Episodes 1 & 2 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episodes 3 & 4 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episodes 5 & 6
Episodes 7 & 8
Episodes 9 & 10 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episodes 11 & 12 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episodes 13 & 14 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episodes 15 & 16 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episodes 17 & 18 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episodes 19 & 20 – | Review Score – 4.5/5
Episodes 21 & 22 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episodes 23 & 24 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episodes 25 & 26 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episodes 27 & 28 – | Review Score – 4.5/5
Episodes 29 & 30 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episodes 31 & 32 – | Review Score – 4/5
On the surface, you’d be forgiven for writing off Extraordinary You as another generic k-drama set in a high school. When you dive a little deeper however, Extraordinary You is a cleverly written series, one that combines comedy and mystery elements to great effect whilst setting its tale in the self-aware confines of a comic book. With the rules established early on, Extraordinary You mixes things up quickly, introducing extra layers of drama to the fold, all of which culminating in an impressive finale that wraps everything up nicely with a sickly sweet bow.
At the heart of this one is Dan-O, a lovable high school girl who quickly discovers she’s a central character in a comic book. The story itself unfolds across two seperate areas – the shadow and the scene. The latter sees the actions and dialogue of each character pre-determined by the writer whereas in the shadow the characters are free to act however they please. When Dan-O learns she’s not the main character in the story, thanks to the exploits of fellow classmate Joo-Da, Dan-O inadvertently changes the story, setting off a chain of events that result in some pretty wild and crazy story beats.
As the season progresses, Dan-O finds herself caught in a doomed romantic angle with newcomer Ha-Roo, while Kyung and a few other students start to become self-aware as well. Toward the end of the series, things do become clearer over what’s happening and all of this results in a cleverly written and dramatic conclusion to this tale.
Along with the plot, Extraordinary You excels with its characterisation. Kyung in particular has multiple layers to his persona, shifting from outright antagonist early on to more of an anti-hero archetype during the midway point. This swings like a pendulum throughout the 16 episodes too while Dan-O does a wonderful job bringing her character to life. The chemistry she shares with Ha-Roo on screen is one of the highlights of the entire show, while Do-Hwa, Nam-Joo and Joo-Da’s love triangle defies expectations and delivers some nice surprises along the way.
Visually, Extraordinary You does well to keep things understandable, given the potential confusion of the shadow/scene shifts. Signified by an exaggerated page flick sound, colours pop and brighten when the comic scene begins and the sudden mannerisms when that specific scene changes helps to differentiate when the shadow begins. While this sounds a bit convoluted, Extraordinary You does well to keep things understandable and easy to follow throughout the show.
Extraordinary You is a difficult show to sit through with one episode at a time. The hour-long slices of drama are easy to watch and the cliffhanger endings keep you coming back for more. There’s some great twists and turns along the way too, and props to the cast for this one; there’s some great performances throughout the show. While it would be easy to write this one off as “just another high-school k-drama”, Extraordinary You is extraordinarily good and well worth a watch.
Verdict - 8/10