Twenty-Five Twenty-One: the Kdrama that is giving everything

Warning – This article contains minor spoilers.

The new hit coming of age Korean drama has watchers waiting at the edge of their seats for new episodes every weekend. Off the bat, going into this I believed this was a fantastic and original concept, and although the last two episodes are airing very soon, I just can not contain my love for this show. 

Diving into some plot information, the drama begins with a young girl, Kim Min-chae (Choi Myung-bin) quitting ballet in real time and running away to her grandmother’s house where she finds her mother’s, Nah He-do’s (Kim Tae-ri), older diaries whilst staying in her childhood room. This is where the majority of the story is set, during the late 1990s amidst the IMF financial crisis in Korea, where He-Do is a determined fencer who wants to continue fencing after her school shut down the program due to budget cuts. This leads her to move to a new school where her idol Ko Yu-rim (Bona) studies and although they have a strong competitive and aggressive relationship to begin with, they both become close friends when they find out they have been each other’s secret penpal buddies for the past couple of months. He-do also develops an interesting relationship with Baek Yi-jin (Nam Joo-hyuk), a slightly older person whose family has recently gone bankrupt, who she seems to consistently bump into, and together they come to be dependent on each other for support and encouragement. Together with a number of school friends, they come to be a tight knit group who handle a number of challenges ranging from; sports misconduct, educational abuse (both in the physical sense and the draining of students), financial hardship, media influence, loss of family, journalism conflict of interest and so on. 

This heartfelt show definitely excels in portraying relationships, whether it be a slow build up of new friendships, intimate relationships, long-lasting relationships or even varying family dynamics. Not to mention the direction and cinematography, despite being a single camera set-up, the story is largely conveyed through the gorgeous sets, focusing on key elements as well as the symbolizing of key settings that add meaning and depth to scenes. All I want to end with is a polite recommendation to go have a watch on Netflix, if you found anything mentioned interesting, and those who are watching to hopefully relate to some of the ideas I have mentioned and are just as excited for the finale as I am. 

Article written by Nishtha Sharma

Image courtesy of Netflix/tvN

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