Twenty Again (두번째 스무살)
Synopsis: 38-year-old Ha No Ra dreamt of becoming a dancer in her high school years, but met her husband Kim Woo Chul when she was 19. After having a child, she focused on taking care of her family and had to give up her dreams. In hopes of becoming a proud wife and mother to her college professor husband and her son Min Soo, she strives to enter college and ends up getting accepted into the same college as her son.
Country: South Korea
Genre: Comedy, romance
Casting: Choi Ji Woo, Lee Sang Yoon, Choi Won Young, Kim Min Jae, Son Na Eum, Park Hyo Joo etc…
Twenty Again was a surprising drama. It was a basic rom-com in many ways (love story, push and pull, humour, non-complex character) but it also exuded originality. The story in itself was the main strength of the drama. I enjoyed watching Ha No Ra’ s adventure as a student but above all her struggle to rebuild her life, her bravery to start again from scratch. Ha No Ra was the pillar of Twenty Again. The other character were mainly there to build her story in a refreshing way.
But Twenty Again was not just a drama telling the failure of a middle-aged woman. In a subtle way it also reflected the pressure Koreans students but also adults receive their whole lives while tackling at the same time other issues (live your life without regret, better late than not at all, don’t let someone else dictate your life, mistakes etc…). Twenty Again -without claiming to be moralistic nor serious- was stimulating. It made me smile more than once, and always revived my energy. I wasn’t addict to the drama but I loved following it week after week. I needed such freshness at that moment. But to be honest, I’m not sure I would have been as positive if I had waited and watched all the episode in a row. In other words Twenty Again was a very enjoyable drama but the real question is: will I remember it in a few years?
Ha No Ra (Choi Ji Woo) was a pleasant heroine and I’ve rarely rooted that much for a female character. She evolved smoothly and with consistence. It was exhilarating to see her gaining strength along the episodes and say fuck to her husband. It was exciting to see her finally do what she wanted to. Ha No Ra was in fact written E.XAC.TLY like I wanted and I loved her every relation -whether it was with Kim Woo Cheol, Cha Hyeon Seol or her son Kim Min Soo. This latter was actually my favourite. My greatest desire -during the whole drama- was to see her bond with her son. Fortunately my wish was granted rather quickly with Kim Min Soo’s maturing. Her romance with Cha Hyeon Seol was also pleasant even though less touching. I liked how she (re)discovered everything whether it was college’s life or first love. She was almost like a new born who had to catch up everything to keep up. I was actually really grateful towards Na Soon Nam and Park Seung Hyeon who helped her fit in, by becoming her friends. They were great supportive role for our amazing heroine.
Kim Woo Cheol (Choi Won Young) was the kind of character I loved to dislike. He was actually more ridicule than hateful. Ridicule in the way he always thought to be the centre of everyone’s attention (especially Ha No Ra’s). Ridicule in the way he tried to hide Ha No Ra from Kim Yi Jin (his mistress) and Kim Yi Jin from Ha No Ra. Ridicule in the way he dug his own grave throughout the whole drama. But the worst in the end was how he suddenly changed of side when he realised that Ha No Ra didn’t care about him anymore. Fortunately the scriptwriter quickly gave up that idea by making him part peacefully with Ha No Ra and return to Kim Yi Jin (or at least that’s what they let us suppose). He was in short a pathetic character but not an annoying one. I admit to have rolled my eyes more than once throughout the drama but his behaviours, dialogues (and probably Choi Won Young’s play) always managed to make him bearable.
Cha Hyeon Seok (Lee Sang Yoon) might have been the less striking character in the end. His writing was too simple and he didn’t really evolve during the drama. He actually had the classic features of every hero in dramaland (coldness transforming into warmness). It wasn’t unpleasant in itself. Cha Hyeon Seok was actually a sweet character (not just because of Lee Sang Yoon’s adorable dimples!).
I loved how childish he could be when facing Kim Woo Cheol and Ha No Ra -from whom he wanted to take “revenge”. I loved how he also bamboozled Kim Yi Jin (who was particularly stupid. Her and Kim Woo Cheol were actually a match made in heaven -same narcissistic personality) and tried to protect Ha No Ra from discovering her husband’s adultery as long as he could. But I can’t deny the fact that I was sometimes -just sometimes- a bit exasperated to see him pulled and pushed Ha No Ra that much. At time it gave me the feeling to take one step forward and two steps back (I’m mainly thinking when he learnt that Ha No Ra wasn’t in fact ill and how he gave her once again the cold shoulder). To sum up: not unforgettable
Kim Min Soo (Kim Min Jae) was one of my favourite supportive role in the way that he looked tremendously like his mother. He annoyed me at first as I found him as ungrateful as his father towards Ha No Ra. But he quickly grew along the episode gaining more depth. His mother’s case made him reflect a lot about his own situation and I loved how he quickly took her side when facing Kim Woo Cheol. I also enjoyed seeing him drawn himself away from the route his father had traced for him, how he matured on his own. He was in the end -just like Ha No Ra- the character from whom I felt the closest. Both him and her mom embodied the question we probably all ask(ed) ourselves everyday.
A good casting, a nice ost (special mention to Wrongful Meeting by Kim Gun Mo), a pleasant and spicy plot…if you want to watch something light without for all that being dazed by a bottomless story, I can only advise you to immediately watch Twenty Again! You won’t be disappointed.
Note de Dushbadou: 8/10
Note de Whoovy: 7.5/10
Note finale: 8/10