Set one year after season 1 of "Age of Youth." Jin Myung successfully found a job after she returned from China. Ye Eun took a year off from school due to the aftereffects of her abusive ex-boyfriend. She is now returning to her university. Ji Won has yet to find a boyfriend. Eun Jae broke up with her first love and she is in emotional pain. The girls have a new housemateJo Eun at their sharehouse. She stays in the room previously occupied by Yi Na.
Cast & Credits
There are a couple of cast changes in the second season. In particular, Park Hye-soo was swapped out for Ji Woo. I think a lot of people disliked the character. I do agree that she's a lot less likable in this season. Rather than attributing this to the new actress, I feel that the writer has gone slightly wayward in her characterisation of Eun-jae. Or perhaps as viewers we are more partial to the meek Eun-jae than the transformed Eun-jae. I think the scriptwriter probably wanted to show character growth, but the execution was unfortunately not up to par.
Kang Unni is also out of the picture at Belle Epoque, with Choi Ara playing the new-comer Jo Eun. I liked the introduction of Jo Eun. I thought her character was really interesting, especially her "friendship" with Ye-ji. They also briefly touched on homosexuality, although the topic was quickly brushed over. After I watched the finale though, I was really confused as to what this "friendship" was to each party. I would really like them to elaborate on it. Anyway, I thought this was a nice touch and they probably could have explored the plotline a little more. I don't really care for her romance with Seo Jang-hoon though. I don't dislike it, but I didn't think it was a highlight. This is just personal and from the comments I've seen, most people quite like this couple.
Ye-eun's loveline is the one I liked most (other than the Song-sung couple that is). I don't know how Onew* would have been, but I feel that Kwon Ho-chang was perfectly cast. And nerds are always endearing. His relationship with Ye-eun is like a reversal of power compared to her previous relationship. In any case, I felt that they were really cute.
Yoon sunbae is the glue that holds the house together. She's seemingly aloof on the outside but she's really taking care of everyone else, and not getting appreciated for it. I don't like the job she was given in this season. I thought that with how they had emphasised so much on her struggle with jobs and internship they'll hand her a job of a higher perceived social status. I'm not saying that working at an entertainment company is bad, but it's certainly no where near the top of my "dream jobs" list. Also, I personally do not follow Kpop and all, so I'm really indifferent to the storyline with the idol group which was cast aside. It's alright, but I think this could be done better.
This season though, the spotlight is on Song Ji-won. I don't think I need to elaborate further on how fantastic her character is. Her story was the focal point this season, and provided some insight on how her personality came to be. I think a lot of people may feel that her storyline didn't get closure, but I thought it was the best way to handle the situation. Because if everything went perfectly, this wouldn't be called Age of Youth. I still like her interactions with Im Sung-min. *SPOILER ALERT* I really do hope for another season just so we can see them get together. There are hints since the man holding the girl's hand in Ep13 is clearly Im Sung-min, but I would like their relationship to be more explicit and not just implied. *SPOILER ALERT*
In summary, I think AoY is an awesome drama. In the first season my attention waned towards the end but this season I sat through the whole drama, catching up on episodes as they air. I rate the sequel a little higher than its predecessor, though it may just be the freshness playing on my mind.
EDIT: Corrected name of original actor for Kwon Ho-chang.
Age of Youth 2 starts out with the group going on a hilarious little trip to airport to pick up Han Ye Ri. They proceed to get lost and another hilarious encounter ensues. I laughed so much in the first few episodes. Soon Kang Yi Na moves out of the house and the group proceeds to find a new roommate. Soon we see Seo Jang Hoon enter the scene. She initially enters the house to investigate a strange letter. Ooooooo what's going on??? Anyways most of this drama focuses on Song Ji Won trying to investigate what had happened during her childhood. We also Yoon Jin Myung get aquainted with her job. A nice portion of this series revolves around her and her job as well. Of course we see some nice house antics between roommates in this season as well. However, I must admit that I feel like Season 2 took a more darker approach to the story. I really liked Season 1 for it's freshness and how it was very realistic. Season 2 seemed realistic in terms of their college life as well, but the ending was kind of anti-climatic. Maybe it's just me, but I don't really like dark slice-of-life shows. It just makes the show seem like a melodrama.
Overall I can't say that I really liked or really disliked the acting. It was okay in my opinion. I more so had a probablem with Ryu Hwa Young leaving. Personally I felt like Ryu Hwa Young and her Kang Yi Na character really made this show a lot more funnier and light-hearted as apparently seen with the first few episodes. I felt like the show tried to replace that comedy bit by emphasizing Song Ji Won's sex life (or lack of sex) to make up for it. I wasn't sure if they were trying to make us laugh or not by including those bits, but they definitely weren't funny. Otherwise the acting and cast is pretty consistent compared to the first season.
An 8.0 is generally the score I give to most show's music score. I don't usually give 9s or 10s unless the show is a music-based drama that had great music and OSTs.
Rewatch Value: [7.5/10]
Overall this show has middle of the pack rewatch value for me. It'd probably be a long time before I watch this again since I've completed 150+ dramas already (lol I have no social life). I will probably watch the first season again before I watch this one.
All in all, this was a decent follow-up to the first season of Age Youth. I'm sure you all noticed this, but I do have a slight bias to the first season. I honestly always multi task when I'm watching Korean dramas or my anime shows. This often means that I pay less attention to shows if I find them boring. I generally don't watch slice-of-life dramas as well. This show gets a thumbs up because it kept my attention the whole time even though it was a slice-of-life drama. I hope they make a season 3 and that Ryu Hwa Young comes back.
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