Extracurricular Netflix Review: A gritty and take on teenagers, high school and dating

Extracurricular  Netflix Review: A gritty and take on teenagers, high school and dating

What is the story about?

Jisoo may come off as a shy model student, but he is actually running a sex racket for fellow students who want to earn money to get into A-list colleges and some simply want to lead a better life. He himself is in dire need for money as he has to pay college tuition. His risky double life seems to go on for a while, until he gets involved with a rich girl named Gyuri. The reckless troublemaker Minhee finds out about his business and starts blackmailing him. From hereon, there is no going back for Ji-soo and how he manages to face the adversities form the crux of the story.

Analysis

The show is a realistic and gripping take on how extreme poverty and circumstances can force someone to take up crime. There are several storylines with scenes of peer pressure and school bullying, family background filled with parental neglect and absence. What’s amazing is that despite the high levels of crime and violence, this drama almost comes off as relatable to each and everyone of us. 

To many students, college is an unattainable dream due to the tuition fees. So we are able to relate to Oh Ji-soo's desperation to earn money by illegal means. There Gyuri, who comes from a rich family, yet gets involved in Ji-soo's racket for the sheer thrill of it and as an escape from her parents. So Extracurricular is not a story that condemns its characters for their decisions. Instead, it takes a serious look at how the society around us shapes our choices. It is filled with many topics avoided such as violence, sex work, exploitation, bullying, mental health issues and harassment.

Performances

Kim Dong-hee, who portrays Jisoo is perfect  as an intense and profound character on the wrong path. Park Ju-hyun plays Gyuri, an eerie, double-sided personality; with a whole lot of finesse.  Together, the fresh young cast exceeds expectations and elevates the script to whole a new level.

Music & Other Departments

The music is perfectly suited for a high school dramas and has got a lot of contemporary tracks. The drama is a visual fest with director Kim Ji Min's fresh take on teen crime. The scriptwriter Jin Hae Sae delivers an awesome script with fleshed out characters and plot lines that would make your skin crawl.

Highlights

The show introduces you to a new concept in dating called as 'Compromised Dating'. It shows how poverty can push people over the edge and force them to take decisions they later would come to regret. 
 

Drawbacks

None, that I could think of.

Did I enjoy it?

It is a gritty take on dating, high schools, ambitions and the sheer pressure of succeeding in life. It shows how even the best of us might split in two due to pressure.

Do I recommend it?

Yes, if you are into high school teenage dramas, this show is a must watch.



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