These K-dramas are loved for not sugarcoating reality.
Here are 6 recent and ongoing worth-watching K-dramas that follow the topic of money, status, and hierarchy in our society, rather than putting the emphasis on the loveline between characters.
Squid Game (Lee Jung Jae, Jung Ho Yeon)
“Squid Game” is a representative work when it comes to series that reflect the human’s greed and how their morality is tested by a huge amount of money.
“Squid Game” depicts the story of 456 players from different backgrounds but share one thing in common, they are all in desperate need of money. So they are put in a deadly survival battle to win a tempting prize of 45.6 billion won. The seemingly simple children’s games that the players undergo expose human nature and show the limitless influence of money.
The portrayal in “Squid Game” is brutal but straightforward and thrilling. This is also what people like the most about the series.
My Liberation Notes (Lee Min Ki, Kim Ji Won, Son Seok Gu)
Although it is a healing slice-of-life drama, “My Liberation Notes” presents a realistic story about the life of an ordinary family with three siblings who wish to break free from their mundane lives. The question is, if they had more money, would their life be more enjoyable?
Watching “My Liberation Notes”, viewers are touched by the changes in the characters that make their lives different and how the financial pressure affects all aspects of life.
Anna (Suzy, Jung Eun Chae)
“Anna” vividly shows the two aspects of the gap between the rich and the poor in society. That reality completely changes the life of the female lead Yoo Mi.
Yoo Mi likes vanity, but she still believes that just working hard can change her situation. But in a society where money is the most important thing, Yoo Mi is deceived, despised, and receives all the grievances that make her come to her senses. The evaluation of poverty by outsiders has gradually become Yoo Mi’s pain, causing her good nature to be tainted and her life to turn in a different direction.
Watching “Anna”, viewers know Yoo Mi is in the wrong, but also find her pitiful. She is affected by many external factors, which become an invisible catalyst that push her into committing misdeeds.
Little Women (Kim Go Eun, Nam Ji Hyun, Park Ji Hu)
“Little Women” also talks about how hardship and poverty greatly affects life. The three Oh sisters grew up and live in poverty, so they are looked down on and pitied by those who are richer and more powerful than them. Their lives take a turn when they get involved in a case that leads them to confront the wealthiest and impactful family in Korea.
“Little Women” clearly portrays the difference between the poor and the upper-class family that is up against the sisters. The three sisters are relatable because people work hard every day because they share one goal at the end of the day, to make money and have a better life.
One Dollar Lawyer (Namgoong Min, Kim JI Eun)
An interesting detail that distinguishes “One Dollar Lawyer” from other works of the same genre is the detail that the male lead charges a fee of only 1000 won for each of his cases. This detail, although very unrealistic, is attracting the attention of many viewers.
In fact, many people believe that in real life, justice always belongs to those with money because the cost of hiring a lawyer is always very expensive. “One Dollar Lawyer” with a male lead who is always on the right side and only charges 1000 won for the case he received has brought a contrary view that gently satirizes the use of money to manipulate justice in real life.
The Golden Spoon (Yook Sung Jae, Jung Chaeyeon)
Another series that strongly impresses the audience by the contrast in the fates of those who are “born with a golden spoon” and “born with an iron spoon”, thereby expressing the chaos and injustice of social classes. “The Golden Spoon” with a young, talented cast and pretty good content quality has had a debut with very respectable achievements.