This is for everyone who felt they have been cheated by time.
Seven Reasons Why You Should Watch Still 17
1. Her name is Woo Seo-ri
I have seen her everywhere but this series changed the way I look at her. Shin Hye-sun’s performance as Woo Seo-ri cemented her place as a certified K-drama female lead. She flawlessly acted what her character’s unique situation needed. Woo Seo-ri’s awkwardness with her age resulted to hilarious sequences and at times, poignant moments. And Shin Hye-sun successfully delivered that; the naiveté of a 17-year-old and the pained expressions of a 30-year-old woman. This series made me anticipate what more can Shin Hye-sun give in her next projects.
2. Mr. Gong
We have been conditioned to think that male species are born alphas: dominant, rough, and borderline jerks. Gong Woo-jin (Yang Se-jong) proved that beta males can be charming as well. Yes, he has flaws. Because of the same tragic accident that affected Seo-ri’s life, he tried hard not to care about other people. But he’s real caring-self was still there. Unlike the alphas, he is not self-absorbed.
His shyness (and awkwardness) around Seo-ri was so adorable to watch. It’s also the same reason why I love watching him become more confident about his feelings for Seo-ri. He was gentle, patient, and endearing – the kind of guy you would want to marry in real life.
3. I am Jennifer
Jennifer (Ye Ji-won) was an atypical character which I thought was made for some comic relief but it turned out she was a perfectly planned plot twist. It was easy to expect Seo-ri and Woo-jin’s ending but Jennifer’s character was a true revelation. She gave unsolicited-yet-much-needed-life-advice to Woo-jin and I didn’t realize her words were hints to her backstory.
Everything about her monotonous life was a result of a dark, tragic past. I would have loved her even without her dramatic history but I loved her more when I learned about her scars.
4. The Dead Girl and Her Friend
Each character arcs in Still 17 were seamlessly put together by one main plot – the 2005 accident. The tragedy changed the lives of those involved. Seo-ri lost 13 years of her life and her best friend No Su-mi. Woo-jin carried the guilt of not being able to save the girl he likes and become lifeless. Jennifer lost her husband and eventually, her child.
Yoo Chan (Ahn Hyo-seop) had to wait for his bright Uncle Gong to comeback. Kim Hyung-tae (Yoon Sun-woo) lost both of his childhood friends and his chance to be with Seo-ri. All of them already knew what they want to happen in their lives but they had to live a different one instead. It was heart-retching to see them suffer because of someone else’s blunder but they proved you can still be happy in a path you would have never chosen.
5. These Quotes
6. These Romantic Moments
7. Seo-ri’s Positivity
This scene is the I-have-to-write-about-this-series moment in Still 17. Seo-ri has literally slept through her youth but that didn’t stop her to start anew and still be passionate about things she love. She learned to accept that age is just a number. I think we should be like Seo-ri and embraced the wishful and zealous 17-year-olds in all of us.
Maknae’s Series Takeaway
I think Seo-ri’s peculiar situation is a reflective allegory of adulthood woes we experience in real life. Most adults don’t feel like they really are adults. They might look like acting like one but deep inside they still have doubts and insecurities. Are they doing the right thing? Are we on the right path? What the heck am I doing in my life? We have all asked those questions.
At some point, we felt like we aren’t really living. We’re stuck on our “if only-s” and dwell on our “should have been-s” because it was easier than to face our realities. But we’ve seen how Woo-jin realized that avoiding real relationships with people doesn’t protect him from pain. We’ve seen how Jennifer discovered that she can’t forever hide her feelings. We’ve seen how Seo-ri moved forward from the tragedy of her life and didn’t let it cripple her forever. Just like the characters in Still 17, we can get through our own “intermission” and prepare for our next awesome performance.