I rarely write reviews but after the 3rd or 4th episode of The Penthouse I felt compelled to put down my thoughts.
I've get a lot of viewing pleasure from TV shows and movies that originate in Korea. They've got subject matter for every taste: action/adventure, comedies, historical dramas, horror features, etc. It's opened a brand new viewing experience for me. I've enjoyed shows of every type and believe Korea has very talented writers and some terrific stories to tell. Production values vary from show to show as does acting ability, but that happens in cinema from all over the world.
My review is to address a subject I see in many of the shows I watch-physical abuse or assault. I'm not talking about the choreographed fights in a spy movie or the sword play in an historical show. I'm talking abuse in the life of every day Koreans. Family violence, workplace abuse and school bullying in particular.
What I find disturbing is the frequency with which it pops up in Korean shows. It's not a random occurrence. It's rarely seems essential to the storyline. It's been presented in every possible genre of storytelling. What adds to this disturbing element is the way the violence is presented as being accepted or acceptable. There is rarely any involvement of any type of authority when the violence is shown. School bullying? Workplace violence? It's repeated in series after series with there rarely being consequences for the assailant or justice for the abused. It's almost as if it's being presented as an acceptable and tolerated part of most Korean's lives. That a slap in the face should be taken. Or a kick or a push. And we all know that can't be a true reflection of the Korean people and their daily experiences, can it?
Of course Korean writers and storytellers don't want think that because Korea is a patriarchal society or because historically this type of behavior has been experienced that viewers should assume it's commonplace behavior in this day and age. Yet that is exactly how it's portrayed. Often.
This is only my perception. Others may not feel the same at all. But, to me, it's a sad element of too many Korean productions.
End of rant.
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