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Age of Youth: Episode 3

For as much time as our heroines spend thinking about (or actively engaging with) romantic interests/members of the opposite sex, it turns out that female friendships — or more accurately, love-hate relationships with your roommates — are just as frustrating and difficult to navigate. It’s easy to brush off your housemates as strangers that you happen to share a place with; it’s a whole different story to have to admit that these “strangers” actually play a bigger role in your life, challenging you and changing you in more ways than one.

 
EPISODE 3: “I’ve never once loved myself #rotten roots”

Yi-na gets pampered at a beauty salon. Instead of paying with her own credit card, she swaps it out for one with a man’s name on it.

In a voiceover, Yi-na says that she lives an easy life, thanks to her youth and good looks. As she struts down the street, she continues: “People look down on living an easy life. I don’t get it…is living an easy life a bad thing? Just because you live a hard life, does that mean you’re living properly?” She says that unless you live twice, there’s no way of knowing what’s truly right — that’s just how life is.

Yi-na sits down at a café, where a waiter delivers her a coffee and slips her his number. But Yi-na’s there to meet someone: a short, plump, middle-aged man whom she enthusiastically calls “honey.”

Apparently, this man is her boyfriend — he picked her up six months ago at a hotel bar, and she liked his confidence. Besides this guy, Yi-na’s seeing two other men. Number Two wooed her with flowers. She liked Number Three (the married dentist) because he was totally up-front — he slid her his credit card as they met, and she happily put it in her purse.

She notes that the young guy she had lunch with in an earlier episode is just a friend, and he does the same type of “work” that Yi-na does.

Yi-na says that all of her boyfriends know they’re in a fake relationship with her. In other words, she’s playing a role for each guy, while getting an allowance in exchange.

We return to a scene from the Belle Epoque house, when Yi-na walks in just as Ye-eun calls her a prostitute. In her room, Yi-na leans against her closed door and says the word “prostitute” out loud. She thinks to herself that it’s true, but it really hits home when someone else says the word.

Yi-na heads out to the hotel bar again — this is where she picks up her boyfriends. She narrates that three boyfriends is a good number to have, but she’s troubled by Boyfriend Number Two, who keeps bringing up money and telling her to spend less. It could be time to switch it up.

She scans the bar for prospects, using the men she sees to demonstrate three criteria that she uses to screen her men. First, he can’t be too old. The second guy she sees seems to have potential — he’s got on expensive clothes and accessories — but then he disqualifies himself by licking his lips at her. Gross. Yi-na thinks back to the time when she ran out of a hotel room to get away from a guy dressed as Sailor Moon, and says that the money she gets from these guys should be considered hazard pay.

Yi-na turns her attention to a third man, but he’s disqualified too, this time because of his cheap outfit. This is her third and the most important criterion: money, and lots of it. Yi-na says the woman who owns this hotel bar is a good example of what happens when you date a guy without money: Her guy bought her expensive gifts to woo her, but it turned out he was embezzling from his workplace and went to jail for it. Now he works as a bartender at her bar.

As said bartender serves the third guy that Yi-na checked out, she notices a cut on the man’s hand. She leaves, not having found anyone suitable to seduce.

Back at the house, Ji-won, Ye-eun, and Eun-jae discuss the latest revelation regarding Yi-na: She’s not really a college student. The three all marvel at Yi-na’s undercover life — Ye-eun doesn’t understand why she’d live the way she does if she doesn’t even have to worry about tuition, and Ji-won’s more understanding, saying that it’s to live an easy life, and plenty of others do it too.

Jin-myung comes home and pretty much has zero reaction to the news that Yi-na’s not a student. Eun-jae, meanwhile, is distracted by the ghostly cabinet again, and asks Ji-won if souls have colors — after all, Ji-won said she could tell Yi-na was lying by the color of her aura.

Looking over at the cabinet, Ji-won nods. She says the ghost in question is grey, and it gives off a sad, depressed feeling. When Jin-myung comes out into the kitchen, Ye-eun asks her if there had been any incidents in their apartment — a death, or maybe a murder? But Jin-myung says no.

Ye-eun turns to Eun-jae and says the ghost must have followed her here — it only appeared after she moved in. Looking uncomfortable, Eun-jae dodges Ye-eun’s question about whether or not she knows anyone who died. But Jin-myung points out that the ghost could be someone who’s not dead yet, like someone in a vegetative state.

The conversation comes to a halt when Yi-na returns home, and she moves past her housemates wordlessly. In her room, she smells something funny and looks around, wondering where the smell is coming from.

Ye-eun can’t sleep and asks Ji-won if she doesn’t feel a little uneasy, what with Yi-na possibly bringing home diseases from all the guys she’s been with. A drowsy Ji-won mumbles that Ye-eun has a point.

The next morning, Eun-jae enters the bathroom just after Yi-na. Yi-na notices that Eun-jae flushes the toilet again; what she doesn’t see is Eun-jae wiping down the seat with toilet paper. Ye-eun collects her laundry left hanging to dry, but flinches when she accidentally takes down Yi-na’s underwear, holding it far away from her with two fingers. Yi-na watches from across the room, looking as if she’s unsure whether to laugh or cry.

Yi-na returns to the bar and catches a man stealing glances at her — it’s the same guy from the other night (Choi Duk-moon), the one she disqualified for not having enough money.

She ends up spilling her guts to him, complaining about how her roommates are treating her like she has AIDS. He wonders why she’s telling him all this, but she doesn’t see the problem, as it’s not like she’s going to date him. His face falls a bit at that, but he denies that he’s interested in her.

He shifts the conversation back to her housemates and asks if she’s going to move out. She says she doesn’t think she should have to, even if she lied about being a student. He wonders why she’s so intent on living in the house, going so far as to lie. Yi-na looks upset at the question, but quickly puts on a fake smile to answer a call from one of her boyfriends.

Boyfriend Number Two and Yi-na take a detour on their way to the hotel, stopping at a restaurant — and it happens to be the one where Jin-myung works. Thankfully, Jin-myung’s not their waitress, but Yi-na keeps looking over at her, while Jin-myung carefully avoids her gaze.

Picking at her food, Yi-na thinks back to the night she first met Jin-myung: Two women were beating Yi-na for sleeping with one of their husbands, just in front of the convenience store where Jin-myung worked. In her usual stoic way, Jin-myung intervened by threatening to call the cops and scared the women away. Yi-na lingered outside the window for a while, watching Jin-myung study at the counter.

It looks like Yi-na and Jin-myung ended up housemates by coincidence — Yi-na came to see the empty room at the house where Jin-myung was already living, and they both were surprised to meet again. Jin-myung assumed that she came from a rich family when Yi-na said she wanted to use the room by herself, and when Jin-myung asked Yi-na if she was a student, she said yes. Yi-na says this moment was the beginning of her lie.

The chef at Jin-myung’s restaurant, PARK JAE-WAN, stops a bus just before it takes off. He confirms with the driver where the bus is headed, then holds the door for a beat before Jin-myung runs up, out of breath. Aw, was he holding the bus for her?

Jin-myung just gets on, not even bothering to wave back at Jae-wan from her window seat. She does look back at him once the bus gets moving though, then smiles the tiniest of smiles. Yay, you’re not made of stone!

Jin-myung walks home and sees Yi-na in a cab, passing her by. In the cab, Yi-na turns around to look at Jin-myung, but the car keeps moving.

Yi-na is taking off her makeup when she smells something again in her room. She investigates and finds the roots of one of her plants rotten, with maggots crawling around the pot. That’s… disgusting. And kind of unnecessary.

She’s cleaning out the plant when Jin-myung finally gets home. Yi-na brings up Jin-myung’s restaurant job, then offers to introduce Jin-myung to a man, so she doesn’t have to work so hard. But Jin-myung’s not interested, and Yi-na watches her walk away.

Yi-na’s back at the bar, extra dressed up and looking like she’s waiting for someone. She brightens when she sees the man she shared her worries with last time, and launches into another one-sided conversation with him. He looks disinterested in what she’s saying, but then tells her it seems like she really cares a lot about what Jin-myung thinks. Yi-na vehemently denies it and walks away; the man glances over at her as she sidles up next to another man, and he’s giving me the creeps.

Poor Jin-myung is working herself to the bone, as usual. She takes the graveyard shift at the convenience store, where she attempts to study at the counter. A shifty-looking man in a baseball cap catches her attention, and Jin-myung has her finger on the panic alarm button as he approaches her… but it turns out that he’s just buying a condom and trying to hide his embarrassment. Relieved, she rings him up, and in the morning she barely makes it to class on time.

In the cafeteria, Eun-jae’s sunbae Jong-yeol slides up next to her and totally wigs her out with his attention. She’s able to escape him when she spots Jin-myung eating lunch solo, and apologetically asks if she can join her.

Eun-jae asks Jin-myung if people get bullied in college too, then tells her about Jong-yeol bothering her. Eun-jae says she was bullied in high school — or rather, she didn’t have many friends — and hoped that she could turn things around in college. Jin-myung’s not very empathetic, saying she wishes she could worry about things like that, instead of more serious issues like paying rent and taxes.

Perhaps in the spirit of turning things around, Eun-jae makes it out to a department get-together at a club. But she’s not being very social, sitting alone drinking beer. Jong-yeol joins her, thinking her cute, and in no time, he drags her downstairs to the dance floor. With nowhere to go, Eun-jae’s forced to do some awkward, cringe-worthy dancing, clapping her hands and looking like she might die of embarrassment any second.

She slips away and tries to head back upstairs, but she spots someone busting it out on the dance floor to the whoops and cheers of the others — it’s Ji-won! Eun-jae re-joins the group to get a better look and breaks out into a huge smile, cheering Ji-won on and finally having some fun.

It turns out that Eun-jae’s got a bit of a girl crush on Ji-won, who’s stepped up to take Eun-jae under her wing. When Eun-jae got a bad perm, Ji-won took her back to the salon and demanded that they fix it, which they did. Ji-won chewed out a salesperson at a store for selling Eun-jae a shirt with a hole in it. And when Eun-jae found a hair in her bowl of noodles at lunch, Ji-won called over the waitress to complain, scoring them free food. Every time Ji-won stood up for Eun-jae, Eun-jae saw her as a guardian angel, growing larger than life before her eyes.

Back at the club, Ji-won finishes her dance with a flourish surrounded by cheering fans. This includes Eun-jae, who looks like an adoring puppy, clapping excitedly.

Eun-jae looks to Ji-won for some dance lessons at home, but she’s a lost cause — she stiffly copies Ji-won’s moves, looking painfully awkward and aware of herself. Ji-won gives up when she gets a much more interesting text from a friend, offering to set her up with a guy. Ji-won responds with her characteristic enthusiasm, super psyched to see that the guy is good-looking.

She meets up with the guy at a café, and after the date, Ji-won skips home on cloud nine. She raves to her housemates about the guy, confident that things went really well. She even acts out their goodbye at the bus stop, double hand wave and all, then sings and dances her way to her room.

Ye-eun checks her phone to see if her boyfriend Doo-young has responded to her text, but the message remains unread. She heads into her room to find Ji-won deflated, sitting on the floor with her head down. Sad, did she get rejected already? The answer is yes: Her matchmaker friend had texted her to say that the guy just wants to be friends.

Ye-eun sighs and asks if Ji-won pulled out her impersonations and signature dance moves on the date. Ji-won just slumps down and says her date found her funny, and they had a great conversation. But when Ye-eun pushes, Ji-won admits she did most of the talking — about 75 percent of it, in fact, citing her fear of awkward silences.

A phone dings, and Ye-eun checks hers in hopes that it’s Doo-young — it’s not. She complains at his lack of communication, and Ji-won wonders when she’ll get to complain about such things, too.

Doo-young finally responds to Ye-eun’s text, inviting her to come out and meet him. She excitedly gets dressed and is about to head out when she gets another text from him, telling her not to come out after all. Womp womp. Ye-eun can’t even respond with how she’s really feeling, swallowing her anger and texting back that she’s tired anyway.

Just then, Yi-na bursts out of her room, yelling at one of her boyfriends on the phone. It sounds like he’s giving her a hard time for not coming out to meet him, but Yi-na’s having none of that — she tells him she’s not going out, and he shouldn’t call her.

As Yi-na hangs up, she asks Ye-eun if she wasn’t leaving. That comment sends Ye-eun over the edge, and she stomps up to Yi-na to snatch away the cup she was using, saying it’s hers. Yi-na apologizes, but Ye-eun pushes it further, scrubbing the cup in the sink and calling Yi-na dirty.

The argument between the two escalates, and both Eun-jae and Ji-won peek out of their rooms. Just as Jin-myung’s getting home, Ye-eun tosses the final barb at Yi-na, telling her that she has to be dirty, going around and putting her lips on all sorts of things.

At that, Yi-na marches over to Ye-eun and firmly plants a kiss right on her lips. That. Is. Hilarious. As the other three housemates stare in shock, Ye-eun starts screaming and crying. Yi-na yells that Ye-eun should keep watch on her lips to see if they turn rotten.

Ye-eun recounts the incident to Doo-young the next day (and of course, the first thing he wants to know is if Ye-eun used tongue.) He does offer to go scold Yi-na for her, but Ye-eun says she’ll take care of it herself.

Meanwhile, Yi-na complains about Ye-eun to her pseudo therapist guy at the bar. He listens to her go on for a while, then points out that she has a scratch on her neck.

Yi-na must be thinking about moving out of the house, as Boyfriend Number Three (the dentist) shows her a small officetel, telling her she can move right in and redecorate if she wants. Yi-na thinks back to what she said to Jin-myung about living an easy life by getting a boyfriend, then tells her boyfriend that she’s hungry.

She clearly has an agenda, as she heads right back to Jin-myung’s restaurant and requests one of Jin-myung’s tables. As Jin-myung pours wine for them, Yi-na tries to bait her, talking about spending her boyfriend’s money, then saying hello to her directly, but Jin-myung just ignores her. To her boyfriend, Yi-na refers to Jin-myung as just her housemate, not a friend, and asks him to leave a tip.

When Jin-myung cleans up their table, she finds a hefty tip – 100,000 won — which she pockets after a beat. She heads back into the kitchen, lost in thought over Yi-na, when Chef Jae-wan asks her for some help. They head out to the back to load up his cart, but instead of having her do any work, he sits her down in front of a dessert plate. He tells her she looks worn out already, and that eating sweets will help.

Reaching for a tart, Jin-myung asks Jae-wan how he knew she was having a hard time. He’s straight with her, saying that when you like someone, it’s easy to tell. At that, Jin-myung pauses, but then smiles a little smile and takes a bite. She even jokes with him, telling him that the dessert isn’t very good, before breaking out into a bigger smile. Cute.

The exhausted Jin-myung heads home after her shift, and once again, Yi-na’s cab pulls up just behind her. But this time, Yi-na stops and offers Jin-myung a ride. She declines, so Yi-na gets out instead.

As they walk, Yi-na asks Jin-myung if it’s worth it — to work as hard as she does now, only to end up as a mere company employee in the end. Yi-na says she mentioned Jin-myung’s financial situation to her boyfriend, and he offered to pay for her tuition. She tells Jin-myung to think of it like a scholarship, which… still doesn’t make any sense.

Of course, Jin-myung doesn’t want to take the money. Annoyed, Yi-na asks Jin-myung if she hates her. At that, Jin-myung looks squarely at Yi-na and tosses the question back at her — why does Yi-na hate her? And is it Jin-myung she hates, or the fact that she’s poor?

As Jin-myung walks off, Yi-na thinks to herself: “I hate you because I’m jealous of you. I hate you because you don’t have anything, but you make me feel poor…I want to be like you but I can’t, so the only thing I can do is hate you. That’s why it smells — there’s a rotten smell coming from my jealousy.”

Back at home, Ye-eun tries to convince Ji-won and Eun-jae to kick Yi-na out of the house. Because Ji-won and Eun-jae aren’t terrible people, the two refuse to take a position. Ye-eun’s aghast, asking them to think about what it would mean to live with a woman who sells her body. She brings Jin-myung into the conversation as soon as she gets home, and threatens to leave the house if Yi-na’s allowed to stay.

Yi-na calls out that she doesn’t need to do that — she’ll move out instead. In her room, she stares at a fluorescent bracelet, switching the light on and off to see it glow, before tucking it away.

Elsewhere, a picture of the Belle Epoque house is pinned up on a wall, along with maps, post-its, and photos of Yi-na, taken from afar. A man enters the room and ugh, it’s the guy from the bar she’s been chatting with. He sits on his bed and looks up at his stalker wall, focusing on a shot of Yi-na, flagged with a note that reads “place she frequents.” He is SO CREEPY.

In an epilogue, Yi-na sits for an interview; when she’s asked about her fluorescent bracelet, she says it’s a talisman.

COMMENTS

First, we had Stalker Boy, and now, we have Creepy Stalker Man. I’m scared for what’s to come for Yi-na — how close will she get to Stalker Man before she finds out the truth about him?

I like Yi-na’s character — I think she adds a refreshing dynamic to the house, especially as a foil to Ye-eun (who I find to be the least likable housemate by a long shot), and the way she pushes some of our roommates’ buttons is fun to watch. But, this episode felt a little draggy to me, especially during her scenes at the bar and her interactions with her different boyfriends. I understand the show’s need to catch us up on how she operates, but I wish we would have gotten something, anything, on why Yi-na is the way she is. What’s her backstory? Why is she so insistent on living a life of luxury (when it comes to material goods, that is), but not on working towards it like Jin-myung?

Yi-na’s relationship with Jin-myung is actually really interesting, with both women so wary of one another, and the two being pretty similar to each other in terms of circumstance. I feel like we’ve only scratched the surface of their story with this episode — we only got to hear how Yi-na feels about Jin-myung at the very end, and we still don’t know what exactly Jin-myung’s thoughts are on Yi-na. There’s more to mine here, and I’m looking forward to (hopefully) digging deeper into their conflict.

The show continues to be pretty uneven as a whole — there’s some jumping around of timelines and sequences that I think is confusing; it’s too heavy handed with the “theme” of each episode; and I’m finding most of its visual effects to be unnecessary. But still, I like the characters and where their stories are going, individually and together. I’m especially glad to see that the roommates are challenging one another in ways big and small, forcing them to reevaluate their thinking and their actions. It hasn’t necessarily led to growth for all our characters just yet, but at least the potential is there. The ghost subplot is still hanging around in the background, but I’ve come around to it, as long as it keeps being used as a setup to give us more info on our heroines’ stories.

Finally, I’m loving the work that Han Ye-ri and Park Eun-bin are doing here — they play completely different characters in Jin-myung and Ji-won, but they’ve both made fans out of me. They just make you want to root for them, not just for their overall growth and eventual happiness, but also for them to find love with guys that they both deserve. This applies especially to Ji-won, who’s amazing and funny and honest about her inability to figure out guys. I’m on your side! Fighting!

 
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Thanks chocolatte for the recap! I'm so glad you included the epilogue, (by the way there's one at the end of each episode but you included it first) I think the epilogues are really important, they are like little clues about what each character is thinking and I found them quite insightful and fascinating.

Please don't leave them out in the recaps for the future! I'd love to know what people think about them. :D :D

First comment yay!

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Yeah, I thought the question-and-answer session in the epilogues was a very nice touch! It would be awesome if it could be included in all the recaps.

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I actually didn't realize there was an epilogue until the second episode, which is why I didn't recap it before! Tricky, adding it on after the promo for the next episode.

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I didn't notice either! :O I always try to click away from the episode when it finishes in case there's a preview. Lesson learned!

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I only noticed the epilogue on this episode! Had to rewatch 1 n 2 episode. I love it.

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The scene of Eun jae wiping down the toilet seat is totally relatable. I have a phobia of using public toilet seats, so I only feel comfortable after either (a) wiping it down or (b) padding it with toilet paper lol.

I have a strong feeling that "Creepy Stalker Man" is actually Yi Na's dad or someone with a fatherly relation to her. His interest in her goes way beyond sex, more to someone who is concerned about her well being and episode 4 sheds more light on this assumption. (No spoiler intended).

I like Yi Na's honesty, and her lack of self delusion. She knows who she is precisely, and doesn't deceive herself. She's also someone who is very caring. The scene where she admit she envies Jin-myung was a sad one. You could see she aspired to be the hard working drudgery-like person who could resist the temptation of the easy life that sugar daddies bring, but she's too caught up in her life to find a way out for herself.

I can't blame her room mates for wanting her to leave, because the fear of catching communicable diseases with someone who has multiple sexual partners is a legitimate one.

Once again, I applaud this drama for being daring enough to tackle issues that most kdramas would never dream of going near or owning up to. It's a drama that tackles adult issues in a compassionate way and that's what I love most about it. If I had to rate it, regardless of its quality, for being such a daring show that deals with feminine friendships and relationships, I would give it 5 stars!

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I love Yi-na to be honest but I've grown up a bit. I think I would've been a judgemental little jerk back then until I see the real Yi-na. A big sister type who doesn't want the younger girls to follow her footsteps because deep down inside she hates what she is doing.

I think she really does feel sorry for Jin-myung and in her own way was trying to help.

I love this show. I laugh at what I used to think was cool back then.
I never thought I was pretty enough so I'd find it weird if an attractive or smart guy would be interested in someone like me.

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I can’t blame her room mates for wanting her to leave, because the fear of catching communicable diseases with someone who has multiple sexual partners is a legitimate one.

It's not actually a legitimate fear. To catch pretty much any STD, you need to have contact with the infected person's sexual fluids (semen etc) or blood. You cannot catch an STD by sitting on the same toilet as someone who has one, or by drinking from the same mug that they do (see this link, about HIV/AIDS specifically: https://www.aids.gov/hiv-aids-basics/hiv-aids-101/how-you-get-hiv-aids/).

I agreed with almost all of your comment, but I wanted to point out that this portion was incorrect, because I think it's important to destigmatize STDs and the people who have them.

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This show is quickly becoming one of my favorites. I might like it even more than W (shhh, don't tell).

I like how each episode takes time to focus on one girl. It kinda reminds me of the format Skins UK had. It helps make each girl feel like an individual and relatable in their own way, while also drawing parallels between them (i.e. Ye Eun & Yi Na last episode).

Maybe the show will stick to it being just a weird mixture of jealousy & respect between Yi Na and Jin Myung, but with the way that Yi Na was searching for a reaction from Jin Myung, I totally got the impression that Yi Na has a crush on her.

Things that surprised me this episode:

- It may not have been romantic or sexual, but I was very surprised to see two women kiss on korean television. Is cable more lax with that kinda stuff?

- Yi Na's friend. I was surprised to hear her refer to him as working in the same "industry" as her. But then I vaguely remembered her asking him about which one of his "older ladies" bought him that all pink suit of his and things made more sense. It's not like we get a lot of narratives of prostitutes/sugar babies that go beyond them being "the other woman" in the first place, so Yi Na's perspective is new and refreshing in it's own right, but to hear about the male side as well is something that I wouldn't expect most TV in general to touch on, and so I wonder if we'll hear more about him.

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I like it more than W.

Despite the imperfect directing and cinematography (if only it were in the hands of Director Kim Won Suk), it's refreshing to see layered and imperfect characters navigate through life's challenges. I find their complicated relationships with each other compelling and realistic from jealousy, respect to admiration and everything in between. They mirror and challenge each other to self examine their own perspectives and behaviors, and I just love that.

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For W, I find myself invested in it's plot. While for this, I find my self invested in it's characters. Characters always come first for me, so the fact that I'm invested in each of them this much already is indicative of some really good writing, IMO.

The production does look a lil low budget sometimes, but I find it appropriate for the feel of the drama. There's been enough pretty moments for me to appreciate, and I find myself really liking the show's aesthetic.

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I actually like it's cinematography, it makes its theme of realism closer to heart.
The characters are such that you can actually recognize yourself in all of them be it Eun Jae and her glorification of her senior or Jin Myung and her fear of being average and Ji Won, dammint Ji Won being so awesome but always looked upon s a friend. Why does that seem so familiar?
The OST is another aspect I am in love with. Can we just appreciate the music because of the goddamn feels it gives!

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The music is so good!

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While the directing and cinematography don't bother me and I agree that they suit the stories and characters well, I can't help but wonder if this drama would've had higher ratings and more recognition in the hands of someone like Director Kim Won Suk, who did Misaeng and Signal.

I guess I just love this drama so much and wish more people would love it too!

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@Callie

Thanks for putting into words something that was bugging me, but I couldn't articulate. I wondered why I wasn't going gaga over W, and your comment nailed it on the head. While I love W's plot, I'm not really vested in its characters so I admire the show but can't really fall in love with it. I had the same problem with DOTS which I admired as well. But this show, with its complex, layered, rich characters, fully owns my heart. I'm so in love with this drama despite its flaws. I feel the same way about character driven dramas with great plots like Beautiful Mind, Signal and Marriage Contract.

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Same here! W is all fun for me but AOY has my heart.

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I love it more than W. You're safe.. haha

I kinda wish Yina is gay..and that she might like Jin Myung.

I have that similar opinion on Yina's friend.

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I dont know why but I really love this drama. It's a simple story of youth and friendships but the way the drama plays it all out- different personalities finding common ground in their struggles as young women trying to make their place in the world (or in another person's heart). It's so true to life. And that OST! From the light feminine voice to the simple music that plays just reminds of youth and the fluttery feelings that came with it. How everything felt like a big deal then and nothing really made sense but that never stopped anyone from doing impossible, random things that become storis you tell your children over a long winter night in front of the fireplace.

Ah this whole drama is making me really nostalagic of a time long gone by now. It makes me ache for days that'll never come again but it's a really bittersweet feeling. Reminds me that those days no matter how confusing and earth shattering they seemed then were really really precious.

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<The show continues to be pretty uneven as a whole

I find that I'm really intrigued by some characters (Jin-myung most of all, then Eun-jae), sometimes interested in some, sometimes not (Ji-won, Yi-na) and don't care at all about others (Ye-eun). I think it's partially who I can relate to, who has a more engaging story and also acting skills, but it makes for a somewhat uneven experience of the show ––– I might end up fast-forwarding through some characters' scenes in future episodes.

<Creepy Stalker Man

I thought that maybe he's a detective that's investigating her for a client (an angry wife) but unexpectedly starts caring about her (in a non-creepy, fatherly way I mean – seeing beyond her facade of beautiful, seductive young woman). I may be wrong, but I actually didn't any creepy vibes for the guy so far!

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Oh, me too! I didn't find the ajusshi creepy. Just pitiful and weird. That was before seeing his Stalker Wall of course. But like you, I assumed he was a police or private investigator.

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Same here. I actually was really bummed at the end because I didn't get any creepy vibes from him at all. I actually really enjoyed the relationship they struck up. It'll be interesting to see just what's up with him.

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I loved this episode! I actually found most of the dialogue insightful or funny. I love how in-your-face Yi-na is. Someone needs to wake up Ye-eun the hypocrite. Maybe a True Roommate's Kiss from Yi-na will do?

I also liked the bar scenes where she tells the ajusshi stories. Yi-na puts up a very tough facade in front of her roommates. She likes to pretend she doesn't care what they think about her, but it's obvious from her outbursts in the bar that she does care a lot. So I'm glad that we see that side of her.

I want to get to know everyone more! (Except Ye-eun.)

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I'm still trying to cut Ye Eun some slack, but she's rapidly running out?

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Ye Eun is definitely going to have to make some huge strides in order to get me to like her again. I have to give the show credit though. I find the dynamic between Ye Eun and Yi Na to be similar to the one explored between Yi Na and Jin Myung this episode. While Ye Eun may throw a lot of hate Yi Na's way, it's clear she actually wishes she could be more like her. But, because she doesn't know how to do so, she hates her more. She still pisses me off, but I enjoy what the show is doing with their relationship.

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Yes, I agree, Ye-eun is very flawed and very hard to accept as a fellow woman, and I also agree that her character is worthwhile. I feel like she's sort of representative of modern women who aren't emancipated from being a "girl" and all the baggage that comes with it. Ye-eun's sense of self-worth is clearly based on her ability to keep a man, no matter how little he values her, she retreats into sexual conservatism and judges other women for their choices so she can avoid evaluating her own, she cakes herself in makeup to hide from the world, but has shown herself to be intolerant of women who don't put the same work into their appearance (in episode 1 she complained about Eun-jae's thick eyebrows and said she disliked women who don't shave their body hair), and she's insecure and jealous of Yi-na because Yi-na is all the things she tries so hard to be, but does not seem to value those things the same way (or have the same complexes about it haha).

It's getting easier for girls to escape gendered expectations and consider themselves as professionals, as intellectuals, as just plain people before they consider themselves as women, but someone like Ye-eun deserves understanding and pity imo, especially considering she's coming from a place like Korea, where gender roles are obviously still very much a thing and women are routinely judged based on their appearance. As much as we hate to admit it, I'm sure at least a few of us have struggled with, or know people who have struggled with, being a "woman" as ungracefully and even spitefully she has. For instance, I was a very bitter person in high school because no matter how little effort I put into my appearance, or how unfeminine I acted, I still cared about being seen as a girl, and my failure to please made me miserable.

And yeah, I completely agree this relationship becomes more interesting when we look at how it intertwines with the one between Yi-na and Jin-myung. Yi-na bases her self-worth in her own person, which means she doesn't hate herself because she's selling her body, but because she lacks the diligence and purpose she sees in Jin-myung. And she also sees and values Ye-eun as a person, behind the makeup and frilly clothes and facade of a long-term relationship, which is more than Ye-eun can seem to do for herself.

Sorry, somehow this reply got waaay too long lol.

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I can totally see all of this. Thanks for putting Ye-eun back into perspective.

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The dynamics between Ji-Won and Eun-Jae, Ye-eun and Yi-na, and Yi-na and Jin-myung are so interesting.

On the surface, Ji-Won is assertive, quirky, outgoing and funny, yet she's a rather traditional girl at heart in regards to men and dating. Whereas Eun-Jae is quiet, shy and soft spoken and one may immediate judge her to be the traditional type, but her taste in men is rather unique.

More complicated, there's Eun-Jae who puts on a facade of perfection (to hide her lack of self worth and confidence) but epically fails to win respect, love and admiration from her boyfriend. And others may look down on Yi-Na for the unconventional lifestyle that she chose, but she's confident and intentional in her decisions to get the respect and results she wants: "Is living an easy life a bad thing? Just because you live a hard life, does that mean you’re living properly?” Great questions. Or better yet, my new favorite quote by The other Kiara, "don't judge her because she sins differently".

Then probably even more complicated, there's Jin-myung who is the epitome of all things diligent and goals-driven, but takes Yi-Na's question to heart: "Is it worth it to work so hard just to be average?" It's interesting to see that Yi-Na is probably hurt by Eun-Jae's disapproval of her lifestyle, but is truly affected by Jin-myung having a sense of purpose in life, because she doesn't.

They're all the perfect foil to each other. One person may reveal weaknesses in the other, but she also ends up enhancing the other's strengths and uniqueness.

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I agree, alot of Ye-eun's behaviour is because she's insecure and feels the need to project. That being said, I still found her treatment of Ji-won inexcusable and abhorrent in this episode.

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No worries - that was a great and insightful treatise on Ye-eun and her archetype.

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Sorry, somehow this reply got waaay too long lol.

Please don't apologize! That was such a spot-on analysis of the characters. I agreed with everything you said, but I don't know that I could have laid it out so cogently. ^_^

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Haha, I love Song Ji-won. She dances a lot like me, tbh. It's really the only way I can dance, but I'm really pretty awesome at it when the mood is right. Or so I believe...

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LOL I love her to death. She makes me want to dance. "Uptown Funk" will always remind me of Ji-won. Even those with 2 left feet can dance to it.

I like the music. Hope they'll release them all soon. I like both English and Korean songs.

What will become of our little country pumpkin after she learn how dance? Senior Jong-yeol looks like a potential bf.

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Yeah, I think Jong-yeol likes her, even if his sincerity is not getting through to her haha. I'm finding their dynamic amusing so I hope there's more push-and-pull, but I think they'd be cute together. [SPOILER]

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I was kind of like Eun-Jae, missing the boat when it comes to guys lol.

Looking back I think I was a bit of a self righteous little puke (secretly). Wiping off the toilet seat after Yi-na is something I'd do if I was living with her. I'm so glad I grew out of that kind of mentality.

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I want them together solely because he is so tall, and she is so small, that the issuing height difference would be both hilarious and adorable ?

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I love how he teases her because he likes her and she's all, ewww he's weird, [SPOILER]

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I know, right?

I ship them together because I know he's really, really into her. For someone so introspective that sees between the layers and into the heart of things, Eun jae's missing all his signals is simply hilarious. I think he was smitten with her from the first time she yelled at him, lol.

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I love the music too. It definitely elevates everything. Usually JTBC would have released at least a track by now. Hopefully soon...

Oh, poor Jong-yeol. I have a feeling he's going to have a very hard time getting through to her. I do hope he's successful eventually because it's a little bit sad (if hilarious) watching her spooked reactions to him.

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I love this show so much ( maybe because I am a recent college graduate). I relate to all of the characters because I know some friends who have gone through similar experiences. I like that the show is realistic in showing the struggles of young college women. Its not often all about makeup and boys but also dealing with friends, roommates, family, school, and work. I love how the shows how complicated life can be in a very realistic and relatable way.

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AoY has gotten better w/ ep 3 (and ep 4).

While some of it is having gotten to know the housemates better, it's also that Yi-na (and Jin-myung) have more interesting background stories/circumstances.

Aside from Yi-Na taking the easy way to a life of comfort, I rather like her directness and matter-of-factness (while she seems to enjoy the finer things in life, she doesn't seem to judge people entirely by their looks, based on one of her "lovers" who impressed her by his confidence).

Like others, definitely prefer her to Ye-eun (who, I guess, has taken the role of being the house stick-up-the-arse, despite having her own issues).

Is having a "sugar daddy" (or 2 or 3) the equivalent of prostitution?

What about being a mistress or marrying an older or uglier guy for his $$?

Or what about being a serial dater in order to enjoy nice dinners, shows, gifts?

Didn't think this ep was slow at all - the more quiet moments have their reasons for being.

Aside from Eun-jae being the newbie and despite having lived together for some time, seems like the other housemates really don't know each other that well (keep a good amount of things to themselves in order to put up a certain front - aside from maybe, Ji-won) and despite sharing a house seem to be lonely.

Pretty sad when the only person Yi-Na feels she can spill her guts to is some stranger (an older guy) at a bar.

Despite being a relative newbie to the acting scene, am impressed by Ryu Hwa-young's portrayal of Yi-na.

The portrayal is so natural and doesn't seem like RHY is acting at all (haven't seen her twin act, but wonder if she is as naturally talented).

There have been comparison btwn RHY and Park Shin-hye due to their similarity, but based on what I have seen of PSH's acting, RHY is already the better actress.

Also, taking into account her wearing heels, RHY seems to tower over the girls, but she's only 5'6."

While a "slice of life" drama and not a romcom per se, AoY already has had funnier moments than many romcoms (Ji-won trying to teach Eun-jae how to dance was a hoot) and the various romances (or not) feel more real and authentic.

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Between PSH and RHY, I can't proclaim who is the better actress. I need to see more of RHY. So far, I'd say she is more natural. I noticed that actors like PSH have certain facial expressions which come out no matter what role they undertake. Not sure if I am making any sense. I don't think it's because I have watched them too much. For example, I can predict in this actor's crying scene, the eyes are going to be lowered, the eyelids gonna twitch or the hand is going to go up to the chest. To be fair, I guess everyone has their own style and set of expressions but the very good and/or natural actors have less.

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But that's exactly it - every time I've seen PSH, can tell that she is acting (or trying to act) b/c she uses the same basic facial expressions (maybe she has improved in "Doctors").

While a small sample - RHY in AoY doesn't seem like she's acting at all, but rather IS her character.

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Ryu Hwayoung is actually 5ft8, which is 173cm. She definitely has the body of a goddess. #girlcrush

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Dramawiki, Viki, etc. all have her listed at 168cm, but she definitely seems taller than that.

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Loved her twin in School2013. :) It's my first time seeing Hwa-young act here and I'm pleased that they both have some talent.

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Am i the only one who noticed HwaYeong's (Yi Na) eerie resemblance to Park Shin Hye?

I love this show because it's totally relatable.

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No you aren't! I keep thinking what would Dramaland be like if PSH took on edgy roles like this? They need to play sisters, PSH can be the good sister and she can rock the bad roles.

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Nope you are not the only one. There are scenes where Hwa Young looks like Park Shin-hye.
And Park Hye-soo a bit like Park Bo-young.

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Or could have Hwa-Young and her sister, Hyo-young, play twins (which they are).

PHS looks like a mix of PBY and Lee Yo-won.

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Nope, she totally looks like PSH to me.

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I see it too. They have a striking resemblance, but I think RHY is the more beautiful version, and a more natural actress.

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When there was news of the AoY cast, there were those who emphatically stated that PSH was prettier (and that RHY couldn't compare) , but I'm going to have to agree that RHY is the more beautiful (has the overall better facial structure and symmetry and better physique as well).

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It's amazing how I'm sucked into Age of Youth and can see myself in most of the girls. I first identified myself with Jiwon because I am pretty chill and a little weird, but then I can also relate to Yeeun when I was once young and stupid and stuck in a shitty relationship with a manchild. And now seeing Jinmyung earning her living with minimum wage part-time jobs, I'm suddenly reminded of my sophomore year. I was taking classes full time, working as a tutor after class, catering at lunch and in the evening, and then working as a dorm night monitor through the night. I brought my books everywhere and studied at the night monitoring job, yawning the whole time. My boyfriend at the time got the catering job too, but contrary to my expectation, he couldn't do any of the heavylifting and quit after a month. I couldn't quit because I needed to support myself financially, so I worked three jobs for over two years while keeping my scholarship. It was exhausting, but I kept telling myself that I was only 20 and sleep was for the weaklings. Lol.

Coincidentally, I knew some girl was working as a stripper over the summer and she earned enough for the semester tuition. Like Jinmyung, I'm not one to judge. I needed the money so much and I considered myself pretty crazy for taking that kind of workload, so I'm in no position to weigh someone else's life choice.

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Wow, a lot of us have been identifying with one or a couple of the girls' personalities, but I think you win at literally being the most like them haha. It sounds like your college life was crazy stressful. Hopefully watching is bringing back some good memories, though :)

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Oh my, now that I think about it, I don't even know how I persevered back then. (Possible spoiler) My catering boss was also a sleazy guy who hooked up with a few student workers who were half his age, but fortunately, I wasn't his type. I also didn't have the body of a stripper, so watching the exchanges between Jinmyung and Yina this week, I just want to give Jinmyung a big hug because I relate to her so much. Yina deserves love too, but she'll probably shove me aside, lol.

Eventually, in my senior year, my family got into a more stable financial state, so I dropped the other jobs and was able to work only a part-time office job. This drama is now totally my crack. It's delightful to see how realistic the writing is - yes, Jinmyung can fit three part-time jobs and college courses in her schedule. It's possible but it's draining as hell.

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You are an inspiration. The writer also thought so.

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Aww, stop it, you xD

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han ye ri's smile is to die for

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It's dazzling - her character needs to smile more often.

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I'm so glad she is playing Jin-myung. Coming from a movie background, she is used to subtle expressions over verbal acting. She has mastered both, her speech delivery is usually perfect too.

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I think Ye Eun nailed Song Ji Won's problem right on the head. She tries so hard to be the life of the party, to cover up the fact that she's as nervous as hell when going on group dates that she never really gives the guys a chance to know her. It's no wonder they never ask for a second date.

I was like that with a best friend in middle school. I admired her so much, but was so nervous around her, whenever her folks would give me a ride home from school to help me out, I would chatter incessantly, totally animated just to cover up any uncomfortable periods of silence. Eventually, I asked her to stop giving me rides home because I didn't like what I was becoming. A lot juvenile, I know, but in my defense, I was 11 years old.

Best advice to Ji won, is to relax, and allow the other person to open up. Own her nervousness and allow the periods of silence to flow naturally. Otherwise, no guy is going to know the real her, which is someone sweet and caring, a little weird and a lot quirky. No one wants to date a party clown, they'll laugh hysterically at the jokes but she will be totally friendzoned.

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<she never really gives the guys a chance to know her

That might be part of it, but I also thought one reason was that she just doesn't fit the "girly girl" ideal that the guys seem to want: girls more like Ye-eun that prettify themselves and are sweet and passive and essentially live for their boyfriend.

Ji-won is much too independent and in charge (even if it's for her a way of covering up her actual self), it seems like the guys are entertained by that but ultimately intimidated – i.e. they assume she'd be a girlfriend that has the pants on in the relationship (even literally, since she was wearing overalls rather than a feminine dress on the night out).

I hope she finds a guy who likes her just as she is, because she's pretty awesome.

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Sweet and passive gets boring real fast (which is probably why the BF doesn't treat Ye-eun that well - she's "too easy" and accommodating).

Think most guys want a girl who is a bit of everything - sweet and accommodating at times, but also independent at times, etc.

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I really, really sensed a strong girl crush between Yi na n Jin myung and was hoping the show would go there but ep 4 just squashed the possibility.

And the similarity b/w me and Ji Won is getting scary. Maybe Ill learn something I can implement from here lol.

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Glad I'm not the only one noticing that strong chemistry between those two. Their relationship built from jealousy and somehow caring for each other. As the old says, "there's no true love without jealousy." I'm so looking forward to any yummy new fanfic of those two!

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Does anyone know the songs that are played in the episodes??? pls...

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I am in love with that mint green sofa and chair set. Does anyone know what brand, i.e. where I can get one??

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