Extracurricular

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Extracurricular TV Poster Image
Dark, thrilling Korean teen crime drama is violent, mature.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 15+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Criminal behavior is simply a means to an end, and not a moral issue. Coping with adult-imposed pressures, teen angst, family dysfunction, and bullying are also themes. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Ji-soo is a serious criminal because he wants to make money and have a better life. Gyu Ri and Soon Min Hee face their own personal problems, but are also motivated by greed. Parents, guidance counselors, and mentors are often pushy, toxic, or bullies. 

Violence

Violent images of people being slapped, stomped on, beaten, strangled, shot through the head, etc. Blood and bloody wounds visible. Character attempts suicide. 

Sex

Criminal events revolve around the illegal sex trade. Mature sexual content, including images of people wearing ball gags. People are shown stripping, being stripped, and in their underwear. 

Language

Words like "piss," "hell," "ass," "bastard," "bitch"; curses like "s--t" and "f--k." 

Consumerism

Duracell and Energizer batteries, LEGO toys, Adidas, and other logos visible. Apple products are prominently displayed. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Cigarette smoking and vaping are commonplace among teens and adults. Beer drinking.

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.

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User Reviews

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  • Kids say

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Teen, 14 years old Written byQtrr16 May 4, 2020

Really good

It's really good, but be careful if violence or any other gloomy topics trigger you. Very suspenseful and has many twists, I love it! If you like the dark... Continue reading

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? 

  • Why do some shows and movies about teens often feature lots of cursing, smoking, and other risky behaviors? What impact do you think this has on viewers, if any?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love dark comedy

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