Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

There have been lots of buzzworthy K-drama releases this year, and Netflix’s “Extracurricular” was an unexpected surprise!

Directed by Kim Jin Min (“Lawless Lawyer,” “The Time Between Dog and Wolf,” “Marriage Contract”) and written by newcomer Jin Han Sae, “Extracurricular” is a gripping teen crime drama. Jin Han Sae describes the work as an emotionally-charged story that may dig at society’s wounds. It’s easily one of the darkest high school K-dramas we’ve come across.

Here are five reasons to check out “Extracurricular”!

1. Captivating Plot

MEDIA: Netflix

The plot revolves around top student Oh Ji Soo (Kim Dong Hee) and his illegal business. Things begin to go downhill for him when fellow student Bae Gyu Ri (Park Ju Hyun) discovers his secret and begins blackmailing him.

While Oh Ji Soo also deals with the usual high-school drama as he stresses over exams, develops a crush on a fellow student, and has unpleasant run-ins with the class bully, the added layer of his “business complications” raises the stakes considerably.

With an antihero as our lead and a heavy subject matter as the source of conflict, this is not your typical high school K-drama. 

2. Complex Protagonist

MEDIA: Netflix

Leading the drama is Kim Dong Hee as our antihero, Oh Ji Soo. His ability to portray such a deeply flawed character while eliciting sympathy from viewers is no small feat.

Kim Dong Hee made his acting debut just two years ago in 2018, but based on his interpretation of Oh Ji Soo, we can expect great things from his future works. His credits include roles in “A-Teen,” “A-Teen 2,” “Sky Castle,” and “Itaewon Class.” In 2019, he received the “Rising Star Award” at the Brand of the Year Awards.

3. Talented Cast

MEDIA: Netflix

The cast has various levels of acting experience. From Park Ju Hyun and Nam Yoon Soon, who are currently at the early stages of their careers, to the talented and well-respected veterans Choi Min SooPark Hyuk Kwon, and Kim Yeo Ji, each and every performance across the board is praiseworthy.

Jung Da Bin in particular, who is a 2000-liner and in terms of age should be grouped with fellow castmates Kim Dong Hee and Nam Yoon Soon, has been active as an actress for a staggering 17 years!

Her powerful portrayal of Seo Min Hee was surprising and completely different from the roles she had taken on before. This shows her great potential as a future leading lady.

4. Great Cinematography & Editing

Extracurricular

Some K-dramas will falter in cinematography if the script, plot, and cast are delivering great performances, but “Extracurricular” does not. Even to a casual viewer, it is easy to tell the drama was filmed with great attention to detail and edited by a skilled team. It has great framing, pacing, and well-executed scenes.

5. Lasting Emotional Impression

MEDIA: Netflix

An important mark of a good drama is how much it engages audience members emotonally. “Extracurricular” draws viewers in during the course of the series and leaves a lasting impression even after it ends.

Writer Jin Han Sae expressed his concerns of perhaps unintentionally glamorizing the crimes portrayed in the drama, As such, he frequently sought opinions from those around him. His careful handling of the subject matter undoubtedly resulted in a profoundly moving story of the importance of morals and how far is too far in the name of survival.


Check out the trailer for “Extracurricular” below, then watch the show yourself on Netflix!

Let us know your thoughts on “Extracurricular” by tweeting to us @whatthekpop1!

Papillon8689 has been a K-pop fan since 2009.  In her spare time, she enjoys watching K-dramas and more K-dramas. She enjoys music from various K-pop groups though Super Junior is her number 1!

MEDIA: As Credited