Kdramas The Glory, Weak Hero Class 1, Juvenile Justice & More Raise Concern About Severity of School Violence in South Korea

Credit: NETFLIX ASIA/YouTube Screenshot

Credit: NETFLIX ASIA/YouTube Screenshot

Kdramas like The Glory, Weak Hero Class 1, Revenge of Others and Juvenile Justice made a buzz for their school violence-themed plots.

The year 2022 offered several hit series that truly took viewers’ breath away. Since last year, streaming services, including Netflix, Disney+, and Wavve, released popular Kdrama series that highlighted the violence occurring in society, especially school bullying and abuse among young individuals.

Despite bringing an important message to the viewers, the public expressed its concerns regarding the severity of school violence depicted in the aforesaid Kdramas and related series.

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Kdramas About School Violence Score Attention

Korea JoongAng Daily quoted statements from experts and viewers who said that foreign audiences feel shocked about the extent of the violence.

Among the comments on the Kdramas’ IMDb pages read:

“I don’t really know what Korean schools are like in real life, but on K-dramas, all Korean teenagers seem to be so mean and violent that it gives me goosebumps.”

“From what I’ve seen in ‘The Glory’ and ‘The King of Pigs,’ the level of violence in schools in Korea seems so high that I don’t think I’d ever want to experience school life in the country myself.”

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Professor of sociology at Sungkyunkwan University, Koo Jeong Woo, said that schools are where everyone experiences society firsthand. He also noted that schools are the starting point from which social problems “erupt.”

“School violence is widely used as subject material because it can elicit universal sympathy from the audience while showing conflict in a stimulating way,” he said.

Song Hye Kyo’s The Glory can be a great example of this case. For what it’s worth, the Kdrama depicts a bullied female high school student who drops out of school and plots her revenge. She eventually meets the perpetrators and starts moving by becoming the homeroom teacher of the child of one of her bullies.

The publication noted that the theme made The Glory, Weak Hero Class 1 and The King of Pigs receive a rated R category.

School Violence Issues Gain “Widespread Sympathy”

Pop culture critic Kim Seong Soo, on the other hand, said that school violence had been a theme in movies and dramas a long time ago. However, it rose to popularity because of streaming platforms.

“The level of violence and the depiction of it is freely adjustable on these streaming platforms. Since problems such as the polarization of wealth directly related to school violence is a global phenomenon, the story of victims’ self-relief, or private revenge, outside of the social system, can also gain widespread sympathy,” the expert went on.

But the experts reminded everyone that the school violence being depicted in series and movies should be taken with a grain of salt as everyone can be victims of violence. In the end, they suggested such depictions to be more constructive.

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