Follow Your Dreams
Record Of Youth is a very simple familial drama. There’s no big twists (at least not yet!) no crazy sci-fi hooks or wild love triangles. Instead, this plays out as a character-driven story about two people following their dreams. Despite a slow start, the show definitely has some promise going forward.
Episode 1 of Record Of Youth begins with a brief introduction to our characters. Park Do-Ha is a famous actor but he’s given strict instructions not to allow make-up artist Bo-Ra into the room. However, she busts in anyway and slaps the man in the face. It turns out they’ve been dating for 5 years but she’s had enough. After breaking up with him, she walks away.
The bodyguard that allowed her in happens to be our protagonist, Sa Hye-Jun. He has big dreams for the future and wants what Do-Ha has. Taking the beating, he sighs and patches up his face.
Hye-Jun’s picture blows up online as Hae-Hyo looks over and discusses with Mr Kim about his role. However, a call from Hae-Hyo’s Mother interrupts them as she reminds him of a meeting. The woman doing her make-up happens to be Jeong-Ha.
Unfortunately she’s berated by her boss who threatens her for “stealing” her client. Thankfully her friend Su-Bin is there to lend a sympathetic ear. As it turns out Jeong-Ha is fan-girling over Hye-Jun.
Meanwhile, Hye-Jun comes under fire for the cut on his face by his boss. With the company not doing too well, Hye-Jun struggles to get paid for his work. Unable to hear this any longer, Min-Jae stands up and tells their boss not to prey on these models.
It turns out she has a fair amount of dirt on him too so it puts the boss in a difficult position. Impressed by her tenacity, Hye-Jun tries in vain to convince her to work with him. Unfortunately she’s having none of it and drives away.
Back inside, Hye-Jun’s 7 year modelling career comes to an end when he learns the boss isn’t budging and won’t pay up. Hye-Jun decides to cut his losses and leaves without being paid.
Helping quell any bad thoughts, Hye-Jun receives a message from his grandfather. He tells the boy he’s the best. As per K-drama tradition, Hye-Jun heads to Subway and starts serving a group of fangirls. As he continues working, he receives some sound advice about his career prospects and winds up with a lot to think about when he finishes his shift.
Outside, he joins Jin-U and Hae-Hyo as they hang out together. Only, when Hae-Hyo’s sister Hae-Na shows up, Jin-u jumps at the chance of driving off with her.
Meanwhile, Ae-Suk (Hye-Jun’s Mother) works for I-Yeong (Hae-Hyo’s Mother). With her exemplary work, I-Yeong pays the woman overtime for her troubles. Just then, Hae-Hyo heads home and warmly greets the pair. When Ae-Suk leaves, she heads back home and finds a letter for Military Service sitting on the table. This happens to be for Hye-Jun. “There will be blood today,” She sighs as she looks over the note.
Elsewhere, Jeong-Ha receives some good news when she learns she can attend the upcoming fashion show. On the way home, she records another video for her YouTube video and talks to Su-Bin about her life. She’s taken out a 30 year loan and wants to be happy rather than in love. This links back to her YouTube channel which happens to be called “I Like Stability.”
Hye-Jun’s family gather for a meal but things take a turn for the worst after a comment is taken out of context. Although things are diffused for now, there’s clearly some underlying tension. Most of this is geared toward Hye-Jun.
Hye-Jun heads home and discusses his movie audition. Believing this is his last chance, he wants to postpone the military service on the chance that he gets picked. Only, when his brother Gyeong-Jun shows up, Hye-Jun realizes that his whole family have been judging him behind his back.
This blows up into quite the dramatic confrontation as Hye-Jun questions his family and their judgemental stance on his life. They want him to join the military service and give up his dreams. The only one standing by his side happens to be Min-Ki – Hye-Jun’s grandfather.
In the morning, Hye-Jun heads to the fashion show ready to walk the catwalk. As the place bustles into life, Jeong-Ha gets into her role as an artist, eager to meet Hye-Jun for the first time. She soon gets her chance and becomes mesmerised by his looks, unable to take her eyes off him.
She’s clearly nervous but manages to do a pretty decent job with his make-up. Given Hae-Hyo’s make-up isn’t complete, Jeong-Ha is asked to do his. Only, given what happened before with her boss she’s less than enthused…until he teases her into action. Unfortunately her boss shows up and catches Jeong-Ha about to “steal” another client.
Told to leave, Jeong-Ha heads out and looks over Hye-Jun’s photos. As she starts fangirling, none other than Hye-Jun himself shows up and asks her whether she likes him.
The Episode Review
The first episode of Netflix’s latest drama gets off to a pretty slow start. However, it does establish itself as a pretty good scene-setter and introduces the characters nicely.
The music is great too and the OST feels like it’s going to be one of the stand-out elements of this Korean drama. On top of that, the various characters all have decent chemistry and Hye-Jun is excellent in his role.
Quite where this one is likely to go next remains to be seen but there’s definitely enough potential with this to keep you sticking with it for the long haul.