While I haven’t had the chance to check out the recently finished Age of Youth, I’ve heard some great things about its memorable female characters and ensemble format. It’s definitely going on my watch list, but in the meantime, it has made me think about the ensemble kdramas I’ve watched.
Ensembles often run the risk of having their many characters and sprawling plot threads not resonate with an audience. Under-performing characters/plots often get shunted to the side and neglected, weakening the overall strength of the show. I’ll admit that I can drop ensembles really quickly if I don’t like a majority of the characters/plots, but these three shows did a great job of giving their characters enough space to grow without losing focus or forcing us to endure lackluster plots.
#1 – Heard It Through the Grapevine
(Rich boy and poor girl become teen parents; their families heads’ explode.)
This was from the team who gave us Secret Love Affair, so I knew I had to give it a shot even though the length and the dark comedy/satire description made me a bit nervous. There was no reason to be worried: straight out of the gate, I wound up with teenage parents who desperately loved each other and their baby and wanted to figure out how to carve out a life together despite the class warfare perpetrated by the boy’s high-strung rich parents. The upstairs/downstairs divide and absurd comedy frequently were some of my favorite parts as was the development of minor characters. The final arc slowed down a bit too much for my taste (and kept the young couple from achieving OTP status), but this drama ultimately reinforced my love for this creative team. What’re you going to bring us next?