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Law School: Episodes 1-2 Open Thread

An on-campus death at the top law school in the country puts our protagonists at the center of a high-profile murder case, when they’re just settling in at the university. Suspicion abounds, relationships are more tangled than they initially seem, and the truth is hard to puzzle out. Who knew that law school would be actual murder?

 
EPISODES 1-2 WEECAP

I know the murder was in the promos, but for some reason I expected there to be more emphasis on the school part of Law School. I don’t mind that the drama drops us into the action immediately though, with a mock trial that becomes the murder scene of law professor SEO BYUNG-JU (Ahn Nae-sang)—who turns out to be the linchpin in the wheel of connections between our central characters. Immediately, everyone in the classroom is a possible suspect, although it’s Seo’s friend-turned-nemesis Professor YANG JONG-HOON (Kim Myung-min) who’s arrested for his murder.

Jong-hoon, nicknamed “Yangcrates” for his aggressive use of the Socratic method in his class, is the kind of righteous hardass that Kim plays so well. Is the smart, ruthless teacher who’s secretly soft for his students a well-worn cliche? Yes. Am I bothered? Absolutely not, because in the hands of an acting master like this, I know Yangcrates will be very satisfying to watch.

HAN JOON-HWI (Kim Bum), the school’s star student and Seo’s estranged nephew, seems closer to KANG SOL A (Ryu Hye-young) than to their other classmates, though he keeps a slight distance from everyone. Joon-hwi wants to become the righteous prosecutor his uncle failed to be, whereas Kang Sol A is on a mission to “get an apology from the law” that mistreated her.

They’re the most compelling of the band of first year law students we’re getting to know—especially since, by the end of Episode 2, Jong-hoon has exonerated himself and pointed the suspicion towards Joon-hwi instead. (A misdirect, I’m sure, but the drama doles out reveals deftly enough that it keeps the tension up.) I like the unlikely mix of ages, backgrounds and academic standings of our main crew, who all got into Joon-hwi’s coveted study group by signing his petition against Seo Byung-ju a few months ago.

Kim Myung-min is of course perfect, bringing his usual knifelike charisma to every scene even (especially?) when he’s silent. I really like Lee Jung-eun as his affable friend and colleague, KIM EUN-SOOK, although so far she’s gotten criminally little to do—photographic memory for students’ names notwithstanding. Kim Bum is very reserved in this role, so it’s hard to get a read on his performance.

Out of the students, I’m most enjoying empathetic, idealistic Sol A, who might be lagging academically but has a heart for justice that gives all of her professors a soft spot for her. Even stone-faced Jong-hoon, who protects and guides his kids behind the scenes as much as he rakes them over the coals in public. It’s clear that even though Seo Byung-ju all but forced him out of being a prosecutor, Jong-hoon takes his new mission as an educator as a near-holy vocation.

Sol A seems to be an unacknowledged favorite, likely because he’s been invested in her journey since he saw her as a prosecutor. Ryu Hye-young brings a bright, frazzled energy to the character that instantly takes me back to my university days. I loved the scene in the hallway after he’d pushed her nearly to vomiting with his questions—his reminder of the bold claims she’d made in her admission interview, and his blunt push to keep trying. His teaching method isn’t one I’d want to be on the business end of, but I’m here for how this mentor-student relationship might change them both.

On the whole I’m really enjoying the fast-paced, witty dialogue, the tense and shifting mystery, and this excellent cast of characters. I only have two reservations; firstly, the pedophile takes up entirely too much of the drama for my personal comfort. It’s well done, but I feel like I need a thousand showers. And secondly, it’s a bit hard to follow the story when it constantly jumps back and forth in time. We don’t have any handy wardrobe of hairstyle changes to help us differentiate, either.

I joke (mostly), but this is actually an occasion when Character Development Hairdos would be a great help! Why so needlessly realistic, Show? I found my head spinning trying to keep up with the confusing editing, given a huge cast of characters that we’re still getting to know. (Though I do enjoy the unusual realism of having two of the main ensemble cast having the same name and thus having to be referred to as Kang Sol A and B.)

Hopefully this will get better next week now we’re through the bulk of the exposition, and we can get down to the business of proving Joon-hwi innocent, because you know he is. I’m also looking forward to more low-stakes campus drama, like classmates leaving mean notes for Sol A telling her to stop breathing so loud in the library. That’s the petty law school beef we’re all here for.

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You know what's my opinion on this drama after 2 episodes? What the hell is going on??!!!

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I'm impressed with legal theory in this show! It's believable - the writers have gone for some accuracy here. Legal procedure on the other hand, is a laughable mess, but I can accept it because at least legal theory isn't so bad here. They haven't simplified it too much for the broader audience either, so it makes for some intelligent watching. Have to say that the murder however, is absurdly convoluted.

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Any thoughts on the identity of the murderer?

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Yes, the editing & time-skips. Do we blame the writer or the PD? Asianwiki doesn't even have an entry for the writer. There's one for the PD, but I haven't watched any of his stuff. Lucky me.

At this rate I won't be rushing to be the first to watch future projects for either of them.

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Why does everybody finds the time-skips confusing? It always says when the action takes place (when the timeline changes) and it's obvious when there are flashbacks.

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I like a drama that makes me pay attention and think haha! Didn’t mind the time jump that much

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Watched 1st episode and found myself totally confused with the time skips and the supposedly meaningful glances between characters. I dropped it right away and no plan of picking it up ever again.

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I didn't like it! May be it is OK for law studants! Characters were so predictable and cartoonish! How come a very well know prosecuter and teacher at the law school can have an attorney like he had one! I was done there 😁

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haha i'm pretty sure they explicitly say that he took a random public defender instead of his own attorney

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The drama did say that. Though if you blinked, you missed it.

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Because he asked and requested for one :)

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This is a great summary, @laica. I could not agree more as well when it comes to the Character Development Hairstyles, the Sol A / Sol B scenario (which delights me far more than it should, and I just know deep down inside Sol B is probably peeved she's not A), and in the needing a thousand showers (*shudder*).

I was enthusiastic after ep 1, but I have to say that waned considerable after ep 2. As I have no legal training or experience, it's easy for me to forgive all manner of sins the drama makes there, but it's listing pretty heavily makjang/non-sensical (and I just crawled across the line with Sisyphus, so non-sensical is not content I'm signing up for). I'm going to give it another week and then decide if I want to continue.

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Right? A few wigs would have solved so many problems!

Sol B is ABSOLUTELY peeved she is not A, and she would also die before admitting it

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Ha, she absolutely would! 😆

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What's nonsensical and makjang about it?

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It was kinda disapointing. We didn't have time to know a little bit the characters that we're already playing Cluedo...

The students are so different, they look like caricatures... I would like to see Lee Soo-Kyung in another kind of role once.

Kim Myung-Min's character reminded me Beethoven Virus's one, strict and cold but good teacher.

I don't really care about who killed the teacher, I just want to watch the school scenes.

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Cluedo is a good word for this drama, I give it two more eps before I quit.

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About Kim Myung-min, I agree. It's too much like several other roles he's done. He seemed to try hard to avoid being typecast in his younger years but I think he's in danger of it now.

The drama is basic blah.

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I seem to like it for the reasons others didn't lol. The legal jargon is a little hard to follow, but I'm here for the soapy secrets. I like when shows jump around in the timeline though Law School could have done a better job. The pedophile I could do without but the other characters seem interesting. I could relate so much to Sol A when she was gagging in class.

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I didn't mind the story since I knew we were basically getting HTGAWM Korea with this show. But I did not like the camerawork, and music trying to explain to us what are the BIG DRAMATIC MOMENTS.

And ditto on the thousand showers. Already ranted about the pedophile on the What We're Watching thread.

I'm gonna make an early prediction (that will probably be all kinds of wrong). For some reason my brain fixated on the fact that Kang Sol A has a twin sister and I think this is going to come into play soon. Maybe the twin is the one actually attending law school! Maybe they both are (alternating!) and the one who nearly threw up was the timid one compared to the feisty interviewee! (Yes I've been watching too many kdramas 😔)

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HTGAWM is one of the reasons I'm sticking in, and one more..... I kinda have a soft spot for legal dramas.

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Same. Read too much Perry Mason and John Grisham and watched way too many David E. Kelley shows as a child...

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Picked this up late but glad I did. I too ,have a soft spot for legal dramas, starting with books then grew up following Law and Order. I also binge-watched HTGAWM and thus this is right up my alley.

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Thumbs up to Ahn Nae Sang, loving him on screen.

Bring in all the legal theatrics, I'm in.
The classroom setup is just real enough. While I don't seem to click with the jail privileges he received....'who marks exam scripts while in jail'...but I'll let it pass since I have a bias with anything legal and, or medical. Besides the plot isn't over the top.

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The man is a former prosecutor and professor at the best school in the country. I don't find it that unbelievable that he would get privileges.

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True.

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Probably the only one here who isn’t digging Kang Sol A. Her attitude is unrealistic, she got into law school and is lagging behind her peers but she doesn’t seem like she’s doing much to try to keep up.. to me she’s the most unrealistic character in the drama so far. Ryu Hyeyoung doesn’t make the character any more likable either, less if anything because she basically has the same facial expression through the whole two episodes which has nothing to do with what the character is experiencing.

Liking the rest of the drama so far but may drop if her antics continue.

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I just started this show and am having the same issues with both the character Kang Sol A and Ryu Hyeyoung's acting.

Lee Sookyung is a much better actress, and despite Kang Sol B being pretty much the same character she has played many times over, she always makes me want to know about what makes her characters tick. Whereas I'm not at all interested in Sol A's backstory or inner thoughts or motivations no matter how much this show puts her out in front.

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Oh It seems like Ahn Nae-sang is everywhere.
He died quickly in A Good Supper (as cameo) and this too.

I found it ridiculous that Professor Yang found a piece of glasses on the floor..
I like Kim Myung-min but I probably will drop this drama...

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Ahn Nae Sang sure is everywhere since RSA

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Actually he is everywhere since 2019...
Including cameo, here are what he was in... Holy cow, he is busy!

2021 so far:
Law School, Mouse, L.U.C.A., A Good Supper, Royal Secret Agent
2020:
Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol, My Dangerous Wife, More Than Friends, 18 Again, Memorials, Welcome, Eccentric! Chef Moon and Hi Bye Mama
2019:
My Country: The New Age, Designated Survivor, Beautiful World, The Banker, The Light in Your Eyes,
Legal High, Liver or Die, Blessing of the Sea,
The Last Empress and Less than Evil

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I won’t even complain if he is in every drama. He is the one actor that deserves the versatile title.

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True facts!

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I've been re-watching some of my favorite dramas lately, and Ahn Nae-sang was in almost all of them lol. He definitely keeps busy.

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Thank you @laica <3.
I’m not fan of legal dramas but Kim Myung-min is worth it.
I said that about medical dramas but ended up loving “White Tower” and his mind blowing performance.

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i'm honestly in love with this drama- it's honestly mostly bc covid has kept me from campus for too long and the dynamics in this group make me so nostalgic for my days back in undergrad studying and stressing out with friends.
my biggest issue with the time skips is that i think some of them are labelled but others aren't, making it a bit confusing about when certain things are happening. it makes sense to do the storytelling like this, but i would have appreciated some clearer indicators as well
reading through this comments i'm surprised to see ppl describing the band of students as stereotypes bc i feel we're going to see more depth from them- why did calm doctor seungjae go absolutely berserk on lee manho? what's up with yeseul's boyfriend(?)- we were shown a snippet of them texting and later she tries to use kang sol a to dodge his call...
i've been watching the behind the scenes clips and i really love this cast and the attention to detail. the transitions between scenes where a character from the flashback or other scene moves past the camera, the wacky little zooms, even the obnoxious ost. even the tiniest moments, like at the beginning of ep. 1 where yeseul is putting on lip tint and when she salutes the guard you can see it staining her finger where she was blending it out lol
until i get the vaccine and get back on campus this fall, i'm definitely using this drama to fill the hole usually filled by irl cozy academic moments

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The best part of this premiere was reading your weecap, Laica. I love it. I wish I could love the drama, or even like it, but I'm afraid it's too makjang for me. I may read the next weecaps to enjoy your writing.

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I loved this from beginning. Why does everything have to be understood from the first moment? I'm in for the intrigue because I know all will be revealed eventually. It's the guessing that's fun. I totally love Kim Myung-min in everything I've seen him in. Anthony!!!! Jeong do-jeon!!!!!

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He's a slow burn kind of guy. I'm not expecting to see that explosive charisma till midway.
Anthony Kim ❤️, Sambong ❤️... Good times!

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My exact thoughts! I'm utterly intrigued at how this will unfold. Kim myung min indeed has a great eye for dramas. His characters are all generally the charismatic type yet so different. I'm always amazed at how perfectly he makes a distinction in his portrayal of each one.

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Right and his characters were not always likable ("More Beautiful Than A Flower," "White Tower" "SFD" but he's a brilliant and genuine actor and viewers got to see both human qualities and faults of the character.
He is probably the only actor who has made me root for an a-hole.

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Just started the drama, halfway thru the first episode and I'm not sure. I know it's a lot to handle for somebody who doesn't speak the language, and while I'm still reading the subtitles there's already another batch coming in. I have to pause a lot to understand what they're talking about! Aaah, this drama will take a long time for me to watch each episode. :(

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Two episodes and I am on the fence. It is too fast and too slow at the same time. It looks bit disjointed and time jumping does not help at all. Right now every character is bit of a caricature.
I am will give it two more episodes.

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I hit quite a number of rewinds for this drama because I kept getting confused with the time skips. You are right, though, the hairstyle changes would've helped in this case. The seasons also didn't help because the wardrobe are the same. The only tell tale for me is the pregnant Kim Eunsuk - and the not pregnant Kim Eunsuk. And she wasn't in a lot of scenes yet!

But, I loved how fast everything was from the get go. Made me appreciate withholding watching the first two eps until the third one came out. I'm afraid I might lose interest midway though because every episode is packed - and I hate waiting a week to find out what happens next.

Another thing I appreciate is that I know most of the actors and actresses here so it wasn't that hard to keep up with the faces.

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I forgot to mention - I don't feel comfortable with the pedo arc as well. I wish they'd get it over soon. :( I skipped mostly on those parts for the first 2 episodes.

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I have to say, I am waiting to start this one because the trailer gave me vibes of "How to Get Away With Murder", and I could put up with that one only so much (despite it being from the great Shonda team!). Luckily, I know nothing of the Korean legal system (with its prosecutors who all seem like rogue DAs???), so hopefully, I can't see the legal plot holes, but like someone said, I too am suffering from finishing Sisyphus, so please don't give me another show with holes where common sense and logic should be!

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Although very, very fast-paced that I had to rewind many times to get a grasp of what had just been said. But I’m quite loving the show. I’m all for the law school razzmatazz and the legal jargon that I sometimes have to Google. *looking at you How to get away with murder*
By the end of episode 1, I knew I’d found my new love. I love legal dramas and school dramas, so LAW SCHOOL is a perfect fit to indulge for the next few months.

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I'm so with you Rose! Who ARE all these people? I thought it was about law school life too & the murder derailed that to take a confusing cliche turn. Kim Bum who I really like usually, is so reserved he, is practically non existent-worst & wasted role for him ever !
I don't like the lead actress either- empathy yes but little depth and so one note- she is boring-- could be just bad directing -- I'm so disappointed so far-I'm giving it one more episode then moving to something else- any suggestions or faves out there?Thanks!!

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