Itaewon Class is a drama based on a popular webtoon, making it highly anticipated in its 2020 release. This drama stars Park Seojoon, Kim Da-mi, Jay-Myeon Yoo, and Ahn Bo-Hyun. Full of emotional depth and multi-layered characters, this show was a fan favorite. You can catch it on Netflix.
The first episode opens with a young woman in what appears to be a therapy session. The woman shares how life is stringing her along and success feels out of reach. She laughs about how her boss told her she should just die if she is that tired of life. We then pan out to a narration from this woman, known as Yi-seo, commenting on Itaewon as the place where her story was written.
The show then cuts away to 15 years earlier, where we are introduced to Yi-seo’s boss, Park Saeroyi. At this time, he is in high school. Saeroyi isn’t the perfect student, as this scene opens with him being disciplined. Later, a classmate hears that he is transferring schools and she offers him chocolates, which he turns down.
The following scene shows Saeroyi getting off of a bus in Pajin City. A young woman is seen talking rudely to an old homeless man. Park Saeroyi catches up to her and tries to make her apologize. She blows him off and refuses. Saeroyi looks at her, baffled, and continues his day.
Saeroyi tries out for the police qualification exam. He limps around the track on a bad knee, but pushes through the pain. This shows not only viewers his determination but also the judges. He impresses them with his grit. He is picked up from the exam by his father and they drive to the Pajin Orphanage, where his father, Mr.Park, volunteers.
When they arrive, Saeroyi sees a familiar face. The young woman who was rude to the homeless man is at the orphanage. Her name is Soo-ah and Mr.Park is a good friend to her. Saeroyi feels awkward and keeps his distance.
The following day when Saeroyi goes to his new school, he encounters Soo-ah again in his class. In his class is also a bully, named Geun-won. Saeroyi watches angrily as the bully pours milk over a classmate’s head. He wants to help the victim, but Soo-ah warns Saeroyi to hold back. Turns out Geun-won is Chairman Jang’s son--the CEO of Mr.Park’s workplace. Incredibly, even the teacher turns a blind eye to him because of his family’s status.
Saeroyi, however, refuses to allow the injustice to happen. He has warned Geun-won to let the classmate go, and upon his refusal, Saeroyi punches him. Both fathers are called to the principal’s office to deal with the incident.