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The appearance of the most realistic drama that reflect admissions in South KoreaHot Issue- Sky Castle's box office and the reality of Korean entrance exams
송정은 수습기자 | 승인 2019.03.05 |(518호)

 On November 23 last year, the first episode started with a viewer rating of 1.7 percent, but it finished with a splendid ending with a viewer rating of 23.8 percent in the 20th episode on February 1. The satirical drama, which deals with competition among the upper class, recorded higher ratings every episode, and people were talking about the script, fashion, and OST. There are countless parodies and a large fan base, so why are viewers so excited?

 The main plot of SKY Castle is a satirical drama that looks at parents from prestigious families who want to raise their children the best in SKY Castle, a housing complex where the top 0.1 percent of Koreans live. Starting with Lee Myeong-joo (Kim Jong-nan), who succeeded in getting his sons Young-jae (Park Young-jae, Song Geon-hee) accepted to Seoul National University, Han Seo-jin (Kak Mi-hyang, Yeom Jeong-ah), Jin Jin-hee (Onara), and Noh Seung-hye (Yoon Se-hye) are working hard to get their children to a good university. Kim Joo-young (Kim Seo-hyung) works as a college entrance exam coordinator, who simulates students who are taught by her and destroys a family.

 The biggest reason why people are so enthusiastic about SKY Castle is that it reflects the reality of our country, which is waging a fierce battle in entrance exams. The biggest concerns of Korean parents are probably their children's education and college entrance exams. As the ratio of comprehensive admission (admissions based on students’ academic records and activities) to college has increased more than the regular admission (admission to college with scholastic aptitude), So parents have turned to focus their efforts on comprehensive admission, as shown in Sky-castle. To be accepted to college by the comprehensive admission, one must pay attention to many activities, including thorough management of reading, club activities and leadership. The Sky Castle drama particularly satirized the excessive private education of the upper class. Although it's a drama, it's not a totally unrealistic theme and atmosphere, so it has gained a lot of sympathy from viewers.

 Then, what is the reality of Korea's entrance exams? People often refer to Korea as the 'Republic of Entrance Examination'. There are many new words related to education and entrance exams such as "senioritis (a compound word that “senior” and “it is”) and there are even some real test coordinators like in the dramas. They are called 'teacher' or 'mento' and works for millions of dollars, and parents were looking for millions of admissions coordinators like Kim Joo-young (Kim Seo-hyung) after the drama was aired. The reality is that they are paid a huge amount of money for private tutoring to relieve the burden of a once-a-year issue. Although the drama was aired to pinpoint the reality of Korea's entrance exams, it is rather bitter to see the reality of South Korea's entrance exams, which have become clearer after the drama is aired. Skycastle, whose subject is education which forces parents to study for their children's successful lives, has a message asking what do the children really have left. Before you are immersed in the development of drama, it will be better that you seriously consider the lessons given by drama as the drama reflects the reality of korean college entrance exams.

▲The main poster is the character relationship and main poster of the drama, SKY Castle / Source: NAVER
▲South Korean students are writing an OMR card. / Source: Bluekoreadot

 

송정은 수습기자  sallysje@kunsan.ac.kr

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