I am going to do my review for both parts of Duty After School in one blogpost. All of the negative things I have to say about this drama is about part 2 and I think it would be unfair to the drama if I did 2 reviews just to harp on the second part of this drama. Part 2 of Duty After School wasn't bad, it just was unexpected so, I want to go into that below. A lot of the good things I have to say about this drama goes across both parts so I feel like I would just repeating the good things I said about Part 1 in my review for Part2. So, we are going to do this review in 1 blogpost.
A QUICK SYNOPSIS OF DUTY AFTER SCHOOL PART 1 & 2: Mysterious spheres in the sky appear one day. The military starts to recruit high school students to fight against these unknown spheres.
Overall, I enjoyed both of these parts separately. Together as a drama, Part 2 made no sense when trying to be connected to Part 1. I don't want to reveal too much but the synopsis above really does not have any relevance to Part 2. I will explain why below. I think there are a lot of good things about this drama but Part 2 had a lot of unexpected issues for me. I am sure I am not the only person thinking this. I know a lot of discourse online did not like Part 2. I think if you separated the parts and thought of each of them separately, I think they were good on their own and for various reasons. If you try and connect them, the two parts did not mesh and don't go well together. I am VERY glad this drama was split into two parts though. I think if Part 2 had been the ending and we got all 10 episodes at once, I would not have loved part 1 as much.
WHAT I LOVED ABOUT THIS DRAMA
I love dramas where there is a large cast and I don't know most of the cast. This way I get introduced to new actors/actresses. Duty After School has a large cast. Most of the cast I have only seen them in one or two dramas or nothing at all. THEY ARE SOME TALENTED ACTORS/ACTRESSES! I am going to follow them into other works. I am excited to see what they do next. I might see if I can watch them in dramas they have already done as well. There are a lot of heavy topics discussed in both of these parts and the acting of this young cast was OUT OF THIS WORLD GOOD! I have to applaud the acting in this drama FOR SURE! THIS CAST WAS ACTING THEIR BUTTS OFF!
Sort of discussing the talent in this drama, I have to give a shoutout to the cast of this drama. You can tell they all worked hard. They put their all into these roles and it shows. There is some AMAZING acting in this drama. The cast got down and dirty for these roles. They were committed to this drama and their roles. You can tell the cast had a lot of fun making this drama and it had to have been hard at times because it was quite a physical drama so, SHOUTOUT TO THE CAST!
THE STUDENTS AND THEIR RELATIONSHIPS
A highlight of both parts were the students themselves. How they grew into this found family and friends throughout the series. They learned that they had to rely on each other to survive. I loved seeing these relationships develop and strengthen over time. I loved seeing how everyone found their places within the group. Everyone had a role and fit well together. Yes, there were cracks and tension but you can tell they were strong as a group.
THE CGI/SPECIAL EFFECTS
When you have a drama centered around unknown beings, you are going to need good CGI/special effects to make it believable to the audience. Duty After School did this SO WELL! These aliens were TERRIFYING! The special effects/CGI were done SO WELL for this drama. It made me believe that the aliens were there and were wreaking havoc on Seoul and South Korea.
THE OSTS FOR THIS DRAMA ARE FANTASTIC! I love the OSTS for this drama so much, I wish we had more of them. I do like they released OSTs for both parts of this drama. I just enjoy them so much I want more. I love Kdramas like Duty After School because this genre tends to give us different sounding OSTs. One of the reasons why I love OSTs of a lot of crime dramas is because it tends to be the same for that genre as well. Duty After School has some really nice sounding, different OSTs.
If Duty After School is one thing, it is UNPREDICTABLE! 😂 Especially with Part 2, I predicted some of what happened in Part 2 but not at the traumatic level that it happened at. I love these types of action dramas because you can't predict who will die next or what character might do something unpredictable to save others. It is refreshing for me. Duty After School had a lot of good surprises in it - especially Part 1.
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER
PART 2 IS NOT WHAT WAS EXPECTED
I think if I had gone into Part 2 expecting what we got, I would have liked it more. Duty After School Part 2 was not bad AT ALL! The acting was there! The young cast really blew the emotions and acting OUT OF THE PARK in Part 2. The cast had NOTHING to do with my issues with Part 2. It is all about the completely different tone and direction the story took in Part 2. Part 2 should never had been connected to Part 1 at all. If it was advertised what the real story of part 2 was going to be, I don't think it would have been as big of a slap in the face as it was. I signed up for 4 more episodes of alien killing not D.P. level of trauma and sadness. I think that is why so many people are not happy about Part 2 online. Part 2 definitely touched on some important issues that need to be discussed. I think the structure and tone of this drama could have been done different. Maybe Parts 1 & 2 could have been Season 1 and just explored the aliens more. Season 2 could have been the trauma discussed in Part 2. Part 2 was just so different from what we got in Part 1. Part 2 alone was done very well. The topic such as trauma were discussed so well. Alone it would have been a fantastic and fascinating watch but connected at all to Part 1, it just did not work.
Due to the fact that Part 2 was just SO different from Part 1, there were a lot of unanswered questions by the end. The aliens mostly disappeared in Part 2. I get it. A major theme with all of these types of survival dramas is that Humans are always worse than the enemies they are fighting. The adults let these kids down. Humans took advantage of the situation and were selfish. Part 2 just seemed to not be about aliens at all. What were the big spheres like? Where did certain characters all of sudden go who were in Part 1 and still alive at the end of Part 1? Why did the aliens invade in the first place? Why make these kids fight at all when special weapons were made within months? The list could go on in questions that just were not answered in Part 2.
Overall, Duty After School is bloody and gory. These kids are fighting violent aliens. There are many scenes of attacks and dying. The ending of Part 2 I think was just SO OVER DONE! Now, I have not read the webtoon but I hear that the ending of Part 2 does happen in the webtoon but not at the level that it did in the drama. More students survived in the webtoon than the drama. This is what I heard, so why increase the amount of people who died in the drama? Why not keep the scene the same? Even if you had the scene that was in the drama, why not have the kids who did survive be together at the end of Part 2? Why just end the drama on one of the survivors reminiscing about everything. Why not show the survivors together and not even tell us how they are all doing? I just thought the end was just so over the top and didn't need to be at that level of violence and carnage.
For anyone who still wants to watch these dramas, just be warned on all the Trigger warnings for this drama. You got blood and gore. You got violence. You even have sexual assault (which I just have to ask did that NEED to be added in the drama. It was already going to be REAL bad at the end but that just put it at another unnecessary level. You already had an unstable guy but then he had to go that much further?) You have death. Just TRIGGER WARNINGS FOR EVERYTHING!
Rating: PART 1: 9.5/10 (Streaming on VIKI now)
PART 2: 8.5/10 (Streaming on VIKI now)
So, have you seen Duty After School Part 1 & 2?
What did you think of the drama?
Is it on your list to watch?
Will you watch this drama now after reading my review?
WE NOW ALSO HAVE A DISCORD SO TALK TO US ON THERE AS WELL!?