- Starring: Park Bo Gum | Park So Dam | Byeon Woo Seok
- Episodes: 16 (1 Hr. 15 Min.)
- Aired: September 7 – October 27, 2020
- Network: tvN
- Where to Watch: Netflix
There are times when I watch and finish a show and wonder what made me obsessed. That is the feelings I get when I think about Record of Youth. I started this when the show was already more than half way through airing. The weekend I started, I basically got no sleep because I just stayed up and watched episode after episode. And every Monday since, I was itching like a crack head waiting for their next fix. But why is the question?
On the surface, this show is hella boring. Not boring in the sense that oh my god, kill me now. But boring in the fact that this is truly just a slice of life drama about this dude, Sa Hye Jun, who is hella handsome and a model but wants to catch his big break and become a successful actor. He has half of his family is supporting his dreams, while the other is pressuring him to take his mandatory Military leave. Thinking this is his last chance, he puts all his eggs into one basket and moves agencies and goes for it. Now enter Ahn Jeong Ha. New makeup artist and OG fangirl of Sa Hye Jun when he was still a model. She is someone who loves stability and is starting a new dream. Both characters are on the cusp of turning points in their lives when their paths cross. Along with these two, there is Sa Hye Hun’s best friend and colleague, Won Hye Hyo. Hye Hyo is from a rich family and wants for nothing. He thinks that he is going along his career on his merits alone, but he has the support (sometimes too much) of his overbearing mother. The show is long snapshot into the lives of these people who are at that weird place in their lives. No longer children but on the edge of real life adulthood.
Now if I said this show was boring, why was I so enthralled with it? There were aspects of it that I absolutely loved. The realism of the industry from scandals and shady reporters to sponsorships and suicide. The character and storyline of Charlie Jung in particular had me shook from episode two. He was a gay fashion designer that was in love with Sa Hye Jun and basically offered him money to further his career in turn for some “time”. I won’t say how that turned out but the way the show dealt with it felt tasteful and didn’t really feel like a ploy. The realism came through.
Another thing I really loved was the relationships in the show. Either it be between Hye Jun and Jeong Ha, Hye Jun’s family or Hye Jun and his friends. All of it felt natural. Hye Jun and Jeong Ha’s whole relationship wasn’t outrageous and cliché. They hung out, supported each other, watched TV. I loved it. And their kisses… WHEW! It felt pleasurable to watch them fall in love. The only thing that didn’t feel that natural was the “forced” love triangle between Hye Jun, Jeong Ha and Hye Hyo. Yeah, it happens that you some times get some feelings for your friend’s girl, but YOU SHOULDN’T! It kind of felt out of character for it to happen in the first place for Hye Hyo but I’m glad that the outcome wasn’t a cliché one.
Speaking of the trails and tribulations of the show. There were a lot of times when I wanted to fight a character for messing with Hye Jun or causing drama in his life. But by the end of the show, things felt like they were resolved in a nice way. EXCEPT THE DAMN LOVE STORY! YES! By episode 12, I knew things weren’t looking like a happy ending but I had faith that things would be better. In the grand scheme of things, yes, there was a happy ending. But not the one I expected. I wanted happy times, marriage and babies and the world being okay with Sa Hye Jun being in a relationship with Jeong Ha. But this being a show that showed more realism, not every couple you root for gets the happy ending in the way you expect or want. So can I be mad? Yes. But should I be mad? Not really.
In the end, this show made me realize that I can be in love with boring shows. Also, it’s okay to smile during the day and around people but at night, just cry. Now let me go cry my eyes out and keep fangirling over Park Bo Gum so one day we can have a meet cute and fall in love. Or Park Seo Joon, whoever.