Age of Youth is back, but sadly Kang Yi Na (Ryu Hwa Young) has left the house, which is quite a shame because her character stood out the most and she had the most complex problems in the previous installment. She still makes several appearances in the show, but her story is no longer as significant as before.
With Kang Yi Na’s departure, Belle Epoque welcomes a new member of the share house, Jo Eun (Choi A Ra), a tall and quiet girl, the complete opposite of Kang Yi Na. Almost mistaken for a boy, Jo Eun’s presence brings in pseudo-homosexuality topic into the drama, though like most of its Korean drama predecessors, the subject never really came to maturity. The only difference is if in other dramas, most characters are mistakenly perceived as other genders or to have different sexual orientations, thus making the others questioned their own sexual orientations when they found themselves falling for the misunderstood person, in Age Of Youth 2, Jo Eun and her friend, Ahn Ye Ji (Shin Se Hwi) are depicted as having an ambiguous same-sex relationship where the line between romance and friendship was rather blurred. At least at first.
Faithful to exploring the lives of female young adults, writer Park Yeon Sun is consistent with her stand on feminism, gender equality and sexuality. All subjects are still conveyed in light and heartwarming everyday life stories, blending young adult’s banalities with the more serious issues, from first loves, break ups, family problems, friendships, platonic relationships to overcoming post sexual harassment trauma. A transition from teenage life to adulthood.
The show is definitely not impeccable. There are flaws and illogical plots here and there, but even so, the show still manages to deliver its solid standpoints without losing the fun, warmth and sincerity.