Korean Drama Extracurricular Review

This show is dark. Really dark, I had a lot of mixed feelings about Ji Soo (Kim Dong Hee). At the end of the day, he is a sex trafficker or a pimp. He developed an app to connect sex workers with clients. The biggest issue I have is that one of the sex workers is a classmate, Seo Min Hee (Jung Da Bin aka the Ice Cream Girl), which means she is 16 or 17 years old since they are in 2nd year of high school (grade 11 to North Americans). Ji Soo has a hired manager, Mr. Lee (Choi Min Soo, OG thug) who works as a security guard and is on stand-by for the women in case they come across an asshole john.

On the flip side, Ji Soo’s mom ran away and his dad is a complete loser who gambles all of his money away. He was trying to make money to get through school. He is at the top of his class and considered a model student. He needed to pay for school, his supplies, and after-school lessons. He wanted to save up enough money to attend university. This kid literally has no one! As a high school student, it is hard to get by without parents and this is especially true in South Korea. South Korean high school students have an extremely demanding schedule. Basically, they have to study from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM and also attend school on Saturdays. Imagine doing this with no one. His teacher asked him what is dream was and he just wants a normal life was his response. How can you be mad at him? All of the sex workers that he brokers for do it by choice (sort of), they have a security guard and panic bracelet they can contact him, and they are allowed to cancel last minute if they don’t want to do it. This was the easiest way for him to make money with minimal time investment and he tries his best to protect his clients.

His world gets flipped upside down when his dad finds his cash stash and loses it in a cryptocurrency scam. On top of that, his classmate Bae Gyu Ri (Park Ju Hyun) stole his work phone. I personally hate this girl. She is from a rich family and has no idea why he does this. Ji Soo repeatedly tells Gyu Ri, this is just a game to you. It completely is just a game to her. She is doing it to control her parents and rebel. She doesn’t need the money and doesn’t understand the seriousness of Ji Soo’s situation. To be fair, she thinks that she is helping him. Her parents are also constantly trying to control her so I guess everyone’s struggles are different but still… come on girl, leave the boy alone!

This show was really well made. It’s only 10 episodes and I burned through it in two days (work days). In most Kdramas, everything is so beautiful and well kept. This setting of the entire show is the opposite. It was dark and dingy just like the subject matter. It touched on some serious social issues with bullying and poverty. Was Ji Soo really a bad person or did his circumstances lead him to this life?

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