Weak Hero Class 1 is a high school K-drama about three (3) best friends and how their failure to communicate with each other led to tragedy. This Korean drama series was released in 2022, and even though there are only 8 episodes, each episode is intense. It is based on the popular Naver webtoon Weak Hero.
The are three takeaways from this series:
Friends should talk to each other;
People should learn when to STOP! and
Bullies are very predictable.
♦ At First, One is the Only Number
Weak Hero Class 1 focuses on the fragile friendship of three (3) high school kids.
- Yeon Si-Eun is the “weak hero”, a model student who gets top grades and is obviously on the road to success. But he is a loner and it’s by choice. He doesn’t want to have friends.
- An Soo-Ho is a big kid with a big heart. He is also a skilled fighter. That’s good because his grades are nothing to brag about. However, considering that he also works more than one part-time job while trying to go to school, he at least deserves a gold star for perfect attendance. An Soo-Ho never tries to bully Yeon Si-Eun because he respects him. Even so Yeon Si-Eun doesn’t try to pursue a friendship with him.
- Oh Beom-Seok is a transfer student. His father transferred him because bullies at the other school kept beating him up. He thinks that money is the only way to solve problems. Except … it doesn’t solve that “problem” that he has at home. He is a loner, but not by choice. He has no friends and only seems to attract bullies. Yeon Si-Eun doesn’t try to pursue a friendship with him either.
♦ One Turns Into Three
Bullies don’t mess with An Soo-Ho because he would probably beat them to a pulp. However, the school bullies want to destroy Yeon Si-Eun. They hate that he’s so smart and they can’t make him bow down to them. Oh Beom-Seok’s problem was not solved by transferring to a new school. The bullies at the new school also push him around. They threaten him and tell him he has to do something bad to Yeon Si-Eun or else, they’ll make him suffer. Fear of being bullied all over again motivated Oh Beom-Seok to cause trouble for Yeon Si-Eun. However, Yeon Si-Eun knew who had put him up to it and warned the bullies to STOP!
The bullies underestimated Yeon Si-Eun. They thought he was book smart but didn’t have any self-defense skills. They were WRONG!
After the failed attempt by the school bullies to bring Yeon Si-Eun down, he became friends with An Soo-Ho and Oh Beom-Seok. You would think the bullies would have learned their lesson. Only bullies just don’t know when to STOP!
♦ The Bond of Friendship Breaks
For a while, Yeon Si-Eun, An Soo-Ho and Oh Beom-Seok, get along merrily. But they don’t share problems they are having and it leads to a break-down in communication.
- Yeon Si-Eun’s home life is far from perfect, but he keeps this to himself.
- Oh Beom-Seok’s home life is 10 times worse than what Yeon Si-Eun experiences. He was adopted and his adoptive father physically abuses him. Nobody knows because he keeps this to himself.
- An Soo-Ho knows that his friends are troubled but he can’t help because they don’t want to talk about what’s happening to them.
It gets worse when Oh Beom-Seok decides that he no longer wants to be friends with An Soo-Ho and Yeon Si-Eun. They aren’t needed because he bought the loyalty of the school bullies with money. He has a lot of pent up anger which he can’t direct toward his father. Instead he misdirects his anger and aims it at An Soo-Ho. Yeon Si-Eun tells him to STOP! But the situation gets out of control and goes from bad to worse to tragic!
♦ One Minus Two Equals Alone Again
Perhaps Yeon Si-Eun should have stayed a loner and never made friends. Relationships between friends were uncertain and unpredictable. If they communicated better instead of trying to keep their problems to themselves, perhaps things might have turned out differently. The life lesson Yeon Si-Eun learned was that friendships are breakable, but bullies are very predictable.
- Yeon Si-Eun (played by Park Ji-Hoon, “Flower Crew: Joeon Marriage Agency”)
- An Soo-Ho (played by Choi Hyun-Wook, “Taxi Driver”)
- Oh Beom-Seok (played by Hong Kyung, “Lovers of the Red Sky”)
Viewership and Rating:
- IMDb Rating: 8.5 out of 10 stars
- My Drama List: out of 10 stars
- Letterboxd: 4.3 out of 5 stars
- Viki viewers rated the series 9.6 out of 10 stars
My personal rating aligns with the Viki viewing audience. There are lots of Korean dramas that address the problem of bullying in high schools. But the scriptwriters for Weak Hero Class 1 created a painfully realistic story about young people and troubles they struggle through. If only they can survive being a teenager and make it to adulthood, perhaps life will be better. What else can they hope for?
LINKS OF INTEREST:
- Weak Hero Class 1: Why This K-Drama Is More Than Just an Action Spectacle | MovieWeb
- K-Drama Review: “Weak Hero Class 1” Left The Viewers In Awe For Its Unforeseeable Plot Twist | kdramadiary
KOCOWA TV. “Weak Hero Class • Teaser | This Top Student Is Ready to Fight Back [ENG SUB].” YouTube, 22 Nov. 2022, www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRDByzGXhSA.