EXTRACURRICULAR is a new Netflix series from South Korea. We’re in the crime genre but it has a wonderfully character-based plot. Most key characters are teenagers but that does not hurt the story. Read more in our season 1 review of Extracurricular here and check it out on Netflix!
EXTRACURRICULAR is a new Netflix series. It’s from South Korea which is always a plus in our book – despite their TV series never being on level with the movies produced there. Until now, the main exception was the brilliant zombie horror-drama Kingdom, but now we have yet another exception with this latest South Korean series.
You might like: Our review of the South Korean Netflix series Kingdom here >
With Extracurricular we’re getting a very character-based plot, which is what tends to make the movies from South Korea amazing. And yes, most characters in this new Netflix series are teenagers but please don’t let that keep you from giving this series a chance.
Find out why in the rest of our Extracurricular series review below.
The dark side of teenage life
The focus in Extracurricular is on the life of especially one teenage boy named Jisoo. He is struggling to do well in school, so he can get into a good college and get a job that pays well. Basically, he wants to do better than his parents have.
One way to do this is by earning enough money to pay for his education. This isn’t cheap so he has engaged in some extracurricular activities. I don’t want to give away too much here. A lot of the “fun” in watching this Netflix series, is getting to find out how everything is connected.
While episode 1 of Extracurricular is mostly about the boy, Jisoo, episode 2 begins with showing us more about a girl from his school. She is getting in the way of Jisoo’s business adventures but, don’t worry, nothing is quite as black and white as it initially appears.
The cast of Extracurricular on Netflix
The lead character Jisoo is played by Kim Dong Hee. Fans of the drama series Sky Castle should recognize him but I wasn’t familiar with him prior to watching this series. He is, however, really good in this role!
Jung Dabin plays another key role in Extracurricular. In South Korea, she is mostly known for working in television commercials as a child. Park Ju Hyun is yet another cast member and she’s worked mostly in independent films and theater prior to making this Netflix series.
Alongside these young actors, we have veteran actors such as Choi Minsoo (Lawless Lawyer), Park Hyuk-kwon (Secret Affair), and Kim Yeojin (Love in the Moonlight). I wasn’t really familiar with any of them, but they definitely lend a lot of depth to this story. While this is focused on teenagers, it shows their place in a very adult world.
From episode 1, things do get pretty damn brutal… in several ways!
Watch season 1 of Extracurricular on Netflix now
Season 1 of Extracurricular has ten episodes that each have a runtime of around one hour. The series was created by Jin Han-sae who is the son of acclaimed South Korean screenwriter Song Ji-na. This is the writing debut of Jin Han-sae and his mother’s writing talent does seem to run in his genes. It’s certainly a very strong debut with this series.
All episodes of season 1 are directed by Kim Jin-min who has directed several South Korean series in the past. This includes the rather popular Lawless Lawyer.
If you enjoy stories about the darker side of life, then Extracurricular is definitely worth checking out. The characters are believable and nobody seems to be entirely good or bad. That’s exactly the way I like it. From episode 1, you should get a good idea of the crimes, we’re dealing with. From episode 2, you will get to know the characters better!
Extracurricular is out on Netflix with season 1 from April 29, 2020.
Writer: Jin Han-sae
Director: Kim Jin-min
Stars: Kim Dong-hee, Jung Da-bin, Park Ju-hyun, Nam Yoon-soo
Jisoo may come off as a shy model student, but he is actually the mastermind behind a criminal activity that is beyond imagination of his fellow schoolmates. He made this choice because he needed the money for living expenses and to save for college tuition. His risky double life seems to run without a hitch, until he gets mixed up with rich girl Gyuri and reckless troublemaker Minhee. Their bad choices come with irreversible consequences. There is no more turning back now. A life of crime and violence awaits them.