Lazy Unnie’s Couch: Twenty Five Twenty One

In a time when dreams seem out of reach, a teen fencer pursues big ambitions and meets a hardworking young man who seeks to rebuild his life. Na Hee Do is a member of her high school fencing team. Due to the South Korean financial crisis, the high school fencing team gets disbanded. Getting through all the difficulties, she becomes a member of the national fencing team. The South Korean financial crisis also causes Baek Yi Jin’s father’s business to go bankrupt. This leads to a life change for Baek Yi Jin, from living the life of a wealthy person to a poor person. While studying, he works part-time jobs like delivering newspapers. Later, he becomes a sports reporter for a broadcasting network.

  • Starring: Kim Tae Ri | Nam Joo Hyuk | Bona | Choi Hyun Wook | Lee Joo Myung
  • Episodes: 16 (1 hr. 15 mins.)
  • Aired: February 12 – April 3, 2022
  • Network: tvN
  • Where to Watch: Netflix

Here is the thing, I liked this drama. The things I said in my first impression still hold true. I got reply series vibes, Kim Tae Ri playing a teenager was distracting, Nam Joo Hyuk was so fine, this should have been a lesbian drama, and yay for employment for Choi Hyun Wook. But as I came to the end of the two months of this show, I realized that writers could really fuck up a good thing and make me regret watching. I haven’t been this disappointed in an ending since watching Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol, and that’s saying A LOT.

The thing I really liked about this show was the way certain plots were told. I loved the rivals to friend plot because it actually felt more genuine than the romantic slow burn between Na Hee Do and Baek Yi Jin. If this was just a story between Na Hee Do and Go Yu Rim, I would have been fine. Their progression was more natural, the chemistry between Tae Ri and Bona was adorable. When they were in scenes together, I forgot about the age difference between the actresses. Another plot was Yurim’s. Her trying to be the breadwinner of her family and her experiencing love for the first time was amazing. Yurim and Moon Ji Woong’s love story really had me invested. I thought they were going to fuck it up and make it a love triangle with Ji Seungwan but luckily they didn’t. It just showed how co-ed friendships can exist without romantic love. All of the fencing stuff was also so intriguing too. I wanted more and more of these things.

The writers did such a good job at making each of the characters rich with a backstory so their actions made sense. Each had different struggles and it was endearing to watch them interact. Even the “love” story between Na Hee Do and Baek Yi Jin felt authentic, to a point. The way they fell in love with each other was different. Part of me wanted them to be romantic earlier and the slow burn was killing me but when it did happen, it made sense. But that is also around the time the show lost me. By the time the couple realized that their love for each other was more romantic and platonic, I was just more invested in how it was all going to end. The whole build-up was trying to find out how the title was incorporated/ It was cute when they were together but neither knew how to balance their dreams and then their love. Yes, they provided each other with kind of what each other needed. Hee Do helped Yi Jin find a new dream and Yi Jin was something Hee Do could love outside of fencing and her grief of losing her father young. When they kissed for the first time properly, my heart swooned. But I was left waiting for the other shoe to drop.

After all the good things. Ji Seungwan and her stand against the establishment of the school. Hee Do and Yurim actually become best of friends and best rivals. ALL of the good things happened and then they just said “Let’s set it on fire”. The whole story is told in flashbacks because Hee Do’s daughter is reading her diaries. The whole season there was a mystery about who her father was and if it was Baek Yi Jin. It was established early that it couldn’t be him because of the reactions in the present day. Then there were theories that he was dead in the present. Honestly, I would have been okay with that. By the end of the series, they showed the downfall of their romantic relationship. Timing and distance was really at play here. Both end up excelling in their careers and that’s it. Hee Do gets married, to some person, who knows. Yi Jin becomes an anchor and basically follows Hee Do’s mother’s footsteps. And that’s it. We know NOTHING of what happens in the present. While they were busy closing other storylines with Yurim and Ji Woong ending up happy together, Ji Seungwan possibly ending up with Baek Yi Jin’s brother and both Yurim and Hee Do retiring from fencing, the main love line is just left there hanging. No closure, no nothing.

I was left feeling drama blue balls. The whole buildup to this show was good and the payoff just wasn’t there. There was just so much I liked about this show and for it to basically half-ass the ending felt disrespectful. The cast was soooooo good, that I wanted to cry. Nam Joo Hyuk is only as good as his co-stars and honestly, the chemistry was there. The 5 leads really held it together. Sadly the writing did them dirty. The show had me laughing, crying in happiness and sadness. Unfortunately, I was hate watching by the end because halfway through the show lost that good thing it had in the first half. I honestly would have given this a higher rating if they had given me ANYTHING else in the conclusion. ANYTHING.

Acting: 8/10
Story: 6/10
Music: 9/10
Overall: 7.5/10

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Published by Unbothered Unnies

A couple of ladies who love to express their opinions from anything and everything. That includes shows and music and anything in between. This blog is dedicated to our love and appreciation for Asian entertainment and culture.

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