K-Drama Reaction: Record of Youth | Episodes 7-8

Learn From The Past

“I guess at some point, you realize that whoever takes care of you is just a person and that they have no superpowers and can’t actually protect you from getting hurt.”

I remembered this quote from John Green’s Turtles All The Way Down while watching the flashback scene from Ahn Jeong-ha’s (Park So-dam) childhood. There’s always a moment in our lives when we realized our parents are just humans. And that moment happened to Jeong-ha at a young age. My sympathy towards this character went up a notch higher after watching this week’s episodes. I can’t celebrate the fact that my assumptions are correct. Ahn Jeong-ha has some unresolved issues from her past and we saw how her bubbly and strong façade crumbled the moment she was left alone in her house after her confrontation with her mother. As she said, she was forced to grow up quickly. So, that’s why she preferred to be childish with Hye-jun. She felt secured enough with him to act her age and just enjoy the moment.

One thing I’m happy about though is that her character is finally being fleshed out. I was a tad frustrated last week because we still hadn’t seen anything about Jeong-ha while Sa Hye-jun (Park Bo-gum) got most of the story’s air time. I’m not complaining but Jeong-ha is an intriguing character that we deserve to get to know through more scenes.

Another person that needs to deal with his past is Hye-jun’s father, Sa Yeong-nam (Park Soo-young).  I totally understand why he still has a grudge to how he was brought up by his father. But halboji Sa Min-ki (Han Jin-hee) has obviously done some repenting already. Yeong-nam aboji should let go of the past and give his father a chance. The same goes for how he treats our boy Hye-jun. He’s not a bad dad but he has to be a little less uptight. And he also needs to realize not everyone is fit for a white-collar job he thinks highly off.

Live In The Present

I really thought Won Hae-hyo (Byeon Woo-seok) is a “live in the moment” kind of guy. I’m wrong though. He also knows when not to step out of his boundaries and of course, he values his friendship with Hye-jun more. So the scene with Jeong-ha after his shoot was expected. But it made me realize one thing: Hae-hyo is the typical nice guy second lead. Remember, what sets apart main leads to second leads is timing. The timing to say the right words at the right time. Important phrases like “saranghae”, or in Hae-hyo’s case “kajima”, are better said out loud. And that what main leads do. Second leads, meanwhile, whisper those kinds of words to the air; as if the subjects of their affection have bionic ears that could hear them from afar. Or as if the wind will carry their words to the hearts of their prospective lovers. No. It. Will. Not. I heaved a loud sigh while watching that scene. It’s frustrating but no matter how charming Hae-hyo may seem, he’s definitely this story’s second lead.

Hae-hyo may not be a threat to Jeong-ha and Hye-jun’s relationship right now but someone from Hye-jun’s past is trying to disrupt their present. I thought Hye-jun’s ex Jung Ji-ah (Seol In-a) was just a “passing mention” but as seen in this week’s episodes, she’s trying to make a comeback. I’m not sure how this would impact the new couple. I doubt though that they’ll go to the third party route if ever there’ll be a break-up scenario (which at this point is really likely). One thing’s for sure though, Ji-a’s arrival will definitely trigger quakes that could shake the world of our new beloved OTP.

Plan For The Future

Happy scenes during early episodes in K-dramas surely makes me anxious. There seems to be some foreshadowing placed this week. One of which is the scene between Hye-jun and Hae-hyo in the overpass. It feels symbolic. Both are traversing a similar-looking path but both are headed in different directions. Hae-hyo’s getting bigger roles in movies and leads in web dramas but his popularity seems stagnant. Hye-jun, on the other hand, seems to be taking smaller steps but is definitely leading him to the top. I’m now questioning whether their friendship is really strong enough to withstand upcoming changes.

Also, Hye-jun’s celebrity status is not yet an issue for Jeong-ha now but it seems like it will be in the future. Jeong-ha’s reluctant to share her innermost thoughts to Hye-jun. And we all know what happens when one tries to keep things to themselves: they explode and shatter into pieces.

Maknae’s Week 4 Verdict

This week’s episodes feel like a set-up for the looming struggles Hye-jun and Jeong-ha have to face soon.  I’m not a fan of “person vs person” type of conflicts (aka returning exes and the likes) so I hope they won’t rely on such thing to put some drama on the relationship of our young couple. Their individual situations have enough other potential conflicts that they could use to tell the story these two struggling youth who just wants to be happy in life despite the storm they have to face.

Afterthoughts

-Sa Gyeong-jun (Lee Jae-won) should get some lectures from Dr. Do Jae-hak of Hospital Playlist. But kidding aside, I love the way Hye-jun comforted him.

-He’s so relatable here though:

-I really thought this was Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim! That ‘Noona, can I ask you out?’ feels like it but less dramatic.

-Lee Min-jae (Shin Dong-mi) unnie is so jjang for being cool about Hye-jun and Jeong-ha’s relationship and for getting the role for Hye-jun.

-I personally don’t like the “entitled ex trope” so yep, Ji-ah is already on my bad book even though that’s one of my favorite names ever.

-I wonder how many times they shot this scene? This question is for science.

-Speaking of the kiss scenes!

-Can I assume this is a fade-to-black bed scene?

-The full song for Whee-in’s OST is here!!!

-Tip: use virgin coconut oil the night before you plan to dye your own hair.

-Aren’t they adorable?

-Ahn Jeong-ha Best Girl

>>First Impression: Record of Youth

>>K-Drama Reactions: Record of Youth | Episodes 3-4

>>K-Drama Reactions: Record of Youth | Episodes 5-6

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