KDrama Review: Still 17

Because When the Camellia Blooms stressed the hell out of me, it took me around two weeks to start another Korean drama. I wanted something lighter and not too “mainstream” which is why I decided to watch Still 17 as recommended by my teammate, Rei. She was also the same person who pushed me to watch Because This Is My First Life. She said that this is another underrated KDrama.

Woo-Jin is a 30-year-old single and eccentric man who works as a set designer. His life is being haunted by a dark past after being traumatized 13 years ago. He never really cared about other people and how they think about him. His life was changed when he met Seo-Ri, a woman who got into an accident and fell into a coma when she was 17 years old. Seo-Ri woke up 13 years after, not knowing anything about how the world has changed since her accident. 

Photo from asianwiki.com

I was reluctant at first to watch this because I felt like the plot is unrealistic. I didn’t set any expectations when I started watching the series. Surprisingly, I was immediately hooked on the first episode. The first episode was really intense, and then the next ones will bring you into a wonderful ride. Although I have to say that Still 17 is generally a light-hearted KDrama, the story has a mystery that will keep the viewers on guessing. Still 17 will make you laugh, cry, guess and feel like a 17-year-old again. Tamang kilig din ihhhhh. Ayiieeeee!

The main reason why I decided to watch Still 17 was because of Shin Hye-Sun. I really like her and feel like she’s such an underrated actress. I really admire her versatility. I remember Shin Hye-Sun in The Legend of the Blue Sea and Oh My Ghost. She actually reminds me of Jodi Sta. Maria who can really stand out in whatever role is given to her. Pwedeng mabait, maldita, inaapi, shunga shunga, bida o kontrabida. Shin Hye-Sun once again displayed her versatility in Still 17. She was really good acting like a 17-year-old trapped in a 30-year-old body. She’s funny with her quirky antics, but she was also able to show her acting prowess on heavy scenes.

It was my first time to watch Yang Se-Jong in a drama. I found out after a quick search to asianwiki.com that he is fairly new in the industry, but I was so surprised how he delivered the very complex character of Woo-Jin. He was really charming in Still 17, both when he started as a “hermit” up until he lost all his facial hair. He may look cute and innocent, but he really showed vulnerability when the scenes called for it. 

I first saw Ahn Hyo-Seop in Abyss. I only watched the first two episodes because I was in KDrama hiatus when it was being aired. I initially thought I would experience a second lead syndrome with Yoon Sun-Woo, the actor who played Kim Hyeong-Tae, Seo-Ri’s childhood friend who stayed with her even after she went into coma. I was wrong. Apart from the fact that Yoon Sun-Woo’s scenes were very limited, I still can’t get his character off my mind as the epal prince in Scarlet Heart. Haha! And besides, Ahn Hyo-Seop was really charismatic in his portrayal of a 17-year-old guy smitten by an older lady. Kyot kyot niya dito.

I really liked the supporting cast. Chan’s best friends are hilarious. The actors who played as the younger leads were also amazing, but my favorite was Yoon Chan-Young, the actor who played the young Woo-Jin. But my favoritest of them all is Ye Ji-Won. Grabe si Jennifer! She’s funny with her quotable words and overwhelming knowledge of almost everything, but her back story left me so heartbroken!

My initial thought that the plot of Still 17 is unrealistic was changed after I watched all the episodes. I realized that Seo-Ri falling into a coma served as a metaphor of how a lot of people battle being stuck in life. It can be because of an illness, an accident, financial troubles, getting married at a very young age or having a child when they’re at the prime of their careers. Seo-Ri waking up 13 years after was a very good representation of starting over again. I really liked the message it conveyed that it’s never too late to realize your dreams. Seo-Ri reminded me that I simply need to run on my own pace. Kim Tae-Rin represents people who live in sadness despite the perfection. Her story was a perfect reminder that we should pause once in a while to reassess what we truly need in our life. Chan taught viewers the power of having a positive mindset. He showed us that people can do anything as long as they put their minds on it. The stories of Jennifer and Woo-Jin living in regrets were so powerful. They served as a reminder how we should be facing life’s challenges.

I really liked that this KDrama does not have any antagonist that viewers would hate. The only antagonist that each of the characters faced was their actual self. If you’re looking for something light yet thought-provoking, I highly suggest you watch Still 17.

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