Here is the deal, I used to be a huge Yoochun Park stan. I was borderline in love with him, so when this drama was announced I was jumping with joy and dreading the end of my life. However, before the drama started to air, I suddenly stopped loving him, so this is a very biased free review (for once).
Sungkyunkwan Scandal tells the story of Yoon Hee Kim/ Yoon Shik Kim (Min Young Park), a smart and gifted young woman that is forced to dress as a man to be able to work during Korea’s Joseon era. Her path is crossed with Sun Joon Lee (Yoochun Park), a very stick-in-the-mud yet righteous young man. He sees the potential that Yoon Hee/Yoon Shik possesses and forces her to join Sungkyunkwan — a school that educates the future officials of the country, which obviously are all male. She does this reluctantly, fearing getting caught; but the urge to learn and to earn some money for her family are greater.
There she becomes friends with the mysterious, yet grumpy Jae Shin Moon (Ah In Yoo) and the quirky pretty boy Yong Ha Goo (Joong Ki Song). The four bond over the urge to create a Korea that is better and modern.
Sungkyunkwan Scandal is well done and it had a great cast. I’m not jumping all over Yoochun Park here, but he did a great job. Then again, the role of Sun Joon Lee wasn’t a though one. The character was very stoic and not overly complex. As a first time role, it was a great one. No big gestures, not that much drama. Good choice there Chunnie. However, what really stood out was Ah In Yoo and Soong Jong Ki, by no means newcomers to the acting world, but with this drama they won some more recognition.
What worked best for Sungkyunkwan Scandal was its subtle comedy. A lot of funny things are just waiting to occur when a girl dresses as a man and attends a men-only school . They did happen here, but it wasn’t foolish. All in all, the drama was subtle all the way through. Well planned, easy to understand and like. That kind of rom-com that you can’t help but love.