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To put it simply, this drama is pretty much like an onion. It's comprised of so many different layers of emotional turmoil that by the time you reach the core of it all, you've depleted yourself of tears. Hyperboles aside, if I should name one thing I love about Byronic and anti-hero dramas, is that I always end up being sympathetic to the quintessential "bad guy". Kang To is toughened up by hard times and the motivation to provide, at times, to deplorable extents. It doesn't justify any of the cruel things he's done but it does make him harder to hate. The fact the drama is willing to push his moral lines to distances not much would dare go, could only make his redemption even more satisfying. EDIT 6/14/12: HOLY COW! I've seen ep 6 sh*t just hit the fan! Oh wow. One of the best things this drama has done is providing character development that retains their authenticity. We don't have sudden, premature shifts of moral codes which is often the main flaw in the anti-hero genre. That was one kicka** episode.
This drama is so amazing. As a rom-com fanatic, it means a lot when I say I'd take this drama over any of the romcoms I've seen put together. I honestly couldn't care less about the romance in this. The boys' friendship, passion and individual growth just keeps me reeled in. EDIT: Gah! I just love this sfm! Like many reviewers, there's just something about it that captures the raw emotions and the unpolished vibe of youth perfectly. It's unpretentious and yet it knows how to perfectly tug on your heartstrings. Plus who can resist a heaping of bromance coupled with a great dark horse story? I sure can't! EDIT EP14: Holy cow! There's so much heartache going around lately. Show, stop leaving me in such a bloody mess!!! It hurts!
The main difference I see from the previous DH is that this one lacks the group chemistry that its predecessor had. And that chemistry worked so well that it covered up for the huge flaws in the show. On both shows, acting has been mediocre at best except for Kim Soo Hyun (Sam dong) who helped redeem DH1. In all honesty, I feel really sad for DH2 because I actually find that the cast as a whole is stronger musically. All in all, good musical numbers and great soundtrack. The best way to watch it is to take it at face value and avoid dissecting it into pieces because you might not like what you'll find.