It was just a coincidence that I started watching Youth of May, after watching a TikTok clip of the first date between Hee-tae and Myeong-hee. I rarely start watching kdramas because of clips I have seen on social media, but in that one clip I could feel their amazing chemistry and that the character is someone I would be interested to watch, and my first thoughts turned out to be more than right.
Genre: Romance, Drama, History
Written by: Lee Kang
Directed by: Song Min-yeop
Cast: Lee Do-hyun, Go Min-si, Keum Sae-rok, Lee Sang-yi
Synopsis: Hwang Hee-tae moves back home to Gwangju in May 1980 unaware of the historical events that are about to unfold. Hee-tae and Kim Myeong-hee fall in love with each other, but people close to them and various circumstances do not let them be together. Destined to be together, will their love finally blossom?
The main couple, Hwang Hee-tae and Kim Myeong-hee, had me invested from the start and I couldn’t let go of the series before I knew how it would end, so I binge watched it in one night, sacrificing a good night of sleep. The theme of the story, the Gwangju uprising in May 1980 was not something that interested me, and I was watching Youth of May solely due to the main couple and their chemistry. The event did create many interesting relationships and dynamics between the characters. The Gwangju uprising is an important historical event, but I rather watch documentaries about it than watching a series where a romance story is overshadowing the events of the Gwangju uprising. I think any other theme would have been equally great with the same love story.
Not everyone knows of the Gwangju uprising and Youth of May is a perfect start for people who are not familiar with the event. The Gwangju uprising is not only an important event for South-Korea, but also an important event for democratic for the rest of the world.
I found myself enjoying most of the episodes, but the last 3 episodes felt stale, mostly due to them focusing more on the historical event and the side characters which I did not like. The side characters in this series were not interesting at all in my opinion, little developed and simply not interesting. I think with more episodes that the side characters and rest of the story could be much better. All the side characters did something to make the main couple shine which I liked a lot, but they lacked so much by themself.
Also the trailer brings up an amazing scenario of what if the story had taken place during any other May than the one in 1980.
Have you watched Youth of May, if so what are your thoughts on it?