Almost each year, a women-empowerment-inspired Korean drama would hook me to become a faithful follower that even hopeless-romantic me can’t understand. Most of the time this type of drama also induce your desire to push harder in completing your bucket list, just like what it did to me. For this year, we have “Twenty Again”, the story of Ha No Ra and her quest to discover and redeem herself twenty years late.
The premise of Twenty Again is about a woman, Ha No Ra, who married young and has lived her life taking care of her son, Kim Min Soo and husband, Kim Woo Chul. After 18 years, Woo Chul proposed a divorce agreement which will be effective as soon as their son enters college citing Ha No Ra’s inability to be on the same intellectual wavelength with him. Around that time, she learned that she was dying and also chanced upon her close friend in high school, who secretly loved her then. In her goal to match her husband’s intellect, she decided to enter college and landed on the same school where her husband and son are attending. Her close high school male friend, Cha Hyun Suk, a popular theatre producer is also a professor in the university. Ha No Ra has been Cha Hyun Suk’s first love but due to her leaving the country abruptly after high school and not even paying respect to her grandmother when she passed away, Hyun Suk has unresolved grudges towards her. When Ha No Ra accidentally dropped her diary, Hyun Suk learned that she was dying. He didn’t know that the dying diagnosis was a mistake incurred by No Ra’s doctor and started working on fulfilling his first love’s bucket list.
Later on when he learned that she was not dying anymore, no matter how hard he resisted in not caring for her anymore, there was just an invisible love thread that connected them together. He also uncovered the truth about Ha No Ra’s husband’s (Kim Woo Chul) affair to the daughter of the university’s chairman who was also the person behind his acceptance as a professor in the university. Finally realizing the unhappy life, Ha No Ra has been going through, Hyun Suk decided to be his Black Knight again and shielded his friend and first love no matter what it takes to Woo Chul’s unfairness and urged her to go back to the path she wasn’t able to thread to make herself and her late grandmother proud. Ha No Ra’s kind spirit and self-sacrificing nature has imprisoned her to her husband’s grasp that when she finally learned the truth about his infidelity, she was painfully liberated from a world she has learned to accept because of love. Most Sometimes women are blinded by their innate nature to cushion whatever painstaking emotions thrown at them. They give chances because of their forgiving nature and because they dwell more in the past memories than in the future possibilities. Ha No Ra was a different case because of her functioning support system and because she realized early that she owed it to herself to make and fulfil her own dreams.
Although the romance was languid until the last 2 episodes, I came to embrace the lack of it because the unveiling of the story focused on the heroine’s choices, failures and strength to move on and to put the past behind. There’s something resonating and encouraging to Ha No Ra’s character that made me stay cheering for her and her story. I’m sure most women who lost their dreams along the way when they were blinded by love and motherly duties would relate to her sweet but tenacious character.
It touches how intellectual compatibility and sharing the same interest plays an integral part in marriage or relationship longevity and how the strength of a relationship relied on each other’s effort to be each other’s pillar by supporting each other’s weaknesses and encouraging each other’s passion. It was also a very nice presentation of friendship-turned-love story which I noticed was sort of the kdramaland theme this year.
It is a story of every young girl who enjoyed what made her happy at 15… of a lady who braved the consequences of her wrong choices at 19… and of a woman who in the process of falling in love has forgotten that she once had her own dreams…
Twenty Again may not be the flashiest drama but it has kept well an evenly tailored story without fusing a lot of negativity in the plot given the infidelity cliche. It is a reminder that you are never too late to set a goal in your life especially if you have regrets on the earlier choices you made when you were young.