The Glory: Netflix’s Newest Thrilling Korean Drama

Featuring Korean television sensation Song Hye-kyo, the revenge-themed Netflix series The Glory should be on your Spring Break watchlist — and here is why.

With the long-awaited sequel to part one released on Mar. 10, The Glory’s 16 episodes tell a suspenseful, eye-gripping yet realistic story of a bullied teenage girl’s road to vengeance. Despite the tragic premise of the plot, the drama’s depictions of dynamic character development along with its attention to detail make the series a spring break must-watch.

Opening with the scene of a woman settling into her new apartment, the initial moments of The Glory strayed away from the striking dark moods that are common to suspense films. Instead, in the sunny and spotless apartment, the main character Moon Dong-eun (played by actress Song Hye-kyo) was introduced in a peaceful setting. And as the audience is immersed in the tranquil introduction, the camera unexpectedly moves to expose the attention-grabbing scars throughout Moon Dong-eun’s arms, kick-starting the drama on a captivating note.

Following the sudden turn of mood in the opening scene, the drama enters a flashback of Moon Dong-eun’s high school days, where her bullies seared the skin on her arms and legs with a curling iron and humiliated her with constant harassment. These traumatizing experiences eventually pushed the helpless Dong-eun to drop out of high school, and thus Dong-eun’s meticulous revenge plans unfolded.

Throughout the series, Dong-eun’s flashbacks to her high school days became a motif that fuled the progression of the plot and alluded to the post-traumatic stress experienced by the victim of the real-life school violence incident that inspired the series.

Moreover, extending beyond the exposé on Korea’s bullying epidemic, The Glory also sheds hope on the cruel reality by harmonizing Dong-eun’s vengeful journey with a heart-warming path to recovery.

In the preparation phase of Dong-eun’s retribution plan, she approached a young physician named Joo Yeo-jeong to learn the game of Go. During their daily practice sessions, Yeo-jeong grew romantically interested in Dong-eun. However, Dong-eun initially rejected Yeo-jeong as she still suffered traumatic flashbacks and was unable to reciprocate.

Nevertheless, Yeo-jeong pursued Dong-eun persistently. This support from Yeo-jeong gradually dissolved Dong-eun’s defensive barrier and guided her to enjoy life beyond revenge-seeking. 

These evolutions in Dong-eun’s character development were woven into the subtle and thoughtful details of the show’s climactic main plot: for instance, a notable symbolism throughout the episodes was the decrease in Dong-eun’s flashbacks; from multiple times throughout an episode, flashbacks only occurred once or at times none in the late episodes of the series. Accompanied by Dong-eun’s increasingly outgoing behaviors, this nuanced manipulation of the cinematic motif is one of the series’s examples of excellence in creativity and quality production.

So without spoiling further, now you have it: Nail-biting, outstanding, and thought-triggering, your spring break shall be showered in the glory of The Glory!

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