew me away and makes “White Christmas” a very easy drama to recommend – be ready for an eight hour long wild ride!