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Age of Youth: Episode 1

I’ve been looking forward to JTBC’s newest drama Age of Youth since it was announced, as I’m particularly fond of stories that feature strong female friendships, especially if they’re more than just vehicles to discuss the love lives of our protagonists. Though the premiere wasn’t as upbeat as I expected from the promos, it does its job in introducing us to our five roommates, taking us through those uncertain, anxious first days of college as seen through the eyes of the newest and youngest addition to the house. It’s a scary world out there as a newly minted young adult out on your own — but it can also be a time for growth and discovery, setting you on a path to a newer, and perhaps better, version of yourself.

EPISODE 1: “Fear of Takeoff  #slipper”

A young woman, passed out on the bus, is startled awake by a loud honk. She looks out the window to get a glimpse of the city as the bus crosses into Seoul.

A radio host narrates that it’s March 1, the start of a new school year and new beginnings. Her advice to students is to remember the most important back to school essential — self-confidence — and that instead of stressing out about what lies ahead, they should confidently face the future.

Now off the bus, the young woman navigates her way to a sharehouse called the Belle Epoque. She climbs up the stairs to the front door; a chic grandmotherly woman follows behind her and asks her who she is.

Bowing awkwardly, the young woman quietly introduces herself: She’s YOO EUN-JAE (Park Hye-soo) and she’s moving in today.

Once inside, Eun-jae heads up the stairs when the grandmother calls after her, telling her she might have a tough time. Well, that’s comforting.

Eun-jae says in a voiceover: “A new grade. A new school year. A new start. Each time I face these things, I have nightmares. I don’t think of new things as something to look forward to, but something to fear.”

Eun-jae finds her apartment and closes her eyes, taking a deep breath before ringing the doorbell.

Inside, one of her soon-to-be housemates is in bed with her boyfriend, and her eyes pop open when she hears the bell. She’s JUNG YE-EUN (Han Seung-yeon), and she rushes out of her room, straightening up her clothes. Her boyfriend peeks over from around the corner, and the two peer into the intercom screen until Ye-eun gets a phone call from Eun-jae.

Meanwhile, the grandmother finds Eun-jae outside the apartment. Ye-eun hears the grandmother’s voice and freaks out, quickly pushing her boyfriend back into her room. As the grandmother enters the passcode to the door, Ye-eun calls out that she’s coming, and successfully hides her boyfriend’s shoes under her skirt just as the door opens.

Ye-eun forcibly smiles through her conversation with the grandmother and invites Eun-jae into the apartment. Worried about her boyfriend being discovered, she hurriedly leads Eun-jae into her new room and shuts the door.

She gives Eun-jae a quick rundown of her housemates, who include Eun-jae’s actual roommate, a “really old” business major in her fourth year; Ye-eun herself, a third-year studying nutrition; and Ye-eun’s roommate, a communications major who’s away doing volunteer work. The final housemate is another business major who Ye-eun says is somewhat of an exhibitionist.

As Ye-eun nervously prattles on, glancing at the door every so often, her boyfriend quietly tip-toes out of the apartment. When he texts that he’s out safely, she snaps out of tour guide mode and leaves Eun-jae on her own.

Eun-jae sits down at her new desk and finds a box underneath, which she opens. Inside, she finds a photo of a ballet dancer.

She explores her new place, noting the multiples of coffee cups, toiletries, and slippers in the shared spaces of the apartment. In the living room, a chalkboard lists three house rules: no boys, no boyfriends, and no boys who are friends. Also, rule-breakers will be kicked out.

Eun-jae puts her shoes in an empty space on the shoe rack, then opens up the storage cabinet below. Inside, she finds a pair of pointe shoes that likely belonged to the dancer in the photo she found earlier, and examines them curiously.

Eun-jae’s washing her hair in the bathroom when the exhibitionist housemate, KANG YI-NA (Ryu Hwa-young), walks right in and sits down to pee. Eun-jae’s obviously uncomfortable, but Yi-na just launches into conversation while she’s taking care of business, then leaves the door wide open as she heads back outside.

At the end of the day, Eun-jae turns off the light and crawls into bed. After a few moments, she looks up at her roommate’s empty bed and turns the light back on, and tries to fall asleep.

In a fuzzy dreamlike sequence, a young girl wanders inside a school as the sounds of children laughing echo eerily in the background. A random montage of shots follows: a girl outside in a field, Eun-jae reaching for the ballet shoes, the picture of the ballet dancer, a goldfish flopping on the ground. Numbers flash through the scenes. Uh, this is weird.

Eun-jae awakens from her nightmare when the lights in her room turn off. It’s just her roommate, who climbs into bed.

The next morning, Eun-jae wakes up alone in her room. She’s taken aback to find a post-it note from her roommate that asks her to turn off the lights before going to bed, as she thought she was being considerate by leaving them on.

Ye-eun finds Eun-jae in the kitchen and eyes Eun-jae’s toast hungrily. Ha, Eun-jae ends up surrendering her toast to Ye-eun, who raves about Eun-jae’s mother’s homemade jam and helps herself to more. Yi-na joins them in the kitchen in just a towel, and poor Eun-jae — she’s too embarrassed to even look at Yi-na.

As the three settle into breakfast, Eun-jae asks Ye-eun who the dance major is, telling her about the photo she found. Ye-eun and Yi-na exchanges glances, and Ye-eun vaguely says that the dancer was a former housemate who lived in Eun-jae’s room.

Eun-jae starts unpacking boxes in her room, but then is startled to find that her roommate is in bed, under the covers. Eun-jae stammers out an apology for bothering her when her phone rings loudly. She takes the call from her mom outside on the roof, and is forced to say hello to an ajusshi (maybe her stepfather). When she comes back downstairs, she just misses seeing her roommate, who’s already out the door.

Back in her room, Eun-jae finds another post-it note, this one asking her to text instead of talking on the phone, and to put her phone on vibrate.

As Eun-jae starts her new life in college, it’s clear that she’s a loner who has trouble speaking up. She doesn’t say anything when the guy standing next to her on the bus keeps hitting her with his bag, giving up her seat instead. She tells Ye-eun she didn’t go to orientation. In her psychology class, a guy sitting next to her borrows her pen, but she can only watch when he leaves with the pen at the end of class.

Eun-jae eats lunch at home with the TV on, then runs out to get some tangerines from a passing vendor. When she returns, she finally meets her roommate, YOON JIN-MYUNG (Han Ye-ri), face-to-face — but Jin-myung does not look pleased at all.

Speaking formally to Eun-jae, Jin-myung’s first words to her are to turn off the TV when leaving the house. She then asks her to keep communal areas clean, and unplug appliances that aren’t in use.

Eun-jae bows to Jin-myung and says hello. Jin-myung looks a bit taken aback by that; she gives a little bow in return. Eun-jae pulls out some tangerines to give to Jin-myung, but Jin-myung’s out the door again without a word. Disappointed, Eun-jae sighs and says to herself that she wants to go home. Seriously, I’d feel the same way too.

It doesn’t get any easier for Eun-jae in the days that follow. Ye-eun eats Eun-jae’s jam – a lot of it — straight from the jar. Jin-myung keeps leaving passive-aggressive post-it notes. Yi-na steps on Eun-jae’s shoes and pushes her out of the way to use the bathroom first. Ye-eun throws her laundry in with Eun-jae’s load in the washer, promising to hang the clothes up to dry. Of course, she doesn’t, and Eun-jae’s stuck doing it (after Yi-na yells at her for not taking her stuff out of the washer first).

Stewing with frustration, Eun-jae sits down to write her own post-it note, but then is lured into the living room by the sounds of Yi-na and Ye-eun arguing over a piece of clothing. Eun-jae ends up unknowingly outing Ye-eun for wearing Yi-na’s top, and the next thing she knows, Ye-eun and Yi-na are in an all-out fight. Ye-eun bites Yi-na, and Eun-jae takes a kick to the head when she tries to intervene.

The next morning, Ye-eun stomps around; Yi-na’s pissed that Ye-eun’s pissed; and Jin-myung offers Eun-jae more unwanted advice, telling her to watch what she says.

Ye-eun complains to her boyfriend about what a psycho Yi-na is, and shows him her bruises from the fight. Meanwhile, Yi-na complains to a guy over lunch that Ye-eun’s the psycho one: She has a bite mark to prove it. It’s not clear if Yi-na is in a relationship with this guy — when he freaks out over Yi-na splattering soup on his pants, she jokingly asks which noona bought him that outfit. But when he moves to go clean up in the restroom, Yi-na gets mad and storms out.

Jin-myung is eating lunch in the cafeteria when she sees the dancer who used to be her roommate. The girl stops in her tracks when she sees Jin-myung, eyes wide, but Jin-myung looks down and doesn’t acknowledge her.

Eun-jae’s back in class, and she’s startled to see that another student has the same yellow pen she let her classmate borrow last time. When Eun-jae asks about it, the student says she found it on the ground. Annoyed, Eun-jae looks back at the guy that borrowed the pen, whose name is YOON JONG-YEOL (Shin Hyun-soo); she quickly looks down when he catches her looking at him.

Today’s psychology lecture is on the concept of “positioning,” or how people use words to place themselves and others in relation to each other. Eun-jae finds herself applying this idea to her housemates: Jin-myung is cold, Yi-na’s an exhibitionist, and Ye-eun is whiny — but they’re all scary. She wonders how she can find her position in the house.

She thinks to herself that even if it’s hard, she needs to stand up for herself. She imagines doing just that and delivering snappy comebacks to her roommates, and I like this version of Eun-jae way better. She resolves that from now on, she’ll say what she needs to say, and not be afraid to look at other people in the eye.

After class, she heads over to Jong-yeol and demands that he return her pen. He blinks back at her, unsure of what to say, then stammers out an apology. That’s enough to satisfy Eun-jae, who walks out smiling.

Eun-jae returns home and finds her housemates amicably hanging out at the kitchen table, as if the fight the night before never happened. Eun-jae heads to the refrigerator and is not happy to find her jar of jam almost empty.

She recalls the resolutions she made in class, and finally says something: Who ate her jam, and why would they do it without asking? Her housemates think she’s making a big deal over nothing, and Eun-jae pretty much gets steamrolled — by the end of the conversation, she’s back to looking at the ground and mumbling.

Eun-jae has another nightmare with several new scenes: The same young girl we saw before stands in a classroom, but no one acknowledges her. Someone peeks out from behind a door, and a cup of milk splatters on the floor. Eun-jae wakes up with a start, breathing hard and drenched in sweat.

It’s a new day, but nothing much has changed for Eun-jae. She gets hit by someone’s bag on the bus. At the end of class, Eun-jae leaves in the middle of an announcement from a fellow student about a get-together for the psychology department. Jong-yeol’s in the same class again — he must be a psychology major, along with Eun-jae — and watches Eun-jae leave with interest.

Eun-jae runs in to Ye-eun on her way to the library, but Ye-eun gets distracted by a text from her boyfriend. She dumps her stuff onto Eun-jae, asking her to save her a seat at the library. Eun-jae does just that, but she’s nervous about it, as saving seats is against library rules.

She finally sends Ye-eun a text, asking when she’s planning on coming by, then rubs her stomach like she’s not feeling well. Ye-eun doesn’t even read Eun-jae’s text as she and her boyfriend hang out at a café.

With no response from Ye-eun, Eun-jae returns to her seat and finds a student hovering over Ye-eun’s empty spot. The student ends up taking Ye-eun’s stuff to the front desk to complain about the saved seat, shooting annoyed looks at Eun-jae the whole time.

Eun-jae throws up in the bathroom, and when she comes out, she sees the dancer who used to live in her room at the next sink. Eun-jae doesn’t waste any time, telling her that she recently moved into her old room at the Belle Epoque, then asking her why she moved out — was there a problem in the house?

The girl’s eyes are wide and she’s visibly freaked out, but all she says is that there was no problem, before leaving the bathroom in a hurry.

Eun-jae stops by to pick up Ye-eun’s things at the front desk and gets chewed out by a library staffer. To add insult to injury, she has to lug all of Ye-eun’s stuff home on the crowded bus, where she gets yelled at when she bumps into someone.

Ye-eun’s already back at home, chatting it up with Yi-na and Jin-myung. She wonders why Eun-jae’s not home yet, and Yi-na calls her out for taking advantage of Eun-jae, who she calls “Eun-soon” — a play on Eun-jae’s name using the word for “unsophisticated.” Yi-na and Ye-eun gossip about Eun-jae’s naivety, wondering if all girls from outside the city are like her.

Ye-eun decides to call Eun-jae, and of course, it turns out Eun-jae’s been standing right at the entryway this whole time. Ye-eun smiles nervously and apologizes for not showing up at the library. Without a word, Eun-jae angrily drops Ye-eun’s books on the floor, then actually throws her purse out the window.

Dropping her speech to banmal, Eun-jae asks Ye-eun if she thinks Eun-jae’s a joke. She addresses the group next: “Even if I don’t know anything, even if I seem like an idiot… you don’t need to be like this. You don’t have to be so mean! You don’t have to laugh at me!” Tears well up in her eyes as she continues: “You could be at least a little kind. Not everyone’s used to living here like you guys. For me, it’s so hard I could die!”

No one says anything, though the three housemates do look a little bit chastised. Eun-jae stomps into her room, throwing herself on her bed and sobbing loudly enough for the other girls to hear. But the other three are truly clueless, each wondering what’s going on with Eun-jae.

In her room, Eun-jae continues to cry and calls out for her mom, saying she wants to go home — not that there’s a home she could go back to.

Cut to Yi-na’s face appearing contorted as she peers down on Eun-jae, who’s now sick in bed. In her feverish haze, Eun-jae sees her housemates each check in on her, their visits interspersed with a blur of more nightmare-y scenes.

The next morning, Ye-eun, Yi-na, and Jin-myung clean the apartment. Eun-jae seems to be feeling better, but she doesn’t come out of her room until she absolutely has to use to the bathroom.

Her housemates seem glad to see Eun-jae up and about, and they exchange friendly greetings before she hurries to relieve herself. Noting that Eun-jae must have waited a really long time to go, Ye-eun jokes that it must be a hobby of hers to hold things in until she explodes, heh.

Eun-jae empties the trash from her room, and she spots some crumpled post-it notes and opens them up. They’re discarded drafts of the notes that Jin-myung has been leaving her, with words crossed out and everything. Eun-jae realizes that Jin-myung had actually put time and concern into these notes.

When Eun-jae joins the girls at the kitchen table, Ye-eun prepares her some instant porridge and tells her to take medicine after she eats. Grateful, Eun-jae meekly apologizes to Ye-eun for the day before, but Ye-eun just tells her to take her anger out on the sinner, not the bag, ha. She sets the porridge in front of Eun-jae, and the three roommates watch as she takes a bite.

For the first time, Jin-myung speaks in banmal to Eun-jae, telling her to speak up and not bottle things up inside. She says that sure, they’ll need to learn to live with some things, but they should also speak up if something is really bothersome.

Yi-na tells Eun-jae to start now, but Eun-jae can’t bring herself to say anything. So Ye-eun kicks it off, telling Eun-jae that she types too loudly — she can hear it from her room.

Eun-jae says she’ll be more careful, then tells Ye-eun that she can hear all of Ye-eun’s conversations with her boyfriend. Mortified, Ye-eun looks around the table to confirm, and instead of answering outright, Jin-myung does a hilarious impression of Ye-eun’s baby talk. They each take turns asking each other to stop doing certain things, laughing and sharing a newfound comfort with one another.

On the bus to school, Eun-jae narrates that she thought it was just her who was holding back; just her who was uncomfortable; just her walking on eggshells.

But then we see things from the housemates’ point of view. Ye-eun put on headphones when Eun-jae’s typing got too loud. Yi-na squirmed while waiting for Eun-jae to get out of the bathroom. Jin-myung pondered over the words to use in her post-it notes, scribbling out phrases and starting over.

Eun-jae continues: “I thought it wouldn’t matter if I said anything. I was afraid I’d be hated if I said anything. I felt like they’d laugh at me. In that way, I thought that the others were different from me. More disrespectful. More reckless. I thought they didn’t care. I was arrogant.”

On the bus, Eun-jae gets hit by a bag again. She thinks to herself that everyone’s human, just like her, and they’re just as anxious, and as kind, as she is. She closes her eyes for a moment, then finally speaks up, telling the guy next to her that his bag is hitting her. He apologizes profusely, and Eun-jae smiles.

In class, Jong-yeol comes over to Eun-jae and returns her yellow pen. He takes a seat in front of her; after a beat, he turns back around and asks Eun-jae her name.

After picking up a pair of house slippers, Eun-jae returns home to the sounds of laughter. The last and final roommate, SONG JI-WON (Park Eun-bin) has arrived, and Eun-jae joins the group (minus Jin-myung) for a beer.

Ji-won is warm and friendly, telling Eun-jae that the first order of business for the housemates should have been to have drinks with her and to learn more about her. For instance, she asks, does Eun-jae have an older brother? If not, an uncle? HAHA. Eun-jae says her youngest uncle is in his forties, and Ji-won’s horrified, telling Eun-jae to get out. I kind of love her.

Eun-jae takes a long swig of her beer, then takes the opportunity to ask Ji-won about their last housemate and why she left. Boy, Eun-jae’s really set on getting an answer to this question, isn’t she?

The mood at the table shifts, as the three older housemates hem and haw. Finally, Ji-won says it’s not a big deal: the housemate left because she got pregnant. Eun-jae’s jaw drops (haha, Ji-won tells Eun-jae to use protection), but Yi-na and Ye-eun’s reactions seem… fishy. Like there’s more to the story.

Yi-na wonders if Eun-jae thought the dancer left because the housemates had bullied her, and despite Eun-jae’s denial, it’s clear that’s exactly what she thought. Ji-won suggests that they take this opportunity to get friendlier with one another by telling each other their secrets.

By the time Jin-myung gets home, the girls are pretty drunk, and we see a shot of all five pairs of feet clad in slippers. Ye-eun asks Jin-myung get in on the secret-telling game, but Jin-myung just says she wishes she had time to do something worth keeping secret. Eun-jae recaps what’s been spilled so far: Yi-na’s seeing two different guys, and she’s had work done on her eyes but not her chest. Ye-eun once weighed 63 kilos (almost 139 pounds). Ji-won’s never gotten past the first date.

In a voiceover, Eun-jae says there are two kinds of secrets: ones you can tell, and ones you can’t. And she has a secret that she can never tell anyone about. Out loud, Eun-jae tells her housemates her secret is that she started drinking as a high school freshman.

Ji-won drunkenly says that she has a real secret: she can see ghosts. Eun-jae narrates that her real secret is that she’s killed someone. Wait, what?

Ji-won claims there’s a ghost with them in the room and points to the cabinet under the shoe rack, but none of the girls seem particularly shocked. Instead, Yi-na says something curious: “So, I guess I did kill them then.” And Jin-myung says there’s a person she wishes would die. Eun-jae looks at them in shock.

The party winds down as the girls stumble to get ready for bed (or, in Ji-won’s case, pass out at the table). Eun-jae looks around and thinks to herself that her housemates are really weird people.

A final montage of dream/nightmare scenes flash by, but this time including scenes of Yi-na and Jin-myung. The scenes begin and end with a shot of the cabinet, where the Ji-won’s ghost supposedly resides.

 
COMMENTS

Well, that’s not quite what I was expecting. Considering the premise of the show — the everyday trials and tribulations of five roommates navigating college life — I was looking forward to something more on the cheery, funny side, but instead, I was surprised at how melancholy the first episode felt as a whole.

Overall, the look and feel of the show, from the lighting and camera angles to the sparse background music, are pretty understated, matching the more thoughtful and pensive tone of the story. But the show then took things in a whole other direction with its jarring dream sequences, and the storylines on their former housemate, Eun-jae’s past, and Ji-won’s ghost-seeing ability. In those moments, I was confused about what show I was watching — is this supposed to be a mystery/thriller/horror story or a slice of life drama? Not that it would necessarily be a terrible thing to go the route of a mystery-infused show, but I was thrown off because it seemed to come out of left field.

On the bright side, I like our five heroines and the actors who portray them. The characters are interesting, sometimes frustrating and unlikeable, but in a way that makes them realistic human beings. My favorite parts of this hour were the interactions between our housemates, whether they were screaming at each other, laughing at one another, or just hanging in the kitchen. I love that a down-and-out fight like the one between Ye-eun and Yi-na could be over in a day (after some bitching to their respective boyfriends), and that the roommates would each check in with worry on a sick Eun-jae after she pitched a fit at them the night before. By the way, my favorite housemate might just be Ji-won, who totally lit up the screen in her five minutes of screen time at the end — her warm, funny personality is just what this group needs to loosen up and let their guards down.

Of course, this first episode was all about Eun-jae, and Park Hye-soo did a solid job conveying the ups and downs of her character. Her arc is one we’ve seen before — a country girl new to the big city, discovering her voice — but I liked the way the show handled the realization that she’d been seeing her housemates through a pretty narrow lens herself all along. Because we were pretty much only shown things from Eun-jae’s perspective, we were on the journey with her, thinking that Ye-un, Yi-na, and Jin-myung are the worst. It was fun to discover with Eun-jae that actually, her housemates aren’t as bad as they first seemed. I also do appreciate that Eun-jae’s not as wide-eyed and innocent as she first came off, as it makes her more interesting as a character — but I don’t think we need to go down the path of making her an actual murderer… right?

With just twelve episodes in its run, the show doesn’t have a ton amount of time to move the storylines for each of our girls forward, plus develop their friendships with one another. I saw enough good things in the first episode to remain optimistic and trust the show will find its footing. This is my hope for the episodes to come: more of our housemates telling mundane, real-life stories of what it’s like living in a house with five girls and trying to figure out school and life along the way, and a little less of the scary murder mystery vibes.

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Agree with you...me too, I was hoping to see a cheerful college story at the first episode...but then I got suspense about someone can see a ghost, someone who admitted on murder, and suspicious ballet shoes owner....but strangely I will be waiting for episode 3 for sure...I really want to know the owner of the shoes and why she left...

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I cried so much at this premiere lmao. Eun-jae is really similar to the freshman version of me, timid and worried to offend. It hurt my heart to see her so scared of other people.

I'm pretty sure the whole "I killed someone thing" was probably an accident was she was a kid, maybe leaving the stove on or something.

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Awww, poor Freshman You.

I watched the conflicts in the first episode and was like "Gurl gurl gurl", "Gurl?", "Really gurl?". All the stuff they nitpick seems so trivial, or maybe because I currently live with a super chill girlfriend of mine, I've totally forgotten about the satanic former roommates I used to live with.

I love the first episode though, all the girls are cute and likable!

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Some of the stuff on the notes is trivial, some of it is not. It is common courtesy to turn off the TV and lights when not needed, clean up after yourself, put phone on vibrate and stuff like that if you are living with other people.
On the other hand, it is also common courtesy to not eat your roommates food, to not expect them to hang out your laundry and so on.
The courtesy thing is for everybody.
But I've heard many horror stories from friends' kids who live in halls/dorms or shared houses. Especially your eatables are in constant danger if you cannot lock them up (which you cannot if they have to be in the fridge). Smoking pot can also be a big problem if you're roommates - there's no way you can escape from the smell yourself.

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It was trending on naver when it premiered and I got curious. I like the first episode a lot. I especially like the scene where eun-jae threw ye-eun's bag out the window lmao

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I had been eagerly waiting for the recap!
It is unbelievable how Immensely I enjoyed the premiere. The sharing of living space between college going women is so on point and the characters so well drawn out, I am in love.
I loved the scene where The timid one, confronts her seniors expecting them to lie about eating her jam and they all just accept leaving her flabbergasted as if thinking "now what?" This is quite apt because in our head we keep imagining people to have wronged us not realising that they probably had reasons and did not really mean to.
I am eagerly waiting for the weekend!

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I did not aim for my beginning and end to resonate with each other so much. Ha, coincidences !

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I'm loving it so far and now I'm sad that it's only 12 episodes.

Yoon Jong-Hoon was in a scene for a minute and I really wish he'd get a break out role. There's such a 90s vibe to him, like Andrew McCarthy but he reminds me more of James Spader when he plays characters like Lee Sang-Hyun in Misaeng.

But I love the girls! They're all imperfect in the best ways.

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Probably you relate him to the 90s because he was on Reply 1994.

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I didn't know he was in R94, but I didn't finish that drama.

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As someone currently in college not in my hometown, all these things eunjae's experiencing are so relatable and so much feeeeeeellllllllssssssss.
I mean the cinematography isn't that perfect (forgive me the latest dramas I was watching are 38 Squad, OHY, and signal which was like SO GOOD) but these little things between the girls warm my heart so much and I couldn't stop watching. I wish I had these kind of girl friends when I was a freshman :(

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There's no subtlety to this show, and a lot of the actors are very, very green, but it's still got a pull to it. Female friendships are fun and frustrating. I'll most probably tune in for the whole thing. At least with twelve episodes, I know the plots will travel quickly. (Each ~mystery~ is only taking an episode so far, so.)

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Park Eun-bin is hilarious and natural! I'm so used to her serious roles in sageuks (which she owned to a T) that this was a pleasant surprise.

Thank you for the recap chocolatte <3.

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Haha I am absolutely loving her in this!! I can see myself in all of these girls...except her lol. She reminds me of some of my crazy high school friends. Park Yeon-seon has a way with quirky characters but Park Eun-bin is making Song Ji-won feel so real and relatable in addition to hilarious.

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The hair too lol. She is pure awesome I can't say enough good things about her.

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Yeah, her clothes are great too. I just about died when I saw her pajamas lol.

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She really transformed here. Love her character.

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Eun Jae throwing that bag out of the window is me throwing my friend's pencil case from second floor to the ground when I was in nine grade. I cried when Eun Jae exploded. Lol. It was so relatable. I love this drama already. Can't wait for ep 3.

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Loved park eun bin as usual, and was pleasantly surprised by park hye soo's much improved acting- what a nice turnaround from the cringeyness in yongpal. Loving han yeri here as well- she has this charm that i can't quite describe. Most of all, though, i was impressed by how much better han seungyeon's acting is, especially in the second ep.

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I really enjoyed this first episode! When they first announced this drama I was pretty sure it would be a rather superficial story that just talk about makeup, fashion, mens and popularity, BUT baaaang~~ I was REALLY impressed in the good way!!

It is very comfortable and light to watch, and I love that every actress fits perfectly into their roles.

¡BRAVOO!

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I stop watching when Eun Jae got sick after she exploded and throw the bag and all because I feel like I can't handle the awkwardness she will facing and she might get bullied and outcast, so I'm glad that there's a recap and after knowing what happened next I watch it till the end.

I also like the very last part, the black interview ala We Got Married, it seems like this show is an all in one flavors cake, with self discovery, friendship, romance, mystery, thriller, education, reality interviews, etc. etc. The problem about a stort when there's a little bit of everything it actually becomes nothing but so far for episode 1, the all in one flavor doesn't hurt

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i liked this way more than i expected, i am really looking forward to the next eps. I love the tone of the drama. It gives me I need romance 2 feels (wrt the tone)!

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This strangely makes me miss my college days. I have no idea why. It's not like it was a long time ago either, I just finished this year.

I think it has to do with that feeling of just starting college. The first few days are a jumble of awkward jokes and hurried introductions. It isn't the best time but it was a time that was full of hope for the future. You're confused yet hopeful. I wish life was that simple now.

I'm rambling, I know.

The show looks like it's trying to go in another direction. I'm not exactly happy with the plot since I thought it'll focus more on the comedy. However, I'm curious about the mystery part of the story. I didn't start watching it yet but I might pick it up if it gets entertaining.

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Didn't expect this drama to be recapped at all, thanks chocolatte.
Oh, I really liked this first episode, slice of life dramas are always welcomed by me. The first 30-40 minutes gave me Misaeng ep.1 throwback (incl. the anxiety), the timid rookie stepping into an unknown world, feeling left alone while everybody was in "idaf about you"-mode. Glad that it turned around quickly for Eun-jae after the fallout.

I'm also wondering where the show is going to take us with the mysteries...will it be like in Let's Eat (which was just jarring and a plot line I didn't understand till the end lol.)

And Han Seung-yeon reminds me so much of Heo Young-ji (An-na from OHYA), then I saw both were members of Kara, ha.

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wow I love this drama I'm 2nd year student when I was fresh man I used to live with senior students with my friend it was hard on us to say anything we were really uncomfortable they would use our things with out asking and we wouldn't have the courage to say any thing then we decide it's better to stay with our families so we stopped going there.I really like how they portrays the real university life it is not always fun.To be honest university is hell and paradise in one package. please continue recapping these drama.

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The show had quite a few moments of delight but I didn't feel captured. It felt to overflowing and all over the place. The 2nd episode continued the trend so I'm not ready to commit to a fulltime watch through but I'll check it out again at it's halfway point.

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Thank you for the recap!!

I'm already in love.

The directing seemed a bit sentimental at first, but as the show went on I began realizing how well it fit--once the set-up got out of the way and Park Yeon-seon started to sound more and more like herself, the color saturation and whimsical soundtrack helped express the script's emotional truths in the kind of earnest but off-beat way that it needed. He's also managed to create natural atmosphere between the girls, so kudos to him.

The writing? What else can I say. I have never not loved Park Yeon-seon's characters, and although I wouldn't call this a campus drama or something that particularly catches college life, I felt that it captured the transitional limbo college puts you into emotionally and mentally perfectly (the homesickness, trying to be cool and navigate relationships like an "adult," not knowing how to fit in). I've only been out a couple years and I still feel that way a lot.

And the whole cast is doing well...but Park Eun-bin!!!!! I could not take my eyes off her lolol.

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I really liked this, and it's even better than I thought it would be. Will continue with it as long as there are recaps. Thanks for the recap!

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I was really looking forward to this, because slice of life, female centric shows are my favorite. But this was super underwhelming.

I feel like the first episode should have been more spread out in regard to giving equal time to all the girls and their stories, so we could get a sense of where each one was coming from.

Then, after setting up the characters/their storylines, could have moved on to do the more character centric episodes after the pilot.

It's no wonder why the ratings dropped from episode one to two so significantly.

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Think this Eun-jae-centric 1st ep premise was well suited as EJ was the one entering a "new world" - where she was moving in w/ 4 other girls who already knew each other.

So seeing things from her perspective was interesting, esp. as it turns out, she later finds out that she really isn't that much different from the girls in many ways.

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after two episodes, I'm still confused with this drama. it can be a little cliche and obvious at times (with writing and directing), but I love the bonding moments between the girls. and han yeri just owns the screen. whenever she's on, I can't look at anyone else. /girl crush lol

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Thanks for the recap, chocolatte! I haven't watched it yet, but reading your recap of this episode also brings so many feels. Eun-jae's situation reminds me so much of myself when I first came to the US as a graduate student. Everything was new to me (I remember laughing at the name of Dollar Tree store because I thought it was funny).

But specifically, Eun-jae's situation, her outburst sobbing and confronting her roommates make me love and commiserate with her so much. It's because I wish I had such courage to do so 5 years ago, like she does in the drama. I still remember having 2 American roommates who were in their second and last year in college. We were friendly and polite, chat a little bit here and there when we met around the apartment. Once I came back home after doing my teaching assistant job, I overheard one of my roommate chatting with her mother in her room complaining about something/someone. There's one sentence that made me realize that it was about me: "But mom, she's eating rice and her food smells so bad." I think that really push me into the culture shock train. I'm from South East Asian, and I eat rice growing up so rice is like part of me. I kept wondering whether I could adapt in this country when American people hated my food that much, and why she didn't just talk to me. After that, I did not talk much with her and moved out when my lease ended. I just wish I had such courage like Eun-jae to stand up for myself and my culture, or at least to cry it out loud and not let those words sunk into my heart like I that.

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Your comment took me back many years, cause I had a similar culture shock experience, though it worked pretty much in reverse for me. As a graduate student in the UK, I got assigned to a dorm with eleven Korean girls. We used to joke that somewhere there was a dorm of eleven Greeks, and one lone Korean. After weeks of people around me chatting in a language I didn't understand, cooking food I could not identify, and feeling more and more awkward and not fitting in, to the point of getting paranoid, I decided enough was enough.

So one evening I basically plonked myself on the sofa with the rest of them, demanded a shot of whatever they were drinking (soju), stuck my fork into some plate to try the food (kimchi) and demanded to know what they were watching (Goong, no subtitles, so they took turns translating the plot for me, while my eyebrows climbed higher and higher). I pretty much bulldozed my way through to becoming their friend, but it could have easily gone the way of complete alienation or having a screaming fit eventually like Eun-jae and accusing them of mocking me in Korean so that I wouldn't understand.

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Wow that was cool, Penelope! Hats off to you for making this decision.

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@Penelope: I'm so happy it worked out for you. I've been there a few times before the US experience (living in South Korea and in Europe when not speaking the languages) but never quite felt the shock. So all in all, I still think I was lucky ;)

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How unfortunate.

Eh, "white bread" Americans.

They really need to try to stretch their legs and live "outside the box."

Heck, I would have been all over that SE Asian food.

Never understood people who didn't want to try food from other places.

Can't say I liked everything I ever tried, but like plenty of stuff from NE Asia, SE Asia, the Middle East/North Africa, Sub-Sahara Africa, Europe, South/Central America, Caribbean, etc.

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Looking back, I guess it's not really about the food. It was the loneliness and outcast feeling in me got chance to rise :) But other than that, I've always been lucky. Even in Europe, my "white bread" friends always cleared out the food that I brought in minutes.

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Since no one else has asked. . . Where did you find this subtitled please?

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Thanks! wasn't showing up for me for a while.

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No problem ?

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I don't know why but I think I love this drama more than I expected it to be. I feel I can relate my life to them.

For first two episodes, I was actually impressed with Park Hye Soo as a rookie actress but she managed to do well. When I saw her in Yong Pal, I already knew she can act. And.. I love Park Eun Bin too. I dont know, I have a feel Han Ye-RI and Hwa Young characters going to be the heaviest. Park Hye Soo also looks like has a trauma from her childhood. For now, the most un-favourite character is Han Seung-yeon.

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Took a chance on this and after watching 2 eps, worthy of watch.

Always liked "slice of life" dramas and this is fairly well done.

Not so sure about the whole "mystery" thing - could work out if well-integrated or could just be something the writer included to add suspense, but feel not quite in conjunction w/ the rest of the story (as the stalker story-line in "Let's Eat").

The 1st ep focusing on Eun-jae, felt that Park Hye-soo (1st time seeing her in anything) did a pretty decent job (PHS is kinda a mix of Lee Yo-won and Park Bo-young).

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Man is the heroine relatable, minus the murder aspect XD. I am like her, not in college (I really don't talk to many people there) but I was like her in high school and I am like her at work, it's so frustrating. I let people walk all over me, I do them favors even when I know it is going to affect me because I just can't say no :/. I want to defend myself to tell the co-workers that take advantage so many things but I tend to not do it to avoid confrontation. I admit that I am an idiot for doing that and I probably give them the impression that I am a moron, but I am always aware of the rules they break and how two-faced they are. They probably think that by acting all nice they will deceive me and I won't notice who they really are.
Anyway I am happy that their problems were sorted out in the first episode, I am glad they didn't drag it out. I'm really curious of what those dream scenes were all about so show I will stick with you, you got me. Thanks for the recap chocolatte :).

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Sending you courage from afar. Confrontation can be a hard thing. Just don't exploid like she did!! Haha (definitely not work appropriate) Best of luck to you as you move forward in life.

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I did not like. I find it boring. I had a flash to "Cheese in the trap" and I remembered as I hated it.

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I love, love, love this episode. This episode filled me with nostalgia, very reminiscent of my first year in college. I was pretty green myself, just like Eun jae, I had to learn to find my voice and stand up for myself. So I can totally relate with the heroine and see where she's coming from. Of course that was over twenty years ago and I've had many life experiences since then, so I can appreciate her older roommates too.

I love the retrospective, somber mood of this drama. I can appreciate the thoughtful look on college life, of spreading your wings and learning to fly. Too often dramas on college life, just focus on romance, or academic struggles and achievements or financial hardship. It's a breath of fresh air to see a slice of life drama on college girls in the dorm building relationships with each other. Some that could quite possibly be lifelong friendships. I can't wait to see what ep2 has to offer.

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I never knew I liked Yuri until I watched this drama. I really want them all to become each others best friends and bond and the first two eps already gave me a lot of that so I'm really loving this drama. There's a lot of small things here and there that don't seem to matter much but make it very funny and cute and overall an interesting watch. I loved the moment in this episode when she realizes she's been close minded and they showed the unnies holding it in, that was the cutest. My love for them went from 20-30 to 80-90 haha! So cute

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I watched this episode today and I loved it. I am really sad I didn't watch it while aired, atleast I don't have to wait for episodes every week now. I saw a part of myself in all the five girls and I can't wait to watch more!

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