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A heartrending path towards ‘The Glory’

Jung+Ji-so+as+teenage+Moon+Dong-eun.
Jung Ji-so as teenage Moon Dong-eun.

This review may contain spoilers.

Netflix’s “The Glory” is a dark series set in South Korea. The first eight episodes came out in December 2022 and the rest were released in March. It has remained on the Top 10 most watched shows in the United States during this time.

The plot followed the story of Moon Dong-eun (Song Hye-kyo), a young woman who after being forced to drop out of high school due to constant and severe abuse by a group of fellow classmates, decides to devote her life into plotting and executing revenge against her abusers; Park Yeon-jin(Lim Ji-yeon), Jeon Jae-joon (Park Sung-hoon), Choi Hye-jeong (Cha Joo-Young) and Lee Sa-ra (Kim Hieora) and Son Myeong-oh (Son Myeong-oh).

The first half of season one consisted of flashbacks and time skips between the group’s teenage years into adulthood, illustrating the contrast between the lives of Dong-eun and her abusers. The non-linear storytelling maintained a sense of mystery and thriller throughout the first eight episodes. It served as an introduction to the main conflict of the series, which is followed by smaller plots that meticulously connect to the protagonists. Because of the many side plots and twisted chronology showing side character’s background stories and personal lives in regards to their involvement with either Dong-eun or Yeon-jin, the main story can be lost in between these flashbacks. This made the plot difficult to follow at times because of the slow phase during this first part.

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Song Hye-kyo as Moon Dong-eun
Song Hye-kyo as Moon Dong-eun

The second part concluded with the last eight episodes, where flashbacks became less common as the main conflict began to develop and showcase retribution. The focus shifted into the minds of the abusers upon discovering the return of Dong-eun and how they attempted to stop her plan. Part two delivered a much needed perspective into the minds of the antagonists. It follows a series of events triggered by a mixture of guilt, frustration and anger with the central conflicts being those of poetic justice and the question of insanity for characters such as Yeon-jin. 

There were many twists with turns, and plots that seem forgotten in between so many time skips come around to be part of a bigger plan; the attention to detail in the show was clever and gave the audience an opportunity to be active in the story through the attention to visual effects and hidden details.

The outstanding acting is sure to captivate the audience whether it is actress Song Hye-kyo’s flawless interpretation of our stoic hero Dong-eun or Lim Ji-yeon’s interpretation of the twisted antagonist Yeon-jin—whose eyes are sure to send a shiver down your spine.

Vengeance, nostalgia, justice and unexpected romance are some of the themes and characteristics delivered by this story.

Real victims of bullying are said to have inspired screenwriter Kim Eun-Sook to create the story of Moon Dong-eun. The traumatic “hot iron” scene from the show was believed to have been based on the real-life case of the Cheongju Middle School incident in May 2006.

Should you watch “The Glory?”–yes!

Bullying is an ongoing issue which has only evolved and adapted with social media, providing a mask and immunity to bullies of all ages. The show provided a look into the detrimental effects of bullying and how damaging constant verbal and emotional abuse can cause to a person.

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About the Contributor
Nahomy Guerrero
Nahomy Guerrero, Opinions Editor
College student, part-time worker, artist and cat-enthusiast. Bilingual in English and Spanish. Currently learning Japanese. Graduated Mesa College with an Associates in Arts for transfer majoring in English, spring of 2022. Currently enrolled at Mesa for a second Associates in Journalism. Hoping to transfer to San Diego State University in the fall of 2023.
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