warning: may contain spoilers
Adolescence Medley is a 4 episode drama special that makes one’s heart flutter~..
Adolescence Medley, originally a webtoon, depicts teenage school life in the countryside. Choi Jung Woo recently transferred to Nam Il School when his father’s job was also transferred to that town. Having transferred schools at least 7 times, Jung Woo knows how it feels to be a transfer student. He didn’t have any friends as his stay in one school is very short. He decides to be invisible by remaining quiet and not concerning himself with other classmates. He meets Im Duk Won, his seat mate, who befriends him. Yang Ah Young, the class president, tries to get close to him as well by giving him random chores and duties. His friend Duk Won was always bullied, and one day, it got on his nerves so he decided to step up and speak for his friend. The bully, Lee Yuk Ho, also called Brown Bear, asks to fight with him and Jung Woo cowardly accepts. At home, he feels scared but learns the news from his parents that they will be transferring to Seoul soon as his father was promoted. The next day, Jung Woo knowing that he will be leaving soon, decided to have a little fun. Annoyed by Ah Young, he tells her: “Will you go out with me?” which Ah Young accepts and they suddenly become a couple. He also willingly volunteers to sing for the national singing competition. Feeling happy with all his plans, he receives a bad news at home. They will not be transferring to Seoul anymore and his parents decided to let him graduate in the countryside. What will happen to Jung Woo and his relationship with Ah Young and with Brown Bear?
It’s my first time watching this kind of short Korean drama special wherein it’s only 4 episodes long. Even with only 4 episodes, the director made good use of the time allotted as most of the scenes were important and relevant. I find this drama interesting as well because there were many emotions conveyed, from being happy to sad, funny to suspense. Basically, a little bit of everything can be found in this drama special which makes it more special. The cinematography was also beautiful. I guessed filming in the countryside really helped. The sceneries in particular were simple but very suitable for such dramas like these. The stepping stones in the river, the trees, greeneries remind me so much of spring season. There were also many memorable scenes in this drama. What I liked the most is the boxing gloves kiss — when Jung Woo kissed Ah Young wearing the boxing gloves while touching her face. The kiss isn’t revealed because of the angle. Also, the last episode when Ah Young returned the kiss, this time two books were used by Ah Young to touch his face. Also this time, the kiss is finally showed to the audience. I find these two scenes very sweet and cute.
My only complain is why did they have to change the actor of the grown-up Jung Woo? I didn’t quite understand why his friends remain the same while he has to change. I guess it will be weird when the younger Jung Woo plays the role of a teacher/lecturer? He was also petite, so maybe the teaching scene wasn’t that appropriate?! I also wished that this drama special was not a special one instead, but a drama; like a 16-episode drama. Since the actors played so well and the plot was a beautiful one, I wished they made good use of these.
Adolescence Medley may seem ordinary because of its school-based genre, but there’s something about it that makes it special and unique from other dramas. I even enjoyed this better than Answer Me 1997 for some reason. It was an ordinary plot that depicts first love, but the script is nicely written. I’m sure you’ll finally get the gist of what I’m saying if you’ve personally watched it. Four episodes is so short that you can finish it in a day or even one sitting.
Most of the actors are new to me, but what I liked about them is that they were suitable for their respective characters. There’s no one that I hated even if their characters were mean. Everyone did a great job.
Kwak Dong Yeon as Choi Jung Woo — First time I saw him was in Jang Ok Jung, Live in Love, wherein he played a younger version of the uncle of the King. At that time, I really had a good impression of him because of his unique looks and great acting. Recently, I found out that he is a trainee in FNC Entertainment and he’s also in the band wherein he’s in charge of the guitar. His portrayal of Choi Jung Woo was simply perfect and I really thought that the role was meant for him. He acted naturally, being clumsy and funny. His looks isn’t lacking as well. This little guy, a 97-liner, is a star to look forward in the future. I think he will have a bright future provided that the company gives him good projects and if he works hard more. I’m excited to see him debut in a band and also as a successful actor. By this time, he has gained one new fan. Thanks to this drama, we got to see Dong Yeon’s acting abilities.
Lee Se Young as Yang Ah Young — I’m not familiar with Lee Se Young as I haven’t seen her in any other dramas yet. Her looks is very pure and innocent with her bangs and big eyes. I find her pretty as well. Her acting is natural and her character is a likeable one. She doesn’t look stiff but you know from her expressions whether she’s happy or sad. I think she displayed her acting skills in the crying scene the most where she watched the singing competition performance on television while crying. Although it wasn’t really emotional, but I felt that she was sincere. From her acting, I know that she really has acting potential. She’s also a star to look forward for in the years to come.
This cute pairing is so fresh and new. It’s not so obvious that the girl is actually older than the guy. Se Young is actually a 92-liner while Dong Yeon is a 97-liner, but their ages doesn’t seem to affect their chemistry onscreen. While Dong Yeon is more playful and Se Young is more serious, they still match together. I couldn’t sense any awkwardness between them onscreen and it feels like they’ve known each other for a long time already. I’m hoping to see them in another drama, lead or not.
Kwak Jung Wook as Im Duk Won — I was surprised by his role in this drama special because his role was the exact opposite with his role in School 2013. In School 2013, he plays a bully while in Adolescence Medley, he was the one being bullied. He was so annoying in School 2013 and he seemed a little fatter. This time, his looks got better and I really find him cute in this drama, especially when he smiles. Great acting by Jung Wook as we can see how he can play different kinds of roles so well.
Choi Tae Joon as Brown Bear / Lee Yuk Ho — I just find this man attractive even from the first scene when was wearing a jacket and face half covered. I thought that he was the head bully, but later found out that he wasn’t exactly like that, but he actually had a good and soft heart. His portrayal of Lee Yuk Ho was great and the role was suitable for him. The height difference of Brown Bear and Jung Woo is a plus. His looks is also a major plus, especially his eyebrow cut, which I think is also a part of his fashion style.
Lee Jong Hyun as Yang Young Woong — Can’t deny that I somehow became familiar with this drama special because of CNBLUE’s Lee Jong Hyun. After his small role in A Gentleman’s Dignity as Collin, we finally get to see him act again, this time, an even smaller role as Yang Ah Young’s older brother who passed away. No matter how small his role may be, as long as we get to see him act again, it makes all fans happy. I couldn’t really tell if his acting skills improved or not, because of his few scenes, but all I can say it that he was natural and relaxed. Before, there were times when I felt that he was nervous while acting, but this time, he played the role of Yang Young Woong naturally. His bright smile made me smile as always.
There’s no official soundtrack of this drama special, but the songs used were so perfect for the season and the scenes. It suits the spring atmosphere. I uploaded these songs so you can easily download them. Click the title of the song so you can proceed to the download page. Please credit when sharing!
Stargirl (2013 Version) – The opening theme of the drama and just hearing it for the first time makes me curious and want to find out the title and singer of the song. It’s very youthful and playful. I personally liked the cheerful atmosphere that this song brings while listening to this song.
Like You – The singer is similar to the one who sang Stargirl so you can find some similarities between these two songs. It’s cute!
Somewhere the Wind is Blowing – It’s best to listen it during springtime. The guitar strums and the harmonica makes a good combination. J-Rabbit’s voice is also so soft and relaxing.
Now In Seasons of Love – I think this was played during the last scene when the grown-up leads met again. This duet song also suits spring and has a very relaxing feel.
Running Across the Sky – I uploaded the original version of this song, but the one we heard from the drama is the voice of the male lead, Dong Yeon, the song which he sang during the national singing competition. I guess this is a familiar song to many especially K-pop songs since this song is often sung by K-pop idols. Anyway, the melody is good and the lyrics is even better! It’s really a hopeful and cheerful song.
There are other songs used in the drama, but these five left a deep impression to me. Of course, I couldn’t forget “Only You”! It’s so cheesy yet so funny and cute at the same time. I guess that song was so perfect for the scenes. Also during the first episode, the opening theme of Boys Over Flowers suddenly played. “Almost Paradise~” it was such a funny scene that I will not forget.
Adolescence Medley is such a cute and nice drama special. It’s so short with 4 episodes but it was perfect in so many ways. The plot is so simple yet they were able to express it beautifully. If you’re looking for an alternative to Answer Me 1997, I think this drama special has a similar vibe with that successful drama. I totally recommend this drama to everyone, who just wants to sit back and relax. It definitely makes one reminisce about their first love, high school days and spring season. Adolescence Medley is a drama special that makes one’s heart flutter~