1 Of 2024’s Most Anticipated K-Dramas Was Incredibly Disappointing (But I Still Want Season 2) (2024)

WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Hierarchy.

Summary

  • Hierarchy, a highly anticipated K-drama, did not meet expectations due to an underwhelming revenge plot that was overshadowed by love triangle storylines.
  • The show's fast-paced, hopeful ending and lack of major twists left viewers unsatisfied, despite a strong cast and interesting premise.
  • A potential second season could work, exploring new mysteries and character developments, but needs a high-stakes story to improve upon season 1's shortcomings.

Hierarchy, one of the most anticipated K-dramas of 2024, could not live up to the expectations, but I still think the show can work in a potential second season. The best K-dramas of 2024 so far include broadcast shows such as Queen of Tears and Marry My Husband as well as streaming originals such as Parasyte: The Grey. While Netflix has released some great K-dramas this year, one of its most promising releases was not as good as it could have been.

Hierarchy was set in the fictional school of Jooshin, where the children of Koreans 0.01% richest families are sent. The Netflix K-drama is told from the perspective of Kang Ha, a scholarship student who just transferred to Jooshin. At the end of episode 1, audiences learn that Kang Ha is there to investigate the death of his brother, who was also a scholarship student at Jooshin. Hierarchy’s cast and premise looked very promising, and the show was among the most anticipated Korean titles of the year.

Why Netflix’s Hierarchy Did Not Live Up The Expectations

Hierarchy had a promising cast and an interesting premise.

Korean web series created for streaming platforms like Netflix usually have a bigger budget per episode than the average broadcast K-drama. Some of the most popular K-dramas of recent years have actually been web series released exclusively on streaming, including global smash hits like Squid Game and Sweet Home. Therefore, once it was announced that Netflix was going to release a high school web series starring up-and-coming Korean actors, Hierarchy became a highly anticipated K-drama. Unfortunately, while the show had qualities, it did not live up to the expectations.

Kang Ha’s revenge was not as interesting as the first episode set it up to be (...)

Hierarchy has so far been one of my biggest K-drama disappointments of 2024. The series, which was expected to be a revenge K-drama about a mysterious new student going after everyone who made his brother suffer, ended up focusing more on a love triangle storyline. While Hierarchy’s love triangle had potential, it was not interesting enough to justify the fact it overshadowed the revenge plotline. Additionally, Hierarchy’s ending was quite underwhelming, especially because most characters were redeemed. Only the teacher who killed Kang Ha’s brother faced criminal charges, whereas all other students returned to Jooshin.

How Hierarchy Could Have Been A Better Revenge K-Drama

Hierarchy’s revenge plotline needed a better conclusion.

1 Of 2024’s Most Anticipated K-Dramas Was Incredibly Disappointing (But I Still Want Season 2) (1)

From The Glory’s horrifying scenes to Marry My Husband’s comedic tone, there is more than just one way of doing a revenge K-drama. Still, Hierarchy did not nail what should have been its main story. Kang Ha’s revenge was not as interesting as the first episode set it up to be, not to mention how many of the bullies never faced any real consequences. Netflix’s new high school K-drama went for a more positive, hopeful ending in which all the characters learned from their mistakes and tried to be better people.

Hierarchy's Main Cast

Characters

Roh Jeong-eui

Jung Jae-i

Lee Chae-min

Kang Ha

Kim Jae-won

Kim Ri-an

Ji Hye-won

Yoon He-ra

Lee Won-jung

Lee Woo-jin

While that could have made for a cool ending that highlights the power of second chances and education as a whole, everything happens too fast. Hierarchy only had seven episodes, and after a strong start, the series started to lose itself. The show makes it seem like major reveals and twists are about to happen, yet these teases are never paid off. Most of Hierarchy’s twists can be easily guessed, and even the mystery of who killed In-han has a predictable outcome. Hierarchy’s cast was great, but the characters are not given much to do.

Hierarchy Season 2 Could Work (Despite Season 1’s Problems)

Hierarchy season 2 would follow a different mystery.

Despite season 1’s problems, I believe Hierarchy season 2 could work. It is important to notice that Hierarchy is technically a limited series, meaning a second season is not expected. This does not mean Hierarchy season 2 cannot happen, as there have been a lot of limited series that ended up returning for more seasons. Additionally, Hierarchy’s post-credits scene ends on a massive cliffhanger that leaves the door open for the show to continue. With a new murder mystery and the characters already established, Hierarchy season 2 could be an improvement over season 1.

Related

Hierarchy's Post-Credits Scene Means Season 2 Has To Happen, Right?

Netflix’s Hierarchy is described as a limited series, but episode 7’s epilogue makes it difficult to believe the K-drama won’t return for season 2.

The Hierarchy characters were the best thing about the K-drama, even though their storylines were not that compelling. Kang Ha, Jae-i, Ri-an, and the others were fun to watch and delivered some great moments throughout the series. A second season could explore, for example, who Jae-i will choose between Ri-an and Kang Ha once she is ready to have a relationship. Likewise, whether Kang Ha is the one threatening Ri-an anonymously remains to be confirmed. If Hierarchy returns for another season, it needs to have a high-stakes story that pushes the characters to their limits.

1 Of 2024’s Most Anticipated K-Dramas Was Incredibly Disappointing (But I Still Want Season 2) (4)
Hierarchy(2024)

Drama

Romance

Cast
No Jeong-ee , Lee Won-jung , Kim Jae-won , Lee Chae-Min , Ji Hye-Won , Kim Tae-Jung

Release Date
June 7, 2024

Seasons
1
  • Hierarchy (2024)

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