A new JTBC drama, featuring high class families' education craze to help their children gain a ticket to Seoul National University (SNU) and rise to "Kennedy family" status in Korea, has been unveiled.
"SKY Castle," premiered on Friday, starring veteran actresses Yum Jung-ah, Lee Tae-ran, Yoon Se-a, Oh Na-ra and Kim Seo-hyung, reveals the strategies and dirty tricks of elite mothers from families of medical doctors and law professors living in affluent residences to secure their children a position to attend the SNU medical school.
"SKY" alludes to the prestigious trio of universities, Seoul National University, Korea University and Yonsei University.
"SKY Castle" is a satirical look at Korea's education system today, where it has become harder for poor families to climb the social ladder through the means of education. The story is told through the tales of rich families' twisted ambitions.
The first episode started with a luxurious celebration party for Lee Myung-ju's son, played by Kim Jeong-nan. Her son was just accepted to the most coveted SNU medical school. Han Seo-jin, played by Yum, is desperate for her daughter to make the family reach three generations of medical doctors, and plans from A to Z and throws the posh party for the son wishing to obtain his portfolio.
Yet the seemingly perfect Lee Young-ju's family meets a tragic end in the second episode with the suicide of Lee. Their son left the "hellish" family leaving behind a diary stored on a tablet.
The son they knew as gentle and smart wrote, "I want to die. Just kill me. I searched on the web how to commit suicide… Since elementary school, mother has hit me when I wrote even one wrong answer in the exam. I thought it was normal to any family… I want to slice my wrist. From 10, my only wish is to escape this house. Until then just study hard… as if I'm dead."
From hiring illegal help from a law professor to write an application cover letter to a college entrance coordinator that costs over 100 million won a year to hire, the black comedy with the help of great acting performances of veteran actresses immersed drama fans in the stories of SKY Castle, where "Korea's 0.1% elite live together to rise even higher, endless greed spreads its wings."
"I'm a ball of greed. I live desperately in the belief that my husband and two children's success is the same as my own success," said actress Yum on her character during the press conference, Thursday. "By looking at the stories of parents and children who run around like crazy (for this one goal), as a mother myself, I was shocked and worried if this is what I will really face in the future."
Director Cho Hyun-tak said, "The drama is about very limited number of people. Looking at their lives, audiences might feel that they are watching them outside from a window, but they can also draw some similarities to their own lives as well. That can be interesting."
"SKY Castle" airs at 11 p.m. on JTBC on Friday and Saturday.
source: The Korea Times