Updated: Jan 19
Relatability: 4 stars
Plot: 4.5 stars
Cinematography: 4 stars
Acting: 5 stars
As we physically distance ourselves from the rest of humanity due to the infamous virus, finding new sources of entertainment that fit our taste can be a real struggle. It’s time we finally give in to the urge of binge-watching some new shows, but you don’t want to waste your precious sleep on an unsatisfactory show now, do you?
The popularity of Korean-Dramas (K-dramas) has been snowballing in India. If you’re intrigued by this new trend, Itaewon Class, a webtoon-based drama, would be the ideal show to watch as a first-timer. Trust me, you WILL thank me later ;)
Unlike the typical K-dramas, Itaewon Class isn’t all about romance. The series revolves around the male protagonist, Park Sae-Ro-Yi, a patient and amiable high school boy who loses his father in a hit-and-run accident. The driver is the son, Jang Guen-won, of a ridiculously rich owner of a famous pub chain. Being a man with a high profile, he gets away with it. Wouldn’t be the first time a fat wallet was more powerful than justice!
A few days later, Sae-Ro-Yi brimming with anger, gets into a fistfight with the young chaebol and ends up in juvie. Whoever said that the law was always fair didn’t know what the hell they were talking about. Anyway, with a lot of time in his hands, Sae-Ro-Yi devises a master plan to take down the evil pub owner and undergoes a massive personality change (in a good way, though!)
Fast forward to 7 years in the future, Sae-Ro-Yi is not only a high school dropout but also an ex-convict. Sae-Ro-Yi and five other folks decide to continue his father’s dream of starting a business and opening a pub, DanBam (which translates to Sweet Night, if you were wondering). You could say he was driven by revenge. Still, it was more about getting second chances in life along with five other characters: a social media influencer (called a sociopath by most), a neglected son, another ex-convict, a transgender, and an African-Korean. All of them were considered an outcast in the society, but DanBam gave them a home- a safe space.
The show is definitely worth every minute. It might be a little bit of a drag in the beginning, but it only builds up to the wonderful story you'll see ahead. The feels you get watching this show are truly indescribable. Not only does the series successfully tackles racism, but it normalizes transgenderism, teaches you to value little things in life, and gives you a surge of motivation. It will surely leave you with something to ponder about.
Not to mention, it's got terrific music! *Alexa que Sweet Night by V*
Be prepared for the numerous plot twists that’ll come your way, leaving you SHOOK. The story is like a chess game, where the opponents try to take each other down, little by little, with masterfully plotted moves. And there’s one big question stuck in your head, “Who will win?”
I can’t possibly emphasize how much of a good actor Park Seo Joon (Sae-Ro-Yi) is. The amount of realism and emotion that was put in is truly applaudable. Even the side characters were all extremely well written and kept me hooked till the very end. Not to forget Sae-Ro-Yi's adorable habit of stroking his bowl-cut hair and the fact that he always stuck to his principles, no matter what- what more could you want?
As for the romance part of the series, it was a very subtle touch; comforting in this way too. The show has its fair share of swoon-worthy moments, and the love triangle will get your heart racing, but it wouldn’t qualify as a romance series.
Just a little warning, you’ll need tissues. Either because of how hilarious it is or out of sadness. (Probably both!)The end of the show will leave you wanting more. And I'm not just saying that because Park Seo Joon is absolutely drool-worthy :)
To summarise, if you love a slice-of-life, heart-warming drama mixed with a little rom-com and a punch-you-in-the-face-reality, then this show is made just for you!