Korean Drama FIRST IMPRESSIONS Review: The PentHouse

One of the highest rated Korean drama recently, Penthouse is a sensational, fast-paced drama full of evil characters that you love to hate, and definitely a must-watch in my opinion if you enjoyed similar dramas like Sky Castle, The World of The Married, Return and The Last Empress!

The drama opened dramatically with the murder of a poor student Min Seol Ah who fell from height in Hera Palace and triggered the start of the story that delves into cliche but highly addictive tropes like swopped births, revenge, class divides, murder mystery etc.


The story takes place in Hera Palace which is a high-class apartment where the rich elites live. The Penthouse follows the lives of a few rich families there namely:

  • Married couple Opera Singer Cheon Seo Jin (acted by Kim So Yeon) and Doctor Ha (acted by Yoon Jong Hoon)
  • Married Couple CEO/Chaebol? Joo Dan Tae (acted by Uhm Ki Joon) and Shim Soo Ryeon (acted by Lee Ji Ah)

These 2 families are the key players in the Penthouse, with 2 other sidekick families who are in the same clique and usually do their bidding.

So, Cheon Seo Jin is this conniving woman who got to where she was, touted the best in opera singing due to her father’s money and influence. She loves power and money, and seduced Joo Dan Tae, who is the ”leader” of their little rich clique.

Joo Dan Tae, on surface is a good husband to the elegant Soo Ryeon, but in actual fact killed her then-boyfriend and then swopped out her real baby from her boyfriend so as to claim Soo Ryeon for herself.

Bratty and Equally Evil Children who BullY and Misuse Their Power

All the kids of the rich families in Hera Palace are bratty and self-entitled, believing themselves to be of the upper class and superior to the poorer kids simply because their parents have money. As such, they bully the students from poor background and are unable to accept that someone like Min Seol Ah, who is a supposed orphan, could end up winning first in the admission to the same school Cheong Ah Arts School as them.

Just because of this, they bully her and try to make her life difficult simply because she does not know her place and dared to be better than them.

As one of the directors of Cheong Ah Arts School, Cheon Seo Jin also tried to make life difficult for Min Seol Ah to get her to quit this prestigious school that someone poor like her shouldn’t even attempt to get into.

None is InnoCent in Min Seol Ah’s Death

The story started with Min Seol Ah’s death and showed how the key residents in Hera Palace tried to hide her death and bury damning evidence.

However the identity of the real killer remains a mystery and is what that keeps the story going on.

Bit by bit, we see hints of many key players who may be potential suspects, as all have a bone to pick with her since Min Seol Ah knows just a bit too much about the skeletons that they need to hide in their closet.


Now, Penthouse wouldn’t be this exciting if it is simply a case of a poor girl murdered, and guessing who is the killer.

Of course, we need to have someone out to wreck revenge and turn all these baddies’ lives upside down for it to be a vindicating watch.

Turned out that Soo Ryeon is the birth mother of Min Seol Ah and she “fortunately” witnessed the death of her daughter and knew that the culprit was in Hera Palace that day.

As such, she went on a campaign to exact revenge for her daughter. It is satisfying yet exciting as she is up against so many rich fearsome baddies, including her rich and powerful husband, who is the most fearsome of them all.

Can’t wait to see how the story would unfold and end!

In spite of the numerous evil characters, do you have a favourite?