Days of Youth

Reviewed by: sukting

July 18, 2005

Rating: two

How long

10 episodes (thank goodness it's short, if not, I don't know how I can bear with this)

Basically a very simple and old plot that Qiong Yao often uses during her prime in the 70s and 80s, so I don't wish to waste too much time on it.

Story/Introduction on characters

1. Jiang Xian Yu – Jang Dong Gun
He is a salesman in a computer chip company. All along, he misses his high school girlfriend, Cai Ji. But when they meet, she is already engaged to his senior Xiang Min. Unable to forget her, he indulges himself in work. His workplace adds in a new colleague, Yuan Ying. Her cheerful nature lifts his spirits and they go steady. But the process can be hilarious – he doesn't know that she is interested in him and even tries to pair him up with another colleague! However, he is still unable to forget Cai Ji and uses Yuan Ying as a shield. Only when Yuan Ying joins the television station does he realizes that he really needs her.

He tries to be faithful to her although he needs to resist at times when Cai Ji comes to look for him. Can you believe that he tries to hide Cai Ji at home by coming out to meeting Yuan Ying in the cold? I don't know whether this is a good way to prevent her from getting hurt but it is definitely not the best way.

Upon knowing that Yuan Ying is dying from leukemia, he still marries her and looks after her. However, he is saddened when she dies just when they are about to be back from their honeymoon. He scatters her ashes into the sea but promises to keep her in his heart forever.

Jang's acting is okay but not remarkable. Although he is better looking in here as he is younger and slimmer than in ‘All About Eve', his acting skills are still raw. You will adore him wearing large coats and his short hairstyle that shows his perfectly sculptured face.

I find it weird when Jang and Hwang pose as high school students in certain scenes. Blame it on the producer as she has a mature look although she ties her hair in plaits. I am so annoyed by this character at first – how can he just make use of Yuan Ying just to allay Xiang Min's suspicion? And always does things to upset her. However, all can forgive him when he cares for Yuan Ying in the end.

2. Li Xiang Min – Han Shi Gui

He is good in every area – excels in sports and is a doctor. He is still jealous of Xian Yu although he makes clear to him that he is no longer in love with Cai Ji. Sigh – who can blame him for feeling threatened? He always beats him in swimming (You will get to see Dong Gun's wonderful built in swimming at times) but he suddenly loses to Xian Yu in a recent match.

He knows that Cai Ji often visits Xian Yu and is very moody over it. He doesn't even smile on their wedding day. But upon seeing that Cai Ji is happily married, he is also happy over it. But alas, at night he finds that Cai Ji still keeps a photograph that she has taken with Xian Yu.

Overcome by jealousy, he starts to treat her coldly and ignores her. When she cooks and waits for him to return for dinner, he prefers to work overtime or drink with his friends. But upon seeing how Xian Yu and Yuan Ying cherish their last days together, he realizes his mistake and both make up together. Han's acting is quite okay although I prefer to see more of him getting worked up.

3. Che Yuan Ying – Kim Hyun Joo

She is very cheerful and is not afraid of hardship. She tries hard to be an anchorwoman and to win Xian Yu's love. She has struggled through the initial stage of audition and she thinks that her trainer doesn't like her. It turns out that he is harsher on her than others because she has the potential. He doesn't pick himself up to be an anchorman again because he travels too widely for news. In the end, he doesn't get to see his wife and daughter for the last time when they die in a car accident.

However, he encourages her to pursue her dreams and finally she makes it. All her ex-colleagues are happy to see her on television. She is a mature elder sister – taking care of her divorced mother and playful younger sister. She is contented when her younger sister finally matures to become a policewoman after knowing a friend working at 7-11, working hard to support himself through university.

Knowing that Xian Yu likes Cai Ji, she still doesn't give up. Upon knowing that she is fatally ill, she decides to face the problem alone. I think she is stupid to keep it from her family although it is found that they belong to a different blood group. Why not try to seek out her father? I believe she might survive then. By delaying treatment, she has caused grief to Xian Yu.

Kim Hyun Joo tries to act sad in latter scenes but her earlier performance overshadows this. She is still more capable of portraying jovial characters. But she makes a vast improvement in ‘Glass Slippers' later.

4. Shen Cai Ji – Hwang Soo Chin (the actress as the eldest sister in ‘Mother, sister')

Cai Ji owns an art gallery and is a capable businesswoman but is also a good housewife. She has her mind set to marry Xiang Min before meeting Xian Yu again. But upon seeing him, she gets troubled when she realizes that she still likes him. I really dislike her for being so indecisive. She looks for Xian Yu at his home even though she knows that he is already attached to Yuan Ying. But later, she makes up her mind to be devoted to her husband.

But alas, why does she keep all the things that she still has with Xian Yu? No wonder Xiang Min gets the wrong idea. She even comes to see him when they have problems in their marriage. However, she has tried hard to be a good wife. But being unable to put up with his indifference, she leaves home. Being magnanimous, she forgives him finally.

Hwang isn't that impressive in this serial. Her matching with Han is more compatible than Jang as she looks more mature than Jang.

Favourite character/Most hated character
None, not good enough and also not evil enough for all of them. Irritating – yes but not for long.

Only watch this serial when you have the time. I hate sad endings and the ending of Yuan Ying dying is too much for me. It is like going back to the 70s with long-winded dialogue. Luckily it is only 10 episodes. If you are curious on how they act in their earlier days and don't mind the sad ending, you may give it a try. It is rare to see such a combination these days as they seldom act now.

This must be the shortest review that I have ever written. That is because there is nothing to rave about for the story. We can see how unoriginal the writers are in the past. They have an attractive cast, but they simply do not know how to come up with a good plot. What a pity to waste their looks and talents!

Sukting's ratings :

On acting : **1/2 (Scale of 5)

On story : ** (Scale of 5)

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