High Society: Low Happiness

High_Society

There is a certain rawness in High Society that caught my eye within just the first episode. While High Society may sound like your run of the mill “life of the rich is actually hard, blah blah blah”, there is more to it than meets the eye. I am in it more for our two main character’s development arc. There is no happy Candy nor traumatized chaebol here. Instead, Yoon Ha is our main lady and she is the youngest daughter of a rich conglomerate. However, in her home she is repressed by her mother and bullied by her numerous siblings. Her mother noticeably pushes her down all the time and only forces her to get married so that Yoon Ha can leave the household. Meanwhile, Yoon Ha tries to break out of the pampered aghassi mode and gets a part-time job at a super-market.

There she makes a good friend named Lee Yi Ji, who is a Candy type where she is poor, happy, and hardworking. Yi Ji has her eyes set on handsome and hardworking Joon Ki, who is a deputy of the supermarket for a business conglomerate. Joon Ki is born to a poor social status and yearns to marry up or gain more power in the company. He hates being looked down upon for his family background and is noticeably annoyed when his richer friend says untactful comments at times. His friend, Chang Soo, is the younger son of a conglomerate who also yearns to make a name in his own company and rise above his older brother. However, he doesn’t do the work himself and always has Joon Ki solve his problems since he is more capable. Because of Chang Soo’s birthright, he unwittingly treats Joon Ki like his minion rather than as an equal. This bromance has a potential of going sideways for sure.

Chang Soo meets Yoon Ha in a blind date meeting set up by their parents, which goes awry as Yoon Ha tries to get out of the set up. It was at this place that Joon Ki first saw Yoon Ha and was interested. Yoon Ha had went in looking like rockstar to put off Chang Soo, and came back out clean and chastised after Chang Soo dumped water all over her head. Chang Soo hates being used and reported mean things about Yoon Ha back to his mother. After being scolded and hit at home by her mother, Yoon Ha decides to meet up with Yi Ji for comfort. She meets Joon Ki for a third time as she sees Yi Ji follow Joon Ki out of the supermarket after work. They say that if you meet a person three times coincidentally, it is fate. In Joon Ki’s mind, he doesn’t believe in fate, but “chooses” to pursue a possible interest in her.

For me I enjoy the innocence of Yoon Ha and look forward to seeing her develop more or fend for herself without relying on her birthright. She has an independent streak and I want to see what she does with it instead of being brutally suppressed by her mother. Played by UEE of After School, she has developed a lot in her acting role from her debut in Your Beautiful. While I hated her there, I really enjoy her portrayal here. As for Joon Ki, he is not your usual nice guy or rich guy. He has high ambitions and wants to climb the social ladder no matter what. He is the person who will leave you cold and hanging if it suits his goals. You can already tell he has something against the rich with their arrogant attitude. He has the perfect combination of utter coldness as well as inner warmth which is shown through Sung Joon’s versatile acting. Having seen most of his roles, he is a very capable actor who is very expressive with his face, especially his eyes. Now with Yoon Ha hiding her rich family and pretending to be poor, we can see how Joon Ki may be in conflict with himself as he aims to marry into a rich family. Will he compromise his ambitions for a love with a seemingly “average” girl? Will he just use her to achieve his goals? Will Yoon Ha be able to be with a guy she loves that is not of her status? I know she would not mind as she wishes to marry for love, but her family is her greatest obstacle. She wants to throw them away, while Joon Ki needs them. As for Yi Ji and Chang Soo, they will probably end up together later on as they are the two extremes left as our main develop their romance.

-phoenix

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