( A Korean drama review)

About : Korean drama
Year : 2020
Episodes : 16
Distributor : TVN
Type of Entertainment : TV show
Genre : Drama
Where to watch : Netflix

Cast : Park Bo-gum, Park So dam, Byeon Woo-seok, Kwon Soo-hyun

What is it about

Record of youth is a 2020 korean drama series, distributed by TVN and Netflix. The series is protagonist’s- Park Bo-gum journey from being a ramp walk model into the big competitive world of acting. The series has Byeon Woo-seok as his best friend and fellow contendor. He has his love interest Park So dam, who is an ambitious make up artist.

The Story Brief

Park Bo-gum has a successful run at a modelling career. He comes from a middle class background, with no backing from his family for his career moves. He then gets into a slump when trying to get into acting in TV and movies.

His childhood and best friend Byeon Woo-seok, is his fellow contender as he also has been a successful model. He hails from a rich family. He manages to get roles in acting; thanks to his mother backing him and pushing for roles with her money power.

Park Bo gum’s failure to launch into acting is always compared to Byeon Woo-seok’s success in acting by his close family and friends.

Park So dam is an upcoming independent make up artist. She is also Park Bo gum’s dedicated fan, rooting for him secretly.

The korean drama series begins when Park Bo gum and Byeon Woo seok meet Park So dam as their make up artist in a modelling event. Park So dam is thrilled to meet her idol Park Bogum and totally falls for him, due to his kind and honest nature. He finds her interesting and likes her too.

Byeon Woo seok also likes her and hires her as his dedicated make up artist, being fully aware that she is a huge fan of Park Bo gum. Things slowly change for Park Bo gum and he begins to taste success in acting; soaring much higher than his best friend.

How people acround them handle this change, does this affect their friendship, do Park Bo gum and Park So dam survive as a couple even after Park Bo gum’s rise to success and Byeon Woo seok’s secret liking for her– is the theme of this K drama series.

The Setting

Clock wise :Baegot life park (top pics)/ Dongdaemun Design Plaza/Starfield library

This Korean drama series is set in and around beautiful Seoul. These locations are nicey used to the various situations in this Korean drama.

Review

We are introduced to Park Bo-gum in short chic hair, dressed in a black smart suit in the opening episode of this Kdrama series. Before you finish gasping in pure awe, you realise he is working as a part time security of a top movie star.

By the end of the scene you are introduced to Sa Hye-jun ( Park Bo-gum’s name in the series) as an ordinary person, with extraordinary dreams. But what sets him apart is his attitude. He does not blame anyone else for his poor situation; instead he is determined to try harder.

The supporting cast has been carefully selected. You will hate Park Bo-gum’s father as he constantly reprimands him for having an unrealistic aspiration. You will empathize with his mother, who is helpless but a morale booster. You will love his old grand father as he is his biggest supporter.

Then you have the tall and smart Byeon Woo seok, who is a fellow contender of Park Bo-gum. He is a true friend who wishes Park Bo-gum gets what he deserves, till it actually happens! Byeon Woo seok finds himself at the wrong receiving end when he is suddenly compared to Park Bo-gum’s success. To make things worse he cannot get over his best friend’s girl friend. While you feel sorry for him, it also makes you realize that over protected children cannot handle failures easily! Here Byeon Woo seok lets his mother control his career.

Finally you have Park So dam. She has been raised to be independent in every way and aspires to make it as a make up artist on her own. She is smart and independent.

Park So dam & Park Bo-gum’s love story is fresh. They like each other and confess quickly, with cute kisses in Episode 4. This is a big progress as viewers are not kept waiting till the usual 10th episode for the first big kiss 😉 Yet they do not overstep the line, as they wait for each other to come out about their issues at work. They are not the usual “lovey dovey” couple with a lot of PDA. They know to take it slow without loosing focus on their careers. Their relationship is cute and very realistic.

You will be surprised to see how, for the same situation different social classes react. When Park Bo-gum becomes successful, his middle class family is only busy cheering for him while Byeon Woo seok’s mother schemes to pull him down. Her character is not, ”rich enough” to support Park Bo-gum.

The drama builds up well till the 12th episode. From then onwards, the plot gets a bit overdramatic and blurs characterization of Byeon Woo seok and Park So-dam. The plot suddenly to showcase only the darkside of stardom. While the writers tried to add an unusual twist to the drama, I somehow felt the script lacked depth and conviction. Wish that could have been done a bit more differently. The ending is a modern yet happy ending!

This is a Park Bo-gum show all the way. He is gorgeous with his short yet sleek hair, deep voice & child like smile. His acting skill is top class. You feel the emotions that he is going through.

You will smile with him, cry with him and before you realize you are his fan girl secretly cheering for him.

The BGM and OST is perfect and adds drama to the scenes at the right time.

Fun fact

This is Park Bo-gum’s last drama before his military enlistment this year. Interestingly he has been engaging fans by sharing Twitter posts every week such that it coincides with the day TVN airs episodes of this Kdrama.(His Twitter handle has been arranged accordingly; now isn’t that sweet! )

This is Park So-dam’s return to small screen after 4 years. This is also her new project after her Oscar winning movie Parasite.

You have a surprise cameo by Park Seo Joon in episode 10.

Watch out for

The visuals are bright and colorful, set across Seoul. You are introduced to the modelling world and realize that there is a lot hard work behind the cool photo shoots. Park Bo-gum’s style statement is stylish yet semi formal. I loved his fashion in stylish fitting trousers, the way he accessorizes bags as part of his attire and nontraditional jackets.

Park So-dam’s style is unique.She adorns ear cuffs which is new. Then there are feminine bracelets and big smart wrist watches to watch out for. You will also be seeing how loose trousers and cute bags can be made part of the attire!

Music

The OST is a good mix of songs with fast beat. It comes at the appropriate time during the drama. Listen to, “Go” and “You’re in my soul” and “Shine on you” here on Spotify.

What’s refreshing

This Korean series is all about how far you will go chasing your dreams when everyone else around you, tells you are not good enough! It has realistic moments that we can all relate to.

My Verdict – Highly recommend

Juskorea Rating : 4/5

Record of youth is an alluring drama in the list of Korean dramas to watch. Watch this for Park Bo-gum because it will at least be 2 years plus before we see him on his next TV series!

Image courtesy : Netflix/tvn

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