Show works out to be a solid homage to the xianxia genre, while still managing to be its own thing.
And, as its own thing, Show manages to stick to its internal mythology, while mixing its more dramatic arcs with spots of comedy and levity, and remains interesting and engaging, all through its 20 episodes. That in itself feels like a writing coup, credit to the Hong sisters.
Our cast is generally strong and varied, and I especially enjoyed the performances by Lee Jae Wook and Jung So Min, which I thought worked to ground the emotional beats in particular.
A very enjoyable ride from start to finish, and here’s hoping that Part 2 (review here!) will remain just as good.
Thoughtful, understated, and yet so full of accurate teenage feels, At Eighteen is the youth drama that we didn’t know we needed, but which we absolutely deserve.
You don’t even need to generally be into youth dramas to enjoy this one, methinks, because this is arguably the most “grown up” youth drama I’ve seen yet.
There’s no hyperbolic cutesy here; growing pains and teenage euphoria are portrayed in such an organic way that it makes me feel like these writers remember exactly what it’s like to be a teenager growing up, and with amazing attention to detail, to boot.
Show manages to create a world that feels real and raw, while still retaining enough pretty and polish to give it that drama lift. The entire cast does an excellent job, but extra kudos goes to our young actors, for making their characters come to life in such an organic-feeling manner.
As a bonus, the music in this is by turn breezy-heartfelt, tinkly-ethereal and gently poignant; all astutely applied just so, to give the watch experience that extra dimension of immersion.