Five girls in their twenties come to live together in a house called "Belle Epoque," which means "a beautiful time" in French. Each girl has a particular personality, background, and issues. In addition to the five girls, they believe there is a sixth presence - a ghost living in the house, but each sees the ghost differently. As the girls feel a bond of sympathy and become closer, they also deal with their personal issues as they live out their eventful twenties. The drama follows their struggles and incidents dealing with relationships - within their circles, with dating, and with each other - and a variety of events they are experiencing including credits, part-time jobs, drinking, hopes and dreams.
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The plot was something that originally drew me in. It sounded very original and worthy enough to watch at least the first two episodes. While watching Age of Youth, there were so many moments that either relatable, touching or just plain hilarious. The writer did a fantastic job of the script. With the characters, it took me a few episodes to love all five of them (especially Jung Ye Eun) but each and every one of them, they had a story to tell and all made massive development with their lives. Yoo Eun Jae I grew attached to straight away because I felt a small connection with her and wanted her to grow stronger. Jung Ye Eun was annoying at first (and still can be), but her passionate personality made her admirable. Song Ji Won is the weirdest but most wonderful housemate, and always made a lot of scenes better. Kang Yi Na seemed to have an easy life, but had problems that she kept to herself and solved herself - her pride is something we should all aim to have. And finally, Yoon Ji Myung. I think everyone who has watched Age of Youth can agree that we all wanted to her to be happy as she deserved it the most. Her issues at work, with her brother and mother always caused her to be unhappy and we viewers did not want to see her suffering. All five of them were perfect, unique and lovable. Also, the boys - thank you for all being beside the girls and supporting them (except Ko Doo Young of course). My only issue with the story was the small ‘supernatural’ element that introduced some of the characters’ problems - I wish that was done in a different way.
The acting was on point and this drama was a huge stepping stone in the actors careers. I know I should talk about each actress individually, but I feel like I expressed my feelings a lot in the previous paragraph as their acting was what helped to make each of the characters the best they could have been. The five actresses were amazing, stunning and won my hearts over. None of them wavered in their acting styles, they consistently stuck with their character and continued till the end. I will most definitely be keeping an eye out for their next dramas because I want to see how they all grow.
Music worked extremely well with each scene and every single track was gorgeous to listen to. If you ever have spare time, just stick on the Age of Youth soundtrack and fully appreciate the audio because it will be worth it. My favourite track is definitely the main one, Butterfly by Sogyumo Acacia Band - it has that perfect, young vibe to it.
There is no doubt about it, I would rewatch this right now if I didn’t have so many dramas to catch up on - but I most definitely will be watching this again before the end of the year.
Age of Youth is worth everyone’s time and for me, is the drama of the year - maybe of the decade/century as well haha. If you love a simplistic and cute story with well developed characters and immersive backstories, this is the drama for you.
Anyone looking for a fast-paced action packed drama, should look away now. This show really defines slice-of-life. I am sure everyone watching this drama could relate to one of the girls or even just a situation faced by the girls. I was able to relate to different situations and aspects of many of the girls personally and also have seen other friends/family facing similar situations:
- Jin Myungs hardships! I could especially relate to her feeling lost.
- Ji Wons non-existent dating life
- Friends who have faced similar situations as Ye Eun in their relationships/love life
- Eun Jae's hesitation, timidness
- Yi Na questioning herself and her decisions in the last 2 episodes or so
There have definitely other aspects. I just listed some that were especially relatable to me.
I was really glad that the plot focused on the girls the most and not the boys. It didn't take a detour. It was consistent. Each girl's individual storyline and character growth was moving, and the different episodes focused on different stories perfectly. The show shows us how the girls are important as individuals as well as their relationships with each other. It was very apt and moving that throughout, the relationship between the girls, them as a 5, was way way more important then their relationship with any of the guys/ or any one else tbh. They valued each other and nothing came in between them. It was very realistic in portraying their relationship, even though they lived together, and despite the closeness, each individual has their own personal hardships (defo last ep), and you don't share every single detail with everyone. Another point was that they didn't try to force the 5 girls being close to each other equally, it made perfect sense for some girls to be closer to each other then to others - this never undermined their bond as a 5 though. I could ramble on about this but I'll stop.
I don't have any complaints. I could imagine the actors as their characters perfectly. Never once did I doubt the acting, or imagine anyone else doing a better job. I was immersed in each and every character and that is partly due to the actors job (also story/director etc). The guys played their part really well, and very convincingly. I didn't think the acting was over the top or anything.
The songs were so perfect! I have been replaying Sogyumo Acacia Band - Butterfly. There is something about the song that makes me just want to reminisce my youth and think about stuff (lol). It fitted the show so perfectly. It was subtle yet it did its job.
I gave it a high rewatch value, because I'll probably rewatch this at some point - probably after university finishes and I miss my college days. Though I don't know if I'll be able to handle it. It has already made me feel so much, and taught me a few life lessons, I don't want to rewatch it and make it less impactful on 2nd watch. Its too soon now.
The highlight of this show is definitely the girls. The only negative I have is the shortness, but they sure packed a lot in 12 episodes. I know each girl's story didn't complete (in kdrama completeness - happily ever after sense), esp YE EUN at the end, but in true fashion of this drama and its genre: life isn't start and stop, its ongoing for them, they don;t all need to have a boyfiriend or everything figured out, because thats what life is for. They only showed us a snippet of their life and so we can't expect everything to end completely and perfectly.
[A lot of comments going around earlier about when Jin Myung will develop her backbone. Speaking from life experience, I know someone in similar situation who had and still has many many hardship, but keeps quite and deals with it all. It took her many many years before she finally came to realise that this is her life, and she needs to live it her way, that she need to speak up for herself and not put up with people who hurt her. So people don't just change overnight. It takes a lot of self-realisation and growth. And I'm glad the show touched on this the way it did, for everything to reach a limit before you finally break down]
Age of Youth was definitely one of the best written, acted, and directed kdrama I’ve seen so far this year (this and Signal). And I sincerely pray for a second season!
This is so long.