EXO Kai takes on his first ever leading role in “Andante”, the drama started off with good ratings, a new weekend drama is finally here to entertain you.
Kai’s character Shi Kyung goes through many hardship during the first episode, so lets go through the first episode highlights before jumping to the review.
Shi Kyung is a rebellious son who spends his time playing PC games, his grades are falling, he is inconsiderate, immature and his mom is completely oblivious to what he’s doing.
His sister Shi Young is also a rebellious teen (way worse than her brother), she dresses funny and puts on weird makeup, she is extremely rude to her mom and her elder brother. The two get into an argument, Shi Young wins and forces Shi Kyung to buy her candy.
Unfortunately, while Shi Kyung is on his way back home he witnesses a couple of his school bullies tormenting someone he knows, he decides to run away, but gets caught, is beaten and his money is taken away.
During the first half of the episode his mom decides to visit the school to check up on her ‘good’ son, she’s in for the shock of her life, she finds out that his homerun teacher isn’t a boy but a girl, she also finds out that he faked his own report card.
His mom is furious; she plays dumb at first to see how far he’s willing to lie to her, but then catches him in the act, trying to convince the PC hyung to lie to his mom and pretend that he’s his homerun teacher.
His mom is very disappointed in him; he gets a beating in the street in front of everyone, and gets scolded for watching porn and playing all day long on his computer.
Meanwhile, his sister gets caught by the police for getting into a fight with other girls. Her mom has to come pick her up, despite Shi Young’s visit to the police she isn’t fazed at all and shows no remorse.
The bullies who hurt his friends are now under investigation, and the friend names Shi Kyung as one of the witnesses, the bullies go after Shi Kyung again giving him a hard time telling him to testify that he saw nothing wrong.
To make matters worse, some debt collectors are after their aunt and their mom, they drop by her cafe and for some reason decided to wreck her furniture but not wait for her to get back, sending the aunt and the mother a warning sign.
The mom has had enough, they’re drowning in debt and her kids are slipping away, she cannot concentrate on making a living and raising her children at the same time. She decides to move to the countryside to her mother-in-law house.
They move away as soon as possible. The bullies try to catch him but he slips away and decides not to testify in court.
On their way to the countryside, they see a girl face down on the tree, looking like she committed suicide or something, its very funny that she can maintain this position for long, when its obviously painful and causes huge discomfort, Kai takes a photo of her on his sister phone since he lost his phone on their way to the countryside.
When they finally arrive, the grandma isn’t exactly welcoming them with arms wide open, she doesn’t want them there, for some reason she hate her daughter-in-law, she refuses to let them in so they decide to set a tent outside and wait for the grandma’s heart to soften.
The mom Jung Won, knows well that her mother-in-law doesn’t really like her, she knows that they would need the tent. We understand that the father has passed away, and that his kids and their mom have been struggling ever since.
Shi Young suggests they escape and go back to Seoul, find part-time jobs instead of staying in the dead countryside.
The two plot to run away and while trying to do so get caught by the bullies, who somehow found out where he was, they chase him and end up trapping him in a coffin. He screams for his life but eventually stops.
Shi Young calls her mom and says that some teenagers were after her brother, the mom panics and calls the cops. They meet up with the cops and head to find him, the cops reveal that they saw some boys getting into the hospice, so they go there.
There the grandma was sitting down talking to a doctor friend of hers, he talks to her about her daughter-in-law and explains that even when her daughter-in-law treated her nicely she was still very harsh and rude to her.
The end up finding Shi Kyung passed out in the coffen, and transfer him into a room, he wakes up and refuses to go back to the tent, then the grandma decides its time they go in her house.
She groups the girls in a room, but gives Shi Kyung his late father room. He sleeps there and wakes up the next morning to the sound of his mother telling him he needs to get to school.
Their mother hands them some old phones, she is clearly trying new methods of parenting and decided it’d be best to take their old phones and give them older ones.
She also bans her son from staying out or playing PC. The sister-brother duo take the bus to the school.
In the bus Shi Kyung is still half asleep, he looks at all the girls and points out how everyone looks the same from behind. His eyes suddenly spot that weird girl he saw hanging from the tree yesterday.
He is clearly falling love.
I think to anyone who watches kdramas often its clear that this drama isn’t really anything special. Its too pale for my taste.
I will be honest with you, I didn’t really have high expectations going in, and I am slightly impressed with Kai’s performance, Kai isn’t such a bad idol-actor after all.
He isn’t bad but he isn’t great either, surprisingly he can lead the drama well, he still needs more time but if you give him the right role I believe he can shine.
Sometimes, his expressions throughout the drama is comical, which I always find annoying; in other scenes I can see a stable rookie rising actor.
But, he still has a long way to go.
I didn’t really like the news of him being cast as the lead for this drama, too many SM idols from popular groups get the chance to lead a kdrama when they haven’t even been in one before.
The clear preference towards inexperienced less talented (in acting) idols annoys me, I am a kdrama fan before a kpop fan. I prefer they give the role to an actor who is working twice (if not more) harder, someone who earned and deserves the role not an idol who was simply handed the role because he’s of a famous group.
Kyungsoo and Baekhyun didn’t even do that. Kai took on the lead role in his first drama, while his other group members opted in for smaller more impactful roles.
Don’t get me wrong I have nothing against him, I think he’s talented, hot and an amazing dancer, but still I am not happy about him leading a drama when he hasn’t even been in a production before.
Onto the plot.
The plot is repetitive and sometimes corny, I see nothing special in this drama. It isn’t especially bad but not good either, its okay, that’s the word I’d use to describe it.
The mother is struggling with her misbehaving kids, there is the struggling leading man with an emotional scar (due to his father death in this case), your classic bullies and your classic (never-ending supply of) debt collectors.
The debt thing annoyed me the most in the episode, I was seriously hoping for something better, not another pathetic excuse of a struggling main character against loan sharks.
I do have a couple of remarks on the plot. First, why did the aunt leave the café behind? She clearly looked like she owns it? Why did she just tag along? That’s never explained.
Did they sell the café? What did they do exactly?
Second, how on earth did the bullies find where Shi Kyung went? I am seriously curious about this. I understand that you need to create struggle to the main character, convince me with it, don’t just throw in characters whenever you feel like it without trying to make sense of it.
The drama is clearly low budget, I can clearly tell. The two writers working on it are both new and unknown, so I wasn’t really expecting a fantastic drama. They’re doing the best they can with the material and money they have, I can tell.
I wanted to see this drama and take a look at Kai’s acting, but I won’t be reviewing anymore episodes of this drama, this is merely out of curiosity, I need to feel invested in the drama to recap it, I don’t see myself watching another episode of this drama.
What did you guys think of the drama? did you like it?
There is one last thing I’d like to say. Don’t be discouraged by this review, if you’re new to kdramas, you’ll probably find this one entertaining, and if you’re a fan of exo and Kai you’ll enjoy it.
The drama is doing well in the ratings, I am happy for that. I wish Kai and the rest of the cast the best. Fighting!