Netflix's "Extracurricular" Talks About Teenage Life, Society, and Culture

Netflix's "Extracurricular" Talks About Teenage Life, Society, and Culture (Photo : Twitter, Instagram)

The fast-paced technology and economic rise affect a lot of how one survives in the society. The recent drama series "Extracurricular" is set to show teenagers coping up with their respective lives when one has fewer and dreams big.

The drama series tackles youth who try to survive life difficulties and achieve their goals. In their quest to make ends meet, they enter a dangerous world of violent crimes. The drama series is not the typical drama series that Korean actors use to portray. The culture and education are not vocal in expressing teenage life, but this drama changes it all.

"The series tells the story of teenagers who destroy their own lives by making wrong decisions. I wanted to throw out questions about crimes that happen around us in real life," Yoon Sin-ae statements as CEO of Studio 329.

The series touches on the subject about how society's support and guidance can lead students to make harmful choices, and face such consequences that are harsh and can destroy their lives.

The series is crafted by director Kim Jin-min, the one who helmed the 2015 drama "She Was Pretty" and 2007's "Time Between Dog and Wolf."

"The second year in high school is a time when people start to make their own decisions about life and take responsibility for them. However, whether one's intention was good or bad is yet unclear. If there had been a set answer in the story, I wouldn't have taken it. The script throws out a question that everyone could think about," director Kim said.

The drama is timely given the current issues South Korea is facing regarding the "Nth Room'' case, wherein young students are involved and extorted by so-called customers.

According to Yoon, "The incident was so shocking that I felt frightened. 'Extracurricular' could be an opportunity to discuss this uncomfortable reality. As a creator, I felt I had to deal with the issues of our society with more depth and responsibility."

One of the lead stars, actor Kim Dong-hee, who plays as Ji Soo, dreams of finishing his studies. To support his needs, it directed him to commit illegal acts. He started to program an app that serves as a platform for people who are looking for paid services or companionship. He hired an accomplice to help him in getting the business running. They get a percentage out of the money they receive from their customers. They divide the money with the women who join to work for them. Part of what Ji Soo earns is what he pays for his tuition fees and other personal needs.   

Actress Jung Da Bin, who portrays the character of Min-hee, at her young age, settles to work in the dating app to support her needs. She is famous in school and has a big future ahead. But she ended up with Ji Soo and their illegal activities, hiding from their family and friends their secret identity. The part of the series would then be as young as they can escape the danger they get into.

In modern society, life may demand a lot, especially for the youth, though the story is not new to other countries wherein youngsters live through the struggle to survive. The norm of society in South Korea doesn't tackle many issues about illegalities due to its sensitivity. But now, K-dramas are shifting to new tropes as they exceed different plots for their audience.   

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