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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Adolescence Medley (2013)



Also known as: Puberty Medley
Country: South-Korea
Format: drama in 4 episodes
Genre: school, youth, romance
Cast: Kwak Dong Yun, Lee Se Young, Choi Tae Joon, Park Jung Min, Kwak Jung Wook, Yoon Park, Baek Sung Hyun, Bae Noo Ri, Jung In Ki, Go See Hee, Yoon Joo Sang, Lee Jong Hyun (CN Blue), Lee Sung Yeol (Infinite), Kim Hwan Hee,  
Synopsis: The story starts when Jung Wo Choi gets a mail of notification that his former high school's social-network is going to be closed down and to keep the files they should be saved. As he sees the pictures of school time Jung Wo is reminded of the crazy school time and his first love.  
Rating: 4/5
As I understood some time ago, then there are some short Korean dramas too, but sadly they are not as popular as full-length dramas. That means, it is perfect opportunity to introduce them at least a little bit and here are the reasons why I liked "Adolescence Medley".

The main character is Choi Jung Wo who is used to moving and transferring schools. On the 7th time his family moves to small countryside town where everyone knows everyone. His wish was to keep low profile until he transfers again, but the destiny had different plans for him. So he finds himself in a mess where he has challenged school's most dangerous guy and has asked out the smartest and prettiest girl in the town. Most of the time he was really cute, but at times his ignorance brought him bad luck. When he has fallen for Ah Young then he turns into a guy who wants to make the girl happy, but at the same time he would like to share serious talks with her too. I feel like he does not want to be a boyfriend who the girl could run away with from reality, he wants to understand,
comfort and protect her, but if she does not trust him into the past then there is nothing he can do.
No guy likes when their girl is sharing her problems with an other guy, even when the situation is more than reasonable. There was a moment when I took away all of his points he had gained, but after looooong time thinking over it I understood a thing - he is not a hero, he is not the bravest guy in the world and he loses control over rational thinking in critical situations, so he would rather run away or cry. After thinking I found that is refreshing to have a lead like this, because from the very start he says he is nothing more than an average guy. At first in order to keep low profile, he does not do much and does not show many emotions, but after getting hooked with the situation, he becomes alive and active. I bet Ah Young was not the only one who needed a big change in her life.
And here we meet sweet Ah Young who is the prettiest and the smartest girl in the city, but she is haunted by past and has a little power over her future. Some really important things about her are written in the SPOILER-review, just in case some would find it too spoiling. For a long time I was not sure about her feelings or motives, but it all became clear in the end. Until then Ah Young has that special mystery around her, which made her likable character for me. You can see that there is more than meets the eye and there are things that people do not talk about. I bet you all have acquainted the situation when everybody knows about something, but no one talks about it. It is exactly like this for Jung Wo when in comes to Ah Young. I think that the reason behind her not talking to him about her past, is exactly what Jung Wo does not want to be- he is the get-away from past and why ruin it?
Human psychology is a weird thing and there is no explanation for it. The third wheel of the carriage is Yuk Ho, also known as "The Bear". He once was the leader of a gang, but he found his calling in boxing. As an aspiring boxer it is fatal for his future career to get involved with gang fights, but not all people want good for him, especially when there is jealousy included. He has some kind of relation to Ah Young, but as most of the time they act like they do not know each other, it is difficult to understand it from the first place. He might be the hottest second lead I have seen in a long time.The bromance theme continues with Duk Won and Young Bok. Duk Won is Jung Wo's desk-mate, who looks like a total loser, because he is easily pushed around by Young Bok and Won Il.
Despite being looked down, he has a brave and pure heart. He might be the biggest surprise in the drama as he knows what he has to do in every situation. Young Bok is the usual "small guy trying to be big". He needs to be shaken to stop being an ass to others and to notice who are worth of being friends with. Won Il is also a member of the former gang, falls in love with smart girls, but lacks of intelligence and loyalty. The last student that should be mentioned is Hyun Jin, who is the jealous bitchy girl who is second at everything. There is not much about her in drama, but we all understand that she had to fill the annoying girl part - what K-drama would it be without one?
Even though it has only 4 episodes you can find many usual things to Korean dramas like love-triangle, all character types, piggy-pack and parents we all dislike. Both Jung Wo's and Ah Young's parents are annoying. Jung Wo's mom is only interested about moving to Seoul and being lovey-dovey with her husband, while father is always fulfilling companies orders, except for the most important order he decides to suddenly think about his dear son and decline it. Well, that was a perfect timing for them to finally consider Jung Wo's situation! The same goes to Ah Young's mom who "wants the best" for Ah Young - that means that nothing Ah Young does is good enough and she knows what Ah Young should do. I try to understand her, but even after everything that has happened I do not find it right to push parent's wishes onto child.
Drama has amazing scenery shootings and the kiss-scenes deserve a place in "Favourite Drama-kisses". If you are interested in it, then the whole drama is up on KBS Youtube channel with English subtitles (At least some channels know how to please the international audience). They have some more short dramas available, which I might watch in the future.
The video is the official music video and has some spoilers in it, so be careful when you watch it,



SPOILER-review: I was a bit shocked when the tragedy with the bridge happened and year before in the same kind of situation Ah Young's brother died. I cried my eyes out! I understand the feeling when people are avoiding some conversations and it is even harder when you actually need to talk about it. Though I root Jung Wo x Ah Young pair, I felt sad for Yuk Ho. Despite the years and becoming close friend to her brother, everything had ran into the point where he could never be someone more. He reminded her Young Wong and he had become something brother-like to her. In addition, I believe that Young Wong's words rang in his head all the time.
If you want to know my opinion on why Ah Young said yes to Jung Wo then here it is. Firstly, her mission was to make him popular so that he would not feel left out and stuff like that. Well, Jung Wo would have been famous by getting rejected too, but it would have been soon forgotten - he was not the first guy who confessed to her. Secondly, her whole life was studying and listening to mothers orders, which were never discussed with her. So with knowing that she will soon transfer to Seoul, she saw this chance as a get away to make her last months different. The scene where she is sleeping between the books and then waking up after he has called out her is the perfect proof for it.

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