(Writing this now before I totally plunge back into Work From Home madness.)
***WARNING: There might be SPOILERS. Then again, I might be the only one in my universe who has not seen this drama.***
1. I conducted a small survey on what to watch next after Crash Landing On You. Itaewon Class was the unanimous choice. However, work (from home) got in the way, and after reading the plot, synopsis and some feedback, I somewhat found it a bit boring. I was not drawn by the constant “inspiring story” descriptions that I read from other viewers. Yup, Agent P is dead inside.
2. I finally found time to watch it during Lenten break, and guess what? I’m glad that I gave it a chance. It’s been a while since I got so frustrated at the thought that I still want to pop in the next episode but I have to catch some sleep because the sun is about to rise in a few minutes. It’s that good. The plot was established right on the first episode and it never slowed down since then. There were side stories, but they were nicely woven into the main plot. Each of them has some sort of connection to the flow of the story instead of just put in randomly.
3. One of the reasons why I was not so keen on watching Itaewon Class is a shallow one: Park Seo Joon’s buzzcut. However, PSJ was so darned good in this, not to mention charismatic, that at some point, I totally forgot about the hair. In fact, I found it endearing whenever he smooths it out whenever Park Saeroyi is feeling frustrated or anxious. Also, his assortment of boots here is a total distraction.
The first time Park Seo Joon caught my attention was in Kill Me, Heal Me, one of the best K-dramas I’ve seen but I wasn’t able to write about it because I saw it at a time when this blog has turned into an Alden Richards Shrine. If not for Ji Sung’s simply excellent portrayal of all his seven characters, PSJ could’ve stolen that series away from him. After that, I only saw PSJ’s next dramas in snippets whenever my sister or my niece would watch them (She Was Pretty was particularly played and re-played to smithereens here because my sister loved it). Prior to Itaewon Class, his latest project that I saw, albeit just a cameo, was Parasite. It may be a cameo, but it’s a plot-establishing one.
Having renewed my interest on Park Seo Joon, I think this warrants a marathon viewing of his filmography. I just need the time and opportunity to do so.
4. True confession: I actually was hoping that they won’t go towards the “love line” route because the revenge drama is more than sufficient to keep this story going. I was kinda disappointed that Saeroyi did end up as a couple with one of the female leads (I won’t name who for the sake of those who haven’t seen it). I only felt sibling vibes between them from the beginning ’til the end. It would’ve been totally brave for the writers if they opt to keep the non-couple relationship intact and just leave the viewers hanging if they will end up together in the future or not. Meanwhile, I simply don’t think the other girl deserves Saeroyi. I was all prepared to throw something on my TV if they ended up together. Thankfully, they didn’t and my TV remained intact.
5. I’m also happy that this drama did not go the usual drama trope where the protagonist will be victorious in the end and because he’s a virtuous person and all that, he will forgive those who made his life a living hell. Nope, did not happen. That was oddly satisfying to me. I told you, the blogger is dead inside.
6. This drama managed to make me hit PAUSE just to say, “God, that was GOOD!” It was at the end of Episode 9.
7. Another scene that I love: when Saeroyi’s friend/investment manager Lee Ho Jin said, “it all started with me. I will be the one to end it.” And we all thought his character is just a sidelight, huh.
8. I love how Itaewon Class incorporated several issues that are prevalent in Korean society. Specifically: homophobia, racism (especially towards black people) and assault towards females. For the last one, I love that some of the key players in the story are strong female characters.
9. The only thing that I found to be off-putting was the numerous flashbacks. But they’re sometimes needed for the scene to make sense, so…
Also, prepare to have sundubu jjigae (soft tofu stew) cravings while watching this drama.
Overall, I guess, it’s safe to say that I’m recommending Itaewon Class?