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Netflix k-drama that is originalExtracurricular” subverts old-fashioned senior high sch l teen drama cliches by exploring issues like compensated relationship.
By Jianne Soriano, 19 May 20 06 43 GMT
Though Netflix series Extracurricular might appear to be an average sch l that is high, it is anything but. Rather, itвЂ™s an intense take on severe issues like compensated dating and bullyingвЂ”a bit like the popular drama Sch l, but with more darkness much less love. While Extracurricular begins strong and contains a novel concept, it becomes less attractive as you move further through its 10 episodes. In its quest to go away from senior high sch l drama cliches, the show loses focus while trying to straddle numerous issues that are social.
Model Scholar Gone Bad
Extracurricular features four main teenage characters. ThereвЂ™s loner that is awkward Ji-s , headstrong feminine lead Bae Gyu-ri, pretty girl Seo Min-hee, and class bully Kwak Ki-tae. ThereвЂ™s something more than meets the eye for each of these characters.
Oh Ji-s (Kim Dong-hee), could be the seriesвЂ™ main character. With perfect grades and attendance, he seems on course to wait certainly one of South KoreaвЂ™s top three universities that areвЂњSKY. Even though he’s got high educational potential, Jis lacks aspiration and just sees college as a prerequisite for a quiet, normal life.
Unfortuitously, attaining that normalcy is easier said than done. Ji-s вЂ™s parents are absent from his life, in which he has to support himself financially. To go to university, he needs nine million won for costs and cost of living. Enter his вЂњextracurricularвЂќ part hustle outwardly mild-mannered Ji-s secretly manages a group of girls participating in compensated relationship. After Ji-s comes with an unfortunate encounter with Bae Gyu-ri, his side hustle begins unraveling, with ripple effects that ensnare one other two teenage leads.
Core to Extracurricular is the concept of paid dating, where typically older guys, and quite often women, pay more youthful individuals for companionship. Often that companionship just involves activities like eating together or karaoke, but sexual tasks are not uncommon. A lot of women who participate in compensated dating arenвЂ™t from low-income backgrounds attempting to endure, but rather from middle-class backgrounds trying to purchase luxury g ds.
Paid dating exists in various Asian communities. Japan calls the practice вЂњenjo kosaiвЂќ or the вЂњJK company,вЂќ while Hong Kong features its own variety. In South Korea, paid dating is recognized as a kind of prostitution, plus the event exposes a number of the challenges Korea faces around the objectification and exploitation of females.
Led actor Kim Dong-hee mentioned that Extracurricular reminded him regarding the Nth space situation, by which females had been blackmailed into performing intimate acts on videos that later on circulated in Telegram talk groups between 2018 and 2020. ThereвЂ™s also the Burning Sun scandal, where top Korean superstars hired prostitutes, committed rape, and filmed women without their consent. Burning SunвЂ™s perpetrators read such as a whoвЂ™s who of Korean entertainment, including Choi Jong-h n of F.T. Island and Jung Jong-young of Drug Restaurant.
Extracurricular mainly tries to explore the traumas of compensated dating through Min-hee, who does paid dating so that you can buy expensive items and her boyfriend Ki-taeвЂ™s gaming habit. Following a traumatic encounter with a client, Min-hee experiences a PTSD-instigated anxiety attack and canвЂ™t continue working. Nevertheless, this portrayal feels shallow. As the series shows Min-hee experiencing generalized angst, it doesnвЂ™t thoroughly depict other PTSD symptoms like hypervigilance nor portray the devastating dehumanization and disorientation that many survivors of trauma experience. This means audiences canвЂ™t fully empathize with Min-hee, and completely understand the devastating consequences of a society that treats women like disposable items.
Sprinkles of Social Commentary
Beyond compensated dating, Extracurricular touches upon a number of social issues relevant to todayвЂ™s South youth that is korean. Included in these are bullying, scholastic pressure, and parental force. Unfortuitously, it doesnвЂ™t offer anything new on these fronts when compared with other run for the mill teenage dramas.
For example, Ki-tae (Nam Y n-s ) bullies Ji-s . Nevertheless, Extracurricular provides only cursory insight into why Ki-tae targeted Ji-s into the first place. It never meaningfully explores Ki-taeвЂ™s background that is personal moral compass, and so misses a chance to shed much deeper insight into the therapy of bullies and bullying. This is quite disappointing given the serious consequences of sch l bullying in South Korea.
Extracurricular also touches on the tough education system that Southern Korean students go through. Ji-s studies all of the timeвЂ”even when operating their side company. He makes use of their earnings perhaps not for luxury items, but also for their regular college expenses, cram sch ls, and finally college. Nonetheless, the truth that Ji-s magically earns g d grades but still has time for the part hustle belies the challenges that young South Koreans from low-income backgrounds must face to accomplish scholastic success. We never see a case where an exhausted Ji-s must ditch a 11pm cram sch l session to set up a compensated date, for example.
Gyu-riвЂ™s moms and dads also exemplify the high, and quite often impractical, objectives that Korean along with other East Asian parents place on the offspring. As bigshots into the entertainment industry, Gyu-riвЂ™s parents are gr ming her to just take on the family businessвЂ”as is frequent among South KoreaвЂ™s chaebol families. Gyu-ri feels little agency over her life, and joins ldssingles com review Ji-s вЂ™s business in an effort to liberate from her moms and dads. Here t Extracurricular falls short. Although some sparks do travel between Gyu-ri and her parents, sheвЂ™s still able to sneak away with ease and simply take taxis alone to wherever she pleases. That doesnвЂ™t l k like a particularly accurate depiction of the son or daughter that has no freedom.
Maybe Not Your heroes that are typical
Nevertheless, Extracurricular has its qualities that are redeeming.
Among the showвЂ™s strongest points is the fact that it does not inherently portray characters as g d or evil. Most of the primary characters have actually ethical failings; Ji-s arranges criminal task, Gyu-ri blackmails Ji-s , Min-hee partcipates in what Korea considers prostitution, and Ki-tae is just a bully. The drama avoids condemning these individuals solely because of their actions, and alternatively showcases situations in which the audience make their own judgments.
Fans of Itaewon Class and Sky Castle will even relish exactly how Kim Dong-hee shines as Ji-s , and depicts the character in an manner that is emotionally complex. Park J -hyun additionally executes well as she dabbles with Gyu-riвЂ™s tendencies to switch between a personality that is innocent downright crazy. Interestingly, Park only has one drama to her name before Extracurricular, though weвЂ™re confident sheвЂ™s well on her way to developing by herself in the South entertainment scene that is korean.
Extracurricular is really a solid departure from the cliched high sch l drama genre, because it presents unique social issues. But, what was said to be a dark and intense show divides its attention among a lot of social problems, and does not correctly explore enough of them. However, this K-drama has its qualities that are redeeming and also at minimum fans of Kim Dong-hee or Park J -hyun will relish seeing their idols shine on screen.