Extra Curricular| Korean Drama| “Dense plot, exaggerated approach.”

Hey guys, how’s it going? Rahul here coming in with a brand new blog. I hope everyone is having a great, safe, and healthy week. I’ve been keeping busy with my classes and assignments. Write what you guys have been up to over the last few weeks! So, let’s begin.

Story:

Oh Ji-Soo may seem like a regular student. However, behind the scenes, he’s running an illegal business to earn some good money. When his class mate, Bae-gyu ri finds out about his “secret” job, she lets no chance slip by blackmailing him to be a part of the business.

Review:

Compared to the usual kind of Korean Drama that I’m used to watching, this one felt more unorthodox than the rest. With a sort of dark plot, fishy prostitution business, realistic action, and blackmail, the show stands out for me compared to the rest. However, when I say “stands out for me”, I do mean in terms of the style of the show and plot and not in terms of preference because I do have mixed opinions about that.

Firstly, I want to talk about the vibe of this show. For the most part, we see that Oh-Ji Soo lives a dark and dull life, for show. While in the background, he’s into something much bigger and unfitting of his usual personality. The biggest part of this Kdrama that I can really appreciate is how they took an ordinary character and built so much drama on him that we get to see his whole life change as each episode goes by. The vibe of the show allows for a more dark approach to what’s going on in Ji Soo’s life in terms of the blackmail, fear of getting caught, a terrible father, etc. Seeing someone who is used to being so secretive and humble slowly unravel with a quiet yet intriguing backdrop increased the effect of the show for me. And I would give the benefit of doubt to the creators of the show for setting up the vibe of the show very well.

Coming to the plot, the whole process in the first episode of Ji Soo going from a normal student to someone who earns big bucks through a system he created on a phone was really fun to watch. I feel like the plot is what really stands out for me in all for this show. As Bae-Gyu Ri finds out Ji Soo’s real job, it is really fun to see how she messes with him. Although you cant help but feel bad for Ji Soo, the show does a good job at hiding the fact that he’s actually into something incredibly illegal and there’s no reason to feel “pity” for him. As the plot develops, we see Gyu Ri slowly becoming a more ‘necessary’ part of Ji Soo’s life and this is where his decline begins. When one of the people working for his app goes with the wrong client, things turn bad quickly as the client turns to be more aggressive. Every episode seems to exemplify the problems in Ji Soo’s career of choice and his life. His inexperience does not fail to show when he cant handle the tough situations and things are left in the hands of his “strongman”. The plot also goes around how Ji Soo tries to hide his own identity as much as possible and even takes countless shots to the gut. Later, the plot shifts towards Ji Soo wanting to leave and start a new life with the money he’s earned. However, problems with his greedy father would say otherwise. This segment of the show is where you really cant help but feel that Ji Soo lives a terrible life and cant help but do anything he can to earn money to survive and be successful. Since he’s only been exposed to people greedy for money his whole life, it is only natural that he would choose a similar line of work that would give him a shortcut to happiness.

Now, to talk about the characters. Ji Soo, at the end of the day, was an illegal business worker who was also in some way, a genius but only when things are looking good. We see his downfall in the face of trouble and even get to see him crack when he starts crying and calls Gyu Ri for help. So, as for the audience for the most part you feel nothing but pity for him even though he is nothing more than an illegal, selfish, and greedy kid who wants to earn money and doesn’t want to go to college to become better. So, claps for the creators for making such a controversial main character that everyone can enjoy. Coming to, Gyu Ri. According to me, she was one of the problems in this show. Although she is essential for the plot, I can’t help but notice how annoying she is. Always making fun of Ji Soo and doing everything on her own which just ends up making the situation worse. Although I do realise that she’s the major reason for plot development, it doesn’t change the fact that whenever she was on screen I felt more annoyed than actually excited. Next, coming to the couple of Seo Min-Hee and Kwak Ki-Tae. This was another good addition to the mic of the plot. This not only accelerated the plot into a more enjoyable direction but also gave us two characters that were not “boring” in any way. Seo Min-Hee is also keeping her job a secret from her boyfriend while secretly working to create her own business in the background. And Kwak Ki-Tae, is super suspicious about Ji Soo and his on his case 24/7. This forces Ji Soo to be in a super uncomfortable situation and shines more light on him while he’s more comfortable in the background in silence. The officer, Lee Hae-Kyung didn’t have much contribution to the show apart from stirring up more trouble and causing the plot to move at a faster pace by “forcing” the characters to be more careful about cops. As for Ji Soo’s father, Jung Jin, he may have been introduced as someone who is a caring and concerned father, but that took a quick turn as he tries stealing Ji Soo’s money which is essential for creating a more ‘pitiful’ plot for Ji Soo. Now, my two favourite characters of the show have to be Ji Soo’s teacher, Jo-Jin Woo and uncle, Lee Wang-Chul. Jin Woo was nothing but a sweetheart from the beginning till the end of the show and you chant help but fall in love with his humble approach and love for his students. As for uncle, this guy is the pure definition of “silent killer”. His dedication and honour to his business and his fighting skills made this character super likeable. If not for him, the show would’ve been much more dull and definitely less enjoyable as well.

This unorthodox Kdrama stood out for me in terms of its dense plot and enjoyable characters. However, as I’ve said in my title, it was overly exaggerated to an extend that you begin to wonder how the characters are simply senior high school students. This mature plot was unfitting of the age category shown in the show and that’s what made this show have a more “unrealistic” and “exaggerated” approach . While the plot definitely did demonstrate a decaying life for Ji Soo, it did go to extremes to show how badly he is suffering which made the show too dark overall. I am not complaining about a dark atmosphere for a show, but there comes a point when even I feel that the show goes too far to express pain and problems for a character and I feel that this show hit that limit. There couldn’t possibly be anything worse from the point of view shown and that’s what it means to be taken to an “extreme”. Still, I would definitely recommend to watch this short Kdrama. I’m glad it was short because it wouldn’t have been the same if it was longer. The music of the show was nice and appreciated. Overall a good show.

Rating:

I would give this Kdrama a 3.5/5 stars.

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