Extracurricular does well to balance between the crime and teen drama genres, both buoyed by the leading characters — distinguishing between students and adults.
Netflix K-drama series Extracurricular season 1 was released on the platform on April 29, 2020 — this review contains no spoilers.
Extracurricular opens up introducing the audience to Oh Jisoo; a student with perfect grades, a choice of all the top colleges, and zero bad behavior against his record. He’s the perfect student; too good to be true that even the teachers are annoyed by his excellence — so excellent that he’s almost invisible. That’s the key plot point in the opening premise — this kid is socially invisible, so much so that no-one would even bat an eyelid that he is involved in an underground crime syndicate for sex workers.
Netflix’s Extracurricular reveals Oh Jisoo’s secret instantly, using his phone to produce a robotic voice as one of the sex workers is in a dangerous position with a client. Oh Jisoo’s approach to running security is innovative and complex — he does not require to physically attend the scene himself, he has his trusted man to take orders. To everyone else, Oh Jisoo is referred to as “Uncle”, assuming that he’s a fat, balding man that runs the organization. It’s just a kid.
But Extracurricular is like every teen drama — the k-drama series reveals how complicated it can be for a kid that is experiencing raging hormones and subject to severe loneliness. His dream to attain 90 million won is curtailed by his crush on Bae Gyuri. Like all crime lords, there’s always a weakness and his weakness in Extracurricular is good ole puberty.
The k-drama series puts the character in a predicament where he has to keep his secrets under wraps while living a normal student life. Extracurricular season 1 introduces a darkened world with gruesome scenes; refusing to make the audience experience “PG”. Its rawness percolates the plot points, surfacing Oh Jisoo in this cool environment that is easily appealing. It’s hard being a teen and being involved in crime — and that’s the byline.
The Netflix series does well to balance between the crime and teen drama genres, both buoyed by the leading characters — distinguishing between students and adults. We’d highly recommend adding this to the extensive k-drama Netflix list.
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Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.