First Impression: Penthouse 3

Drama Profile

Title: Penthouse 3 / The Penthouse: War in Life 3
Main Cast: Kim So-yeon, Lee Ji-ah, Eugene, Uhm Ki-joon
Writer: Kim Sun-ok (The Last Empress, Temptation of Wife)
PD: Joo Dong-min
Timeslot: Friday / 22:00
Network: SBS
Episodes: 12
Genre: Makjang

Plot Synopsis:

After Su-ryeon’s “successful” revenge plot in Season 2, she witnessed Loganโ€™s death right before her eyes. She is now set on finding out the real mastermind behind Logan’s murder. Meanwhile, the residents of Hera Place suffer from prison life for the crimes they’ve committed.

Major Trope: Cycle of Revenge; Misplaced Retribution

Grumpy’s First Impression:

After two seasons, we have come to the end of the long and winding road for Penthouse – and the third season’s pilot episode was underwhelming, to say the least. I don’t know if it’s because of the hype, or I liked the past two season premieres so much that I had high expectations for the third one. Yes, it was crazier, but to see that we are back to square one in terms of character development really bothers me. I have said in my series reaction for Season 2 that this is the only show I know of that character developments are for the worse. After 34 episodes, the same people still hold immense power without a single hint of remorse, and the protagonists are still plotting revenge. The same bullies are still thriving – both adults and kids, and the good ones are still suffering. It’s still fun. I’ll still watch it, but at this point, it’s borderline exasperating.

Penthouse in Prison

We got a glimpse of the Hera Place squad’s life in prison.Both Kang Ma-ri and Go Sang-ah are trying their best to fit in, though. Ma-ri is still a social butterfly – thanks to her vast experience in sauna life. Sang-ah, on the other hand, struggles with the lowly prison life. They have a cell boss in prison (who’s also musically inclined and an Ehwa graduate!)

Cheon Seo-jin is still the same – an entitled brat. Her lawyer’s visits are a perfect excuse for a pampering session. Of course, Seo-jin doesn’t like not being the queen bee, so she and the new cell boss had the best hilarious face-off in drama history.

Meanwhile, prison life for the boys of Hera Place is far more different and brutal. The penitentiary has its own “penthouse” ruled by jailbird Bang Chi-soon (Park Sang-myeon). He already served jail time, but now, he voluntarily came without any charges. I didn’t even know it’s possible, tbh. I’m not sure if we’ll see more of him in the coming episodes, but it seems like he knew Joo Dan-tae from way back based on his actions.

Speaking of Joo Dan-tae, he’s still a prick who will do anything to bring chaos to Speaking of Joo Dan-tae, he’s still a prick who will do anything to bring chaos to those around him. We picked up from the Season 2 finale, where we finally saw how Dan-tae got out of prison despite being a lifer. He just did what he does best – manipulating everyone. He coerced Lee Kyu-jin and took advantage of Ha Yoon-chul’s rage.

With only one episode per week, I think Penthouse 3 will have enough time to lie loose strings in this final season. I’m still open to all the madness, and honestly, I won’t be surprised if Logan is alive all along. We all know Penthouse writers are very much capable of bringing the dead back alive. LOL. Even though the first episode is a bit of a letdown, it’s still impressive for a show to keep us glued on our seats despite the absurdity of events. It’s what makes Penthouse worth watching – insanity to the point of it being a comedy.

Grumpy Alley

๐Ÿ”’ In another twist of twists, Joo Dan-tae is apparently not Joo Dan-tae! He’s been borrowing the name of a legit person. We already know that he has an entirely different identity before he became filthy rich, but the background story is more brutal than we know of. Let’s see how Baek Jun-ki will revive his real identity from his evil poser.

๐Ÿ”’ She’s not the Baeksang Best Actress for nothing!

๐Ÿ”’ Why is Seok-kyung back to being the most annoying person in this dramaverse?

๐Ÿ”’ I can’t read the real motive of Yoo Dong-pil in this pilot episode. Is he an enemy or an ally? Who is girl who died in the fountain??? AND why is that fountain a death bed?????

๐Ÿ”’ I like how we are all completely disregarding logic in this drama since the beginning. Yoon-hee is out of prison, too! And she’s teamed up yet again with Su-ryeon against Seo-jin. Can they just work together in bringing Dan-tae down?

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