If you haven’t heard of Sky Castle, it is one of the hottest Korean dramas of 2019. Sky Castle is a Korean drama follows the lives of four wealthy and educated families who live in the ‘Sky Castle‘, a special neighborhood that is known for its commitment to children’s education. Together, they prepare their kids for entry into Korea’s top universities. I would love to see Sky Castle as a heavy contender for the 2019 Korean Drama Daesang award. After all, it is the highest-rated Korean drama to be aired on the cable network with an all-time-high AGB Nielsen rating of 23.8%.  

Network: JTBC
Year: 2019
Rating: 9.8/10
Cast: Yum Jung-ah, Lee Tae-ran, Yoon Se-ah, Oh Na-ra, Kim Seo-hyung and more!
Where to watch: Viki

Even though I didn’t grow up or go to school in South Korea, Sky Castle touches on many of the mental challenges and struggles both adults and children face while living and growing up in a competitive environment. The captivating aspect of Sky Castle is that the show does a good job on keeping the plot realistic when it comes to the messages that it wants to get across. Below are some points that really touch the core on issues that stem from parenting and societal pressure.

1. Win By Any Means Necessary

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Credit: JTBC

There is a systemic mentality of gaining the upper hand and coming out on top which is very much aggravated by peer pressure. Sky Castle really brings to life the often heard slang, “a child from another family”, which represents a quintessential kid who is at the top of his/her game. Parents tell their own kid about how so-and-so is getting better grades, is super talented and making so much money. They think that they can motivate their own children and have their own children emulate the quintessential kid. But it achieves the opposite effect. Kids don’t like to be compared. It creates a lot of pressure of them and can shatter their own confidence.

2. Living Someone Else’s Life 

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Credit: JTBC

Sky Castle not only focuses on the lives of the kids but also focuses on the lives of the parents. Sometimes we live in order to please others or to satisfy others’ expectations and we don’t consider enough what we want ourselves. Sky Castle does well in contrasting the differences in parenting styles. It also displays from the parent’s perspectives their challenges as they go through their careers. 

3. More Than a Kid’s Life Than Studying.

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Credit: JTBC

Pursue your dreams. This might be a shock to some people since we are told from a young age that we need to find a good job in order to live comfortably. Living in the Sky Castle means kids are prepped for college at a young age. Sky Castle again does well by highlighting the pressures of kids who are forced into studying at school and at cram school with no freedom to express their own interests. It also depicts the struggles and decisions made by kids who do decide to follow their dreams and succeed.