Record of Youth (2020)

Profile:
Drama: Record of Youth (청춘기록)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 16
Release Date: September 7 – October 27, 2020
Runtime: Monday & Tuesday 21:00

Plot
The story of men and women in their late 20s, and their struggle to find a balance between their dreams, relationships, family, friendship and career.

Main Cast
Park Bo Gum – Sa Hye Jun
Park So Dam – An Jeong Ha
Byun Woo Seok – Won Hae Hyo
Kwon Soo Hyun – Kim Jin Woo

Review:
I was really looking forward to this drama because this is Park Bo Gum’s final drama before he heads to the military. The premiere lived up to its expectations and I loved the first couple of episodes. The scenes were riveting and heartbreaking and you really just want Hye Jun to succeed. I really loved Park Bo Gum in this show. Extra special because it is almost like him and not Sa Hye jun reminiscing about his 20s and saying goodbye to all the fans.

The theory is all about money. The emotional stability I inherited from my parents. Honesty and sincerity. It completely overlooks such values as well as my motivation for success, which I cultivated while watching my parents struggle.

From the title and from the narration, I already felt like they were talking about the past and the romance was always about making good memories so I already braced myself that they were going to break up. I also expected the time jump. I honestly think they are better off as friends. There was something off about their relationship. It was too fast and surreal. And i felt that Hye Jun loved Jungha more. But it’s not bad, I think it was a prefect way to sum up their 20s.

Fangiring over you was therapeutic. I believe fans and stars shouldn’t have real-life relationships. On top of that, we forged a new friendship out of all relationships. I will stop fangirling over you! I won’t do it. – An Jeong Ha

Gosh, I just lost a fan when I dont have a lot of being with. – Sa Hye Jun

The romance fell flat in the middle. Most of the time it felt like Jungha was never 100% in the relationship. She distanced herself as soon as Hye Jun became successful. Most of the time i didn’t really get her issue. Actually, her character didnt get a lot of screentime and there wasn’t growth as a person. I know it must be difficult to be the girlfriend of an idol and be subjected to a lot of hate comments, maybe she just wasn’t ready for the relationship like she thought she was. Maybe she needed to be successful and be validated before she can be happy with someone else.

I really loved all the scenes with Hyejun’s family. Esp loved how much Gyeong Jun, Grandpa and Yeong Nam matured by the end of the drama. And how they grew closer as a family. It did took a long time for me to warm up to Hye Jun’s drama. He was just so vicious and typical Asian father. I could understand him though. He just wants his son to succeed and be tough. But it couldn’t hurt if he just showed it a little more without having to hurt Hye Jun repeatedly.

Who will believe in our children if we don’t believe in them? Look outside. There is a long line of people waiting to criticize them. – Hye Jun’s mom

Why is it only a man’s job to provide for his family? Are you saying that you provide for me? I work for a living too. Have you lived your life doing what pleases you? No one can live by only doing what they want. – Hye Jun’s mother

You should be the one encouraging him, not the other way around. – Hye Jun’s grandpa

You as my dad, have never encouraged me once. You’ve never supported the things I do. None of it matters unless the support is visible! – Sa Hye Jun

It was only to guide you down the right path. Am I a joke to you now that you’re a hotshot? – Yeong Nam

I super loved Minjae! I was hoping we see her get more clients after 2 years and be more successful but it seems like she only had Hye Jun as a client. haha. Realistically speaking, i think Minjae will not survive the cutthroat showbiz life. She is too soft and not too competent. I feel like Hye Jun wouldn’t have to endure such rumors and scandals had she been better at her job. But I do note that it’s Hye Jun who is calling all the shots and as the artist, he gets to be the one to tell Minjae what to do.

One of the things I really loved the start were the friendship of the 3 guys. They used to hang out every time near the playground. Felt sad that their scenes together, dwindled in the middle and we barely saw them together. I guess that’s also realistic. There are times we don’t get to speak or hand out with our old buddies like we used to because we become busy with our lives. And with the tension between Hae Hyo and Hye Jun, it was bound to happen. At least in the last two episodes they were back to almost normal and are close again.

Why does everyone compare me with Hye Jun? – Hae Hyo

That’s nothing new. – Jin Woo

Really? But it didn’t bother me back then. Why does it annoy me so much now? – Hae Hyo

Because you were ahead of him then and it’s the other way around now. – Jin Woo

Was he also bothered by how people compared him with me? – Hae Hyo

No, he didn’t have the time because he was busy making ends meet. – Jin Woo

One of the center themes of this drama is the parent-child relationship. I appreciated the ways the drama tried to portray different relationships between parents and children. Hye Jun’s father is the type that doesn’t communicate their emotions well and is tough on the children while the mother is the nice and supportive one, though she is also passive. On the extreme side, Hae Hyo’s mom is the “helicopter” parent while his dad is the largely not very hands on but expects the best. Jeong ha’s dad was the loser who ended up becoming richer while her mom was the clingy and selfish parent. We saw how each parenting style affected the outlook and personalities of their children. In the end, parents just wants the best for their children. I realized it is crucial for parents to understand their children and find that balance where you can support them but also “parent” them. On the other hand, children should learn to appreciate their parents more and not take them for granted. They are older, not necessarily wiser, but they can give good advice based on their experience. It is still up to us to make the final decisions.

I want you to be more aggressive. Maybe it’s because we’re well off. You have no backbone. Doesn’t seeing Hye Jun make you want to work harder? It looks like he’s on the rise. – Hae Hyo’s mother

What about me? Am i going downhill? – Hae Hyo

No, you’re stagnant. Your graph is drawing a straight line. – Hae Hyo’s mom

The show really started strong. I loved everyone and all the possible storylines, but after Hye Jun hit big time, the story slowly went downhill. Just like how Hye Jun’s life became complicated, the writing also got confused. We were seeing less Hae Hyo and more useless scenes with his mom and the slimy agent, long scenes of the mothers trying to one up each other. I ended up fast forwarding some of the scenes because I wasn’t interested in them. The story focused so much on Charlie Jung (poor guy) and the endless scandals that are false. I hated Suman and Taesu, they never paid for their misdeeds and are still working in the industry without being exposed for being terrible people. I guess that’s how scary media can be and how they can ruin a person’s life.

This is my room. I wanted my own room for years, and I finally have it. I needed a room where I can cry alone. Because in this room, I can cry all I want without being interrupted. – Sa Hye Jun

Are you happy right now? You have everything you wanted. – An Jeong Ha

Hae Hyo was supposed to be the second lead but he didn’t really get a lot of story lines other than always having to look broody and sad that his mother was doing everything on the background. i thought it was so naive of him to think that everything was because of his own efforts. I felt like as someone with that kind of advantage, he should have appreciated it more and worked harder to prove that he is more than his money. And i didn’t like how he almost (but thank god he didn’t) tried to steal Jungha away from Hye Jun. I mean for most part of the show, they were trying to hint that he will do it, but then took a 360 and he never confessed and he was really trying to be a friend to Jungha. C’mon i thought it was “bros before hoes” (sorry for the expression). And i wish the show explored and showed more the rivalry between the two guys and not just tell us it is happening.

Took me some time to think of my final rating because I really loved the first few episodes. But after writing down all the likes and dislikes, I think it’s not as good as i thought it was.

Life is like a race. You never know who’s going to win until it’s over. – Hye Jun’s mom

You and I shine in our own way. – Sa Hye Jun

Rating: 7.5/10

KDrama Update

Hi sorry for now updating my blog. I’ve been watching ongoing kdramas so i post my weekly episodic reviews in my IG (@kdramadreaming) instead.

Kdrama i’m currently watching:
1. Record of Youth – loving Park Bogum as Sa Hyejun. I just wish they stop focusing on his family. The scenes are getting repetitive with Hyejun always being scolded by his dad without any development in the story or character. Also it’s weird that Haehyo’s mom gets more screen time than Haehyo. I want to know more about Haehyo, him breaking away from his suffocating mom and making his own mark. I also want more storyline for Jungha. I dont want to see the jealous colleague anymore and want to see her succeed in the salon and in her vlogging.

2. 18 Again- beautiful story about family. There’s equal screen time and development for The 4 main characters, although i love Dae Young the most. Super impressed with Lee Do Hyun -he is an amazing actor!! Having 2 other guys vying for Dajung’s attention is too much though. They should have just focused on one main guy -either Ikjun or Jihoon that will rival Dae Young. And i know in the original 17 Again movie, Deokjin will have a loveline with the pretty principal, but right now their story is too comical so i dont like it yet.

3. Flower of Evil – i was planning to binge watch this in time for the finale last week but i couldnt because i found the episodes to be really gloomy and slow. The story is intriguing but i just cant watch more than one episode a day. I will continue to watch this until the end but will probably take some time for me to finish.

4. Alice – woot! The first few episodes were terrific but then the weird mother-son romantic vibes in the middle, esp in eps 8-9 has me fast forwarding some scenes. Also getting frustrated with how the main lead is too dense to put the clues together. At episode 10, he still doesnt know what’s happening that i just want to help him!! Likewise, professor Taeyi is also too slow when Doyeon already told her she looks like  his mother and she knows there’s time travelling happened. Two reasons why i havemt dropped this is because i still want to know what is really happening and i want to see more of Minhyuk.

5. Lie After Lie – i loved the first episode!! It was hella crazy but the next 7 episodes have significantly mellowed down the level of crazy. Im bot complaining though i wish there were more twists and revelations in every episode. I do like that the drama is taking its time to setup the romance between Jimin and Eunsu and building the relationship between Eunsu and Wooju. I definitely think these 3 need a solid foundation because once Chairman finds out about Wooju i have a feeling all hell will break loose and Eunsu needs a lot of help to protect her family. I’m still not sure how adding the golfer into the story will help Eunsu aside from having a love triangle which isnt necessary.

6. Homemade Love Story – i wasnt able to watch Once Again so i started this instead. So far there’s nothing special about the kdrama, just the usual soap opera plots of birth secrets but i’m staying because i love Jin Ki Joo and i want to see her romance with Woo Jaehee. The side stories of her siblings are so-so, as long as they dont make Hae Deun and Rahoon fall in love with each other then i’m fine with them. I dont like Jaehee’s famil except for Minjae who i want to see more. And i also dont like Seo ah and her mom (who is Bitchaewoon’s real mom) but im willing to see how the story goes and how Chaewoon will succeed over Seo ah. I also dont like the aunt but i love uncle Hwak Se so still waiting and see. This is a 100 episode drama and im only in ep 12 so i know lots more things will happen.