K-drama midseason recap: High Class – illogical high-society tale apes better Korean dramas and films, including Parasite in which its star Cho Yeo-jeong had a similar role

Asia's Tech News Daily

The Penthouse, Mine, Academy Award-winning film Parasite

This article contains spoilers.

Over its first few episodes, Korean drama High Class neatly set up its characters and story against the idyllic backdrop of Jeju Island, but it felt like it was missing something. That something turned out to be an element of surprise, and with only a few weeks left, we’re still waiting.

With its education-obsessed and secretive rich mothers backstabbing each other in slick locales, the show is modelled to emulate the success of prior hits such as SKY Castle, The Penthouse and Mine. Rather than build on those successes, High Class has merely mimicked these earlier shows, but without the cool class of SKY Castle, the theatrical melodrama of The Penthouse or the compelling solidarity of Mine.

What’s more, surface similarities with the Academy Award-winning film Parasite – they both star Cho Yeo-jeong as a well-off and slightly ditzy mother living in a stylish home – prove to be no mere coincidence.

Song Yeo-wool (Cho) sought to escape the pain of her husband’s death and the suggestion that she might have killed him by moving to Jeju with her son Yi-chan (Jang Sun-yool), where she enrolled him at the prestigious HSC International School.

Facing off with other mothers at the school, who felt she didn’t belong, Yeo-wool’s sojourn on the island was off to a rocky start, until she was befriended by fellow mother Hwang Na-yoon (Park Se-jin). Na-yoon came on a bit strong and it wasn’t a surprise when she secretly slipped into one of Yeo-wool’s dresses in her house at the end of episode four.

The image called to mind a similar scene in Mine, when a nanny put on one of her client’s dresses. The similarities don’t stop there as, just like the nanny from Mine, Na-yoon is revealed to have had a secret relationship with the husband of the owner of the dress.

Not only was Na-yoon in a relationship with Yeo-wool’s husband, she was married to him in Hong Kong and they had a child together – her daughter Jae-in (Park So-yi). Na-yoon has only got close to Yeo-wool for revenge, though aside from ominous notes scrawled on windows and secretly voting her off a school committee, her vengeance hasn’t been particularly well defined.

A suspicious Yeo-wool is finally able to unlock her husband’s phone by using Jae-in’s birthday and discovers happy portraits of him and his second family. The usually calm Yeo-wool finally cracks, trashing a painting in Na-yoon’s gallery.

The Penthouse, Mine, Academy Award-winning film Parasite

Park Se-jin as Hwang Na-yoon in a still from High Class.

Shortly thereafter, during a school recital, Yeo-wool is called to the office of Chairman Doh (Woo Hyun-joo), but the power in the building cuts out and by the time she reaches the office, she finds Chairman Doh dead.

The death is ruled a heart attack, but foul play is soon suspected and Yeo-wool is once again looked to as the prime suspect in a murder. In a bewildering interrogation scene, a detective says that someone has testified against her, at which point Na-yoon enters the room and testifies to Yeo-wool – not the detective.

In this same room, with a detective listening, she then exclaims that she’s essentially kidnapped Yi-chan.

Handsome gym teacher Danny Oh (Ha Jun), who didn’t figure much in the early episodes, turns out to be a spy for Chairman Doh who tapped Yeo-wool’s phone and spends long scenes broodily standing beside a switchboard as he listens in on her conversations.

In other scenes he’s clearly able to move around as he eavesdrops on her, but I suppose that’s a less ominous image.

Following the chairman’s death, Danny has no work to do, so he decides to leave Jeju. Learning this, Yeo-wool goes to sit on a beach and, in a montage accompanied by wistfully romantic music, thinks back over all the times they met – before she discovered that he was a creepy paid stalker – and there was little hint of a spark between them.

However, since Danny is a main character, he doesn’t board his flight.

Strange things begin to happen in and around Yeo-wool’s house and soon High Class serves us its biggest non-surprise yet: Yeo-wool’s husband, An Ji-yong (Kim Nam-hee), is alive!

The Penthouse, Mine, Academy Award-winning film Parasite

Ha Jun as Danny Oh in a still from High Class.

Unable to pay back the US$500 million he swindled out of investors, including Nam Ji-sun (Kim Ji-soo) – a character who has become increasingly irrelevant with each passing episode – Ji-yong faked his own death and has been living in a secret underground bunker in Yeo-wool’s house (a bald-faced swiping of one of Korean cinema’s biggest twists).

Logic-defying narratives aren’t necessarily a problem for Korean dramas – The Penthouse seldom made a lick of sense – but High Class’ refusal to come up with any of its own ideas dooms it to being a pale imitator of its better predecessors.

Awkwardly pawing in several directions, it never finds its own rhythm. Yet rather than being outright bad, the show has merely been competent and aggressively bland.

The Penthouse, Mine, Academy Award-winning film Parasite

Jang Sun-yool as Yi-chan in a still from High Class.

High Class is streaming on Viu.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

7 Korean celebrity couples who overcame tough times, from K-pop idols Hyuna and Dawn, and Shin Min-ah and Kim Woo-bin, to Hallyu legend Rain and Kim Tae-hee

Dating in K-biz is never easy – stars are constantly in the spotlight and the fate of their careers is at the mercy of public perception. It’s even more difficult ... Read more »

Weibo, NetEase's Cloud Village set to raise nearly US$1 billion between them in Hong Kong IPOs

Two Chinese internet companies are set to raise close to US$1 billion between them in Hong Kong initial public offerings. Microblogging platform Weibo, and NetEase-backed music streaming site Cloud Village ... Read more »

POST EDIT: Cartier's 13-metre-high Christmas tree at the K11 Musea in Hong Kong will make the perfect backdrop for your Instagram selfies

French jeweller and watchmaker Cartier is ushering in the holidays this year with a 13-metre-high (43 feet) Christmas tree, set against the panoramic backdrop of Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour, at ... Read more »

(LEAD) BTS looks to win Grammy after second consecutive nomination

(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with more remarks from press conference; CHANGES headline, lead para) SEOUL, Nov. 29 (Yonhap) — K-pop sensation BTS has expressed confidence it can win a Grammy award ... Read more »

Hong Kong stocks slide on Omicron, Meituan woes while Macau casino operators slump on crackdown

Hong Kong stocks slipped on concerns the spread of Omicron coronavirus strain will prompt more lockdowns and hurt economic recovery. Meituan slumped on weak earnings while a gambling crackdown hit ... Read more »

[FULL TRANSCRIPT] BTS hopes LA concerts mark the start to their new chapter

BTS poses for pictures at the photo wall during the “Permission to Dance on Stage” global press conference held at SoFi Stadium in, Los Angeles, Sunday. (BigHit Music) K-pop sensation ... Read more »

When Chinese didn't value eggs, a foreigner saw opportunity and launched a roaring trade from Shanghai in tinned eggs to the UK

Industrial production of chickens evolved globally over the past 70 years, with chicken only becoming a staple in much of Asia in recent decades. Armies fight to victory on their ... Read more »

EV battery: China powers Asia in race to ramp up recycling capacity as industry tests new method to overcome pollution problems

China is powering Asian countries in the race to ramp up capacity to recycle retired electric-vehicle (EV) batteries, with new technologies being deployed to tackle environmental shortcomings, according to industry ... Read more »

BTS leader says he feels 'invisible wall' for Korean artists

SEOUL, Nov. 29 (Yonhap) — RM, leader of the K-pop sensation BTS, said Sunday (U.S. time) he felt there is an “invisible wall” for Korean artists despite the group’s back-to-back ... Read more »

Omicron, Meituan and Macau gambling crackdown offer new threats to Hong Kong stock optimists

Like their global peers, Hong Kong’s stock investors are facing a new headwind in Omicron, a new Covid-19 strain that global health officials designated as a “variant of concern.” Markets ... Read more »

Vegetarian pizza, vegan kebabs and other Asian recipes with a meat-free twist – why this sauce-maker encourages freestyle cooking in the kitchen

I was a bit worried that Simran Savlani’s book A Spark of Madness – an Amalgamation of 116 Vegetarian and Vegan Asian Staples (2021) would be just a way for ... Read more »

[From the Scene] Fans paint LA purple and orange ahead of BTS concert

A “Permission to Dance” cup-sleeve event takes place at Dragon Boba in Koreatown, Los Angeles, Friday.LOS ANGELES – With locals having flushed out of the city for the Thanksgiving holiday, ... Read more »

Rare Whisky mulls auction hub for market-beating spirits investments as Hong Kong buyers drive regional sales

Rare Whisky Holdings, a Hong Kong-based investment group that focuses on rare and exclusive bottles and cask investment, is considering setting up an auction hub in Asia to help owners ... Read more »

What is epilepsy? Its causes, treatment, triggers and seizures, how it affects the body, and the story of one mother who had no warning signals

One in 10 people have at least one seizure in their lifetime, according to the American Academy of Neurology. Around 50 million people globally are estimated to live with epilepsy, ... Read more »

China fines Caifutong, Tencent's WeChat Pay operator, for breaking foreign exchange rules

China has fined Tenpay, an online-payment unit of Tencent Holdings, 2.8 million yuan (US$438,000) for violating foreign exchange rules amid growing regulatory scrutiny of the nation’s fintech industry. The unit ... Read more »

From CBD oils that do nothing to getting high, myths and reality explained by Hong Kong cannabidiol advocates CBD Peoples

After discovering and falling in love with CBD (cannabidiol) brand Hemptuary Hawaii, Hong Kong-based Christina Ko and Loretta Chen decided to bring the label to Hong Kong. As they started ... Read more »

[INTERVIEW] Meet Daniel Park, creative mind behind JTBC series 'IDOL: The Coup'

Daniel DPD Park, who developed the JTBC series “IDOL: The Coup” / Photo by Johnny Tran By Dong Sun-hwa Dramas about K-pop stars are not a rarity these days, but ... Read more »

KOCCA, KBS team up for immersive K-pop show for global fans

Mamamoo’s Hwasa performs “I’m a B” on KBS music program “Music Bank” on Friday. (KBS Kpop YouTube channel)The Korea Creative Content Agency and state-run broadcaster KBS are joining hands to ... Read more »

The best Chinese, Japanese, Indian and English teas, an exceptional tea-drinking experience – from a French company? The story of Mariage Frères

The serious and dapper clerk approached the checkerboard wooden cubicles that line the walls, creaking the floorboards while reaching for a trio of large black tea tins. Removing the lid ... Read more »

China's ‘dual-credit' policy that spurred the EV sector will be revised in bid to ensure high quality growth

China’s decision to revise a “dual-credit” policy on carbon emissions that helped electric vehicle (EV) makers boost production is likely to hurt the industry leaders in a trade-off for long-term ... Read more »

Capitalism rethink: innovation needn't come at the expense of worker protection

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted major weaknesses in both the US and European capitalism models. In the United States, the crisis has shown the limits of an economic system that ... Read more »

A landmark of Hong Kong's dining scene, Yung Kee restaurant looks to the future by celebrating the past

Most Hongkongers are familiar with Yung Kee, the three-storey restaurant on Wellington Street, in Central, where myth has always had it that the higher the floor, the more expensive the ... Read more »

Itaewon Class soundtrack singer Gaho talks K-dramas, his first LP, Fireworks, and sharing his emotions and stories

While Squid Game and Hellbound are the biggest K-drama hits of 2021, in 2020, everyone was talking about Itaewon Class. And everyone who had watched that show was listening to ... Read more »

Music therapy for better sleep and stress relief … in a Canto-pop song? Jocelyn Chan explains her use of tuning forks in Sound of Silence and the theory behind it

Do tuning forks have any place in a pop song? Yes, says Hong Kong singer-songwriter Jocelyn Chan Ming-hei – her song Sound of Silence, which recently topped city public broadcaster ... Read more »

Xiaomi to build its first electric vehicle factory in Beijing suburb

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is building its first electric vehicle factory in the outskirts of Beijing, according to a local government announcement, marking an important step for the firm as ... Read more »

China Evergrande's electric-vehicle unit gets US$200 million from returning undeveloped land

China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group returned several undeveloped land plots to the Chinese government in exchange for 1.28 billion yuan (US$200 million) to alleviate its cash crunch and keep ... Read more »

Victoria's Secret lingerie challenged by Parade, a start-up selling underwear for all body shapes, founded by 24-year-old Cami Téllez

Cami Téllez never liked buying underwear, but maybe that’s why the 24-year-old is suited to take on Victoria’s Secret. As a teen in Princeton, in the US state of New ... Read more »

Hong Kong nightlife veteran Richard Feldman on why Lan Kwai Fong is ‘a magical place' and opening his new gay bar, Petticoat Lane

I was born in Montreal, Canada, in 1965. Back then, Montreal was much more anglophone, an English city in a French province. My mother is from France and I grew ... Read more »

How Song Hye-kyo took the fashion and beauty world by storm, from Fendi to Bottega Veneta – but which products are in her new K-drama Now, We Are Breaking Up?

After a two-year sabbatical, legendary Korean actress and fashion icon Song Hye-kyo makes her return in 2021’s long-awaited SBS K-drama Now, We Are Breaking Up opposite heartthrob Jang Ki-yong. Fans ... Read more »

Why Chinese electric cars are causing a buzz in Thailand

Veteran Thai journalist Nithi Thuamprathom has covered the automotive industry for two decades but it was only recently, at an exhibition in Shanghai a few years ago, that Chinese electric ... Read more »

China Overseas Land sells stake in Kai Tak land plot for HK$1.35bn amid gloomy mainland market outlook

Leading Chinese developer China Overseas Land & Investment (COLI) has sold part of its stake in a plot in Kai Tak, site of the city’s old airport, as the mainland ... Read more »

The world needs more Elon Musks to turn zero-emission planes and ships into commercial reality to help reverse climate change

When Tesla beat expectations in 2017 and delivered 102,000 electric cars to customers, the feat inspired an entrepreneur born in the former Soviet Union to think big: one day, battery ... Read more »

How to buy and sell data? Shanghai starts new exchange for trading massive amounts of data like commodities

The Shanghai Data Exchange opened for business on Thursday, marking China’s latest attempt to build a vast market for data – dubbed the new oil of the digital economy – ... Read more »

ByteDance said to launch new wave of education job cuts, as employment prospects dim in China's tech sector

Beijing-based ByteDance, which operates TikTok and its Chinese version Douyin, is expected to cut at least 1,000 jobs at its education unit, marking a sharp contrast to this time a ... Read more »

China's world-class business environment plans ‘address' some concerns, but ‘implementation key'

China is ready to open new economic areas and provide more conveniences to lure foreign talent and investment in the latest bid to build a market-oriented and law-based business environment ... Read more »

Ant Group applies to China's central bank to set up personal-credit scoring joint venture with state-backed partners

China’s central bank said it has received an application for a personal-credit scoring joint venture between Ant Group, state-backed Zhejiang Tourism Investment Group and four other investors, allowing the fintech ... Read more »

US-China tech war: state media questions Washington's intent on demanding chip supply data from TSMC, Samsung amid ‘targeted sanction' concerns

China’s official state media has accused the US government of hatching a plot to obtain more information about the country’s semiconductor industry and hold back its development, following Washington’s recent ... Read more »

Paytm shares rout deals painful reality check for India's ‘casino' IPO markets

India’s booming IPO market has suffered a painful reality check with mobile payments start-up Paytm’s shares tanking in their trading debut. The rout is seen as scooping some of the ... Read more »

Beijing looks into setting up digital asset exchange to push the e-yuan

China is exploring setting up a virtual asset exchange as the government lays out the next step to complement its pilot of the digital yuan, according to a blue print ... Read more »

Hong Kong's secondary home prices fall by the most in 14 months in October as banks turn cautious on valuations

Hong Kong’s lived-in home prices dropped by the most in 14 months in October after peaking in August, with buying sentiment cooling as banks become more cautious in valuating property. ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic