If you've officially hit the end of your Netflix queue (or the thought of deciding what to watch next is taxing), we have just the show for you: Record of Youth, a new Korean drama that is dominating in viewership ratings overseas and is an absolute must-watch this fall.
What's it about?
Record of Youth is a coming-of-age story that follows three 20-somethings as they fight to pursue their dream careers in the entertainment industry. The series, which premiered on September 7, offers a bit of something for everyone: light comedy, angst, plenty of eye candy, escapism, friendship, complicated family dynamics, a love triangle and a catchy soundtrack featuring some of K-Pop's finest.
It's a feel-good show that really draws you in without drowning you completely (as many addictive shows tend to do). Each episode is well-paced at a satisfying length of just over an hour and the characters are multi-dimensional with no true antagonist in the mix. Rather, you find yourself relating to and rooting for each of them.
Who's in it?
Park So-dam, whom you may recognize from Parasite, plays An Jeong-ha, a hard-working aspiring makeup artist who is constantly challenged by her jealous boss, who is in turn threatened by her sudden ascension. She's also a superfan of a once-popular fashion model named Sa Hye-jun, played by Park Bo-gum (a Korean actor who, in real life, is so beloved that he's been dubbed "the nation's boyfriend").
Sa Hye-jun is a pragmatic young man from a working-class family who has big dreams of becoming a successful actor. This causes tension within his family, who wants him to lead a stable life. His best friend, Won Hae-hyo (actor Byeon Woo-seok), on the other hand comes from privilege and has an overbearing momager who stops at nothing (including buying thousands of Instagram followers and wining and dining well-known directors and entertainment journalists) to further her son's budding career. Hae-hyo finds his mom's meddling irksome and struggles to prove himself as an actor by his own merit.
Although Hae-hyo is a direct career rival of Hye-jun's, the two have a deep, childhood bond and Hae-hyo is a big support to Hye-jun, even refusing jobs unless they hire his friend to do them with him. The two men cross paths with An Jeong-ha (So-dam) backstage at a fashion show and quickly strike up a friendship that is evidently going to cause further strain on the trio.
When and where can I watch it?
As of publication, there are six episodes that are available to stream on Netflix. New episodes drop every Monday and Tuesday (and thank goodness, too, because it forces a bit of pacing on our end).