First Impressions and Unfiltered Thoughts: Record of Youth

Aaaaahhhhh! It’s Park Bo Gum’s last project before he went into the military! Come see if Record of Youth seems like a good send off for one of our favorite kdrama actors.

The Plot

From our friends at MyDramaList.com: “This is a drama about the growth record of young people who strive to achieve their dreams and love without despair in a generation where dreams have become a luxury and the passionate record of young people who beeline for their dreams in their own way, presenting excitement and empathy. Sa Hye Joon is smart and handsome. He is a nice guy and a popular model, but what he really wants is to become an actor. He has auditioned for many acting roles, but hasn’t found success yet. Unfortunately, Sa Hye Joon doesn’t have much presence as an actor. Meanwhile, Ahn Jung Ha works as a make up artist. Bright and cheerful on the outside but lonely on the inside, Jung Ha takes out her stress and frustrations by fan-girling over idols.”

The Characters

Park Bo Gum plays Sa Hye Joon, a model and aspiring actor who is likeable and more than competent, but lacks the connections he needs to succeed. His family looks down on his career choice, and he works several part-time jobs to make ends meet. He’s naive and sweet to outsiders, and butts heads with his family, with the exception of his grandfather. There’s a whole different story going on there.

Park So Dam plays Ahn Jung Ha, an independent woman who has her own house and likes to keep things orderly. After working for ten years in the corporate world, she’s striking out on her own as a makeup artist while also giving free makeup lessons on the street.

First Impressions

Karie the Maknae: I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this drama. I’d seen a few trailers, but mostly I was excited for our OTP. Park Bo Gum and Park So Dam are two of my favorite actors, and I’m pretty willing to watch them in anything.

HOWEVER, I haven’t heard the best things about this writer — seems like her track record for satisfying dramas isn’t all that great. They’ll start off strong and lose focus about halfway through. I don’t know, since I haven’t watched anything she’s written, but I can tell you that after the introduction of the side characters, I’ve been liberal with hitting the fast forward button — and I don’t feel like I missed anything.

At first, Park Bo Gum’s character felt a bit inconsistent to me — he’s supposedly just too nice when he’s out in the world, but he’s also ambitious enough to give up good opportunities to achieve his dream. When he’s at home, he almost feels like a different person. This is easily explained by the fact that his family picks on his choices and looks down on him, of course, but I guess I was expecting something different. However, by the end of episode 4, I was firmly on his side and loving how he was handling the choices in front of him.

Park So Dam’s character is an ever-lovin’ delight. I loved her meet-cute with Park Bo Gum’s character, and how easily she moved into his friend group. I really want to see more of that. Her witchy coworker from the makeup company can go take a flying leap into the Han River, though.

Kmuse: I am one of those people that has problems with this writer. I don’t like the characters and the relationships she creates. Even knowing that I don’t enjoy the writer, I still was hoping for a miracle. After two episodes I realize that this is going to have to be a hard pass. Not even my love of Park Bo Gum can overcome my dislike of her writing.

Drama Geek: I think this writer is hit and miss on character creation and for me the OTP is a hit, but the reset of the cast is iffy. Sa Hye Joon’s two friends are likable enough, but I do think his relationship with the more successful friend is part of what’s holding him back. The more successful friend has one thing going for him, money. His mom forms connections that get him the parts, the endorsements, and the successful career. Sa Hye Joon is viewed by the industry as someone who is always just hanging around his more successful friend. I love an underdog story, so his character arc is appealing to me. His new agent cracks me up. I might also hope that the successful guy’s mom loses a little bit of what she has… and has to grovel.

I admit that anytime Sa Hye Joon’s family is onscreen I fast forward, though the relationship with his grandfather his sweet. What is keeping me hooked to this show is the interactions with the OTP. They are very easy to watch, and I find myself craving more of their conversations. It didn’t hurt that by the end of episode 4, Park Bo Gum got to pull out his bad guy persona again and it was HOT! I’m here for the drama within the drama. 🙂

Would We Recommend?

Karie the Maknae: It took me an entire four episodes, but I am solidly in now. I can’t wait to see more of our OTP, and I want to see how they rise to meet the challenges of finding their own way in a society that’s always pushing them to get more and earn more and center their lives around money.

Kmuse: I have way to many great dramas right now to bother watching something that annoys me. I’ll pass. However, if my kbesties watch the whole show and tell me that the story doesn’t get bland in the middle I might give it a second chance.

Drama Geek: I am already dying for episode 5. There is just something about the OTP and Park Bo Gum ready to crack someone in the head with a bat…

Til the next unfiltered thought,

The Fangirls

Dramas With a Side of Kimchi

7 thoughts on “First Impressions and Unfiltered Thoughts: Record of Youth

  1. I loved this one from its start. I was surprised, in a good way, to see it address actors’ personal “sponsors” from the outset. Will now need to check who the writer is and If I’ve seen other work by her 🙂

  2. I am also liking this one. I found episode 2 to be a bit boring but by the time I got to episode 4, I’m all in. I already loved PBG and he is still awesome in this one. I realise I may be a minority as what I’m reading on the net – this does not seem to be amongst the favorite. But then I never end up liking the favorite dramas anyway.

    On a side note, I love how the female lead already owns a house and left the corporate world to follow her dreams. I love this on two levels – she is not someone who is struggling with minor jobs here and there. Secondly, she left a stable job to follow her dreams. Love it!! I haven’t seen such a character in kdrama world before.

    • Me either. Both of these characters are fascinating because they’re outside the norm. It’ll be interesting to see where they end up.

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