Flower – Flower Takes on Korea Instagram
Timothy Sun – Korean-American Netflix Junkie
We discuss the hit Korean drama “Itaewon Class.” We recommend watching before listening because of spoilers. We cover issues brought up, our favorite characters, cultural details you may have missed, and things that we love and are annoyed by.
Itaewon Class centers around Park Saeroyi, a stubbornly high principled middle school dropout with a criminal past, as he opens a small pub in the Itaewon neighborhood. He collects a motley crew of employees (“pied piper of misfits” – ManicMuse) as he tries to build his pub and get revenge on the powerful Jang family, who had ruined his life and killed his father.
First episode – Jan 31, 2020
Final episode – March 21, 2020
http://asianwiki.com/Itaewon_Class <–placing faces with names
- Park Saeroyi (Park Seo-joon)
- Parasite, Fight for My Way 쌈 마이 웨이, Midnight Runners
- Lawful Good
- Jo Yi-seo (Park Da-mi)
- Chaotic Good
- Taller than she’s portrayed (170cm)
- Choi Seung-kwon (Ryu Kyung-soo)
- Ma Hyeon-yi (Lee Joo-young)
- Kim To-ni (Chris Lyon)
- Jang Geun-soo (Kim Dong-hee)
- SKY Castle (Cha Seo-Joon)
- Jang Dae-hee (Yoo Jae-myung)
- Lawful evil? Neutral evil?
- Jang Geun-won (Ahn Bo-hyun)
- Chaotic evil – Most punchable face
- Oh Soo-ah (Kwon Nara)
- Member of Hello Venus and in a lot of commercials
- Kang Min-jung (Kim Hye-eun)
- Chef Park Jung-Gi (Lee Joon-Hyuk)
Who tries to look like Linus Kim
- Park Sung-Yeol (Son Hyun-Joo)
- Lee Ho-jin (Lee David)
- Kim Soon-rye (Kim Mi-kyeong)
- Detective Oh Byeong-heon (Yoon Kyeong-ho)
- Hong Seok-Cheon
Differences from the Webtoon
- The actors were made to try to match the webtoon as much as possible
- More backstory to create motivations, especially Soo-ah
- Originally named 꿀밤 (changed because the webtoon’s writer owned a real pub with that name)
- The order and situations when characters meet are a little different
- Park Saeroyi’s father opened a chicken hof, not a pocha
- Big car chase at the end
- Jang Dae-hee kneels his apology in his hospital room
- Portrayals of powerless members in Korean society
- The age gap between Yi-Seo and Saeroyi
- (I didn’t know she was trying to pretend to be a man at the beginning)
- How it was used against her in the competition
- Recent stories
- Withdrawal from Sookmyung Women’s University
- Discharged from army after surgery
- Hong Seok-cheon
- “Korean-ness” more about looks
- Assume English speaking (Han Hyun-min?)
- Blocked at the nightclub
- The jumping and hiding from foreigners
- Cross-cultural marriage
- Infantilization of foreigners
- How the show treated Kim To-ni’s character after they had made their point
- Dirt spoons vs. Gold spoons
- Criminal record
- Transgender & LGBT
- Did the issues feel like they were shoehorned in, or did they feel natural?
- How did it portray Itaewon and Gyungridan?
- Dominance of chaebol
- Food company
- CJ Food
- Baek Jong-won
- Good capitalism vs. bad capitalism or Good boss vs. Bad boss
Questions & Notes
- What was your favorite part?
- When Yi-seo kissed a passed out Saeroyi…
- How did you feel about Saeroyi’s reaction when Mr. Jang knelt?
- Did Soo-Ah get a good ending?
- Did Yi-Seo and Saeroyi make a sensible match or felt forced to please fans?
- Did it feel it petered out after episode 13? When it jumped to 4 years later?
- The gangster subplot. How do you feel about how it played out?
- Geun-won. How realistic is his character? No redeeming qualities?
- Which characters saw growth?
- Park Saeroyi wouldn’t have become successful without Mr. Jang.
- How did it break Korean drama cliches (and how did it stick to them)?
- Different vibe
- Subverted the myth of the Chaebol Prince
- Both Geun-won and Geun-soo
- Heroes not usually seen on Korean TV
- Love triangle/pentagon
- Underdog story
- Reaching coincidences
- The talk to the back
- Long pauses
- Gratuitous flashbacks and inner monologues
- Replaying the same pop songs
- Breaks cliches
- Sticks to cliches
- Weird stuff
- The detective’s daughter doesn’t age at all
- Is Saeroyi too annoyingly virtuous? Vulture–”He’s a paragon of moral virtue in XXL fits, with an almost astonishingly naïve capacity to do the right thing even at great personal cost.”
- Do you think with the popularity of “Itaewon Class” that more dramas will feature less represented characters in Korean society?