Netflix’s ‘The Glory’ sees a woman in her thirties finally executing her revenge against her school bullies that she has been concocting for more than a decade.
Moon Dong-Eun is relentlessly bullied and tortured by her high school classmates. Park Yeon-Jin, Lee Sa-Ra, and Jae-Jun are brats from wealthy and powerful families while Myeong-O and Hye-Jeong are not really that well off.
However, in terms of cruelty and psychopathic lack of emotions or empathy is the same across the board. Dong-Eun tries to turn to the police and later tries to commit suicide, but can’t escape her torment anyhow.
Ultimately, she leaves the school and with numerous scars on her body, begins a new life where she independently completes her education, becomes a teacher, and plots a grand plan to exact revenge upon the bullies who have all now grown up.
While her revenge plan sets off and rolls on successfully, Dong-Eun meets a man named Yeo-Jeong at a hospital. Later on, Dong-Eun partners up with a servant to investigate all the bully group members.
In exchange for her investigative efforts, Hyeon-Nam wants Dong-Eun to kill her abusive husband. Together, they uncover dirty secrets and scandals of the group which Dong-Eun uses as leverage to make their lives hell.
Dong-Eun closes in on the bullies and becomes the homeroom teacher to Yeon-Jin’s daughter. Yeon-Jin is the one main villain among the bullies that Dong-Eun wants to exact her revenge upon the most.
Later on, Dong-Eun begins closing in on Yeon-Jin’s husband while also uncovering Yeon-Jin and Jae-Jun’s big dirty secret. Meanwhile, she enlists Myeong-O’s help in taking down Jae-Jun and others (since he hates them too).
When Myeong-O seemingly dies, she turns to other puppets. Meanwhile, she comes clean and reveals her story to Yeo-Jeong, who agrees to help her in the revenge plan while also contending with inner demons of his own.
Yeon-Jin’s husband eventually learns about all that has transpired and all that has been going on, with Yeon-Jin also uncovering what Dong-Eun has been up to and how she’s been getting at them all this time.
‘The Glory’ season 1 ends with Dong-Eun making her former bullies’ lives much worse yet not taking any of their lives. While she braces for the next stage of her plan, her enemies have started to prepare as well.
The melodrama and heightened emotions in ‘The Glory’ season 1 are interspersed with many moments of subtle yet strong ones.
The main cast does a commendable job with all the emotional as well as the physical requirements of the story. There are no noticeable moments where the talented ensemble budges or shows insufficient competence.
Song Hey-Kyo is brilliant as the main character, as is her archnemesis counterpart, played by Lim Ji-Yeon. Other members in the lead slate as well as those in the periphery all bring their acting A’s to the table.
‘The Glory’ is really capable of wringing out a teeth-grinding response at all the cruelty that the bullies wreak on Moon Dong-Eun.
The acting and the direction both do great jobs conveying the helplessness as well as the tormenting unfairness that exists in hierarchies everywhere in society.
The episodes are paced really well, and while the story may seem to unfurl slowly, the pacing of each episode is really good.
The transient moments of warmth and comic relief, thanks to Hyeon-Nam, are genuinely moving in their innocence and both the actors deserve all the praise to etch out such an understated flurry of repressed emotions as well as working wonders with their on-screen chemistry.
The highlight of revenge tales is that the viewers and the character seeking revenge both await the significant moment of catharsis.
All the pent-up anger, frustration, and emotions need a release and that moment never really arrives in ‘The Glory’ season 1, which will obviously be there in the second part next year.
However, that’s not to say that the show has no cathartic moments. Additionally, the whole “making them suffer” part is kind of Dong-Eun’s plan regarding the bullies, so the catharsis for her may just be a gradual process.
She can’t be hasty and mess up her plan for an inertial impact of catharsis after so many years of her life have been spent planning her revenge.
Another negative might be a consequence of this prolonged plot that has to introduce more characters to the fray like Yeo-Jeong, whose own battles with trauma and murderous intent can prove to be somewhat of a distraction.
‘The Glory’ season 1 is a riveting riot of revenge that comes in instalments, and while an oomph is missing from this tale of vengeance, the serial-wise suffering of the antagonists is really entertaining to binge through.
The Glory season 1
Director: Ahn Gil-ho
Date Created: 2022-12-31 13:30