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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Krea chapter.

TW: bullying, assault

Trailer: The Glory

Source: Netflix

Written by Kim Eun-sook, known for her previous masterpieces like Descendants of the Sun, Goblin, and Mr Sunshine, “The Glory” is her latest creation embodied by a tour de force of drama and emotion. With its captivating storytelling and stunning visuals, the series is a must-see Korean drama that will leave you breathless and wanting more. The plot centres around our protagonist, Moon Dong-eun, who decides to take revenge on those who had bullied her relentlessly during her school years after a long gap of 16 years. While this has all the ingredients of your usual revenge dramas, from your cold protagonist, villainous evils straight from hell, and a touch of cute romance, “The Glory” sets itself apart from its predecessors through its immaculate storytelling, depth of characters, and the non-glorification of revenge itself.

Unlike other dramas, Moon Dong-eun’s revenge is neither fun nor fuelled by anger. It is the most logical step in her life, which was ruined to shambles by a ruthless wealthy clique. Dong-eun’s monologues are the highlight of the show, where she internally writes letters to the principal perpetrator Park Yeon-jin, who became a famous weathercaster. Subject to her and her clique’s ruthless assaults, supplemented by her socioeconomic situation, Dong-eun is forced to drop out of school and live a life that lacks life. When she finally pulls herself together, she dreams. Her dream is not of a better life or to escape poverty but of Yeon-jin herself.

“Starting today, my dream is you. I really hope we’ll see each other again.” – Moon Dong Eun

Fuelled by her new dream, Dong-eun orchestrates an elaborate revenge scheme that sets motion after 16 years of planning. Like a Trojan Horse, she infiltrates all spheres of their lives directly or indirectly, so they feel pain far worse than she felt. As she says:

“Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, fracture for fracture. The one who inflicted the injury must suffer the same. I don’t know. That sounds too fair to me.”

Moon Dong-eun

Each incident, confrontation, and circumstance is a product of the deliberate effort of Moon Dong-eun. Time and again, she reiterates that nothing is a coincidence. To truly savour the artistry of The Glory, I invite you to watch the series and experience the drama first-hand, so I’ll refrain from divulging any specific details. But much of the drama’s success comes not from its star-studded casts (who were excellent) but from the writer Kim Eun-sook and her motivations for writing the same. One fine day, Kim’s daughter asked, “Mom, would you be more heartbroken if I beat someone nearly to death or if I got beat nearly to death by someone else?” This inspired her to write The Glory.

Through Dong-eun’s experiences, Kim answered: “I have the money to pursue the perpetrators to the bottom of hell. So, I think I’d rather have my child come home beaten nearly to death.”

But Moon Dong-eun did not have a powerful family or the resources to deal with her perpetrators. Similarly, the world is filled with many such Dong-euns who are failed by their socioeconomic and justice systems. The drama, based on a true story, provides a romantic escape with a successful revenge which is not the reality for most victims, including the victim who provided the basis of “The Glory.”

Overall, the show does an impeccable job of laying out all the characters and the story’s pacing. The dialogues catapult you into the mind of Dong-eun, where you can’t help but root for her. I’m incredibly biased, but this is easily the best series of 2023, and I wish more people would move past the language bias and give it a try because, as Bong Joon-ho states, “once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films (series in this case).”

I'm an undergraduate student at Krea University, majoring in Economics. I love writing in my free time, listening to music, watching Tv-shows, and love to procrastinate my way through life.