Hey! Today I’ll be reviewing a drama (SPOILER FREE because I’m such a giving person 😉 ) that’s a bit different from what you normally see in K-entertainment. The Best Hit is a story of young and old dreamers, family, friendship, love, regrets, broken promises, heart break and living life for yourself.
In the early nineties, Hyun Jae (Yoon Si-Yoon) is part of the most popular pop duo in Korea called J2 along with Youngjae (Hong Kyung Min). However, Hyun Jae was the talent and brains while Youngjae just got lucky. After an argument over their recent earnings with the management, Hyun Jae disappears with all the money. Their company, , goes near bankrupt and in the present, supports just one female duo that barely gets any profits. Meanwhile, Youngjae sets up his own company right next to their’s after marrying an older rich co-worker and makes it big in the industry. Hyun Jae’s girlfriend at the time of his disappearance, Bo Hee (Yoon Son Ha), doesn’t sing anymore after that scandal and runs a bakery next to the old agency. The lives of the people around Hyun Jae turned upside down after his disappearance and now they live together next to the bakery. Boo Hee has a son, Ji Hoon (Kim Min Jae), who has been registered as the son of J2’s manager, Gwang Hee (Cha Tae Hyun), who has always had a crush on her but never confessed. Gwang Hee runs the bankrupt entertainment agency with CEO Soon Tae (Lee Deok Hwa). Soon Tae’s only daughter passed away leaving her little girl, Mal Sook, behind for him to raise. The roof top where Ji Hoon lives is also secretly home to one of his best friends, MC Drill (Dong Hyun Bae), who’s a trainee at Youngjae’s company. Ji Hoon pretends to be studying for the civil service exam while he’s actually training to be an idol with MC Drill. In his place, his other best friend, Choi Woo Seung (Lee Se Young), attends the academy while struggling to make ends meet with countless part time jobs. When she discovers that her boyfriend is having an affair with her best girlfriend and roommate, things go out of hand and they end up at the police station. Ji Hoon and MC Drill drive there to pick her up. When they’re coming back to Ji Hoon’s home, they almost run someone over. Switching to the past Hyun Jae ends up in the present by whooshing down the stairs of his agency during a typhoon a year before he disappeared. It’s the same building which the family lives in the present. That’s when the three youngsters nearly run him over accidentally. Hyun Jae claims to have lost his memory and demands that Ji Hoon (the driver) compensate him by letting him stay at his house (where he just came from in the past).
The plot revolves around Hyun Jae trying to unravel why he suddenly came to the present and how he disappeared from the face of the earth. There’s also the question of the money he fought over with his agency. Gwang Hee and Soon Tae never found a penny of it and Hyun Jae doesn’t know where he hid it. Youngjae is also looking for the same money. Ji Hoon struggles with idol training and hiding it from his family while trying to gather the courage to confess his feelings to Woo Seung. Woo Seung battles her bad luck and tries to emotionally detach herself from a mother who has only ever used and abandoned her. Everyone has secrets they desperately try to hide resulting in choas and hilarity.
Hyun Jae never had much of a family and appears to care for no one but himself. Everyone’s out to use his talent and he rarely developed close sincere relationships. The only ones who seem to bear with him are his manager, Gwang Hee, who is always forced to clean up his mess and his rumored girlfriend, Bo Hee, who’s the nation’s fairy. He’s proud, rude, funny, silly and highly entertaining as a character. There’s considerable growth in him as the drama goes on and we learn the whys and hows of his personality. In the end, the Hyun Jae of 1993 is very different from the Hyun Jae of present day. If you’re a 90’s kid you’ll love the past scenes and Hyun Jae when he first comes to the present. I was impressed that they actually did a stage performance of J2’s original song, Say It, for The Best Hit. Oh and that hairstyle transformation. Their stylist deserves a raise! *fans self*
The visuals of this cast are just ❤ Ji Hoon is relatable as a young man who is torn between pursuing his dream of becoming an idol and making his parents proud by getting a stable government job. Min Jae did a great job showing his struggle and drive. His character gives us a glimpse into the world of Korean entertainment where all that glitters isn’t gold. We see the high stakes and trainees giving up everything just for a chance to become an idol. My favorite Ji Hoon scene was when he rapped during a company evaluation. Ji Hoon is the loyal generous friend everyone needs. He is afraid to speak up for his dreams but he finds a way to work hard for them anyway even if it means deceiving his family.
One of the few female characters, Woo Seung stands out in a male-dominated cast. She’s a strong character who knows her rights and works harder than anyone to do what must be done. Although she enjoyed making music in school, she doesn’t have the liberty to follow that dream anymore. Abandoned by her only family, she leans on her childhood friend, Ji Hoon, in crisis. She’s independent and driven not looking down on any job that puts food on the table. Despite having serious trust issues, she learns to open up to those around her and becomes a happier person.
I didn’t mention him in the plot but MJ is a memorable character made unforgettable by ASTRO’s Eunwoo. Who would forget that face, seriously? 😀 As an AROHA, I am so proud of Eunwoo doing incredibly well in his first role besides ASTRO’s own mini drama production. MJ is a lot like Hyun Jae in some ways. He’s proud, manipulative, narcissistic and of course, ridiculously gorgeous! He’s the complete opposite of our sweet kind Eunwoo except the looks part. MJ is one smart cookie and doesn’t let his evil agency get away with using him. Yay for MJ ❤ His scenes with Woo Seung are quite funny as she’s hired as an intern at his agency and he can’t help but boss her around for the most ridiculous things. Also, that joke about Woo Seung’s name…sorry but I laughed every time 😛
(SPOILERS AHEAD because there’s no way to talk about this without spoilers)
I am not sure how the others feel about it but I wasn’t really much into Hyun Jae and Woo Seung as a couple. I loved them as friends and they had a lot of funny scenes (not the first three kisses…that was just…..cringe-y). I guess it was important for the plot that Woo Seung be the reason Hyun Jae would want to return to the present. I’m okay with it. Not bad but their romance didn’t have me swooning sadly.
As for Ji Hoon and Woo Seung, it was typical K-drama treatment of the second lead. I did’t suffer from Second Lead Syndrome at all. The writers always ease in the main lead by making sure that he’s there when the second lead isn’t. The second lead keeps missing chances for no particular reason and ends up giving up altogether. If they’d been together, it would have been sweet. They weren’t. It’s still okay. This drama wasn’t much about romance anyway so I’m not complaining 😀
The Best Hit was very refreshing! I liked the unique plot, variety of characters, character growth, plot twists, mystery and comedy. The storytelling wasn’t bad and I definitely didn’t lose interest at any point. There were unnecessary parts and some characters that really didn’t make sense like Ji Hoon’s Bona (Do Hyeri) but those things are to be expected in any K-drama 😀 If you’re a YG stan, you’ll love the YG references that keep popping up from time to time.
Watch it and you won’t regret it 🙂
Have you watched The Best Hit? What did you think?
Disclaimer: None of the images belong to me. CTO.