K-dramas aren't a one-trick pony. While the uninitiated might be more familiar with its lovey-dovey side, Hallyu series can get gritty—and sometimes, unabashedly real.
In the case of darker dramas, school violence (a.k.a. bullying) is a topic known to take some inspiration from real-life cases that have plagued Korean campuses. With that in mind, we've compiled below a selection of series that don't sugarcoat these issues. Caution: Viewer discretion is advised!
5 dark K-dramas that tackle school violence and bullying
1. The Glory
Young architect aspirant Moon Dong Eun finds her dreams dashed when she's targeted by a group of students, afflicting her with great pain that forces her to drop out of school. Years on, Dong Eun is out for her revenge as a school teacher, who discovers that her new student is the child of her former tormentor.
On paper, straight-A high-schooler Oh Ji Soo is the model student. But when he finds himself making ends meet for his university tuition, the young student gets pulled into a seedy life of crime with consequences bound to put his life on the line.
3. Save Me
When Im Sang Mi and her family move to the suburbs of Muji County, strange and dark occurrences start to plague their family. All blame points to the town's growing threat, a religious cult by the name of Goseonwon, whose past and present are riddled with torture, violence, and murder.
4. Class Of Lies
The cast: Yoon Kyun Sang, Keum Sae Rok, Choi Yu Hwa
Money-obsessed lawyer Gi Moo Hyeok gets an assignment that becomes his biggest challenge yet, as he goes undercover in an elite private school as a substitute teacher. A mystery unravels in its halls when a popular student is found stabbed at her bed, with her classmate spotted at the scene of the crime.
5. Revenge Of Others
The cast: Shin Ye Eun, Lomon
In the teen revenge thriller, 19-year-old Ok Chan Mi is on a one-woman mission to uncover the truth about her twin brother's death. Meanwhile, another story unfolds with her fellow student Ji Soo Heon, whose terminal illness and impending death prompt him to take revenge on the bullies that haunt their school.
This article originally appeared on Preview.ph. Minor edits have been made by Cosmo.ph editors.