Lee Joon, a member of the boy band MBLAQ who is making his acting debut through the latest weekly teen drama “Jungle Fish 2,” is delivering an impressive performance. He plays An Ba-u, a high school dropout from a poor family.
In the November 25 episode, Ba-u is expelled from school after fighting a classmate from a rich, powerful family. He has no one to turn to for help since his mother died when he was very young and his father has no interest in him — his father slapped him on the cheek just because he happened to see his stepmother breastfeeding.
His teacher treats him like garbage and does not believe him. Leaving home and school, Ba-u needs money and finds a job as an escort partner, although his friends warns him that he will become too ashamed of himself to see Seo Yool (Ji Yeon), the girl he has feelings for.
But the world is too tough for a teenage boy to navigate alone. Yool’s father does not hide his contempt for Ba-u, knowing that he dropped out of school. When Ba-u goes to see Yool, he tells her, “I don’t think you behave properly. Otherwise, how dare you let a useless boy like him come to meet you?” What is worse, Ba-u is conned out of the money he managed to save to rent a place to live. He finds the con artist but cannot get his money back because he is detained for beating him and has to use the money to be released.
Ba-u goes to meet a woman, a cram school teacher whom he once escorted and encouraged him not to lose hope for the future. He pours his heart out to her. “I have a very humble dream. I want to be a father who is rich and dependable, who believes in his child, who protects his child so that he is treated right, and who does not beat his wife,” he says.
Lee Joon is praised for delicately depicting frustration and despair felt by a young teenage boy abandoned by family and society.
“Jungle Fish 2” is drawing attention with its vivid reflection of reality faced by youngsters at school and their hardships and emotions.
Writer: TV Report
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