Sometimes an itch to binge overtakes you and you have to give in. Thankfully, a few years ago, I started putting dramas On Hold on My Drama List instead of just dropping them when my mood didn’t fit the drama. I started with Revenge of Others, slid over to Weak Hero Class 1, and rounded out my trio with All of Us Are Dead. Find out which one I connected with the most, and which one I recommend for the cold winter nights to come.
You might sense a theme here, and by the time I hit play on the third drama, I was really starting to analyze my state of mind. My conclusion is that seeing young adults fight really hard to survive gave me hope for future generations. I’m not going to dwell too hard on that. One big theme I did pull away from all of them was a bit unsettling: You can not depend on adults to come and save you, survival is all up to you and your peers. Chew on that…
Revenge of Others MDL Synopsis:
Ok Chan Mi is a 19-year-old high school student. She used to be a shooter for a high school team. One day, Ok Chan Mi’s twin brother dies. She chases after the truth related to his death. She gets involved with Ji Soo Heon. On behalf of bullied students, Ji Soo Heon takes revenge on their tormentors.
The cast of character is this drama was very strong on both the male and the female side. The mystery of how Ok Chan Mi’s twin died unravels as the drama progresses, and we’re introduced to many characters who could have pushed her brother to his death. Ji Soo Heon works with his friend Tae So Yeon to get revenge for the helpless, which leads to some pretty brutal beatings. There are very few dependable adults who show up in the drama, and most of the time the students are one step ahead of the cops. The police show up trying to first solve who beat a sexual assault perpetrator—who wasn’t prosecuted and was allowed back to school—and then eventually investigate the twin’s murder after it’s revealed he didn’t commit suicide.
I really enjoyed binging this one because it allowed me to follow the clues along with Ok Chan Mi and worry that they’d all be found out by the police before they could solve the murder mystery. I did have to wait on the last 2 weeks of episodes to air, but I feel the pace when you’re binging makes the mystery very solid and the growth arc of the characters satisfying. I loved Shin Ye Eun in He is Psychometric and she had a very similar feel here. I also love Seo Ji Hoon and found his character’s mystery as compelling as the main one. The star of this drama really was Lomon, though. His fighting skills and winning smile really lit up the screen. He is the reason I went back to the third drama in my binge, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for him.
Weak Hero Class 1 MDL Synopsis:
Yeon Shi Eun is a model student who ranks at the top of his high school. Physically, Yeon Shi Eun appears weak, but by using his wits and psychology, he fights against the violence that takes place inside and outside of his school.
This drama is brutal. There is no other way to put the beatings that happen throughout the show. Each one escalates so you start to wonder how these kids are still alive. This is a prequel to the webtoon where the main character Yeon Shi Eun (Park Ji Hoon) transfers to a new school and fights the bullies all on his own. He’s book savvy enough when the show starts, but it takes him teaming up with Ahn Soo Ho (Choi Hyun Wook) to learn the fighting skills he’ll need in the future. The trio friendship with Oh Beom Seok (Hong Kyung) really pushes the narrative and seeing their transformations was both fascinating and heartbreaking. I did feel that three main leads really produced stellar performances and stood out.
All of Us Are Dead MDL Synopsis:
A high school becomes ground zero for a zombie virus outbreak. Trapped students must fight their way out — or turn into one of the rabid infected.
This was a pretty straight forward zombie survival show. The kids and the bond they create is the highlight of the drama, along with the adults who pop up and are willing to sacrifice themselves to save their children. The cast in this one really stood out to me. SO many great performances. Every time we lost someone in the group, your heart felt like it was ripped out, and yet you had to just keep running. This poor cast probably spent 60% of the filming running and the other 40% looking like they were locked in a small space. The part I loved the most is how well they captured humanity. Not just the good either. Just like the other shows, this one has bullies, and they are the reason the virus even exists. They are horrible, and unfortunately for our little group of survivors, the bullies aren’t eaten first. I think the level of acting from what is considered side characters was the part I enjoyed the most. They all made me really love or hate them. I am excited for season 2!
Rating and Recommend
I know the intended audience for the first two (source material and show) is probably kids who just graduated or are still in the trenches of high school. The idea that adults are not to be depended upon is sad but understandable. With that in mind, I feel like Weak Hero Class 1 and its follow up season 2 should probably get a higher rating than I gave it, but it was a rough watch and left me feeling very hopeless. I do still think all three shows are worth watching if you can handle violence. They all have great young actors who carried the dramas and are going to take on many leading roles in the future. They are all super talented. I don’t know if I’d recommend bingeing all three in succession the way I did, but I think each one is a great binge, and they are all at 12 episodes or less.
What drama did you put on hold this year that you might want to revisit?
Until the next binge,
Dramas With a Side of Kimchi