NewsLetter DailyWeekly
My HanCinema | Sign up, Why ? Your E-mail   Password    Auto| Help
HanCinema :: The Korean Movie and Drama Database, discover the South Korean cinema and drama diversity Contact HanCinema HanCinema on TwitterFaceBook HanCinema PageHanCinema on Twitter

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Boy and Girl from the 20th Century" Episodes 7-8


The opening title of this episode is "Christmas in August", a fairly explicit reference to the classic nineties South Korean film. So instead of thinking about the plot this time, I decided to ask myself- what's the title supposed to mean? It obviously isn't just a random pop culture reference. Viewed by that rubric, as being sort of a mystery, "Boy and Girl From the 20th Century" ends up being quite a bit more watchable, as we're fed several snippets of backstory that eventually culminate in a satisfying explanation.

Those flashbacks, incidentally, are a lot more engaging and emotionally powerful than the main plot. Writer Lee Seon-hye knows how to whip backstory, build-up and nostalgia into a compelling emotional center. That is, after all, what she did in "Answer Me 1994", and this past writing credit explains quite a bit. "Boy and Girl From the 20th Century" makes more sense structurally if we simply see it as an Answer Me style drama where the modern day portions are way too long, and also unresolved.

Consider how even though we have seen a lot of Ji-won, we know almost nothing about him because adult Ji-won's scenes consist of his speaking business English and not coming on to Jin-jin. Whereas the scenes with Ji-won's dad, and the black noodles? That hits close to home because there obviously has to be some sort of dark side to that happy childhood memory, as we quickly discover.

Likewise, the harassment we see of Jin-jin during her years as a student feels far more real than the whole paparazzi storyline if only because we see a lot more emoting from the relevant actress. Han Ye-seul in general is a problem here. I know she's a good actress, especially comedically, because I have seen her from other dramas. But director Lee Dong-yoon just doesn't give Han Ye-seul anything to work with. It's never clear what Jin-jin is supposed to be feeling in any given scene.

The bigger problem, though, is that it doesn't matter what Jin-jin is feeling in any given scene, because she lacks any kind of character arc. Jin-jin doesn't want anything. Her main personality trait is a lack of interest in a boyfriend. While I can appreciate the feminist angle in that, the practical effect of this is that Jin-jin is a very boring character. I want Jin-jin to date Ji-won mostly so that they have something to do.

Watch on Viki

Watch on Viki

Review by William Schwartz

"Boy and Girl From the 20th Century" is directed by Lee Dong-yoon , written by Lee Seon-hye and features Han Ye-seul, Kim Ji-suk, Lee Sang-woo, Lee Sang-hee, and Ryu Hyun-kyung.

Copy & paste guideline for this article
Always put a link back to the source and HanCinema permalink

Creative Commons License"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Boy and Girl from the 20th Century" Episodes 7-8"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

Attention You're reading the news with potential spoilers, make them spoiler free, dismiss



 Previous news

Subscribe to HanCinema Pure to remove ads from the website (not for episode and movie videos) for US$0.99 monthly or US$7.99 yearly (you can cancel anytime). The first step is to be a member, please click here : Sign up, then a subscribe button will show up.


Remove ads

Sign up




Visible, hide

Movie of the week

Learn to read Korean in 90 minutes or less using visual associations