The Glory: A Review


Ta'Mya Gibson, Staff Writer

The South Korean TV show The Glory first part was released on Netflix on December 20, 2022, while the second part was released March 10, 2023. It topped Netflix’s non-English TV series chart with over 48 million viewing hours and the show also spent eight weeks on the global chart. The Glory is a revenge-drama series written by Kim Eun Sook. Creator Eun Sook made the series after being inspired by: a conversation with her daughter and the long-standing problem of bullying in South Korea. 

The Glory tells a story of Moon Dong Eun, a high school student who aspired to be an architect but was forced to drop out of school and give up her dream due to violent bullying, both physically and psychologically, that she endured by her classmates. This includes being burned by hair-curling irons, scratched with pins, choked, and punched in the chest. She is poor, with her parents unable to support, while the leading bully, Park Yeon Jin, however, is from a wealthy family. When Dong Eun reports the abuse at school and to the police she is ultimately ignored and even faced more abuse from her own homeroom teacher. Carrying her burn marks as a symbol of her injustice, she suffers from post traumatic stress.

Years later, she eventually finds a job as homeroom teacher at an elementary school, and as time goes on, she learns that the main bully, Yeon JIn, who wrecked her life is now married and has a child who attends the same school. The constant reminder of what happened drove her to pursue a plan seeking revenge on all the bullies who ruined her childhood. 

The horrendous bullying scene in episode one is based on a real-life event that happened in 2006 at a girls’ school in Cheongju, Korea. A ninth-grade girl was targeted by three other girls, who tortured her for over 20 days. She ended up hospitalized for six-weeks due to her injuries. 

A few things that I believe the drama portrays well is having a great understanding of its characters, the societal issues in Korea when it comes to bullying, and also societal hierarchy/status. The Glory being based on real events adds an extra layer to Eun Sook’s tale. It goes deeper than just revenge, but also looks at a very real and dangerous problem that’s inflicted by those in power and who have family status and never face any consequences for their actions.

The show seeks to shed some light on this global problem, while also showcasing its effects on the human spirit. Overall this is one of the most brutal psychological thriller series I’ve seen. It keeps you interested with edge-of-your-seat twists and allows watchers to see the character’s painful experience and to sympathize with her.