Sassy Go Go, or Cheer Up!, is a South Korean Drama that premièred from October to November for a total of twelve episodes, starring Jung Eunji as Kang Yeon Doo, Lee Won Keun as Kim Yeol, Ji Soo as Ha Seo Ha Joon, Cha Hakyeon as Ha Dong-Jae and Cha Soo-Bin as Kwon Soo.
The drama primarily focuses on friendship and teen romance, and the way these young students deal with the pressures of life and friendship under demanding situations, namely the education system in Korea and the high expectations of their parents.
The drama begins with a group of bedraggled and under performing students sticking together to form a dance clique, Real Kings, who seem to be at odds with the elitist and highly favoured Baek Ho group, where the highest ranking students gather to study and revel in their pretentious upper class status’.
Because of the “trouble” Real King seems to cause on a continuous basis, their room privileges were taken and attempts to disband the group began. Of course this only sets in motion the rivalries between the two groups!
Kang Yeon Doo arranges a meeting between Kim Yeol, in hopes of creating peace and offering a truce, which Kim Yeol immediately shuts down with his arrogance and belief that Real Kings and its members should remain disbanded, as they fall on the lower end of the social ladder, so to speak.
Kang Yeon Doo naturally gets quite angry and kicks Kim Yeol’s chair out of sheer frustration, resulting in the most awkwardly clichéd and cringy situations ever.
suave arrogant! Admittedly, this scene totally made me squeal in delight the moment I saw it – the first and main lead couple are already established in the drama, and it was done in such a wonderfully humorous way.
Unfortunately, the moment was ruined when someone
Kwon Soo photographed the two in the rather compromising position, leading to the Real Kings to have complete disbandment from their personal dance room.
From here we have a rather long, and admittedly drawn out process, of Kang Yeon Doo trying to clear her name, Kim Yeol being of no help, and pestering the Baek High tutor group until they.. give in? We’re still not entirely sure on what Kang Yeon Doo was hoping to achieve.
It is soon revealed that Kwon Soo was behind all the misunderstanding, and refusing to clear Kang Yeon Doo’s name, their relationship soured and soon enough Kwon Soo’s rather snobby and elitist behaviour soon comes to the surface.
The drama has rather long and drawn out moments where you wonder, “why on earth are they still dealing with this?” and how they could possibly have written a character so faultlessly arrogant and deceptive – it’s mind boggling and frustrating to witness a selfish character ruining and toying with everyone as a major plot device.
Despite this, it deals fantastically with the concept of forgiveness and acceptance. The students soon set aside their class differences and begin to make friends with one another, based on their characters and personality, as opposed to how much money they have. The drama also acknowledges the rather sensitive subject of pressures placed on students to excel in their studies, which ultimately leads to many of the key issues within the drama.
As is the case with Kwon Soo and Seo Ha Joon, who are both abused by their parents and pushed constantly to achieve the best to fit their mould of the ideal student.
Whilst Kwon Soo receives verbal and psychological abuse, which she then internalises and uses against her peers, Seo Ha Joon is under the brunt of physical violence by his father, turning his persona to a meek but easily angered bully who lashes out at the first sign.
This changes towards the end of the drama once he beings to fight against his father, with the help of his friends. Unfortunately, Kwon Soo takes a lot longer to change her personality, and ultimately deals with self harm issues before she begins her recovery of becoming a better person.
There is also the absolutely wonderful moments of friendships between the characters, most notably Kang Yeon Doo and Ha Dong Hoon – these two are an absolute delight to witness and are totally #friendshipgoals.
As is the same with Seo Ha Joon and KIm Yeol, the bromance is real.
The drama has its drawbacks, with the unfortunate “love triangle” trope, as well as the over used and rather clichéd take on the “bitchy high school” student – but despite this, it does well to understand and reflect the relationships students have with their peers and families.
Despite it being a predominately romantic comedy, I enjoyed it more for it’s comedic moments, the romance being slightly cheesy and clichéd.
I would definitely recommend it if you want to watch beautiful friendships between characters grow.