Pinkvilla Picks: Craving a twisted thrilling series? Kim Dong Hee's K drama Extracurricular is the way to go
[In what is an atypical high school K-drama, Extracurricular digs deep into the darkness that exists within humanity with the motto being, 'What goes around comes around.' With a talented cast, headlined by Kim Don-hee, Extracurricular is a must-watch for thrill-seeking enthusiasts.
OTT has been thriving and how during the quarantine season as people, flocked at their homes, are turning to movies and tv shows to keep them company. We're all in dire need of a distraction from this harsh reality, that has become our lives. Hence, we're on binge-watching sessions catching up on the films we missed in theatres and the shows we promised to watch before we die. There are countless options to pick from with genres ranging from romance, comedy, drama, thriller, murder mystery, etc.
For today, we decided that the Pinkvilla Pick should be the 2020 K-drama, Extracurricular. While hardcore K-drama enthusiasts can't stop raving about the unconventional series; which is an atypical high school drama, many may not be aware of the thrilling show. First, let's get to the storyline. The premise of Extracurricular centers around high school student Oh Ji-soo (Kim Dong-hee), whose academic brilliance astounds and irritates his teachers. While Ji-soo may seem like an average joe loner who just likes to keep to himself and is a constant target for the school bullies, there's a much darker edge to him.
The darkness lies in the fact that Ji-soo is the mastermind of a sex-trafficking business as he provides security to the girls in the said business. His main goal for embracing such an illegal activity is because he wants to lead a normal life (school, graduation, a good job and a family) and for that one needs quick money. While everything may seem hunky-dory for the teenager, trouble arises when his high school crush, Bae Gyu-ri (Park Joo-hyun), finds out about Ji-soo's 'extracurricular' activities, so to speak. Other players in the game include Seo Min-hee (Jung Da-bin), Ji-soo classmate who is also involved in the business and Kwak Ki-tae (Nam Yoon-so), the class bully and Gyu-ri's boyfriend.
Moreover, we have Lee Whang-chul (Choi Min-soo), Ji-soo's right-hand man who is a one-man army, Cho Jin-woo (Park Hyuk-kwon), Ji-soo's teacher and confidant and Lee Hae-gyoung (Kim Yeo-jin), the police officer hell-bent on finding out about the identity of 'Uncle,' Ji-soo's alias name.
To say that Extracurricular is the opposite of what a stereotypical teenage drama would be is an understatement. With the motto of 'What goes around comes around,' and 'Every action has a reaction,' the K-drama digs deep into the nitty-gritty of how money can make you go to the extreme. Each character on the show is neither a hero nor a villain but rather they are victims of circumstances. For Ji-soo, it's his parents' abandonment and self-sufficiency that overrules his actions while for Gyu-ri, it's the claws of her ambitious parents that is tearing her apart and awakening her rebellious nature.
Headlining the cast is Dong-hee, who fans will be familiar with as Jang Guen-soo in the hugely popular 2020 K-drama, Itaewon Class. Dong-hee's lead act in Extracurricular is mesmerising as the 20-year-old actor digs deep into the intricacies of his complex character. To see his acting range in each episode as the drama unfolds is a delightful watch. Similarly, Joo-hyun is brilliant as Gyu-ri, who walks the tightrope between sympathetic and sadistic. Even the chemistry between Ji-soo and Gyu-ri, which has a romantic edge but doesn't let it dictate the storyline completely, is amongst the highlights of the thriller. The supporting cast has done an amazing job of bringing forward the eccentricities of each character with varying shades of grey to keep you intrigued throughout the series.
Extracurricular's gut-wrenching climax is sure to leave you in a mess not just for its gory approach but the fact that it's an open ending. It's rare for K-dramas to have a potential season 2 but the way the makers ended Extracurricular, the series demands another season as fans would want to know what happened to the characters post the supposed 'end.' Given that it's a Netflix series, we could get an announcement in the near future regarding season 2 as the first season was so well-received.
Check out the thrilling trailer of Kim Dong-hee's Extracurricular below:
ALSO READ: Pinkvilla Picks: 5 reasons why Park Seo Joon and Kim Da Mi's Itaewon Class is the best K drama of 2020 so far
If you had to recommend a movie or series to everyone else amidst the quarantine period, which one would you suggest? Let us know your picks in the comments section below.
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