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Record of Youth: Episode 16 (Final)

As our protagonists’ twenties come to a close, it’s time to say goodbye to these final pages of youth. While some days were filled with heartbreaks, tears, and longing, this period of tribulations was also marked by unbridled enthusiasm, beautiful memories, and lifelong lessons. Though the future may still be uncertain, our youthful leads gladly face what lies ahead and march towards their dreams.

EPISODE 16 RECAP

Hye-joon and Jin-woo pout at the park—each suffering from their own love problems—when Hae-hyo appears. Still sour from his encounter with Yi-young, Jin-woo disappears after he sees his friend, which makes Hae-hyo worried about his relationship with Hae-na.

However, Jin-woo isn’t the only one on his mind as Hae-hyo turns to Hye-joon and asks about his breakup. Hye-joon tells him that it hasn’t really sunk in yet, but then he remembers Jung-ha’s last expression. Hae-hyo consoles his friend, reasoning that Jung-ha chose to break up for his sake, but Hye-joon expresses doubt. He wonders how he can offer comfort to his fans when he could not even protect his loved one.

Flashing back to the night Hye-joon told Jung-ha that he didn’t want to break up, he drove her in his car, and the ex-couple sat in silence during the entire ride. Recalling the moment, Jung-ha tells the audience that she remembers everything from that day.

Parked in a secluded area, Hye-joon broke the silence, asking if she’s been well, and Jung-ha tried her best to maintain the idle chatter. When he didn’t respond in kind, she stepped out of the car for some air, and he joined her outside.

Hye-joon asked why she didn’t even give him a foreshadowing of their breakup or a chance to fix things. He thought she fired him because of his protectiveness, but Jung-ha actually thanked him for feeling protective. However, it made her want to lean on him, and that sense of dependency reminded her too much of her mom.

As she shared with him in the beginning of their relationship, Jung-ha had a firm sense of what she liked and disliked, but as time went on, she realized that things weren’t so black and white. After meeting him, she started changing and becoming more complex until, eventually, she liked her new self.

Hye-joon argued that he grew as well because of her, but Jung-ha pointed out their crucial difference: he achieved his dream while she just started. She believed their timing was off, and if they forced themselves to be together, then it would only drive them further apart.

Unable to accept their end, Hye-joon said that he would try harder, but his earnest doggedness only made her want to protect him more. With his eyes glistening with tears, Hye-joon told her, “I love you,” and after a pause, Jung-ha shakily replied, “I know.”

Hye-joon wanted to know why he couldn’t be by her side while she worked towards her dream, but Jung-ha told him that she learned a lot from his love and those lessons were enough for her. She asked him to remember their time together as beautiful, and Hye-joon wordlessly turned away.

Gramps poses for photos at the studio Jin-woo works for, and Young-nam dutifully monitors his star as a doting manager. Jin-woo’s soon-to-be ex-boss Moo-jin ignores Young-nam’s suggestions at first, but when he hears that he’s Hye-joon’s dad, his tune changes immediately. Though Moo-jin practically grovels for a chance to work with Hye-joon, Young-nam pushes for his dad, instead. Heh.

Overhearing their conversation, Gramps vows to only go to Jin-woo once he opens up his own studio, and Young-nam agrees to bring Hye-joon, too. Jin-woo thanks them for their support and quickly intervenes when Moo-jin tries to step in between them.

Min-jae meets with Kyung-joon about the lawsuit for one last time and gifts him chocolates. The good mood is short lived, though, when Kyung-joon mentions changing the agency name, and Min-jae barely reigns back her rage.

Moving on, she tells him that the charges will be dropped, but instead of celebrating, he wonders why people get mad at the truth. She calls him peculiar, and after considering it for a second, he takes it as a compliment. He invites her out to lunch and happily shares that these are the first chocolates he’s ever received.

Hye-joon packs up Jung-ha’s things, including the matching shoes he decorated. In the midst of cleaning, he finds the unsigned contract with Min-jae and contemplates his next move when Ae-sook comes in with food. She wants to reschedule the dinner with Jung-ha, but when he doesn’t answer, she wonders if they fought. Hye-joon tells her that she won’t respond even if he wants to fight. She asks if they broke up, and Hye-joon eats so he doesn’t have to answer.

In his office, Tae-soo looks over the article of Hye-joon’s successful drama, and still delusional, he wonders how to win him over. However, now’s not the time to be dreaming since Do-ha barges in with another emergency: he’s being blackmailed. Right on cue, the women from the bar walk in and wave.

Stepping out for a private word, Do-ha tells Tae-soo that they want 500 million won. Tae-soo wheezes at the hefty sum and then sighs when Do-ha blames him for introducing him to the place. Entering crisis management mode, Tae-soo meets one-on-one with the leader of the other side, and immediately grabs the upper hand when he correctly guesses that she’s recording them.

After getting her to turn over her phone, he threatens to report her to the police, but she doesn’t believe his bluff. He laughs and presents his pen which also happens to be a recorder—he now has proof that she tried to blackmail them. He admits that this story would hurt Do-ha’s image, but loving a bar hostess isn’t a crime. He mouths at the girl to scram, and she leaves in a huff.

Before Hye-joon steps out, Ae-sook tells him to come home early since she might not see him tomorrow because of work. Sitting down, Hye-joon tells her to stop working since he’ll support her. When she refuses, he explains that he earns money so that she can live more comfortably, and takes her hand in his, asking her to reconsider his proposal if she loves him.

In her salon, Jung-ha records her last video for her channel and thanks her fans. Among them is Hae-hyo, and he looks at the coupon he won from her live broadcast. He uses it as an excuse to go see her even though he isn’t filming, but she tells him to save it for when he actually needs it. She asks about his next project, so Hae-hyo informs her of his plans to enlist.

Hye-joon texts the group for a round of basketball, so later that night, they all meet up to play. Afterwards, they drink some beer, and Jin-woo wonders if the two stars aren’t busy. Hae-hyo points out that only Hye-joon is the star, and when Hye-joon doesn’t deny it, Jin-woo teases him and asks what he’s doing next.

Hye-joon tells them that he’s thinking of enlisting, but Jin-woo calls it crazy. Hae-hyo doesn’t think it’s that farfetched since he’s thinking about it, too, but Jin-woo argues that their cases are different. He keeps urging Hye-joon to push back his enlistment date, and even Hae-hyo says that Hye-joon should think about it. Since he has an early schedule tomorrow, Hye-joon leaves first, and Hae-hyo takes Jin-woo away for a chat.

On his way home, Hye-joon stops by the roof to look out into the city. He thinks to himself that he’s achieved his dream. However, he still has one assignment left, and the faster he gets it over with the better he’ll feel.

Ae-sook turns to Young-nam for advice about what to do with her job, but without even a sliver of doubt, he fully supports Hye-joon’s wishes. He tells her to listen since he paid off their debt and even bought their house. Hye-joon drops by their room and asks them to set up a family meeting.

Over drinks, Hae-hyo tells Jin-woo not to hate his mom, and Jin-woo says that he doesn’t because Yi-young is also Hae-na’s mom. Though he’s upset to be moved beneath his sister, Hae-hyo gives his support for whatever Jin-woo decides. Dropping the civility, Hae-hyo complains to Jin-woo about his earlier behavior, and Jin-woo apologizes while teasing his friend for acting like a child.

When Hae-hyo comes home reeking of alcohol, Yi-young voices her frustrations at her son. She scolds him for not feeling angry when he sees Hye-joon, but Hae-hyo admits that he is mad. He doesn’t understand why he hasn’t succeeded yet, and it hurts to notice how all the attention is now on his friend rather than him.

However, Hae-hyo likes himself because he realized that he’s not a bad person. He was genuinely happy for Hye-joon’s success because even now, he still believes that he’ll succeed as well. He assures Yi-young that she didn’t fail and raised a good son. His words hit her hard, and Yi-young returns to her room in a good mood—already making plans for Hae-hyo’s future and setting up her own agency.

Hae-hyo finds Hae-na watching TV in his room and tells her that he’s taking a neutral stance in regards to her relationship. She argues that he can’t be neutral since he’s under their mom’s influence, but Hae-hyo asks if she isn’t. Hae-na deflates, admitting that she’s even worse than him, and confesses that she misses how things used to be.

Jin-woo picks up Hae-na for their date, and during the car ride, she asks how she can help with his studio. He tells her to study harder because then she’ll be too busy to meet him. As his words sink in, he gently urges her to return to her old life since neither of them is strong enough to ignore their family. Though clearly upset, Hae-na doesn’t object and wipes away her tears.

Hye-joon attends a ceremony to accept the title of honorary ambassador for social welfare and does an interview afterwards. The reporter asks about his next project, and Hye-joon tells his fans that he doesn’t have anything planned at the moment.

While Kyung-mi drops off food at Hae-hyo’s house, her schedule overlaps with Ae-sook, so she tells her friend first that she’s quitting. She explains that Jin-woo doesn’t like her working here, and Ae-sook sighs since she’s having the same problem.

Kyung-mi finds Yi-young to inform her of her resignation, and Yi-young lets her go without a fuss, assuming that she heard everything from Jin-woo. She tells her not to be upset, but Kyung-mi misunderstands, thinking that Yi-young is talking about Jin-woo’s complaints. Though their responses sound odd to each other, they don’t think much of it as they part ways.

After some hesitation, Ae-sook tells Yi-young that she’s quitting. Unlike with Kyung-mi, Yi-young is much more adamant about holding onto her, but is at a loss for words when Ae-sook mentions Hye-joon. Since money won’t work on Ae-sook, Yi-young tries to appeal to her emotions, asking if their relationship meant nothing to her. Ae-sook wonders to herself why she’s acting liked a spurned lover as Yi-young continues clinging onto her. Heh.

In evening, Young-nam waits for Jang-man in the streets to give him some drinks that Gramps is sponsoring. Kyung-joon meets them on his way back from work, and the father-son head home since there’s a family meeting tonight.

Before dinner, Kyung-joon drops by Hye-joon’s room to ask if they’re meeting about Gramps’ new car, but Hye-joon sees through his tricks and knows Kyung-joon is talking about himself. Talking in circles, Kyung-joon gives Hye-joon financial advice and then asks if he can continue his studies. Hye-joon orders him to get to the point, and Kyung-joon asks his younger brother to adopt him. Ha!

During the meeting, Hye-joon tells his family that he’s enlisting. Everyone but Gramps is against the idea, but their arguments are pointless since the topic isn’t open for debate. Ae-sook says that he resembles Young-nam, but both father and son deny it. Young-nam gets up and says that his kids should resemble Ae-sook instead.

Ae-sook follows her husband into their room, and Young-nam tells her that he really meant it: Hye-joon only succeeded because he didn’t resemble his dad. Meanwhile, Kyung-joon tries to defend their dad, but ends up admitting that the favoritism was good for him either. He says that Hye-joon had more freedom, and though Hye-joon agrees, he points out that it also made him more distant with their dad.

In his room, Hye-joon looks over the new contract with Min-jae and texts her to meet next week to discuss their renewal. Agonizing over the text, Min-jae jumps in shock when Chi-young returns to the office to pick up his cake.

Seeing him spurs an idea, and she asks if he really isn’t interested in acting again. After thinking about it for a second, Chi-young passes on the offer since he doesn’t want to give up eating and hates memorizing lines. She reminds him to pick up Hye-joon tomorrow, but he says that Hye-joon is driving himself. On his way out, he warns her to be careful since their only star might leave.

A client comes early to the salon, and after Jung-ha does her makeup, she asks how the client was introduced to her. The client heard from Seo-woo (Hye-joon’s recent costar) that she was Hye-joon’s girlfriend, but Jung-ha denies it.

In the Jjamppong office, Min-jae hides her disappointment over the unsigned contract and wishes him luck. He suddenly says that he’s enlisting and asks her to wrap up his affairs. Despite her warnings, he tells her that he isn’t afraid of a two-year hiatus.

Then, for the first time, Hye-joon admits that jjamppong is better than jjajang, and agrees to sign a three-year contract. Suppressing her smile, Min-jae offers a three to seven split, and Hye-joon accepts as long as the company covers all the expenses. She takes the offer, and they smile at each other. Hurrah!

Now that Reporter Kim has a new target, she’s causing hell for Tae-soo by targeting Do-ha. Meeting in person, Tae-soo tells her that she picked the wrong person since he doesn’t care about Do-ha, but unlike him, she still has a conscious. He advises her to stop or else she’ll turn into him.

Jung-ha rides the bus to the library where she promised to meet Hae-hyo. Once she arrives, the familiar setting reminds her of happier times with Hye-joon, and the memories are so strong that she can’t stay there for much longer. Hae-hyo follows her out and tells her that he’s enlisting, though he leaves out the fact that he’s going tomorrow.

At home, Jung-ha drinks beer and watches Hye-joon’s interview on TV. She turns it off as it ends and then pulls out the shoes he gave her. She tries them on and comments on how comfy they are.

Hae-hyo packs up his things while keeping his enlistment a secret from his family. Before he leaves, he hugs Yi-young and tells her that he loves her. The next morning, he texts his friends that he’s joining the marines today, and at the same time, Yi-young finds a letter on his bed. Addressed to her, he wrote that he’s finally learned to accept his parents’ background as a strength, and decided to enlist solely on his own. As the words sink in, Yi-young clutches the letter to her chest and cries.

Jin-woo pops into Hye-joon’s room where his friend gives him some clothes and an envelope of cash to help with his new studio. Upstairs, the two families (minus Kyung-mi) share a meal together before Hye-joon’s enlistment. Jin-woo asks about Young-nam’s shoulder, and though he tries to hide it, everyone knows about it—except Kyung-joon, heh. After the meal, Hye-joon uploads an announcement on his Instagram account that he’s holding a live broadcast.

Do-ha also considers enlisting or at least separating from Tae-soo, but Tae-soo appeases the star by explaining how the reporter is attacking him because she’s jealous. He keeps feeding Do-ha’s ego and assures him that everything will be fine once Hye-joon enlists.

Hye-joon stops by the library, and just like Jung-ha, the place reminds him of her. Holding back his tears, he decides to leave, but an older janitorial worker cautiously asks him for an autograph for his grandchild. Hye-joon happily signs and then takes one more look around.

That night, he holds his live in his room, and as the viewers come pouring in, he tells his fans that he’s thankful for their love. He promises to return after serving his duties, and the chat explodes.

Two years pass, and Jung-ha drives her own sports car and manages her busy schedule with the help of her friend (and now employee) Soo-bin. On her way from a drama shoot, Jung-ha gets another request for an off-site filming and accepts.

After completing his service, Hye-joon goes to a meeting for his post-army project with Min-jae at his side. Afterwards, he makes it in time for Gramps’ award ceremony where he wins the achievement award.

Gramps tells the audience that he wasted his life, but out of luck, he had his son. He jokes that he wanted to give him money after winning the lottery but still hasn’t won. He wants to pay back his son for all the hardships he put him through and dedicates the award to him.

In his room, Young-nam weeps, and after composing himself, he goes down to see Hye-joon. He apologizes to his son and tells him that he regrets not supporting him when he needed it. Most of all, he regrets hitting him that one time, and explains how his insecurities made him hate himself. He makes sure Hye-joon knows that it was never his fault because he’s also been an amazing person.

Hye-joon apologizes for resenting him, too, but Young-nam says that he deserves it. Hearing Young-nam’s apology finally brings Hye-joon peace since he has always wanted his approval. Young-nam suggests a hug to end the moment, but Hye-joon quickly jumps away and rejects the idea. Hahaha!

As one parent-child relationship mends, another seems to be healing as well as Hae-hyo and Yi-young joke about how strong the boys’ friendship is. Hye-joon narrates that twenties are about detaching yourself from your parents’ influence, and now that his thirties are starting, he’s entered the stage where you can’t blame anyone else.

At the park, Jin-woo acts extra-polite to Hye-joon so he’ll do his photoshoot at his studio, and Hye-joon readily agrees. Hae-hyo joins them and agrees to it, too, and Jin-woo calls them crazy since they’re super expensive. They joke around like old times, and Hae-hyo shows off the abs he made during his action school training while the others run away in mock horror.

On set for his new drama, Hye-joon reads over the script as he gets ready, and not to far away, Jung-ha and Soo-bin arrive for a different shoot. As Jung-ha and Soo-bin go to check out the location, they cross paths with Hye-joon, and the former lovers stop in their tracks and lock eyes.

They separate from the others to enjoy a private walk, and he points out that she’s wearing his shoes. She tells him that this isn’t a sign of regret or longing, and he says that she thinks a lot in a short time. She wonders if he hates it, and he tells her that he doesn’t.

Their conversation mirrors their earlier one when they were just getting to know each other, but unlike then, they tease each other comfortably as they talk about how they’ve been and laugh.

COMMENTS

Welp, we’ve made it to the end, and it’s… underwhelming? Disappointing? Everything you hoped for? Take your pick. In the end, Jung-ha and Hye-joon break up, and their ending is left open enough for the viewers to make their own conclusions. It’s quite possible that the couple will rekindle their relationship, but for me, it really feels like these two are meant to be friends. Even after two years of separation, there’s an instant familiarity and comfort between the two characters that doesn’t necessarily come across as love but fondness. It’s not to say that they can’t be together, but maybe what becomes of the couple was never the message the show intended. Instead of a youthful romance, I get the impression that Record of Youth wanted to live up to its title, and in some ways, it was the writer’s attempt to pen an ode to youth. To capture the brilliance and beauty of one’s twenties while also acknowledging the fear and uncertainty of this period. Thus, it’s not about Jung-ha and Hye-joon finding love or conquering their problems together, but a humbler life lesson that it’s okay if things fail. Not everything is worth keeping, but just because things ended, it doesn’t make the entire journey pointless. Hye-joon and Jung-ha were given a choice in how to remember their relationship, and rather than dwell on the broken parts, they chose to cherish the beautiful moments even if it hurts.

Despite the message, I can’t help but see the show’s own faults and feel a little bitter. Overall, the ending felt lackluster because too many plotlines and characters were never resolved. Everything related to Yi-young sort of dissipated, and she wasn’t given a satisfying conclusion to any of her relationship (not with her children, husband, or even the other mothers). The show tells us that Hae-hyo and Yi-young are reconciling because he now accepts his parents’ influence, but that doesn’t explain what happens to any of the other toxic behavior Yi-young displays. Her relationship with Ae-sook was also odd, and basically was the same plot recycled over and over again. Unfortunately, the show had too many subplots and characters clogging up screen time, and consequently, it scrambled to tie up all its loose ends and failed. Tae-soo is still a jerk who never got his comeuppance, and Reporter Kim is merely a two-dimensional antagonist that solely exists to stir up trouble. Jin-woo is just the third-wheel in the friend group, and his relationship with Hae-na felt tacked on to the story. Jin-woo’s family was also a weird addition that ended up taking too much screen time for very little payoff. Whether the show should have focused more on Hye-joon or developed its entire cast more evenly is up for debate, but either way, the show clearly bit off more than it could chew.

Though the overwhelming majority of the final episode was disappointing, there was one character who I thought the show gave a wonderful farewell: Young-nam. (I know, who would have guessed?) Unlike many redemption stories involving abusive and/or problematic parents, the show doesn’t sweep Young-nam’s misdeeds under the rug, nor does it force Hye-joon to accept his apology out of guilt. Instead, Young-nam was given time to reflect on his past actions, and he genuinely apologizes to Hye-joon without looking for his forgiveness. The apology wasn’t for Young-nam to simply relieve himself of his burden but to give Hye-joon peace. What I loved about his apology was that he didn’t give an excuse for his behavior. He explained to Hye-joon why he wasn’t a great dad and absolves Hye-joon of any guilt he may have carried about their failed relationship. He tells Hye-joon that he’s always been an amazing son, and it’s his fault for not recognizing his own shortcomings and fears as a father. Even when Hye-joon takes some blame for resenting Young-nam, he doesn’t let his son give him an easy way out. All this time, Hye-joon was the one who was pushed to be understanding and patient, but Young-nam flips this all on its head. He should have been the one with compassion and empathy, so even if Hye-joon hated him, he accepts his emotions as valid and reasonable. Young-nam’s end, though, wasn’t just a sudden change in character this episode but a gradual shift that happened with Gramps first. It’s really thanks to Gramps’ endless love for his eldest son that Young-nam was able to face Hye-joon and apologize at the end. Even if everything else fell through, the show did a good job giving the closure Hye-joon needed with his dad, and I’m glad at least one major conflict was handled with care.

Record of Youth tried to be a lot of things, but ultimately, it was a tale of an aspiring star rising to fame and growing with his family. He lived, loved, and learned many things in this decade of life, and has a bright future ahead of him to continue doing the things he loves with the people he loves. While the show was disappointing on many fronts, hopefully fans will find some solace in this finale, and like our main (ex)couple, they’ll be able to cherish the beautiful moments the show had to offer. As for me, Record of Youth will just be another addition to my growing list of finished dramas, neither beloved nor vastly hated.

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This show was quite the disappointment despite having a promising start. I was quite invested in Jeong Ha and Hye Jun
as individuals and as a couple, but when they got together, things just become tame and their relationship was just kind of there and I started to lose interest in the drama and their relationship as well.

I thought Hye Jun’s whirlwind journey as a top star was portrayed pretty realistically but even then, it was a bit too fast considering how everything happened so quickly and easily for Hye Jun after being met with obstacles his whole life, but I guess all it takes is one project to reach stardom. Moreover I felt Park So Dam had the shorter end of the stick in terms of character development as I pretty much knew next to nothing about her motivations and dreams apart from her backstory with her shitty parents and her love for makeup that stemmed from her mother’s warmth.

All in all this writer is the epitome of lacklustre who can put out an interesting synopsis with barely any substance and knows how to write good dialogue between her characters which borders on pretentiousness and maturity, but is just annoying because it doesn’t match the characters actions. I’m even much more annoyed by that ending and time jump because I noticed just how reduced Hye Jun and Jeong Ha’s screen time was as the episodes went and how a lot of plot points were not explored or wrapped up adequately. I really have no hope for this writers next project and definitely won’t be excited no matter who she casts.

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The scene of Hye-joon at the library made me sad because as he was looking around it felt like we were saying goodbye to Park Bo-gum and it really made me miss Park Bo-gum already, can't wait for him to come back and hopefully choose a better project.

That aside, this drama was a disappointment in all fronts. Sure I was disappointed by the romance because it had such a promising start, but if this drama was going to be about youth, I wish it was a bit more endearing on that front and made the characters more likeable. Instead I was skipping through pretty much every scene.

Also, what a waste of Park So-dam! she only gets 15 minutes of screentime per episode, I was looking forward to this drama mainly because of her since I haven't seen her in dramaland in a long time but I was so disappointed by the lack of screentime as well as her character having nothing really going on.

This drama showed so much promise and I get where the writer was trying to go but she went about it the wrong way. I enjoyed some aspects of this drama but the faults in this drama are too glaring and at the very least wasn't even entertaining to watch.

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This story was always about the family units and the struggles of children living in those families. The families aren’t terrible, they’re different, but both supporting in their own way. Then there was Jeong-ha who had no family, no one to rely on. She still made it. It took her longer, but she also made it. It’s the way with ambitious women. I saw this online this week: an ambitious woman either needs a very supportive partner or no partner at all. Hye-Jun could not be that partner where he was in life. If the story was about her, that’s what the moral would have been.

But we know this story was PBG’s swan song before enlisting. Really, how unoriginal is this story in his own life? It’s his life. I still propose that he didn’t really have to do much acting here.

But I still really enjoyed this story. I didn’t need a love story. I didn’t need fireworks between the leads, and I didn’t need a cute bromance either. I needed something to make me forget about the mess of a world we are living in right now, and that’s what it did.

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I absolutely feel this drama is somewhat his story. Hey Jun is a charismatic actor but off screen he's just an average nice guy with principles just like PBG is.

One can say the plots/events minus the love story which is almost a must in kdramas that have happened to HJ have been done in previous dramas and have happened to other actors before irl
but some of the incidents related to HJ in this drama happen to be similar with PBG's own life including him being comfortable using public transport instead.

It's also a little sweet that in this story Hye Jun goes to military at when his career was at a high level .. in parallel with PBG going off to military at the same age and his career at a high level.

HJ's message to fans of him being confident in assuring he's (his career) going to be okay after military is like PBG leaving the message to his fans.

It's just my personal notion watching this.

I remember seeing this interview he had with Park So Dam where they had to answer the question in character.
Well, it's PBG, he did it effortlessly.
Looking forward to his next projects.

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Thank you, @lovepark, for the recap! As I said before, I think Hye-jun and Jung-ha are just soulmates as presented in the last episode - their break-up seemed a part of growing up with just the right lovely memories for later. I just wish that Yi-young could have been Ae-sook's friend, the former visiting the latter instead of the other way around, and learning how to keep her house instead of hiring somebody else. Young-nam's apology was really heartfelt. Like I also said before, this is PBG's drama, not PSD's, tho I feel sorry for her being a decoration. I wanted her story told just like Hye-jun's struggles - in that way, the Record of Youth could have been both their stories.

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" I wanted her story told just like Hye-jun's struggles - in that way, the Record of Youth could have been both their stories."

For somebody who relies on billing that's what exactly I was expecting! They should have just put solely PBG on the poster and didn't bother to put PSD as FL.

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Thanks for the recap, @lovepark!

Family meeting tonight!
You know, I don’t recall there being much discussion on this, but I rather love the family meetings Hye-Joon’s family has. Despite all the bickering in the past, I love how they come together to hash things out. Anyone can call a family meeting, and everyone shows up!

Keeping it in the family
Whilst constant conflict can be soul-shredding, Hye-Joon’s family actually reminds me a lot of my own. We do bicker, fight, yell, disagree. None of us ever back down. Growth and forgiveness take a long time. But, you know, we eventually got there. And difficult as it was in the middle of the fighting, the honesty helped us in the long run because we knew where each person stood, so it made it easier as we matured and our prides lowered to acknowledge the value of one another’s position to become more sympathetic and conciliatory.

I’m going to enlist!
LOL, Hae-Joon really does march to the beat of his own drummer. Everything with him is counterintuitive. It’s maddening yet adorable and respectable simultaneously.

The Library scene
Okay, THIS is the kind of writing and cinematography that works with storytelling. When Jeong-Ha goes to meet Hae-Hyo at the library she has frequented with Hye-Joon, the juxtaposition immediately communicated the difference between the two men. It also showed how Hae-Hyo and Jeong-Ha could never work as a couple. Jeong-Ha’s love for Hae-Joon couldn’t be matched by Hae-Hyo. It FELT right and natural to see her nostalgic memories of Hye-Joon, juxtaposed to the jarring effect when she is returned to the present with Hae-Hyo. Well done, Show. If only you did this throughout the episodes……

Mothers and sons
Whilst I know that it was sad Hae-Hyo wouldn’t tell his mother about his enlistment, it was really sweet that he reconciled with her before he left.

“Did you break up?” Ouch. Hye-Joon’s mom has such good perception. Park Bo Gum acted that scene so perfectly.

I’m not crying, YOU’RE crying
“I’m sorry.” So few words, yet so hard to say. I loved the reconciliation between Grandpa and Dad, and between Dad and Hae-Joon. That was a really good pay off. If anything, it’s interesting that the writers decided to develop and tie that storyline so well throughout the Show. One would suspect that was the major love line all along.

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I replyed that scene too (errr not just twice) when mom asked him if they broke up... The look on his face!

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Meh, that was it. I wasn't even underwhelmed. I was just whelmed. I wouldn't have even minded if the show was as @lovepark described it.

"To capture the brilliance and beauty of one’s twenties while also acknowledging the fear and uncertainty of this period. "

I wish the show had done that with it's young cast of characters, but it barely did that with Hye Joon. Everyone else was massively underdeveloped. It is sad because it had such a talented cast, but my God what a waste. So I leave this at meh, and hopefully I forget about this drama.

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Thanks for the recap!! You explained my thoughts exactly and perfectly. I figured this drama wouldn’t have a “happily ever after” ending with everything nice and tied up because I felt like they were hinting at an open ending. That fine, I had accepted it. But like you said, there was so much that wasn’t covered. I would’ve love to have seen the moms develop a friendship or talk about their actual feelings. The whole Tae-soo plot was just flat. He started off being a jerk and the final scene was how he got away with something yet again. I would’ve liked to see how the whole Jin-woo and Hae-na relationship developed in the first place and not necessarily a happy ending but just how they dealt with life. Overall a good story with lots of potential but it’ll go down as one of the dramas that could’ve been.

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I enjoyed this well enough. I liked the dialog, I liked the bromance. Hae-hyo didn't crack and reject his friends, he stuck by them in the end, and didn't make a move on his friend's girlfriend, which was good. The actual romance felt more like a bromance to me.

I felt the drama was more about family than anything else, which is probably why PBG chose it. The father-son arcs on a lot of levels were pretty satisfying in the end.

Thanks a million for the recaps, @dramallama and @lovepark!

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I guess this one is just one for the bean count (if we’re still counting..)
Did anyone else wonder what happened to Jin Woo’s mum that she wasn’t in the final dinner scene? Did she just give up on the show at the end..

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lmao😂😂😂, maybe she did give up.

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Done! I skipped a lot just to finish and wrap it up. I liked the last two episodes (surprisingly so). It was cute. I did not care for the romance so it did not matter whether they ended up together or not.
Am I the only one who was annoyed with PBG's character? Lol
I ended up liking Hae Hyo, I love the brother. The father story was nice. Hye Jun was annoying.
People were overreacting on dramalist so I had to watch the last two episodes and I liked it unlike most people.

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We got a bean!

I'm not sure about the title, the characters were 28 years old, it's not old but it's not really young anymore...

I really liked Sa Hye-Jun's story, it was the center of the drama and for me Park Bo-Gum really shone in this role. His relationship with the different family members was interesting and touching. The hunt after success and the price to pay after were really interesting, the way it influenced all his life even he didn't want to. How he becames selfcentred just by being wokalcoholic.

The love story was really bad. I was happy that the ML was 28 years old, was a model so comfortable in own body and already dated. So I hoped for a good love story with the couple sharing lovely and sexy moments (à la Something in The Rain). Instead we got a teenagers love story. It lacked sparks and was boring. At the start, their bickering was fun but at the end...

An Jeong-Ha was flat. She never was really completely happy or sad. I don't know if it's Park So-Dam's acting or the directing but her character was pretty boring and I didn't feel like she settled the relationship with her mother...

Won Hae-Hyo and Won Hae-Na were rich kids until the end... It was kinda disapointing but I guess pretty realistic.

Lee Min-Jae was not a good agent for me. I didn't like how she was ready to use people like An Jeong-Ha to deny he was gay, then she just denied their relationship without consulting them. She was funny and had a lot of motivation but lacked professionalism.

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Ive been waiting for this last review to decide if I should invest my time on this drama or not. I guess is no. Thanks for the recaps, Ive been following the recaps here in there, but nothing really caught my attention.

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Don't bother. 16+ hours with absolutely nothing new or interesting to say.

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The amount of comment on this one despite being a finale explains a lot about this drama in general. We don't love it, we don't loathe it, we just failed to care enough to even write anything despite how dissapointing the finale was.

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Lol ikr the popular dramas have atleast a 100 comments

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Even the relatively less popular one has like 30 or even up to 70 for a finale recaps lol

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I think the dramabeans community just chose not to comment and let it slide. You should read the dramalist comments. Omg. We are nicer here.

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Judging a drama’s success based on number of comments here does not necessarily mean that the drama was a failure. It just means the viewers who enjoyed the show probably prefer not to comment here or are doing it elsewhere.

Dramabeans is not the only platform for drama discussions. There are other sites too like Soompi and its spin-off Janghaven. Nowadays, majority of viewers, most notably fans, prefer to post on Twitter, IG etc because those trending posts count more towards the show’s visibility. Besides, it would look like local ratings and streaming site ratings such as Netflix etc may be a better measure for a show’s popularity. Naver, Good data and other content index contribute to local footprint as well.

The show is just not as popular here. However, K nets and other international viewers may have a different opinion from this community.

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I don't think @immawish was trying to call it a failure just not worth watching judging by the lack of excitement here.

I normally refer to this site as well to pick a drama (only if I'm unsure) or dramalist (which has a pretty large international user base and you can go check them out). But I've already watch RoY so just saying for a drama finale to have less than 30 comments here is...sad.

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If I had to rely on the number of comments here to pick a drama I think I'd pick the less commented one. I really found the most commented ones unwatchable and I'm sorry to say but I also found the final review trivial. A well written and realistic drama perhaps deserved a more good review. IMO

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This drama did well in ratings both locally and in Netflix. The lack of comments here is a sad reflection of this site, not the drama. Most viewers just prefer posting their thoughts elsewhere.

The reality is, Dramabeans is struggling to keep afloat. This site probably has more than a thousand registered users but only have a few posting regularly. Some things are not working for this site.

The most commented shows here are not necessarily a measure for picking “good” shows. Just saying.

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Oh thank you, yes that was what I meant. I was talking about the community here, i think popular dramas still do have like 100-200 comments. Even the less popular one but people still follow and watch has like 50ish. Number of comments don't necessarily reflect any drama quality but at least people care enough to engange in dicussion, be it to praise or to hate lol

*ps. Yes I don't think this drama's worth watching but not at all saying that I hate anybody from this one. The actors did well with their given material, the director does well, Ha Myunghee even deliver those deep-thought triggering philosophical one liner, it just that i think she lacks at plot and characterization and emotional impact.

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If RoY were a dish in a fancy restaurant, it would havr been a bland boring one. Not bad enough that you had to send it back to the kitchen, but definitely a disappointment. Especially when you saw all the expensive ingredients used to make the dish. You left the restaurant still feeling hungry and unsatisfied and end up stopping by at burger joint .

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The Biggest issue I have with this show is how much screen time got wasted on Yi Young, Hae Hyo's dad, his sister and Jin Woo, he was unnecessary third wheel nobody asked for. And all this for us to be gifted with the worst acting of a crying mother that I've seen in the longest time. God, that scene where Yi Young starts crying/balling in Hae Hyo's room after getting the goodbye, going to military letter was cringe, the actress just looked constipated while forcing that sadness, I laughed at the obvious fakeness and overdramatization. This show gave her screen time, screen time that could have gone to fleshing out Jung Ha. I think a struggling make up artist trying to make name with a complicated family had all the right ingredients. They just very consciously chose to not flesh it out. Hae Hyo's story, the triangle as distasteful as it was still had potential to be a good conflict but they again chose a gay man commits suicide as a troupe. Why was Ae Sook and Yi Young's banter forced on us, why was Tae Su and Do Ha forced on us....it wasn't record of youth....it can't be because we got record of moms, dads, gramps, brother, sister, horrible manager and everybody else but the three youth representatives. This drama writer will forever be on my shit list. This lady also wrote Doctors. She took Park Shin Hye's badass character and then turned her into this mellow, cliche delicate flower with zero spunk. She really doesn't know what to do with her characters and talented cast is a waste in her hands. Park So Dam, I feel sorry for you girl. You were part of a huge critically acclaimed hit movie and they thoroughly did you dirty in this show to prop up side characters, side characters. Girl can shine given the right script. Better luck next time sweetie.

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Hahahahahaahaha. I loved this comment.
Weren't you just irritated with Park Bo Gum's character as well? I mean ugh I was
I honestly liked the brother tho lmao

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Spot on!

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The moms + TS/DH banters with that 'inner voice' are super weird, cringy, and unnecessary. Do they think the audience are not able to make their own deduction or do they not trust the actors to convey the story?

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Thank you so much for your recap lovepark, it always helps me to more fully understand the episodes and I agree with your final filing "neither beloved or vastly hate" for this series. I was a little let down by the final, but I only really invested in Hye-jun and although at first Jeong-ha towards the end I disliked her. I'm glad Hye-jun was able to move on from Jeong-ha and that salvaged the ending for me. I was really happy with the resolutions of the other relationships especially the three amigos, the reconciliation between Hye-jun's grandfather with Hye-jun's father then the father to Hye-jun. I didn't understand Jeong-ha and as previously mentioned grew to dislike her. I guess she should of just remained a fan. She never seemed comfortable being his girlfriend. I couldn't remember the line where she said "this is why I didn't want to be in a relationship??????," but maybe that said it all. The line that really crushed me was " I don't want to be your emotional outlet anymore." What! Are you serious! She was there for Hye-hyo each & every time as an emotional outlet, even sitting in silence in her pajama on a playground after hours and having to get up early the next day! She even hid her encounters with him from Hye-jun until found out! What kind of a girlfriend does that. She gave Hye-hyo way more physical time and space then Hye-jun and she knew how Hye-hyo felt about her. When she first contacted Hye-hyo about her good client news first instead of Hye-jun and then wouldn't talk to him while he was right next to Hye-hyo then promising to call him later and then didn't call him, that was really classless and telling! Was she playing games with Hye-hyo or just taking advantage because he was always there. Either way it's not an admirable trait & it seems she dumped him altogether at the end because he wasn't of any more use to her. Jeong-ha's line "it's better to love then to be loved" was just stupid to me. OK maybe she felt she had no control, I can relate. She didn't want to announce their relationship with Hye-jun because of all the possible paparazzi, so she doesn't appear to have enough love for Hye-jun to bear it, which I guess I get, but I just felt bad for Hye-jun because he loved her with all his heart. Jeong-ha seems very selfish and unwilling to find a way, just looking out for her best interests, but coming from her background I guess it's to be expected. I cringe every time I think about how she set Hye-jun up inviting him to a face to face, telling him she loves him and then saying let's breakup. That was like a knife through my heart for Hye-jun. The writers kept trying to convince me she did it because she didn't want to jeopardize his career,I'm not buying it, well maybe a little, but felt more like she was glad to discard Hye-jun because he'd become a burden. Maybe Jeong-ha needed to be more established in her career and personhood to feel more comfortable and I can surely understand...

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I just wanted to say I finished it. Netflix played big part in it. It was just fell into mildly entertaining category. Not terrible enough to drop it and not exciting enough to wait for it every week.

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In life there are not always simple solutions and some relationships may never find it ... The ending of RoY is the worthy conclusion of one of the most serious dramas of recent years .. The compromise between love and success may not exist, but it is important to keep looking ..

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Here we are to comment on an ending that perhaps would have required a few more episodes, I find it unfair to limit the number of episodes of a drama that has a lot to say (certainly more than just a love story) just to sixteen. That is, the duration of CLOY seemed even too long, just to give an example.
But first of all a premise.
I thank the Dramabeans team for the reviews and recaps, also because since I am often forced to see the drama of my interest (those with actors that I consider worthy of being followed in all their projects) in a language that is not my language mother.
But I have to make three small criticisms, because I believe that the reviews on this drama have always been a little superficial, perhaps because those who spoke about it had different tastes or follow different idols?
For example, about Roy I have often read the criticism of the gay designer theme, as if the designer's sexuality was the central knot of the drama and not the system of sponsors, or agents ready for anything, or contracts with absurd clauses that affect the intimate sphere of the stars, or the theme of the haters who write words of hatred unaware of the evil they do (think only of the suicides of many young idols).
The great acting skill of the cast was then neglected, with Park Bo Gum at the apex, who surpassed himself, giving us moments of great emotional expressiveness and who has given birth to many different characters into one drama. Then the actresses who played the two mothers, really surprisingly well done.
Park So Dam's intimist acting has also been underestimated, who bringing the role of an emancipated, modern, independent and strong woman to the screen for the first time.
Even on the main relationship between Hye Joon and Jeon Ha, I think the comments were all too superficial, forgetting that at that age, before the age of thirty, many young people are faced with fundamental choices, between career, family and work.
As for me, I did not like that PD cut the sex scenes between the protagonists, not because they were fundamental, but at least because these would have made us understand better understood the level of intimacy and depth of their relationship and also the torment of the moment of the breakup, when in through their eyes we could read the deep pain felt. For days I have been wondering why she had decided to leave him, it is difficult to think that life can make you choose to give up love to pursue your dreams, perhaps more realistic is the thought of sacrificing oneself for the love of the other.
Now, in two days the series will finally be broadcast with subtitles in my language on Netflix and I will be happy to see it again to try to better understand their dialogues and clarify some doubts I have left.
I am very sorry that for a couple of years I will not be able to delight in the vision of dramatic acts of the young Park Bo Gum called to such an anachronistic military service. I do not know other Korean actors who...

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The biggest problem with this drama was the fact that the writer tried way too hard to present all kinds of life problems. I get the intention, but they ended up sacrificing so many characters (mostly the ones they should have focused on) and so many sub-plots.

Not going to comment about Jeongha/how they wasted Sodam's talents since everyone talked about it already, but one of my biggest disappointments was how they solved Haehyo and Yiyoung's conflicts. The final blow happened way too late and we didn't get to see the process of Haehyo's (and Yiyoung's!) self-reflecting. He just went from being sulky prince with low self-esteem to a brave, wise person. Just like Jeongha, Haehyo's journey could've been more compelling, but sadly everyone was here just to fill the leftover spaces.

I didn't mind the Haena-Jinwoo's story, but I think they should've done it from Jinwoo's POV instead of Haena's, who was pretty much an outsider. I think it was because they wanted to focus on Yiyoung, and for a show titled Record of Youth, they sure focused on a lot of grownups. I understand that the might want to relay a message that there were people who experienced "youth" late, like Gramps. But it didn't mean that these parents should get more screen time than their children.

The only subplot that I loved was Gramps'. I honestly didn't expect Youngnam to change, because speaking from personal experience, most people (especially those with too much self-pride and/or inferiority complex) don't change. But it felt natural because Youngnam's change was the result of Gramps' change, and it took years for them to mend their relationship. The same applied to Youngnam and Hyejun's.

I'm okay that Taesoo and Doha didn't change, there are a lot of jerks like them but I want to complain about Reporter Kim. She was a REPORTER, but the first time she heard the so-called info about Hyejun she NEVER bothered to do a fact-checked. Then suddenly Jia, Hyejun's lawyer AND his ex-gf who helped him, told her that she got everything wrong, she believed her AND did a fact-check before lashing out at Taesoo. While I understand that she was there to cause chaos, her characterization was so ridiculous. But I'm happy that Bae Yoonkyung could act as a rude bitch because I always felt that her acting was too stiff. She came out as annoying, and her angry scenes were okay, for now that was enough.

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I really loved this drama. I would've rewritten parts of it, but I still loved it. Record of Youth was part fantasy and part relatable.

Hye-joon and Jung-ha had such a fairy-tale romance. I loved their playful banter and was thankful it was back in the finale. This is my idealized relationship: someone you feel so comfortable with who knows when you're upset. They were seriously adorable, and the rain in their love story was romantic. Jung-ha still wearing Hye-joon's shoes after two years hints at them getting back together, but I'll take this open ending over La La Land.

In Episode 3, when Hye-joon said he comes to the library when he's depressed and Jung-ha said she's depressed too, I related to them so much. And every time thereafter when they said they're depressed: Episode 4 Jung-ha's "Fangirling and drinking habit mean sadness." and Episode 6 Hye-joon coming to the park when he's depressed. I loved how quick the plot moved: Jung-ha lied to Hye-joon, and in the same episode, told Hae-hyo the truth, then Hye-joon finds out in the next episode.

I wished Hye-joon and Jung-ha had actually used their consent, so we could've gotten more kisses. I wished she had become the CEO of Ahn Jung-ha brand. I wished she had met his mom who was their #1 cheerleader, and he had met her dad and if he's not a turd like Mom, her 6-year-old half-brother. I wished he had gone to her house to celebrate his Best Actor award.

Hye-joon's family's character arcs were immensely satisfying. Kyung-joon grew to be one of my favorite characters. The scam turned out to be the best thing that could've happened to him. I was moved to tears by Dad reflecting on his faults and wholeheartedly apologizing to Hye-joon. He showed real character growth. Ha Hee-ra and Shin Ae-ra's bickering was one of the highlights of the show. I was happy the bromance remained intact until the end, and all their hanging out at the playground was cute.

I'm mostly forgiving of the show's flaws, though it's undeniable that characters not named Hye-joon were underdeveloped and/or one-dimensional. This show had no concept of time, though I knew we were in 2019 in Episode 6. The characters should've celebrated holidays, worn clothes to match the seasons, changed their hairstyles and hair color (Jung-ha), and changed their phone wallpapers (Jung-ha). The nonlinear storytelling was a choice.

This was truly a healing drama when I was depressed.

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Oh God that hair color of PSD doesn't complement her face at all! I wonder if they deliberately made her look like that so she would look so ordinary (she is such a pretty girl esp with darker hair colour). Some of her outfits didn't give her any justice either.

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So the bedroom scene in Episode 8 really was Hye-joon and Jung-ha sleeping together?? I feel so gypped because we even got Jin-woo and Hae-na sleeping together. It would've been more understandable had they shown the morning after than the night before.

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They left it all to our imagination.. Lol!

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That scene has been in my mind even after watching Roy twice. So i went back to that scene again. I might be wrong here.. but if its a breakup scene, why in the bedroom? With a candle lighted in the livingroom, with HJ 's shirt unbottoned in the neck area? JA not wearing any makeup or jewelry? With both having nervous looks when one plans to do the unthinkable? With a tissue box at bedside? I think they did it, right after dancing in the rain. HJ might have a spare white shirt in store somewhere. Because at the end of that ep, JA's words are, this is where they are flipping the page of their youth.

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Another disappointment (after Alice!). What was this who trying to do...be another Reply 1988?? Fight My way? Mash-up of the two? I think the problem was the creators had no idea either....I agree with the recap that there were too many subplots (for the sake of subplots?), and too much time on the wrong minor characters and not resolving the dynamics/issues that actually was interesting (Hye Ho and his mother, the 2 mothers, etc.) And let me not even BEGIN to comment on the 15-20 minutes after the time skip!!! I mean, come on...you couldn't you have changed up the 2 MLs' hairstyles a little bit more to make it obvious they just came back from service (especially if PGB was headed to service, he could have previewed his buzz cut on the show!!!). What a waste of talent......... atleast PGB's comeback project can be only more memorable my comparison, thank god!

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