High Class has my full attention. Everything about it is intriguing, from the opening scene to the cinematography, it's simply beautiful. As picturesque as the island and the international school are, as vain and frivolous some of its inhabitants appear, especially Cha Do Young (Gong Hyun Joo), Young Joo (Yoon In Jo), Sung Kyung Ah (Kang Yun Jung) and their poor children. Conversely, Nam Ji Sun (Kim Jee Soo) seems intense; there's something sinister about her. It's like she can't stand to be outdone by anyone or anything. An upper-class mindset doesn’t make one classy.
I wondered why Yeo Wool decided to have her son, An Yi Chan's (Jang Sun Yool), to the international school on Jeju island, so far away from the City. Especially since she seemed so out of place among those super-wealthy and pretentious mothers, I was grateful for the backstory. I sensed that bullying would've been one of the main reasons. I loved how Yeo Wool stood up for her child, both in front of the bully's mother and the teacher. I commend the drama for taking on the role teachers play in shaping children in schools, particularly when it comes to bullying and preconceived societal prejudices on the presumption of guilt until proven otherwise. Teachers same as parents, are responsible for the safety and care of all students, not just a few.
I was glad Yi Chan got accepted to the international school, not that I expected this school to be any better than the last one. On the contrary, I knew it would be worse. Considering how superficial all the moms were for believing he couldn't have been accepted on merit made me cringe—making up their own stories and believing it too. It's so true when they say that some people believe their own lies and the stories they make up in their heads. The saddest part though is observing how their children treat others they perceive of lesser status, but one can't blame them. They are but doing what their parents do. I admired Ji Sun's older son Lee Jun Mo (Choi Bo Geun) for standing up to his mom's pettiness.
I enjoy Cho Yeo Jung, and I am glad to have her on the small screen soon after her last project. And more, Ha Joon was fantastic in Black Dog and Missing: The Other Side. Add Kim Jee Soo to the mix, and it looks like we may be in for a legendary ride. As the husband, I had hoped Kim Nam Hee had a more significant role in this drama. I know it's too early to speculate, but I can't shake this feeling that Yeo Wool's husband faked his death.
Either way, it was terrific to see him, even if in a guest role. I'm excited about High Class, not that there is anything high class about the characters in it. The first episode gave me Double Jeapordy, the American movie vibes. A successful lawyer who loses everything when she's framed of her husband’s murder, but unexpectedly begins to unravel the mystery behind her husband’s death when the mother of one of her son’s classmates turns out to be his mistress.
That anyone, let alone an adult, deemed it okay to use a child at kindergarten no less to send a message, is beyond despicable, and it speaks more of how selfish, insecure, and vindictive the women of this so-called paradise island are, more like hell island if you ask me. If it was entirely about them, it would have been tolerable, but watching their children turn into little replicas of them is distressing. It's like they say, children become what they are told they are. The hardest job kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any.
As much as the drama wants us to believe, it was Do Young, who locked Yi Chan in the locker to keep him for telling what he saw. I have my doubts. I get the sense that Nam Ji Sun would order someone to do, probably a teacher, Rachel Cho (Lee Ka Eun), to be exact. But of course, I could be totally off about this, and it is Do Young, she is petty enough to do something as cruel and thoughtless. It is unquestionable that everyone on this damned island hides some sort of secret, and I mean everyone.
The minute I saw Hwang Na Yoon (Park Se Jin), I had this unshakable feeling she was Yeol Wool's husband's mistress, and that her daughter Jae In was Yi Chan's sister. I feel for Yeol Wool, the one person in that hell of an island who's shown her genuine affection. I can only imagine how hard that would hit her if it were true. I'm not even sure how important Yeo Wool's husband was to the international school or the foundation. Whatever it was/is, I doubt it's as simple or straightforward as the foundation's chairwoman Do Jin Sul (Woo Hyun Joo) made it sound, but what creeps me out the most is her interest in Yi Chan. I loved the drama's introduction of Danny Oh (Ha Joon). He gives off a vibe of a care-free, fun-loving, sincere person, but the way things have been, I doubt anyone of them is genuine or kind for that matter. Watch episodes 1 & 2 here.