When We Were Young (2018) poster

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  • Score: 8.6 (scored by 1,632 users)
  • Ranked: #262
  • Popularity: #770
  • Watchers: 4,897

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Completed
Hyukfied
22 people found this review helpful
Dec 21, 2018
24 of 24 episodes seen
Completed 1
Overall 9.5
Story 10
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 10
This drama was soo gooooood!!!! I really recommend to new c-drama fans!! It's definitely one of my top favorite dramas of 2018! It has similarities with "Itazura na Kiss" series and their remakes as well as "A Love So Beautiful"

Yangxi, main female character, is actually quite smart when she puts her mind to it. Although she seems to not have enough confidence or believe in herself, she is still able to do it with motivation from those around her. She is typically very positive and energetic. The usual happy-go-lucky female lead. I really like her personality. She initially wanted to depend on cross country running to help with her exam points but that changed so the drama focused on her in class with her friends - studying, reading, etc. She is obsessed with wuxia romance novels and dramas its her way of de-stressing or happiness. Its also a distraction so she gets in trouble for it. Don't worry though because her tutor is quite strict yet charming.
New transfer and intelligent student, Hua Biao, is usually her tutor and very strict. Its adorable watching those two together! They have such great chemistry; I just couldn't stop smiling when they stare at each other, care about each other or have subtle movements with one another. Hua Biao tends to do things on his own or prefers to not bother anyone until his friends figure it out. However, Hua Biao is also friendly with others like Yangxi so he's quite loved by his peers. His personality is typically very nonchalant but in reality he has his troubles. I was very heartbroken for him in episode 23. I felt his pain, Hou Ming Hao (actor) did a great job portraying the character.
Liyu is Yangxi's neighbor and childhood friend, he is also smart and cares deeply for Yangxi. He tends to do things for Yangxi because he likes her, however, Yangxi is quite clueless and thinks its just part of his personality. He is able to do a lot of things on his own and he cooks very well according to Yangxi. He is usually alone, like Hua Biao who only has his grandma. Liyu only has his dad while his mother is living in another country. He is a mama's boy and wishes to see her and be with her. There was one time when he was upset with her, and that's the episode I disliked the most because he was very stubborn. Other than that, I do like his relationship with Yangxi, its very precious!
The drama focuses on other supporting characters' stories as well and it's not boring at all! I can resonate with a few of them. You may end up being heartbroken, or sad but not mad or anything. Although there are some parents I wanted to slap because they were quite selfish. At the end of the day, this drama has almost every issue families deal with in reality.

I love the editing of the drama especially when someone does something for another without their knowledge, it transitions back to show us how that person did it. The last episode was one of my favorite edits because it shows when Hua Biao took notice of Yangxi, quite earlier than we thought haha.

The ending wasn't exactly how I wanted to happen but I'm satisfied. Its not a bad ending. It was, in a way, sad but I'm happy that everyone were able to do something they dreamed of or hope to do. I wish for a season 2 of the same cast but I doubt it will happen. :( IT NEEDS A SEASON 2!!!

Overall this drama was very sweet, cute, refreshing and a must watch! It deals with typical school stress, teenage crush/romance, dementia awareness, depression, families issues such as divorced parents, expectations from parents, job lost, etc. I could re-watch it all over again! I kept re-watching the episodes as I waited for new episodes to come out each week, it is very good!

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Completed
Sarah951
9 people found this review helpful
Jan 2, 2019
24 of 24 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 10
I finished watching this a few hours ago and I am suffering from withdrawal symptoms because this drama was just THAT great. I binge watched this in a couple of days since it's the holidays so I was basically living in their world for the last few days and I LOVED IT.

Youth, friendship, family, love, and school. This drama was so heartwarming, light and realistic. It perfectly depicts the beauty, the joy, the sadness and the stress of being a teenager.

I loved how all themes were developed equally, there wasn't too much of anything, everything was perfectly dosed. Everything took its time to develop which make this drama more realistic. You will find yourself rolling with laughter at the friendship the characters had, smiling at the small selfless acts of kindness towards each other, getting angry at the trouble they had to go through, sympathize with them, and having your heart skip a bit at the sweet moments. A lot of the things these characters experienced, we have also experienced during those years of our life. With all this, I can assure you that this drama is so light that will make your heart warm and leave you clicking on the next episode with a huge smile on your face.

The acting was great! these young actors did a great job at depicting all emotions a teenager goes through, from falling in love to having worries about family issues. The chemistry between the main characters was impeccable. I always try hard to stop myself from having a second lead syndrome because I know that I will be the only one getting hurt in the end. "When we were young" did not even let me have a second lead syndrome because Hua Biao's character is so great that it's impossible not to ship him with Yang Xi. On that note, I must admit that Hua Biao is such an inspiring character. Usually, someone like him in dramas would be a cold-hearted asshole but Hua Bio was PERFECT! Yes! he is the embodiment of perfection. From his beautiful smile to his caring attitude, his intelligence and bubbly personality, he is perfect. I LOVED how hard working and independent he is, how he always tried to solve misunderstandings as soon as they arise and how selfless he is. His character is inspiring and I think I personally should learn more to be like him.

I LOVED the 1990s vibe, very similar to the REPLY series and A LOVE SO BEAUTIFUL. Just like there is some drama set in different eras of history, I hope setting dramas and movies in the 1980s and 1990s will become a thing. I am in love with the aesthetic and the whole vibe just bring about a lot of nostalgia.

AWESOME Chinese drama overall. If you know anything similar to this please hit me up :)

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Completed
Little Lu and Darren Lov
3 people found this review helpful
Dec 30, 2018
24 of 24 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
Though, I am still in my last year of high, after finishing it I cannot help crying my heart out. I don't how to express the warm this drama instilled, well, I loved Neo and he's the very first reason I anticipated the drama. but with the very first episode, it took me to reminisce the golden period of my life and cry over the ending wherein we all like the migratory birds will have to fly away, no matter how hard we try to hold on. The drama unfolded the eternal friendship, love, trust and the abstract idea of forever in it's own term. I am so sad to realise the drama did end and my high school day ended too with the end of 2018!!! T_T

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Completed
Coffe Hyunh
3 people found this review helpful
Dec 30, 2018
24 of 24 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 10
I cried really hard after watching this drama, not because there's a devastating ending, but because I wanted more. I may be biased because these types of dramas are my favorite, how there's high school kids and they learn life lessons and grow up, but this drama in particular does it really well. All the moments I watched were really heartwarming and I just LOVED the feeling. If theres one thing I didn't like, it was that the romance aspect was lacking. If you watch, you'll know why, but the friendships were so pure it almost made up for that. I sobbed when the drama ended because I wanted the story to continue; I'm really hoping for a season 2 ;)

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Completed
Iffath
2 people found this review helpful
20 days ago
24 of 24 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
Could the show get any better or the character of Hua Biau get more Perfect? This show is definitely my favorite Chinese Drama and is a must watch. Unlike other dramas where I usually end up being disappointed with the ending, this drama had me hooked throughout and made me feel like the ending couldn't be more perfect and realistic. There was not a dull moment in this drama. I wish they had more episodes.

The lady who played the Grandma had me weeping. Her acting was so so so amazing. And the character of Er Tiao was very different and interesting.

The whole idea about the best friend being secretly in love with the main lead, and the whole love triangle thing is a bit overused, but that can be excused, since the drama is amazing otherwise.

And did I mention how much I love Hua Biau's character. Neo Hao portrayed this character so perfectly. You can't help but fall in love with him. Move aside bad boys, 'the good guy' is what everyone will start craving for in dramas now after watching this show. Okay I'll stop now. XD

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Completed
Ifa
2 people found this review helpful
Jan 2, 2019
24 of 24 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 9.0
This review may contain spoilers
Some would said that this drama have 'A love so beautiful' vibe and i do agree with it at first. But this drama have its own charm where it talks about memories and conflicts that we usually faced at the age of 18, and this is why the title's name is 'When We Were Young'.

This drama didn't really solely focus on love story. From this drama, you can see a lot of interesting situation among the main characters and their friends. It even focused on the side character's problem and that is what i really like because it doesn't show you about the main characters only.

Every characters in this drama have their own uniqueness. At first i thought Li Yu was soo mature but yet, at 18 years old, you can still become someone childish. During our teenager years, things like this will make us grow and learn about life. I looove how they have been reminding each other to appreciate everything that they have around us. For example, Hua Biao only have his grandmother in this world but he choose to be positive so that he can enjoy his life without complaining.

The ending is an open ending, but its not that bad for me. Its worth watching because the content in this drama is really good. Just give a try and you wont regret watching this drama! In every episode they will put some quotes that talks about our youth and i really like it. It reminds me of my old days with my friends. School year are one of the best year when you have supportive friends around you rightt! (hehe)

Anyway, have fun watching! Im sure im gonna repeat this drama again soon because i kinda like the storyline. And i cant resist how cute Hua Biao and Yang Xi when both of them are together :x and i kinda like Huang Deng Deng's characterr!

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Completed
Dounie
2 people found this review helpful
Jan 25, 2019
24 of 24 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.5
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 6.5
Rewatch Value 7.5

The beautiful and inspiring 90s.

That was my first drama of 2019 and I think I made the right choice, it was absolutely refreshing and sweet <3.

After hearing only positive things about When We Were Young I thought it was an overrated drama and that I won't like it as much as others did but it was the exact opposite , I just loved it and would definitely recommend it to all those who want to reminisce about their high school days or simply about their youth. And despite having prejudices against this drama before starting it what made me want to venture into it was the 90s setting being myself born in the early 90s and a huge fan of that time period, I just couldn't miss that one no matter how prejudiced I was before starting it (I know it's bad). Yes, I think this drama totally deserves all the positive critics it received.

To be honest after I watched the first few episodes I was quite impressed, I immediately fell in love with the whole group of friends and particularly with Hua Biao. Their friendship and the overall drama seemed so authentic and beautiful that I was actually really happy I chose this one as my first of 2019.

Firstly I would love to mention about the friendship in this drama because this is what I loved the most, and it was so powerful that I could feel it was real.
-Hua Biao, Yang Xi, Si Tu Er Tiao, Li Yu, Yang Xiao He Mei. A little mention for Huang Deng Deng.
I'm a sucker for friendship dramas and I generally always enjoy them but in this drama it was even more special (for me) because those 5 persons are such genereous, kindhearted persons, doing things not expecting anything in return, I have so many examples but that would be pointless mentioning them. I just can't tell how many times Hua Biao did something for Yang Xi and the others without even telling them, same goes for Si Tu Er Tiao who is such an adorable and selfless boy, Huang Deng Deng all what she did for Li Yu and so on. So yeah I really fell in love with them because there's a meaning behind each of their action even though at first we might not understand why they are behaving in such a way.

And now Hua Biao who left the biggest impression on me. I have to say that I had a real crush for Hua Biao's character, he's a pure GEM and his smile aaaaw <3. All the characters are adorable and selfless but Hua Biao he's on another level in my opinion. He's a friend you can depend on and who will never let you down, he's having a difficult time taking care of his sick grandmother but if you need him for something he would never refuse helping his friends and other acquaintances. He would always find a way to make others happy . Well I could say more but I will stop here.
As for the female lead I really liked her too though she's kind of impulsive but she's a really caring and lovely girl. And I really enjoyed her interactions with Hua Biao and her brother.

Lastly I need to mention about the 90s setting and the realism of the drama. I found the story quite realistic especially the way the characters are portrayed in the drama. I really could see myself in all of them, the way they interact with their family, friends and teachers, and aaaah the scenes between Yang Xi and her brother are really funny and realistic. What I loved the most about the 90s though it was the apparition of videos games and such, teens knew how to have fun like we can see in ''When We Were Young'' :
-Reading books, we could seen them reading some famous wuxia novels like ''Legend of Condor Heroes and The Return of the Condor Heroes'' etc, and they were so happy talking about their fave characters of the books.
-Going to the theater with friends, watching famous movies of that time.
-Spending time in each others' houses, when Hua Biao and Li Yu went to Yang Xi's house and or Yang Xi, Si Tu Er Tiao and others were gathering in Hua Biao's rooftop.
this is what I remember about the 90s and why those years are so special to me though I was still a kid. That's also probably why this drama resonated so much with me.
Oh and about realism, I really loved the ending, I found it realistic and very satisfying. I couldn't imagine another ending if you were to ask me.

In conclusion, I really recommend this drama for all those who are looking for a heartwarming and lighthearted drama because that's what it was for me.

*I gave an 8,5 rating because I truly enjoyed the drama and felt so much emotion while following, Yang Xi, Hua Biao, Si tu Er Tiao, Li Yu and the others's adventures and it reminded me how valuable my high school years were and how much I love that time. I couldn't give more for some personal reasons but all I can say is that it was the best school drama I watched from China and I want to watch more dramas like this one ;).

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Completed
Linda 7
2 people found this review helpful
Dec 29, 2018
24 of 24 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 9.0
This is now one of my all time favourite dramas, not just because it was fun, but because it was beautifully written and acted out, not just about romance but about the joys and pains of youth, friendship and family. I cried so many times during the last episode, and unlike most people I actually quite liked the ending. It was one of those open endings that made me believe the characters will still continue to live on after we finished watching the last episode.

One of my favourite episodes in particular was the one with the parents, but I won't go into detail about it because of the spoilers. I think the friendship in this drama was very strong, each person got their fair amount of backstory and was not just acting as secondary characters. I really admire Yang Xi, she's different from the typical female leads, someone really confident and full of character. All the characters were amazing in their own way, and I can't wait to see them in future dramas.

Highly recommend this, a funny, entertaining and overall beautiful drama.

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Ongoing 24/24
BLynn
2 people found this review helpful
Dec 21, 2018
24 of 24 episodes seen
Ongoing 0
Overall 9.5
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.5
Rewatch Value 9.0
This drama is by far, one of the best school dramas I've ever seen. It's something that some could relate with and they never over-exaggerate the important scenes.

Story/Plot: The plot is simple yet interesting, there's always something you can look forward to each time you watch an episode. The friendship they hold is very sweet and I love how they support each other through everything. The story mostly takes place either at their school or neighborhood, which makes it easier for people to watch as there's not a lot of transitions. As the story goes on more and more of the characters' background and past would be unveiled and we would slowly understand why they are the way they are.

Acting/Case: Their acting is something that I would like to praise. It is obvious that they worked really hard to act out some of the scenes and the emotions they convey in their acting is amazing. The main cast has the innocent looks that make people feel soft for them and I love the gave they would give each other whenever they are all together. The second lead is really cute and his acting is great, however, there wasn't much of a second lead syndrome as his interaction with the main girl can pass as best friends.

Music: I honestly love the music, especially ???, sang by the main actor himself. The songs complement the drama really well and the lyrics convey a lot of meaning to the drama itself.

Rewatch Value: This is definitely a drama that you can rewatch without getting sick of. There's always a lot of small details that you can discover each time you rewatch.

Overall: The drama is amazing and I am sure that those who love school dramas will not regret watching this. As someone who's not really into dramas that are based in the 90s, I love this drama because they don't really try to force most of the scenes to be in the 90s and made everything look very natural.
The ending is not what I expected it to be, it was sad yet heartwarming. Something that's amazing to feel.

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Completed
melondrx
1 people found this review helpful
Jan 30, 2019
24 of 24 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 10
This review may contain spoilers
I don't usually like 'contemporary' CDramas (like ones that arent history or war based) because I tend to find them too cliche and sort of cringy at times. But this drama had a simple, common premise on youth and high school, love, friendship etc yet it is unlike anything I've seen before.

In a way it's like the Reply series and A Love So Beautiful combined, but this drama shined through with its own colours successfully despite the similarities.

I AM IN LOVE WITH EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER. I love the amount of change and maturity they go through. And their friendships are so precious it makes me envious about how I spend time with my friends. There are so many life lessons and different perspectives of the parents, teachers, adults, teens they present that it really opens your eyes to seeing the good intentions of everyone.

Hua Biao is legit one of my favourite male leads ever now, he has such a beautiful, mature yet playful and caring personality. And his relationship with everyone especially with his grandmother makes my heart warm.

Yang Xi's development is very satisfying, and her caring, bubbly personality made me fall in love with her immediately. At first I thought she was a bit obnoxious, but as she matured she just became more and more lovable. Honestly, everyone in this drama has such a compelling, and caring relationship with each other.

There are no bad guys, no evil second female lead trying to steal the male lead, no ridiculous characters that are in the extreme. Everyone learns respects their own boundaries, which is something so refreshing to see. Just realistic, compelling characters living their beautiful lives.

Not to mention the cinematography. Stunning, and does justice to all locations and people that were filmed.


I really liked how this drama also tackled the common issues with highschool youths in China, and East Asia, because they were able to present these issues through different perspectives of adults. I personally really liked the ending, because it gave more openings rather than it closes them, as their lives take on another journey.
If you enjoy slice of life, and a focus on friendship and family dramas, this is a MUST WATCH.
BTW SEASON 2 IS COMING SO YE.

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Completed
exotic
1 people found this review helpful
Dec 30, 2018
24 of 24 episodes seen
Completed 3
Overall 9.5
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 9.0
My first impression of this drama was that it gave off major Reply vibes (Reply 1988 especially). I personally really enjoy cdramas and ones that are more of the late 1900s really hit the target. Since I'm Chinese as well, I am pretty used to the language and the way they speak however for kdrama viewers, it might take some time to get used to. The OST is incredibly sweet and it matches with the nostalgic summer feel of childhood. All in all, the acting was on point. There was not a single character I didn't like in the series which is rare. I loved how every character was in the spotlight and their family issues are portrayed. I'm not sure if I want a second season since the openness of the ending is pretty nice, however an epilogue or one more episode where they all meet up at the end would definitely be nice. Although this drama is under the genre of romance, there's more comedy involved and don't be fooled, there are certain scenes that really tug at your heartstrings. TTT prepare tissues guys! I encourage you to watch this drama, it's one of a kind :)

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Completed
HeRi Ping
1 people found this review helpful
Jan 12, 2019
24 of 24 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
From the begining i didnt use to watch a drama series, but this drama series really move my heart from overacting drama, and this drama when i watch it's so natural and the acting, place, spot, music, etc really match enough, after watch this drama it remind me back to school when i was in a high school. The character on this drama perfect and i begining fall in love with this drama hope the season 2 can excited as the season 1. The character was pretty and handsome and the plot of the story it's look like another movie, but this one remake with a good viewl, story, character.
I watch this drama and feel huang deng deng so optimise while she just a support role. Yang xi was great too both her and huang deng deng was so pretty with a sweet smile, feel like fell in love hahaha..

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