There’s no hope for the poor. Their only place is at the footstool of the rich. While the wealthiest will always stay at the top and will always do whatever they want. This is the kind of world that explores the drama “The Penthouse: War in Life.”
A world where the rich rule and the poor are oppressed. A world where money is the only solution. A world where parents can go to any extent to make their kids succeed.
This being said, let me warn you: here, you won’t find any moral lessons, warm romance or fuzzies. It’s a dark, dark world filled with greed, lust and filth. If you think you can handle it, let’s go for it!
Introduction to the Hera Palace
The Hera Palace. This is where darkness starts and ends. This is the place where the ultimate fight for power, wealth and prestige takes place. Found in Samseong-dong, Gangnam-gu, the wealthiest neighborhood in South Korea, the Hera Palace is a 100-story lush apartment building. It is the hottest spot in the nation which is reserved exclusively for the rich and has everything you could ever want – that is if you could even step foot inside.
Full of ritz and glamour on the surface, the Hera Palace is all but filled with extreme darkness, where betrayals, adultery and even murders reside.
In my words, I would say, it’s the den of Lucifer itself.
Introduction to the Families:
At the Top of the Palace:
Known as the queen of the Palace, Sim Soo-Ryeon is an elegant and beautiful woman who grew up in a rich family. However, despite being at the top, she still holds the scars of her past and lives a mundane and boring life. Honestly, amid all these mafia games, she seems to be like the only sane character who still has some humanity left.
However, the same cannot be said for her sadistic husband. Joo Dan Tae, a successful businessman, is not at all the compassionate and loving man that he tries to portray in front of his wife. He is a disturbing, manipulative and psychotic person who forces people to live under the rules he set. His hobbies? Physically abusing his two children, Seok-Hoon Joo and Seok-Kyung Joo. Yes, he is an absolutely terrifying violent creep who has even set up a special room where he shares a “special bonding” with his children (and I am sure you understand what I mean). We get to experience more of his wicked mind when he mercilessly killed Shim Soo Ryeon’s finance.
At the Middle Level:
Living on the 65th floor, Cheon Seo-Jin is one of the dangerous characters of the show. Born in a household where her father is the head of Cheong-ah Arts School, she always tried to be the best soprano (even though it meant going to the extent of trying to kill her nemesis, Oh Yoon-Hee). And, despite being quite talented, she always tries to make herself the center of attention.
However, her craziness is unleashed when a cut-throat competition starts between parents and that’s when she starts descending into full madness mode and tries everything she can to give her daughter the title of prima donna.
At the Bottom of the Society:
Oh Yoon-Hee, a petite woman, is one of the characters who was not born into a rich family and who do not live in the Hera Palace.
As a student, she had the potential to become a talented soprano, but an accident (I would rather say a murder attempt by none other than Cheon Seo-Jin), caused too much damage to both her vocal cords and her image in the society that her life went downhill.
With no college degree, no money and a heartbreak from her boyfriend of 6 years, Oh Yoon-Hee experiences the harsh realities of life. Later on, as a single mother (whose husband cheated on her and died), she has to struggle alone to provide for her daughter (who is her only reason to live).
But, once again, she finds herself in the same place where everything started and where money is the only way out. So, will she succumb to the power of the Hera Palace and follow in the footsteps of its residents? Or, will she overcome the throat-squeezing injustice and fight for what is right?
The Penthouse: War in Life is not your usual k-drama with bubbly romance and stomach-hurting comedy. From viscerally devastating scandals of bullying and nepotism to goosebumps-inducing crimes, this drama is sure to leave you cursing out of frustration and amazement.