SKY Castle (2018) poster

Details

Statistics

  • Score: 9.1 (scored by 5,561 users)
  • Ranked: #50
  • Popularity: #267
  • Watchers: 12,052

Weekly MyDramaList Support Goal

13%
Help Support MyDramaList

Top Contributors

61 edits
46 edits
43 edits
35 edits

Recently Watched By

Completed
Pingukkie
79 people found this review helpful
Feb 2, 2019
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 7
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 9.0
This review will not contain any spoilers, but it will be a long, emotional one--and at some points, very personal. You can skip to the end for a tl;dr summary of the review if you do not wish to read everything.

----------------------

If I could name a drama equivalent to The Handmaiden, it would be SKY Castle.

SKY Castle is a satirical drama that criticizes practices from corrupt business hierarchy to extreme parenting environments. The drama has impeccable directing, story is full of plot twists, comedy is subtle and melds well, and the cliffhangers are absolutely wild. The drama tends to often be dramatized, especially as it is a satirical work, but the underlying themes are never truly lost.

SKY Castle focuses on a person's wellbeing above all else, be it education, money, or job position. Yes, the aforementioned are important, but at what cost? Certainly not at the expense of giving up all of one's happiness or opportunity for happiness. This drama hits extra close to home and really resonates with people who relate with any of the characters' upbringings, which is fairly common amongst Asian households with views along the conservative side of the spectrum.

----------------------

As someone that grew up in an environment frighteningly similar to some of the children in the drama, these issues are very real. Some elements of the drama are definitely exaggerated, but parenting ideals are unfortunately very accurate. When I was growing up, anything not perfect was considered failure. Got a B on an exam? Unacceptable. Got an A, but it wasn't 100%? Not good enough. Actually getting perfect? No compliment, only expected to upkeep the results. It wasn't uncommon for me to experience physical abuse for disobeying anything or not achieving expectations. This type of harsh environment is displayed in SKY Castle, and it really unveils how damaging it is to a family.

Abuse shouldn't be a tolerated, period. The drama displays the issues that can arise through punishment especially, as opposed to positive reinforcement . The cycle of punishment can create a rift between a parent and child that gradually expands and expands, eventually leading igniting hatred. So many parents also project their ambitions and dreams onto their children saying it's for the best, never asking or caring what their children want. In some cases, everything works out fine; in others, the child adapts a similar perspective as the parents, and the abusive cycle repeats. In many cases, this absolutely destroys children's relationships with their parents. Often times I thought about suicide, running away from home--these options seemed better than the torture that was presented by my parents. These are serious issues that potentially tread on life and death, and it's very well highlighted within the drama.

At times it wasn't even the studying that was the most draining part of my childhood, but the fact that I felt unloved, only there to satisfy my parents' desires. Endlessly I was told to become a doctor, a lawyer, or insert whatever high paying prestigious occupation. Who cares about what I want, right? Children aren't and shouldn't be a parent's opportunity at a second chance towards their dream; they are their own people, and should be respected as so. Here's a quote that really resonated with me in the drama:
"Who cares if they acknowledge you or not? I just want to be happy."

I was also constantly compared to other children, told how I was inferior to them. "These children can do this and that; why aren't you able to?" This competitive mindset is dangerous; often parents will disregard their children's wellbeing for the sole sake of pushing them towards the absolute limit to be better everyone around them. And...for what purpose? To satisfy the parents' eligibility for bragging rights. Of all things, they push and push and push their children...for bragging rights. Does it matter that your child is smarter or more successful than other children if they're in complete agony?

My relationship with my parents to this day is completely broken. I don't tell them any of my worries and fears, what I'm doing, how I'm doing, because it's unimportant to them if I'm not 'successful' to their standards. Can you imagine being so afraid to tell your parents--who should supposedly be closest to you--anything because you will be disregarded, not acknowledged, and shamed? The characters in SKY Castle can. It's a shame that the people you should be able to lean on are the ones you're afraid of most.

"The greater your suffering, the greater your enlightenment."
This is another quote that I feel can be attributed greatly to SKY Castle on the whole. Often times it's not until you lose everything that you see all that you took for granted. With what this drama presents, hopefully people become more aware of their situations to where such tragedies needn't occur.
At the same time, the drama doesn't fail to also showcase that not everyone is capable of change. Some people, despite losing everything refuse to acknowledge to mistakes and change for the better; they are too blinded by their ego and necessity to be right. That's an unfortunate reality.

With everything previously said, I want to iterate that education is of course vital; this drama definitely isn't making a statement that education isn't needed. It's the balance of a good education with one's wellbeing. Of course, SKY Castle also attributes this not only to education, but jobs, money, titles, and backgrounds as well.

I'm really glad that SKY Castle addresses so all of these issues, and sheds light on how damaging these practices are. Having personally experienced the harsher end of this type of parenting, I don't expect my parents nor many others to change, but small steps in bringing awareness I hope at least has some degree of an impact. This is a very meaningful drama, and I hope everyone that watches it can at least gain something from watching it.

----------------------

Moving on towards the characters, cast, and acting--everyone did an absolutely phenomenal job.

This drama built and developed characters astoundingly well. Aside one certain character, I could sympathize or empathize with every character on at least some significant level. Even towards characters that I viewed in poor light, I could sympathize with. Despite me not agreeing to so many actions from various people, I could not help but admire the lengths they would go to, especially out of love. It is apparent that many of these characters aren't inherently bad people; you can see that their conscience is slowly eaten away by guilt. They are just widely driven by greed and love for their children, that their perspective is clouded in misjudgment. I couldn't hate them as people for those reasons, only their actions. I believe that is great execution of character depth and development. I've not seen a more convincing performance than from SKY Castle's cast; they were exceptional.

What allowed SKY Castle to be so successful in creating tension and shifting moods ever so flawlessly was its exquisite incorporation of music. The music complemented the brilliant directing and production of the drama. The flow of the drama was never inconsistent. Pure comedic relief scenes were few, but meshed with the drama very well through its music. Ha Jin's "We All Lie" creates a very intense atmosphere, in combination with the cliffhangers, leave you craving for more every episode.

----------------------

SKY Castle gradually garnered a massive audience as the drama progressed through its satirical portrayal of malpractices, corruption, extreme controversial conservative parenting, neglect, and more. Brilliant directing and production, engaging plot, convincing acting with a powerfully befitting soundtrack to boot. This drama is very well worth your time, further compounded if you can even slightly relate to any of the issues it brings up.

Read More

Was this review helpful to you?
Completed
Neel1902
28 people found this review helpful
Feb 1, 2019
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 9.0

A MUST WATCH !! Every Female character rocks the show.

Just AMAZING!! Phenomenal!!
Story is JUST PERFECT!! It delivered everything to you - Comedy, Mystery, Drama, Thriller, School, Slice of Life.
The script is intense and engaging throughout with many twist and turns. Every second, every expression counts, you can't even look away for a single second coz you may miss minute and subtle details in the story.
It portrays the reality of a very sensitive subject of pressures of Education and its toll on the survival of both students and their parents living in the high society. This amazing series takes you on a roller-coaster ride of emotions. One moment you are sad, at others you laugh out loud. One moment you are angry while other moments make you smile with satisfaction. Most importantly, you get to feel all these in EVERY single episode.
The main feeling you get The MOST is the angst you feel while relating to situations of many characters.
You get to know why the person is behaving a certain way and the reason is no nonsense. All characters are multi-dimensional and the actors who performed it are Just FANTABULOUS! Never felt a drama can be this good after My Mister.
I won't go into details about characters coz it will be difficult to describe them in a single word and there are too many characters where I can't decide who did better. But every single female character has STRONG presence in the story. But that doesn't make male leads weaker. They are perfectly blended into the story.

Music is GREAT! Loved almost all the OSTs.
Another plus of this drama is the Cinematography and body language of every single character.

Rewatch is a MUST! I rewatched many scenes even many eps. again because every bit is WORTH it!!



Read More

Was this review helpful to you?
Completed
MistyMaid
5 people found this review helpful
Mar 14, 2019
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
MY STORY RELATING TO SKY CASTLE:
This drama made me cry. I mean, ugly cry because a lot of the moments I watched throughout this drama related so much to many, if not all, moments in my own life.

I'm Korean but American-born. Though I wasn't reared in Korean society, my parents were still very much Korean traditional. It doesn't really matter where you grow up because your parents are the biggest influence you will ever encounter and will dictate a lot of what happens to you. I related really closely with Se-Ri though. Her story was basically my story. I'm an only child, no brothers or sisters. Me and my parents are the only ones in the States we can call family. I had a tough dad that always pushed me to think about the future. There were many many many times that he would force me to sit down at the kitchen table to lecture me hours on end past midnight about life lessons, how important getting an education is, and how hard and cruel life can be if I don't get it. I was only in middle school and he would go on to do this until I graduated high school. My mom was not a strong-willed person and often bent at the strong-arming of my dad.

I also lied for a time in my life about basically the same thing Seri because I feared disappointing my parents. The only difference is it wasn't Harvard but I did get accepted into a good university. I did OK during my first year, but because of certain reasons my grades started to slip and I eventually got expelled. I was no longer a student but I I couldn't bear to disappoint my parents and tell them that their daughter failed out of university and got expelled. I was also afraid of what my dad would do if he ever found out, just like how Se-Ri was fearful of what her father would do. So, instead of telling them the truth, I continued to pretend that I was going to school. I moved in with my friend after moving my stuff out of my dorm to continue the charade that I was still a student to my parents. My parents didn't know how to work social media and didn't really know their way around the internet but I would call them every now and then and tell them about my classes and friends on campus.

But eventually all lies surface in the end. They found out about my expulsion. I pretty much reacted the same way Seri did towards her parents. Of course I felt truly awful lying to them and knowing the kind of grief, sadness, and disappointment they would feel after finding out. But I was also at MY limit. I tried just as much as Seri did in her life to live up to the ridiculously high expectations her parents had for her. I remember a lot of moments in my life where it was suffocating living with my parents because there was no air to breath. But it was heart-breaking knowing that my parents probably didn't love who I was as a person, but loved me for being the kind of daughter who got good grades and did well in school. Anything less than an A was disappointing to them. Even when I got a B, they would always say "You could've gotten an A if you tried a little harder". What broke my heart even more though is that my parents probably couldn't tell me what my favorite color was, or what kind of music I listen to. They probably couldn't tell me what I liked and disliked. Because they never asked and probably didn't care if they knew or not. All they would ask me is "How was school?" or "Did you do good today?".

But anyways, a lot of things happened afterwards. It was a turning point in my life and changed me and how I approached life from then on. What had happened actually broke my family and I ended up moving out but after a year of being apart we were able to reconnect and pick up the pieces again. I think we were quite lucky to have come together because I know that lots of times when families break apart, it's unlikely that they ever have the chance to rebuild it, much less, want to. Me and my parents are together again now but we are still healing from the past and trying to change for the better. It's definitely not been an easy to do, but my parents have gotten much better at being the parents that I always needed them to be in the first place. So, more or less, it's a happy ending. But a bit bittersweet.

FIRST IMPRESSION: I put off watching this drama when it first came out because I judged the drama premise based on it's synopsis. Big mistake. It wasn't until later my curiosity of why everyone was making such a big deal out of this drama that I started watching it a month after it finished airing. This is by far one of the most realistic, gripping, human, relative, and controversial drama I've seen to date. The writing was superbly done with a good steady pace. The plot escalated when it needed to, and declined at the right moments. The cliff-hanger endings of every episode was done flawlessly. The depth of the characters and their development was spot on. The theme of the drama was perfect during these current times. Overall, basically perfect in every way.

STORY: The theme of the overall drama was well suited for how Korea handles the importance of education in their society. Many of the elements and plot points in this drama point to a very controversial yet unspoken side of how Korean citizens treat their children when it comes to rearing them. A lot of the moments told in this dramas related very closely, if not exactly the same, for a lot of children in the real world. Myself included. I got really emotional many times over during the whole span of the drama because a lot of the things that happen to these children, happened to me as well. It made me cry. Truly cry because the drama was not shy to show the rawness of situations like those. It didn't make the issues any more or less than what it really is. The plot itself was very well written.

ACTING/CAST: Honestly, I think this is the first time I'm watching most of these actors/actresses in any drama. There are a few I recognize but most of the main cast I saw for the first time for me. I can't praise enough how extraordinarily talented these actors/actresses were in this drama. It was provoking, touching, heart-wrenching, and amazing. The children cast in this drama also did a fantastic job! But I honestly have to sing gospel praise for Yum Jung-Ah (Han Suh-Jin / Kwak Mi-Hyang) and Lee Hyun-Jin (Coach Kim) for their incredible acting skills. But I have to say that everyone in this drama were just as spectacular with their acting. No matter how small the role, or how little the screen time, every actor/actress made the most of it and displayed their best acting skills forth.

MUSIC: I'm not picky about music and in most of my reviews I don't say more than a few words or a sentence but the music in this drama was well-picked and well composed. Especially the theme song for the drama. It's beautiful, dramatic, and relative to the theme of the drama itself too. The decision and usage of Erlkonig was perfect match to Coach Kim's theme song. The musical choices in this drama definitely sets itself apart from the typical musical choices typical dramas have in their soundtrack. Great job!

OVERALL: This drama was pretty cathartic for me but overall, objectively, I think it was perfect. I really can't poke any holes in it to be honest. Even about the last episode. Some people may have been a bit disgruntled of the lack of going-ons in episode 20 of SKY Castle, but I thought it was a wise decision and a refreshing one to write an easy going episode like that. I especially LOVED the contrast we see from the beginning and ending. This contrast we see from the first episode and the last episode was really beautiful and subtle moment. I appreciate how the writer was able to show us this.

Though the last episode wasn't really eventful it still held a purpose. When a drama ends, I think we can all imagine how everyone exhales after holding their breath for so long, but in most dramas the short sweet happy ending is short-lived and only serves it's purpose of showing smiles and exudes an "all is well" moment and ends the drama. After it's done, sometimes we get a sense of anxiety because after all, we invested 16-20 episodes in watching a situation escalate, then the drama reaches it's peak and drastically cuts down to a happy ending and then THE END. I think episode 20 of SKY Castle served more in the purpose to help the audience take a breather. To better adjust to how things ended. Yea, it's a happy ending but it's also important to know that even after a happy ending, life still goes on and when it does, it's pretty mundane. But usually, mundane moments in life are sometimes the happiest ones.

Read More

Was this review helpful to you?
Completed
Winter_Topaz
3 people found this review helpful
Feb 2, 2019
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
It's been years since I watched a drama with such high quality. It delivered everything, from comedy thriller angest friendship etc...
Sky castle was for me a masterpiece because it made the viewers want more of it, expect more of it. It makes you stop and think about each and every scene. Memorize the dialogue and even put yourself in the characters' shoes.
There were never a 100% black or white character. Pure evil and pure good. All the characters are gray, you can choose a favorite and root for them but it doesn't mean that your choice was the default for someone else.
There were a lot of mixed opinions about the final ep but honestly speaking, as unrealistically some points of it were I was glad that the drama ended that way. In the end nothing is perfect, even Sky Castle.
As I rewatched many scenes while waiting for the next eps every week I am sure that I'll end up rewatching this drama a lot.
And as each episode ends with it of course I can't end this review without dropping the iconic "We all lie~"

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

Read More

Was this review helpful to you?
Completed
Sammi
2 people found this review helpful
Feb 9, 2019
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.5
Rewatch Value 9.5
This show was a amazing surprise. The plot was incredible and so layered. It's an amazing balance of drama, tragedy, mystery, and comedy, it even manages to handle the crime plots extremely well. It keeps the tension and suspense high but also knows when to bring in a comedic element or scene. The character are all dynamic and fully realized. All of them are different and each bring a different perceptive to this story. Also they are 3 dimensional and don't rely solely on cookie cutter characterization. All the character go on their own journey throughout the show and grow and change in their own way. The adults were unsurprisingly great but I also want to highlight the actors who played the teen roles they really did a great job bring these characters to life and making them feel believable and like real teens. Overall, it's a 10/10 for me It kept me interested and engaged the whole time. It's the perfect balance of trilling and high tension but knows when to slow down and let the audience breath. I truly amazing show that I think people will remember for years to come.

Read More

Was this review helpful to you?
Completed
Fluffy
2 people found this review helpful
Mar 27, 2019
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
SKY캐슬. Drama Review (2019)
-
I have never written a review on a drama before, but I couldn't help but share my thoughts on this astonishing Tv Series.
firstly, what brought this to my attention was Kim Namjoon of BTS after he recommended it, and from the start, I knew I was in for a treat.
after doing a little bit of research I saw many Koreans praising this drama, which made me believe that they did a very good job of nailing how the society is like and for that, I give it a 10, aside from many other things of course.
They also did an amazing job on casting, every character was perfectly delivered by the actors. I personally loved yeseo's acting the most.

And omg finally my favorite part, the soundtrack. right after I finished the drama I downloaded the whole album on Spotify and gave it a listen and let me tell you, by far one of the best soundtracks in a drama, every song was amazing and I'm listening to the album as I'm writing this lol.
I totally recommend this, everything about it was just so perfect. and I dare you to stop watching after finishing an episode, the cliffhangers are too strong sksk

Read More

Was this review helpful to you?
Completed
HafsahI
2 people found this review helpful
Feb 13, 2019
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 10
Rewatch Value 9.0
Hands down, the best k-drama I have ever watched. It's filled with twists and turns and every aspect of it is just so engaging. It doesn't get addictive until about halfway through though. I literally binged the whole second half of the drama. Each scene is also meaningful in its own way as I never felt too much of an urge to skip. The acting was also amazing, each of the actors worked hard to bring their characters to life. Each character is also so dynamic that the show works to show that no one is inherently good or bad. Unlike a lot of shows, the last episode was not the most entertaining but the episodes leading up to the last one were. The last episode just worked to wrap the story up with no suspense. If you're looking for an entertaining watch with no sappy romance or predictable plot lines, this is the drama for you.

Read More

Was this review helpful to you?
Completed
Nina
2 people found this review helpful
Apr 23, 2019
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
Sky Castle will remain a must watch drama for its quality as a show. The character development throughout the show was hopeful and allowed viewers to gain a layered perspective of all the key characters. This is a show consisting of characters anyone who experienced high school can relate to and reflect upon. It deals with critical issues in such a well, thought out way that is not common among dramas. Sky Castle portrays the teenagers as actual, three dimension people who grow, develop and constantly change with the experiences they endure throughout high school. The humor within the drama lightened the tone of the drama and gave viewers a breath of fresh air with all that was happening.

The story will endure. I can definitely see appropriations and manifestations of this show in the future.

The acting and cast was amazing. I have seen works consisting of most of the actors such as A-Teen, Come and Hug Me, Dokgo Rewind and School 2015 and none of them let me down, despite the atrocity of Dokgo Rewind. Although the character overload in the beginning can be quite overwhelming, its gets easier and you get used to all the characters throughout the show.

Music was great, and Ha Jin's We All Lie will remain a classic. I would re-watch this any time and with anyone who views kdramas as lighthearted. If I could, I'd write an essay on it.

Read More

Was this review helpful to you?
Completed
Kathleen
2 people found this review helpful
Mar 9, 2019
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
This drama was simply amazing. I finished this in just three days. Everything - from the lighting to the ost, the acting and the story was simply superb. The actors and actresses did their best in portraying the characters.
This drama made me realize a lot of things. Titles don't really matter and it doesn't matter what your social ranking is. You're still human whether your rich or poor and your personality is more important than the money you have. What good is it if you're not happy in life? One may be a CEO of their own company but it doesn't always mean they are happy. Grades aren't everything. It's not the end of the world if you fail. You can always keep trying.
The smallest things in life are the ones that can make a person happy.
What's great about Sky Castle is that the audience can empathize with the characters and that it discusses issues surrounding university and good grades in order to get to the top and depression that comes with pressure from wanting to get good grades in order to get to university.

Read More

Was this review helpful to you?
Completed
PHope
2 people found this review helpful
Feb 2, 2019
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 5.5
Rewatch Value 5.5
This one is a surprise. The plot had so many layers, with comedy, drama, tragedy, even crime and especially mystery, taking over and keeping the interest high throughout the whole drama. The tension was just right as well as the thrill that it provided to be entertaining. The characters, moreover, where unique and dynamic, each one different from one another and helped built a nice story. So, unsurprisingly, the performances were top notch from everyone, but I should give special credit to the kids, that were remarkable. Finally, the cinematography had an odd shooting way, but it was okay overall. So, 9 out of 10.

Read More

Was this review helpful to you?
Completed
roof_aa
2 people found this review helpful
Feb 16, 2019
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 5.0
Everything was great until the finale.
It appeared like different theme. The whole story was dark and then surprise! Everything fixed and they live happily ever after. I didn't like that those characters did not take their time to think about their sins... They changed because they were afraid of losing their beloved children or because they finally realized that they didn't live life with their own decisions and rules. I didn't like children's decisions at the end. What a privileged people who born with a silver spoon in their mouth. It seems like all those 19 episodes were written by different person than the finale.
It was really great and i loved it... waste to end up like this.

Read More

Was this review helpful to you?
Completed
bandfanarii
1 people found this review helpful
Feb 25, 2019
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
Although I was intrigued just by reading the synopsis of the drama, I still went into this not know to actually expect. Before watching, I red a few reviews and comments and saw how a good bit of people actually didn’t like it bc they felt it was highly over exaggerated and unbelievable but trust me, it’s not. Parenting like that of this show actually happens in parts of the world and once those views understand that, they’ll realized that this drama isn’t as fictitious as they want to believe it is.

Anyway, on the the actual drama: First of, all the actresses/actors deserve awards bc I’ve seen maybe shows/dramas/etc. in my 22 years of living but never have I seen such an amazing on screen chemistry and talent. The only other drama I can say even comes close is Just Between Lovers.

The story and plot are both intriguing with many twists and surprises to keep the viewers hooked. And don’t even get my started on the ending omg. I swear, there NEEDS to be a season two but I’d be okay if there isn’t.

Please everyone, just go watch this. Some parts may make you want to reach through the screen and strangle a few ppl, but you’ll keep coming back for more. I guarantee it.

Read More

Was this review helpful to you?