K-ent Discusses the Resurgence of School K-dramas After Extraordinary You’s Cult Hit Impact

The school theme for K-dramas has been around since the start of, well, K-dramas lol, but every few years there does seem to be a concentration of them released around the same time. We’re seeing another wave with True Beauty and Live On, both dropping at the end of 2021, and in early 2021 there will be Dear M and another installment of the School series with School 2021. Production companies are explaining the reasons why: (1) it’s cheaper the make, (2) it sells well on streaming and gets high views so it doesn’t matter than television ratings are typically low for school dramas, (3) idols can be cast and that gets investments from overseas, and (4) there are many webtoons/manhwas with school stories that are popular which can be adapted to K-dramas so no new script is needed. All of the above makes sense and continues to drive the evolution (or devolution) of dramas depending on your perspective.


K-ent Discusses the Resurgence of School K-dramas After Extraordinary You’s Cult Hit Impact — 18 Comments

  1. Young, pretty actors in teen angsty love triangles sum up most school kdramas.

    Even if the acting is bad, it’ll be a hit among international audiences.

    The bar is set very low.

  2. More than school dramas, I want to see more college/university based dramas which can showcase more romance, life of slice and complex storylines. In all school dramas I watched, all included bullying, fight between best friends, chasing for the same girl (We have enough with those). Last university based drama I’ve seen was Cheese in the trap, it was in 2016.
    Live On was pretty bad for me, I can’t stand those bad acting. I will try True Beauty when it’s out.
    Actually, I really disliked Extraordinary You, only Lee Jae Wook was good there.

  3. Live On didn’t really deliver like Extraordinary You did with episode 1….lets see how True Beauty fares. I think one important thing for school drama is the cast chemistry, Extraordinary You had a supporting cast so fun, charismatic and they all meshed so well, its not easy to replicate that. Starting from A3 to Y3 to E3, the cast just clicked both on and off screen.

    • True that the cast chemistry. Even until now the cast still close and friends each other. Extraordinary You didn’t have good ratings but the impact was all of the cast get more popular and even LJW got a lead role too

    • I was really surprised how the PD let them imagine some scenes. They could talk between them and come with an idea. They were all rookies but he trust them.

  4. I’m sick and tried of these idols in school dramas. A lot of young and rookie actors are very difficult to make it these days because the production teams are eyeing on those popular idols more than rookie actors. Their fans think they are best actors in the industry, lol.

  5. There are nice highschool drama like Extraordinary You (but it was more about the fantasy than school), Extracurricular (very dark), How to buy a friend (a short drama but with really good characters), At 18, etc. Now, I hope the ones on TV keep some quality and don’t become like webdrama.

    For the idols, they still have to pass an audition and the argument that they’re taking the role from a real actor, it’s not fair. A lot of actors big agencies put several of their actors in one drama, it’s not only auditions.

  6. I think we have to differ dramas that center its plot on school life and dramas that are setting in school but the story itself is more coming-of-age things (example Extracullicular). Honest, I dont watch school dramas, too cool for school I guess ha ha ha

  7. I enjoyed watching Live On despite of the best review about the casts’ acting. I mean, there are a lot of idols who can’t act tho. I used to it.

    I didnt watch many kdramas nowadays, but live on is one of two dramas im currently watching.

    Gonna check true beauty when it airs.

  8. Rookie actors aren’t necessarily good actors as we have come to realize. Sometimes they are much worse than idols. Might as well cast idols who have big fandoms and widespread influence. The last school drama I enjoyed was School 2013 I think? Lee Jong Suk and Kim Woo Bin truly delivered that angsty bromance. I like the way the drama didn’t forced any romance when they weren’t needed.

    • I think the era where idols and singers are stigmatized for acting in dramas should come to an end. I do agree that sometimes idols perform far better in dramas than rookie actors or models. School 2015 is a good example, you can’t compare Sung Jae’s light hearted, effortlessly natural performance with wooden Nam Joo Hyuk. We’ve got good acting from many idols/singers like Im Siwan in Misaeng; Park Hyung Sik in strong Woman Do Bong Soon; IU in My Ahjusshi, Junho in Just Between Lovers, all Seo In Guk and most Lee Seung gi dramas and so on. Talented people exist everywhere; and with experience, some talented idols can hone their craft in acting just like regular actors do.

  9. I’m honestly looking forward to True Beauty, and I don’t think there’s any need to stigmatize either high school dramas or idol actors. The scales will balance in the end – rookies are all learning to improve – and teen dramas can be a place for young actors to get their sea legs. Plus, teens deserve their enjoyment as much as anyone else, lol.

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