Five dramas that exposed the dark sides of Korea’s society: from overly competitive school life to adolescent prostitution       

“SKY Castle,” “Misaeng,” “Extracurricular,”…exposed many problems of Korean society. 

Not everything on screen is about a happy story! If we have the movie “Parasite,” in terms of dramas, there are a lot that have exposed the harsh life in Korea.

SKY Castle – the cruel race to a prestigious university

Harsh university entrance exams and a stable, prestigious are the reasons why many parents consider education everything for their child. Unfortunately, such overreaction has led to a lot of toxic reactions.

SKY Castle” tells the story of 4 families living in the same high-class complex. To get their children into the most prestigious university, they are ready to do everything they can, from taking the final slot of the best tutor to stealing the exam question paper.

According to the Korean Statistic Service, about 3 out of 4 Korean students are attending extracurricular academies in 2019. Most of those academies open until night! Can you imagine how obsessed they are with education?

“Misaeng” – the toxic office culture

Getting a stable job is undeniably everyone’s dream. However, some still cannot stay for long despite finding their dream jobs due to the toxic and stressful working environment.

Misaeng” tells the story of Jang Geu Rae (Im Siwan), an excellent chess player but he had had to retire due to personal reasons. Through the introduction of a friend, he got accepted as an intern of a company called Wonin. With no college degree and no working experience, Geu Rae struggles in this office.  

Be Melodramatic – Life crisis at 30

Be Melodramatic centers on the career and romance of three 30-year-old best friends who struggle with all kinds of problems in life. In Korea, people in their 30s often face many pressures. The life difficulties since school years, the fierce competition at work, the demands from people around… Everything is portrayed in this drama.

Extracurricular – Issues in schools 

Korean dramas have continued to expose the dark side of underage students’ school life in recent years. Extracurricular tells the shocking story of gifted high school student Oh Ji Soo (Kim Dong Hee). Behind the good image he builds, outside of school, he is the head of a prostitution ring.

Extracurricular also address the issue of social inequality in Korea. Coming from a low class in society, Ji Soo is forced to do illegal business to earn money for college. 

Just Dance – Fighting for dreams

Just Dance tells the story of a dance team at Geoje Girl sports school. Each member is preparing to find different jobs for a living but always have the same goal of winning a sports dance competition. The drama shows a picture of young people with some of the problems that they often go through. The drama also depicts the selfishness of parents who always feel that their choice is the best for their children.

Just Dance attracted the attention of the audience and was awarded “Best Educational Show” at the 54th Baeksang Arts Awards.

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