Soompi & Viki Staff Talk: What Is Your Favorite Drama About College Life?
A much-loved setting in K-dramas is the college campus—a place filled with dreams, love, and friendship in a major turning point of life. For the latest edition of “Soompi & Viki Staff Talk” series, some of our staff members share our favorite K-dramas about college.
Here are our picks:
Warning: minor spoilers ahead
Sala: “Cheer Up”
I love the youthful and energetic vibes campus dramas bring to the small screen, and one of my favorites would have to be “Cheer Up”! The rom-com story revolves around Yonhee University’s cheer squad Theia, only that there’s a mystery element involving superstitions about the cheer team adding a twist to your typical lighthearted school drama. Han Ji Hyun stars as Do Hae Yi, a passionate rookie member of Theia who juggles difficult circumstances at home while Bae In Hyuk stars as Theia’s strict captain Park Jung Woo who is a firm stickler for the rules but also a sweetheart. “Cheer Up” provides a great mix of passion, romance, and thrill, and it’s hard not to get excited seeing just how passionate Do Hae Yi and Park Jung Woo are about the cheer squad. And on top of the exhilarating story of chasing after your dreams, the drama shines a light on various personal struggles any college student could run into behind all the glamor of youth and passion. “Cheer Up” also has so many heart-fluttering and butterfly-inducing moments you can’t miss out on between Do Hae Yi and Park Jung Woo as they pursue a secret relationship—their sweet and playful chemistry is sure to leave you smiling at the screen as well!
Watch “Cheer Up” below:
Sehee: “Cheese in the Trap”
“Cheese in the Trap” is a drama based on a famous webtoon about a group of university students, especially focused on the tense relationship between Hong Seol (Kim Go Eun), a smart and hardworking student, and Yoo Jung (Park Hae Jin), a privileged and manipulative guy. “Cheese in the Trap” has the atmosphere of a light-hearted romantic comedy but is also a campus drama with an extra twist of complicated issues like manipulative behavior within a relationship, toxic hierarchical relationships between upper and lowerclassmen, and the hardships of a working class student. The drama is one of its kind as it captures both heavy and light-hearted approaches to the campus love story trope.
Watch “Cheese in the Trap” below:
Somni: “Police University”
Starring B1A4’s Jung Jinyoung and f(x)’s Krystal, “Police University” is unique in that the characters are students at an elite police university who have to go through tough training. The drama contains various elements including friendship, romance, suspense, as well as personal growth. Although there is a romantic narrative between Kang Sun Ho (Jung Jinyoung) and Oh Kang Hee (Krystal), I was personally really drawn by the personal growths of the characters. Although love is what drew Kang Sun Ho to the police university, becoming a police officer soon turns into his life goal. Detective-turned-professor Yoo Dong Man (Cha Tae Hyun) is not very encouraging, but Kang Sun Ho does not give up and tries his best to prove himself and his passion for becoming a police officer to Yoo Dong Man. Although the two may have had the worst first impressions of each other, they start to understand and respect each other’s philanthropic and brave natures. Oh Kang Hee’s charisma and righteousness is another point to keep an eye on. Sun Ho and Kang Hee become stronger both mentally and physically as they overcome various difficulties together. I recommend watching this series which will really light up your passion!
Watch “Police University” below:
Winnie: “My ID Is Gangnam Beauty”
In “My ID is Gangnam Beauty,” Kang Mi Rae (Im Soo Hyang) is bullied throughout her childhood and gets plastic surgery before going to college, but her life does not get much easier after changing her looks. In college, she reunites with Do Kyung Suk (Cha Eun Woo) from middle school, who likes her for who she is instead of her appearance. Through this drama, viewers can experience the unique and realistic journeys of college students as they overcome their childhood traumas and insecurities and finally be able to embrace themselves. It is a very meaningful and heartwarming campus drama to enjoy that I definitely recommend watching!
Watch “My ID Is Gangnam Beauty” below:
Jessie: “New Love Playlist”
As a student who experienced college life during COVID-19, I highly recommend the relatable web drama “New Love Playlist”! Continuing off of the popular “Love Playlist” web series that ran for four seasons from 2017 through 2019, this drama has a new twist—the coronavirus that changed the daily lives of everyone including college students. The drama starts with communication major student Do Min Ju (Oh Yu Jin) moving out of her dorm due to a new COVID-19 patient. She moves to a house hosted by two handsome classmates along with another student, Park Do Yoon (Yoo Jung Hoo), who also had to leave his dorm. The four become best friends, but Do Min Ju and Park Do Yoon start to walk the fine line between friendship and romance. Will their struggle to get through college life and their complicated relationships work out? I’m also looking forward to seeing if these friends will be able to reach a happy ending!
Watch “New Love Playlist” below:
JJin: “At a Distance, Spring is Green“
My favorite campus drama is “At a Distance, Spring is Green” as it deals with not only campus love but also friendship, family bonds, and character development. Yeo Joon (Park Ji Hoon) is a popular, wealthy, and attractive freshman who is the envy of everyone. As in the drama’s title, his life seems to be flawless from a distance, but he has painful backstories to tell and has never met anyone he can trust or who truly cares about him until he meets Kim So Bin (Kang Min Ah) and Nam Soo Hyun (Bae In Hyuk). It’s uplifting and heartwarming to see these students who have nothing in common become true friends. The bromance between Yeo Joon and Nam Soo Hyun is especially amusing and adorable. Additionally, I was amazed by Park Ji Hoon’s acting skills and the way he portrays such a complex character. I definitely recommend this drama for everyone in their twenties seeking a relatable, healing, and heartwarming story to watch!
Watch “At a Distance, Spring is Green”:
Yeon: “Do You Like Brahms?”
My favorite campus drama “Do You Like Brahms?” is quite different from most other dramas about college students. Chae Song Ah (Park Eun Bin) is originally a business student but decides to chase her passion of violin and re-enter college as a music student. In her senior year, she meets genius pianist Park Joon Young (Kim Min Jae). The two start out as friends as they connect through music and similar difficult experiences with love, but their relationship starts taking an unexpected turn. Contrasting with the liveliness of most campus dramas, “Do You Like Brahms?” is a deep journey told through classical music. It seems mellow on the surface, but at closer glance, it is an intensely emotion-packed series that will make you feel a really wide spectrum of feelings. Whether you love classical music like me or are completely new to the genre, I highly recommend giving this unique drama a try!
Watch “Do You Like Brahms?” below:
What is your favorite drama about college life? Let us know in the comments below!