K-Drama Premiere: “Itaewon Class” Preaches Self-Righteousness And Fighting For What Is Right
In its premiere week, Itaewon Class gives a backdrop about the main character’s beliefs and how it shaped his life’s decisions
Life is unpredictable and there may be moments when a person is at their lowest. Itaewon Class is about persevering during those moments while adhering to the belief that with a strong conviction, anybody can make it.
Premiere Week Rating:
Taking on the role of the main lead Park Sae Ro Yi is Park Seo Joon. Joining him in the perfect cast line up are Kim Da Mi as Jo Yi Seo, Yoo Jae Myung as Jang Dae Hee, Kwon Na Ra as Oh Soo Ah and Ahn Bo Hyun as Jang Geun Won.
As unique as his name is, Park Sae Ro Yi has an interesting personality. He believes in doing what is right and fearlessly sticks to his beliefs and convictions. However, crossing paths with the wrong people causes him to lose everything.
With a resolve as strong as steel, Park Sae Ro Yi surges forward to make a name for himself while also taking revenge on the people who caused him to suffer.
Premiere Week Recap
Park Sae Ro Yi is a teenager who lacks social skills but has a kind heart who believes in helping people in need. His father, Park Sung Il (Son Hyun Joo) too is a person with a warm heart and he works for Jangga company where Jang Dae Hee is the chairman. The father-son duo were living a happy life until one day when an unforeseen incident occurs.
Park Sae Ro Yi as a school transfer student
Due to the transfer of his father’s job location, Sae Ro Yi too has to change schools. He enrolls at Gwanjin High School where Jang Geun Won, the son of Jang Dae Hee is studying.
Oh Soo Ah, a girl from the Pajin Gaenari Orphanage sponsored by Jangga company and a close acquaintance of Sae Ro Yi’s father too is a student from the same school.
On his first day at school, Sae Ro Yi sees that a student is getting bullied. Unable to tolerate that behaviour, Sae Ro Yi gets up from his seat to stop the bullying. Soo Ah tries to stop him from meddling stating that the bully is Jang Geun Won, son of the chairman of Jangga.
Regardless, Sae Ro Yi interferes and asks Jang Geun Won to stop. At that moment, their homeroom teacher comes, but turns a blind eye to the bullying even though it was obvious. Geun Won states that the school plays by his rules resulting to him getting punched by Park Sae Ro Yi.
Matters escalate and the parents of both the students gather at the Principal’s office. The Principal is weak in front of the chairman of Jangga.
Hence, there is partiality in his treatment of the students. While Geun Won’s bullying gets unnoticed, Sae Ro Yi is about to get expelled.
Jang Dae Hee says that he would give a second chance to Sae Ro Yi and stop him from getting expelled if he apologizes to his son on his knees. Though he admits that he has done wrong by hitting a fellow classmate, Sae Ro Yi refuses to apologize because it is against his beliefs.
Knowing that his son only did what he thought was right, Park Sung Il supports his son’s decision to not apologize and also resigns from his job at Jangga.
An unfortunate accident and the after-events
After the happenings at school, Sae Ro Yi’s father takes him out to drink and has a heart to heart talk with his son. He expresses that of all things, he wants his son to stay confident and stay on his ground so that he can be proud of him.
Life went on as Sae Ro Yi’s father works on starting a new business. Meanwhile, friendship also ensues between Soo Ah and Sae Ro Yi when he helps her get to her college interview on time. However, things take a sour turn when Sae Ro Yi’s father gets hit in a traffic accident causing his death.
Later Sae Ro Yi finds out that the person who had caused the accident was Jang Geun Won. Out of anger he goes to the hospital Geun Won was admitted at and beats him up.
Before things would have gotten worse Soo Ah stops Sae Ro Yi from causing further damage and killing Geun Won. Due to the violence caused, Sae Ro Yi gets locked up in prison.
On the other hand, Geun Won gets away as someone else owns up for the accident caused due to his father’s influence over the police.
Jang Dae Hee visits Sae Ro Yi in prison and offers a chance to let him free under the condition that Park Sae Ro Yi apologizes to his son on his knees. Sae Ro Yi refuses his offer and spends the time in prison for two years.
Meanwhile, Jang Dae Hee learns that it was Oh Soo Ah who reported to the police about Sae Ro Yi’s whereabouts when he goes to confront Geun Won. He meets up with her offers her financial support for her college tuition and living expenses. Soo Ah doubts his intentions behind his benevolence but he does not reveal any and she takes up his offer.
Park Sae Ro Yi journey towards Itaewon
As Sae Ro Yi cannot fulfill his dream of becoming a police officer anymore since he has a criminal record, he plans to use his time at prison to study. He finds a book on Jang’s biography and aims to study it thoroughly after he learns that Jang Dae Hee too started small before he could raise a corporation. After getting released from prison, he intends to start his own business following his father’s dream.
Two years later, Sae Ro Yi gets released from prison and Soo Ah calls him over at Itaewon to meet. As discuss about their lives, Soo Ah tells him that she will be working at Jangga company after she graduates.
As for Sae Ro Yi, he wants to start his restaurant business and he wants to do it in Itaewon within seven years. Before he could do that, he would be going deep-sea fishing. While Soo Ah worries over the high rent at Itaewon as well as his decision to go the sea, Sae Ro Yi is firm on his intent.
Fast forward seven years into the future, Soo Ah is working at Jangga company and seems to be a valuable resouce and has earned the recognition of the top executive. As she goes to Itaewon for some work she reminisces about the past and wonders about how he she has not heard from Park Sae Ro Yi and how his memory too has faded.
As she walks by a store that seem to have been sold, she heard a voice calling out to her and encounters Sae Ro Yi. As he had promised, Park Sae Yo Ri had successfully set up a store in Itaewon exactly seven years later.
An inner monologue of Soo Ah says that when a 22-year-old Park Sae Yo Ri had told her of his plans, she doubted it. But now, he finally did it and owns a store that has an average premium of 200 million won. While the plan was absurd for anybody else, for him it was a natural thing to occur.
Premiere Week Afterthoughts
The first two episodes of Itaewon Class were pretty intense with the set of events escalating very fast. The main character, Park Sae Ro Yi goes through harsh circumstances because of his sense of justice and loses everything. However, he is stubborn and keeps clinging to his beliefs.
Park Seo Joon has always immersed himself in diverse roles and here too, he does not disappoint. Besides, he is probably the only person who can perfectly rock a chestnut hair style. The chemistry between Sae Ro Yi and his father was heartwarming and it is really unfortunate it was short-lived.
The premiere week episodes sets anticipations on how Park Sae Ro Yi will rise up against his formidable opponent. The upcoming episodes hold a lot of promises.
In spite of all the odds, what keeps going for Sae Ro Yi is his persistence as well his optimistic beliefs. These qualities makes Sae Ro Yi the person that the viewers would want to root for.
So far, it has been an introduction to how life has led Sae Ro Yi to his current path. The preview shows that more interesting characters including Kim Da Mi’s Jo Yi Seo are set to join him and that his opponents are watching out for his moves.
It will be interesting to see how every thing pans out. The soundtrack too is unbelievably good and it sounds as hopeful as the main character’s dreams.
Itaewon Class airs every Friday and Saturday via jTBC at 11 pm KST taking over the time-slot previously occupied by Chocolate. The drama is also available on Netflix.
Image and Video Credit: jTBC