Rise of Inspiring Youth Dramas Encapsulates A Generation’s Yearning for Comfort and Warmth
Stories of youthful hope and passion dominate the small screen this 2020.
Starting with Itaewon Class early this year, youth dramas continue to attract a strong following as can be seen in the viewership of Record of Youth, Do You Like Brahms, More Than Friends and Start-Up.
With its unusually high engagement, experts refer to it as the “youth drama craze”. According to the analysis of Smart Media Rep (SMR) which distributes video-on-demand clips for online websites such as Naver and YouTube, the cumulative viewership for youth-oriented dramas this second half of 2020 has reached 72.4 million in just two months, from August 31 to October 21.
Apart from its high viewership statistics, SMR also reports that these youth dramas appeal to a wide range of age groups – from 20s to 40s. This makes it clear that despite featuring lead characters who are in their 20s, this genre attracts a bigger set of audience who can relate and empathize to its core message of hope.
Themes of Hope, Fulfilling One’s Dreams and Healing Lace These Youth Dramas
Record of Youth tells the story of the hard working Sa Hye Jun (Park Bo Gum), the determined Ahn Jeong Ha (Park So Dam) and their claim to success that they rightfully deserve. Sa Hye Jun catches his acting career break after seven long years of waiting. Meanwhile, Ahn Jeong Ha insists to succeed on her own, trying her best not to accept any help from his father nor Sa Hye Jun, who becomes her love interest in the series after being his fan girl for so long.
Do You Like Brahms portrays the melodramatic story between Park Joon Young (Kim Min Jae) and Cha Song Ah (Park Eun Bin). Joon Young and Song Ah are in different stages of their career as musicians but share the similarity of struggling silently on their own — with their own fears and resentment. Their love story blossoms as they both find solace and warmth in one another.
More Than Friends shows us a realistic take on love, devoid of the usual romanticism that is attached to it, through a story of unrequited love between Kyung Woo Yeon (Shin Ye Eun) and Lee Soo (Ong Seung Woo).
Start-Up narrates the story of four young professionals, Seo Dal Mi (Bae Suzy), Nam Do San (Nam Joo Hyuk), Won In Jae (Kang Han Na) and Han Ji Pyeong (Kim Seon Ho), who are all eager to prove their worth in Sandbox, the fictional Silicon Valley of South Korea in the series.
More Than Just A Genre
If there is one thing in common amongst these dramas, it is that they all evoke hope in between their narratives, themes and script writings. Through their representation of deep-seated aspirations, they provide comfort. Through their depiction of misunderstood convictions, they give off solace. More than just being a genre, the core message that these youth-oriented dramas convey are what resonates the most to the viewers.
Stories of hope, passion and dreams entwined with the message of growing up and standing up on one’s own two feet indeed pours out the comfort and warmth that this generation yearns for.
Sources: Yonhap (1)