Very likely I won’t be catching this after the debut…cos Moorim isn’t really my cup of tea. (i described it as Harry Potter cum Percy Jackson-ish wannabe to kooriyuki) Well, if kooriyuki has time to watch, she may continue with sporadic reviews.

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Main cast:

  • Lee Hyun-woo (from Scholar who Walks the Night) as Yoon Shi-woo. Kpop star, who got thrown out by his CEO the moment his tinnitus (and possible hearing loss) is discovered. In desperation, he seeks cure from Moorim School, as Sun-ah “promised” him that the principal would be able to heal him.
  • Hong-bin as Wang Chi-an. Born as the son of a mistress (?) to a Shanghai rich businessman, he is your typical arrogant prick of a rich boy. Only thing he feared is his father, Chairman Wang (Lee Beom-soo). Chairman Wang orders Chi-an to enroll in Moorim, to use him to search for an artifact.
  • Seo Ye-ji (from Super Daddy Yeol) as Sim Soon-duk. The daughter of a poor (and blind) fisherman, she is a current student at Moorim. (though her dad is unaware, and will disapprove, of this)  Positive and bubbly, she holds several part time jobs to help out the family.
  • Jeong Eu-gene as Hwang Sun-ah. Shi-woo’s biggest fan, she rescued him from getting smashed by a falling stage light and exhorts him to seek cure for his ears at Moorim School. She is the daughter of Moorim School’s principal, Hwang Moo-song.
  • Shin Hyun-joon (from Ohlala Couple) as Principal Hwang Moo-song. The elusive head of Moorim School.

Synopsis:

Full recaps at Dramabeans.

18 years ago, Principal Hwang carries a young female toddler and escapes from a band of thugs (who sport impressive kungfu) chasing him down in the forest. He manages to slip into the shield hovering over Moorim School and thus loses the thugs.

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18 years later, we cut to the introduction of our Moorim School’s soon-to-be enrollers. Shi-woo wakes up for sleep to answer a panicky call from his manager to appear asap to the Music Festival. However, he has a more pressing problem than sleep — his ears seem to be giving him problems.

Meanwhile, Chi-an arrives in Korea (from Shanghai) to attend the same Music Festival. He gets assigned the same suite as Shi-woo (a mix-up from the hotel staff), and both boys get on the wrong footing. Peeved that Chairman Wang is the one who wants Shi-woo to perform, Chi-an has no choice but to back down.

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On stage, Shi-woo carries off a resounding performance, despite his ears ringing again halfway through. He plucks off the earpiece and doesn’t hear the PD warning him about the falling stage lights. Sun-ah, who has secretly sneaked out of Moorim School to support her “idol oppa”, saves him — but notices that Shi-woo somehow has psychokinetically held off the falling lights minutes before she reaches him. She guesses that he may have some powers and exhorts him to “join Moorim School” before getting hauled away.

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That evening, Shi-woo’s CEO (who heard of his hearing problem) entraps him in a scandal in order to sack Shi-woo who had earlier asked for a personal break. Soon-duk happens to be at the scene of the staged incident, and offers her help (and unknowingly smears Shi-woo’s reputation as a deserter). Shi-woo is devastated with the bad press the following morning and more so, after learning that he was set up. He decides, on a whim, to see if Moorim School can indeed cure his ears. (he got the address from Chi-an’s phone which was left with him by mistake)

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Chi-an, meanwhile, is forced by Chairman Hwang to attend Moorim School. In his attempt to escape, he falls off a cliff and is rescued by Soon-duk, whom he falls head over heels with. When he learns she is from Moorim, he is all for joining her there. Both boys meet again en route to Moorim and end up bringing down the school’s barrier — to everyone’s surprise.

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In order to suss out who is the one who had the powers to bring down the shield, Principal Hwang accepts both boys into school. Unfortunately, both end up in the same dorm — more bickering — and given both are brainlessly arrogant, they piss off the other students in no time. Some of them gang up to give Shi-woo/Chi-an trouble in the hope they will quit on their own accord. However, Chi-an refuses to leave (cos of Soon-duk mainly), and Shi-woo…he begins to have scary flashbacks of his childhood where he as a young toddler is lost crying in a burning house.

Review:

Bizarre doesn’t even begin to describe Moorim. It’s part high school drama (with all the coming of age stuff), part magical and part kungfu flick. Then you have the possible birth secret and decades old hunt/competition for a mysterious artifact thrown in. Gosh.

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Besides trying to do too much, Moorim‘s other flaw, imo, is in the acting. Most of the cast (besides a few) are quite raw around the edges. And in the bid to make Moorim an internationally clandestine school, the cast also includes several non-Korean actors/ actresses (who spout pretty good Korean, btw). Well, those actors/ actresses aren’t exactly old birds in the acting field either. I found it quite a pain to watch…(sorry)

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Despite its various genres, the narrative of Moorim is straightforward. I am guessing that Shi-woo and Sun-ah are probably blood related in some ways, since Sun-ah also remembered a childhood of “burning ruins”. Probably Principal Hwang can only rescue one of his children (if he is indeed the parent, and not a surrogate one).

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