|From left, KBS TV series "Dream High 2" cast Jeong Jinwoon, Kang Sora, Hyolyn, JB, Park Jiyeon and Park Seo-jun [KBS]|
Kang Sora - as Shin Hae-sung, Jeong Jinwoon - as Jin Yoo-jin, Park Jiyeon - Leean, JB - as JB, Hyolyn - as Nana, Park Jin-young - as Yang Jin-man
A controversy surrounding the merciless schedule of underage celebrities has started to affect Kirin Arts School in KBS' "Dream High 2." Oz Entertainment, which has taken over the bankrupt Kirin, transfers the members of top idol group HershE and Eden to Kirin to avoid the special law disallowing underage people not in school from becoming celebrities and prohibiting underage celebrities from working more than 30 hours a day. Thus Kirin's troublemaker Hae-sung and Yoo-jin must survive the sudden competition they are faced with by the appearance of new students such as Leean and JB.
While last year's "Dream High" was about aspiring celebrities pursuing their talents and dreams, "Dream High 2" will add on the story of those who are already stars seeking their identities. As C.E.O Jung Wook of JYP Entertainment said, the characters will try to tell of a story that is different from the previous one by "depicting on the development of young artists whose life center around self expression and how they are seen on the outside." Leean, who dreams of becoming the queen of Cannes, may be the member of a popular girl group but is criticized severely for her terrible acting and genius musician Yoo-jin is reluctant to become famous because of the scars from when he was a popular child actor. The conflict which will arise between current idol group HershE, Eden and the students of Kirin Arts School will also be an element which is different from the previous season. Park Jin-young said, "We didn't know how we should deliver a message that's different from the previous show so we thought long and hard about making this one. Hence we decided to do this sequel only when we had that much of a definite plan and goal." Will "Dream High 2" be able to show something that truly is completely different from its previous series?
The drama's main setups including the special law protecting minors and its point of intersection with reality in that T-ara's Park Jiyeon and SISTAR's Hyolyn play members of popular girl group HershE, may show what happens after idol stars achieve their dreams from the previous season. But becoming a popular idol star does not mean one has achieved everything. "Dream High 2" goes beyond telling the romantic colors to their dreams and passions and injects realistic concerns such as how Leean comes to have a dream that is different from the talent she currently has or how Yoo-jin finds out that popular idol star Eden member JB, whom he is on bad terms with, has plagiarised a song. "Dream High" is back with a sense of reality added to its uniqueness in that actual idol stars play themselves.
"Dream High 2" will not be able to avoid garnering controversy over its casts' acting skills. The fact that many members of its cast including Park Jiyeon, Jeong Jinwoon, Hyolyn, JB, Park Seo-jun and Kahee have little or no experience acting is worthy of concern. It will also be worth keeping an eye on how veteran actors Kim Jeong-tae and Kwon Hae-hyo will do in replacing Um Ki-joon, Lee Byung-joon and Lee Yoon-ji who kept the show grounded last season. On the other hand, the fact that the show will feature more of their singing and dancing compared to the previous season will be worth looking forward to.