A story about a 36 years old housewife who goes back to school, sprinkled with high school crush and a cheating husband? Well, that seems like a fun ride…. or maybe a little predictable yet still fun. ‘Twenty again’ seems like a generic Korean drama story that has the topics loved by Korean viewers but also by International Korean drama viewers. For example first love is overly used in most dramas and this one surely doesn’t lack the subject however the plot focuses more on Ha No Ra, a 36 years old housewife who married young and devoted herself to her husband and son.
Currently, Ha No Ra’s husband, Kim Woo Cheol wants to divorce and thinking that by becoming smarter she will make him give up on the divorce, No Ra studies by herself and eventually enters the same University that her son studies at; her husband joins as a lecturer, of course everything was a coincidence. However, things aren’t easy especially for a woman who is past her 20s, or should I say that ‘Twenty again’ describes the way society sees women who are over the age of 35. Personally from the first episodes, I saw people treating Ha No Ra as some expired product and frankly speaking I’m afraid that this is also the reality of our society; women have a time limit to what can or can’t do. Like how society treats women who hit the age of 30 and aren’t married, Ha No Ra going to school is also seen as a thing that she can’t do because …..she is an ajumma (middle aged woman).
At first my impression of No Ra was rather low, I found her to have low self esteem and she did seem in a way like an airhead. Things did change by the end of the second episode and I started to see our heroine as having a strong personality and moreover a strong mentality. Being pushed aside and treated as if your rightful earned place isn’t yours or you don’t deserve it, No Ra tries to handle the gap between her and her University mates.
As I was watching the second episode I noticed some small mismatches between teenager No Ra and present No Ra. Even though the writer wants to shows us that in both versions, our main female character with a tendency to stumble a lot, in the teenage No Ra I saw someone cool, a free spirit however the present No Ra is as I already said it, an airhead. While I do understand that a person changes a lot through time, I was disappointed with the oblivious inequality when it comes to No Ra.
A thing I didn’t like about Na Ra’s story is not the character itself but rather the fact that the writer maintained her in a restricted circle when it was about the men in her life, Woo Chul and her high school friend. These two were the only men she got to meet at a closer level. I wanted her to meet more and discover more and here I’m not talking only about the men in her life, Na Ra even after she discovered herself, the world she knew was around school. Regardless, that isn’t important, what’s important is No Ra’s desire to find something she wants to do and mostly to focus on herself. Eventually, as the story progresses, we see No Ra understanding that she needs to focus on her own life, to find the thing she needs to do without prioritizing others. From a woman who was always being brushed aside by her husband and son, the main female become a person with strong principle but at the same time understood the importance of forgiving.
The thing I liked the best out of this drama, was No Ra’s improving relationship with her son. Even though I didn’t like Min Jae’s acting, the character was lovely to see in connection to No Ra. I liked that the writer and the producer approached the struggles of students in Korea with the help of No Ra and her University friends.
The acting was nice and the actors got to a level of matching each others’ character pretty fast. Kim Min Jae and Na Eun are still young and need to improve a lot of things. Before the drama started airing, I had some expectations of Min Jae, however he needs practice. Body movements are awkward at times and the emotion he tries to convey is hard to understand especially when he tries too much to copy Song Jong Ki and Yeo Jin Goo’s acting. At this point, he needs to build his own style and then he can improve more.
Choi Jin Woo, Choe Won Young and Lee Sang Yoon were great and I enjoyed Park Hyo Joo’s acting as well.
The OST was lovely and made me feel nostalgic for no reason, considering that I wasn’t part of the story but it still had that vibe. Roy Kim’s voice was calming and perfect in combination with the story.
“Twenty Again” was a nice watch, although I got a tiny bit bored with the last 4 episodes, I would still confidently recommend this drama. It doesn’t have shocking elements, the flow isn’t shaky so at first it may look like a boring story, but in the end it’s a lovely ride – like a drive on a spring day.