If I had to pick just one word to describe the watch experience of this show, it would be “fresh.”
Show is just really good at what it sets out to do. It’s great at mixing the live-action with the animation stuff, and it’s also great at shining the spotlight on all our human thoughts, reactions and foibles. And Show manages to be funny and entertaining, while remaining heartfelt and relatable. Really impressive, all-around.
I’d suggest putting this on your list, even if you were originally going to give it a pass.
Slick, gritty, and with more than a dash of blood and violence, Show isn’t your typical nor traditional Korean drama, that’s for sure.
I think what Show does well, is tell its story in a manner that’s equal parts twisty, action-packed and emotionally compelling. In that sense, I feel like Show is quite well-rounded and perhaps therefore more able to reach a wider audience.
For example, you might not be into fight scenes per se, but you might be emotionally invested enough in our protagonist’s journey, to see it through anyway.
Very solid, and very bingeable, if you’re in the mood for a revenge tale with its fair share of grit.
An earnest, underdog story with lots of heart, Itaewon Class feels like a breath of fresh air, for a good part of its run.
Even though the backstory hinges on the idea of revenge, this always feels more like a story of an underdog trying to make good, while collecting a found family along the way.
In particular, I really appreciate the diversity that Itaewon Class embraces, in the course of peopling our drama world. I don’t think I’ve seen the same degree of diversity in another drama, to date.
Oddly, I feel like this drama is at once a Park Seo Joon vehicle, and yet, an ensemble drama, at the same time.
Our protagonist Park Sae Ro Yi is the backbone of this story, and it’s his journey, his thoughts, his philosophy and his unflagging determination that drives this story forward.
At the same time, it’s the ensemble of endearing characters around him that makes this drama world pop and come alive in such a heartwarming way. Altogether, an unusual dichotomy which I’m happy to embrace.
I felt the OTP loveline was rather too forced in Show’s final leg, and I also feel like Show’s focus shifts in the last stretch, such that Show loses some of its original charm, but I still enjoyed this one very well, overall.
This is a show that pretty much lives and dies by the combined charm of and chemistry between its OTP.
Park Min Young is lovely and manages to come across as both relatable and aspirational, while Kim Jae Wook shines in his first romantic leading man role, which just happens to be that of the Perfect Boyfriend with the power to melt you into a puddle on a regular basis.
The interactions between our OTP are a big highlight, from the very organic skinship – ranging from sexy sizzle to absentmindedly agreeable – to the wonderfully healthy conversations that they regularly share; a precious rarity in Dramaland.
Everything else is pretty much set-dressing for the main romance, but Show does a very solid job of making that set dressing generally pleasant and appealing, with a nice handful of likable secondary characters, a very pretty collection of OST tracks, and a keen spotlight on the fangirl experience.
Yes, Show does have its flaws, but that usually poofs away quite nicely, whenever the OTP shows up onscreen. It’s like magic fairy dust.