February K-Drama: Itaewon Class

The South of Seoul K-drama for February is a popular one. “Itaewon Class” was highly popular when it aired in South Korea and internationally on streaming platforms. With great storytelling, its strong characters, themes and performances continue to keep this drama popular and relevant. Let’s dig into this K-drama and expand your social knowledge.

Breaking Down The Cultural Knowledge

When you watch a K-drama when living in Korea or plan to live in Korea, you may want to go deeper than just the show. In order to fully understand the context of entertainment and the world around you, plan on looking at not only experiencing the movie plot, but also at the actors, music, and cultural conversation.

In order to make it easier to maximize watching K-Dramas for cultural knowledge, I will provide you with some quick links each month related to the South of Seoul recommended K-Drama watch list. If you catch up on all these details you will become a K-pop culture master in no time.

Let’s start with February’s K-Drama “Itaewon Class.”

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About “Itaewon Class”

“Itaewon Class” is a South Korean television drama that premiered on the cable network JTBC on January 31, 2020. It is based on the Korean webtoon by the same name. The drama focuses on a young man, Park Sae-Ro-Yi, who starts a food and beverage business in the multicultural neighborhood of Itaewon. After his release from prison, he seeks revenge against the people responsible for his father’s death. He meets a diverse cast of characters along the way, including his employees and competitors. In addition, he faces challenges as he tries to achieve his goals and grow his business.

About the Drama’s Success

Written by Kim Eun-Sook and directed by Kim Sung-Yoon, the drama stars Park Seo-Jun as Park Sae-Ro-Yi, Kim Da-Mi as Jo Yi-Sep, Yoo Jae-Myung as Jang Geun-Soo and Kwon Nara as Ahn Bo-Young. “Itaewon Class” was a highly successful drama, commercially and critically. Well-received by audiences, the series had high ratings in South Korea. In addition, critics praise the show for its well-written script, strong cast performance and its handling of important social issues and themes. Additionally, “Itaewon Class” won Best Drama Series at the 25th Asian Television Awards in 2021. The series was nominated for and won many other awards from 2020-2021.

About the Drama’s Themes

“Itaewon Class” explores themes of revenge, diversity and inclusion, entrepreneurship, friendship and love, and the meaning of success. Merged throughout the show, these themes provide a rich and complex story. Revenge is the major theme and a driving force for the actions of Park Sae-Ro-Yi throughout the show. In addition, since the show takes place in Itaewon, a multicultural neighborhood, the drama also highlights the importance of understanding and accepting people from different backgrounds.

Overall, “Itaewon Class” is a well-rounded, thought-provoking and emotionally engaging drama. Although the show explores serious themes, it balances those moments with humor and lightheartedness. If you’re looking for an intriguing show exploring important themes and featuring talented actors, this is the drama for you.

The Music of “Itaewon Class”

Whenever a new, popular K-drama hits the screen you hear the music everywhere. Take the time to become familiar with the tracklist and maybe even memorize one for the norae-bang. This will make you an absolute superstar at social gatherings. The following YouTube video provides English translations and Romanization so that you can learn the songs for “Itaewon Class.”

Additionally, being able to sing the chorus when you hear the songs in the streets or be able to casually say to a new friend, “Oh, isn’t this the theme song for Itaewon Class?” creates a wonderful feeling of connectedness to the world around you.

Learn About the Cast of “Itaewon Class”

After watching the K-drama and becoming familiar with the songs, it’s time to also become familiar with the cast. You will see these actors and actresses in advertisements across the country or in new dramas. Knowing about the cast helps you create a language for understanding the visual world around you.

The Food of “Itaewon Class”

When watching K-dramas, it is often fun to see the different foods represented in the shows. Since this show takes place in the neighborhood of Itaewon in Seoul, known for its diverse food culture and international cuisine, a multi-cultural variety of foods is represented. This includes Korean dishes such as bulgogi and kimchi and international foods like pizza and tacos. Itaewon is a diverse neighborhood, and the food depicted on the show does an excellent job of representing a mix of culture and cuisine. If you want a more in-depth look at the specific Korean dishes represented in this show, this blog by Korean Bapsang gives a great detailed look at the food.

Catch Up on Show Related Gossip

Now that you have watched the show, listened to the music, and learned about the actors, it’s time to learn the tea. Since this was a multicultural show, “Itaewon Class” features a diverse cast of characters, including individuals from different ethnic backgrounds and with different sexual orientations. Here’s a look at behind the scenes from one of the actors, Chris Lyon.

Also, here is a great video with the main characters of “Itaewon Class” where they discuss how they connected with the characters they portray.

2023 K-Drama 101 Recommendations

You can find more popular K-Drama recommendations on the K-Drama 101 recommendations list for 2023. In the blog article we recommend a K-drama for every month of the year.

K-Drama Reviews

Each month in 2023, we will dig into each of our K-Drama recommendations to give you in depth information about the series. Last month, our K-Drama was “Crash Landing on You.” Check out the January K-Drama blog post for more details on this series.