Hierarchy Full Review: Despite Lee Chae Min’s best efforts, Roh Jeong Eui starrer is messy and overdone

After watching the first episode and reviewing it, we went ahead and watched all of Netflix’s latest K-drama Hierarchy and here’s the full review. Read below.

Ayushi Agrawal
Written by Ayushi Agrawal , Journalist
Updated on Jun 09, 2024 | 08:42 PM IST | 571.5K
Hierarchy stills: courtesy of Netflix
Hierarchy stills: courtesy of Netflix

Name: Hierarchy

Premiere Date: 7 June, 2024

Cast: Roh Jeong Eui, Lee Chae Min, Kim Jae Won, Ji Hye Won, Lee Won Jung

Director: Bae Hyeon Jin

Writer: Chu Hye Mi

No. of episodes: 7

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Language: Korean

Where to watch: Netflix

Hierarchy storyline

A prestigious school and a quietly covered-up death mystery, Hierarchy begins with the entrance of a new student at Jooshin High School. Lee Chae Min who plays Kang Ha, seems to be a naive and daring transfer kid at the institution. Soon he rattles the complex social standing at the school, creating a fuss as the system comes undone. Jung Jaei, played by Roh Jeong Eui, is the Queen of the school who has returned from her USA visit and decided to break up with her long-term boyfriend Kim Rian, played by Kim Jae Won. With revenge, infatuation, jealousy, friendship, and more entangling, will Kang Ha be able to survive the mess? 

Watch Hierarchy teaser


Initial reaction to Hierarchy

The elite school concept is a familiar territory for K-drama fans who have been introduced to the cutthroat nature of Korean academics over the years. From the days of Dream High to some very recent, more diluted storylines that cover similar topics as well as all-time fan favorites like SKY Castle have very well displayed the desperateness among the teens to come out on top. 

In fact, the lead star of the show, Lee Chae Min was previously seen in another Korean series centered on schooling in Crash Course in Romance. And while it isn’t uncommon for younger actors to take on student roles, and even older ones as recently. seen in Lovely Runner where 32-year-old Byeon Woo Seok became a high schooler, it does end up putting the actor in a box when the roles are successive. 

Hierarchy stills: courtesy of Netflix

Acting performances in Hierarchy

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The verdict hasn’t really changed much after watching the first episode and all of Hierarchy but here are some key points. Kim Jae Won has grossly underperformed while also displaying so much potential in the same show. I did not know it was possible to do both things simultaneously but the actor manages to not be very amazing at the role of Kim Rian but show that he can very much do a warm, more welcoming character, a glimpse of which we received in King the Lang. Surprisingly, the stoic boy arc did not work out very well for him. Another very important and unmissable point has to be the lackluster makeup of the ‘richest boy in school. It did not match the vibe at all and definitely needed more than a few edits. 

On the other hand, Roh Jeong Eui does not gel with the good girl role as she appears more confused than caring as Jung Jaei. Her small demeanor appears ghastly drawn out in comparison to fellow actors, especially Lee Chae Min who pulls through despite the challenges presented by the script.

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Meanwhile, Ji Hye Won and Lee Won Jung deserve more praise for their portrayals as the two bring out various emotions from the viewers. Any shortcomings are more from the plot’s end than their own as the two pull complex expressions with seeming ease. 


All the things that went wrong with Hierarchy

While the thought seems to be there, Hierarchy is unable to pull off a well-done execution. The vague ending, which did get a little better thanks to the post-credits scene, however, fell flat to what could’ve been a deciding point. The show seems to want to put everyone in a good light rather than giving the rightful harsh and scathing ends to some of its key characters, especially Lee Won Jung. 

As a viewer it is difficult to point out if his characters are good or bad considering the various layers presented and the same would be the case for Ji Hye Won and many others, but the lack of clarity on their standing makes for a lukewarm closure. 

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Coming to the styling for the students, especially that of Roh Jeong Eui, the supposed vision failed to be executed well as in many scenes her ‘sophisticated’ dressing, albeit under the wants of her tyrannical father, seemed too much for a high schooler. 

The location team seems to have done its part in finding some of the best spots for filming however, the abrupt cuts and disrupted flow in many dialogues made for a rather jarring experience.  


Final review for Hierarchy

Despite a potential hit on their hands and a tried-and-tested concept in the script, Hierarchy misses the mark by a large difference as the want to end things on a good note supersedes the want for a clear and well-thought progression. With fancy settings but no real, gritty visuals, the show makes for only a visual affair that neither moves nor empathises with the audience. 

With badly delivered dialogues and jaded relationship charts, Hierarchy makes it obvious that it could’ve been much more.

ALSO READ: Hierarchy Early Review: Lee Chae Min and Roh Jeong Eui take one too many pages out of Spanish show Elite

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About The Author

After completing her engineering, Ayushi followed her passion for journalism and has been a professional writer for over 4 

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Credits: Netflix
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