The beauty of "Twenty Again" is that is never dwells on any single plot point for too long. It doesn't belabor the usual tropes. It grows as quickly as No-ra does as she learns more about herself from her new adventures as well as from the ever-attentive and temperamental Hyeon-seok
What makes this show good is not just a well-drawn out heroine with a clear path to walk, but also that those around her need to learn a few things themselves . Her husband is a controlling man and doesn't see the negative influence he has on his family and others. He doesn't see how his treatment of No-ra has caused her to fade into a memory of her youthful and vibrant self. But like No-ra herself, Woo-cheol sees her in a new light due to Hyeon-seok's presence. Or rather, he sees her as he once did: a spirited, lively woman. This gives him a path to walk along for the remainder of the drama: a path to growing out of his repressive behavior that not only hurts those around him, but also himself.
Hyeon-seok, too, is breaking free of the lull he's falling into over the past twenty years: hard work, bitter attitude, ruminating over the past. He is finally allowing himself to care for someone else after suffering a major emotional wound. He becomes No-ra's guardian angel, granting her "Last" wishes and enjoying the fact that she's enjoying it. Now only is it good for her, but it's good for him. He's still cranky, which is good. His personality should not' change overnight for love - actually, it shouldn't have to change too much at all. Good character writing involves this kind of integration.
Then there is No-ra herself who is, like the title suggests, discovering what it's like to be twenty again. She missed out on her youth because of her sudden motherhood and because of how suddenly she was hurtled into seclusion with her young son. The way she pulls herself into the world and then his pushed further by Hyeon-seok is such great character fodder and Choi Ji-woo plays the youthful mindset grounded in forty years of life experience with wonderful nuance.
The reason Woo-cheol wants a divorce, at least according to his illogical logic, is because he can't communicate with No-ra. But they communicate much more now that she's opened up and his jealousy has flared. I just love the irony inherent in his belief system that will be battered and hopefully changed over the course of the drama.
I'm still not 100% behind Min-woo's romance line save for as a commentary on his home life and his parents' relationship and method of child-rearing. His character really hasn't been fleshed out much beyond the snotty kid who underappreciates his mother and is fearful of his father. He could be better developed, but the focus may remain on the adults. It's early yet, but I don't see it happening.
This show is all about it's characters. Plot is supplementary. It'd be nice to throw a real intrigue into it, but the rom-com aspect of it will probably win out. But that's okay. It's fun to watch the cute.
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 email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Twenty Again" Episode 5"
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