There is a specific brand of historical drama that appeals to me, and Our Blooming Youth is shaping up to be that kind of drama. Blessed with a layered story, a whip-smart female lead, and Park Hyung Sik, this drama has me intrigued. Read on to see the 3 reasons that keep me watching!
What’s It All About?
Adapted from the Chinese novel The Golden Hairpin by Ce Ce Qing Han, Our Blooming Youth focuses on Min Jae Yi, a maiden who has been hiding a secret pastime, and Lee Hwan, a crown prince suffering from a supposed curse. Jae Yi is accused of murdering her family just four days before her wedding to Lee Hwan’s closest friend, so she disguises herself and sneaks back into the kingdom, desperate to solve the mystery. Lee Hwan is dedicated to disproving the rumors of the curse and, through a series of nearly plausible events, ends up with Jae Yi in his entourage after she promises to solve some other murders that have been plaguing the kingdom.
Reason #1 – The Young Master and Ga Ram
After finding out she’s a relative rookie, I’ve been very impressed with our female lead. Jeon So Nee is playing Min Jae Yi with strength and believability, she has good chemistry with the cast, and her friendship with Pyo Ye Jin as her maid is well played. Honestly, I’d watch a drama with just the two of them solving mysteries and kicking butt. They’re phenomenal. I had some concerns that her performance would be overshadowed by Park Hyung Sik’s abilities, but she’s holding her own.
Reason #2 – Park Hyung Sik Keeps Getting Better and Better
Now we come to the real reason I started the drama – Park Hyung Sik. After his turn in Happiness as a happy-go-lucky detective, I was interested to see how he would do in a role that required him to be rather serious. He’s handling it masterfully, of course, with just a few flashes of humor that keep him – and the plot – from descending into darkness and self-importance. The role is a little different from his role as the hidden king in Hwarang, and Park Hyung Sik has kept me watching in both.
Reason #3 – We Have Comedy AND Mystery!
There are mysteries aplenty, and my curiosity has been piqued. It helps that Lee Tae Sun is playing a wildly eccentric wannabe medical examiner with an unusual attachment to a monkey paw, and that Pyo Ye Jin has signed up to be his capable assistant. The two are a comedic duo, but they’ve been directed with a light hand, so it doesn’t fall into slapstick territory. I’m also really rooting for Jae Yi to find the true culprit and bring them to justice – I’m already on her side. Bonus: there are men with wispy beards, but they’re not just TALKING to each other. Well, not all the time.
Should You Watch?
Overall, this drama had a slow yet complicated start, but it’s been worth the time. The costumes are on point, the Joseon-era forensic methods have been fascinating, and the fight of one woman to stand for herself in her time period is not a message I’m going to pass up. Director Lee Jong Jae is using the expertise he picked up in 100 Days My Prince and Psychopath Diary to good effect, and though writer Jung Hyun Jung has departed from her usual modern romances, in my opinion, this story is working well.
What about you, drama fans? Is Our Blooming Youth the historical mystery drama you’ve been waiting for? Drop down in the comments below and let me know!
Until the next autopsy, I remain –
Karie the Maknae
Dramas with a Side of Kimchi