I finally got to catch up with one of the many kdramas I downloaded. And Sassy is such an easy, enjoyable watch that I marathoned its 12eps in the weekend. While Sassy‘s concept isn’t entirely new — how many high school kdramas have we been through already? — I personally feel it takes the best of every high school dramas I’ve watched and stitched them together. The overall effect, though not entirely perfect (plot has some loopholes), is in tune with its title and central themes, of friendship and how having friends can back (and cheer) you up in the hardest time.

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Like Monstar, Sassy throws together a bunch of students who are the last people you’d expect to work together. Juz as Monstar has its “It” bunch of students — an idol, a top-in-class prefect, Sassy has Baek-ho team, which is made up of nerds top 5% smartypants. And Monstar‘s outcasts — the gangster girl, the new joiner, the unattractive, the bullied, are represented by Real King team, which is made up of bottom 5% students. We all know where this will lead us, the so-called social divide between the 2 groups will be broken down (through hardship mostly) and an unlikely alliance will form.

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But there’s why a slight difference exists between Sassy and Monstar. Yeol, who is like the pack leader of Baek-ho, clearly sympathises with Real King’s plight, and doesn’t identify with the other Baek-ho’s students. Thus, like Yeon-doo, he is juz as against manipulating Real King to join the cheerleading team, and lays out Principal Choi’s insidious motive in doing so. Similarly, Yeol’s sidekick and bromantic interest, Ha-joon, may come across as the aggressive macho guy in Baek-ho, but is in actual fact, a very tortured soul.

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Talking about tortured souls, like School 2012, every kid in Sassy seems to have some psychological issues. Save for Yeon-doo, who is sunny, well-balanced and has strong familial support, the other students all face rather scary personal problems. Like the high schoolers in School, they play with ideas of suicide, self-mutilation when they are at an age where you’d expect them to be full of life and positivity (like Yeon-doo). Ha-joon faces domestic abuse from his dad, Yeol has trust issues arising from his dad’s broken marriage, Dong-jae has contact phobia from a childhood incident, and Soo-ah is a pitiful wreck.

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Somehow, amongst all the characters in Sassy, I find Soo-ah the most interesting. She is one of the most pathetic bitches in high school kdramas’ history. Firstly, we all know her evil ploys are not going to bear fruit when she is up against an Ace like Yeol. If she is juz dealing with hot headed (and less brainy) Yeon-doo, the results would have been very different. As it is, she is nothing next to Yeol, and proven time and again she can’t beat him.

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Secondly, Soo-ah second guesses herself when plotting against Yeon-doo/ Yeol. It’s obvious from the start she is uncomfortable with her actions, but chooses to ignore that little conscience pricking her. And lastly, unlike other infamous bitches (for eg, So-young in School 2015) she loses her posse of bitch friends and allies, and ends up isolating and ostracising herself. So really, who can take her seriously? In the end, I don’t hate her. Like Yeon-doo, I only see a tired little girl trying to childishly hold on to her false pride, cos she has been brought up to think she is “special”.

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