‘All of Us Are Dead’: Director Discusses Reasoning for Dark Issues Like Teen Pregnancy and Misogyny in the K-Drama

Netflix‘s All of Us Are Dead tackles much more than teenagers trying to outrun ravenous zombies and staying alive. The Korean drama looks to tackle dark and deep-seated issues that plague society that seep into the lives of teenagers. Some fans found the K-drama‘s depiction of teen pregnancy, misogyny, bullying, and social class to be drastic. All of Us Are Dead director Lee Jae-gyu explains they portray the “upsetting situations in our society.”

Character Hee-soo in 'All of Us Are Dead' holding baby in relation to K-drama director.
Character Hee-soo and baby in ‘All of Us Are Dead’ | via Netflix

‘All of Us Are Dead’ showed a provocative scene involving a female student

The K-drama opens up to the son of Byeon-chang being severely bullied. The scene is hard to witness, but it was not the only example of school bullying All of Us Are Dead includes. In one scene, male bullies are harassing a male and female student. They decide to rip open her blouse and force her friend to film her naked upper torso. They then threaten the two students with making the video viral. In the K-drama, she risks being bitten by zombies to get rid of the video.

In All of Us Are Dead’s storyline, bullying is not the only dark issue director Lee includes. Audiences see a young female student named Hee-soo feeling ill. When the school nurse shifts her focus to patient zero, she leaves school on her own. In a shocking scene, she gives birth in a public bathroom. She initially abandons the baby until realizing the zombie chaos happening around her.

Accorsin to SportsKeeda, fans were upset with Netflix for not including a trigger warning for sexual assault and bullying in the first episode. Some fans also cirtized director Lee for including scene that were “unnecessary and uncomfrotable” in All of Us Are Dead.

Director Lee says the dark issues in ‘All of Us Are Dead’ are meant to depict societal concerns

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According to Koreaboo, directo Lee explained his reasoning why he inlcude bullying and teen pregnanacy so early on in the All of Us Are Dead. Concerning Eun-ji, he explains he needed “to create the basic setup” for her storyline to show the gravity behind school bullying and its effect on the victims.

“There are many upsetting situations in our society. I did not put in provocative scenes on purpose just to gain more viewers and simply just wanted to portray that. Eun Ji was afraid of her abuse being shown to others and tried to get rid of it even if she died with that resentment. I hoped that people would see and feel how cruelly she was being treated,” said Lee.

When discussing Hee-soo and her teen pregnancy, Lee wanted to portray what happens in real life and its societal victimization. In the end, he also wanted to depict a parent’s love for their child, regardless of age.

“There are many single moms in high school, and this is the reality that happens to us. She threw away the child but in order to save it, an 18-year-old mom ran towards her child. I thought that these topics we can touch upon in the show. Onjo’s dad and Cheongsan’s mom were also running to save their children, and I saw that as the most basic sense of responsibility families have,” said Lee. While the scenes in All of Us Are Dead are hearbreaking to watch, they are meant to explore reality.

Will director Lee explore dark issues in an ‘All of Us Are Dead’ Season 2?

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Netflix has not confirmed an All of Us Are Dead Season 2, but director Lee has plans for it storyline. He explains a new season would focus on the survival of zombies. Throughout the K-drama and through characters like Nam-ra and Eun-ji, the Jonas virus mutates depending in the host.

In the finale, Nam-ra’s closing remarks hint that there are more hybrid versions of the virus and they are living in the outskirts of town. It is possible a new season will re-explore concepts like how the government responded to the outbreak, how society has changed after the events and how people will treat the mutated zombies.