REVIEW: 10 Reasons To Watch “Record Of Youth”: Life Lessons, Cameos, And The Different Sides Of Park Bo Gum

“Record Of Youth” is a slice-of-life and coming-of-age drama that features realistic themes and relatable content. It’s a refreshing take on the life of those in their 20’s who are chasing unconventional career paths. It also features true-to-life topics with no added exaggerated drama, just pure emotions coming from regular people with valid dreams.

Here are some reasons why you should start watching “Record Of Youth.”

1.) It’s Park Bo Gum’s post-military enlistment drama

Park Bo Gum enlisted for his mandatory military service last August 31, 2020. He is currently serving as a public relations officer in the navy. Thus, “Record Of Youth” is like a gift to his fans who are patiently waiting for his return in 2022. Aside from “Record Of Youth,” the actor also completed filming his upcoming films, “Wonderland” with Bae Suzy and “Seo Bok” with Gong Yoo.

Additionally, the drama showcases Park Bo Gum’s versatility because his character, Sa Hye Joon, is also an actor. This means, even after his military enlistment, the viewers are able to see Park Bo Gum portray various roles outside his original character. So far, Sa Hye Jun portrayed a medical practitioner, a ruthless chaebol, and a righteous royalty.

2.) It brings to light the different social classes and how one’s social class standing can affect a person’s journey in achieving one’s dreams

The series talks about privilege, and how some people who were given a good head start due to their family’s influence and wealth often overlook this fact. In life, there are those who may nonchalantly tell others that there’s no stopping them from reaching their dreams, or those who were financially supported saying that they are self-made and how others could do it, too. And, although these people did work hard and deserve to be acknowledged, they sometimes forget the fact that not everyone can easily follow their dreams no matter how talented they are. It’s a whole lot faster to be able to do what you want to do at a young age if you never had any financial burden. It’s a lot easier to achieve things if you’ve had the chance to study at a reputable school and have your family as your financial safety net. The problem with not being born with a silver spoon is you either don’t have someone to rely on, or you are the person your family is relying on. You don’t have the luxury to live just for your self, as you often have to check in with your family’s current situation—bills, rent, groceries, and everything in between. It can even be a one-for-all situation for breadwinners, but people who have financial back-up often overlook the fact that not being the breadwinner helped them to no longer struggle as much as those who started from scratch.

On the flip side, the series also tackles that even those who already have everything handed over to them can feel deprived of independence and creating their personal choices. It can make some feel inadequate, as some may never know how life would have been for them if nobody helped them. The series shows characters that never fully know how much they’ve truly achieved as an individual without the help of their families.

3.) It showcases a different type of fangirling

The series veers away from the typical representation of a fangirl. Park So Dam’s character is level-headed. It shows that there are fans who simply likes or looks up to an actor (or any celebrity in general), but at the end of the day, would still prioritize their own needs and wants—a fresh yet realistic take on the often stereotyped character.

It also normalizes romantic relationships between friends and colleagues, despite their social standing and occupation. Hence, the drama opened possibilities in showcasing different types of fangirls. While some would buy merch and know all about their favorite actor, there really are some who either have real-life crushes on them after working with them or just someone who looks up to them as they either inspire them or plainly make them feel happy. Then there are those who relate those these celebrities and just find comfort in liking them.

4.) Park Bo Gum and Park So Dam’s refreshing tandem

The two are really good character actors who can interpret their characters in a way that even their nuances and daily habits differ from their previous roles. The on-screen Park couple can create an entirely different person, and it shows. Their romance are also subtle, not too much and just the right amount of sweetness. The way they fell in love also felt natural, and it’s great to see how they showed that celebrities are humans and how they their interactions showed that them being co-workers can count as the two being equals.

5.) It showcases how those in their 20’s crave the right kind of support from their family

Aside from financial support, an actual support system or having people who simply encourage you are a luxury for some. It also brings to light various family-related issues, and even debunks traditional roles and norms such as why a man doesn’t need to be the only one to provide for the family, why parents should also learn to apologize to their children, how men and women are equally working for their children, and why there are lots of jobs now outside the traditional jobs.

6.) It tackles the harsh reality of the entertainment industry and its different sides

This drama, again, shows that celebrities are humans, too. They have feelings. They can find women they’ve worked with or just seen pretty. There are those who are struggling financially. They can get anxious for not getting a break or gaining recognition. They can see casting calls as simply getting a job. No matter how popular they are, they can have their own personal woes and worries.

And then there’s a side where the drama that portrays how a lot of people who are working with celebrities are pretty nonchalant about it. Some would give them special treatment, but there are some who simply sees them as another co-worker or client.

It also shows the fierce competition in the entertainment industry, the backstabbing and betrayals, jealousy and insecurity, the hardships one must face to get recognized, and even the unfairness of the industry which favors those who are in power. It also brings to light the dark side such as sponsorships, gossip and rumors, and inhumane managers (or just higher-ups with power). It does however also balances things by showcasing that there are people who genuinely want others to succeed.

7.) The bromance between Park Bo Gum and Byeon Woo Seok

Their friendship is precious and deserves to protected at all cost. The series also didn’t give us a rich boy and poor girl love story, but instead showcased the friendship of two men with the same dream but with entirely different backgrounds.

8.) It brings to light various advocacies

It showcased a lot of advocacies and different ways to help people. It brings to light the importance of vaccine, and even showcases different ways to understand different people. One example is Ahn Jeong Ha’s watch which helps her understand those with visual impairment. It also emphasizes the importance of consent, even between those who are in a relationship.

9.) It has life lessons, breaks social norms, and tackles important issues in a light yet informative manner

Men don’t have the sole responsibility to provide for the family. A woman can also work. As long as it’s legal, all jobs are decent and we all deserve to do something we love or give us a sense of purpose. And no matter what age you are, you can still do what you love.

10.) The star-studded cameo appearances

Lastly, “Itaewon Class” actor Park Seo Joon and Hyeri (from “My Roomamate Is A Gumiho”) appeared in “Record Of Youth”!

All in all, “Record Of Youth” is a drama about life, and indirectly teaches how we can live as better people. If you’re into a drama with realistic storytelling, “Record Of Youth” is for you.

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