Rating:
Average user rating 4.5
62

Itaewon Class: Episode 1

Spunky and heartwarming, the highly anticipated webtoon-turned-drama, Itaewon Class, delivers a strong premiere with a story that begins during our hero’s formative years — a time of awkward feelings, firm convictions, and unexpected tragedy. Father and son are the central characters in this first episode, and we’re blessed with two great actors to portray this relationship (Park Seo-joon! Sohn Hyun-joo! Eeeee!).

In addition to the father-son duo, the show boasts a stellar cast to carry this hyped underdog story. I’m looking forward to solid performances from both our good guys and bad guys, and I can’t wait to meet the full ensemble of characters as this story unfolds.

  
EPISODE 1 RECAP

A therapist asks a young woman what she thinks about before she falls asleep, and the woman responds that she wishes for world destruction. She shares that she’s just tired of life and laughs at herself, acknowledging that this must sound amusing coming from a young person like herself.

The therapist affirms that everyone has moments when they’re tired of life, but the young woman, who we’ll later know as JO YI-SEO (Kim Da-mi), says that she’s always feeling this way. She finds life to be repetitive and obvious — a constant effort toward some goal. Yi-seo says that everyone knows that success is achieved by madly fighting for it, but everyone is too bothered to try.

Yi-seo shares that she told her boss (who she’s mentioned at therapy before) the same thing, and he responded that she should just die if she’s so tired of life. She laughs at how her boss monitored her “teen angst, ” and she asserts that counselling should be done candidly over drinks. Then, Yi-seo gets up to head to work and invites her therapist with a few coupons.

Yi-seo narrates an introduction to Itaewon, a hot spot within Yongsan in the city of Seoul, a place where you can see the world. “This is our story of living these streets with our own values.”

15 years ago, we see three high school boys kneel in the back of the classroom holding buckets of water above their head for playing hooky from their free study period. The teacher berates the delinquent students, saying that these future low-lifers will leech off of their parents when they grow up. In response, one student, PARK SAE-RO-YI (Park Seo-joon), dumps the bucket on himself.

The students snicker, and Sae-ro-yi calmly asks the annoyed teacher if he should refill his bucket. He returns to his punishment position, and a classmate smiles in amusement. The classmate (cameo by Solbin) observed that he seemed like a nutjob, but he also lived righteously. He didn’t have friends, but he never seemed lonely. She soon realized that she had a crush on Sae-ro-yi, but he was moving schools next week.

She musters up the courage to approach Sae-ro-yi and offers chocolate with a letter to wish him luck on the police college qualification exam. But Sae-ro-yi doesn’t accept the gift, saying that he doesn’t like sweet things. Despite the rejection and her friends’ annoyance with this nutjob, she still liked how he always did whatever he wanted.

Sae-ro-yi gets off the bus at Pajin City and runs to catch his train. A beggar grabs a student, OH SOO-AH (Kwon Nara), but she roughly shakes him off. As Sae-ro-yi catches the falling man, he hits his knee on the ground. He limps as he follows Soo-ah and tells her to apologize to the man, but she refuses. She asks he thinks he’s a good person and seems annoyed by his righteousness.

At the police college qualification exam, Sae-ro-yi limps as he runs around the track. The judges notice his limp and note that he’s the one who aced all of his physical tests. A slow runner catches up to Sae-ro-yi and tries to convince him to quit, but Sae-ro-yi refuses to come in last. He runs ahead, and the judges seem impressed.

At the Jang Ga Family headquarters, Manager PARK SUNG-YEOL (Sohn Hyun-joo) greets KANG MIN-JUNG (Kim Hye-eun) formally, and she insists that he drop the formalities. They talk like close friends about Manager Park’s move to Pajin and his son, Sae-ro-yi, who will be transferring to the same high school as the President’s son.

Min-jung updates Manager Park about the plans to terminate sponsorship to the orphanage because senior homes are a trendier issue. Manager Park says that the orphanage won’t be able feed the children without their sponsorship and argues that business is all about the people. But this was the President’s decision, so Manager Park chooses to acquiesce.

Sae-ro-yi aces his physical exam and assures Dad (Manager Park) that his knee is fine. Dad tells Sae-ro-yi that he must feel disappointed to leave his friends behind, but Sae-ro-yi says that he has no friends. Dad shares that the President’s son attends Sae-ro-yi’s new school but isn’t pushy about them being close. He just wishes that Sae-ro-yi would be more sociable. Sae-ro-yi comments that his dad’s wishes conflict with their family motto of living with conviction.

Dad drives them to the Pajin Orphanage to distribute food to the children, and Sae-ro-yi seems puzzled by the random visit. Dad greets a familiar face, Soo-ah, and introduces her to Sae-ro-yi. They recognize each other, but Sae-ro-yi doesn’t acknowledge her.

Dad apologizes to Soo-ah for the terminated sponsorship, but Soo-ah doesn’t blame him. She understands that it’s a company decision that he needs to follow. He assures Soo-ah that he’ll visit often to cook for them, now that he lives in Pajin. Soo-ah says that his son seems different than him, and Dad acknowledges that Sae-ro-yi is a bit aloof. She jokes that he’s handsome, and Dad claims those genes.

Soo-ah joins Sae-ro-yi to hang laundry and says that they’ll be attending the same school. She tries to be cordial and explains that she wants to be friendly because he’s Manager Park’s son. She’s known him for about five years while he served as the representative from Jang Ga.

Sae-ro-yi shakes out wet clothes at Soo-ah, and she asks if he’s still hung up on the train station incident. She calls him a snob for acting so righteous, and he likens his actions to Dad helping the orphanage. Soo-ah takes offense to that comment and decides to give up on being friendly, leaving him to hang all the laundry.

The next morning, Sae-ro-yi makes breakfast, and Dad compliments his cooking skills. Dad feels bad that he didn’t buy the new school uniform in time for Sae-ro-yi’s first day, but Sae-ro-yi doesn’t mind. He tells Dad to focus on his first official day at Jang Ga headquarters. Then, Dad takes a sip of the soup and says that it tastes bland. Ha.

Sae-ro-yi walks to the bus stop and keeps his distance when he notices Soo-ah waiting at the stop. A car stops in front of her, and JANG GEUN-WON (Ahn Bo-hyun), son of Jang Ga’s President, offers her a ride. She rejects his offer because she’s uncomfortable with him and takes the bus instead. Sae-ro-yi waits for the bus to leave and waits for the next bus to school.

When Sae-ro-yi enters his new homeroom, he meets eyes with Soo-ah, and they seem mutually annoyed. He awkwardly introduces himself and at the teacher’s prompt, he shares that he wants to become a police officer. The teacher points to the empty desk next to Soo-ah as his assigned seat.

They sit in awkward silence until they’re interrupted by a ruckus in the back of the classroom. Jang Ga heir Geun-won beats a classmate to the ground and spills milk on him. Before Sae-ro-yi does anything, Soo-ah suggests that he stay silent and pick his battles. She advises him to ignore the commotion, especially since Manager Park works for Jang Ga.

Sae-ro-yi isn’t convinced by this reasoning and steps in to stop the bullying. He grabs Geun-won’s hand and asks if his title as a chaebol heir gives him permission to be a bully. Geun-won seems bothered by Sae-ro-yi’s accusation but continues to bully the classmate. The rest of the class watches in silence.

When Sae-ro-yi demands that Geun-won cut out the abuse, Geun-won offers to share a school rule. The homeroom teacher returns to the classroom and instructs everyone to return to their seats. Sae-ro-yi brings attention to the bullying, but the teacher ignores the incriminating scene. Geun-won leans in and says, “This school’s rule: Jang Geun-won is the law.”

Geun-won smirks, and Sae-ro-yi punches him in exasperation. The teacher runs to injured Geun-won on the ground, and stunned Soo-ah looks away in frustration. Uh-oh, this can’t be good.

Manager Park proudly presents the Jang Ga sauces during his first day at headquarters, but he’s asked to step out. At school, Sae-ro-yi receives a beating from his teacher for punching Geun-won, who makes a fuss about his bloodied face. Then, the doors open, and the powerful Jang Ga CEO, President JANG DAE-HEE (Yoo Jae-myung), enters the room, followed by Manager Park.

Everyone in the room assumes a position of submission to President Jang, and Manager Park can barely look up as he apologizes for Sae-ro-yi’s actions. Geun-won can’t believe that Manager Park’s son would dare to strike him, and President Jang scolds his son for his rude language. Even haughty Geun-won submits to his father’s authority.

President Jang asks the principal about Sae-ro-yi’s punishment, and it sounds unfairly severe: expulsion and legal charges. As a show of mercy and consideration for the long-term relationship with Manager Park, President Jang dismisses any police involvement. He also offers to save Sae-ro-yi from expulsion, and Manager Park thanks him and promises that this won’t happen again.

But President Jang tells Sae-ro-yi that he must also acknowledge his wrongdoing by getting on his knees to apologize to Geun-won. He offers this as the best deal to save face for his beaten son. Sae-ro-yi says that his father taught him that one must accept punishment for any wrongdoing but that one must also live with conviction.

Sae-ro-yi tells the truth about his bullied classmate and his teacher’s tolerance of the bullying. He admits that he hit Geun-won because he wouldn’t stop when asked. Sae-ro-yi can accept punishment for his disruption in the classroom, but he won’t apologize to Geun-won. “This is my conviction, my father’s teaching, and how I wish to live my life.”

President Jang approaches Manager Park and asks for his opinion. Manager Park describes his son as a childish boy with no understanding of how the world works. Then, he adds that he’s proud of his son and affirms his son’s convictions and acceptance of punishment. President Jang’s smile drops, and Sae-ro-yi looks shocked.

Unsettled by the response, President Jang warns Manager Park about his future at the company. Sae-ro-yi tries to intervene and separate his father from his wrongdoings but to no avail. Manager Park says that he’ll quit, and he bows respectfully in gratitude for all his years serving the company.

Over dinner, Dad tells Sae-ro-yi that violence can never be justified and deserves punishment. Sae-ro-yi asks by Dad quit when he hadn’t done anything wrong, and Dad explains that he was acting on his convictions as a father.

Now that Sae-ro-yi isn’t a student anymore, Dad pours him a glass of soju and teaches him how to drink with elders. After Sae-ro-yi takes his first drink, Dad asks him how the soju tastes, and Sae-ro-yi responds that it tastes sweet. Dad laughs and says that the sweet taste means that the day left an impression.

Sae-ro-yi questions if Dad should give him alcohol even though he’s underage, and Dad justifies that alcohol should be taught by the father. Dad drinks his soju and says that his drink also tastes sweet. As Dad pours them another class, Sae-ro-yi apologizes, his voice trembling as he’s on the verge of tears.

Dad assures Sae-ro-yi that they’ll cherish this memory later. Sae-ro-yi can take the GED, and Dad has enough money to set up his own restaurant. Dad admits that he wasn’t able to live by their family motto, and he had hoped that Sae-ro-yi could live more freely. Seeing his hopes manifest today made him proud of Sae-ro-yi. Dad and Sae-ro-yi both tearfully drink another glass of soju.

Geun-won drives his new car onto school grounds, and his classmates predict that the teachers will just let him do what he wants, as always. Soo-ah checks the announcement for the Gwangjin University early admission, and she sees the bullied classmate staring at the notice of Sae-ro-yi’s expulsion.

Soo-ah notices Geun-won’s new car as she leaves school, and Geun-won brags about his limited edition car with a special “7777” license plate. He offers her a ride, but she passes. Geun-won asks if she’s extra cranky because the orphanage lost Jang Ga’s sponsorship and says that he’ll put in a good word with his dad. Soo-ah rejects his patronizing offer, saying that they won’t starve without Jang Ga.

Manager Park visits Soo-ah while she works at the convenience store, and she worries about his termination. She also asks why he paid her school admission fees, and he tells her not to worry about it. Soo-ah says that Manager Park’s son is just as nosy and vows not to live like the duo.

Soo-ah worries that she won’t qualify for early admission, but Manager Park believes that she’ll make it to college, if not this year, then the next. He says that he’s proud of the feisty child that grew up to be a smart student and encourages her to pursue college. Soo-ah looks touched and promises to repay three times the amount he paid.

At Jang Ga headquarters, Min-jung, Manager Park’s close colleague, tries to convince President Jang to reinstate Manager Park. She reminds him how long her father and President Jang have known and relied on Manager Park, and she credits him with Jang Ga’s success.

Demanding silence, President Jang slams his tea cup on the table and gives Min-jung a stern look. He says that Manager Park defied his orders, and an old dog who doesn’t recognize his owner is useless. President Jang justifies his authoritative nature by claiming that all of Jang Ga’s decisions — ever since his days of running the overpass pojangmacha with Min-jung’s father — have been the answer. He warns Min-jung, who he values like a daughter, not to provoke him further.

Soo-ah boards the bus and realizes that she forgot her wallet at home. Then, she realizes that she’s also missing her college interview admission ticket and races back home. Running back toward the bus stop, she passes Sae-ro-yi, who follows her and asks about her college interview today. She explains that she forgot her wallet and missed her bus, and the next bus will arrive too late.

Sae-ro-yi looks at the time and says that she’ll be late at this pace. He grabs her backpack and tells her to keep up with him, but Soo-ah refuses his help. She puts on her backpack and continues to run. Sae-ro-yi runs alongside her, being her pacemaker to the interview.

Dripping in sweat, Soo-ah stops to catch her breath, and Sae-ro-yi reaches his hand out to help her up. She asks why he’s helping her, and he tells her to focus on taking deep breaths. After a few breaths, Soo-ah gets back to running, pushing away Sae-ro-yi’s extended hand. Sae-ro-yi pushes her forward from behind, despite Soo-ah weak attempt to shake him off.

Once they reach the building entrance, Sae-ro-yi stops and wishes Soo-ah good luck on her interview. She confidently responds that she’ll interview well. Soo-ah gets called in for the interview, and she smiles as she remembers Sae-ro-yi’s encouragement.

When Soo-ah finishes the interview, she finds Sae-ro-yi waiting in front of the building. He asks how the interview went, and she respond that it went well, thanks to him. She asks why he’s waiting, and he hesitates to answer. Just as Soo-ah walks past him, Sae-ro-yi sheepishly asks if he can still use his dad as a reason to be friends with Soo-ah. She smiles and says that the offer still stands.

Soo-ah asks why Sae-ro-yi suddenly wanted to be friends, and he responds that he thinks he may understand why she acted so rudely. He teases her that she’s just hot-tempered, and Soo-ah glares at him. More sincerely, Sae-ro-yi notes that Soo-ah doesn’t like to receive or give help. Soo-ah explains her understanding of sympathy — a sentiment to comfort people who look down on others.

Sae-ro-yi asks if his dad’s actions fit Soo-ah’s definition of sympathy, and Soo-ah says that Dad is different. He asks how, but Soo-ah doesn’t share her reasons. Then, Soo-ah asks if Sae-ro-yi regrets punching Geun-won. She explains that Geun-won was untouchable, even to teachers, so she found it cool that Sae-ro-yi did something. Sae-ro-yi beams momentarily, and then Soo-ah cites reality: Sae-ro-yi got expelled. She says that she can’t live like Sae-ro-yi or his dad.

Before they head home, Sae-ro-yi awkwardly asks if she has a phone. Soo-ah offers to share her phone number, and Sae-ro-yi eagerly hands his phone to her. She says that she’s only sharing her phone number because they’re friends and warns him that he can’t start having feelings for her. He asks why, and Soo-ah explains that a headstrong person like him will make her life difficult.

Sae-ro-yi doesn’t promise anything and says that you never know what will happen between people. Soo-ah reaches for his phone to delete her number, but he escapes her grip. Before he leaves, he tells her that she’s doing great and that she’s really pretty. Then, he runs off, leaving Soo-ah to revel in the compliments.

Sae-ro-yi helps Dad set up his new restaurant space and notices that Dad seems elated. Dad explains that he had a dream of opening his own restaurant. As they set up their new space, Sae-ro-yi narrates, “My expulsion and Dad’s resignation was no big deal. Life went on, as I experienced different emotions.”

In the new restaurant, Dad, Sae-ro-yi, and Soo-ah share a celebratory first meal. Sae-ro-yi continues, “Even though I was young, I could understand life. I would think about useless things that would make Dad laugh.”

After closing up shop, Sae-ro-yi calls Dad, who rides back on his motorcycle after buying groceries. He promises to be home soon and looks at his family photo as he hangs up. Then, a car hits him from behind, and Dad rolls down the side of the road. His bloody body goes limp on the ground.

Sae-ro-yi waits for Dad and thinks, “As long as we’re alive, there would be no issue. As long as we’re alive…” Injured Dad reaches for his family photo, calling for his son. His body goes weak, and Dad lets out one last breath as a tear falls down his face.

At Dad’s memorial service, devastated Sae-ro-yi remembers the day that he was expelled from school. He cried and apologized to Dad, and he asked what Dad was thinking. Dad looked at him and assuaged his son’s guilt by saying that he saved money he would have spent on a new uniform thanks to Sae-ro-yi’s first day expulsion.

At the service, Soo-ah brings Sae-ro-yi something to eat. Sae-ro-yi doesn’t respond to her and says that he can only remember receiving everything from his father. He took his father’s giving nature for granted, and he scolds himself for being so foolish.

A police officer interrupts the mourning, and he shares that the driver who killed Dad turned himself in this morning. The police officer shares the paperwork and settlement agreement, but Sae-ro-yi is too distraught that they could put a money value to his father’s life. He falls to the ground in distress, and Soo-ah asks the police officer to return at a later time.

Soo-ah picks up the paperwork and recognizes the car in the photo through the “7777” license plate. She tells Sae-ro-yi that the car belongs to Geun-won, and Sae-ro-yi asks that Soo-ah observe the memorial while he’s out. Soo-ah tries to convince Sae-ro-yi to go to the police first, but she gives up when she sees the look in his eyes.

Sae-ro-yi goes to school and searches the classroom. He thinks about how he lost his only family, his father, before he could realize the priceless debt that he owed. He walks through the rain and goes to the hospital looking for Geun-won. He narrates, “That one person was my everything. It broke my heart that he only cared for me, and that’s why I worked hard. Dad was reason for my existence.”

When Sae-ro-yi finds Geun-won, his ex-classmate backpedals and falls to the ground, as if he’s guilty. Sae-ro-yi thinks about President Jang’s assertion that one must seek forgiveness for any wrongdoing, and he wonders what they’ve done after taking his everything.

Sae-ro-yi asks Geun-won what he’s doing on the ground and says that his reaction makes his crimes too obvious. Geun-won squirms in Sae-ro-yi’s grasp, and Sae-ro-yi doesn’t show mercy. He punches Geun-won and asks why he didn’t immediately call the hospital. Geun-won begs that they talk this out, and Sae-ro-yi punches him again.

As Geun-won desperately crawls away, Sae-ro-yi demands to know why someone else is taking Geun-won’s punishment. Sae-ro-yi asks why Geun-won killed his father, and all Geun-won can do is apologize. Sae-ro-yi says that it’s too late because the person who should receive the apology is dead, and he tells Geun-won to apologize directly to his dead father.

Sae-ro-yi uncontrollably hits Geun-won, willing him dead and almost knocking him unconscious. Then, Sae-ro-yi grabs a nearby rock and approaches Geun-won. He yells at Geun-won to die and lifts the rock to throw at his father’s killer.

  
COMMENTS

I love a good angsty start to an underdog story. Consistent with the promotional materials, the first episode featured the theme of convictions and the value of living with strong beliefs, and it seems like those beliefs could put Sae-ro-yi behind bars. Seeing Sae-ro-yi’s convictions compared to his father’s sacrifice of his convictions to make a living made for interesting commentary on youth and innocence. This comparison lays a good foundation for the coming-of-age story, and I wonder what sacrifices Sae-ro-yi will come to make. It’s an interesting question — the balance of convictions and sociability — to pose from the beginning, and I hope that this theme will be the constant thread throughout the show.

The school expulsion scene revealed the conflicting fundamental values — integrity and power — between our protagonist and antagonist, and I’m interested to see how each side uses their values to justify their actions. In front of President Jang, Sae-ro-yi seemed bothered by his subservient father, and I think Dad didn’t realize how submissive his behavior was until he was standing in front of the two main influencers in his life. And in that moment, it became clear as day who mattered more. I’m sad to see Dad (and Sohn Hyun-joo) go so soon because I loved the father-son dynamic. Dad’s departure makes me wonder about Sae-ro-yi’s mother, who we know nothing about so far. Is she also gone? How does she influence Sae-ro-yi?

The first scene with Kim Da-mi was a cheeky start to the show and seemed to portray a young person’s intrepid approach to life. Everything in life can seem trivial and meaningless, and I think the comment on candid counselling was a meta touch, referencing the irony of therapy in that moment. It’s the blasé attitude about significant and dramatic wishes (like wishing for world destruction) that seems spot-on with a rebellious young spirit, and I’m looking forward to seeing how this character externalizes these emotions.

I really enjoy seeing Park Seo-joon in a commoner, more relatable role. To me, Sae-ro-yi is reminiscent of Park Seo-joon’s character in Fight My Way, just more tragic and less dumb. Of course, I’m just generalizing both characters, but I draw the comparison because I find Sae-ro-yi to be likeable and endearing, like Dong-man. And maybe Sae-ro-yi’s the haircut? Isn’t that the haircut that the Fight My Way coach had?

The first love storyline is adorable, and I love how Sae-ro-yi flouders as he tries to express his emotions. He goes from awkward and indirect, looking like a bumbling fool when he asked Soo-ah for her number, to fully honest and direct when he basically confessed his feelings for Soo-ah. I’m curious to see how Soo-ah ends up on the dark side (at least based on the posters) and where she leans in the gray area. It seemed like Sae-ro-yi’s father was the one person she truly cared about and respected, and I wonder how his influence will also impact her life. Only one way to find out… onto the next one!


 
RELATED POSTS

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

62

Required fields are marked *

I'm curious about the father. He's a good guy and he should know what kind of person his boss is. Was he so naive? The worst part, when he wanted his son to be in the same class of the son of his boss? Like oh yeah be in the class of the son of my awful boss, it's so a good idea to mix personnal and professional life!

The father-son scenes were great. I hope there will have flashbacks.

The rest was pretty non original. But I guess I will have to be patient and wait for the real beginning of the story.

6
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I mean who of us know absolutely everything about our bosses? And he wasn’t awful to Mr.Park, that was clear, because they worked together for a long time. This one incident showed the real deal and his real power obsessed face. And I highly doubt Mr.Park ever imagined that he would die the way he died and that his boss would try to cover up for his killer. And he said “if you’re in the same class” and “if you guys click”. He didn’t force his son and out of all people, he is the one knows, that his son would do things his own way.

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

His dad seemed kinda innocent to me. Like it wouldn't occur to him to think ppl would do bad things. But yeah, there is definitely potential for deeper history there.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I mean, when people talk about “unoriginal” do they think foundation of tragedy in person’s life somehow should be original? It’s basic for all of us as humans being and when you talk about tragedy it’s bound to be something that we already saw. Yes, his dad died and it was something, that we saw coming, because without it there wouldn’t be a catharsis for characters to move. One adult died and it affected as ripple the life of all young in this drama. One death changed everything for lead hero, his first love, and crew in his restaurant, I believe too. We watch stores like this to see the the growth of characters, for dialogues, atmosphere and acting. For me it was pretty interesting to see Oh Soo Ah and Park Sae Ro Yi relationship unfolding, interesting to see how his dad reacted to what his son did, interesting to se how his son reacted to the death of his dad and how he went ballistic on his father’s killer. And atmosphere in all those moments was incredible. I felt soul. And all those factors made me like and feel so much while I watched first episode. After countless dramas I think I now believe in dramas with good and refreshing (for me) atmospheres more, than dramas, that try hard to be “next best thing ever”. First type of dramas stay consistent and delivers great deal of character study, while those who belong to second category crumble without being able to maintain their integrity.
Also, I think Park Sae Ro Yi is my favorite male character in making. I don’t think he resembles Go Dong Man at all in any capacity just because they’re everyday man (made me release how uncommon is to have male protagonist to be just normal and fight for his convictions. Usually it’s female leads prerogative lol). Which is a compliment towards Park Seo Joon’s ability to create diverse type of characters.
TL;DR I loved first episode.

9
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

The non original part is not about the death of his father but about the rich jerk CEO with his bad son who corrupted the police and everyone around him to obtain what he wants. It's a very typical trope in Kdrama.

6
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

It’s a very typical trope in our world, not K-dramas. Money and power speaks. That’s why all media in all countries knows and shows the existence of people, who think they’re above the law and other humans just because they own a lot of money and that money give them power to manipulate situation for their own favor. Hard to ignore that corruption exist. Hard to ignore that rich people sons and daughters could be assholes due to how parents raised them and those rich parents would do everything to cover up for their child. Hard to ignore, that unbalanced power dynamic exist. In my country one guy killed another one in car accident and didn’t receive any punishment for his crime. The guy was filthy rich and no amount of public outrage could put him behind the bars. Another example is what’s happening right now in South Korea with singer Seungri. Everyone knows what he did, but he is still free from changers. A lot of stuff that happens in dramas (unless it’s some kind of fantasy) taken directly from what’s happening in our world. The drama is not presenting itself as original storytelling, it’s presenting itself as social commentary, character study and stylish revenge plot on those who wronged the hero. Even then, all k-dramas have some type of “typical tropes”. If this drama not original to you, that’s okay. No point of watching it, but that overall doesn’t mean, that it has nothing to say or present to audience. IMO.

6
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

It's about addition of the tropes. The father killed by the son of his boss in a car accident after his son was expelled from the school because of the same boy and his father. It's not really original. But like I said in my first comment, I'm waiting for the present story that looks more interesting.

5
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

That’s called coincidence and they happen to be in 100% korean dramas. Seeing fault in one coincidence makes you kinda obligated to see fault in all of them. Which is annoying feeling, that’s why I prefer to focus on story overall without nitpicking it into the peaces, when it’s not needed and trivial to bigger oicture. Otherwise there would be no drama to me to watch whatsoever. They all have some “tropes” and then broke others.

4

Rich kids do have a lot of power in this world. I've known a few. Even a few killers, due to dui's they got a slap on the wrist for. Imo, this is a very relatable and current issue. I think it's also driving certain political movements right now like bernie sanders. Parasite, the movie, is another example of how much these class divisions affect us.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

The scene where it seemed the father would agree with the President but then took his son's side was a nice surprise.
There isn't a lot to comment on in this episode, except the entire cast is already doing a great job.
I'm excited about the story to continue in Itaewon. I'm also curious about Kwon Nara joining the President's gang.

9
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

A solid premiere episode that’s backed by solid acting and directing that has me invested in the drama. I’m really interested to see how this underdog story evolves and the hero gets his well deserved revenge

10
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I really enjoyed the directing choices.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I unexpectedly enjoyed this. First episode already making me cry buckets. And this show will probably make me like PSJ once again. Glad this wasn't romcom but I actually really liked Soo Ah & Sae-ro yi's interactions. They look hella cute together but I'm afraid of how Soo Ah will turn to a baddie 😭 I'm thinking we'll get heartbroken when that time comes cause right now she's awesome.

7
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm worried that it might be Sae Ro Yi that will become the baddie.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I really like Park Saejoon's path as an actor, it's kinda diffrent. Let's see how this one goes

10
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Me, too. He has made excellent choices, and also showed a broad range of ability to play different types of characters. It took me a second try (dropped it the first time b/c I hated all those weird noises and emoji-like things they used, which I had never seen in a drama, as I usually hate romcoms), but I went back and just loved how much fun he had playing that OTT egotistical chaebol!

The only disappointment so far was She Was Pretty, which I think was a bad choice. The FL was so horrible that it was unwatchable, and I had to drop it due to her incessant shrieking like a banshee (I disliked her in Kill Me Heal Me, but she was practically calm in that drama compared to SWP, and I enjoyed that story so much. And now that I think about it, that's the first time I ever saw PSJ, and I loved his character, despite the annoying fauxcest, but at least he always knew that she wasn't his sister).

He's done a remarkable job choosing interesting dramas, with different character types. And that makes me love him as an actor. (I loved seeing his cameo in Parasite. Would love to see him in a future Bong Joon-ho film, but he might be too pretty for one of Director Bong's main characters, as he apparently likes actors who look like regular folks).

I have completely fallen out of "love" with an actor who used to be one of my favorites, due to his bad, lazy choices in dramas, and his reliance on his good looks rather than on any talent he might have other than looking pretty in closeups. So seeing favorites like PSJ and Jung Il-woo choose dramas that are interesting and challenging for them as actors, rather than a series of run of the mill romcoms, is refreshing.

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oh, I loved SWP, I rewatch it everytime I'm in need of a good laught, that drama was so fun to watch

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Wow just reading the recap makes me want to watch this drama! This episode works because I think it's not a far stretch to imagine this happening in real life. I love papa park and it's painful to read what happened to him. Can't wait to find out more!

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

@dramallama
Thanks for the recap! I'm with you! I too enjoy seeing Park Seo Joon in a commoner role. My fav is his Yoon Dongha character in Witch's Romance.

I hope I will like his love interest in this drama.

This is the first time I hear of the name Sae-ro-yi.

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

This first ep was super trophy and kind of annoying, but the second ep made up for it so I am in. Also, I totally didn't recognize Ahn Bo Hyun with the blonde hair, initially, so kudos to the actor. Anyway, I'm in and I like the first love line too, but I can see where it will go wrong.

6
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Tropey not trophy

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes it was full of tropes (it's kind of convenient when just one person destroys your life) but I absolutely loved it. And I imagine that's due to the performances and the deft production. In fact, I'd rather this as an extremely good first episode, predictability aside, because the emotions were all there.

4
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

"rate this" not "rather this"
I blame you.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Well, you can't go wrong with Park Seo Joon and Son Hyun Joo combo, they were just that awesome with different kind of dynamic in The Chronicles of Evil movie. And I honestly think that Park Seo Joon one of the best actors to create acting chemistry between any type of characters.
Also it's personal, but PSJ's dramas usually have one of the best rewatchability level to me. I still sometimes comeback to his old dramas. They always have that unique to them feeling, that I enjoy.

4
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Honestly I dont see all the tropes that everyone else did. I see the evil chaebol and the car accident leading to death , but other than that not so much.
I was not expecting our hero to try and murder someone. I'm curious about the friends he made in jail, I'm assuming we will get some flash backs.
I also am not sure who our female lead is? Is it Soo-ah and will she completely go to the dark side? I hope not because I really like her. Her practicality and honesty when she tells the father/son duo that she is not like them. Cant be like them.
I loved how the dad loved both Soo-ah and Sae-ro-yi. Also, the difference between them that Sae-ro-yi is so anti social but righteous and passionate and Soo-ah is outgoing but practical and focused on her goals, she cant afford Sae-ro-yi's ideals.

9
14
reply

Required fields are marked *

"I hope not because I really like her. Her practicality and honesty when she tells the father/son duo that she is not like them. Cant be like them."

This.

I liked how she was realistic about her situation. Their actions are very admirable. Standing up for the downtrodden, being unfailingly kind, standing up to bullies. These are not bad things at all but I think when you are in her position, it can be really hard to be that kind of person because you are mostly just trying to survive in a world where the cards are stacked against you.

10
13
reply

Required fields are marked *

this is true to an extent. kdramas have a problem of oversimplifying this or not giving enough complexities. at some point, you become selfish and it feeds right back into the problem that kept you down. i generally do not sympathize with these types of chracters tho. cos im not fun lol

3
12
reply

Required fields are marked *

I guess it's because she has no ties and no safety net. She is aging out of the system and here in the states I think that leaves some very young people in some very precarious positions. I dont know what S. Korea offers as support. And she has been very honest and upfront.
Of course there is always the chance she could turn darker.
I guess she doesnt come across as selfish to me because she isn't taking anything from anybody. She isn't even asking for sympathy or empathy.

7
7
reply

Required fields are marked *

"She isn't even asking for sympathy or empathy."

True. She's just trying to survive and more often than not that does not look pretty.

3

is working for a very harmful person not hurtful?

i understand what you're saying. in my position, i have ties and a safety net (sorta) and i am privileged. it's just that there's two types of people in the world lol

0

@boughtabride only 2 types? That feels too narrow.
Its makes me think of high class/low class
Christian/atheist
Madonna/whore
Good/bad

4

@bcampbell1662
im joking lol that would truly be impossible. life is too complicated. in the way i am oversimplifying it tho, shows tend to or want to say there are two sides; the writers clearly have a cause but they want to leave justenough interpretation to not ruffle feathers.

1

@boughtabride I thought, from seeing some of your other posts, that didnt seem right, lol.

1

@bcampbell1662 for sure! i am definitely idealistic and staunch in what i believe but i know it's not that simple. i honestly wish it was. sorry if i come off as incredibly snotty or on my high horse im not perfect and no ethical consumption under capitalism etc etc

3

@boughtabride not snotty, just passionate.

1

I think the line between survival and selfishness can get blurry.

Geun-Won is selfish for selfishness's sake. Soo-ah might turn selfish in order to survive. I'm more inclined to forgive hers than his.

6
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

i understand, i just disagree. well, unless there's a big amount of growth. but yea the getting out of harms way then feeding into that system to actively harm shtick gets odl for me

3

Hers is more forgivable than his simply because his position means he has more choice. He could simply choose to not be this way, her decision to do so is far more fraught.

3

@leetennant

i didnt even realize op mentioned geun won. yea, he sucks and i hope he [redacted]. capitalist scum ETC ETC

1

I identified so much with what Jo Yi-seo said. I've had a number of people older than me tell me that I have no reason to feel sad because I am so young. I actually had one lady from church laugh at me (after I had cried in her presence earlier while telling her what I was going through) and say "You call that problems. You're young. You haven't seen problems yet." It took me a while to accept that even though I am young, it's ok to say when I'm struggling and it's not a bad thing that someone as young as I am has struggles.

Another thing, Dad might as well have worn a neon sign that said: "I'm going to die soon". Every conversation he had with the characters just sounded like a farewell letter.

14
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

You are right, it is definitely ok to talk about it when you are struggling and maybe need help! That's how you find people that have similar problems and maybe some solutions/ideas that can help you. Or you might end up being the person that can help someone else. Unfortunately many of us have been raised to only talk about positive things, and to hide our problems - it's a really hard habit to break.

3
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

"Unfortunately many of us have been raised to only talk about positive things, and to hide our problems - it's a really hard habit to break."

Yes to this ☝. I was raised in a society where you say you're ok even when your hand has been chopped off and you're bleeding to death because "There are people in worse off situations than you". It IS a hard hard habit to break, but I think I'm getting there.

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think the worse thing today is the number of people that have no empathy for others. It really is a big problem in my country right now. It's so hard for me to understand people not wanting to help others. They need to stop and think they may be in need of help sometime. Give and you will receive. BTW the only reason I'd ever want to be rich is so I could give all my money away to those that need help.

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

It’s a break-neck pace, by the end of ep 1 a lot has transpired. Sae ro -yi is an interesting thinker, I’m curious where that will ultimately lead him.

3
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

wow one episode in and i'm already invested and crying

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

i cannot stand nara's acting or face because i'm a hater.i also saw a couple screencaps like "i'll get rich" and LOL bc he was in jail so...but also omg! i figure that this show will turn everything around and i love ensemble anti capitalist stuff but it can also be ruined. i'm gonna wait for a while. i feel like this is something i'd definitely like (minus...her) also it's interesting that PSJ picks/gets this role after parasite lol

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

oh BUT i really appreciate it being in itaewon and having a diverse cast. i think that's beautiful and fascinating so i hope they dont mess it up. one thing about fiery priest was..it's flaws in executing being there.

also the nature of itaewon...since it's so diverse...well i was going to say more but let's just say "my dream is to become rich" doesnt fit in with it.

also i love psj's terf bangs here...lmao

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

This was a solid premiere that introduced the cast well. Sad that the father died, ultimately providing weight and angst to his son's story. Their scenes were natural and pleasant to watch. I didn't read any detailed synopsis so I was only prepared for Dad's demise when I saw him riding the bike. The realistic camerawork during the crash was brutal.

We got a good peek at Sae Ro Yi's personality and convictions. He was quickly likable to me too. I'm excited to see how he maintains his personal beliefs and what obstacles he overcomes in the present.

3
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Very interesting!! Love the 2 episodes I saw. Felt like a Hindi movie :) :D with all the twists and shy romance.

3
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yeah that's what I felt too!

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

EP. 2 gets even better. Really strong acting by Park Seo-Joon who reminds me a lot of a young Jo In-Sung.

Very refreshing new show with a lot of vibrant energy dealing with young people and their dreams. A lot different than the usual stale K-drama affairs. :0)

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Ah so this is based off of a webtoon! That explains the opening scenes. I was trying to read all the names & details but the loud comic like colours prevented me from doing so.

Soo Ah may or may not be the female lead, but her grayness is so relatable to me. Everytime I thought she was going to disappoint me, she did just enough to not in my eyes. She's the most interesting character so far.

Loved the young girls opening. I've noticed that blonde hair seems to be a go to in kdramas to depict rebels & those with disregard for school rules. I find this almost as bothersome as tattoo & gang/criminal association.

I really liked the 2 eps of Itaewon Class even though the how he got to prison part was really predictable. But it was done so well I didn't mind..

Thank you for the recap.

4
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you @dramallama for the excellent recap. The only kdrama I have seen Park Seo-Joon in is HWARANG: THE POET WARRIOR YOUTH. I missed his last two dramas so I have eagerly awaited ITAEWON CLASS.
With a solid cast it was a great opening episode. It is difficult when an actor 30 years old is asked to play the 17/18 year old version of himself. PSJ did a great job. Like others have commented the father/son scenes were wonderful. If I had to pick a favorite scene in episode one it was where Dad introduced his son to the proper way of drinking soju. How one holds the bottle, how much to pour, the turning etc. It was a beautiful father/son moment that will help Sae-ro-yi get through some tough times.
A technical comment. Kudos to special effects people who put the crash scene together. Wow is all I can say.

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

While a lot/some people saw “cliche, jerk chaebol son, predictable dad death” in those two episodes I was actually really interested in theme, that this drama (and I guess webtoon too) choose.
It’s easy to see this drama as “rich/poor” rather than “active/passive”. But for me main philosophy was presented in the face of Park Sae Ro Yi and Oh Soo Ah. One sees wrong and goes against it without choosing passive role in society. Other sees wrong, knows it wrong, but ignores it, because thinks it’s harmful and unpractical to rebel against the system. To be honest, how many of us would’ve done the same thing as Park Sae Ro Yi? How many would’ve been eager to choose their active position over their high school diploma and their “future in good university”? People like Park Sae Ro Yi viewed as idealistic idiots, unpractical, stupid, stubborn, because they don’t know when to take step back for their own good. Society works hard to make people like him give up and bow down (in drama “to kneel”). On other hand we view people like Oh Soo Ah as some smart, who knows how to navigate in life and choose sides wise. Was it right for her to take money from people that destroyed two lives? But... She has no one to lean on. She just knows how to love herself more than others. Yet truth is she knows when to shut up and give people in power whatever they want to. So we keep hating those in power with money, but we do nothing against them, because for big portion of we think it’s not wise to rebel, to be bold, to be active and we choose to stay silent. We think it’s useless ambitions, because it’s such a hard thing to change and it’s almost impossible thing to do by yourself.
Then it gives us a question... how we even suppose to change our world, if we don’t rebel against people in power. If we see the right thing as unpractical and idealistic...
The whole time I watched the drama my focus was on the fact, that drama actually wants people to be a bit more stubborn, a bit more hotheads, a bit more active and rebellious. To be proud and don’t not compromise your principles because you want an easy path, even if it’s wrong one. At least that what I get, when I caught myself thinking, that I wish more people were like Park Sae Ro Yi and less people were like Oh Soo Ah. Yet, I’m just like her. I would never compromise myself against someone with power... Which makes it easier to that someone abuse their “power”, be it a rich CEO, politician, celebrity or simple teacher in the class room, that makes students come to after school hours even if it’s not obligatory and says, that they don’t have a choice, even when they do.

6
6
reply

Required fields are marked *

Wow--your comment really made me think about my high school days. I always stood up for the underdog--took a stand when I thought it was the right thing to do, even if it made my friends mad. I've been that way throughout my life. I don't know where that comes from--my parents were hardworking, honest people, and I suppose they stood up to wrong when they needed to, but I never witnessed it. I was very popular in high school, maybe I felt I had to set an example for others. I certainly am glad I'm the way I am--I'm 76 now, and don't expect to change to the end.

3
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

I guess that’s where I can sympathize with Oh Soo Ah. I’m willing to speak out my mind and standing up against my peers or people with same social status/slightly higher is not that hard for me, but to go to the exact extend of being expelled from school or fired from my work (do things that could actually harm my life in pretty strong negative ways basically)... that’s a bit problematic to me and I guess to a lot of other people too. Yes, I could do something, that would be viewed harmful to me, but only after giving it a lot of thoughts with pros and cons. That’s why it’s more admirable to see people, that willing to do and go though everything, just to stay true to themselves and people that never choose easy path over right one.

2
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I understand your point, I've never faced being removed from a position because of a moral stance--but I have quit a job in protest. I don't think Soo Ah speaks up for others, just herself. Gee, Sae Ro Yi was her best friend and she wouldn't stand up for him. It's so sad that money in this world usually wins.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

this is where i think people have problems understanding outcomes though. it depends on what you aren't willing to give up but without an education his life was gravely affected. but that's different than going to work at a place you know is actively harming, engaging in business that actively harms, basically being a (LOL this is a hyperbolic word) class traitor. it's all about context of the situation. she doesn't have to punch geun won and she wont get expelled. there's even examples where intervention isn't even advised. but when you have power yourself there's a difference in wielding it for self-preservation at the expense of others.

but people live the life the way they choose. they can. but they also have to face the consequences if those who are "under" them refuse to go along.

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

My understanding applies to teen Ph Soo Ah, but not adult one. I want to make it clear.

0

i like your interpretation. it said what i wanted to say.

the path of least resistance is a farce, though. because in the end that will come back to stay with you. i guess it's just what i believe, and what i do, and what i want to do. i hope the show will get a stronger stance on this. i feel like many creators want to iterate that fighting is more admirable than just going because complacency is complicity. i don't know....i always think that i got the space to be who i am and many others haven't but even without a class privilege the best leaders are the ones that never turned away. so that's not an excuse anymore

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

What episode is "reset scene" in itaewon class?

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

What male acotor tell female actress
To die when she tell him her story i dont understand .. I only watch ep.7 but im comfused in it .

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Currently Airing

Prime-Time Shows This Week
Monday-Tuesday (May 18-19) Wednesday-Thursday (May 20-21) Weekend (May 22-24)