The first episode of "Twenty Again" is absolutely darling. Choi Ji-woo doffs her image as the classic bombshell and dons a childlike persona that suits her just as well. The setup is deftly done and the dynamic between Ji-woo's character, Ha No-ra, and her less-than-attentive family is strained at best. It makes me want to see her learn and grow for her own betterment because all she does now is strive to please others.
Director Kim Hyeong-sik is known for such dramas as "Secret Door", "Suspicious Housekeeper" (in which Choi Ji-woo was also cast), and "Biscuit Teacher And Star Candy". Screenwriter So Hyeon-kyeong penned notable dramas such as "Two Weeks" and "My Daughter Seo-yeong" (in which Lee Sang-yoon starred.) She creates well-rounded underdogs who go through trials and tribulations to find themselves - I anticipate such a path for leading lady Choi Ji-woo as Ha No-ra. No-ra is a woman who undervalues herself as does her soon-to-be- ex-husband, and her college-aged son. She takes no vested interest in herself or her future, and that is something I want to see changed. It allows for her husband and her son to walk all over her. That said, her husband does have a point in wanting divorce - she is unable to see that he is sincere in wanting the divorce, which is in line with her current way of thinking. She lives partially in a fantasy, making her much like her twenty-year-old son.
Kim Min-soo (Kim Min-jae-I) is her twenty-year-old son who emulates his father's lack of respect or concern for Ji-woo outside of social position. He struggles with the embarrassment of youth, the pressure to succeed from his father and from himself, and the desire to be a kid just entering college who wants to both have fun and do well. His story will parallel his mother's in many ways, I think, which will hopefully have the pair grow closer because of it. Kim Woo-cheol, No-ra's estranged and haughty husband has a thing or two to learn as well. He is frankly a jerk who treats her as subhuman because she's not educated, hence her desire to go to university and become smart enough to be with him. It's horrible. But at the same time, No-ra will now have a chance to be comfortable with herself and stop depending on others to define her worth. Maybe Woo-cheol will learn not to judge others based on their education. It would certainly help his son's stress level.
Then we have Cha Hyeon-seok (Lee Sang-yoon), a college professor and a person from No-ra's past. I do like that all the key players are already connected and relationships do not need to be so thoroughly defined. It's quite humerous that No-ra remembers Hyeon-seok quite differently than he remembers her. She is obviously his first love, and I think the premise is as cute as she is - Choi Ji-woo is amazingly cute. Her ability to be pure even as a mother and a woman who has gone through so much of life gives No-ra a special edge that's addicting as a viewer. Ji-woo gives No-ra childlike qualities while still retaining the experience of life. It makes it easy to walk beside her as she begins on this new journey.
Written by: Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'
Managing editor, drama lover, and foodie, Lisa enjoys exploring Korea, speaking the language, and soaking in all that dramaland has to offer. Lisa Espinosa can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Twenty Again" Episode 1"
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