I am so happy I discovered Korean dramas a few years ago because otherwise I wouldn’t have had the pleasure to watch a show like Master of Study (God of Study/공부의 신).
Master of Study, which aired on KBS in Korea in January and February and finished airing internationally on KBS World this week, tells the story of a small-time attorney that decides to turn the image of a “toilet” high school full of delinquents and unenthused students around by getting five students sent to the most prestigious university in the country.
To achieve this, he forms a special class where five students of different backgrounds go through a year-long journey that shows them to never give up and that hard work and determination can take them a long way.
The series was emotional, yet tons of fun. Each character, from the students to the teachers that guide them, got their moment to shine and engage the audience. Seeing the students and teachers learn from each other and inspire each other had such sincerity, thanks in large part to a great, fresh, and very likeable cast.
The students were played by five fresh faces who were actually the age of their characters, but had a great sense of maturity in their respective roles; a son from a rich family who whose dream did not match that of his parents, a daughter whose mother was more concerned with her latest boyfriend than her, a son whose parents did not care whether he went to college or not, a daughter who longed for the care and attention of real parents, and a grandson who would do anything and everything to repay all the sacrifices his grandmother had done for him.
Kim Suro and Bae Duna as Kang Sukho and teacher Han Soojung were wonderful leads. Attorney And for me, seeing Bae Duna in a completely different role from her role in the drama Someday, one of the two shows that turned me on to Korean drama, was great. Them, along with the other teachers, spoke to the students as well as the audience, though in a way that felt like they were engaging you more than just telling you.
Balancing the emotional and legitimate MaGMCMs was the great humor and comedy that they seamlessly weaved in. Throw in a little bit of romance, and you’ve got something for everyone.
I’ve been out of high school for five years now, but watching Master of Study actually made me miss it. Even more, it made me wish I had studied harder in high school. You want to encourage you own teen to do better? Make them watch Master of Study. They’ll have fun and actually want to study!
Master of Study was based on the Japanese manga Dragon Zakura which was also turned into a television series in Japan, and it is an example of how many stories can transcend cultures and societies.
I’ve already seen quite a few Korean dramas, but Master of Study now easily ranks in my top 3. Emotional, sincere, funny, and very inspirational, it is a wonderful gem that I am happy to have stumbled upon.