Show is warm and well-intentioned at its core, and does deliver a good amount of poignance and feels, when it leans into this aspect of its personality.
At the same time, Show also has a melodramatic side, and while it is relevant to the story, and therefore necessary for Show to give it time in the spotlight, I do feel like Show goes a bit ham with it, especially in its late stretch.
That said, Show manages to end on a poignant, feel-good, thought-provoking note, despite some treacly tendencies, which is a solid accomplishment on its own.
Your mileage is likely to vary, given Show’s mixed reputation. (Hopefully, this review will help you figure out whether this one’s for you.)
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.
This show isn’t for everyone. It’s more thematic exploration than straightforward story, and for that reason, I feel it is divisive. Some people like this one a lot, while others think it’s terrible.
If you’re open to exploring uglier themes around the human condition, and don’t mind a narrative that asks more questions than it answers, this could work for you.
If, on the other hand, you’re more interested in the telling of a story, and its characters’ journeys, and how those are meaningful, this might not be your thing – because that doesn’t appear to be where Show’s interest lies.