Move through Fantasy and Reality while watching Asian Drama!
Description: Kang Suk Ho is an ordinary lawyer who decides to teach a bunch of rebellious students. He promises to get five of them into their most prestigious college in the country.
Adorably Cheesy, and Unashamedly So...
"God of Study" is the Korean drama-adaptation of the popular Japanese manga "Dragon Zakura" by Mita Norifusa. The story centers around Kang Seok-Ho (Korean: [Last name] [First name]), who is a struggling lawyer looking for work. So he takes a job overseeing the transfer of a troubled high school over to a private company.
However, as it turns out, the company looking to take over the property is one that he has not seen eye-to-eye with in the past. And to add to the drama, the school that is being bought out (Byeong-Mun High School) happens to be the one he attended as a rebellious youth, shown through several flashbacks to his earlier years attending there.
Presently, the school is considered to be one of the worst in the area, with unruly students, lazy teachers and a detached board of directors. The townspeople are clearly upset that it hasn’t been bought out and demolished, for the sake of their property values.
He therefore decides to set out on a mission to not only keep the school from closing, but in the process, lift it to a level of elite consideration by sending its students to the top university in the entire country: Chun-Ha Dae [University]. To start, he forms a special homeroom class with the singular purpose of getting 5 students from the misfit student body at Byeong-Mun High School accepted by Chun-Ha University.
But there are those who find his ambitions inconvenient to their own plans for the place, so they set out to trap him and get him removed. He is given a deadline to fill his special class with 5 willing student participants in 3 days. But with so many students who’ve already given up any hope of a significant future, will he be able to gather enough support in time to make the deadline? And even if he does (hint: he does, lol), how could he possibly get them accepted to the finest university in the entire country in such a short amount of time? You’ve gotta watch to find out ^_^
The characters in "God of Study" are not as shallow as most other drama characters have been. The series touches on a lot of common themes that most people will find relatable: defying the odds, finding strength within oneself, relying on one another, unrequited love, duty and integrity, all that good stuff ^_^
One thing I really appreciated about this drama was the fact that things don’t always work out the way we would expect them to in a story like this. Values such as duty and responsibility are emphasized, of course. But there are touching moments when the viewers get a chance to see someone act in a way that transcends the stifling parameters of patriarchal society.
(MINOR SPOILER ALERT: If you don’t mind reading something that doesn’t give too much of the plot away, read on. If you haven’t watched the drama at all yet, stop here and GO WATCH IT!)
An example of what I’m talking about comes when the father of one of the students comes to the special class to send him to America to finish his studies there. Although the student clearly does not want to go, the familial duty to obey one’s father obliges him to follow. Before he can leave, however, the lawyer asks the father to allow his son to take the math test at the end of the study period, and if the student makes at least an 80% on the test, to allow him to continue studying there instead of being sent to America. The father, although highly critical of his son’s abilities to pull it off, reluctantly agrees.
After an intensive week of studying, the students take the math test. The student in question fails to make the mark by a single point (of course! arg!), so the father begins to lead his family out of the school, presumably to take his son to America. Before he leaves, one of the other students shows a video of when she and his son were in class together at a young age. The video shows his father smiling and reading a letter he’d written to his son, whom he calls his favorite. The father expresses in the video that all he wants is for his son to be healthy and happy, a stark contrast to the stern, critical father who is standing in the classroom. After watching the video, the father thanks the teachers for their hard work, and continues leading his family out of the school (including his son). All hope seems lost.
However, as they descend the steps to the parking lot, the father turns to his son, says something, and continues on. The son turns around and says that his father has allowed him to stay (yay!). While this may be seen as an overplayed sequence to build suspense in the drama, it particularly speaks to the touching power of grace and love to supersede the "hardline" values of duty and obligation. While the lawyer is quoted as saying, "A promise is a promise," the father realizes that his son’s efforts were proof of his potential, which leads him to abolish his agreement with the lawyer and allow his son to stay.
(END OF MINI-SPOILER)
The point being, while duty and obligation are emphasized as important in "God of Study," there seems to be a greater emphasis placed on the values of grace and understanding. There are so many levels that the viewer is able to connect on with this series, so I don’t have to tell you that this drama comes highly recommended ^_^