The Korea Herald


Richly detailed teen romance will explore 'Hierarchy' at elite school

By Lee Yoon-seo

Published : June 3, 2024 - 14:42

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A scene from A scene from "Hierarchy," starring Lee Chae-min (Netflix)

The Netflix teen romance series "Hierarchy," rife with luxurious mise-en-scenes, will chronicle the tales of youths attempting to break free from an established hierarchical structure based on wealth, according to producers, Monday.

The 7-part series follows the story of Kang Ha (played by Lee Chae-min), who, after receiving a scholarship, transfers to Jushin High School, where the wealth and social status of students' families are pivotal in assessing the students' value.

"This is a story of inexperienced children who, upon realizing what is truly precious, strive to break free from the rigid social hierarchy created by adults," said Bae Hyun-jin, the main producer of the series, during a press conference held in Jung-gu, Seoul, on Monday. Bae debuts as a main producer after co-directing the MBC drama series "Big Mouth," (2022) and the tvN drama series "Alchemy of Souls: light and shadow" (2022).

Choo Hye-mi, who penned the series, said she deliberately chose a school setting to explore relationship dynamics within a confined space.

"The confined space of the school and the constrained relationships within it serve to further accentuate the hierarchy within Jushin High School. We also chose a school as the backdrop because the characters, being underage, have the potential to change and make their own decisions about whether to conform to the hierarchy, unlike adults who, although more mature, are also more rigid," said Choo.

Bae said one of the highlights of the series lies in its mise-en-scenes.

"The series is rife with scenes where Li-an, who reigns above others, climbs down the stairs, and where He-ra, who aspires to climb the social ladder, climbs upstairs. Also, in Woo-jin's private space, there is a chandelier placed on the floor. Usually, a chandelier should be positioned at the highest point in a space, but by placing it on the floor and making it look like it has fallen from up high, I aimed to use it to symbolize his vulnerability," said Bae.

"Also, in attempts to visually depict how Jushin High School takes pride in its hierarchical system, which has never been broken, I aimed to have (characters) give off a luxurious vibe and paid attention to small details such as unique designs, textures and lighting of spaces that appear in the series," she said.

All seven episodes of "Hierarchy" will be released on Netflix on Friday.