Why Caring Parents Should Watch The K-drama 'SKY Castle'

The second-highest rated K-drama, 'SKY Castle', is an emotional and educational drama that anyone (especially parents) should watch and here's why.

One of the most popular K-dramas (Korean dramas) is SKY Castle, which is one of my all-time favorites and is watched globally. With a meaningful and engaging story, many people loved it and I couldn't stop thinking about it even months after I watched it. Receiving many awards, SKY Castle is ranked the second-highest Korean drama.

SKY Castle is a K-drama that was released on 23 November 2018 and showcased till 1 February 2019. It is directed by Jo Hyun Tak. Furthermore, there are 20 episodes that are each roughly 1 hour 15 minutes long. 

Reasons why you should watch the K-drama SKY Castle
Image source: Viki

Why is SKY Castle so popular?

SKY Castle is so popular because of the story and the deep, meaningful message that is quite confronting. It deals with the real difficulties and efforts of children as they tried to get into top universities due to their parent's wrongful pressure. 

Indeed, the drama was well made with plot twists, cliffhangers and emotional moments. SKY Castle captured people's attention to the true issues and harmful ways of the social hierarchy and parental control that were hardly ever shown in dramas prior to this.

SKY Castle's Plot

SKY Castle is a luxurious neighbourhood where wives try to get their husbands to be successful and their children to get into prestigious universities. In particular, the drama focuses on 4 women after an incident causes Myung Joo's family to move out, despite her son getting into Seoul National University, and another family to move in. 

Han Seo Jin (Yum Jung Ah) appears to have a perfect life with two daughters and her husband who's a surgeon. No Seung Hye (Yoon Se Ah) has two sons and is married to a rude law school professor. Jin Jin Hee (Oh Na Ra), married to a surgeon and with one son, tries to follow Han Seo Jin as her inspiration.

Then, when the kind-hearted Lee Soo Im (Lee Tae Ran) moves in with her stepson and neurosurgeon husband, things change. She sees the horrible way the children suffer and after meeting the grade coordinator, Kim Joo Young (Kim Seo Hyung), she discovers dark secrets as she goes against the other women.

Many comments on the trailer say that it doesn't do justice to the show and I totally agree with those comments. It introduces the first, broad setting theme but the series has a deeper, darker plot that isn't shown in the trailer. 

Reasons why parents (and everyone) should watch SKY Castle:

1. It shares a powerful message with the parents to not pressure their kids

One of the reasons it got popular was because of the deep message for parents to not pressure their children in studies and to understand them better. This was shown strongly throughout in an engaging story that emphasises the consequences of controlling your child. 

For instance, if you don't talk to your children and don't try to know them and understand what they really want to do, it will make them unhappy and could even ruin the family bond. Pushing them to just study and be the best can make them really stressed and destroy their mental health.

These messages in the K-drama open parents' eyes to the point of view of children to encourage parents to get to understand their child better and to not pressure them too much.

I would like to watch this with my mother as I think it's an educational show she'd be interested in. I want her to understand how pressured students feel, although she's not that strict. Moreover, I think parents will enjoy it as they might find a lot to talk about with their child or other parents as I can imagine my mum talking about this topic for hours.

Reasons why you should watch the k-drama SKY Castle
Image source: Forbes

2. It'll help your relationship with your child

Therefore, watching SKY Castle can build your relationship with your child as you see things from their perspective and don't pressure them unnecessarily and try to talk to them. As you open up to them and they open up to you, you can both feel better.

Of course, I'm not saying all parents are controlling and harsh like in the drama but just watching it, even together with their child, can make a good bonding experience. It reminds them of the importance of family love and may help them remember to check in with their child every now and then.

3. The amazing cast does a great performance

You can't forget about the amazing cast that really brought the story to life. It was directed and acted so well that the audience gets so immersed. They did a fantastic job, making us sympathise with them, love them or hate them.

Firstly, the main mother who struggles inside, Han Seo Jin, is played by Yum Jung Ah, who has been in many dramas and movies like Cart. Seo Jin's husband, Kang Joon Sang, is played by Jung Joon Ho who's also in many movies and dramas like The Flower in Prison. The daughter, Kang Ye Seo, is portrayed by Kim Hye Yoon, known for dramas including Extraordinary You.

Next, the kind and determined Lee Soo Im is played by Lee Tae Ran, getting an award for the drama Wang's Family. The husband, Hwang Chi Young, is played by Choi Won Young who's in dramas such as Doctor Prisoner and Mystic Pop-up Bar. The son, Hwang Woo Joo, is Kang Chan Hee, a member of the K-pop group SF9 and actor in dramas like Imitation and True Beauty.

Reasons why you should watch the k-drama SKY Castle
Image source: Campus Connection

Additionally, No Seung Hye's family is played by the recognizable actors Yoon Se Ah, Kim Byung Chul, Park Yoo Na, Kim Dong Hee and Joe Byeong Gyu. Jin Jin Hee's family consists of the actors Oh Na Ra, Jo Jae Yun and Yu Gene Woo. Personally, my favourites were Kang Chan Hee, and the twins Kim Dong Hee and Joe Byeong Gyu as they played sweet, lovable characters well. 

Many fans fell in love with the acting of Kim Seo Hyung, who played Coach Kim Joo Young, the iconic character who was cold and cruel but with a tragic past. Kim Seo Hyung is in many movies and dramas such as Nobody Knows and Tempted.

Finally, the difficult Kim Hye Na that we had mixed feelings for was played by Kim Bo Ra (also in Her Private Life).

4. It's based on real life

SKY Castle is a satirical drama based on real life and reflects the true struggles that many children have suffered due to parents. Many Koreans have said that nearly all students have a 1 on 1 tutor or go to an after school academy through middle school and high school.

The high society, expensive tutors, obsession with schooling and grades and the extreme lengths parents go to for their children to get into top universities are accurate. Although it's shocking, comments support that the show is not an exaggeration of the life of most Koreans, except the murder.

Reasons why you should watch the k-drama SKY Castle
image source: Korean Dramaland

However, the hospital doesn't exist in Korea and the residential SKY Castle was filmed in a high-end neighbourhood in Yongin that many people visit due to the drama.

Also, I discovered that SKY was actually a real acronym for the SKY universities that stands for Seoul University, Korea University and Yonsei University, the top 3 universities in South Korea. 

5. It's driven by strong female characters

This cast was led by strong women as they stole the show with the focus on their deep, complex characters where some were determined, kind, caring or headstrong.

While we hated some based on their portrayal, their acting was really powerful. My favorite is No Seung Hye as we cheered her on and she made us feel proud when she stood up to her husband to protect her family. 

Reasons why you should watch the k-drama SKY Castle
Image source: Film Daily

6. It has a great story you can't stop watching

Indeed, the well-created story is so engaging that you'll want to keep watching it. Most of the viewers finished it in a day. It's so engaging and addictive that one can't resist watching the next episode after finishing one.

The narrative was so innovative, immersive and compelling with great character development. Significantly, the drama was well delivered with a touch of comic relief to the seriousness that many viewers enjoyed.

When I first heard the plot, I didn't think it would be a drama I would like since it wasn't my style but I decided to try it and it's now one of my favourite K-dramas ever. The story is really that captivating that reviewers say they were hooked from the first episode till the end.

Fortunately, in SKY Castle, there's a happy ending as the complicated problems get solved eventually.

7. It has the best plot twists and cliffhangers

Furthermore, the unpredictable and suspenseful plot twists and cliffhangers leave you wanting more and really make this drama an amazing experience. It takes the shows to the next level and it's as good as mysteries and thrillers. 

Reasons why you should watch the k-drama SKY Castle
Image source: Twitter

8. It's perfect for an emotional drama

If you're looking for something that touches your emotions, nothing's better than SKY Castle. Many fans said that they 'ugly cried', from the second episode to the 20th, and I definitely cried a lot - the most I ever have for a K-drama. Furthermore, all the reviewers of the show could easily relate to the storyline and got really emotional, and maybe you will too. 

The drama really pulls you in and immerses you in the story that connects you emotionally with the characters and their tragic lives. So, make sure you have a box of tissues when you watch this with your children because it's really sad. 

9. The genres include drama, satire, psychology, mystery, dark comedy and family education

These genres are combined really well with this show and will be a perfect watch for you if you love drama, satire, psychological mystery, thriller, dark comedy and education. It really has everything. But if you're looking for romance or comedy, this might not be suited for you as there is not much romance in SKY Castle. Despite this, I enjoyed the series even though I don't generally watch these genres at all. 

Reasons why you should watch the k-drama SKY Castle
Image source: The Kraze

10. It can help you start a new hobby of watching K-dramas (with your child too)

As a 19-year-old, I've wanted to spend more time with my mum, especially by watching K-dramas since she loves Chinese dramas and probably the story of SKY Castle. Hopefully, I can watch it soon with her and we can enjoy talking about it while we watch. I also hope we continue watching more K-dramas together.

I highly suggest that SKY Castle is a K-drama that's a must-watch for mothers with teenage children.

Someone even commented that they hate K-dramas but decided to watch SKY Castle and was instantly hooked on the unique plot and watched more K-dramas after finishing this one. Be ready for it, as this could be the start for you to get into K-dramas.

However, due to its dark themes, it's not suited for kids and I recommend watching it with teenagers who are at least 16. But you can always watch it alone (as I did) or with other adults as well. 

11. Other K-dramas like Penthouse seem to take inspiration from it

Reasons why you should watch the k-drama SKY Castle
Image source: Viki

As a great K-drama that was watched and loved by many, it seems to have influenced other K-dramas, such as Penthouse (2020), which has a similar theme of trying to be successful in the high-class of society. Clearly, that shows how popular and loved SKY Castle has become.

While some fans say Penthouse is better and some like SKY Castle more, I personally feel like SKY Castle is better, especially since it was first and feels like a classic that gave birth to others. 

If you enjoyed Penthouse, I suggest you try watching SKY Castle as well since you will probably enjoy it too.

12. It has the best OST and amazing cinematography

While many reviewers praised the story, acting and directing, I learnt that they also complimented the cinematography. Indeed, the high-quality cinematography made the show stronger and more immersive, enhancing the experience. 

The OST (original soundtrack), 'We All Lie', is possibly one of the most known OSTs and is covered by many K-pop artists. It's one of my favourite OSTs that made me love the drama even more because it was memorable and suited it so well, matching the emotional moments. Now when I hear the haunting melody, I think about the K-drama and it makes me emotional.

Released in 2019 for SKY Castle, 'We All Lie' by Ha Jin is an OST that was nominated for Mnet Asian Music Award for Best OST. 

13. It's on Netflix with English subtitles

It's easily accessible to binge-watch whenever you want on Netflix. And if you're using the excuse that you won't understand Korean (which my mum uses), it has English subtitles and you'll get used to Korean in no time, just like I did. Therefore, watching it can also help you learn Korean as a bonus. 

So, since it's there, you should give it a try. If you think you might or might not like it, I say you should start watching it for yourself to see how good it can be. Also, do me a favor and share this article with your friends and family, and find some company to watch the show together.

Someone who loves reading and writing. My life is filled with entertainment - movies, books and more creativity.

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