High Society (2015) Review (Ep 1~7)

High Society (2015) Review (Ep 1~7)

#Uee #SungJoon #ParkHyungSik #LimJiYeon #Kdrama #HighSociety #상류사회 #Kdrama

Hello. This is Prof.  AKIA . I have been away for a while. So, it is nice of you to come back.
Why was I away for so long?

First there was life!

You know that b***h!

Second, it is difficult to talk about Korean dramas when you are not watching any at the moment. Those, who have been with me for some time, may have noticed that I try out most Korean dramas but drop most of them after a week or two.  So, I have been writing more about Korean movies for a while.

In any case…

Today, let’s talk about a “High Society” (2015). I mean the SBS Korean drama that started to air in June and has currently aired 8 episodes. It stars Uee/유이, Sung Joon/성준 , Park Hyung-Sik/박형식, and relatively new comer Lim Ji-Yeon/임지연

You want to know something funny?

Lim Ji-Yeon

I just noticed now that Lim Ji-Yeon was in the Korean movie “The Treacherous” (2015). It is funny because I saw her in her birthday suit a lot in that movie only a month ago and I had not made the connection once before.

The Treacherous

And it is not that I am a guy and I was not looking at her face!
Maybe a little…

In any case, I first tried out “High Society” (2015) when it was in its first week and… I cannot say that I liked it.

The basic concept was generic.
The cast was uninspired.

On the other hand, you can say the same of most Korean dramas.


I think what rubbed me the wrong way initially was the fact that it was difficult to follow who was who and what the character relationships were without one of those conspiracy boards with newspaper clippings connected by string.

So, I dropped the show until I had some time and ended up marathoning through the first 7 episodes. I still did not know who exactly was who until I googled the show’s character relationship diagram. This experience made me come to the conclusion that “High Society” (2015) is not a bad show but just a Crowded show that does not do a particularly good job managing the situation.

Now let’s talk about the plot.

Hold on to your hats ladies and gentlemen.
It is going to be a rocky ride!

The Plot
 “High Society”(2015) is “somewhat” about the girl played by Kpop star Uee/유이.

1st female lead.

 Uee is the youngest daughter of a conglomerate who pretends to be a nobody as she wants to be independent of her family. She even lies to her “poor” best friend played by the not-naked Lim Ji-Yeon/임지연.

2nd female lead.

The two girls are currently working part-time at a large super market chain. Uee is incognito while Lim Ji-Yeon is just her plain not-naked self.

The place of employment for the gals is own by Park Hyung-Sik’s family.

2nd male lead.

Unlike Uee’s character, Park Hyung-Sik’s character has no problem with being the son of a rich family and is determined to enjoy what he can while he can. At his side, as a subordinate, a colleague, more importantly a friend, is Sung Joon.

1st male lead.

He is a poor guy who made good but still has a huge chip on his shoulders about where he came from. You know the type!

1st female lead.
2nd female lead.
1st male lead.
2nd male lead.

Check, check, check, and check. Think we got the gist of the show…mmm…but nope.

Yoon Ji-Hye
Cersei Lannister

Uee has an older sister who is basically the Cersei Lannister of the show. For those who do not get this reference, watch “Game of Thrones!”

…(Another) 2nd female lead?
3rd female lead?

This woman is played by Yoon Ji-Hye/윤지혜doing what she usually does.

Watch Que Sera Sera (2007)!

Uee also has a frustrated and generally disappointed in her life matriarch of the family mother played by the great Ko Du-Shim/고두심. There is also a huge dick of a father, the patriarch of the family. And what conglomerate story could be complete without the patriarch’s trashy, snarly, and very “public” mistress!  The whole family is engulfed in this byzantine power struggle.

I’m beat!
We’re finished!

2nd male lead has his own family stuff going on and etc.

According to the good old Wikipedia, “An ensemble cast is made up of cast members in which the principal actors and performers are assigned roughly equal amounts of importance and screen time.”

There is a lot happening in this show with multiple subplots running in parallel. 

Or is the whole thing just full of noise?

In many ways, “High Society” (2015) feels like an ensemble show although it would not be quite accurate to categorize it as one. The show still has a central character who the whole show is centers around. By this I am referring to Uee’s character the rich girl who does not want to be the rich girl. It is surprising to see the length of her Korean drama credits since I have no idea who she is and she does not seem to be good enough an actress to have been in so many show!

Alas that is Korean drama!

In any case, if we get down to brass tacks, “High Society” (2015) is more like two different types of Korean dramas combined at the hip with duct tape than a cohesive single narrative with minor forgettable subplots. Watch “I Am Happy / Happiness /행복합니다” (2008) for the conventional Korean drama structure version of “High Society” (2015). It is a 58 episode show with a “rich girl pretending to be not” basic conceit similar to “High Society” (2015).

It is not bad!

On one end, you have your basic “fluffy milk toast” romance drama with the 4 wonderful specimens of youth Korean drama and Kpop has to offer.
Sung Joon
Park Hyung-Sik
Lim Ji-Yeon

Warm and cozy

You know what type of show I am talking about. Considering Korean drama standards, this part of “High Society” (2015) has enough content to last a 16 episode run. At least, it has more material to work with than “Warm and cozy” (2015).

Shaking my head!

On the other end, you have a Korean “Makjang” family drama in the vein of prime time soap opera giants like “Dynasty”. You have this insular world in which family members dance around each other waiting for the moment to stab each other in the back or front when the opportunity arises.

The Pitfalls
There are two main pitfalls of combining these two types of Korean drama in the case of “High Society” (2015). First, the progression of each part of the show becomes rather rushed in order to fit them in a 16 episode run. If you think about it, 16 episodes are not a lot of time to have both parts of the show play out properly. So, you have to compress the stories.

While there are proper ways to compress stories in the writing stage, this is not easy to do with Korean dramas because they have evolved to be more languidly paced in order to fill in empty spaces. So, “High Society” (2015), rather than compressing, just removes steps of plot and character developments.  This is why many areas of “High Society” (2015) feels rather rushed.

Second, a case of incompatibility regarding the show’s protagonist occurs as the protagonists required by each part of the show are rather different. Uee’s character is the only point of intersection between High Society ‘s two types of Korean dramas which makes her the main protagonist and focal point.

For the romance story, Uee’s character is portrayed as this “blank” milk toast of a character in accordance to what seems to be the law of Korean dramas. Usually, Korean drama female protagonists, in romances, are the least interesting character with no personality and agency. However, this type of character does not really work in a “Makjang” family drama in which the protagonist is intended to be an actual participant in the shenanigans and not just be a victim. The latter is another type of Korean drama and not what High Society” (2015) seems to be going for.

This is a reason why Uee’s character is overshined by Lim Ji-Yeon’s character. The latter only needs to be a cute Korean drama romance sidekick while Uee’s character has to be much more but is only Korean drama romance protagonist.

At The End
“High Society” (2015) is not a terrible show. It has some interesting elements to its stories although not particularly unique ones. The cast is okay although I wish the young male leads did not all look very similar. No one in the cast is a spectacular acting talent; that may be too much to ask from a cast filled with Kpop stars and models.

“High Society” (2015) is just too overcrowded that all of these not-negative elements seems to have not been properly developed. Considering the show is at its midpoint and even now the show feels rushed, I do not think that this will improve as the show still has far to go in regards to its stories. I think the show would have been a better fit for a 50 episode run although then the romance part may have gotten old fast.

In many ways, I do not think “High Society” (2015) will take the place of “I Am Happy / Happiness /행복합니다” (2008) in terms of my “a rich girl who doesn’t want to be” show quota. While the latter had its problems, it had more interesting characters and had enough time to develop its stories.

So, I think I’ll place “High Society” (2015) at the high end of “problematic but still interesting enough to give it a try” shows.  I give it a grade of C+.

Score: C+ or 5.25 /10

This was Prof. AKIA and thanks for reading my review.

So, thanks for visiting during office hours. My name again is Prof. AKIA. Do not forget to comment, share! Thanks. Now please get out.
Click below to subscribe for upto date reviews and news

subscription gadget widget
Thanks for reading this article. Please comment below and you can do it as a guest.
Also, it would be appreciated if you donate what you can towards the site. Thank.

Created by AKIA Talking
All of the pictures and videos here are used for criticism and references purposes. They are not mine. Only the article itself is my property.


Post a Comment