Wavve’s “Weak Hero Class 1” is definitely one of the standout kdramas of 2022 and for good reasons, let us discuss!
Note: this will be a spoiler-free review. This is a subjective review.
I know I am late with the review, I’ve been very busy, we’re currently preparing for content to recap 2022 so its been quite hectic, but I’ve heard both domestic and international fans praise the drama and particularly Ji Hoon’s acting, so, I decided to watch it, and its truly an amazing drama. It deserves every nice comment you’ve read about it online.
Initially, I wasn’t going to watch this drama mainly because I don’t watch high school dramas anymore, I’ve outgrown them, it doesn’t mean they’re bad, but they’re more or less quite similar and not my taste anymore. Having said this, I realize their position in the kdrama sphere and it is not to be underestimated.
If you talk about high school dramas focusing on bullying, there are about over 200 if not more. The case with the traditional broadcasting stations was how restricted and censored it could be due to what can become something graphic in nature.
Since “Weak Hero Class 1” aired on an OTT, we don’t have to worry about this. Its also appropriately only 8 episodes long, and each one is roughly 35 to 45 minutes which is more than enough for a drama about such a subject. I don’t think it needed more or fewer episodes.
First things first, without some nice commenters around Twitter, I wouldn’t have known that the drama adaptation “Weak Hero Class 1” is based on the backstory of the main character Si Eun before the official story of the webtoon began, so in a sense, the ending of “Weak Hero Class 1” is the beginning of Si Eun’s story in the actual webtoon its based on.
I think this is a genius move and on so many levels. Lets unwrap it.
The webtoon on which the drama is based on has not ended yet. Besides that, in the webtoon, I’ve been told that the backstory of Si Eun is referenced but this drama elaborates on it in great detail. Having 8 episodes serve as the backstory before the actual meaty story began in the official webtoon was an amazing idea, because now you have even more material to return to if you want to make a 2nd or 3rd season, and it would not sound too greedy either.
Si Eun as a character is very interesting, but still, I felt with the script we didn’t even begin to scratch the surface of why he’s like that, but at the same time, we got to witness him transform into an aggressive fighter against bullies, and that journey was amazing.
The 8 episodes had nearly no filler unnecessary scenes. They move at an appropriate speed slowing down when necessary and accelerating when necessary too. This makes for a very amazing watching experience, the drama is definitely binge-worthy. If you start, you can’t stop.
It doesn’t glorify violence or lavish in showing an unnecessary amount of it, and you can feel the sincerity of the people who worked on the drama.
Some aspects of the script struggle with making sense but I believe the story, the overall message its trying to convey as well as the entertainment factor, triumphs over that.
Its a bit unlikely that Si Eun would manage to cause so much damage and get away with it in reality, but you can make an argument for why. It might not hold up quite well but more or less, it doesn’t take away from the enjoyment of the drama.
I also liked the way it portrayed the circle of violence and how it leads to more violence until it ends with disaster and even then, the violence never stops.
I liked the progression of how some simple misunderstandings or scuffles between kids could turn so dangerous so fast, this is exactly how you’d expect teenagers who have never known when to stop or been properly reprimanded to act.
While the script does not focus on highlighting exactly why such violence flairs up or continues, it does bring up mental health issues, abuse in the household, bullying in classes, teachers not acting on obviously bad bullying situations, absent parents, and a failed justice system that wouldn’t punish these youngsters properly.
I don’t know if in season 2 they plan on elaborating on any of those in details, but even if they chose not to, still, I wouldn’t consider it an issue if the writing stays as consistent as it was with the 1st season.
Added to that, if those teenagers were to get punished, it would not be in a jail cell unless they were 18 or 19 [according to Korean law I believe], so pursuing help from authorities in such situations feels futile.
The characterization of our main heros was done so well and so naturally. From the way they were introduced to each other to the way their friendship progressed into so much more. It was so heartwarming to see and heartbreaking at the same time.
Pride plays a lot into all of the situations the characters go through, and in some cases, if they let go of their pride, it might have been ‘resolved,’ but I think that we knew and they knew that deep down, it would never quite resolve it.
Si Eun is, as I said previously, an immensely interesting character. The way he was written is done so well. I wouldn’t say he’s a nice kid per se, but he’s hella loyal to the people he cares for. I think it also comes from his fear of getting too close and hurt in the process. I see myself in him in that regard. Above all, he doesn’t go out of his way to harm anyone, and in a Korean high school, that seems not too bad of a teenager.
Soo Ho is such a cool character that balances between being a badass and a goof so well. He’s aware of his strengths, but doesn’t really interfere often, and knows exactly when to control himself and stop or push forward. He’s mature.
Beom Seok I’d say is one of the more complicated characters in the drama. I loved when the character said in one scene that he didn’t quite understand himself either. When you’re a teenager, you begin to clearly exhibit the consequences of your parents’ actions and your environment, and sometimes the results are less than pretty.
I also think this is something a lot of teenagers struggle with, some adults and people into their late 20s even continue to struggle with trying to unravel and figure out who they are and how their childhoods played into it.
The way he was treated by his family and the circumstances he had to suffer through are heartbreaking, but his actions more so explain the situation rather than justify it. An important distinction.
There wasn’t a character I thought was written badly. I’ve heard from some fans of the webtoon that some characters were either added or taken out which is to be expected from an adaptation. Despite that, I wouldn’t have known because the script flows so well.
WOW. OH WOW! I have heard about a young man named Ji Hoon, who is an idol. I never knew he was this good, I have never personally seen of his previous dramas so to have this be my introduction….. I am blessed to say the least.
So upon some research, turns out he used to be a child actor which makes a lot of sense. Also, he was apparently a part of a project group called Wanna One, I recall this group name but I don’t think I know any of its members….. I don’t follow kpop, so feel free to add information below if you think its relevant to the discussion.
Regardless, when I say he’s stunning, its no joke. This young rising talent is sooooooooooooooooo impressive. Where have you been all my life?
I can talk for an hour about why his acting was a 100000/10, but in short, I liked the very stringent facial expressions he maintained for his character throughout, such attention to details always amazes me. Personally speaking, I gravitate towards actors who can use their eyes well, and he excels in that department, those eyes tell a sad story.
I am pretty sure such characters take a toll on the actor, Si Eun is a miserable human being so for him to be able to capture that feeling without fail in EVERY SINGLE SCENE is to be admired. I’ve seen so many kdramas this year and his performance is easily one of the best of any leading actor in a 2022 kdrama across the board. I don’t say this lightly either.
Not only him but Hong Kyung also impressed me. I’ve had my eyes on him for some time now and I expect he will blow up in the future if he chooses good projects. He also managed to maintain a ‘defeat/loser’ aura for his character even when he was cosplaying as a tough guy. The trembles in his voice were a welcomed addition too, his body posture was also a good detail.
To be honest, everyone seemed to have been so focused on giving it their best, every single actor. I think the director has also created an amazing environment to allow this to carry on properly too. Amazing directing.
And then we have our cutie Hyun Wook who has shown a lot of improvement from the last time I saw him in 25 21. I recall saying I felt he was a bit anxious at first in that drama.
In this one, he knocks it out of the park. I felt he felt more comfortable in his own skin and was able to deliver a memorable performance.
He is so naturally charismatic and cool. In areas where the character could have come off odd or a bit cringy, he pulls you in with his charisma and makes sure you know he’s cool.
He’s 2 years younger than Ji Hoon but had the energy of an older hyung. Absolutely mesmerizing. All of them were. They also share amazing chemistry.
Seung Ho also delivers with a memorable cameo appearance and we have the rising talented Lee Yeon who does an impressive job too. She has a bright future ahead of her. But she needs to pick projects wisely.
In short, I have nothing but nice things to say about this drama. I don’t think this drama is for everyone because it can get graphic and a bit heavy but if you enjoy watching angsty high school kdramas in general, I think you will appreciate this one.
I think even for people who are in their late 20s to 30s will enjoy this one if they appreciate well-written and well-acted projects.
“Weak Hero Class 1” truly captured my heart. I am grateful to the staff and actors who worked hard on making such an entertaining thought-provoking project.
Have you guys seen “Weak Hero Class 1”? if yes, let me know what you thought of it.