A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Extracurricular is a dark, edgy Korean crime series that centers on high school students engaged in criminal behavior, from theft and blackmail to sex work and violence. Bullying behavior, dysfunctional parents, and teen angst are explored. Expect violent scenes of people being beaten, stomped on, and shot (bloody wounds are visible), strong sexual innuendo, and lots of cursing, including "s--t" and "f--k." There's extensive cigarette smoking and vaping by teen characters. Teens who like this sort of thing will likely be drawn to it, but it's most appropriate for an older crowd.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
EXTRACURRICULAR is a Korean dramatic series about a high school student who lives a double life as a criminal mastermind. Oh Ji-soo (Kim Dong-hee) is an awkward, but gifted, 18-year-old high school student who wants to go to a top university and escape his dead-end life. To pay for living expenses and save for tuition, he uses his smarts to secretly run a lucrative escort service that provides "special protection”"(played by Choi Min-soo) for the women who work for him. His quiet demeanor puts him above suspicion, but things start to get tricky when he befriends classmate Bae Gyu-ri (Park Ju-hyun), who just happens to be his secret crush. Making it worse is the fact that their obnoxious classmate Seo Min-hee (Jung Da-bin) is inextricably caught up in Ji-soo’s scheme, while her unsuspecting boyfriend Kwak Ki-tae (Nam Yoon-soo) relentlessly bullies him. Soon Ji-soo and his young cronies find themselves in over their heads as they sink deeper into a violent criminal world.
Is it any good?
This character-driven drama (which is dubbed into English on Netflix) creates a compelling world by combining stories about teenage school life and serious criminal activity. While Ji-soo awkwardly deals with the school’s annoying guidance counselor (played by Park Hyun-kwon), bullies, and a toxic parent, both Gyu-ri and Min-hee cope with their own insecurities and growing pains as they enter into adulthood. However, neither the law or moral values are factors in their collective sphere as they navigate the criminal world with an almost-sociopathic ease.
Extracurricular’s characters are unapologetic, and not particularly likable. But the relationships between them grow more interesting and complex, which makes them worth investing in. Meanwhile, as Ji-soo’s criminal enterprise expands, the stakes get higher, and create lots of entertaining suspense. The result is a binge-worthy series that is as thrilling as it is disturbing for those old enough to handle it.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what compels the teenagers in Extracurricular to engage in criminal behavior. Is it simply greed? Is Ji-soo’s criminal behavior more justified than the behavior of the others?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love dark comedy
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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