Before the airing of the second seasons, a lot of people were angered with the changes in cast, myself included was a bit displeased, however it turned out to be a nice change. Of course we might be attached to certain actors or characters even so I do think that some changes were needed.
I’m mainly talking about “Kang Unnie”. Truthfully speaking what more could she bring to the story? I personally think that she was a character with limited opportunities in helping the story develop or the others characters. Well, she was a strong character in the first season, with lots of followers but after seeing season 2, I didn’t felt the need for a character like her. She always was the one who brought confidence to others with her blunt personality but if she were to appear again, the rest of the girls wouldn’t have a chance to change and move forward by themselves because “Kang Unnie” would’ve been there, taking their side in anything…Anyhow I think it was a good idea not to cut out former characters like her and Jae Wan. Their slight appearances were entertaining.
I should stop talking about former characters and go into those who were present in the second seasons. My favourite this time was Jin Myung. At times I was a bit sad since in the beginning I felt that Jin Myung wasn’t shown as much as the others, in fact it felt like she had not given any importance in the story. Little did I know that Jin Myung would turn out to be the one who’ll show the importance of the other four girls and Heimdal.
This time, Jin Myung was the mentor. Maybe calling her a mentor is too huge but she was the one helping the rest of the characters most of the times. From Heimdal’s struggle to accept his failed career to Eun Jae who was suffering after breaking up with her first love to even Ye Eun’s inner battle with food. Jin Myung was the observer, always saw details that could slip others’ eyes or eras. She kept a close eye on everyone around her and always sensed when someone wasn’t feeling okay. At times we can see Jin Myung never going of off her road and trying to stick to her habits but it didn’t always work so later on, she ended up making someone else’s problems her duty. But that’s out of pure concern even if she knew that sometimes things may not work out. We can say it was out of devotion and concern.
In this season I was quite often irritated with Eun Jae. Not because of the change in actress, in fact I liked the actress, I was disappointed with the change in personality. She stood up as the whiniest I’ve seen this year for most part of the show. I was most disappointed with Eun Jae whenever she made remarks on someone else’s physical appearance. By the end, Eun Jae managed to find an inner peace where she was content with her life and status which made me happy to see. She got out of the whiny bag and looked happy with herself, moreover with the fact that she and Jeon Yeol were over.
This time, Ji Won wasn’t almost a sex offender, she was a fighter for the sake of her past self. She didn’t particularly stood up to me this season and I can’t say that her story was of interest to me. It was interesting and her trauma was somehow the centre of this season however to me, she wasn’t interesting. I admit, out of all the characters, her transition was the most noticeable, but again, I don’t know why her parts didn’t make me show interest. On the other hand, I do understand why for others she would be a favourite. But don’t get me wrong, I liked Ji Won and I do think she’s a must for the story, just that this time maybe I wasn’t in the mood for her story from middle school.
Regarding Ye Eun. Her story stood up the most. As we all know, she went through a trauma as well. Compared to Ji Won’s, Ye Eun was more of the steady but sturdy change. I liked that the writer wanted to show the hardships and steps of overcoming domestic violence. It’s not something we can take lightly and I it was nice to see small changes in her throughout the show after all what she went through wasn’t something easy that she could overcome fast. I do have to say that I had some problems with her trying to change Ho Change based on her taste but that was fast forgotten when she realised what she was doing.
The new girl, Jo Eun was a cutie and her chemistry with Jang Hoon was the most prominent one out of all the couples. There were moments when I couldn’t wait for the next episode just to see Jo Eun because despite being a new character, I become fond of her. At first we might think of Eun as shy or fast in showing anger towards other characters or restrained while interacting with other people but as the show goes on, we can see her as this girl that’s quite forward with words and that could easily lead a conversation especially when it comes to her love interest, Jang Hoon.
For the boys of this show, I think some changes were a good thing. However, even if Jang Hoon and Sung Min showed support respectively emotional support in Sung Min’s case, the others were in fact the ones supported by our girls. Well, in Ho Chang’s case was more of a give and take case where both him and Ye Eun helped each other break away from their past. In Haeimdal’s case, Jin Myung was the one helping him overcome his realisation that his career is domed. While with the other ‘couples’, both parties were in a way equal, here, Haeimdal was the kid, the one that needed protection and healing which Jin Myung provided for him. I can’t say that I saw them as a romantic pair and I don’t think that them having some kind of romantic involvement was in the writer’s plan for the two. It was more like a friendship, a partnership which helped both mature.
As a final point, I think that Age of Youth 2 was a good representation of youth. It was simple but at the same time complicated with agreeable characters and lots of development. Nice soundtrack that enhanced the emotional aspect of certain scenes. Great acting that made me think as the actors as being one with the characters they portrayed. To put it simple, a lovely show that should be on your watch list not matter what genre you normally like to watch.