11 February 2014

TWENTY YEARS OLD

KOREAN DRAMA SPECIAL REVIEW: TWENTY YEARS OLD


Oh this drama is so sweet, but also surprisingly funny and fresh too, and with a running time of only 4 twenty minute episodes, what have you got to lose? 
Its so pretty and lovely! !! Watch it!! Go on!!


I will also point out the kiss is a bit of a doozy also, just in case you weren't already sold on the above, very romantic and so sugar sweet, but also with a bit of actual mouth moving to make it real, and therefore all the more romantic!




So the absolute core of this drama is Hye Rim. This girl is so likeable and so so fresh, and we get to be privy to her inner monologue as she navigates the dating world as a twenty year old looking for real love.

I adore that she is this beautiful bright eyed girl, but naturally so, and really so giggly and sweet and normal, and I love the way the drama rotates around her, the storyline fun, funny and zippy.


In the beginning we meet Hye Rim as she pines over some perfect sweet boy in her club (maybe I missed exactly what this club was for but it seemed like a drinking club to me), and her absolute one track mind is so reminiscent of the way a crush can turn you obsessive, suddenly your clothes and where you sit and what time you arrive all have direct impact on whether you get to romance your crush or not.  A bit painful but also exactly how it is.

The boy of Hye Rim's dreams actually pays her a bit of attention though and suddenly, as if in a dream, she finds herself outside with him, alone and flirty as they walk around the dark streets. And as all her romantic dreams look like they will come true, Hye Rim finds herself outside a seedy neon hotel, with her knight in shining armour just a sleazy boy who wants to use the fact she is obviously crushing on him in order to get laid.
Pretty uncool dude.

Hye Rim is pretty confused and utterly devastated but to her credit she isn't peer pressured into anything (though awfully it is easy to see how a different girl might have gone along with it, maybe thinking she has to in order to get the boy to like her). 
But Hye Rim is devastated, all her romantic dreams dashed and destroyed because of a grittier seedier reality. And she spends the next couple days in an absolute funk until her best friend drags her out to an idol boy band concert. (I love the importance of Hye Rim's best friend in this story. The story is just so short and sweet that you think the friendship would take complete backseat to the romance, but the two girl's relationship is fleshed out nicely and it is made very clear that Hye Rim's best friend is just as important to her happiness as any boyfriend. It was quite sweet actually).


So it turns out that Hye Rim used to go to middle school with idol boy Lee Ki, a totally charming cheeky sweetheart addition to the story.
And as the drama progresses we get to see just how close they used to be, and exactly what went wrong, revealed to us little by little as their story also progresses in the present.

I probably loved episode 2 most, its fun use of alcoholic black-outs creating some sweet mystery as Hye Rim reconnects with Lee Ki, a guy who is not only still holding a torch for her after 4 years of separation but is clearly totally in love with her and absolutely can't believe his luck that he has managed to get near her again. Which is goddamn gorgeous to watch. As in it gave me the fuzzy fuzzies.
Eeee!

Now it turns out that Lee Ki was actually Hye Rim's first kiss, when back during highschool I get the idea they were best friends. But during the big first kiss (on which obviously all Hye Rim's expectations and dreams of romance are riding) Lee Ki manages to (either accidentally or unconsciously) sort of totally touch her boob, which, for a 16 year old girl probably not quite ready to associate a romantic kiss with sex or anything sexual of any kind, is possibly the biggest betrayal ever.

And that's it. She avoids him and they finish, and he goes off and becomes a hugely famous idol.
And then four years later they run into each other again and Lee Ki is so beyond in love with Hye Rim that it is quite swoony. The whole scene in her house when they reconnect is so incredibly lovely, his smiles and her uncertainty really sweet. And the kiss! Gosh it should be a rule that every romantic drama treat it's watchers to at least one kiss like this, one that feels real and authentic. In short this kiss was an absolute win! In fact episode 2 in general is an absolute win and I can already feel the urge for a rewatch.

My personal favourite moment (other than the kiss itself) would be when Lee Ki hesitates just before his mouth touches Hye Rim's, pulling back uncertainly to see if she needs to ask him anything further beforehand. They both grin at each other adorably before he kisses her properly, and she kisses him back.
Perfect.


I kind of like that this hero is real enough to make mistakes, because this drama is a little different (especially for only 4 short episodes) and it doesn't end with just a kiss, but actually keeps following these characters as they navigate dating in secrecy. This means that when Lee Ki makes another mistake that almost breaks them, the resulting chaos and breakup are just as much a study on Hye Rim's reaction to people she loves not being perfect as it is a look at Lee Ki screwing up again.

Its kind of interesting because you cannot fault Hye Rim for being so heartbroken, not only by her first kiss being ruined with a breast grab, or her dreamy crush being more about sex than love, and now even by Lee Ki letting go of her hand when they are bombarded by nosy reporters. He lets her down but he is too wrapped up in his own fears and confusion for it to even occur to him that it is his job to also protect Hye Rim. So I can't blame Hye Rim for wanting to be treated right by the man she wants in her life, nor for being angry and let down by her experiences with these boys, but I can understand also that Lee Ki is just young and made a mistake. And boy does he love her to make up for it, evident in his heartbreaking crying and pounding at her door.
So I think the story is even a little about realising that maybe perfect romantic love doesn't quite exist like in the movies, I mean sure it certainly does sometimes but people are people and mistakes are normal, and because Lee Ki loves Hye Rim extraordinarily,  and he didn't totally screw up by cheating or anything,  then I do think its good that they sort their stuff out and return to each other. If a love is worth it, sometimes it can be difficult or hard, but if it's worth it it's worth working for too.

So that was a big long blabber but I will say I absolutely adored this drama. Totally gorgeous, funny sweet romantic swoony with a lead couple I could absolutely get behind and root for. I love these short little fresh dramas, like 'Ma Boy' as well, short and sweet. 
I want more!!!!






2 comments:

  1. I just finished this drama, it was soo good. I wasn't really expecting to like it very much but the cuteness(cheesiness) won me over! Hye Rim is my type of girl character, strong in the face of opposition and Lee Ki was a great guy, even if he struggled at times, I liked his character as well. Thanks for writing a review about this because I would have never found such a lovely drama. :))

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    1. I am so glad you enjoyed the drama Tiffany Love, I thought it was ultra cute too and the heroine was a great character (well they both were really!!).
      Thanks so much for reading :-)

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