[Review] ‘The Glory’ K-drama shocks viewers by detailing bullying in Korea



Song Hye-kyo stars in “The Glory,” Netflix’s newest Korean drama. Song Hye-kyo plays the role Moon Dong-eun seeking revenge for years of abuse. Photo courtesy of Netflix.

Mariana Neri Sapori, Writer

Written by Kim-Eun Sook and directed by Ahn Gil-ho, ‘The Glory’ is a South Korean drama released on Netflix on Dec. 30, 2022. Numerous famous actors are featured in this show at different times: for high school flashback scenes, actress Jung Ji-So as teen Moon Dong-Eun and actress Shin Ye-Eun as teen Park Yeon-Jin. For present times, actress Song Hye-Kyo plays adult Moon Dong-Eun and actress Lim Ji-Yeon as adult Park Yeon-jin. The relationship between the two women in high school sparks up the strong urge of vengeance Dong-Eun has in her adult years.

It began in Sunghan High School, where a group of bullies had found a new person to mess with, Dong-Eun. This group included Jeon Jae-Jun, Lee Sa-Ra, Choi Hye-Jeong, Son Myeong-O, and Yeon-jin being its leader. Because Dong-Eun had come from a poor family, she had no way to defend herself, making her the perfect target for bullies to torment. What used to be teasing and pushing around soon became assault, leaving Dong-Eun traumatized and with no choice but to drop out of her school.

When growing up, she had made a promise to herself to not let the high school violence to go unnoticed, so as she worked hard to make a living, she investigated her bullies and planned her revenge against them. After she moved to a new town called Semyeong, she became a primary school teacher for Yeon-Jin’s daughter. In her pursuit of revenge she also found new company and ways to blackmail her bystanders to go through with her ambitions. She refers to this fight as a “sword dance,” a messy battle between herself and the five bullies who ruined her life.

The eight episode drama features a series of anticipating and thrilling events, all in which intrigues viewers even more. The main character aches for revenge and revolves her entire life around her bullies, making others become worried about what her true intentions are. An eye for an eye seems too fair in her book, so she gets wrapped up in all her bullies’ personal lives without them detecting who is slowly destroying their reputation.

When watching this show, I was so interested that I binge watched the whole series in just a few days after being left with cliffhangers near the end of each episode. I was captivated by the dialogue and plot, leaving me desperate to see what would happen next. This carefully constructed show gave me insight on Dong-Eun’s story which was based on real events, making me want the bullies to receive the cruel revenge they deserve.

This shows the brutal form of bullying in South Korea which is a critical issue to be addressed. The horrific school violence portrayed in the show was inspired by many true anonymous stories and trauma, building up this amazing and realistic K-drama that fans love.

With a 96% average positive audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, this mystery thriller Netflix original show has gained attention from all over the world. Due to its growing popularity, the show has been renewed for a new season that will be released on March 10, 2023. Find out in season two how she continues the journey of revenge towards the perpetrators who once made her teen years miserable.