“Given the chance, what would you tell your younger self today?” — The answer would almost always be a profound one, giving only good and helpful advice to the person we were back then. In 18 Again kdrama, one man’s choices will determine on whether he can relinquish his adulthood regrets or will he move on and start anew with the youth that he never got to fully explore.
Based on the movie 17 Again starring Zac Efron, the story highlights the life of a man who is given the opportunity to become his teenage self again. Having married his high school sweetheart who got pregnant at the time, the leading man had to grow up fast and put his basketball career dream on hold in favor of taking care of his new family.
18 Again kdrama conforms to this main plot and follows the comedic aspects and slice of life nuggets the film provides. However, the show breathes a life of its own as new angles and characters expand what the story can be when converted to a full series. Right off the bat, I really like the humor and witnessing the subtle but definite growth each character will undergo to improve on themselves.
The titular character who gets a do-over is Hong Dae Young, a middle-aged man who is on the verge of a divorce, is stuck in the same position when he started his first job, and is not on the best terms with his 2 kids who are already in high school. As he becomes his 18 year old self again, Dae Young changes his name to Go Woo Young and introduces himself as the secret son of his best friend. He goes to the same school with his kids and tries to get close with them as he realizes that he doesn’t know them as much as he thought. He crosses paths with his wife, Jung Da Jung, often and becomes an integral part of their lives as a nosy but kindhearted teenager, unbeknownst to the very people who have grown unattached to him when he was their dad/husband.
More than the disagreements and growing apart thru time, it’s evident that personal sacrifices and frustrations drove a wedge between Dae Young and Da Jung. If you are unhappy with how your own life is going, you can become toxic and spread the the negativity to your loved ones. Da Jung is more than just a housewife as her goal was to become an anchorwoman but always got rejected due to her background of being a mother (WTF right?). She is finally hired by a broadcasting company thru a blind audition but faces a slew of challenges (and potential suitors!) as she officially achieves her dream job. I like that the show gave the wife a bigger role than in the movie as we get to know her side of the story as well. Both husband and wife will go thru new experiences that will surely bring about self-reflection and life lessons for them😊
Expect a lot of heartwarming but awkward moments between Dae Young and his family as the former takes on his younger body for what I think will consume the show’s majority. I’m certain that the time apart will be good for Dae Young and Da Jung and circumstances will eventually lure them back towards each other. Though we don’t get this kind of back to youth reset, 18 Again korean drama reminds us that it’s never too late to change and make a different decision no matter where we are in our lives💫