Age of Youth 2: Flawed but Addictive

Like many others who finished AoY2, there’s a feeling of emptiness. Like being invited to a banquet and you leave still hungry.

Age of Youth 2

AoY2 serves up a good dose of AoY nostalgia, a flair of the young and the restless, the innocence of youth peppered with suggestive dark elements. There’s also more attempts at humour. The bickering and shenanigans in Kang Unni’s car give me a few laughs but it is Ji Won’s impersonation of the sexy goddess that tips it over.

Age of Youth 2

Let’s start with the departure of Kang Unni and arrival of newcomer Jo Eun. Season 1’s focus was mostly Kang Unni and her development. It is therefore appropriate that she’s moved on as her story did get some closure in Season 1. Sad to see her go but Season 2 doesn’t flop from her departure.

New girl Jo Eun starts off standoffish and mysterious but her character grew on me as the lanky, tomboyish girl trying to fit in. A poignant journey of self-discovery that she can be attracted to the opposite sex and can be lovable, though her love story with Jang Hoon is but a side note. The show braves into homosexual territory but doesn’t explore the subject in depth.

Age of Youth 2

I really liked Chef and Jin Myung’s loveline in Season 1 and since Season 1 saw Jin Myung going away to China, my expectation was to see Season 2 pick up where the romance left off. But alas, not to be, all we have to contend with is an absentee boyfriend and Jin Myung trying to balance the reality of a corporate job especially one that’s steep in vanity and elusive dreams. The Haeimdal plotline feels like filler and doesn’t add much to the show. Remove it and I will feel no loss.

Age of Youth 2

Ye Eun’s traumatic experience continues to dominate Season 2 and the show takes us through her journey as she slowly crawls out from her gothic shell into the peppy Ye Eun who can finally stand up to her snobbish family. Unreal, how these people can be considered family. New nerdy boyfriend Ho Chang is a nice twist and contrast to the showy playboy Il Joo in Season 1.

Age of Youth 2

Like many others who have commented on the change in the actress playing Eun Jae, I’m no different. As unbiased as I want to be, I can’t help but compare the two and sadly, Ji Woo just doesn’t cut it for me. It does not help that the writer has made her into a sad, pathetic character in Season 2. All Eun Jae does in AoY2 is pouting and strumming up ploys to get her ex-boyfriend to notice her again. Somehow this doesn’t mesh well with Season 1’s Eun Jae who seemed more down to earth, wide-eyed but sensible. Gotta admit, I did skip quite a bit of her screen time.

Age of Youth 2

The draw of Season 2 is undeniably Sung Min and Ji Won’s development. This relationship picks up from Season 1, a chemistry that borders on the mentor-mentee, bff, and gradually inching towards boyfriend-girlfriend vibes, the latter delivered with Ji Won as clueless as ever of Sung Min’s feelings for her.

Age of Youth 2

The story centres around Ji Won’s search into her past and culminating with the dreaded discovery of the unthinkable and her guilt over what happened to her childhood friend.

Age of Youth 2

Park Eun Bin is such an excellent character actress. As Ji Won, she plays a clueless quirky romantic, openly seeking love and yet she fails to recognize the true knight in Sung Min. She takes it for granted the one person whom in her sub-consciousness will always be there, even more than her house-mates or her family. He’s the first she reaches out to when in trouble or when she needs a partner to participate and execute her sometimes outrageous plans.

The show gives us a Sung Min that’s a person in his own. It is clear that he cares and loves Ji Won but the show does not make him into a lovesick puppy.

What AoY2 does not give us, the viewers, is the closure that sees Ji Won recognizing this fact: that her soul mate is none other than the guy-friend who’s been there all along.  

Age of Youth 2

Can’t deny if it weren’t for Sung Min and Ji Won I would probably not rate the show where I did. They were the rock stars. The chemistry, the acting of these two, the promise of what’s to come made AoY2 a worthwhile must watch. (8.5/10)

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8 thoughts on “Age of Youth 2: Flawed but Addictive

  1. This is hands down one of my favourite korean shows. I started with AOY2 and binge watched it, then decided to watch the first season and also binge watched it. Even my husband joined. I wish they do a season 3. I need more girl power in K-Dramas.

    Liked by 1 person

    • For sure! I do enjoy my share of girl power dramas. Have you tried Ode to Joy cdrama? How do you find the Eun Jae character from S2 to S1? Would love to hear your opinion since you watched it in reverse.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Never got around to watching Ode to Joy. Is it good?
        I liked the actress in season 2 more, because she is more expressive and energetic. She always had a funny look with crazy eyes and I assumed it was her character. But after seeing the first season, I kinda thought she over-acted because the other actress is so quiet. The first Eunjae is different, but to be honest, I don’t like the acting. She always has the same expression, even in other dramas.
        When it comes to the character. I didn’t like her whiny character in the second part of the second season, but I understand what the writer wanted to show since we all go through some heard break at one time or an other. I know how it feels like obsessing over a guy when you are young.

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        • Ode to Joy is a must watch if you like slice of life and girl power driven plots. These girls will appear to be mean to each other sometimes but when push comes to shove, they are the first to pick each other up. Very rewarding! Thanks for your comments on Eun Jae. I tend to agree with you about the first actress. She’s a bit bland but the Eun Jae character’s not the main draw for me in either season.

          Liked by 1 person

    • You’ve been watching your share of kdramas lately! Surprised you finished it. Btw, I finished FoS recently and absolutely lpved it. I say it’s better than Signal 😀

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      • FoS is 💕 It’s just so well crafted. Definitely the best drama I’ve seen in a long, long while. I’m not too hot on 2nd seasons in kdramas, but I wouldn’t mind one in FoS. Only if they get the same cast and crew though.

        Liked by 1 person

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