Netflix Hierarchy fan reviews: ‘Wasted potential’; colossal disappointment falls far off OG K-drama goodness | Web Series - Hindustan Times
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Netflix Hierarchy fan reviews: ‘Wasted potential’; colossal disappointment falls far off OG K-drama goodness

Jun 09, 2024 03:16 AM IST

Fans declare Netflix's Hierarchy a mixed bag of “wasted potential.” Here's why the series failed the OG K-drama loyalists.

Netflix's original K-dramas have greatly disappointed viewers of late. As the global streamer continues to churn out a mixed bag of content, predominantly leaning far off the authentic goodness of Korean dramas, netizens are scrutinising the visibly heavy-budgeted production costs put into something they've ultimately slammed as “wasted potential.”

All seven episodes of Hierarchy premiered on Netflix on June 7.(Netflix)
All seven episodes of Hierarchy premiered on Netflix on June 7.(Netflix)

Hierarchy, supposedly the Korean version of the hit Spanish series ‘Elite,’ was billed as a significantly visually attractive premiere. The series seemingly had it all - the cast, the budget and whatnot. However, the show's unexpected failure was also ultimately attributed to the lack of everything else profoundly essential in building up its foundations.

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K-drama loyalists ardently awaited its global premiere on June 7. And so, seven episodes dropped simultaneously on Friday. Viewers tuned in, hoping for “The Glory levels of revenge,” as remarked by an X/Twitter user. The dish was served cold; sadly, the dish in question wasn't revenge. Instead, it was a frustrating catastrophe, or so the netizens asserted.

Hierarchy stars a squad of several young actors you've probably encountered as a class of supporting cast members. As they revel in their leading positions for the Netflix K-drama, fans primarily let out a disgruntled sigh of dismay, expressing their disapproval of the output.

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What does the plot entail? A basic overview of the series will lend you a glimpse at a messy bag filled with familiar tropes. Scandals brew in hindsight as privileged high school students withhold the truth. Not to forget, they're all assembled at South Korea's most prestigious high school. The despicable squad maintains its controversial silence until, of course, the outsider - a scholarship student - walks in, seeking to break the mould and demolish the questionable hierarchy of secrets.

Starring Lee Chae Min, Roh Jeong Eui, Kim Jae Won, Ji Hye Won and Lee Won Jung, Hierarchy is directed by Bae Hyeong Jin and written by Chu Hye Mi. On the face of it, the 7-part drama seemingly pulls a page out of the original Elite series and K-dramas like The Glory, Pyramid Game, SKY Castle and even The Penthouse.

However, fans' social media reviews of the show paint an entirely disjointed picture, affirming that the Netflix series has nothing on its predecessors that raised the character and plot-building processes as their utmost priority, while all else came second. The hierarchy of preferences ultimately translated into the grand-scale results that followed and reflected in the massive positive bombardment of reviews from viewers. However, the same can't be said for Hierarchy.

Hierarchy Reviews by K-drama Fans

Occasional comments from viewers who were relatively new to the K-drama content folder suggested that they enjoyed the Netflix series somewhat. However, OG Korean content fans claimed to have seen better.

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A common streak of responses to the mystery romance included netizens' awe of the high-budgeted visuals and cinematography. However, these positives also seemingly translated into a shallow, cosmetic and insincere attempt at selling a specific aesthetic that was only skin-deep.

Despite the generally off-putting reactions to the show, some K-drama fans still hoped for Roh Jeong Eui to pair up with Lee Chae Min and Kim Jae Won, respectively, for other projects as they could sense sparks of palpable chemistry in each case.

However, this, too, wasn't as particularly desired by many. On the contrary, more commonly, positive responses were dolled out to the “side characters” portrayed by Ji Hye Won and Lee Won Jung, who seemingly won the hearts of viewers who weren't otherwise won over by the show or other aspects of it.

Beyond the negatives, the first season's ending had several viewers raving online. Numerous questions and “spiralling” emotions ensued, and many sought answers to issues that wouldn't be resolved until Hierarchy was renewed for another season. This leads us to the pressing issue: Do viewers even want a Hierarchy Season 2?

Here's how netizens reacted to the Hierarchy K-drama on X/Twitter:

  • “The range of homes, buildings, and architecture in #hierarchy was so enjoyable to see! I'm glad they didn't use all the same houses that are in most chaebol kdramas.”
  • “Thank you writers for showing that strong willed teenage female characters can overcome highschool drama, boys & still have their friendship be the constant that remains strong despite their own vulnerabilities. I loved hera & jaei’s imperfect friendship 🥺🫶🏽 #Hierarchy”
  • “Oh trust me I mean was so anticipated for this drama only to be disappointed I mean even the acting wasn't that great sorry but it wasn't the wait.”

  • “Wasted potential, the storyline was garbage, no resolution on the relevant themes among teenagers today. the love triangle was convoluted and exhausted just to keep the plot going and seriously only french kiss 😒”
  • “I blame the director for making this drama a trash. Casting Roh JeongEui, Lee ChaeMin, and Kim JaeWon are already promising enough, but what the hell with writing and directing of this drama?! I'm so speechless I don't know what to say anymore.”
  • “Was expecting hierarchy to give me first season of The Penthouse with sprinkles of Euphoria and get me at the edge of my seat and it gave me #NOTHING”

  • “Netflix should’ve flown in some consultants from Spain and the UK if they wanted to do a good messy high school drama this budget deserved better.”
  • “Came to episode 4, not as intense I thought it will be and especially the lovelines, zero chemistry, I do not at alll like the mellow expressions please. Need spice,revenge, blood boiling rage.”
  • “lLee chaemin and the second couple carried the show. the plot was so weak with so much potential tho. and some of the actors also fell flat. if they’re making s2 i hope they do something better.”
  • “Nah the first ep got me excited but then it became so boring. it completely lacked suspense and excitement #hierarchy”
  • “I honestly expected so much more. So much potential wasted smh. I only stayed to see Lee Chaemin as he. Was the main reason I decided to watch it. Overall, disappointed. Hope LCM and RJE get casted in another drama and get their own happy endings there😪”
  • “There was no exposition no nothing. they gave me no reason to care about any of the characters, not even the mc. i was expecting something like the Glory or Pyramid Game, so disappointed.”
  • “Hera carried the whole drama if you ask me.. she said women before everything.”
  • “My expectations were so high i started hating myself for thinking it could be on pyramid game’s level not only was the plot bad but the acting as well this is why some actors don’t necessarily need to leave nugudom.”
  • “No cus the expectations with this one were so high but it turned out messy and draggy the acting werent really there most of the time and i had to entertain myself with the side characters.”
  • “The way the acting was so bad, the plot was so bad, the pace of the story was so bad, actors romance was so bad too like it all was so bad, only good thing was the cars they all had.”
  • “Apart from bad plot and script , it did not felt like I was watching a kdrama . The Korean aspect was missing .”

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