The Glory premiered on Netflix on December 30 and rapidly climbed the rankings charts, its launch so masterfully deliberate with all eight episodes uploaded on the streaming web site the next day. It’s a becoming finish to Song Hye Kyo’s cellar dwelling days.

By January 2, Korea Joong Ang Daily reported that the revenge drama had ranked first on the lists of streaming companies in 10 areas, together with Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines.

The drama is a couple of poor teenage woman who desires of being an architect. In faculty, she is subjected to excessive bullying by a gang of rich college students. A couple of years later she returns to hold out an elaborate revenge plan on her tormentors. First, she enters the perpetrators’ world via the sport of Go. Her predominant aim: to interact the true property tycoon-husband of her predominant tormentor Yeon Jin (Lim Ji Yeong) in a winner-take-all sequence. Then, she inches menacingly nearer by taking a job as homeroom trainer at Semyeng Elementary faculty, the place Yeon Jin’s youngster is enrolled.

The Glory is precisely what Song Hye Kyo wanted to reignite a profession that had been within the doldrums. Her final outing, Now We Are Breaking Up, left netizens pondering that regardless of her a lot vaunted magnificence, she had misplaced her drawing energy.

Critics and netizens have lamented that she appeared caught in her trademark melodramas enjoying the attractive however stoic, completed older lady in a glamorous world the place she is paired with youthful, scorching OTPs (one true pairings), the heartthrobs and the oppas of the season. For a time, she did get away with that attempted and examined components.

Then 2022 noticed the navy enlistment of virtually a complete era of youthful, taller, virile oppas who made the hearts of netizens flutter and heated up the Okay-Drama world. Viewers have been then left questioning what subsequent for Song Hye Kyo, whom to pair her with. Then got here the shocker that’s The Glory. 

Taking on this darkish position, SHK bit the bullet, stony mien and all. Shedding her glamorous picture, her physique bears horrific scars, digital maps of the torture she endured within the arms of her tormentors. Her avenging Dong Eun will keep in viewers’ recollections lengthy after the drama’s final episode rolls.

That there are not any over-the-top theatrics when she meets her tormentors years later makes the scene extra placing

Watching her, hardened by the abuse she’s endured, seemingly useless on the within and protecting a passive, haunted visage for many of the drama, we neglect the attractive Song Hye Kyo and see Dong Eun as an alternative. The arduous glint in her eyes when she makes her adversaries squirm and the uncommon smiles she bestows Jo Yeo Jeong (Lee Do Hyun), who’s smitten together with her, are this actor’s shining moments. That there are not any over-the-top theatrics when she meets her tormentors years later, however only some menacing phrases, makes the scene extra placing.

Like dramas within the revenge style, The Glory does not likely inform a brand new story, however its author Kim Eun Sook (Mr. Sunshine, Goblin, Descendants of the Sun) and director Ahn Gil Ho (Record of Youth, Memories of the Alhambra, Forest of Secrets, and Happiness, amongst others) take a really unsettling and gory premise method over the sting, throwing into the combination intriguing characters all ably essayed by a robust ensemble. A pervading sense of disquiet and worry thus looms over each episode.

The writing is grim and digicam work is stark because it pans over the horrific scars on the arms, legs, and again of the protagonist, making viewers really feel the ache because the curling iron burns her flesh. But simply because the viewer feels she will be able to’t take yet another merciless scene, the author throws in an sudden show of mirth. Take that body the place Dong Eun’s cohort, the abused spouse who needed her husband killed, chortles and might’t cease laughing. Or these moments once we see Dong Eun soften as she asks in regards to the former’s daughter. A fantastic balancing act author Kin Eun Sook does, at the same time as we see episode after episode of unspeakable violence.

The protagonist Moon Dong Eun (Song Hye Kyo) is subjected to such abject humiliation and excessive cruelty from the get-go that viewers are riveted to the scene, unable to blink as she is brutalized by 5 of her faculty mates (two of them male). The pacing and cinematography are deftly dealt with by its director, giving it the texture of a film slightly than a Okay-drama.

In The Glory, the bullying goes past the standard preying on a hapless sufferer, however escalates into unimaginable horror and torture perpetrated by sociopaths. You really feel like screaming: Isn’t there anybody who will put a cease to this? The instrument of torture: the recent curling iron each teenager makes use of to glamorize herself.

Episode after episode, The Glory unreels graphic scenes, leaving the viewers horrified but riveted to the violence onscreen. And it’s not solely within the arms of the gang that Dong Eun suffers. She has nobody on her facet besides the college nurse who helps her report to highschool authorities. But, as an alternative of investigating the matter, the assistant principal topics Dong Eun to excessive bodily assault. Other faculty academics attempt to restrain him, however he’s a wild animal on the rampage. The faculty nurse is pressured to resign after the perpetrators’ wealthy and highly effective mother and father do harm management.

School officers grow to be get together to a radical whitewash of the case. In the withdrawal type Dong Eun indicators, she names her tormentors and cites bodily abuse as cause for leaving faculty. But “maladjustment” is as an alternative stamped on the shape. Her mom, who hardly cares, accepts the settlement cash from her tormentors’ mother and father.

In episode after episode, The Glory unreels graphic scenes in order that viewers are horrified however stay riveted to the violence onscreen

Once she leaves faculty, Dong Eun claws her method via bodily, social, and financial privations and places herself in a spot the place she is bound to sow worry within the coronary heart of her predominant tormentor, Park Yeon Jin. She makes an look in such important moments as the highschool reunion the place Yeon Jin is to obtain an award as excellent alumna. She says with out blinking, “You have been my one dream from that day I left faculty.”

We see that via the years, little has modified among the many gang of bullies; sociopaths even in highschool, they’re remorseless and unrepentant reprehensible adults. They stay seemingly regular lives—go to church, have jobs (Yeon Jin is a climate reporter in a TV station the place her husband plunks in large investments), increase households—whereas protecting the lid on their darkish previous.

Given that as a excessive schooler, Yeon Jin, the protagonist’s chief tormentor, had nothing to worry being wealthy, entitled, and because the uncontested chief of bullies, viewers really feel a way of satisfaction seeing her dissemble within the face of Dong Eun’s unrelenting revenge.

After going via all of the eight episodes from the vantage level of the protagonist and the gang of sociopaths that flip her into a really deadly and environment friendly avenging machine, we take a more in-depth have a look at the solid that performs very vital roles in making The Glory top-of-the-line Okay-dramas of the 12 months—the actors that gave it again to Song Hye Kyo body after body.

First off, 33-year-old Lim Je Yeon takes on her first villain position as Park Yeon Jin.  Before The Glory, she has performed principally mild and sleek lead roles or supporting characters. She was in Money Heist Korea: Joint Economic Area. From doing musicals and theater, she ventured into quick movies and tv. Then in 2010, she diversified her filmography and labored in erotic themed dramas. In 2014, she headlined the erotic movie Obsessed, incomes for herself the title Queen of Explicit Scenes.

 Lim Je Yeon was so totally evil as Yeon Jin that she scared the residing daylights out of viewers

But The Glory, the place she performed a totally evil antagonist to Song Hye Kyo’s  character, was a completely new expertise for Lim Je Yeon. “I used to be drawn and shocked after studying the script,” she stated in an interview.  And, she did greater than dare tackle the position of arch villain. She was so totally evil as Yeon Jin that she scared the residing daylights out of viewers, successfully serving as  foil to Song Hye Kyo’s revenge-driven Dong Eun in order that critics dubbed her “the present stealer.”

Writer Kim Eun Sook stated in an interview, “I made a decision to take the primary danger of casting her (Lim Je Yeon) because the antagonist though there have been considerations she would possibly mess up, this being her first time to play villain.” LJY proved she was definitely worth the danger, wiping out all considerations as quickly as she appeared within the first brutal scene.

Equally unforgettable and contributing in giant measure to the drama’s chilling impact on viewers is Shin Ye Eun, who performs the highschool model of Yeon Jin. Her villain is evil to the core and most terrifying. Jung Ji So performs Dong Eun as a highschool scholar. Acting together with her eyes, she ably reveals the desperation and anger increase in her younger thoughts as she is subjected to at least one brutal move of the curling iron after one other.

Lee Do Hyun (Youth of May and 18 Again) performs Ju Yeo Jeong. As the physician whose first encounter with Dong Eun is in a hospital ward the place he first sees the horrific scars on her arms, Lee Do Hyun performs a pivotal position within the drama and Dong Eun’s revenge on her tormentors. He additionally provides her classes within the recreation of Go, a significant a part of her scheme to enter the world of her tormentors.

Netizens have decried the shortage of chemistry between him and Song Hye Kyo, however The Glory isn’t any melodrama, and LDH’s character will not be that of a hunk paired with a glamorous older lady. In the primary few episodes, there already are hints of his personal darkish previous—the son of a health care provider whose husband was murdered—that will determine in Part 2 of the drama that goes onstream in March. This early, we could anticipate the author to throw in some surprises the place his character is anxious.

Jung Sung Il (Our Blues) as Ha Do Yeong, the true property tycoon-husband of Yeon Jin, essays his position with such quiet however simmering depth that the scenes the place he faces a cool and calculating Dong Eun throughout the Go board give that really feel of hazard. Netizens have been additionally fast to notice the robust chemistry between him and Song Hye Kyo.

As Part 1 of the drama ended on the obscure word of how Ha Do Yeong will determine in a face-off between Dong Eun and Yeon Jin, viewers additionally eagerly await whether or not or not Ha Do Yeong will find yourself taking the facet of Dong Eun. The final scene of Episode 8 has HDY coming into the condo of Dong Eun, the place Yeon Jin, after breaking and coming into, is trying intently on the diagrams and photos on the partitions exhibiting Dong Eun’s revenge plan.

Other notable members of the solid are Yeom Hye Ran as Kang Hyun Nam, Dong Eun’s cohort and ally, and the gang of bullies Park Sung Hoon as Jeon Jae Joon, Kim Hi Eo Ra as Lee Sa Ra, Cha Joo Young as Choi Hye Jeong, and Kim Gun Woo as Son Myeong Oh. Kim Jung Young is Park Sang Im, Ju Yeo Jeong’s mom.

As we look ahead to Part 2 on Netflix in March, we’re protecting our fingers crossed that the following eight episodes will permit Moon Dong Eun to lastly relaxation her thoughts and coronary heart and go away the previous behind, because the plastic surgeon Ju Yeo Jeong heals her scars.

Here are some netizens’ feedback on The Glory:

Song Hye Kyo’s performing is miles higher right here than in Now We Are Breaking Up… She’s nonetheless enjoying one other variation of the identical character archetype she prefers—stoic and impassive feminine—however there’s much more depth to Moon Dong Eun. Her deadness actually works for a personality that’s useless inside…The youthful antagonist was horrifying to observe. The antagonist’s husband is scorching, scorching, scorching.” — Peanut Gallery

“Song Hye Kyo’s performing is significantly better than anticipated, however that isn’t saying so much. Her stoic method of performing lastly met a script it’s referred to as for.” — Bro

Credits: The Swoon/YouTube

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