Crash Course in Romance | Korean Drama | Netflix Series
Crash Course in Romance is a Korean drama television series released in 2023, streaming on Netflix in selected regions. It is a romantic comedy about a relationship between a banchan shop owner and a star math teacher, that intersects with a Whodunit murder mystery.
Are CSAT Scores Really That Important?
“The CSAT is designed to test a candidate’s ability to study in college, with questions based on Korea’s high-school curriculum. It standardizes high-school education and provides accurate, objective data for university admission.” (Source)
Accurate? Objective? Maybe in theory. If the terrible things that happened to these school kids in the series actually happen in real life, there is no way university admissions can be accurate, objective, or fair to kids who deserve admission. The mothers of the kids aka “Skymoms” are awful petty vicious women. They were willing to stoop really low and take extreme measures to ensure their child passed the CSAT. Below are 2 examples of their “dirty tricks” (even though they did a lot more!).
- Get a deserving student kicked out of a program that was aimed at nurturing gifted students.
- Spread malicious false rumors on social media about the parent of that student.
A Star Math Teacher Who Needs a Crash Course in Romance
Choi Chi-yeol (played by Jung Kyung-ho) is a star math teacher at a prestigious private academy, The Pride. Parents line up to make sure their kids can get a seat at his lectures. But only seven kids are allowed in his All Care group; an elite training class for the top students. Choi Chi-yeol is loved by his students. They even give him a round of applause when class is over and post comments of adoration on social media. So why does he need a crash course in romance?
According to the Collins English dictionary: “A romance is a relationship between two people love with each other but are not married to each other.” Choi Chi-yeol only knows how to love himself. This all changes when his life intersects with
Nam Haeng-seon (played by Jeon Do-yeon). She is the mom of his best math pupil and the owner of the “Nation’s Best Banchan”, a side dish store in Seoul.
The Highest-Rated Drama on Korean Cable TV
What could possibly be exciting about the life of a math teacher? With or without a romance storyline, this plot sounds BORING! But after watching the series, I was not surprised to learn that Crash Course in Romance became one of the highest-rated dramas in Korean cable TV history.
It’s the backstories of the various characters that make the main storyline so interesting. The scriptwriters for Korean dramas are very adept at “backstory weaving”. The storyline begins by introducing the main character, Choi Chi-yeol, when he was struggling to get his math degree. Then presents him in his present-day status, where he has gone from rags to riches. Next, we meet the other main character, Nam Haeng-seon, and the support characters. As you get to know each one of them, you also get to learn what happened in their past from childhood and how their backstories eventually weave their present-day lives together.
Stream or Skip?
Crash Course in Romance is 16 episodes and each episode is “sort of” like a math problem that needs to be solved.
- Do watch this K-drama if you enjoy romance, comedy, and solving a murder mystery.
- Do NOT watch this series, if you need a crash course in math! All of the scenes where Choi Chi-yeol was solving complex mathematical equations went straight over my head. LOL.
Bonus Notes for Foodies
Watching that series made me hungry! There aren’t very many Korean restaurants in my neck of the woods (Austin, Texas USA). So I did a little research to learn how to make banchan.
Note 1: “Banchan means side dish in Korean, but in reality, it’s a bunch of small dishes filled to the brim with pickles and the like that scatter the table at lunch or dinner.” (REF: Hills, S. W. (2022, January 13). The Funky, Flavorful Side Dishes to Complete Any Korean Meal. Food52. https://food52.com/blog/17598-the-funky-flavorful-sides-a-korean-meal-wouldn-t-be-complete-without)
Note 2: “There are generally three main types of banchan – fresh vegetable banchan like namul or muchim; braised or soy sauce-based banchan called jorim; and well-preserved mit banchan like kimchi or jeotgal, that’s usually on hand in large batches.” (REF: Yoo, Irene. “How to Cook a Bunch of Banchan.” Food Network, Food Network, 6 May 2021, www.foodnetwork.com/how-to/packages/food-network-essentials/how-to-cook-banchan-side-dishes-crowd. Accessed 7 Mar. 2023.)
Note 3: What are some popular banchan dishes? (REF: TasteAtlas. “46 Types of Banchan Sorted by Popularity.” Tasteatlas.com, TasteAtlas, 20 Nov. 2020, www.tasteatlas.com/most-popular-types-of-banchan-in-the-world. Accessed 7 Mar. 2023.)
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