K-Drama Review: ‘Drinking Solo’ Follows the Lives of Teachers and Students in Tutoring Academies

Drinking Solo
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A Workplace and School Drama Involving the Students and Teachers in a Prestigious Hagwon

We’re back with another K-Drama review! This time, we will talk about Drinking Solo, a successful drama that was released in 2016! Basically, Drinking Solo was a romantic drama with some comedy and also food themes. In this article, Channel Korea will give you the details about Drinking Solo, so stay tuned!

Drinking Solo also is a story about Hagwon. What was that? Literally, Hagwon is a term for a private institute or academy in South Korea, and they are often known to be cram schools, where the emphasis is on students improving their scores, being involved in training outside the school, and also often include non-academic lessons such as piano lessons, art lessons, and many more! Even though Hagwons offer students a lot of great facilities and high-quality education, some people thought that such programs actually contribute to the unequal footing between rich people and poor people in South Korea.

In a sense, Drinking Solo tells us about the teacher’s and student’s lives in a Hagwon. Would you like to know more? Through this article, Channel Korea has introduced you the real concept of Hagwon life in Drinking Solo!

Drinking Solo: Review

Drinking Solo
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Drinking Solo told a story about the lives of teachers and students through the prism of the world of private education. In South Korea, occupations such as becoming civil servants are in demand. Since the test to enter governmental service is notoriously difficult, there are, unsurprisingly, places students can go that are focused on maximizing their chances of passing the exam or receiving other high-level preparation, including getting tutoring.

What sort of tutors you had access to depends on your class. The expensive class was provided with high-level tutors, meanwhile the cheap was provided the standard-level tutor. Every academy and program where they taught the courses competed to get a 1st level tutor, or a high-level tutor to work in their place, so all of the students would want to join their programs.

Then there was Jin Jung-suk (played by Ha Seok-jin), he was one of the 1st level tutors who received the most expensive payment, being paid almost 10 billion Won for 3 years! Ji Jun-suk was famously known for his greatness, but also famously known for his arrogant attitude. Ji Jun-suk also received a lot of VIP facilities as a tutor, and his class was full of students.

Drinking Solo
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Since his salary was very expensive, the academies wanted to help to cover the costs by employing the standard-level tutors for much less money, one of them was Park Ha-na (played by Park Ha-sun). Park Ha-na didn’t receive any kind of VIP facilities as a tutor. In her workspace, she shared the place with her sunbaes, Hwang Jin-yi (played by Hwang Woo Seul-hye) and Min Jin-woong (played by Min Jin-woong).

Drinking Solo also told the story about the students’ lives. There was Jin Gong-myung (played by Gong Myung), who had just came back from the military service when his mother was asked him to take the civil servants’ test. There was Kim Ki-bum (played by SHINee’s Key), who had taken the test three times already, but hadn’t managed to pass it. Another of the students was Kim Dong-young (played by Kim Dong-young) who broke up with his girlfriend to focus on the civil servants’ test. The three of them each struggled with their own problems, but were also best friends who supported each other.

As we can see on the title, Drinking Solo, there were quite a lot of drinking scenes in the drama. Whether it was when Jin Jung-suk was drinking alone in a fancy restaurant, Park Ha-na drinking alone in her tiny house, or all of the tutors drinking together right after work.

Even though Drinking Solo had less open conflict than many dramas, the story-line showed us that each of the characters were having their own problems and they were doing their best to overcome them. The drama is an ode to working to reach your dreams, even in the face of occasional failures. It also touches on the fact that everyone needs a certain amount of solitude to let themselves recharge. With the slight conflict and light story, Drinking Solo is highly recommended, for its romance, the characters’ struggles, and the light comedy that’s sprinkled through the story.

Here’s the official poster and general information for Drinking Solo!

Drinking Solo
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Title: Drinking Solo / Drinking Alone / Let’s Drink / Honsul Couple

Genre: Drama, Romance, Food, Comedy

Directors: Choi Kyung-shik, Jung Hyung-gun

Writers: Myung Soo-hyun, Baek Seon-woo, Choi Bo-rim

Starring: Ha Seok-jin, Park Ha-sun

Episodes: 16

Network: tvN

Scenes in Drinking Solo

Here are some of the scenes from Drinking Solo!

Drinking Solo
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drinking solo
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Drinking Solo
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Three of the pictures above show various drinking scenes, starting with Jin Jung-suk, who was drinking alone, the compilation of ‘drinking’ scenes in Drinking Solo, and also some of tutors who drank to forget their problems for a while!

Drinking Solo
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The scenes showing Kim Ki-bum, Jin Gong-myung, and Kim Dong-young who often fought, but still cared about each other.

Drinking Solo
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There were also some very sweet scenes between Park Ha-na and Jin Jung-suk!

Spoilers From Drinking Solo

In the last episodes of Drinking Solo, all of the characters finally get their happy endings! Even though Park Ha-na and Jin Jung-suk broke up once, they eventually found their way back to each other.

Meanwhile, Min Jin-woong and Hwang Jin-yi were becoming a family and were waiting for the birth of their child. What about the three best friends, Kim Ki-bum, Jin Gong-myung and Kim Dong-young? They still had to struggle for another year to receive the test, but they persisted and wouldn’t give yp their dreams.

Overall, Drinking Solo offers viewers a happy ending. Since the story were more focused on the characters’ personal growth, and wasn’t as conflict-laden as some stories, it made for a good, satisfying experience. So, what are you waiting for? If you haven’t watched yet, don’t miss out on Drinking Solo!