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And while Age of Youth 2 certainly didn’t beat Age of Youth in terms of quality, or how good it was, I can’t say that this was a bad drama. This was still the story of five girls and all the ups and downs in their lives. Even if it did not feel as fresh or new, but then again, to me, it was never going to since it was coming after the first season. It was a lovely continuation in my opinion, was what it was supposed to be. A continuation. And I think I have to judge it based on that.
At first people were concerned about how many changes were made (and some people it was just too much) but these changed didn’t affect the story itself too much, though it did a little. Even if they added more male roles, they did not take any (or not much) time from the girls and their story. It was still all about the girls.
When it comes to both seasons of Age of Youth, they are mainly about the girls in Belle Epoque, their lives and their friendships.
The boys are just on the sidelines, featuring in the stories of the girls and it wasn’t super heavy on the romance. And while there are some people who find the focus of the series have shifted a little more from the story of the girls, and into the story of the girls and all these ships, I personally never saw it that way.
A good part of the first series was dedicated to these ‘ships’. Ether those who were there from day one (Yeun and her boyfriend) or the ones that slowly formed during course of the drama. (Jinmyung and Eun Jae and their men). The fandom might have shifted its focus more on these ‘ships’ in a second series, but the story itself didn’t.
I think this focus on these couples within the fandoms has more to do with the fact that the underlying story of Age of Youth 2 was not as captivating or compelling as in the previous season. Or it didn’t feel as tight. I like the stories that were featured in this season, but at the same time I did not feel like these stories had too much to do with each other, as they did in season two. This season didn’t have any ghosts in the shoe-closet to connect all these story-lines and make it all more symbolic.
There were many interesting stories going in this series, but they didn’t have too much to do with each other, and we did not quite get these individual episodes that we got into the previous series, which added so much to these characters. The connection that these stories had with each other was mainly that the girls all lived in the same house.
To me, Song Ji Won, one of my favorite last season, got the biggest, heaviest and probably the best storyline, compared to the previous season where she was mostly on the side-lines. Which is great since Park Eun Bin is a great actress, one of the strongest in this drama and Song Ji Won deserved her own spotlight.
Her story had the greatest weight and depth in this season, and we got to see more of her and Im Sung Min, which I appreciated (cuz I ship them). I was over the moon over it and though that story took us to some rather dark place at times, it was handled quite well.
It took her character to another level and made her into such a complex characters. To me she is the star of Age of Youth 2. To me she was the main character of this season.
Drama was still only in trying to make the story darker, or more dangerous, than she had to be (in order to be edgy) in my opinion. But those items did not appear to be dry, or out of nothing, and just being there to make us feel uncomfortable.
Yeun and Jinmyung both got to continue on with their stories from the first season, as Jinmyung lays his first step into the adult, working-world, and Yeun is struggling with the follow-up of the violent relationship she had with her former boyfriend. And I thought that was very done, how Yeun and the drama managed to handle that problem and how she slowly began to become more confident. I was very happy with that progress.
Jo Eun, the new girl, who moves (after Yi Na moves away in episode 1) and although I found her friendship with the girls, how she opened herself up bit by bit, and her relationship and Jang Hoon was very sweet. But I didn’t feel like story stood out a lot.
But Eun Jun, my favorite character in the first series (with Song Ji Won), got another actress who did very little for that character - though I blame it mostly on how she was written. Eun Jun really pulled the shortest straw when it came to plot in AOY2. All she did was break up with her boyfriend, for god knows what reason, and then she moaned over that the whole season. I never really understood what the scriptwriter was trying to go fir. All her parts just seemed to act as a filler, and she didn’t really act like herself. For me it was by far the biggest minus about Age of Youth 2.
If Age of Youth was four and a half star then Age of Youth 2 was a solid three star drama. It had some really good moments; I was very excited about watching each episode, and overall had a pretty good time watching it. But it did not reach the same height as the Age of Youth did. I did not cry over t. The story was, in my opinion, a little disjointed at times and could have been tight. There was something missing in that department. We needed something to keep going back to, and added a bit of depth to the underlining story, like the ghost in the shoe-closet.
I thought t was a good follow-up, I loved visiting Belle Epoque again, as well as the characters. Not all the stores left as much behind as the stories in the first season. But it is hard to re-create that magic. I just wish I could have gotten a bigger closure to some of these stories. Because we have been sitting through 14 episodes of these stories, so I think it is better to not leave things too open ended. It doesn’t leave as much behind.
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