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Kim Dong-hee Explains Why You Should Watch "Extracurricular"

The rest of the cast weigh in too.
Kim Dong-hee Explains Why You Should Watch "Extracurricular"
IMAGE Netflix
The rest of the cast weigh in too.

Netflix’s newest offbeat, teen crime K-Drama Extracurricular may be a thrilling watch, but it’s no light binge for the tenderhearted. Though it features teen leads in high school, a role series star Kim Dong-hee is all too familiar with, the characters get entangled in a series of twisted events no student should be going through.

If you aren’t familiar with its premise yet, Extracurricular follows four high school students who fall into a life of crime. Dragged down by their current circumstances, they choose the route of juvenile delinquency, feeling somehow unable or unwilling to implore help from the various adult figures in their lives.

The timid yet calculating Oh Jisoo falls into a life of a crime in a desperate need for money.
PHOTO BY Netflix

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Upon watching the show it’s not hard to understand their distrust and detachment from older authority.  Orphaned and living alone, Dong-hee’s reserved yet calculating Oh Jisoo has to deal with an estranged dead beat dad who only occasionally dips back into his life only to ask for money, under the guise of making amends. Bae Gyuri (Park Joo-Hyun), on the other hand, may be the “It girl” at school but at home she suffers from wealthy yet self-centered parents only looking out for their own interests. Other adults on the show either coax the kids deeper into crime or seem too imposing and harsh (police officers, the school principal) to be trusted. It doesn’t help that being young often feels like every situation asks for a response of now or never.

Kim Dong-hee as Oh Jisoo (left) and Jung Da-bin as Seo Minhee (right)
PHOTO BY Netflix

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Such is the reality check that Extracurricular presents. The show merely mirrors a truth that we often turn a blind eye to: juvenile crime and accountability, magnified for an unconscious public. “I hope this series will remind viewers once again of the youth at risk in our society, and serve as a medium to resolve many of the issues,” Jung Da-bin, who plays Seo Minhee, a young girl who’s turned to prostitution for money, says.

Kim Yeo-jin plays Lee Hae-gyoung, a well-meaning detective who sets out to help Minhee.
PHOTO BY Netflix

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Dong-hee, meanwhile, speaks of playing Jisoo who sees himself not as a student in need of guidance, but a grown-up who has to take matters into his own hands. “Teenagers are those who still need protection and more attention from adults. So if they have issues, adults should give them more attention,” he expounds in an interview. “Juvenile crime is a really serious issue, so this may be a sensitive thing to say, but I think teens need more attention from adults and need to be protected more because they still lack judgment.”
PHOTO BY Netflix

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Joo-hyun echoes the sentiment herself, citing the importance of the show’s perpetrators being teenagers instead of having them in their late 20s or early 30s. “You cannot always make the right choice. If this were a story about adults in their right minds, then it should be about them taking full responsibility for their choices. But this is a story about immature teens who cannot take full responsibility for their actions yet. In that sense, I hope this show provides an opportunity for us to think about what we, adults, can do for them, and how we should lead them to a certain direction.” 

Park Joo-hyun portrays the popular, hard-headed Bae Gyuri.
PHOTO BY Netflix
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Extracurricular is currently streamed exclusively on Netflix.

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