I was never interested in Korean sitcom because the few sitcoms I have watched in the past (Nonstop series) have been unimpressive in terms of funny levels, general acting, and just story wise. So Highkick Through the Roof barely flew on my radar when it premiered a few months ago. All I knew was that it was a sequel of another sitcom called Unstoppable Highkick, but it’s not even a sequel because only 1 of the original actors is reprising his role.
But anyways, Highkick Through the Roof is about the Lee family headed by Grandpa Lee Soonjae, whose wife died some years ago and is now back in the dating game and is dating a school teacher, Jaok, who teaches in the same school as his daughter does. Grandpa Lee has 2 kids, the aforementioned daughter Hyunkyung and a son, who is a doctor, Jihoon. Hyunkyung’s own family consists of a husband Bosuk and kids who are students: the rebelious Junhyuk and the uber bratty Haeri. Sekyung and her sister Shinae stay in the house as house helpers after their dad runs away from moneylenders. Teacher Jaok rents her rooms to 4 people, the cutely plebeian Gwangsoo and his girlfriend Inna, the foreigner teacher Julien, and the crazy drunkard Jungeum. Jungeum happens to also be Junhyuk’s English tutor.
The first time I watched Highkick was when Jung Ilwoo gues starred in the series. Prequel Unstoppable Highkick was the one project responsible for Jung Ilwoo’s shot of fame a couple of years ago and he returned for one episode. My plan was to watch that one episode and be done with it. I just needed something to cure my Missing Ilwoo illness, but I thought the sitcom was so well done that I decided to watch some other episodes. Pretty soon I was following Highkick every single day.
Highkick airs every day weekday and is 120 episode long, with confirmed extension episodes too! When you look at the number, it seems so daunting. Having to commit to watching everyday and watching for 120+ episodes seem like such a difficult task. The beauty of it tho is that one episode is only 20 minute long and because everyday has different stories, it’s fine if you skip one day or if you fast forward. This is unlike a drama where you can really get behind for skipping an episode. With sitcom, if you don’t feel like watching today, just watch the next one.
I’m not gonna lie. I use the fast forward button quite liberally. Because not every scene can be interesting, but when that particular scene is interesting, it is downright exciting that I would rewind again and again, either to go all giggly or clutching my sides in laughter.
For some reason, Grandpa’s storylines always leave me bored. His character is not lovable nor is he funny, so I usually just watch him if he’s around some other interesting people, but otherwise, sorry Gramp. On the other side of the extreme, Jungeum is one character who I tend to rewind and watch again. Jungeum is played by Hwang Jungeum of We Got Married. I liked her in WGM a lot, and Jungeum is no exception here. She’s hilarious, she’s cute, and she’s so much fun to watch.
There are some characters who depend on the person they are around. For example, Jaok is funny when she is interacting with her host kids, but is snooz worthy when she’s with Grandpa (but that might be the Grandpa factor). Sekyung is also another similar case. She is hella boring by herself, but can be really watchable when she’s with Junhyuk or Bosuk. There has been a lot of debate regarding Sekyung. She doesn’t register with every viewers. Some comment that she’s beautifully acted and provides that silent suffering, a much welcome balance in a sitcom. Other viewers feel that she’s just being a wet blanket because she seems to cry and get all emo often.
I’m sort of inbetween. I think Sekyung is so well acted but I also happen to not like her. I’ve tried to like her because she is indeed a special character within Highkick, and an important one too. But I just can’t bring myself to look forward to her scenes. But at least I don’t fast forward her scenes like I do with Grandpa. Her character at least still involves my emotions.
The child actors must also get a mention. Seo Shinae was in the 2007 heartwarming drama Thank You. Even then, she charmed me and everyone who watched that drama with her innocent yet smart and strong appeal. She’s an awesome actress in the making. Ji Jinhee plays Shinae’s nemesis Jung Haeri. If you think you know the word bratty, think again. You HAVE to see Haeri in order to fully understand the meaning of the word bratty. Ji Jinhee is so amazing as this mini evil Haeri that it actually felt a little jarring when I saw how sweet she really is in real life. That’s the extent of Haeri character’s impact to the viewers.
We are nearing the last month of Highkick. I have my hopes on who will come out in the end as a couple so I’m crossing my fingers here. I would be superbly pissed if now the PD decides to put a twist and pair off random people together. Heed my word, Highkick PD!!