Total Variety Network (tvN) dominated Korean cable television in 2016, but other major Korean network channels, especially the Joongang Tongyang Broadcasting Company (JTBC), had their moments to shine. Their K-drama, Fantastic, utilized the same concept that the Korean Broadcasting System used for Uncontrollably Fond, and they got it right. Let’s not forget the phenomenal success of My Wife’s Having an Affair this Week. That K-drama literally came out of nowhere in popularity as it touched on a very sensitive subject in Korean culture: infidelity.
Another phenomenal JTBC K-drama that literally took everyone by surprise was Age of Youth. Also known as Generation of Youth, and Hello, My Twenties!, it showed a much more honest representation of the 20s generation today in South Korea, one that is more understanding of the world and not necessarily bound by tradition. It showed their high points and low points without any fear. It was pure, and K-drama fans loved it.
Fortunately for Age of Youth K-drama fans, JTBC announced the show will have a second season. Unfortunately, one of the original cast members will not make up the main cast in the second season, as Hwayoung will only be in an estimated two episodes.
The news of Ryu Hwa Young, better known by her Hallyu idol moniker Hwayoung, not being a main cast member in the second season of Age of Youth was first revealed by the K-drama’s producer-director, Lee Tae Gon. He provided a statement explaining the details of Hwayoung’s part, as reported by AllKpop.
“The story will continue on without excluding Hwayoung but she won’t be having any special parts. There will be about one or two episodes with her but she won’t be continuing the story in all 12 episodes.”
Lee Tae Gon also announced that a new character will be taking her place after Hwayoung’s character makes her exit. There is no news on who the actress of the fifth new character will be at the moment.
There was speculation that Hwayoung not being a part of the second season cast of Age of Youth was related to her controversy with her former K-pop girl group, T-ara. According to Korean news outlet Naver, numerous former staff members of T-ara have come forward, complaining how Hwayoung used to mistreat them when they worked with her. One such staff member was Kim Woo Ri, a former stylist for T-ara. He talked about how Hwayoung would disrespectfully call her hair stylists “Shampoo” and how she had no respect for them.
Lee Tae Gon revealed that Hwayoung’s recent controversy with T-ara was the cause of her not being a main cast member in Season 2 of Age of Youth. He explained that the change was confirmed beforehand.
“It’s something that we’ve finished discussing ahead of time. That (the controversy) is not something that we were concerned about. Even if it happened before the decision was made, it wouldn’t have been a crucial matter for us.”
The second season of Age of Youth is set to air in August. Right now, only Park Hye Soo has done work for 2017, when she played Chae Ro Woon in Introverted Boss. Hwayoung will also act in two upcoming K-dramas this year, Father is Strange and Traces of Hand.
[Featured Image by the Joongang Tongyang Broadcasting Company (JTBC)]