K-Drama Mid Series Check: “Thirty But Seventeen” Speeds Up Character Connections Yet Slows Down On Plot Trajectory
While the character connections go smoothly flowing in Thirty But Seventeen, the languid buildup to resolve its initial problem seems to be dragging.
We sure want to have Woo Seo Ri (Shin Hye Sun) take her time adjusting to the rest of what she missed in the last 13 years. But we are halfway to the series and his friend Hyung Tae (Yun Sun Woo), who should be credited for his loyalty, still has not met our heroine yet.
So yes, I have slight issues on how the remaining episodes will inject the twists, romance, revelations and conflicts of Thirty But Seventeen.
As outlined on its opening week, Thirty But Seventeen tells the story of an unfortunate accident, which caused a 17-year-old violin prodigy to be unconscious for 13 years. When she wakes up, her uncle and aunt had already abandoned her, and the house which her parents built was sold to new owners.
Woo Jin’s First Love
From its premiere, we have been anticipating the bittersweet revelation that Gong Woo Jin (Yang Se Jong) would have to confront the reality that his first love did not die in the accident, and is within his reach.
But we kept getting frames of awkward love triangle buildup and a possible love quadrangle race, once the doctor stabilizes his screen time in the story. That is if he will be injected in the story still.
As expected on the halfway mark of the series, it pivoted to the hero’s looming discovery of her first love’s real identity.
On the first four weeks of plot sketching, the writing seemed determined to make the romance blossomed without the love couple’s awareness of their connected past.
And that scared me a bit because time is not by the drama schedule’s side, not to mention that Seo Ri deserves another shot to fulfill her interrupted dream as a violinist. Also, because we prefer longer fan service frames for the lead couple.
What To Expect In The Second Half?
The hinted turning point is given to – either saddle the hero or let him make up for the accident he indirectly caused.
Given the demeanor of the heroine, her optimism won’t let the narrative linger on plunging to a belated blaming game since fate brought them together to set things right.
Heading to its closure, it is shaping to highlight how Seo Ri would claim back her genius musician self amidst the watching eyes of the villain, whose grudges resurfaced again, owing to the attention Seo Ri has been getting, which her greedy self despises.
Seo Ri will not be able to gain the emotional maturity she failed to have in the years she was unconscious. Hence her love lines with Chan and his uncle Woo Jin feel so engaging.
Even with the knowledge that Chan (Ahn Hyo Seop), like his uncle, would most likely have Seo Ri as the memory of his first love, we can’t help but let Chan enjoy the love world he created with his favorite ajumma, and let him learn from the inevitable heartache to grow more as a person.
Like any other first love stories, the charm of Woo Jin and Seo Ri’s romance threads on their chance encounters that are turning to be that thing they called – fated love.
Thirty But Seventeen has never made the viewers feel problematic on the course it is taking, though there are situations that are bland because of the lengthened storytelling.
The second half stretch heads to complete the female lead’s journey in achieving her life dream, while pushing the love that is given another chance to be fulfilled 13 years after.
Thirty But Seventeen will tentatively wrap up on October 2.
Fans can watch Thirty But Seventeen on VIU.