칠전팔기 구해라 (Perseverance, Goo Hae Ra) is a South Korean drama series that was aired on Mnet from January 9th to March 27th 2015 and consists of 12 episodes.
Story: Goo Hae-ra's father died when she was a child. Since then it was her dream to make her fathers last song known all over the world. As she participates in a casting problems start to arise since something or someone seems to be against her. And to make it all worse her childhood friend Kang Se-chan signs with Emperor Entertainment which disqualifies the team. The only option to save Se-chan from a long-term contract is for his older brother Kang Se-jong to sign with them. As he is considered the traitor, his relationship with Hae-ra suffers heavily. The other team members already consider what to do if they can't fulfill their dream until one day the former idol Tae-poong decides to help them. Except for Se-jong the whole team is united again and starts to work towards their dream - standing on stage and performing together. Se-jong debuted with IMPACT in the meantime but wants to leave Emperor Entertainment to get back - but there are the entertainment's star Scarlet as well as the CEO Hwang Je-gook trying to stop him and destroy the Perseverance team.
Cast: Min Hyo-rin as Goo Hae-ra was just outright horrible in my opinion. Not only because of the character and the way it was written - Hae-ra is the type of female character I hate so much that it would get me to drop a drama solely because of her - but because her acting was just very obviously fake. Since I haven't seen her in any other role I would just love to say that the role definitely didn't suit her at all.
Kwak Si-yang as Kang Se-jong was good in my opinion though. Not really outstanding but the role of an older brother caring for his younger brother and Hae-ra enough to make himself suffer a lot made somehow sense to me. However, his push-and-pull at some point (yes, it was the writing, I know) was also stupid and so annoying that I think it could've been written a lot better.
B1A4's Jung Jin-young as Kang Se-chan as well as Ray in this drama mainly impressed me with his voice and rapping (which isn't really surprising) but his acting was okay for the characters I would say. At times he did seem to overact a bit but it was okay for the comedy parts. In the serious scenes I would love to say that he did have some brotherly chemistry with Kwak Si-yang which I enjoyed watching.
Henry Lau as... well, Henry, was one of the most funny and refreshing characters in this drama. His acting was a little bit childish at times (not often) but I guess that was also because of the writing. Except for overdoing it a bit in the beginning I would say it was good. But I think the chemistry between Henry and Lee Woo-ri played by Yoo Sung-eun was not really the best. I didn't think they fit together even though their story was good. Sung-eun as Woo-ri was a cute girl I learned to like through the drama but her acting could've been a little stronger. However, it is obvious she was in this drama because of her voice and I loved her songs already years ago so be assured - that woman can sing!
And another singer in this drama is Park Kwang-sun of Ulala Session as Jang Goon. I'm not sure how many people remember know Ulala Session and even if they did how many people recognize his voice - because I clearly didn't but it also has been a long time since I listened to this group. Anyway, his acting was also good somehow and there was a twist around his character that kinda surprised me.
Shim Hyung-Tak as Tae-poong was... weird but good? I don't really know how I can explain this, I think his acting was too extreme at times but that is what made Tae-poong interesting so I don't really know how to rate this. Rather an "above average but not perfect" rating.
Other actors in this drama include Seo Min-ji as Scarlet, Park Hee-jin as Heo Myeon-ran (Hae-ra's mother), Jang Young-nam as Kang Soon (Se-jong's and Se-chan's mother), Yoon Da-hoon as Hwang Je-gook and Kim Min-Jae as Sa Ki-joon.
Soundtrack: This is a drama by Mnet. It is literally a music drama. The music and life performances were good! And I'm not joking, it is what kept me watching this drama while I wanted to drop it at least five to six times. If there are any songs I remember as very special I have to name Yoo Sung-eun's "널 사랑해 (I Love You)" and Min Hyo-rin's and Jin-young's "널 만난 이후 (Oh, My Love)" but literally all the songs and performances are great and I highly recommend watching them on Youtube separately if you want to.
Above I didn't mention many negative things, I know that, because I didn't want to seriously spoiler anyone. But my total rating is a 5.5/10 and I rarely give ratings below 6 or 6.5.
Throughout the whole series what bothered me the most was Goo Hae-ra and don't mind me but she is the reason I will probably never even consider rewatching this. In one episode (yes, this is out of context) she wonders why another person is not answering the phone - after he told her like five minuets ago that his phone battery was empty. You must be kidding me. No one has such a short term memory. And already my short term memory is bad.
This drama includes so many twists (I wouldn't call them plot twists but rather relationship and character twists) that it went up and down faster than any rollercoaster could. It went from good-ok to omg-why-am-I-even-sitting-through-this-bad in five to ten minutes sometimes. It seemed like the writer him- or herself didn't have any idea where this mess was going to end up.
Especially during the last episodes it was really hard for me to keep watching. One of my notes says that I was close to jumping in a circle in episode 9 because they were dragging it so much. I don't exactly remember what made me freak out like that because I took a long break after that to recover and get the energy to force myself back to watching this but it was probably bad.
And there were so many things happening "by chance" in this drama that at some point it got me to roll my eyes.
In the end I would say what saved this series what the fact is that it really involved music as a huge factor and that made it interesting to me but definitely not a series I would recommend anyone to watch - check out the performances on Youtube and please leave it at that for your own sake.