KOREAN DRAMA REVIEW: 10 Reasons To Watch Netflix’s “The Glory”

“The Glory” is a revenge-centered drama mainly starring Song Hye Kyo and Lee Do Hyun. It tells the story of Moon Dong Eun (Jung Ji So), a student who was forced to drop-out due to extreme school violence. She grew up as a woman (Song Hye Kyo) who only has one dream: to turn her assailants’ lives into a living nightmare.

Here are 10 reasons why you should watch “The Glory” on Netflix.

1.) Song Hye Kyo in a different type of role.
Song Hye Kyo is mostly known for her melodramas and hit romcoms; hence, the angst and anger showcased in “The Glory” further displayed her range as an actress.

She said during the press conference for “The Glory,” “Yes, I did a lot of melodramas in the past, so in “The Glory,” I take on a totally new face. People might not be familiar with the new face that I showed through “The Glory.” It was challenging, but it was really fun for me.”

Song Hye Kyo interpreted Moon Dong Eun’s hunger for revenge through the character’s apathetic demeanor, empty yet passionate rage-filled gaze, and the fury behind her laughs and smiles. The duality complicates the character, yet Song Hye Kyo was able to bring Moon Dong Eun to life.

2.) Jung Ji So and Shin Ye Eun’s perfect casting as the younger Moon Dong Eun and Park Yeon Jin.
Both Jung Ji So and Shin Ye Eun already starred in their own dramas as the lead actress. In the series, they played the younger Song Hye Kyo and Kim Ji Yeon. Aside from matching small nuances and mannerisms, the past and present counterparts of the lead characters give off a convincing resemblance to each other. (Claps also for the styling and make-up team!)

And it’s not just the two that gave justice to their counterparts’ roles; all the teen actors portrayed their characters on point. Thanks to this, it wasn’t difficult to know who’s who once they moved on to the present time.

3.) An eye-opening series that tackles real-life issues.
The drama tackles heavy themes, and serves as a voice to showcase extreme school violence. It happens. And there are times when the victims don’t get justice they deserve. “The Glory” is a cry for help, for adults to ensure that schools are a safe place for students.

4.) Lee Do Hyun and Song Hye Kyo’s chemistry.
“The Glory” is not a romance drama, but the two leads had their own budding Bonnie and Clyde chemistry. It’s subtle, but it also makes the viewers anticipate how their relationship will grow in part two.

5.) Yum Hye Ran’s character.
Yum Hye Ran plays Kang Hyeon Nam, the “spy” 이모 (“imo” or “aunt” in Korean) who helps Moon Dong Eun behind-the-scenes. Her character is entertaining, and somehow brings warmth to the show despite her backstory. The actress also had fight scenes in her other drama, “The Uncanny Counter,” it makes you wonder if she’ll use some of her skills in the series, too.

6.) Multi-layered characters with their own unique quirks.
Unlike in other dramas where the bullies are seen as a collective, “The Glory” focused on each of the five bullies individually. This gave all the characters almost equal screen time, as the audience understand their distinct personalities. (Plus, Moon Dong Eun needed to learn more about her targets by getting to know them better—from their façade to their inner desires.)

7.) Kim Eun Sook and Ahn Gil Ho’s tandem.
Kim Eun Sook is mostly known for her hit romantic comedy series such as “Goblin,” “Descendants Of The Sun,” “The Heirs,” “Secret Garden,” and “The King: Eternal Monarch.” The romance genre is the writer’s trademark, and her roots show even in her new Netflix series; however, she still makes it so that it doesn’t interrupt the original genre and the show’s intentions.

During the press conference for “The Glory,” Kim Eun Sook even stated that it was challenging not to write a romantic scene between Song Hye Kyo and Lee Do Hyun as the two looked beautiful together. Additionally, it was Director Ahn Gil Ho that reminded her of the drama’s revenge plot. The director has a knack when it comes to adding subtle romance to a genre where you’ll least expect it without diverting from the original plot—examples are his directorial works in “Happiness,” “Watcher,” and “Memories Of The Alhambra,” among others. The budding chemistry he builds between two actors is what makes viewers pair them together, even with or without adding actual romantic scenes.

Such team-up gave “The Glory” addictive episodes.

8.) The interesting plot twist.
The plot twist didn’t have a “big reveal,” but, nevertheless, had a lot of impact. It was shown so naturally, and made so much sense.

9.) The unpredictable side characters.
Like a game of “Go” (also known as “baduk”, a board game in Korea), there are different ways their hunt can go. Can we safely count the people who are finally a part of Moon Dong Eun’s territory, or are they still at Park Yeon Jin’s side?

10.) Moon Dong Eun’s definition of “Glory.”
Will it change over time?

All in all, “The Glory” has well-written characters, a structured and even paced storyline, and a compelling plot.

“The Glory” is now streaming via Netflix.

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