School is in Session: 'Itaewon Class'

By Cris White

Just when we thought What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim was enough to leave us binge-watching for years, Park Seo-joon has hit us with another webtoon-based K-drama — Itaewon Class. The show also features Kwon Na-ra (Suspicious Partner) and Yoo Jae-myung (Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth). The story is about a young man, Park Sae-ro-yi (Park Seo-joon), who lives his life by his family motto: “Never compromise your principles.” Unlike Park Seo-joon’s flower boy roles, we get to see a tougher side to him in this K-drama. 

This article may contain minor spoilers.

Episode 1 starts off with Jo Yi-seo (Kim Da-mi from Marionette) at a therapy session explaining why she feels as though life is like a chore. She continues to state how things in life are “predictable” and “repetitive” and how people in the world “work hard like crazy” in order to be successful. We are only given a peek as to what the “Itaewon Class” is as the statement is given in the introduction of the K-drama. 

“On this small street, you can see the world. The story about those of us on this street, living our lives with our own values.” 

As the episode continues, we get to experience Sae-ro-yi’s life as a high school student who is known to be rebellious and socially awkward amongst his classmates. However, the reason behind his rebellion is because he fights for what he believes to be right even if it is outside of the cultural or social norm. Throughout the episode, we get to see Sae-ro-yi’s close relationship with his father, who is a single parent, and the one to teach Sae-ro-yi to stand up for his moral values no matter what. Sae-ro-yi has made it his aim to always live his life that way.

Later, we are introduced to two of his new classmates. First is Oh Soo-ah (Kwon Na-ra), a girl who isn’t afraid to speak her mind and therefore starts off having a bittersweet relationship with Sae-ro-yi. Second is Jang Geun-wo (Ahn Bo-hyun from Her Private Life) who is the powerful chairman’s son and always gets it his way, which Sae-ro-yi doesn’t agree with. Because of this disagreement, Sae-ro-yi gets into a fight with Geun-wo, leading down a path of unfortunate events with Sae-ro-yi losing the reason for his existence in the end.

In Episode 2, Sae-ro-yi's journey to revenge begins, and the first person on his list is Geun-won. Unfortunately, after a failed attempt, Sae-ro-yi ends up in prison for two years, during which his plan to seek vengeance never leaves him. Sae-ro-yi decides to move to Itaewon, where he ends up meeting Soo-ah once again, telling her of his plan to open up a restaurant in Itaewon in the near future. She’s in shock since the cost of living in Itaewon is not cheap, but Sae-ro-yi shows no signs of worrying. 

Even after only getting a glimpse of this well-written webtoon-turned-K-drama, we cannot help but want to see more of what it has to offer! 

Will Sae-ro-yi’s business become successful? Will he successfully get his revenge? Find out more by streaming Itaewon Class on Netflix with new episodes every Friday and Saturday.

Cover Image: Itaewon Class (JTBC; Netflix)
Written by Cris White

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