“Twenty Again” Final Thoughts

All good things must come to an end… so here we are.

This is probably the slowest drama I’ve watched but it’s all good. It somewhat fit because it was about No Ra’s simple and realistic journey of self-discovery.

Am I the only one glad for Episode 15’s development?

Last week, I called Hyun Suk a wish-fulfillment character and said that I was tired of his White Knight-ness so I was very happy that No Ra addressed it.

I suppose for me, he was just too heavy-handed with his unselfish love which led to control issues. He wasn’t a controlling, selfish asshole like Woo Chul but was controlling nonetheless.

So I was glad that No Ra rejected him after he insisted that she liked him (something I took issue with last week) and that she told him that she’d become burdened by his excessive kindness.

It sounds negative when phrased that way but he was always thinking of her, very kind, doing every single thing to protect her and make her happy that in the end, she felt burdened by it because she couldn’t reciprocate.

I can’t say that I am satisfied with how her feelings developed but was glad that she took time and went to him when she was ready.

She became her own woman. Woo Chul was her reason for attending college and after a year, she couldn’t justify spending a lot of money on a degree she didn’t plan to use. I was disappointed with her choice at first but quickly understood it. She was studying a major she wasn’t interested in and figured that one year of college was enough to cross it off her bucket list. I also love that she didn’t take the theater job Hyun Suk had manipulated her into applying for and instead, chose to continue her grandmother’s legacy.

Hyun Suk was the reason that shop still existed so it’s not like I want her to reject everything he’d done for her but she chose that job for her own reasons and not because some guy had pulled some strings.

And this was why I loved that she reacted negatively to his insistence that she reciprocated his feelings and the “proof” dates that he planned for them. Sure, it was cute but it is also annoying when someone tries to drag you to a place you’re not ready to go.

I get that it’s been 20 years for him but it’s only been a few months for her and most people aren’t ready to jump into a relationship the second after their divorce has been finalized. This might sound strange coming from someone who’d been clamoring for a romance for the last ten episodes but once I lost interest in that aspect of the story, I agreed with the writing choices more.

And then he saved Woo Chul. I can’t say I supported Yi Jin’s acts but I truly couldn’t care less about what she did to the cheating bastard and was annoyed at Hyun Suk for interfering. Partly because I was awaiting his downfall but mostly because I thought he’d taken his savior act too far. From No Ra’s point of view, there she was, trying to assert her independence but he kept seeing her as a damsel who needed his protection.

Again, this is probably coming out harsher than intended because Hyun Suk did everything out of love and for her benefit but as they say, every rose has its thorn.

They had to part ways for a bit as No Ra needed some time to sort out her feelings and find confidence to stand firmly on her own two feet.

I felt sympathy for Hyun Suk because after twenty years, the woman he loves finally reciprocates his feelings yet refuses to be with him. I understood his hurt but it wasn’t her fault that he couldn’t move on while she was married. He claimed that he didn’t love her for her past but her present but I can’t say I truly buy that. From what I saw, he never stopped loving her but his love deepened as she matured and became the woman she was always meant to be.

It might seem unfair to him but such is life. I still didn’t like how he kept getting updates on her and everything – I don’t know, in real life, I would find it creepy – but I am glad that he at least didn’t interfere.

Woo Chul and Yi Jin. It turned out that Woo Chul hadn’t planned to stiff his ex out of the proceeds from the store sale and Yi Jin had no plans to make her ex destitute. Did they really deserve a new beginning? I don’t think so. I found their ending unnecessarily hopeful but I didn’t hate it because they were comedic villains. And I suppose that since they gave us a chuckle or two, we can accept their redemption arc. They still gave us Woo Chul hitting rock bottom and now, both will go through life more honestly. On a shallow note, I thought Woo Chul’s scruffy look was his best yet.

One thing I liked was the final scene between the formerly married couple. Woo Chul apologized for being a bad husband and No Ra accepted his gift because there weren’t any hard feelings.

Min Soo and Hye Mi. I loved that they both acknowledged the cracks in their relationship and understood it had to end. I thought their goodbye date was lovely and just as I finally began to think of them positively, the writer took all that goodwill away by giving them a happy ending. Ugh. Why couldn’t the breakup stick? Why couldn’t it just become a happy memory of their freshman year?

On another note, I have to say that I wasn’t happy that Min Soo dropped out of school (temporarily?) too. I understand that he also needs to find himself and figure out how he wants to spend his life but I don’t think quitting school was the right answer. What’s the writer’s message here? But he, too, has a right to live his life as he sees fit so I must respect that. Grr.

I wanted Soo Nam and Seung Hyun to end up together so I was happy we got that little hint but again, everything was wrapped up too neatly that I thought it was a bit much that everyone – including Sang Ye – was in a romantic relationship by the end of the show.

There wasn’t much to the story but I am glad to have been on this journey with No Ra. She’s still discovering life; creating webtoons and dating. She doesn’t strike me as someone interested in remarrying or having another child but I know that if she ever goes that route, it will be for the right reasons.

Life is long and by the end of the show, all these characters chose to live it on their own terms. We should all be so lucky.

Thanks for watching “Twenty Again” with me and see you in the next drama.

Till then!


  • Teleri says:

    Wow. Your unhappiness w/a really great guy doing really wonderful things – just underlies the suspicions and refusal to accept happiness so many people are burdened with these days 🙁 I’m in agreement that she needed to do stuff for herself, and maybe since she’s DAMAGED due to that 20 year relationship w/a narcissus she couldn’t do that unless she thought her friend was totally out of the picture, but that’s NOT the way healthy relationships work. If she truly cared for him & HADN’T had the trauma she did, then of course she could stand on her own two feet W/O breaking up w/him! I mean, really.
    As for him, I wish I had met a guy like that OMG. I’ll never understand the need to nitpick and analyze people who want to help other people. It really does become apparent quickly which ones are doing it for nefarious purposes – & THOSE guys, well I’ll take whatever I can & then say buBYE w/no regrets or guilt.
    As for the kids – what’s the problem? Those two realized they needed to concentrate on themselves, their studies, their future – but YAYYYY! Unlike so many (unrealistic) dramas, they did NOT stop writing to each other & keeping in touch! THAT is how it ACTUALLY works – you have friends that you interact with even though you may not be continuing a ‘relationship’ – and sometimes that later goes back to a dating/+ or even marriage. Or sometimes it just fades away. But to just go on a ‘goodbye’ date & never talk to each other again? Oh PULEEZE – I’ve never seen that happen except in fiction.
    BTW I doubt either of our 2 villains there reformed LOL They deserve each other. Keeps them from ruining any other people’s lives.

  • LizJ says:

    …the formerly happily married couple? She may have at least resigned herself to how things were (and not thought she could change anything), but it was clear from the flashbacks and the start of the series that he wasn’t really happy in the marriage…ever. He felt trapped by her and ashamed of her, and basically hid her and their child while they were in Germany.. They get back to Korea and he is has a built in cook, nanny, maid, and safe (but boring) outlet for those physical urges…till the kid gets older. That’s when he starts looking around, thinking he deserves a better woman as a partner.

    If the translation of the subs was correct (I think I watched it on DramaFire because I got tired of waiting for DramaFever), than she mentioned in this meeting that this was the first gift he had ever bought for her. I can just imagine how a character like she was depicted in the beginning would rationalize THAT over the years (“it’s ok, he was really busy…”).

  • Jillian says:

    Their temporary separation made sense since HS was suffocating her. She was just not ready to get into another relationship after her divorce. She needed time to sort things out for herself.
    That marriage was bad from the start. I suppose her grandma may have played a part in trapping her in that marriage, thinking it was for her best interest. Since being a pregnant unmarried teen would have made her life considerably harder. There are a lot of what-ifs that couldve happened. But as she said, its all in the past. Best is to live life looking forward. (Or something like that)
    A positive step forward is for her to think for herself and live life on her own terms. And not be burdened with what others expect her to how she should live her life.
    The overall message of the show is uplifting and inspiring. Grab the reins of your own life and live it on how you see fit for yourself. Carpe Diem. And that is why I love this show and will forever be part of my favorites.
    Thank you for your recap Clockwatcher. I am happy I found this site.

  • mary of bethany says:

    A fine drama has many elements to make it unforgettable, one of which should be an OST that speak what the Writer do not intend for the OTP to speak to each other face to face. The unspoken words, the silent looks, the absent from each other moments, then the OST spoke volumes. Same in Hyunsuk’s case, in many of his scenes, I always found one familiar shots keep repeating, of Hyunsuk looking at Nora’s back.
    Instead of his dimples, I am haunted by these numerous times he looked at her back, from afar.
    He looked, as she cleaned the glass panel for the dance studio, mistaken her having cancer.
    He looked as she stand up against the Prof Molester.
    He looked in his car, as she walked passed lost in her thoughts.
    He looked achingly, as she wandered into her nostalgia dimension, at the High School….
    He looked thru’ his mobile phones, her images in the high school uniforms, wouldn’t sleep.
    He looked, as she ran off after thanked him for her bucket list fulfilled, damning himself.
    He looked, when she got drunken at lounge, that’s one of the very few times he got to look close at her long enough, without having her noticing.
    He looked, as Nora walked pass the stunned Minsoo, and the WC in the car….
    He looked as the hysterical Nora ran down the steps after witnessed WC’s affair.
    He looked helplessly right after that, as Nora wept before Yoonyoung at the bench.
    He looked at a contended Nora counting her first pay.
    My best Looks of the drama: He looked alarmingly at the dancing Nora, remembering all the feels when he first loved her, oh, horrified that nothing has changed after all, shakened him to bits. You instantly felt his satisfaction, his admiration, his sudden nostalgia feels, his desires stirred, his alarm, his disbelief, his rejection, his fear, panicky, helpless and hopelessness. You felt him suffocated under his world that has collapsed upon him.
    The lad can displayed all these those spilt seconds. This is what I call, Lee Sangyoon “becoming Hyunsuk”.

    A feeling that shouldn’t be made known was kept inside, hidden even from Dongchul his closest old friend, even as he kept looking at her for 20 yrs, his regrets were disguised by anger. He has not left that tree which he witnessed the Hair pulling Nora, nor did he left the creek where Nora inspired him to be a producer, or should I say he was trapped in that Time Capsule like a genie. Even when Nora was married, which means there will NOT be any promise of returning to where “things should be originally”, when Nora has crossed the point where “hope is all but lost”, he continue “always looking” at her from afar. Without having viewed his confession card in that Treasure Box, she left even without hints that she did ever liked him. Believing that it should be love at first sight and bliss with her family, that she was getting farther away, all but drifted to another dimension. Not once has she looked back, not even at granny’s funeral did she returns. But times has frozen for him, in his visual world, she has not left, he has not sent her off, even has he knew she has forgotten him, who loved her that much, still. Her promises of return to view that Time Capsule, even if its her nature to keep that simple promise, its doesn’t raise any hope. But still, the treasure box and the time capsule were a part of his precious memories. It is unrequited love, in its purest element.
    thanks, clockwatcher, loved that you said his love deepened as she became teh woman she was meant to be.

  • Ellie says:

    Just chanced upon this site as an avid Kdrama viewer and I’m one of those who loves dissecting a drama for what it was and wasn’t and appreciating it for the art it is. And I must say though the previous comments were filled with other opinions about the show and what you’ve said, I like the way you write about the show with a voice; not to shame, blame and scorn, but just for what it is and what it implied and meant for you.

    I felt largely the same way about the show.. It was good but not perfect, developed it ways we could appreciate, and under-developed in others.

    But I’m sure we all took away different ‘lessons’ and reflections from the show that we’ll remember the show fondly for.

    Great piece Clockwatcher! 🙂

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