Such a raw and beautiful special. I’m glad that I came upon this piece by chance. It really touched a place deep down inside. The Happy Loner in this story is Ji Young, who isn’t actually happy no matter much she pretends she is. A self professed individualist, Ji Young refuses to form relationships with other people around her including her neighbors, colleagues, and most importantly, her family. As a child, she was subjected to harsh words regarding her very existence and watched her parents get divorced. She decided she was better off on her own since her mother or father did not want her. However, over time she became numb to the world around her and would not open up to anyone, including to her ex-boyfriend. Meanwhile, her neighbor, Byuk Soo, is the complete opposite. He depends on the affection and acknowledgment of others. He wants to be loved and is so very clingy. Everyone always tries to shake him off. Of course, he tries to make contact with Ji Young who coldly shrugs him off. However, after he helped her with an embarrassing situation, cracks in the wall slowly started to form. While still keeping him at an arms length, she lets him in bit by bit. Eventually, he barges into her heart and home to try to crack her walls of steel. These two try to fill the gaps that the other one lacks.
I cried so much during this drama. As much as I don’t want to admit it, on a scale of Byuk Soo to Ji Young, I am more of a Ji Young. She tries her hardest to be complete by herself, but internally she years for affection just like the rest of her companions. I guess that is why I feel so much raw emotion during her moments of weakness and hurt. I yearn when she yearns for that sweet affection that Byuk Soo provides. This is not to say Byuk Soo was perfect. He is the most clingiest character I’ve seen who would make up a plan to barge into the life of the girl he likes. He had maturing to do as well. That is why I loved this piece so much is because it is a slice of life and very realistic characterizations. No relationship is perfect and everyone has weak points. However, if you work at them, you have a chance at happiness !
Yaaay for more School series drama! I absolutely love this new addition to the School series drama with of course School 2013 being my favorite still! School 2017 tells the story of Eun Ho and Tae Woon, juniors in a school where grades mean everything of course. Eun Ho is not a great student, but dreams to became a webtoon artist at a prestigious university. However, with the amount of demerits she accumulates at school and her poor family background, her future looks pretty bleak! Tae Woon is the disinterested son of the school director. He wields enormous power in the school, but he is actually working against the grain. He is student “X” who plays pranks on the faculty and school system when he deems things are getting unfair. These two come to a head when she figures out that is Student X when she becomes unfairly framed for his misdeeds. A deep friendship forms between the two as they help each other survive in such a messed up school system where the rich bully the weak and poor. Of course, this later develops into puppy love as they become each other’s support system. They also find out that they are more deeply involved in the past where Tae Woon’s other friend had taken the blame for a bus accident. This accident had broken the friendship between school president Dae Hwi and Tae Woon because their mutual third leg of the triangle died in the bus accident as well. They blamed each other for the incident and their misunderstandings alienated each other. Hopefully, their broken friendship can be mended with the help of Eun Ho who has a bright personality and fighting spirit.
Ah I have never watched a drama with Kim Se Jung. She is so so cute and has the most adorable eye smiles! I really enjoyed her portrayal of Eun Ho and can see her getting more lead roles after this drama. For Tae Woon, he is like the second coming of Kim Woo Bin. He plays a great bad boy with a softie heart. His smirks and expressions are so fun to watch. I loved the glimpse I saw of Kim Jung Hyun in Jealousy Incarnate, so I am super happy he is getting a lead role already. As for Dae Hwi played by Jang Dong Yoon, he is another young actor who is acting decently. He played a similar character to this one in his previous drama, Solomon’s Perjury. All three young teens are excellent developing actors and I know this drama will give them a leg up for future projects!
So honestly, I am ambivalent about this drama. I like it for what it is, but I guess I came into it with higher expectations. I started it due to the hype about how it was so unique and different than your usual drama. To that, it definitely hit the mark. However, it did not hold my attention the way I thought it would. Age of Youth tells the story of five young adults who live together at Belle Epoche during their university years. Each young lady has a story of her own and goes through growing pains. Jin Myung, one of the older girls at the house is busy trying to survive by working multiple part time jobs to attend university as well as pay rent and her vegetable brother’s medical bills. She never gets any sleep and is always exhausted. Next is senior Yi Na uses her beautiful appearance to give herself an easy life of luxury. She entertains multiple boyfriends who pay all her living expenses and more. Then we have Ye-Eun who is very devoted to her boyfriend and has strong opinions. Sometimes she may be a little tactless in her words. rooming with Ye-Eun is quirky Ji Won who is desperate to find a boyfriend and goes on multiple blind dates. She has a bright personality and likes to drink. Finally we have newcomer Eun Jae from a rural town and who is very innocent. She is also quite timid and at first is at odds with the rest of the house’s occupants. Age of Youth takes us through each girl’s hardships whether that be with life or love. We see how at times they fight each other like crazy, but also how they are pillars of strength for each other. Slowly, they warm up to each other and have each other’s backs.
I love anything with Liu Shi Shi in it! Furthermore, it is refreshing to see her in a non-period role and in modern garb for once. Precious Youth tells the love story of Liu Ting and Xiao Jun, two young adults who fell in love during high school. Liu Shi Shi plays Liu Ting, an academically driven and the good pure daughter of a teacher at the school. Meanwhile, Xiao Jun is the troublemaker and “gangster” of the school who always gets into trouble because he is too mischievous. One day, after literally falling head over heels for her while getting into detention, he decides to pursue her. Liu Ting found Xiao Jun very fun and a large contrast to her “goody two-shoes” type of lifestyle. However, as a beauty at the school, Liu Ting also attracted other suitors. She also becomes the love interest of Hai Bing, whose father was the boss of Liu Ting’s father. In order to network, her mom pushed her to tutor Hai Bing, who was also a “gangster” type and “brothers” with Xiao Jun. It is because of this fight over one girl that broke the deep brotherhood between Hai Bing and Xiao Jun. Unfortunately, things come to a head as families disagree and Xiao Jun broke up with Liu Ting. Liu Ting was devastated and you could tell Xiao Jun just wanted her to have a better future. On the second female lead front you have Xiao Lu, ex-best friend of Liu Ting who was in love with Xiao Jun as well and pursued him to the ends of the earth. As they all grow up, Xiao Lu and Liu Ting enter an arts school. Xiao Jun does not go to college and decides to do the dirty work of society and tries to make connections to start up his own company. Hai Bing attends college so that he can better match up to Liu Ting. Even in college, Liu Ting is still attracting many suitors, but deep in her heart, she is still in love with Xiao Jun.
Giving hints of the Korean reply series, Precious Youth feels like a slice of life drama. I find the chemistry between Liu Ting and Xiao Jun palpable, but with Xiao Jun’s nasty attitude, I’m finding it harder and harder to root for this couple. Meanwhile, I admire Liu Ting’s persistency and consistency of her love to Xiao Jun. She does not care about their class differences. However, I’m not sure if this is naiveté on her front. I am interested in seeing how these relationships untangle as their are love triangles and squares everywhere! Plus, what a lovely way to see Zheng Kai act, as I’ve previously watched him only on the Hurry Up Brother variety show.