Sky Castle Review: ‘Reveals The Dark Reality Of Elite Education System’

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Sky Castle Kdrama Review
Sky Catle Kdrama Main Cast

The South Korean TV show Sky Castle, which airs from 2018 to 2019, stars Yum Jung-ah, Lee Tae-ran, Yoon Se-ah, Oh Na-ra, and Kim Seo-Hyung. On Fridays and Saturdays from November 23, 2018, until February 1, 2019, it broadcasts on JTBC.

Wealthy academics and physicians have residences in the exclusive luxury apartment complex known as SKY Castle. The first president of Joo Nam University, the most esteemed institution in Korea, constructed it.

The majority of the inhabitants are university law school teachers and physicians. The play details every step taken by the rich to ensure that their children enroll in a prestigious university. It is a comedic satire drama that delves deep into the materialistic aspirations of upper-class parents in Korea and shows how they ruthlessly ensure their families’ prosperity at the expense of other people’s lives.

Sky Castle held the record for the highest-rated drama in Korean cable television history at the time it debuted. Lots of intense, heart-warming, nerve-wracking, and tear-jerker scenes!! I love this series. Critics gave the drama high marks, and it garnered several accolades, including four at the 55th Baeksang Arts Awards.

Sky Castle is a satirical television program that examines the hedonistic aspirations of wealthy parents in South Korea and the merciless measures they take to ensure their families’ prosperity at the expense of the lives of others.

The drama centers on the lives of housewives who live in a posh neighborhood in suburban Seoul dubbed SKY Castle (a play on words with the prestigious institutions), where affluent academics and physicians also reside. The women will try every means necessary to increase their husbands’ achievement and nurture their kids to be top students who will be admitted to the best colleges.

  • Director: Jo Hyun-tak
  • Release Date: November 23, 2018 
  • Cast: Yum Jung-ah,Lee Tae-ran,Yoon Se-ah,Oh Na-ra,Kim Seo-hyung
  • Where To Watch: NetflixAmazon Prime, VIKI 
  • Watch the Trailer: on Youtube

The Premise

The narrative portrays the difficulties in family life as well as the reality of a society that values competition. People are pushed to the limit by the imperative to excel in their surroundings in order to live. The majority of people in the community clearly have the capacity for forgiveness and healing.

Even though this drama includes a lot of tension, it is balanced out by the humor that is included, giving the impression that it is fairly realistic, relevant, and not overly serious.

Not a single moment was dull because of the excellent editing and shooting. My emotions were clearly messed with by the music, and I appreciated how they played at just the appropriate time. This is most certainly not a cliché. This play has been handled in such a unique and sophisticated manner, despite the fact that it centers on the demands of school and applying to universities.

Kang Joon-sang, a dashing and legacy doctor,  is married to Han Seo-Jin. The wife wants Kang Ye-Seo, her oldest daughter, to pursue a career in medicine as well. She recruits Kim Joo-Young, a coordinator with a 100 percent success rate in getting her pupils admitted to the Seoul National University to achieve that.

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The meticulous law professor Cha Min-wife hyuk’s is No Seung-Hye. Cha Seo-Joon and Cha Ki-Joon are her husband’s twin kids, and she disapproves of the way he raises them. They are kept in the dark about something by their daughter Cha Se-ri, who has always been Min-pride hyuk’s because she attends Harvard University.

Woo Soo-mother is  Jin-hee. She desires for her son to follow in the footsteps of her spouse Woo Yang-woo by becoming a doctor. She becomes friends with Seo-jin in order to learn more and get her family’s school and professional goals met.

Sky castle kdrama review
A Still From The Show- Seo- Jin and Su- Im in a heated argument.

Lee Myung-Joo, the mom of Park Young-Jae, an alumnus of Joo-young who was just enrolled at Seoul National University, committed suicide. As a result, Lee Soo-family Im relocates to SKY Castle.

Her son, Hwang Woo-Joo, goes to the same school as Ye-Seo, and her husband, Hwang Chi-young, works at the same hospital as Yang-woo and Joon-sang. Due to their divergent viewpoints, her family frequently has disagreements with the other neighbors.

While Ju-yeong claims she was only adhering to his late mother’s request and has terminated her contact with her former customers, Seo-jin blames Ju-Yeong for inciting Myeong- ju’s murder due to the rigorous study regimen she had set for her son, giving them both a hard time.

She requests a refund. Seo-Jin was the daughter of a butcher, and her real name was Kwak Min-hyang, which is ultimately revealed by Su-Kim, who she begs to keep her previous identity a secret from her kids and the rest of the world. She rehires Ju-Yeong after realizing that Yeong- Jae’s relationship with Ga-eul is largely to blame for the turmoil that ultimately costs Myeong-ju her life.

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Competitiveness Turns Ugly And Unforgiving.

Yum Jung-ah as Kwak Mi-Hyang/Han Seo-jin,  a mother who is too devoted to seeing that her daughter enrolls in the medical program at Seoul National University. Besides her spouse and in-laws, she keeps her background a secret. They are aware that she was raised in poverty by an alcoholic parent who traded in oxblood and offal. She is the most determined and pragmatic of all.

As Lee Soo-Im, Lee Tae-ran, A newcomer to the community, disagrees with the other parents’ strategies for sending their children to college because they think they are too strict. She upsets the existing quo, which makes some other parents resent her.

She knew Seo-jin when the two were youngsters. Thus, she is aware of her true identity. She is the wife of Hwang Chi-young and the stepmother of Hwang Woo-Joo. She is the most genuine and relatable parent in the show.

sky castle kdrama review
A Still From The Show- Kang Ye Seo Determined To Ace Her Exams

Yoon Se-ah portrays Seung-Hye, A lady who becomes friends with Soo-Im and begins to judge the other mothers’ behavior towards one another and their offspring. She alters her behavior and takes on a protective role for her sons against their strict father. She is the wife of Cha Min-hyuk and the mother of Cha Se-ri, Cha Seo-Joon, and Cha Ki-Joon.

Oh Na-ra, who is friends with Seo-jin as Jin Jin-hee, attempts to get her son to cooperate with Seo-daughter jin’s in order for him to succeed. Seo-jin is coerced into giving her information by the woman using presents. She struggles to keep secrets, though. Her allegiance is susceptible to change depending on who she is with. She is Woo’s wife and the mother of Woo Soo-Han.

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Kim Joo-young is a well-known instructor who only works with two students at once and is only available to the top. Seo-jin was adamant about employing her as her daughter’s tutor because of her perfect record of getting kids accepted. Ye-seo and Young-Jae were her students. She conceals a history from which she attempts to run. Her daughter Kay (or Katherine), who they raised in Fairfax, was a well-known genius.

Han Seo-jin gathers everyone in Sky Castle to a party to commemorate Yeong-entrance jae’s to the SNU med school, but it is really just a ruse to gain access to the portfolio that gave him admission. She makes another unsuccessful attempt after inviting Myeong-ju, Yeong-mother, Jae, and the others to tea.

She makes another effort to bribe Myeong-ju the next morning with Seo-jin. Myeong-Ju hands Seo-jin an envelope with a VVIP invitation from their bank to meet with the coordinator of their kids’ college entrance exam, but Seung-hye also shows there using an invitation from her husband.

Although Seung-hye returns home empty-handed, Kim Ju-yeong, who was formerly Yeong-coordinator, Jae promises to help Seo-daughter Jin Ye-seo. Seo-jin pleads with her mother-in-law Madame Yun, who has long wished for Ye-seo to enroll in medical school, for financial assistance in paying for the tutoring.

In an effort to learn more about her stepson’s accomplishments after failing to find a coordinator, Seung-hye tries to interview Soo-im. However, she only gets Soo-im’s viewpoint on things and learns that she is also having difficulty being a foster mother. Soo-im joins the book club with her kid despite being astonished by the selection of novels they read.

Jin-hi is first opposed to them participating, but after understanding Ye-SEO has always been in charge of the conversation, she concedes. Su-im attacks the book club for only allowing a single viewpoint and for choosing books that are too sophisticated for middle school students, prompting Min-hyeok to propose a vote on whether to keep the book club going or dissolve it.

sky castle drama review
Park Family Celebrating Their Son’s Admission into Seoul National University

That evening, Myeong-ju kills himself outside. Hospital administrator Park Su-chang designates Jung-sang as the new Spine and Joint Center’s director. Jung was not from a top college, and his experience was mostly volunteer work. Power-driven residents of Sky Castle just couldn’t digest this change.

Su-im, the mother, encounters Seo-jin, who she recognizes as Kwak Mi-hyang, from the orphanage that her foster parents ran but which she denies being. Su-im, with the exception of Seung-hye, is detested by the other moms due to her attitude of inferiority.

Seo-jin storms out of their lunch meeting with the Hwangs after learning that Su-kid has similar accomplishments to her daughter. She finds Yeong-journals Jae’s after finding her tablet there, which his mother had read the night before she committed herself out of regret.

In order to meet his parents’ wishes to attend medical school, he wrote about his terrible life. Together with his lower-class household servant Lee Ga-eul, who was also his sweetheart, he fled.

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The Verdict

The premise was unlike anything I had ever seen on television, and the show’s portrayal of the emotions was just stunning. The actors and actresses did a fantastic job of expressing the emotions that their characters went through. It seemed so true.

I don’t usually weep at performances, but this one had me cry at least six times because the actors did such a great job conveying the feelings of their characters to the audience. I was constantly on edge while watching this drama, and I was always intrigued and thrilled.

The plot was so original, and I believe that’s the key factor in how popular it is. Everyone can empathize with the characters in the play because expectations are something that everyone can connect to. People of all ages know what it’s like to have expectations placed on them (at least to some extent).

I believe that everyone who watches this drama may identify with the characters since it is so relevant. Once more, the portrayal of the emotions was superb. Nobody, in my opinion, can see the entire show without breaking it down at least once.

I truly appreciate the fact that the show was fantastic despite having such a limited amount of romance and an excellent cast.

If it weren’t for the sweetness of the relationship, most programs would fail because of their poor stories, but this one stood out on its own. I must say that I first disliked a lot of the characters, but as I watched the program more, I began to truly understand them. I believe that Han Seo Jin/Gwak Mi Hyang saw the most character growth, and I am very happy about it.

Even the worst characters, like Coach Kim joo young, I believe are likable and have a lot of depth. When it came to her daughter K, I was able to understand her truly. The drama had no problems, and the humor made it perfect. My heart melted at how everyone came out on top and understood the value of family, especially Professor Kang and Ye Seo’s mother.

This is not your typical drama about wealthy housewives. It addresses delicate subjects, including family relations, test stress (school system), parental expectations, and mental wellness. The show’s characters are diverse and effectively developed throughout. Its central theme is how parents mature and come to genuinely comprehend their children. But there’s a lot more to it than that.

The conclusion covered every character’s finish in a very original way and filled in all the blanks. Additionally, the way the new family was presented at the conclusion was highly unexpected, but it gave the closing greater symbolism and significance and eliminated any sense of cheesiness since you could see that they were demonstrating that it wasn’t the end but rather a continual cycle.

With interesting main characters (along with stupendous acting) and fantastic synergy between all characters complemented with good storytelling, I rate the show “Sky Castle” 4 out of 5 stars.

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By Shelly Kaushik

From Delhi, a Netflix buff and horror aficionado. Always had a love for literature, spending much of my childhood buried in books and dreaming up my own stories. Honing my skills as a writer by studying journalism. Committed to raise voice for the better of all who are voiceless. Intend to present issues hampering mental and social health of the world. Fascinated by metaphysics, mythology and origins of cultures.

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