Age Of Youth is like a breath of fresh air in this world of tired tropes and clichés., with a solid heart, realistic characters and celebration of female friendship.
The story takes us in the lives of our five protagonists as we witness the everyday life, struggles, love, family, apprehensions, career, aim — through their own eyes as well as the others. I love that nothing is what it seems at first glance — gradually the layers are peeled off to understand our characters completely. And yet, just like life, a lot remains unanswered which perfectly enhances the closeness of this show to life, nothing is certain and only future can answer the questions.
The five main characters are drawn taking the stereotypical colours — the shy and naive girl, the tomboy, the sexy modern girl, the serious one and the typical college going girl. But each one is given a mixed shade to make them interesting, fresh and giving them depth.
I love the portrayal of relationships. There is the rare showcase of positive female relationship as we see the five girls enjoying together, laughing, teasing, arguing, helping each other or becoming a source of motivation for one another. There is a sense of mystery and enigma and darkness throughout, which balances the slice-of-life we get from the drama for the most part. We see the characters grow and learn, all the while maintaining their basic nature.
The male characters are also well-developed. And we can see various types of them here as well. I loved the two male leads who were so caring and sweet. The loveline between sunbae and Eun Jae was adorable! I loved individual tracks of all five ladies. There is not even one scene that bored me or a character that annoyed me. There are many life lessons that could be learned as well.
The acting is magnificent across the board. Everyone shines in their respective roles, making each character deep and natural. My favourite of the girls was Ryu Hwa Young — she gives a winning performance.
Age Of Youth is easily my favorite drama of 2016.
My Rating: 9 out of 10