Netflix: The Glory (2022 - 2023)

A friend recommended The Glory to me and I nearly gave up after the first episode. Fortunately, I gave it another go and now we are 4 episodes chest-deep into a labyrinth of a cesspool of the worst human behaviour.

The story is simple: In her high-school days, Moon Dong Eun had dreams of becoming an architect. However, thanks to suffering from a brutally violent attack from her bullies, Moon Dong Eun is forced to drop out of school. Years later, the bully gets married, has a child, and attends the same elementary school where Moon Dong Eun now works as the homeroom teacher. After years of plotting, Moon Don Eun begins her plan of revenge against her former bullies and the students who stood by and let it happen.

The plot isn’t. This is a long game like a game of Go. Every placement of a game piece serves a purpose. You don’t see it now but further down the road you will realise you are screwed because of a wrong move fifty moves ago. Dong Eun’s plan is so elaborate that every cog and gear needs to move at the right speed and hit the correct spot. Thank goodness we didn’t give up after the first episode which was so painful to watch; not because it’s bad but because the bullying is atrocious. Essentially, the first episode details the “why” and the “who”. A great revenge story is always about the “how” and it is emerging slowly but surely.

Song Hye-Kyo plays the revenge seeker with quiet and determined panache. Her performance is nuanced and gilt-edged. It has been years since I last saw her and she was in the first Korean drama that I loved way back in 2000, something called Autumn in My Heart. She is 41, playing a 20+ woman, and you will believe it.

There is a scene that is so inspired. I think it is ep4. We get to see Dong Eun laugh but only for her to quickly rein it back in because she needs to remember what is her purpose in life. I thought it is a brilliant scene. So simple and superbly executed for us to get inside her mind space. There will be time for laughs and sentimentality after all the scums are in hell.

All religions preach forgiveness. It is so easy to say this and in the course of devouring the show Choo said 人非圣贤, something like only God can truly forgive. Sometimes one can suffer so much at the hands of another that forgiveness is like trying to squeeze blood out of a stone. Why does the perpetrator deserve forgiveness? Personally, wishing the tormentor get death by a thousand needles is perfectly alright, but nothing beats you, the sufferer, pushing one of the needles in, preferably into the eyeball.

Some time today, Part 2 will drop. I am just counting down the minutes Choo is home so we can watch the intricate administration of absolute pain and suffering on the scumbags. It has been a long time since I last felt so excited for a new season of a show.

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One of the things I like is that Dong Eun doesn’t hide as she plots her revenge. My god… she comes to the scumbags from the front and lets them know hell is coming.

We have started the last 8 episodes. I like how it plays with structure. We see C and it will make us wonder how did it get there. Then it will do A and shock you with the B. Ep9 does this very well. And at the end of it epitomes how a good story should be developed - never make the journey of the protagonist easy. The end of ep9 shows how the tables are turned back to Dong-Eun

We are done. I sat on the sofa, wanting to go to the toilet two hours ago, but I didn’t want to move. Damn satisfying and it nails the ending. All the scumbags in their own private hell. There was one scene that was a beautiful grace note - the story of the landlord. When the revelation drop, my tears were earned. But goddamit… the show does a shameless plug for a S2 but you know what? I choose the show to end at the reading of the letter by the landlord aunty. This is the type of show that is very difficult for lightning to hit the same spot twice but I hope to be proven wrong. This being a revenge centred show I didn’t count on the great drama and a gentle love story. Usually I have to wait till the second half of the year to see a great show. This year I didn’t have to wait that long. A must-see.

I’ve watched this, waiting for season 2. Very very good a lot the K dramas are fantastic