The Korea Times
By Lee Gyu-lee
From left, actors Kim Mu-yeol, Kim Hye-soo, Lee Jung-eun and Lee Sung-min pose during an online press conference for the new Netflix series "Juvenile Justice," Tuesday. Courtesy of Netflix
Netflix's upcoming courtroom series "Juvenile Justice" will spotlight the social issues surrounding juvenile delinquency, according to the director.
"Previously, I only ever heard about issues regarding juvenile offenders from the news or media. But this series has given me a chance to look more closely into them," the series' director and creator Hong Jong-chan said during an online press conference, Tuesday.
"Young offenders are not the only ones responsible for their issues. I believe it also has to do with the fundamental problems of society."
Directed by Hong, whose previous work includes the subtle, heartfelt series "Dear My Friends" (2016), the new drama revolves around four judges at a juvenile court ― played by actors Kim Hye-soo, Kim Mu-yeol, Lee Sung-min and Lee Jung-eun ― tackling complex cases with their own beliefs and perspectives. It is written by newcomer writer Kim Min-seok.
The director noted that he intended for the story to provide full and impartial views of the issues.
"I felt that I should unfold the series' story with an even hand. It's not about speaking for one particular side or presenting answers to the issues. But rather, I wanted to offer balanced opinions with diverse perspectives," he said, adding that the series will touch on domestic and social problems as the root of the issues.
A scene from the series "Juvenile Justice" / Courtesy of Netflix
Kim Hye-soo plays newly appointed court judge Eun-seok who has a strong aversion to young offenders.
"Eun-seok despises juvenile delinquents and is determined that they should get the appropriate consequences for their crimes, giving them ruthless punishments," Kim said describing her character.
The actress expressed that she was touched by how the series covers serious issues with a powerful story.
"When I was offered the role, I was surprised and satisfied to see how powerfully the series conveys such sensitive and heavy issues involving juvenile delinquency," she said. "I took part in it hoping that the viewers would take a moment to think about these meaningful issues as they follow the cases portrayed in the drama."
She added that working on this series has allowed her to question "what our role is in this society and which direction we should steer ourselves so as to resolve the issues."
Kim Mu-yeol plays Tae-joo, a judge who believes in giving people a second chance. The actor expressed that he was surprised how oblivious he had been to juvenile crime issues, until he took part in this series.
"I thought that these issues (of juvenile delinquency) had been brought to the surface and discussed long before. And I, myself, thought that I took interest in these kinds of issues. But when I read the scripts, there were a lot of parts that I didn't understand," he said. "I realized that I didn't know much about the issues and that my interest had been quite superficial. The responsibility and the weight of these issues felt very heavy (after playing the character)."
"Juvenile Justice" will hit Netflix on Friday.
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