When this year started, I was looking for a Korean drama to binge watch.  I checked what most other people watched, What's Wrong with Secretary Kim, Something in the Rain and A Korean Odyssey. I only stayed for a few episodes. Either I got bored or was annoyed by one of the lead characters. The nearest I finished was A Korean Odyssey because of Sung Hyuk. :p  I was expecting to finish What's Wrong with Secretary Kim because I always liked the genre of romantic comedies. But for some reason, I started to dislike both the acting and character of Park Min Young.

Around February, my colleague recommended Sky Castle. She told me, the actresses were mostly ajummas :) and veterans in the Korean drama industry. Without much expectations, I started the first episode on one weeknight. And just like that, I reached the fourth episode not realizing it was already 5 in the morning. :p  Needless to say, I got hooked with the series. Soon enough, I recorded my highest volume of mobile data usage.

Sky Castle is a family drama. I'd like to believe that this genre is usually, not appealing to Filipinos. The story line is heavy, violent, and filled with vicious activities. I share the sentiments, but this series gave me an exemption. 

Sky Castle related the lives of four mothers belonging to elite class of South Korea. Their families reside in a gated community called Sky Castle. In the Philippines, Sky Castle can be Forbes Park, Corinthians or Bel Air. The mothers were driven to make their children successful. Success for them means getting admission to Seoul National University, sending children to the best universities abroad, earning academic achievements and becoming doctors or lawyers. The mothers were initially presented as a core group of friends. As the story progressed, viewers will realize that they are nothing but selfish, competitive and boastful individuals. In a way, the first few episodes reminded me of Desperate Housewives. 

I will not dwell on the details of the series. Instead, I will enumerate a few things I realized from South Korea's education system. I cannot remember how many articles revealed the country's education system being one of the toughest. In its worst case, South Korea was considered as the 10th highest in the world for teenage suicide. The drama series provided a glimpse of the demands of South Korea's education system. In one heartbreaking scene, the daughter confided she refused friends and endured 4 hours of sleep, ever since she started schooling. The mother also admitted, she never had a decent vacation ever since her daughter started studying. Her life evolved on running the household and making all means to make her daughter as the top student. 

To ensure that their children will perform well in class, the mothers resorted on expensive, desperate and pathetic activities. One is to hire a very expensive tutor, whose record was 100% passing rate to Seoul National University. Everyone wanted to hire this tutor, not realizing that she is on her way to ruin their lives. 

My takeaway from this drama series, I still believe that values should be instilled before exposing children to the actual education system. If I'm not mistaken, this is Japan's approach to education. Children should be first and foremost, conditioned to become respectful and mindful citizens. Otherwise, the country might just be creating another generation of intelligent but heartless individuals. 

The story line of the drama series may not be something new. However, the way it was executed was the best. The actors and actresses were excellent. You get annoyed with the villain. The underdogs were not pitiful at all times. I love that sometimes, they become strong and vengeful. More importantly, I love that the plot was unpredictable. For the lack of term, there's always a revelation in every episode. :p

In the end, I'll give 5 out of 5 stars for Sky Castle. 

PS Here are some screenshots of the scenes and characters I loved the most.

Wrong approach to Parenting 101 

A consistent style of the Director, hands were shown to express the hidden emotion of the actor

Sad reality that made 95% of the series

Successful yet weak inside .... I can't believe he was Jung Joon-ho from Iris 

For me, she owns the prettiest face in the series. Her acting also did not disappoint. 

The only righteous person in the entire series 

Best actress!!!