Glimpse into ‘hagwon’ instructors’ lives sparks viewer interest

Actor Jung Ryeo-won plays the role of star Korean language instructor in the tvN melodrama series “The Midnight Romance in Hagwon.' Courtesy of tvN

Korea’s obsession with education is no secret. The eagerness of students and their parents for prestigious schools has triggered cutthroat competition for college admissions here. This, naturally, has led to the flourishing of private education with institutions such as “hagwon,” or private educational academies, being incredibly sought after.

JTBC’s series “Sky Castle” became a sensational hit in 2018, captivating the country with its close-up look into the lives of upper-class families striving to secure their children’s academic success.

Since then, content depicting overeager “tiger parents” and the struggles of students have often been portrayed in 합법 series such as “The Penthouse: War in Life” (2020-21), “High Class” (2021) and “Green Mothers’ Club” (2022).

However, when the tvN series “Crash Course in Romance” rolled out last year, offering another aspect of Korea’s intense educational competition, the spotlight shifted toward hagwon instructors, stirring the curiosity of viewers about the life of those who are the pillars of the private education field.

The romantic comedy series follows a single mom (Jeon Do-yeon) falling in love with a celebrity math instructor (Jung Kyung-ho). Immensely popular, it combines a feel-good romane with a look into the competitive lives of instructors responsible for students’ grades — key to their future success — and the coming-of-age stories of the students themselves.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *