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Get Ready For "Queen of the Classroom"

BY Joan MacDonald | Jun 11, 2013 09:44 PM EDT


Sharpen your pencils. The new teacher arrives this week and she has a reputation for being more than strict. She has even been called “The Queen of the Classroom.”

The 16-episode MBC drama, which begins this week, is a remake of a 2005 Japanese series, “Joo no Kyoshitsu.” The main character Ma Yeo Jin is a sixth grade teacher whose exacting ways cause students to rebel.

Ma believes that students should not be shielded from the world’s harsh realities but benefit from a more realistic sense of what to expect. To accomplish her goals, she introduces a system in which children can acquire classroom privileges but also, if they fail, be burdened with chores. She pushes her students so hard that they rebel, resorting to blackmail and mischief. Previous school dramas have portrayed teachers as shielding their children and students accepting their teacher’s guidance, so this drama offers something different.

Ko Hyun Jung plays the imperious teacher, Ma Yeo Jin. She is an actress who knows all about success. The actress debuted in the entertainment business as a Miss Korea runner-up, then starred in the critically acclaimed drama “Sandglass.” She retired from acting after marriage but then returned to acting and regained her top star status after her divorce.

Divorce can be cruel to a kdrama actress, but Ko became the highest paid actress on television after playing the power-hungry Lady Mishil in the historical drama “Queen Seonduk.” She was also the host of the recently cancelled talk show, the “Go Show.”

The rest of the cast has impressive credentials too. Her co-stars include Yoon Yuh Jung as Yong Hyun Ja. Yoon Yuh Jung is a veteran actress who has appeared in dozens of dramas, most recently as Bang Yang Sun in “King 2 Hearts.” Lee Ki Young plays Song Young Man. He appeared as Kwon Jae Kyu in “Incarnation of Money.” Jung Suk Young plays Goo Ji Song. He is currently playing Tae Man in “Secret of Birth” and was a detective in “Missing You.”

Choi Yoon Young plays Yang Min Hee. She played Choi Ho Young in “My Daughter, Seo Young.” Jin Kyung plays Jung Hwa Shin. The actress appears in “Gu Family Book” as Dam Yeo Wool’s nanny. Ricky Kim plays Justin. The Texas-born Korean-American actor played Eric in “Perfect Spy” and Steven Lee in “Midas.”

The series follows “When A Man Loves” and will be followed by “Two Weeks.”

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