K-Drama Reaction: Record of Youth | Episodes 11-12

Family Stress

The first people that get affected when something bad happens to Sa Hye-jun (Park Bo-gum) is still his family. His relationship with his father and brother is not that perfect but they still do get affected by whatever happens to Hye-jun. As Sa Gyeong-jun (Lee Jae-won) calls it: stress due to Hye-jun’s popularity. I believe though that they are more worried than stressed especially Han Ae-suk (Ha Hee-ra) eomma. She might look calm and collected most of the time but I bet it hurts to read those vicious comments about her son. And it’s only the start. The Charlie Jung issue is only just the first stone to be thrown at him. Lee Min-jae (Shin Dong-mi) CEO-nim pointed it out clearly. There are people out there that want to see him fail. And I’m afraid Hye-jun’s truly ready for his popularity and everything that comes with it.

Won Hae-hyo (Byeon Woo-seok) is sort of in a similar situation. His family, or most particularly his mother, is getting stressed out by his stagnant popularity. Gone is the supportive mother. She’s now all out pressuring Hae-hyo to do something about his career. But what more can Hae-hyo do? He’s hardworking but he doesn’t know where he truly stands, thanks to the false hopes her mother gave her before. He doesn’t know his social media followers are shams. He doesn’t know he gets cast not because he’s talented but because of his mother’s lobbying. Kim I-yeong (Shin Ae-ra) took that from Hae-hyo. It feels like this would be Hae-hyo’s rock bottom: him realizing he’s back to square one. 

Friendship Stress

Adding to Hae-hyo’s stress is discovering his sister is dating his best friend. Kim Jin-u (Kwon Soo-hyun) and Won Hae-na (Jo Yoo-jung) are secretly dating for a while now and I’m surprised Hae-hyo didn’t find it out sooner. Anyway, I had a good laugh while watching their mother’s face when she discovered her daughter’s dating someone she doesn’t approve of. I-yeong’s exaggeration is actually funny especially when it comes to Hae-na and her friend-enemy relationship with Ae-suk. It’s just sometimes going borderline annoying when she does things that most overprotective and controlling parents do. But the difference between I-yeong and Ae-suk actually highlights the difference and similarities of our leads Hye-jun and Hae-hyo.

Speaking of these two men, Hye-jun didn’t appreciate Hae-hyo stepping in during the Charlie Jung issue. I feel like it was because Hae-hyo agreed to the unsolicited help of Jung Ji-ah (Seol In-ah) without Hye-jun’s knowledge. Hae-hyo, on his part, raised some good points. Even if he doesn’t admit it, Hye-jun did change in some ways. They didn’t even resolve their issue unlike Hae-hyo and Jin-u’s. Sure, they’re back to being friends but I think they need to be a little bit more honest with each other. That means Hae-hyo admitting his feelings for Ahn Jeong-ha (Park So-dam).

Relationship Stress

Jeong-ha would probably have an inkling of Hae-hyo’s feelings after that rain scene with him. But this week, Jeong-ha is still ignorant of it. Probably because she’s busy setting up the new chapter of her own life. In it, she let Hye-jun be part of her world fully. He’s leaving traces everywhere and seeing those traces would definitely hurt when it’s time for them to part. Well, I’m expecting them to break-up (or at least have a shortfall out before getting back together for good) because Jeong-ha is not being honest about how Hye-jun’s fame affecting her. It’s poking her hidden insecurities, especially with Ji-ah in the picture. Seeing some other woman saving her man is definitely a blow to her ego. Then comes the rain scene with Hae-hyo. I’m guessing we’ll get the whole picture next week but that scene showed the strain in Jeong-ha and Hye-jun’s relationship.

Maknae’s Week 6 Verdict

It really feels like we’re on the third arc of the story already. It still feels lighter compared to other drama but that’s probably because Record of Youth is not a melodrama. The villains here aren’t really pure evil. There’s still humanness in them despite their cruel deeds. The family drama isn’t on the kimchi-slapping level. The series always tries its best to mirror how real family dynamics work but of course, adding some TV magic here and there on some scenes. The romantic relationship of the main hero is just starting to get complicated with conflicts dropping one after the other. I already let go of some of my pre-drama expectations last week (aka having a fuller Ahn Jeong-ha character arc) but there’s a new expectation planted in me: a clean resolution to every conflict they’ll probably drop next week. 

Afterthoughts

-A Lee Sung-kyung cameo!!!

-I somehow miss the banter between Hye-jun and Seong-ha but I still like the fluffiness of this scene anyway.

-This Sa father-son moment is cute

>>First Impression: Record of Youth
>>K-Drama Reactions: Record of Youth | Episodes 3-4
>>K-Drama Reactions: Record of Youth | Episodes 5-6
>>K-Drama Reactions: Record of Youth | Episodes 7-8
>>K-Drama Reactions: Record of Youth | Episodes 9-10

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