Earlier this year, the entire K-pop community was in shock when DSP Media announced that Kara, their primary K-pop girl group, would be disbanding after nine years. Formed back in 2007, Kara was known for presenting a strong female image implementing an R&B sound. They would perform songs that would rank number one on the Gaon Korean chart including “Honey,” “Wanna,” and lastly, “Lupin.” Their last songs, “Mamma Mia” and “Cupid,” made it to the top 20.
The specific reason why Gyuri, Seungyeon, and Hara chose not to renew their contracts, which resulted in Kara disbanding, is unknown. However, we do know that some of the former members of the K-pop group are doing well. Youngji, the last member of Kara left, did a phenomenal job playing Yoon Ahn Na (her first K-drama role) in Another Oh Hae Young.
As for the three members who chose not to renew with DSP Media thus leaving Kara, we do not know what Gyuri and Hara are doing, but we do know that Seungyeon has pursued acting. As a matter of fact, Seungyeon’s first role after Kara’s disbanding is Jung Ye Eun in Age of Youth. The K-drama recently made its debut. Depending on which viewership rating is observed, the new JTBC K-drama is either debuting well or poorly.
For those who do not know what Age of Youth is all about, it is a K-drama that features five women in college, Yoon Jin Myung (Han Ye Ri), Jung Ye Eun (Seungyeon formerly of Kara), Park Eun Bin (Song Ji Won), Kang Yi Na (Hwayoung formerly of T-ara), and Yoo Eun Jae (Park Hye Soo). They all live in the same house known as the “Belle Epoque” and throughout their college years, they learn and grow together. Summarized, this is a K-drama primarily about the deeper details of life among college women in South Korea.
Though the synopsis of the K-drama may be simplistic, JTBC is really putting effort into it by taking on a more artistic approach with its filming. In the first five minutes alone, multiple camera effects are utilized to entice viewers. However, that can only go so far as the direction, plot, and acting are what makes viewers return to watch more. Depending on the Korean viewership company, Age of Youth, as mentioned earlier, debuted well or poorly. TNS Media Korea shows nationwide viewership of 0.9 percent for the first episode followed by an increase to 1 percent in the second. However, Nielsen Korea shows a downtrend from 1.31 percent in the first episode followed by 0.47 percent in the second. For JTBC, the former is good because it shows an upward trend (even if it is small) but the latter is bad because it shows a major decline.
Given that only two episodes have aired so far, we cannot discern if Age of Youth will be successful overall or a flop. All we can do is wait for the other episodes to air. Apparently, Age of Youth will not be a long series as it is only scheduled for 12 episodes.
Age of Youth airs on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:30 p.m. KST on JTBC. For those who do not have access to Korean channels, especially their cable channels, Age of Youth can be viewed for free, with ads, on DramaFever.
[Image via JTBC Promotions for Age of Youth]