“Itaewon Class” Second Half Review- A Promising Drama That Ultimately Failed to Deliver

Published Categorized as Kdrama Reviews

Itaewon Class” has finally wrapped up its run, it’s been a fun ride but not without its share of a few disappointments here and there.

I’ve been invested in “Itaewon Class” as you can tell if you follow my blog. I’ve already reviewed the first half and I am here to talk about the second half.

I found the second half of “Itaewon Class” to be disappointing and I know that’s a very big word that I don’t take lightly. I will explain why I believe this below.

Note: as you can tell, this is a subjective review of the second half. It will contain spoilers of episodes 9 to 16 so proceed with caution.

“Itaewon Class” was never groundbreaking to me, it was nice but I never grouped it with my personal fav kdramas list, I might have in the past but the more great kdramas I see, the pickier I become. As I said in my review of the first half, “Itaewon Class” plot is nothing special or challenging, but its very comforting, sweet and at times surprising.

I didn’t go in with high expectations because of the plot, and I was pleasantly surprised by “Itaewon Class.” It had many mini twists that caught me off-guard and I really liked them. This is why I gave the first half of the drama a lot of praise. I honestly didn’t expect the writer to surprise me like that.

However, I can’t say the writer charged toward the second half of this drama with the same enthusiasm because it really felt like he just stopped trying. 

The awful bad-guy selection


After Geun Won’s character was abandoned by his father, I was surprised because our main antagonist is now gone and we’re only halfway through, how will we proceed for the remaining 5 episodes? The writer decided to go with Geun Soo which I think was the first red flag.

Up until episode 8, Geun Soo was this cute boy who just needed loving people. He is considerate, polite, and naïve at times. He was so cute and pure; suddenly the writer just shoved all of those characteristics in the trash and cloned what used to be Geun Won’s character onto Geun Soo, which I hated because it felt convenient and easy to take this route. Instead of coming up with a better idea of an antagonist, the writer decides to use someone we thought we knew.


Yi Seo told Geun Soo clearly that he was never going to have a chance with her because she loves her boss like crazy. Despite never pursuing her, he decides to refer to something she once said (about him taking over Jangga) to get her to like him.


From that point on, I think it went downhill for me, the entire “Itaewon Class” experience that is. He just became a jackas* who has no motive but to deliberately go after everyone he once knew and liked for no obvious reason. Like a cartoonish bad guy who does stuff because that’s what the writer wants. He was reduced from a 4D character to a 2D character in one scene and it broke my heart because I really wanted to like this drama.

The reason why I said “Itaewon Class” ‘core-plot’ wasn’t special is because I’ve seen many similar kdramas/Korean movies/American series about the underdog who grows up to become big and take revenge against chaebols or CEOs who ruined their life, and with that core plot comes a lot of clichés that we’re bound to see.

As “Itaewon Class” second half began to unfold, I noticed that I saw more of those clichés and some revelations didn’t feel this grand in my opinion anymore. For example, when the grandma who pesters poor people who borrow money from her turned out to be a well-off chaebol who invests millions in corporations. That move felt very cartoonish to me.

The evolution of Yi Seo


Personally speaking, I found Yi Seo to be the most interesting character in this drama because she’s borderline sociopathic and we don’t see that in leading female characters in kdramaland often. I didn’t like her character but she gets sh*t done. She’s independent and sure of herself. I might not like such characters but I do admire her from afar.

This also meant that Yi Seo had the most potential for growth among all the characters. After she got dumbed I didn’t sense that she changed in any way. She knew she wasn’t disposable and continued to tell her boss she loved him taking advantage of the fact that she was irreplaceable, fi this was a man, the conversation would be different.

She was almost still the same even after she got rejected by him; she looked a bit broken but still persisted like her old self to do what she does best.


I didn’t see that shift as clearly as I had wished, and then we suddenly jump 4 years later and it seems like she’s this mature watered-down version of her old self, she lost what made her character special… what happened? What changed? Did she change? How and when?

It just felt that the writer took the easiest route, again. Yi Seo went through that growth period I had wanted to see for myself away from the camera, what’s the use?

I wanted to see her shift from being an immature child who only cares about herself to a grown woman who cares or at least doesn’t want to ruin the people around her for her own benefit.

From romance to murder and kidnapping


Perhaps my least favorite turn of events has to be this; we went from one theme to a completely different illogical theme, even by kdramaland standards that was far-fetched.

The character of Geun Won should’ve been left in the past or at least if brought back, brought back with a reason. I couldn’t understand the justification behind why he suddenly became this reckless cartoonish killing machine. He wants to eliminate his brother, Yi Seo and Sae royi, how and why?

The entire kidnapping part felt like a plot device to add substance to what could be an otherwise lackluster ending of a drama. I wanted the drama to stick to its roots not become this thriller cartoonish plot. It reminded me a lot of a comic which is the base material of this drama but on overdrive, this isn’t how its done writer-nim. If you don’t know, the writer of the webcomic is the same one who wrote the drama.

At first, I was excited [when I learned he’s writing the drama script too] because I knew he wouldn’t try to utilize those typical kdrama clichés writers use and he did prove to me he was different in the first half. In the second half, it became apparent that the writer was inexperienced and had a comic-writing background.

Episode 16 was boring and the first 30 minutes were so stupid, it was puzzling. I don’t even know where to begin, it almost felt as if no one was taking this seriously, not the gangsters, not Geun Won, and certainly not Sae royi by the way he reacted. A simple example would be his decision to take Yi Seo’s hands and run away instead of taking the car into safety, or arriving there before the police when he could’ve just waited. It felt dramatic for no reason.

From friends to lovers


I was never rooting for Sae royi and Yi Seo mainly because I thought he deserved better than her or Soo Ah. He was too good for both girls. The growth of Yi Seo, or lack of, didn’t help her case. I also didn’t understand how he suddenly realized he had feelings for her and just completely abandoned his love for Soo Ah in like 30 seconds.

He’s always cared for her and looked after her as her older brother; I preferred their relationship like that. We saw no signs of anything beyond a brotherly relationship yet suddenly he just snaps and realizes its been her all along, how? This is so out of character for Sae royi.


Also, this is probably my least favorite pairing of Park Seo Joon with any actress. When you see him opposite Park Min Young or Kim Ji Won and then you compare that to Kim Da Mi, there is no spark. I don’t see it.

This is not to say that Kim Da Mi is a terrible actress, in fact, she’s one of my new fav actresses and she’s on par with the female co-stars I mentioned before. However, I just can’t picture them together, that’s all.



Overall, “Itaewon Class” second half was with all honesty disappointing, very disappointing. I expected more from a promising writer who appeared to be taking chances at first only to revert to cliché and less-than-justifiable decisions to drive the second half of the plot.

This is why “Itaewon Class” will not be called one of the great kdramas of 2020 in my list, it is fun but if you’re paying attention to the details it will become puzzling and kinda disappointing as you go on.

Now, I know my standards are not exactly the same as the rest of my fellow kdrama fans. In fact, I’ve seen people praise this drama a lot and if you liked it then I am happy for you. Personally speaking, I found it rather disappointing when taking into account the entire drama.

Still, I’d recommend this drama to almost everyone unless they’re picky like me.

So these are my thoughts on the drama. What about you guys? I’d like to read your thoughts in the comment section below. I will be waiting and will respond.

Whats your reaction to this article?

By Jass K.

Hi, I am Jass k. I discuss some of the hottest currently airing kdramas on this site in form of reviews an/or recaps, join me in the discussion~


  1. I so agree with your summarisation of everything about this drama. And yes there’s no chemistry between PSJ and KDM to be forced together suddenly to be in a romantic relationship. I also find the 2nd half of Crash Landing On You as disappointing.

  2. I was also quite disappointed with how this ended. The chase scenes did not make sense. Yeah, the series went downhill prior the ending. I don’t think the ending credit scene was necessary. Sae Royi’s smile in response to the question is a more fitting end scene.

  3. Omg , you spoke my mind !! This is exactly what I felt watching the drama. Everything you said is correct the second half was so badly written that I had to forward quite a lot cause it was so predictable. Park Seo Joon has had great chemistry with all his female co star but in drama its felt like he didn’t with both the actresses. It would have been so much better if they didn’t get together in the end. And the thing with Geun Soo turning evil all of a sudden, what was that?! Seriously I got into Itaewon Class cause everyone was raving about it but seriously such a disappointment. The acting was good but the story sucked.

    1. Finally an honest review. I couldn’t believe other viewers didn’t see what I saw. Itaewon Class started off so promising and then literally lost the plot. I did also feel the entire show could have ended a lot earlier, and maybe if it had, it wouldn’t have ended in such disappointment.

  4. Hello ,
    Take a break.
    You missed the biggest point of all, when chairman Jang knelt n asked for forgiveness, you almost expected Saeroyi to soften n lift him, but NO…. he just said I am a business man, let’s do business and he walked off. That’s the best.
    Eat your heart out man.

  5. I totally agree with you.I was in love with this drama during the first few episodes..I felt like it was really really amazing and I would’ve added it to my fav kdrama list.but the second half just disappointed me.In the beginning I was so sure that saeroyi would continue liking soo ah because he even promised her he’d help her get out of jjanga.but idk one day he just changed his mind or something ..I really didn’t understand they didn’t even show a transformation of his feelings and it wasnt even justified.He just changed his feelings from liking soo ah for 10 years to yi seo in 30 seconds.And I totally agree with the kidnapping and stuff I can’t even continue watching this drama from the 13th episode 8’m just dragging myself because it’s just turned confusing and not as interesting as it was before.

  6. Looking at your explanation about how u don’t consider this as a great drama is simply because you are just biased with geun soo and against yi seo and against the fact that saeroyi ended up with yiseo. U just didn’t want to see geun soo as the bad guy but u know what they actually followed what was in the webtoon. It was bound to happen cause in his vien ran jang’s blood so like father like son, he didn’t know how to stop. Yes I do agree that yiseo is a sociopath, but she developed a lot. She usually hangs around with those people who will do good to her but after she came to danbam, she and hyun hi became best friends, but them being friends won’t do her good, it won’t gain her anything, instead she gave the courage to hyun hi to face world once again with the rock poem and she helped hyun hi major time. And about saeroyi’s relation with soo ah, they were good friends but it was not love, he might like her before but through the episodes his feelings towards her seems to fade away. I don’t hate soo ah but the fact that she never tells saeroyi that she likes him and instead ask saeroyi to like her makes me feel that she’s a selfish one. In this case yi seo never asked for sae ro yi to love her. She didn’t force him. U might have seen how he realized his love it might be sudden but this was bound to happen in every corner of how much he cares and trust her.

  7. Hmm.. Yes..im kinda convince to what you say..The second half of the series bit boring.. And some point i felt what you felt.. But considering the first half.. I must say.. I was disappointed but Not very disappointing.

  8. So true I felt the same. I din like the pairing from the beginning there was no spark no chemistry.. Which is like the major part of PSJ previous dramas. The last episode I skipped majority of the scene coz I din like how the story was going at all I felt like pls get this over with.. I’m oly seeing for PSJ. The kiss scene though I liked how PSJ caress and kisses his Co stars it was so romantic even though ther was no chemistry I imagined him doing it with someone else

  9. You took the words out of my mouth! One more thing I would add is, did anyone else notice just how many times the characters conveniently bumped into each other?? It felt like lazy writing to me. A couple of times in the entire drama is fine, and if Itaewon is small this may be believable. But not a couple of times PER episode, and not everywhere from the streets of Itaewon, to the Jangga and IC offices, to Pujin, to a random zebra crossing.

    1. yea and i mean Jangga is a billion dollar company running a 5-star restaurant in Itaewon, yet Soo-anh carried an empty bucket to DanBam to ask for ice. How many customers can a bucket of ice serve in a 5-star restaurant. It’s so ridiculous.

  10. I could not agree more with this review. The first 9 episodes really showed promise. I thought this is really something new and was eager to know how the writer would bring about jangga co. ‘s destruction. I literally binge watched the last six episodes and boy i was dissapointed. The four year leap was hard to digest, yi seo’s affection was cringy and saeroyi’s confession was so forced and lackluster. Then the unbelievable kidnapping. But for me the worst part was that a whistle blower brought down jangga co. I mean this defeats the entire story’s purpose. I really wanted to see park saeroyi give the final blow to jangga co. Man it was disappointing. And yes the lead pair had no charm, chemistry and i definitely didn’t ship them. They didn’t go well together. Also what purpose did toni serve? The second half was so rushed, full of clichés.

    1. so true. A lot did not make sense. Also they set up Park Saeroyi to be a man of his word and kept his promises but suddenly in a blink of an eye dumps his 15-year promise to his first love to a girl who got conveniently kidnapped for him to realize his feeling. That plot was so dumb and so out of character.

  11. I felt the same too, especially the romance part – pairing. It’s not what I expected. In addition, I like the character of Park Seo-ro yi that he has a strong personality and won’t get influenced easily, even his feeling. At first, it gave me an expectation that he and Su Ah will get a happy life after the revenge. The more episode I watch, the more disappointment, especially the peak moment until the end, where Park Seo-ro yi become the boss of IC (after 4 years). Furthermore, one of the most speechless part for me is when Park Seo-ro yi flashing back the moment with Yi Seo, The scene that full of happy memory with Yi Seo obviously. I was like “Whudddd”, when Seo-ro yi 100% love Yi Seo after flashing back.

    Duhh…. Seo-ro has a great childhood memory with Su Ah tho 😛 . Anyway, it’s my personal thought 🙂

  12. YES! i am only on episode 12 and as soon as geun soo joined jangga i noticed that out of nowhere change in his character and it is making me really upset! i do not know as of writing this the exact way that they ended the drama but I am most upset with geun soo’s characterization. there was also no need for guen soo as an antagonist. i don’t hate soo-ah, she annoyed me here and there but otherwise i related most with her and her dilemma (after geun woo (shocking right)) but a female antagonist would have been …. interesting … but i also did chairman jang did well alone as the main antagonist (like imagine if but his sons left him and he was failed with that self reflection that even if he had jangga it would never fill that hole in his heart that is family or something, I’m not a screen writer) still they did geun soo dirty. ANOTHER thing is that the plot kind of got too slow towards the end that it kind of almost made me stop loving the characters bc of the pace. ANOTHER thing is that the theme of family was just thrown out the window when it came to dealing with geun soo. based on what you wrote he becomes an antagonist but what happened his admiration and need for love that he found in danbam ?? why did saeroyi let him go that easily ?? because of that theme of finding family the drama could have been a wholesome show filled with character development. it just upsets me so much how easily they threw away his character from the core cast. that sort of love they are promoting should not be that dismissible. but then again i have 3 1/2 episode to so we’ll see if some of my claims do not make sense with how the show turns out.

  13. I was actually looking for a dislike button , to me it’s only fair it should work that way xD . I guess people like you who dislike the development of Itaewon Class are very young and have a limited life experience of going through hardships, working hard and having success or failures ,having responsabilities and making decisions. Itaewon class is refreshing because it breaks so many cliches but sticks to the message. And for me, after Soo Ah brought down Jangga ,she herself exposed the true reason behind her actions and all her motivation was paying back the debt she felt that she had towards Sae-Ro-Yi’s father so in the end it all came down to her. Her pride of not depending on or owing anyone resumes her selfish character when she visits his grave and says she did repay her debt to him paying for her studies, closing the circle that started with her pushing that beggar when Sae-Ro-Yi first met her. I found the story to be really good and the actors felt really invested in it. None of the characters is useless, they are like puzzle pieces and complete the big picture.

  14. I agree with a lot of things you said. PSJ was better in this then what’s wrong with secretary Kim in my opinion. In this drama he showed off a little bit more of an acting range. I also agree that it was out of character for saeroyi to like yiseo like where did that come from? I agree that he was indeed better than both love interest but he shoulda been with soo-ah cause that would’ve been more natural. I was also heavily disappointed with what they did with Geunsoo. His character had so much potential and they just wasted it and towards the end he just made a lot of irrational decisions that didn’t add up. Jang dae hee was just puzzling. I literally never understood any of his motivations besides the fact that he doesn’t like to lose. Geunwon was an annoying spoiled idiot and a pathetic excuse for a human being. The whole time I was like why do you want to kill saeroyi so much when all you did to him was ruin his life? He might be the worst Woodinville and I’ve ever seen in a drama. The trans girl was good. Toni seemed promising but ended up dull. The plot was kinda basic but who doesn’t like a good underdog story? Also the show brought up sensitive topics that normally don’t make it into dramas so I will add points for that. The characters were good but not very memorable in my opinion. I’m picky too lol. I liked the drama because it was a break from the typical stuff I’ve been seeing but it’s definitely not going on my favorites list.

  15. I hope I can share my thoughts here when I finish watching the drama.
    I happen to be on Episode 10 (Ep. 9 was the last I watched yesterday) so today I hope,I’m gonna be finishing the last 6 episodes.
    But so far,I like how it goes.
    I only feel sad for Geun Soo because I feel sorry that Yi Seo doesn’t like him,but oh well,he probably biased me a little,but oh well

  16. I definitely agree with you. Honestly i’ve watched the entire season because of two things: it is Park SeoJoon who’s the lead actor and I was curious on how his character will live a life with his principles unshaken and stick to what he believes. Like you I was dissatisfied with the storyline as it ends. I’m not into watching Kdramas this past few years because I really got fed up with all the cliches, twists, and plots that are repetitive. What really caught me from the beginning of the story is how he handled frustrations and problems without any fear, he sticks to his words and principles, he has his goals, he is dignified man who will not bow down to anyone who doesn’t deserve apologies, he is like a bullet, you can’t stop him. His character is really amazing and how he delivers it. But I was disappointed how all of a sudden he changed because the girl whom he thought he doesn’t like turns out to be the girl he really loves was in trouble, the very thing he didn’t do from the beginning, he finally did because he loves this girl very much? The hell? What happens to his goal that he would marry this other girl who is his first love but suddenly he realizes he doesn’t like her anymore? What happened??? I was rooting for him and Soo Ah just because she had a big impact to him. She used to be one who made him stronger and strive more. But this girl is just so lazy she didn’t actually do something about them.

  17. Actually, I have the same thoughts on it. Saeroyi and yi seo never had that spark as a couple along the run of the drama but it it also made me think of the kind of love you realized because others made u do it kind. (It actually gave me flutters because it was the kind of love line I like. )And there were also inclinations that he was beginning to like her after that 4yr timeline. Its just that he was too busy on the revenge thing. I wished it was just an open ending on whom he’ll end up with but its just that u know (as any other audience) they’ll be together in the end. U just dontvknow how they’ll be developed. As for the cliche thing, i quite agree too. Its quite rare in real life an old auntie becomes a rich mogul. I wish they could’ve solved it with real solution. Idk what solution tho. And my heart goes to geun soo why does he need to be a bad person?!! I guess he also want his father’s acceptance. I believe its not only for yiseo but also for himself. Its just that i hate that they made him bad when in fact he’s this cute lil innocent guy. I really thought he’ll be the new light/hope for the jangga co. Like he’ll follow the footsteps of saeroyi. Like he’ll bring change to the company but he was just made to be one of jangga’s. If u like ho jin, I like soo ah’s character in the end. I really hate her ever since she accepted the scholarship and started working in jangga. I always thought, “how can she work with people knowing that they killed saeroyi’s appa? She’s a traitor. Real traitor.” I always hate it every time she goes to report jang dae hee ceo about the developments of danbam. There was also this scene where she brought flowers given by ceo jang to saeroyi during the investment withdrawal. Gosh girl, why do u have to bring that. U already know he’s having a hard time? That’s why at this point, I liked yiseo more than her. Tho i kind of understand she’s just doing her job but??? I also hate the fact that she have to wait for sae ro yi to get her out of jangga when she could have done it herself. U k ow girl power? But in the end, i knew the reason she stayed. Because she collected evidence that will make the downfall of Jangga. That was awesome for me and made her character ten times more loveable to me. All in all, i love this drama because i love park seo joon, and also kim da mi and the whole cast. Park seo joon is really a great actor, his acting really reflect the sadness and firmness in his belief of the character. For kim da mi whom I only met in this drama, gosh girl you got it. She’s going places, trust me. Also for jang geun won, i was shocked to know that he’s this guy bestfriend of park min young in her private life(who was really sweet), gosh he really portrayed his character well. He made me scared and kind of pity him. 🙁 i was hoping he’ll change after he got out of jail but boy he made ruckus. I’m hoping to see the characters in new other dramas or movies and make me surprised and admire them again. Tbh, as a long time kdrama fan, tho i watch only if i like the plot or if someone i like was there, this is one of the few dramas I finished from first to last ep. its really rare for me to finish one nowadays either because I lost interest in the story or im just too busy with other stuff. Maybe it really is cartoonish but I really loved the cast and how they portrayed the character. Legit good actors and actresses. Well its supported by netflix, what can u say?

  18. Totally agree with your review for Itaewon Class. Was super disappointed with how it turned out in the end. Agree also on no spark for Park Seo Joon and Kim Da Mi. Was not happy that Saeroyi ended with Yi-Seo. It did not make sense at all how Saeroyi dropped So-Ah just like that. I didn’t appreciate how Saeroyi and So-ah’s last scene was just over the phone. After what she did to bring Jangga down I felt she deserved more than just an emotionless thank you over a phone call. Very disappointed with the ending.

    1. All actors and actresses are amazing YESSS!! As well as PSJ. Ive come to watched it bcoz of him actually. But the storyline goes, that made us disappointed.

  19. Honestly i couldnt agree more.. the whole romance thing between sae royi and yi seo is so rushed and unrealistic, especially with the constantly time jumpcut, we cant even see their relationship grow either as a dongsaeng-oppa or a couple

    The worst part is ofcourse the kidnapping part… As you mentioned before it looks like no one is taking this seriously, not even jang geum won who sacrificed his own life to do this kind of stunt…

    If he wanted sae royi to die, he wouldve made sure he died before the police came, if not then whats the point of the kidnapping in the first place?

    Also how does a bounty hunter gang doesnt possess any fire weapons??

    And last but not least, the very own boss of the bounty hunter gang cant even fight yet hes scared like ALOT by his subordinates… What a facepalm moment

    All i can say is this drama alone doesny deserve all the hype and popularity… But thanks to the webseries and the one and only very loved actor park seo joon, it became a hit.

  20. I thought I was the only one who thinks that this drama is so cliché. It’s too childish for me. I have watched so many Kdramas better than IC; perhaps that’s the reason why I was not satisfied with the whole plot itself.
    Don’t get me wrong, I Iove PSJ so much he’s a versatile actor but he’s better in all of his dramas except IC.

    1. Same here. Ive also come to watch Itaewon class because of PSJ. He’s really a versatile actor. Also with Kim Da Mi, she’s also good in acting. But i didnt feel any spark between them. I also finished the last episodes by skipping some scenes. I dunno. But i was not satisfied on the story.

  21. I’m totally agree with you. I lost interest after episode 10. I thought maybe just me feeling this way because the drama rating make me set a high hope. I can’t stand the lead female, very unrealistic. With that attitude, she can’t last longer in society.

  22. I had been hearing tons of good things about this drama saying it was unique and progressive, and my friends were saying how they loved it so I started binge-watching it. I was enjoying it but it started going downhill after the first half – not necessarily because it was boring, but because things just got a bit too messy for me. I only just finished Itaewon Class today and I was wondering if it was just me who thought the second half ruined the drama so I googled it and came across this article which basically summed up everything that I thought went wrong with Itaewon Class. I think I didn’t like Yi Seo’s character from the beginning but I told myself that she would probably grow on me and that it was cool that she was different from the typical female lead. Sadly, I never saw any of this growth and she just became more annoying with her continuously forcing her feelings onto Saeroyi. I too didn’t think Soo-ah or Yi Seo should have been with Saeroyi which was weird because I don’t think I’ve ever felt that way with a drama before. However, the final straw for me was when they decided to do Geun-soo dirty and turn him into a bad guy. I only forced myself to finish this drama because … well, actually I don’t know how I did but it was a big disappointment in my books.

    1. I watched Itaewon class because a Korean friend suggested it to me. I usually judge a drama by the actors/actresses and I love Park Seo Joon in all of his dramas but I was not too keen on the leading lady. I thought it was just me but a lot of viewers did not see the spark between the characters of Saeroyi and Yiseo. I totally agree with you that after all these years of So-ah’s support, Sareoyi just coldly talked to her on the phone. Not consistent with his character. I just wasted my time. I shouldve watched another drama while I am on semestral break. Oh well, just charge it to experience

  23. As a Kdrama fan, I believe you are on point on your review of Itaewon Class on each character. I started to watched it because It gained positive feedbacks online (maybe because of Park Seo-
    Joon). I was just glad that I was not the only one who thinks the same way. Thanks for your honest review.

  24. I totally agree with you!! and thank you for this. good to know someone feels this way about the drama. it felt like someone else wrote the second half.

  25. It’s hard to argue with your review. IC was good for me, overall, but certainly not one of my favorites. I watched this after enjoying Reply 1988. So it filled a void, I guess. This show did run out of gas so to speak. Anytime a show takes an easy way out and fast forwards years it’s bound to be wonky. No different here and this was another issue I had with Reply 88. The writers get tired and opt out. Start out like you can hold out!!

    With that said, IC was still fairly enjoyable although I do not desire a second season like I do with Crash Landing on You.

  26. i truly agree with your review. the first half episodes were good. i even recommended it to my friends but on the mid til the end, i was losing interest. i was thinking of dropping it but i tried to finish by fast forwarding some episodes.

    i also found it frustrating how the writer suddenly shifts the love interest of sae ro yi with yi seo were from the beginning, he was so much interested with soo ah. though the story was not a romance drama, i still hoping that saeroyi and soo ah ended together.

    we may have seen the growth on yiseo but even at the end, she’s still full of insecurities and childishness.

    for me, i voted out on this. it’s disappointing and frustrating.

  27. I totally agree with you. It is just really good at the beginning. Like others, I want to stop at episode 13. But then I would rather finish what I’ve started watching. Skipping some scenes in the rest of the episodes made me finish it.

    I agree particularly in the part of From Friends to Lovers, this is so really out of character of Saeroyi. I hope they just end up as brother and sister relationship. I would rather let him end up single. After all, this is not really focusing in “romance”.

  28. Literally EVERYTHING you said was my exact sentiments from Geun Soo to Yi Seo. During ep 14 when I started to see a brother/sister relationship turn romantic from Saeyori’s point, I was so confused because they never showed him progressively seeing her in a romantic light. Didn’t watched the last 2 episodes when I found out that he ended up with Yi Seo. It was weird to see them together because I still saw them as brother and sister, even though she had a crush on him. And also, I actually didn’t see her mature, even after the 4 years. Still the same whiny girl that wanted her crush to love her. But I did love her badassness when it came to business.

  29. Bless this review. I honestly stopped watching at ep 10 when it was obvious that Geun Soo was irredeemable and just full out going against someone whome he, until very recently, truly admired and respected for not just being a good person in general, but a good older brother figure to him. There was absolutely NO reason for him to betray Saeroyi like that and it was a really terrible plot point, tbh. Using the girl as his motive was definitely not satisfying enough since he has been shown to be more mature than that and has disliked his father’s family from the beginning.

    The diversity of the cast was absolutely stunning, though, I gotta give them that. But every plot point was just made to hype the viewers — constantly making us switch between loving and hating the characters — and increase viewership. I love plot twists as much as anyone else, but they have to make sense.

  30. Oh my gosh, that was a painful drama to watch! It was ok at first but got so ugh after Geun-soo became a nasty guy all of a sudden (not to mention the last two episodes, I had to skip forward so many times). Geun-soo is a smart, loving kid during the entire series who knows better than behaving like his brother. Why would he change just because his crush told him to dump everything he appreciates and enjoys in his life to go do something he truly doesn’t want? I think Geun-soo is a smart, independent kid because he chose to walk out from his comfortable life. It was clearly not the best one in terms of family relationships but he had a free place where to live and free food. But he chose his own path, he was sure he didn’t want to be near people like his family and he left and that takes and says a lot form someone, specially considering his age. it takes a lot for someone his age (or anyone for that matter) to walk out from a comfortable life, but he did. So to me it really makes no sense that all of the sudden he decides to go back just because his crush told him to, even though he knew she wasn’t for real. That’s just a very weak storyline.

    On the other hand, Yi-seo was not my favorite character either and I think she never really grew up. They only made her wear more ‘mature’/ less hipster clothes. Did she ever learn that she shouldn’t use people or take advantage of her loved ones and people who cares for her? No, she only stopped because she realized how much Saeroyi despised that so she stopped. I think it’s great that there is finally a strong, confident, independent female character in the k-drama world but the fact that they made her a sociopath and that her sole driver is love (just like any other female character in kdramas), just throws away the entire effort to the trash. Also, being so strong and so independent and so confident, wouldn’t someone like that move on other than stick around and being clingy? Making sure the person she so obsessively likes remember that she likes him on every single opportunity she has? Again, a very weak plot.

    As for Oh Soo Ah, there’s a scene in which Yi-Seo tells her how she did nothing for Saeroyi all these years and that she has just basically sat and wait for Saeroyi to fix everything for her compared to how she (Yi-Seo) does everything she can to help him. Up until that point in the story, that is true. I didn’t get why Soo Ah didn’t change jobs after some years of experience at the best food company in the country, considering she was good at her job so she wouldn’t have had any issues finding a new one. I thought ‘oh well another unrealistic plot in this drama’. It almost seemed like Jang Ga and Danbam were the only two companies in South Korea and even if that was the case then she could just had quit and join Danbam? Sure they didn’t have money, but she could have worked ad honorem or take a cut pay until the company got some investment. She surely had some savings she could use until then? I mean, there are options if you really want to quit your job. Anyway, my point is that it ends up she actually had a reason to stay and that was to document as much fraudulent activity that happened at Jang Ga so she could report it to the police and finally take Jang Ga down. I feel Oh Soo Ah got very little credit for that.

    I didn’t like Yi-Seo and Saeroyi pairing either. Idk why, there’s just no chemistry. It’s so funny to see the very last scene when Saeroyi kisses her while sitting by the river, she’s soooo still.

    I’m also disappointed to see that Toni didn’t have much relevance in the story. At the end it seems this drama just wanted to touch on as many ‘controversial’ topics as possible just for the sake of it? Idk I guess we should still give it some kudos as it is at least trying to get the conversation starting.

    1. Forgot to mention I’m also disappointed with Saeroyi lol. He’s a jerk, who makes someone wait 10 years to tell them they don’t like them anymore? Specially when during all that time he keeps on saying he likes. If that’s not been a douche then idk what is. Soo Ah also makes me wanna roll my eyes because it turns up she knew all this time and still she clung to him. But fine, at least that is more believable than Geun-soo being a bad guy and Saeroyi finding out that his brotherly feelings towards Yi-Seo were not so brotherly.

  31. Been here coz im also looking for a review of Itaewon Class after watching all episodes. Because I am also disappointed on the last episodes. I also didnt get the point how he fell inlove with Yi seo. I like kim da mi she’s amazing being an actress. But i didn’t feel any spark on her and Seo joon.

  32. It’s funny cos I generally don’t like spoilers but this thing has been bugging me for 15 episodes, so I decided to just Google my thoughts “Itaewon Class yi seo annoying”.. and here I am.

    Ok so i mentioned that I dont like spoilers, I only have episode 16 left which I can finish within an hour but I couldn’t care less already cos the minute sae royi confessed that he liked yi seo to both geun soo & soo ah, that was game over for me.

    Like you, i think sae royi would hv been better off with someone else other than these 2 women. Yi seo has been reallyyyyyy annoying confessing her love for sae royi and he just casually brushes it off and goes about his dah. Yi seo also was annoying from the start, whenever sae royi had to go somewhere or received a phone call. Like seriously? Who really keeps tabs on their “boss” like that.. and him being him, always no backbone either.

    Soo Ah is a whole other ballgame. She had what? 15 years to be with Sae royi. I’ve heard him tell her he likes her way too many times.. yet she waited til then the very last minute to sort of make up her mind. Well, you snooze, you lose.

    Mrs Kim was a “convenient” character who collects debts yet is filthy rich. If she’s thattt rich.. wouldn’t she be able to get her staff to “collect” on her behalf?

    I’ll have to watch episode 16 first before I can comment further. Like you said, it had potential in the early bits but judging from the reviews, I have a feeling I won’t like the final episode either.

  33. I have not finished the series yet so I apologize if I get some info wrong.

    This show was so good the first 2-3 episodes. I was hopeful because of the emotion/portrayal and especially what I anticipated could happen as the story went on. I agree with all of you and personally think that the author did not have to add in plot “twists” like Park Geun Soo. I had high expectations for his character specifically because I was excited to see him take down his abusive family’s company with the rest of the crew. To see him make a total character switch like that was honestly heartbreaking and seemed so conforming and contrasted themes displayed earlier. He seemed so promising in choosing his own way of living and proving to his father that he was a force to reckon with on the other side. He could have been used for a much greater purpose while staying true to his character. So upsetting! I was hoping more would come from Park Geun Woo’s bad treatment too, hanging on to some hope that he would realize how toxic his actions and his family’s relationships were.

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s a well produced show with some of my favorite actors, more could have come from it. I was hoping it would stay as more of a heist/revenge type of show without the inconsistency of plot and character development. It would have been more fluid if it focused on the team and the main goal of the show. The Park Seo Joon and Kim Da Mi pairing did not fit well either. Neither Yi-seo or Soo-ah really went well with Saeyori, which was hard to watch even though they are all great actors/actresses individually. Overall, I’m super disappointed that the second half seemed lazy and that aspects of the original set-up of the story were completely disregarded.

  34. I thought I was the only one that felt like this, I was so restless after the 14th episode…I skipped a lot of parts until the 16th episode because the would series just kinda lost its meaning right from when I started noticing the main character developing feelings for that “kiddie”. Their relationship should have remained completely platonic. Plus why make the bastard son a bad guy? I mean he has been through a lot and now you want him to lose his girl to the same man that gave him hope…trash!! Very underwhelming. Now, I can sleep.

  35. Hi. We have the same view and feelings with the drama. There’s definitely no spark between Kim Da Mi and Park Seo Joon. I’m at episode 11 and I found it very boring from ep 9. Honestly, I am just watching the show because first, I really liked Park Seo Joon from WWWSK with Park Min Young. Second, two of my friends recommended it to me saying it was a really nice drama and it’s Park Seo Joon’s best performance. But for me he is a lot better in WWWSK. All the way from ep 1 til now I’m waiting for the moment that I will say ‘wow’ as my friends told me so.. but I didn’t see or feel it in any episodes. Though there were some moments that I liked but were not really enough for me to really like it. I think I’m also picky like you as I have seen a lot of great dramas.. well I think my kdrama standards is a bit high now. I think this kdrama is good but not great. Thank you for your review. We feel the same way.

  36. I also have the same sentiments on the series. I have seen a lot of Korean dramas and was really expecting this one to be great, honestly since the first few episodes offered a whole lot of feelings which was not the typical Korean dramas since most series start it slowly until it progresses with its plot. However, this one started on its peak then slowly the story got puzzling, and its as if the role of the characters did not match and changed course that did not seem to match the story in a big picture.

    I’m not fond of cutie-patootie movies of Korean that’s why I was interested in this one at first but, it seemed like their chemistry did not really click because of the differences in the characters and the plot.

  37. agreed! esp the lack of chemistry.
    they looked more like an elder brother and sister.
    the ending was disappointing.
    Soo Ah should gave ended up with him.
    come on its 10 years of infatuation with each other and neither party dated anyone else…and what about his promise to take care of her (i will get u to quit Jangga) when he is successful? tho seriously she should just have quit and work with other company thats not Jangga and be with him.

  38. I totally agree with you..i hated the ending.it was disappointing ..i hated most of all the character yi seo’s attitude and no one was telling her she was wrong. In all i think “iteawon class” could have been much better..

  39. Good analysis, and I really agree with you.

    I LOVED the first half of the drama. And although I already saw spoilers of Yi seo ended with PSY, I didn’t expect him to just turn his back on Soo-ah like that. He didn’t even apologize to her or have a decent last conversation with her! He just tossed away a decade long friendship just like that. That was such bad script writing. I like Yi-seo as a character and person as well, but there was absolutely no chemistry between them. And like you, I loved their relationship as business partners and friends. It was just right.

    Sigh. Time to move on to another drama. Next.

  40. Hm, i’ve seen a lot of people hating on Itaewon Class but it’s a very good series when you bare in mind they didn’t have enough time. Things to bare in mind is that this is a series, not real life, so i think the comment on Sae royi and Yi Seo was unnecessary since he didn’t realise he liked/loved her until later on in the series not “30 seconds” as it states in this article. Back to the point of it being a series not rl, they’re obviously not going to make the build up to their relationship long and realistic otherwise the series would have 30+ episodes. Also they did good with Geun Soo in my opinion. I don’t know, i feel like people who are trashing Itaewon Class are just agreeing with what a small amount of people think. It’s actually quite a very good series.

  41. Its based off a webtoon right though I’m not sure if they copied the whole webtoon still some of ur points r misleading just because u didnt want saeroyi and yi-seo to end up together.

  42. I think yi seo is a better fit for him than soo ah… Cos yi seo’s character even though selfish is very loyal to saeroyi while soo ah is the opposite bcos she’s torn between her loyalty to jangga and saeroyi… But in my opinion, I think love is something that needs to be renewed, refreshed, watered and nurtured…
    PSJ may have loved soo ah but his heart could have definitely changed bcos yi seo loved what he loved and wanted to build with him, hence yi seo’s character being with psj was already an error… Because we humans are not robot that are programmed to love one person and love is an emotion that could change anytime just like hatred, loyalty etc… Hence Consistency is what nurtures and grows love, Yi seo’s consistency outgrew Soo ah’s love… Love is not by mouth but by action… Psj could keep saying he likes soo ah but soo ah’s definitely not doing anything to nurture that love which is why it failed… I believe consistency can achieve anything for you…. The main lead admires and like the actor, but soo ah’s inconsistency could have been what didn’t make them work…
    Park seo joon and Kim ji won had great chemistry bcos they were each other’s cheerleader… Watching out for each other without even realising it bordering on love… Aera readily used her wedding saving to pay off Dong man police bail… (Fight for my way) Friendship do not totally cut that out… So I believe Soo ah’s inconsistency made her lose Saeroyi to Yi seo… INCONSISTENCY…

  43. It was a struggle to finish this series for me because of Yi-seo’s character. But I did enjoy it for the most part. I would have wanted Saeroyi to have ended up with Soo ah as for me, there was really no chemistry between Saeroyi and Yi-Seo. I do get why he did not pursue Soo ah and that his feelings could have changed towards Yi-seo. I just felt that Soo ah and Saeroyi looked better together. Anyway, PBG and Soo ah would have ended together based on the ending so, well, that’s okay. 🙂

  44. what bothers me the most:
    1) Toni’s grandmother turned out to be a powerful and successful business woman and main investor for IC company who owned a villa in jeju island. What the hell did she hang out around a backstreet alley going from place to place collecting money for. She couldn’t afford to hire someone to collect money for her?
    2) Why were all the characters always bummed into each other and always happened to be at the right place at the right time.
    3) Why was Soo-ah always at DanBam pub.
    4) The kidnapping plot at the end was so cliche. Saeroyi spent more than a decade fighting Jangga, and the only thing that brought down Jangga was a kidnaping plot that tarnished the company’s reputation and brand image, thus allowed IC to overtake Jangga. How boring.
    5) Soo-ah waited more than 10 years for Saeroyi because Saeroyi promised once he got rich, he would be with her. He got rich then dumped Saeroyi for Yeosi.

  45. Reading this just now and I totally agree with what you said. Other fans may say “read the webtoon first” and “you’re missing the point” but to be honest, the more i read such reactions to reviews like yours, the more Id rather want to read the webtoon than watch the drama. The second half could’ve been written better because to be honest… But it did get confusing and unconvincing…

  46. I guess I was late to watching this show.
    I think it was great till 10/11th episode, after 12th episode I just wanted to make their predictable moves and wanted it to end asap!
    And I love park so Joon so much, I just felt bad that the plot and the lead chemistry wasn’t going in his favour though his acting was on point and very inspiring and amazing as always.
    I loved the OST.

    Biggest mistake and very disheartening was ruining Guen soo’s character.
    He was shown as a nice kid wanting to make his own life, by choosing to live in a small room doing chores and studying and living a hard life without people who loved him and then he found his inspiration, his family in the Danbam family and he was shown as a guy with integrity and principles too, he was never in favour of the dad or stepbrother.
    And though he liked the girl, his character wanted a sense of belonging and family more than just a girl to like/date
    That’s why he never made a move even though he liked he from the start and even when he had noticed her liking for the boss.
    Because he loved his Danbam fam.
    But then they just did a stupid twist and made him go dark.

    Park Seo hoon can pull off chemistry with anyone, but it was so disappointing to never see it with her. Their energies as a couple didn’t match. There words seemed like words not true feelings.
    Like one could feel the feelings of Guen Soo towards Yi Seo, and feelings of Saeroyi towards So ah but not towards Yi seo.
    More than love, it looked like he wanted to give her her due and had sympathetic feelings rather than love.
    It always seemed like all he said was something he had to do after all those years she gave him being totally dedicated to him.
    It felt like a sense of responsibility.
    Till the very last scene where they kiss, I felt nothing.

  47. That’s exactly how I felt! It was a good show but a bit disappointing in the end. Absolutely, I can’t see them together and Sae Ro Yi falling for Yi Seo was ridiculous. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  48. Yeeeesss~
    I watched this because I wanna see a story about a boy that became success and got to revenge. But I just watched until EP 7/8 and got no mood to continue. I got upset a little bit, the main character has strong principle and like a man that keep his own word. He likes this person for 10years, and after so many years he swayed in just seconds. I can’t believe it(OK that’s too much). I know people change, but the drama keeps portrayed him as a strong vision man with strong principle and nobody can’t stop him. I can’t … I guess I just a little bit disappointed. I liked his character since the beginning, so if he changed just like that. It just didn’t make sense for me. But my friend really like this drama and recommend it so… maybe I just have different expectation of this drama.

  49. Kinda relieved to know i’m not the only one that felt like this after the people around me said it was greally good. To be honest, i even felt Saeroyi was corrupted by Seo Yi. I don’t feel Saeroyi as a just man towards the end.

    After watching the finale, to me Soo Ah was the most realistic character because her character development was most natural even though her part was reduced drastically from 2nd half. She was the most heroic character to me too. From being cowardly to deciding to become a whistleblower and sacrificing all she has accumulated without gain.

    The cast was good however the incoherent script transition marred the experience for me.

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