Annyeong Haseyo! [Hello!]
I’ve been meaning to write about my favorite kdrama shows, but I could not find enough time to re-watch episodes, screen grab stills, go through emotional highs and lows again, and then spare another hour or so writing my thoughts. It seems easy but it requires a day or two.
I think it would be best to start blogging while I watch a series rather than finish it and get myself to do recaps of 16 or more episodes.
My sorry to shows I’ve finished before I thought of blogging them (*coughs* Chicago Typerwriter, *coughs* Strong Woman Do Bong Soon).
Anyway, last night, I decided to see Age of Youth: Episode 1. I’ve read good reviews about its story and was excited to watch a drama focused on friendship rather than romantic love. It did not disappoint!
From the first minute, I knew I will love this drama and its characters like a favorite novel or song. In fact, after the hour-long episode, I immediately decided that this will be the first kdrama series I’d feature on my blog’s new category–Fangirl Diaries.
First impressions last… in person and in kdrama land. I’ve had a couple of series I dropped because the pacing of the first few episodes were either too slow or too fast. Age of Youth is neither, and its first episode intrigued me as much as it tugged my heartstrings.
This drama features five young ladies but the beginning was shown through the point of view of the newcomer and youngest–Eun Jae. I immediately related to her first frames in a bus; and basically, all her bus scenes in this episode. (I love buses kaya! Hehe!)
I did not expect to cry-sob on a first episode. Hello, this was advertised to be a fun, light ride with college gals. But I cried when Eun Jae cried herself to sleep, got irritated when she was pushed around, and saw a lot of my passive-aggressive tendencies manifested in her timid facial expressions, sighs, and outbursts.
Just when my entire being sympathized with this episode’s heroine, she had a few realizations that snapped me back to the reality—we cannot see this world in mere black/white, good/bad lenses. A human being is neither all good, nor all bad. A matter of perspective can change how we interact with others, how we feel toward people and situations.
Eun Jae’s roommates made a little fun of her, pushed her when she was being a push-over, but also made allowances for her own shortcomings which she wasn’t aware of. They were also adjusting to her, and while they were not presented as kind, sweet gals, they proved to be just human enough to apologize, make up, and make changes when mistakes are pointed out.
The episode also showed how humans tend to treat newcomers. When someone we barely know comes in, we unknowingly treat them a little harsher when they are different… and perhaps overly kind when they appear to be of “higher rank” in life.
Basic rule is: always be kind and kinder. Until we know what people went through, until we went through what they had to go through, we are in no position to think of them highly or lowly. But we are always in a position to think of others as human as we are, to NOT think of ourselves as someone better just because.
This first episode worked for me because it showed how we can be better human beings, how to live in peace.
Outward and toward other people, we should be kind; never assume the worst about a person because we don’t know what they went through; and to speak up (again in a kind manner) when the situation calls for it.
Inward and toward our own selves, we should always remember to not feel entitled.. the world does not owe us a thing; we should not hold everything in and decide that people must know better because we feel we know better.
I did not grow up with a lot of girlfriends but it was touching to see how one second some of them were cat-fighting their way to the ground, and the next, they were sharing a meal like family… which is how families are in real life.
As early as this first ep, Eun Jae is my favorite character… but I know that Ji-won, who came in late in the episode because she was on vacation at first, will grow on me in the next episodes. She seems to be a glue that makes a group stick together no matter how different they are from one another.
I can smell a few love lines even for the new comer, Eun Jae, but I trust that this drama (with only 12 episodes) will focus more on the girls’ life stories and friendships.
The last few scenes somehow gave a sneak peak of mystery which I dare guess to be interconnected. A little warning that there are hints of some thriller/horror (?) lines but I hope it will not overshadow the journey of five ladies exploring the crazy, fun, heartbreaking, life-defining college life and beyond.
As I publish this and spend a few hours of the weekend with the next episodes, I look forward to the growth of Eun Jae, Ji-won and the rest of the girls. Eun Jae clumsily struggled to grow up and overcome her timidity coupled with passive-aggressive tendencies. My hope is to see more of their clumsy life bits as I prepare to get attached to their fictional growth journey inspired by strong doses of reality.