Record of Youth Finale – Main Thoughts

So, after falling in love with KPop (Thanks BTS on SNL), I finally made time to watch my first KDrama. It was a bit hard because of needing to pay attention to subtitles as 98% of my TV time is while I’m multitasking hobbies or chores. But after being pestered by my friend to watch Record of Youth, I finally sat down and dove in.
I would like to start by saying: Overall, I love this show and if I had to rate it, I would give 4/5 stars because the first half of season 1 sucked me in so hard and made me fall in love with the characters and want more. I’m still so invested that I’m complaining/gushing on the interwebs.
It’s been one week since this show wrecked me with its finale. I’ve had time to chat with a few people and to reflect, so let’s see if I can put these emotions, thoughts, and opinions into cohesive sentences.
A. There were a lot of great villains whose stories NEVER WENT ANYWHERE. Did Do Ha end up back on top while his biggest competition was in the military? And Jin-A met Jeong-Ha and just decided she was over Hye-Jun? The amount of drama she was set up for would have been amazing! I would not have had an issue with her eventually saying she was over Hye-Jun and wanting to be Jeong-Ha’s friend… But her character did a complete 180 without any real climax or conclusion to her arc. And did I-Yeong create her little agency? Did she continue to try to run Hae-Hyo’s life when he came back?
B. Speaking of stories that never went anywhere… The fizzling out love triangle was insanely irritating. They really fed into this for the first half… There was a lot of tension, and Hye-Jun being slightly paranoid. And then nothing. Hae-Hyo just got his haircut and went off to the military and there was no real conflict or resolution.
C. There was zero follow up on Hae-Na and Jin-U’s relationship. Like, they really broke up like that? Was that really it? Because that was a BS ending to their romance. He was so sweet, they were really into each other. I just can’t imagine their story really went out with Jin-U breaking up with her that way.
D. The reunion was unsatisfying. 2 years later, Hye-Jun is working on a project with Rain in the title, and Jeong-Ha is doing makeup for it and just shows up wearing the shoes he made her because they’re comfortable? The way they looked at each other when they first saw each other gave a spark of unresolved feelings… But then they just – went for a walk. And talked like old acquaintances. DID THIS SHOW FORGET SHE WAS A FANGIRL?! They had good chemistry, but the script guiding their story lacked passion after halfway through the season.

This finale was definitely meant to wrap things up as quickly and neatly as possible because they weren’t sure if there would be a season 2, while leaving it just open enough that if it did get picked up, they could continue… But honestly, I don’t think I want anymore of this. This show left me annoyed and bitter and I just want to find something else to invest it.

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