Youth Final Thoughts:

It took me more than a year and a re-watch before I could finally write my final thoughts on this show (and due to procrastination, duh). The thing is, I lack the guts to actually finish a Chinese drama and I am not as tolerable to longer dramas than I used to be (looking back, my Taiwanese drama choices when I was younger were quite on the romcom and melo side, such as It Started With a Kiss, Dolphin Bay, Frog Prince, etc.). Youth is a near-faithful adaptation of Age of Youth‘s Season 1, with some changes here and there (especially on Ji-won and Ye-eun’s backstories) to make only 1 season work.

Music: 7/10
Although I really love the opening and ending theme songs of the show, they are the only music we hear for 26 episodes! TWENTY. SIX. (around 30 mins/episode). Sure, the theme songs are great (one for each happy and sad scenes), but what made the original stand out was the various OST used. Each girl even has her own OST being played (Ye-eun: 24 hours, Ji-won: What up, All: butterfly, etc). Search for the OST album on Spotify and you’ll hear GOLD indie music.

Plot (Changes): 8/10
Since the show was trying to make only the first season work, changes are necessary especially on Yitong/Jiwon and ChenChen/Yeeun’s backstories. If you recall Jiwon’s lie on Season 1, she told Eunjae that the reason why Yeun has been craving love is because of her sister who is always favored by their parents. While this isn’t true in the Korean version (because it is due to Yeeun’s Mom as shown in S2), the Chinese version used this to justify ChenChen’s actions (which is really unjustifiable). Yitong’s backstory, on the other hand, has been changed into someone who started to lie to get her workaholic mom’s attention, which is a lot farther than Song Jiwon’s original backstory.

Set Design: 9.5/10
You may ask why I am rating the set design, but for an adaptation, sometimes the locations are important. The Belle Epoque House (which is really not a house irl, but a cafe) served as the main venue where the story took place, and finding a place that is not only visually similar, but also has the same vibe is really hard. And I do love that the characters, especially Yitong and Helin, usually wear clothes that complement/matches each other (+.5).

Acting: 8/10
While I do appreciate that the characters really resemble the original girls, there are times when the acting felt flat. Maybe it is because the Korean actors did a really amazing job at portraying the characters and making them their own. But the they still did a great job.

Rewatch/Watch Value: 8/10
If you’ve already seen Age of Youth, you really don’t need to watch this. You can just skip to the additional scenes (like what I first did last year) because it’s just the same thing, only with different actors and some not-so-major changes. Will I rewatch the show? Not really. I would probably just watch the additional Tong-Lin scenes but that’s it.

All in all, the show is a really good adaptation and it even exceeded my expectations. I think it’s great.