Nostalgic, fresh, and so full of feels, Twenty-Five, Twenty-One is the show that I didn’t know I needed, in my life.
The writing is thoughtful and tender, and combined with great casting and excellent delivery, our characters pop with so much life and heart, their relationships feel so raw and real, and their journeys feel so familiar and relatable, that I couldn’t get enough of it all.
To top it all off, the music is pitch perfect and excellently applied, making the already great feels land with extra oomph and amplification.
Some lens adjustments are necessary (and so important!) – which I’ll talk more about shortly.
I’d wanted to check out this movie for several reasons.
1, I’d really enjoyed Nam Joo Hyuk and Han Ji Min together in 2019’s The Light In Your Eyes (which I think is a truly special drama), and welcomed the chance to see them share the screen again. 2, I was intrigued by the fact that our female lead is a woman with a disability, because it’s really not that common for a romance to feature a lead with a disability.
I liked the inclusiveness of the concept, and I was also curious to see how Show would treat this aspect of the story. (Full disclosure: this movie is based on a Japanese short story, which also spawned a Japanese movie. I’m not familiar with either of those works, and this is my first exposure to the story.)
Now that I’ve watched it, I’m gonna hafta say that I don’t think this movie is for everyone. I mean, I don’t even think it’s for me, heh. I just don’t think I managed to connect with this one the way this movie’s fans are able to.
Still, I thought I’d write this quick review, so that you can figure out whether this one would work for you? Because those who find themselves on the same wavelength as this show, really do love it a lot.
Designed to be light, easy and feel-good, Show tends to lean more simplistic than I would like, particularly in the areas of business and technology and how that all works. The characters took a while to grow on me, but I did eventually grow fond of almost all of them.
At the same time, there are definitely some stand-outs that endeared themselves to me early, like Kim Hae Sook as Gran.
Ultimately, Show manages to be uplifting and aspirational (if you can overcome the over-simplification of everything), and ends up being a reasonably pleasant coming-of-age – or rather, coming-into-your-own – kinda story.
PS: Most viewers have strong feelings about this story’s love triangle, but I didn’t.
Let me be the first to say that I’m not sure I “get” this show, so this review will only be my best attempt at understanding this show.
I just.. was too curious about this one, after seeing the quirky trailers and posters, to pass it up.
To help us gain more insight and understanding into this show, Dame Holly, metaphor whisperer extraordinaire, who recently brought us a guest review of Greasy Melo, will be back to give us her take on this very different snowflake of a drama, probably in the next week or two. Stay tuned for that!
Every once in a while, a show comes along that I feel grateful to have met. This, my friends, is one of those times.
I had very little idea of what to expect, going into this show, and I’m glad for it. Because, Show then had free rein to tell its story without having to work through any preconceptions on my part, and what a unique, affecting, beautiful story this turned out to be.
If you trust me enough; if your taste in dramas is anything like mine; if you haven’t seen this one; even if you don’t usually like dramas with a fantasy element – do make time for it. It is that special. ❤️
A highly-buzzed, high-profile drama project that boasted strong credentials, a big budget and an even bigger cast, but which ultimately failed to deliver the expected awesome.
Patchy writing, jerky direction & execution, and uneven acting all contribute to Show’s general lack of oomph.
For the tenacious viewer, though, there are small stretches of soapy crack to be had, and quite a lot of pretty to gaze at, for the most part. Lee Jun Ki is mesmerizing and quite wonderful in this, despite his character getting off to a somewhat shaky start.
You know how, when you drive past an accident on a highway, and your brain says not to waste time staring, since that’ll just slow down traffic even more, but as you crawl past in your car, the curious cat in you can’t help but stare in morbid fascination anyway?
Yep. That’s sorta what happened with me and Cheese In The Trap.
Because I wasn’t able to keep current with the episodes as they aired, I was only at episode 8 (ish?) when all the behind-the-scenes drama erupted and everyone got really upset with Park Hae Jin’s heavily reduced screen time in the last third of the drama.
A big part of my brain said then, that I ought to just drop the drama and look away while the going was good, but the curious cat in me was morbidly fascinated by it all. Was it as bad as everyone said, I wondered.
I guess there’s something to be said for spoilers, since I went into the finale stretch having had the ending quite thoroughly spoiled (I couldn’t help reading ending spoilers, even though I’m usually much more spoiler-phobic; not only was I morbidly fascinated, I was also – at times, anyway – trying to decide whether or not to keep watching).
That prepped me for the ending really well, and in the end, I didn’t actually hate it. Gasp!
Youthful, fresh, and with just the right amount of angst, Who Are You – School 2015 is an engaging watch for most of its run, and even manages to feel cracky in parts.
On top of the typical teen problems, Show layers a missing-twin-swopped-lives arc that amps up the dramatic tension. Add on a confusing love triangle which ups the crack factor, and I was a eager happy camper through much of the show.
Despite some of the acting falling on the stiff side and an ending that loses steam, Show manages to remain a fun watch overall.
So after just 2 episodes, I had shelved this show indefinitely, coz I’d found it really hard to get into. I pretty much planned to drop it, really.
And then School 2015 happened, where Nam Joo Hyuk charmed me all melty in spite of his limited acting range, and I decided to come back to this, to have a lookie at how he did in this show versus School 2015.
Well, ok, I also came back to gaze at him, heh. Still, a fangirl reason is a reason too, right? 😉
All in all, I hafta say that I’m happy I gave this show a second chance, in spite of its seriously WTH ending.