KBS Air Date: Dec. 1st, 2022
Dance Teen Melodrama
Grade: C
Korean Drama Review by Jill, USA

A KBS one hour special television drama, Prism (2022) was ostensibly about teenagers in a high school ballet dance troupe -- whom you rarely ever see actually DANCE! Mostly they argue and talk to each other about who is the best dancer -- but the audience has no clue how to judge their skills because we don't see them dance for the vast majority of the story! Yikes! I was expecting far more. Plus the male lead character was injured right off the bat so that gave the production another excuse to cut back on dance scenes! Why didn't they hire actors and actresses who were experienced in ballet? It would have made a world of difference. All of this lack of dance made me miss the far more beautiful and amazing full Korean drama Angel's Last Mission: Love (2019) which showed us gorgeous ballet scenes. I would strongly suggest you watch that drama instead!

The Story:

Choi Nak Hyun (Kim Min Chul, Record Of Youth) loves ballet dance and is considered one of the best dancers in his high school ballet troupe. This talent privately infuriates a major competitor of his in the troupe, Go Tae Joon (Kim Sun Bin), who secretly drugs him before an audition, causing Nak Hyun to fall and hurt his ankle and have to go to the hospital for therapy for days. Nak Hyun suspects the jealous Tae Joon but he has no proof of his sabotage.

The female student considered to be the best ballet dancer in the troupe is Kim Ah Na (Hong Seo Hui) whose deceased mother had been a prima ballerina in Seoul, Korea years before. Ah Na has been pressured by her father (Park Seung Gun) to continue in her mother's successful footsteps as a ballet dancer, but sometimes she gets tired of all the competition and just wants to be a regular high school student and enjoy life. She is friends with Nak Hyun's nemesis / competitor Tae Joon and doesn't want to think badly of him, especially after she becomes aware that Nak Hyun thinks Tae Joon sabotaged him which had caused his serious ankle injury. Nak Hyun's mother (Kang Myung Joo) pressures her son to succeed in the troupe no matter how hard he has to work at it to recover from his injury. Therefore Nak Hyun and Ah Na have something important in common: busybody parents who want them to succeed at ballet at all costs. This tends to make them sympathetic to one another. Nak Hyun watches Ah Na carefully to see what kind of person she really is, and Ah Na does the same toward Nak Hyun. They slowly begin to care about one another romantically.


Then the troupe becomes aware that professionals will be visiting their high school to cast roles for a production of Giselle. Whoever attains the primary roles will be able to go to college for free! This ambition brings out the worst in most of the students as they become even more willing to slight their friends if it means a free ride to college for themselves! How nice! (At this point in the drama I was seriously losing interest in most of them! How is a ballet troupe supposed to do well if they all hate each other?). Both Nak Hyun and Ah Na strongly desire to play the leads in Giselle, but that only makes the jealous Tae Joon risk drugging Nak Hyun again so he would have no chance at winning the lead role. Will he be able to pull it off AGAIN? There's also a girl who has a crush on Nak Hyun, named Lee Da Mi, and wants to dance with him as Giselle. Will she be equally unjust in approaching the situation to sabotage it so that Nak Hyun and Ah Na can't have a chance to win the lead roles in the planned production of Giselle?

The young actors here tried their best but since none of them were obviously trained in dance the whole drama special tended to look like a dud to me. I would skip Prism if I were you.