Hye-jun remains determined and positive in his life despite all the setbacks and challenges he’s faced along the way. There’s no giving up in his book and he will succeed one way or the other. Even if that means taking some risks and changing things up, he’ll do whatever it takes.
Record of Youth: Episode 2 Recap
Hye-jun comes across Jeong-ha looking at her phone lock screen and questions if she’s a fan of his or not. Does she like him? Is she his fan? Jeong-ha is taken aback by Hye-jun’s question and presence and she explains that she’s a fan of Hae-hyo, not Hye-jun. Although her lockscreen is a photo that consists of both Hye-jun and Hae-hyo, she makes it clear that she likes Hae-hyo only. Speaking of Hae-hyo, he meets up with his mother at a cafe to talk about the role both he and Hye-jun auditioned for. Mama Hye-jun announces the good news that Hae-hyo’s received the role, but the model-turned-actor isn’t so excited. It’s complicated for him especially since Hye-jun auditioned for the same role.
Hye-jun and Jeong-ha chat for a bit before Hye-jun returns to prepare for the fashion show. Since they’re both the same age, they decide to become friends and to speak casually to each other. Jeong-ha can’t help but grow curious as to why Hye-jun approached her in which Hye-jun hints at her incident with Jin-ju as the primary reason he came to check up on her. With that, Hye-jun points out Jeong-ha’s lock screen as confusing since he too is in the photo and he walks away. Jeong-ha stares fondly at Hye-jun as he leaves and she’s reminded of why she’s a fan of Hye-jun: he has a special ability to connect with people.
And so the fashion show takes place! All the models do their thing on the runway while everyone else watches in awe and either record or take videos of the models. Once the fashion show concludes, Hye-jun, Hae-hyo, and Jin-woo make their way to Jeong-ha and Jin-ju’s make-up station to get their make-up removed. There’s a soccer game against Japan that night so Hae-hyo plans on using the money he earned from the fashion show to buy food while watching the game. This prompts Hye-jun to think of something and he runs out to meet with the fashion show producer to request for his pay from the fashion show. Fashion designer, Charlie Jung, overhears Hye-jun’s request from not too far away and he stops the aspiring actor to check up on him. Is there anything that Hye-jun wants to tell him?
The episode rewinds to five years back when Hye-jun and Charlie used to be close. On this particular day, the two visited Charlie’s luxurious place for what Hye-jun assumed was a gathering with other models. However, as he soon came to realize, Charlie didn’t invite anyone else. He wanted the time and night alone with just Hye-jun. He confessed his feelings and love for Hye-jun and even proposed to be his sponsor, but Hye-jun immediately declined the offer. He refused to resort to sponsorships to succeed and he left Charlie empty-handed that night. Back in the present, nothing’s changed for Hye-jun. He still doesn’t want to be sponsored by Charlie even if he’s struggling to become a successful actor. Charlie offers Hye-jun a whole week to give it a second thought, but Hye-jun responds back with silence. His answer is still the same as it was five years ago.
Hye-jun’s dad is still stressed out from Hye-jun and the military draft notice so he leaves work early to get some rest. Mama Hye-jun is also stressed, but she tries her best not to let it get to her. She’s positive that things will work out somehow for her son. She admits that things are shaping up for Hae-hyo because of both his mother’s connection and his skills. When Hye-jun’s dad arrives home, he finds Grandpa eating in the dining room. They bicker (again) like they usually do before Dad enters his bedroom to put on some pain relief patches that he’s bought from the store. Dad struggles to place the patches on his shoulders so he calls Grandpa into the room to help him. Just like before, Dad and Grandpa get into another argument and Dad lectures Grandpa again for his past actions and mistakes. Grandpa strongly opposes Dad treating Hye-jun in a similar way and labeling Hye-jun as a burden; that’s not something he should ever say to his son. Of course, Dad criticizes Grandpa for not taking care of him when he was younger and for not being there for him like a parent should. Although the two take it out on each other, Grandpa eventually puts the patches on Dad’s shoulders and worries for him. Dad is confident that he won’t be a burden to his kids like how Grandpa was to him.
Mama Hye-jun checks out the donation bins outside near the apartment complex for clothes that others in the community have donated. She finds a few clothes she believes would be fitting for Dad. Back at the fashion show, Jeong-h wrap things up at her make-up station. Hye-jun returns to find everyone gone, but he stays to chat with Jeong-ha. He’s still suspicious about Jeong-ha being Hae-hyo’s fan for well.. she sure knows a whole lot about him too. She knows quite a lot about Hae-hyo’s friendship with Hye-jun so Hye-jun assumes Jeong-ha must have looked into him too.
Mama Hae-hyo looks into buying more followers for Hae-hyo’s SNS account. After processing and settling the payment, Mama Hae-hyo turns her attention to Hae-na next who she lectures in regards to relationships. She also teases Hae-na to go shopping with her so Hae-na gives in even though she’s a bit picky. Mama Hae-hyo has to remind her daughter that she’ll place all her focus on Hae-na after she takes care of Hae-hyo’s career. Hae-hyo is feeling uneasy about the new movie role he got. He seeks help and advice from Jin-woo on how to break the news to Hye-jun, but the two of them struggle to come up with a method. They are watching the soccer match against Japan that night so that’s a possible option.
Hye-jun and Jeong-ha leave the fashion show together and Hye-jun even volunteers to carry Jeong-ha’s belonging to the bus stop. However, Jeong-ha is used to doing things alone and is labeled as independent by Hye-jun. Jeong-ha reasons she had no one to rely on that she’s able to do all these things by herself. Hye-jun is fascinated at how different Jeong-ha seems. Usually, you’re drawn to people you’re similar to, but Jeong-ha doesn’t seem anything like Hae-hyo despite being his fan. The two exchange numbers and Hye-jun is once again surprised at how chill Jeong-ha seems. She does’t have any plans on
stalking following Hae-hyo around, but Jeong-ha argues that she has to be stable on her own first before she can support someone. The two eventually bid farewell and Hye-jun reunites with his two best friends.
CEO Lee fails in
scamming signing a new model into his agency. Min-jae meets with CEO Lee shortly afterwards to follow up on his payment towards Hye-jun. Did CEO Lee ever pay him? CEO Lee admits that he hasn’t, but he has no plans to ever do so. Since he and Hye-jun have cut ties with each other, he’s even been informing casting directors that Hye-jun has retired from the industry. Mama Hye-jun and Grandpa meet each other outside of the house later on that evening. Mom went grocery shopping and she’s even brought some clothes home for Dad to wear. When Mom enters her bedroom, she finds Dad sleeping on the bed. He wakes up a few seconds later and she encourages him to visit the hospital. If his concern is about money, she can pay for the hospital bills. He should stop being pathetic over money. She also reminds him to stop talking to Jin-woo’s dad about their family, but Dad can’t help it. Dad is insistent on putting Hye-jun in his place and refraining him from pursuing his acting career. Mom is to not say anything either.
Hye-jun, Hae-hyo, and Jin-woo all gather with many other people at a restaurant to watch Korea go up against Japan for the Asian Games. They cheer for their country proudly and all celebrate in unison when Korea ends up winning the soccer match. Meanwhile, Jeong-ha is busy giving a make-up lesson and tutorial to a lady who inquires her for advice on how to treat her skin with all the fine dust particles. Jeong-ha is just one of the many busking activities happening that night on the street.
Our three friends are in a good mood after the exciting soccer match, but the mood quickly declines when Jin-woo and Hae-hyo awkwardly and indirectly bring up the topic of Hye-jun’s military enlistment. This causes Hye-jun to catch onto something so Hae-hyo is forced to explain that the movie studio called him back regarding the role. Hye-jun isn’t so happy and thrilled with the news and the trio sing their hearts out at karaoke. Hye-jun still can’t seem to wrap his head around the reality and he expresses his fondness for group BTS for their inspirational lyrics. When he listens to their songs, he wants to become a good person and live a good life (same Hye-jun, same). While Jin-woo jokes that Hye-jun will probably never get to live a life like theirs, Hae-hyo quietly takes in his friend’s words.
While editing the video of her and her client from her make-up tutorial earlier, Jeong-ha is reminded of the conversation she had with her client regarding being a fangirl. Although Jeong-ha doesn’t disclose who she’s a fangirl of, she does admit that she met him earlier that day and that she enjoys being a fangirl. Jeong-ha is living that dream fangirl life. Meanwhile, Jin-woo walks Hye-jun home until he receives a text from girlfriend, Hae-na. He leaves Hye-jun behind so Hye-jun ends up walking back home alone and gives Charlie’s sponsor offer another thought. He uses Charlie’s words as motivation to do better. There’s no way he’ll ever resort to sponsorships to rise and succeed as an actor.
Mama Hae-hyo greets her son when he arrives home that night. Hae-hyo’s a bit suspicious on whether his mother has any connections to anyone at the movie studio for the new role he got; he wants to see if there’s any role that Hye-jun can possibly take up. Mama Hae-hyo isn’t so thrilled at Hae-hyo’s care for Hye-jun. She feels like he’ll just be an obstacle to her one day and vents to Hae-hyo’s dad in the bedroom. She blames him for the reason why Hae-hyo is so caring towards Hye-jun, but Dad argues that he wanted his son to grow up with people from various classes to learn more and gain more experiences. They also disagree on Hae-hyo’s celebrity career and it’s obvious Mama Hae-hyo only wants her son to focus on being an actor. The two parents bicker with each other like usual before Papa Hae-hyo goes back to sleep. They even sleep on two separate beds.
Hae-hyo can’t seem to shrug off the guilt and he contacts his friend about the magazine photoshoot he was scheduled to do alone. He changes his mind and wants to do the photoshoot with Hye-jun even though the magazine editorial only wanted Hae-hyo. Hae-hyo also learns that the amount of followers on his SNS account has increased and he lets out a sigh of relief. To commemorate the day, Jeong-ha records herself on video describing all the emotions she felt on this day. From perfect to exciting to unfair to surprising, she felt so many things because of Hye-jun. Her day has been made.
It’s the opposite for Hye-jun who receives another round of lecturing and criticisms when he gets home that night. Dad and Gyeong-jun push Hye-jun to serve in the military upon learning from Hye-jun that he didn’t get the movie role. It’s the perfect opportunity for Hye-jun to enlist and start his life over like how they want him to. Hye-jun becomes hurt by their reactions and he wishes that they would support him instead. Dad and Gyeong-jun can’t help but compare Gyeong-jun’s path to Hye-jun to put Hye-jun down. How much money did Hye-jun make over the years of being a model? It’s not like he’s a model that anyone even recognizes on the street. Hye-jun fights that he’s never asked for money from his brother and that any normal human being would comfort him instead of criticizing him and pushing him to enter in the military. Of course, this upsets Dad, but Grandpa is even more upset with how they’re picking at Hye-jun.
Grandpa defends Hye-jun from the rest of the family and together he and Hye-jun retreat back to their bedroom. Before disappearing, Grandpa complains about his bedroom door and nags at Dad to not be so biased and to fix both bedroom doors. Grandpa slams his bedroom door seconds later only for it to break and completely fall to the ground. Lol. Hye-jun ends up having to tape up some cardboard boxes to replace the door. That’ll do the trick for the meantime. Hye-jun and Grandpa check in with each other before Grandpa expresses his interest in wanting to work and earn money again. It’s been a while since he’s worked and he wants to give Dad some money. He cries just thinking about the guilt and Hye-jun comforts Grandpa by giving him a hug. That night, Hye-jun stays up to reflect on his life. He wishes he had a room all to himself so he could cry without worrying his family. After tucking Grandpa in bed, Hye-jun sets out onto the rooftop to get some fresh air. He won’t give up. He vows to eventually succeed and get his own room and his own house by succeeding as an actor. He won’t give in to reality.
Min-jae meets up with Hye-jun to deliver him some great news: she’s agreed to be his manager. She’s already booked Hye-jun a schedule as soon as she developed her own company, Jjamppong Entertainment, and needs Hye-jun to travel overseas to attend the fashion show. Hye-jun’s excited at the thought of having a manager, but he’s not so thrilled with the traveling. He can’t even afford a plane ticket and everything is too last minute for him. He turns down the offer and stops by Charlie’s office to relay his decision to the fashion designer. No, he will not accept the sponsorship offer. Charlie is hurt by the rejection and he lets his anger out on Hye-jun. He even goes as far to compare Hye-jun with Hae-hyo to prove the point that having support can do a lot for your career. Since Hye-jun’s rejected his support, he might just end up working and dying on a construction site like his father one day. Hye-jun is furious with Charlie’s brutal and demeaning comment, but he remains his cool. He reminds Charlie to remember this day; he was polite to Charlie until the very end. Oof.
When Hye-jun exits the office, he finds Min-jae still waiting outside for him. They stop at a cafe afterwards to talk about the spontaneous decision that Min-jae’s made: she’s purchased flight tickets for the fashion show in Milan for both her and Hye-jun. Hye-jun is shocked and reluctant to leave, but it’s already been said and done. He must go now. Haha. Back at the salon, Jin-ju voices her dislike and jealousy for Jeong-ha who she assumes got to eat and hang out with Hae-hyo without being invited. Jeong-ha turns down the assumption and answers that she didn’t hang out with Hae-hyo like how Jin-ju assumed. Back in the storage room, Su-bin and Jeong-ha chat once again about Jin-ju. Jeong-ha can care less; she’s become friends with Hae-hyo and can even speak about him casually to Su-bin. Of course, it’s all thanks to Hye-jun.
Min-jae and Hye-jun get on the plane to Milan and Min-jae is excited. It’s her first time ever on a plane and she’s easily fascinated by everything. Our Jjamppong unit eventually arrive in Milan and Hye-jun prepares for the fashion show along with all the other models the day of. Min-jae watches in awe and excitement as Hye-jun effortlessly (and handsomely) walks down the runway in multiple outfits and accessories. And yet this fashion show is another success for Hye-jun. Woo hoo! That night, Min-jae and Hye-jun spend some time together and have some drinks to celebrate the day. Min-jae feels as if she’s found her calling in being an agent and helping others succeed, but Hye-jun feels the opposite. It’s only logical that he gives up his dreams and goals of becoming an actor. Hae-hyo’s gotten the movie role that he really wanted and time’s run out for him. Min-jae showers Hye-jun with her support; sure, Hae-hyo is great, but Hye-jun is special. She believes in him.
When Hye-jun and Min-jae return back to Korea, they’re greeted by Hae-hyo at the airport. Min-jae heads back home by herself so Hae-hyo and Hye-jun stop by Jeong-ha’s salon to visit her. Hae-hyo is surprised at how friendly Hye-jun and Jeong-ha are with each other as it’s pretty clear the two get along with each other quite easily. They’re even close enough to joke around and tease each other.
Hye-jun shares with Hae-hyo how Jeong-ha’s his fan, but Jeong-ha breaks the actual truth to Hae-hyo when the two are alone together: she’s actually Hye-jun’s fan. She just knows some stuff about Hae-hyo since he and Hye-jun are best friends with each other. She requests for Hae-hyo to not say anything to Hye-jun (since.. well, she’s quite shy) and she walks back to the main room. While passing by each other, Hye-jun still assumes that Jeong-ha is Hae-hyo’s fan and he assumes she must be excited. She sure is, but she’s more excited because of Hye-jun. Hye-jun invites Jeong-ha out to the photoshoot that he’ll be doing with Hae-hyo in two days. This is her one opportunity to beat Jin-ju and she should take up on the offer. Jeong-ha accepts it of course and she’s determined to win this time.
And so the photoshoot takes place and Hae-hyo and Hye-jun are looking great together. Although there’s been wide comparisons between the two friends, Hye-jun has no regrets. He feels as if newer and better opportunities will also come his way. It’s not that he doesn’t have the acting skills per se, it’s just that he’s not as popular as Hae-hyo and that’s what caused him to lose out on the movie role. So with that, Hye-jun heads over to the salon where Jeong-ha is cleaning up and he sits himself down on a chair in front of her. He requests for Jeong-ha to cut his hair with the hair clippers. He’s enlisting in the military.
Noooo, don’t go Park Bo-gum! It’s a bit sad and depressing watching Park Bo-gum’s character stress out about his career and enlisting in the military when he will be gone for pretty much the next two years because he’s actually fulfilling his duty in real life. It’s one thing to watch him portray it in the drama and then it’s another thing to face reality and remember the fact that he’s away for now. Just like Hye-jun, this is a reality that I don’t want to face, but yet it’s something that we all have to process and accept. Park Bo-gum, we’ll patiently wait for you T_T
With that being said, this episode shed a lot more on Hye-jun’s life and the conflicting and complicated thoughts he continues to have in his life. His family (especially his brother and father) doesn’t support him or his dreams and he’s always being criticized or compared to his brother which, of course, gets hurtful and disappointing. Dad wants Hye-jun to live a financially stable life so that Hye-jun doesn’t have to go through what he did at a young age and experience the pressure of being the breadwinner, but he’s not necessarily listening to Hye-jun which is where the miscommunication lies. I get where Dad and Gyeong-jun is coming from, but their approach is the issue.
More generally, they just don’t support Hye-jun and that’s why Hye-jun is so discouraged and depressed. It’s a good thing that Grandpa (and Mom) is there to support Hye-jun, but everyone and everything else is against him and it can get tiring sometimes. I’m glad that Hye-jun came around to it and eventually accepted his new path and journey with positivity and determination. He’s still going to strive to become a successful actor and enlisting doesn’t mean it’s the end for him. In fact, it might just be the beginning for him and give him that fresh new start that he was seeking and might need in order to achieve his dreams. Maybe this military enlistment will be a much-needed break from all the pressures and pain and heartbreak in life that Hye-jun was facing.
If there’s anything about ‘Record of Youth’ that I appreciate so far, it’d be the aspects of the entertainment industry that we often hear about but don’t get to witness often in K-dramaland (or anywhere really). From the scamming incident with CEO Lee to the sponsorships with Charlie, such incidents are not unheard of in the entertainment industry and I like that we got to witness such things come to play in this drama. Both types of situations are all too true for those like Hye-jun who are trying to break it into the industry and are desperate to make it. Sometimes some people are willing (or forced) to take up things like sponsorships in order to get their name out there. Some entertainment companies are also cruel enough to take advantage of people’s dreams and deceive them in order to rake in some money themselves.
Of course, the situations with CEO Lee and Charlie were altered to fit in with the rest of the storyline from the drama, but it doesn’t change the fact that people can be fooled or tricked as they try to tap their foot into the entertainment industry. I like that the drama wasn’t shy in exposing these realities (I mean, I sure as hell was shocked and surprised when Charlie confessed to Hye-jun and offered to be his sponsor. I for sure did not see that coming and yet, I’m glad that it was brought up).
I found episode two to be a bit more enjoyable than episode one, but I still find the drama a bit dry to watch overall. Similar things happened again in this episode so I’m hoping that things will switch up a bit in episode 3 if Hye-jun does move forward with enlisting in the military (which I assume will happen given that all of this happened back in 2018). Even though Hye-jun might not feel the greatest about this current point in his career and he’s not at a place that he wanted or expected to be, I’m glad that things are slowly shaping up for him with the new support of manager Min-jae. Great things take time so surely but slowly, great and amazing things will happen to Hye-jun.
Extra screenshots from the episode~