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Series / High Society

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Top: Yoon-ha and Joon-ki. Bottom: Chang-soo and Ji-yi.

High Society (Hangul: 상류사회) is a 2015 Korean Drama about an heiress who seeks a man that will love her for herself and not for her background. Jang Yoon-ha is the youngest daughter of the Taejin Group. Although her family is extremely wealthy, she works a part time job at a food market and pretends she lives a poor lifestyle. Yoon-ha's deputy manager is Choi Joon-ki, a man determined to succeed and leave his destitute background. He is smart and talented but a calculating and indigent man. He believes love is a only tool for the wealthy to control the poor and that marrying up will grant him his desired lifestyle. During her part time job, Yoon-ha becomes best friends with her co-worker, Lee Ji-yi, a sweet and hardworking woman who develops a small crush towards Joon-ki. Yoon-ha also meets Yoo Chang-soo, her date for an arranged marriage and the heir of a mall conglomerate where the food market is located at. Will Yoon-ha be able to find true love, or will she learn that money and love can't be easily separated?

High Society ran for 16 episodes on South Korea's SBS network. Other story lines include: Yoon-ha's older brother, Gyung-joon, and sister, Ye-won, fighting to be the successor of the Taejin Group, Yoon-ha's abuse from her mother, Madam Jang, and the conflict between Madam Jang and her husband's, Won-shik, mistress. Not to be confused by the Grace Kelly film, High Society.

High Society contains examples of:

  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Ji-yi. Chang-soo is scared of her drunken antics because she rips his shirt after a night of drinking.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Changsoo is quite adept at enticing people into doing exactly what he wants. This is how he ropes Ji-yi into dating him despite her opposition and constant rejections. He also manipulates his own mother into fixing all the problems she caused between him and Ji-yi.
  • Cool Old Lady: Changsoo's mother is generally this unless it has to do with Changsoo's marriage.
  • Empathic Environment: Ji-yi and Chang-soo try to break up and the scene gets very sad as both are crying. Then all of a sudden, it starts raining...
  • Gratuitous English: Several of the theme songs are in English for no apparent reason.
  • Gilligan Cut: Changsoo doesn't want to go to the amusement park because it's too childish. All it takes is a pout from Ji-yi to cut to a date at the amusement park. He doesn't want to wear cute animal ears? Jiyi pouts and cut to them wearing animal ears.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: At first, Chang-soo tricks Ji-yi into thinking he's an unemployed loser. Later on, he reveals that he is the director of the very mall they are standing in and therefore, her boss.
  • I Love You Because I Can't Control You: Chang-soo is initially attracted to Ji-yi because of her disinterest in him. His attraction grows the more she surprises him with her personality quirks and overall optimism.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: Chang-soo when he breaks down and cries about not being able to marry Ji-yi and that he doesn't want an arranged marriage anymore.
  • In-Series Nickname: Ji-yi tends to call Chang-soo "Jerk Director" much to his annoyance.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Between Ji-yi and Yoon-ha. Ji-yi notices that Joon-ki and Yoon-ha are interested in each other so she gives up Joon-ki to allow Yoon-ha to date him.
    Ji-yi (to Yoon-ha): I want you to be happy. You're my only friend and family.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Fashionable: Before their date, Chang-soo dresses Ji-yi up so she can match him.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Chang-soo and Yoon-ha eventually develop this. He tends to offer Yoon-ha advice when it comes to dealing with Joon-ki. Yoon-ha is just not afraid to snark back at him.
    Chang-soo (to Yoon-ha): You're not a woman to me. You're a sibling.
  • Parental Marriage Veto: The main obstacle between Chang-soo and Ji-yi is Chang-soo's mother who says no to their match.
  • Pet the Dog: Gyung-joon is the only family member who treats Yoon-ha well.
  • The Un-Favourite: Yoon-ha is either despised or unacknowledged by her family.
    Yoon-ha: They say 90 percent of life’s problems can be solved with money. I carry with me the other 10 percent of those problems.