By: Khyle Ngo
Drama—it’s a popular genre that’s fairly boring for some, but sparks a flame for others. Honestly speaking, it’s a genre I personally stay away from since it’s not something I’m particularly interested in but oh boy did Penthouse capture not only my drama-free mind, but also my tiny poor heart.
MINOR SPOILERS UP AHEAD! Before you read, I do want to say that watching this series blind will give you the best viewing experience, no cap.
The show, to be precise, is a mess. It’s a beautiful mess. It’s a mess that gets messier and messier as it progresses through its episodes. It tackles about Hera Palace, a 100 floor building swarmed with rich people left and right, as it also functions as a condominium with a huge grand penthouse on the top floor. The portrayal of rich folks here is, literally, crazy—as in psycho crazy, which is a bad source of influence for their children, who also tend to get involved in situations where one wouldn’t normally get into—like the death of their classmate. The story tends to pick up its pace pretty fast and it never fails to keep you on the edge of your seat while thinking “NEXT EPISODE, NEXT EPISODE!”.
The cast are splendidly magnificent. From the adults to the kids, they all fit well with their roles. I can’t say how many times I wanted to scream at Uhm Ki-Joon, the actor of Joo Dan-Tae, and Kim So-Yeon, who plays Cheon Seo-Jin for their evil antics behind everybody’s backs. There were also times where I just wanted to hug the screen as I watch Min Seol-A, a character I particularly fell in love with from the start, as she struggles through the hardships of life, with the heavy addition of her classmates’ bullying. I was also amazed with Lee Ji-Ah and how she portrays Shim Su-Ryeon as a character. Eugene, a former member of the group S.E.S. and the actress who plays Oh Yoon-Hee, also has moments, but most of them are of her suffering from the hands of Cheon Seo-Jin.
Have I mentioned the teens? I have never felt this amazed with how they can manage to make me hate their characters as quickly as they could, in a span of one scene. They’re young but incredibly talented and I hope to also see them in other gigs in the future!
For the second and third seasons, oh boy they’re even messier than the first one. There’re plot twists thrown at you left and right, betrayals up and down, and of course redemptions here and there but I’ll leave that to you to watch the rest. Honestly, Seasons 2 and 3 keep the tension from the first season and adds a little more spice into it. It’s definitely something one should look forward to!
I wish I could talk more about the stories and how the characters develop (there’s actual character development here, omg!) but I’ve mentioned that I’ll only be including minor spoilers, so if you’re curious and want to know more, be sure to catch it on GMA Network 7 or watch it online through Viu!
P.S. If that isn’t enough to convince you to watch it, here are some messages from both fans and drama reviewers:
“One of the most watched dramas at the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021 is “The Penthouse: War in Life.”” – Holley Ziemba, 2021
“Breathless in its plotting, the show dazzles with its fancy costumes, sumptuous sets and relentless musical score” – Pierce Conran, 2021
“Will I catch the next season? Likely so because I’m extremely tickled by how outrageous this can be.” – kooriyuki, 2021
Penthouse is a South Korean drama series wherein the first season originally aired last October 2020, on the channel SBS. It currently has 3 seasons, with Season 3 being the final one and is currently airing every Friday. Fortunately, for Filipino fans out there, it has recently received a Tagalog dub on the GMA Network. For other overseas fans, you can catch it on online platforms such as Viu.