When there’s good, there’s also bad and it’s important as to how to respond for both situations. Hye-jun’s career has been on a steady rise and trajectory, but there are also a lot of people who wish to see his downfall. Just like how he has fans and supporters, he also has enemies and opponents. How will Hye-jun respond to all of this?
Record of Youth: Episode 11 Recap
On the way to Min-jae’s apartment, Hye-jun receives a phone call from the Gangnam Police Station. They want a statement from Hye-jun in regards to Charlie Jung’s death. On the drive to the police station, Hye-jun updates Hae-hyo and how he had gotten a phone call from Charlie Jung just a few days before. Hye-jun also plans on attending the fashion designer’s funeral later on that day. Mom and Jin-woo’s Mom go shopping together at the department store. Mom doesn’t plan on buying any clothes even though Hye-jun is now making lots of money. It seems as if Hye-jun has something planned for the family based off of his question about how much debt the family is in, but Mom doesn’t feel as if she’s deserving of Hye-jun’s money. She doesn’t want to talk to Hye-jun about money and how much he earns.
Dad, Jin-woo’s Dad, and two of their friends meet up that day and they talk about none other than Hye-jun. They assume Dad’s gotten some allowance money from Hye-jun so Dad volunteers to treat them to dinner that night (more like peer pressured, but still). Hae-hyo prepares to head to Charlie’s funeral, but Mom stops him on his way out. She’s shocked at how Hae-hyo plans on attending the funeral with Hye-jun. It’s one thing for Hye-jun to go, but for Hae-hyo to go with Hye-jun? Mama Hae-hyo is still in disbelief at how Hae-hyo views Hye-jun. He should take things more seriously. Hae-hyo announces his decision to act in the same upcoming project as Hye-jun which Mama Hae-hyo isn’t so happy about. She went through hoops with CEO Lee to get Hae-hyo his role in his previous drama, but Hae-hyo credits Do-ha for the opportunity. Mama Hae-hyo is so angry and fed up she’s even close to bringing up the truth about Hae-hyo’s SNS account, but an appearance by Hae-na interrupts the mood so she stops herself just in time. Hae-na is told about a blind date that she’s forced to go to and Hae-hyo exits the house.
Hye-jun is interrogated by a detective at the police station over Charlie’s call history and texts. Why did Charlie Jung call Hye-jun just a few days ago when they had stopped all communications for a year? Hye-jun suggests for the detective to look at the text messages before answering Min-jae’s incoming call. Min-jae isn’t so happy upon discovering that Hye-jun is at the police station alone. To Hye-jun, the investigation needs to conclude in order for the funeral to proceed. He needs to play his part in all of this. Min-jae and her assistant ends up picking up Hye-jun from the police station. Unbeknownst to them, Reporter Kim catches Hye-jun exiting the police station. Min-jae and Hye-jun go at it in regards to the passing. Min-jae’s worried about Hye-jun’s career and how people will take advantage of this opportunity to bring him down. There’s tons of hate comments about Hye-jun’s relationship with Charlie Jung and there are tons of people who are waiting to see him fail. However, Hye-jun isn’t too worried. He has many fans who will support him and he believes in the good of things. The funeral is a priority for him and he wants to pay his respects. With that, he leaves for the funeral.
Reporter Kim visits CEO Lee and delivers the news to him. She saw Hye-jun exit the police station after giving his statement and this has only prompted her to be even more curious. What exactly is the relationship between Hye-jun and Charlie Jung? CEO Lee must know Hye-jun better than anyone else since he was Hye-jun’s manager during Hye-jun’s model days, right? CEO Lee preps himself before giving Reporter Kim an answer. What exactly is it that Reporter Kim wants to know? Before her make-up class, Jeong-ha meets with Hae-hyo to give him some updates. With her new salon, she doesn’t want to be as dependent on him anymore. She’s grateful that he took her in as his make-up artist, but things have changed now. Jeong-ha wishes to not be as involved with Hae-hyo’s schedule and activities any longer in fear that she won’t succeed with her own salon. Hae-hyo’s a bit bummed out by the decision, but he gives in. Anything for Jeong-ha.
And so Jeong-ha proceeds with her class on make-up and her experience as a make-up artist. She shares the reason as to why she wanted to become a make-up artist and the importance of the position. Gyeong-jun continues to receive more requests at work thanks to Hye-jun. In a meeting with the bank’s branch manager and the Vice President, they ask Gyeong-jun about Hye-jun and the possibility of Hye-jun being a model for the bank. It’d be the perfect opportunity since they have the connection. Although Gyeong-jun is hesitant on speaking up, he doesn’t have much of a choice. Everyone wants Hye-jun to represent the bank. Hye-jun hangs out with Min-jae and assistant, Chi-yeong, who are battling tons of hate comments online about Hye-jun. They’re positive it’s primarily Do-ha’s fans who are angry with Hye-jun for winning the ‘Best Actor’ award and they tackle these hate comments by suing the commenters. Gyeong-jun and Dad request for a family meeting that night to discuss the stress they’re getting due to Hye-jun’s fame and popularity.
Hye-jun agrees to the family meeting and Dad reads the text message while at work. Dad becomes a bit careless at work and he ends up hurting his shoulder after picking up a heavy piece of wood. Jin-woo’s Dad accompanies him to the hospital and he gets his injury checked out. Thankfully, Dad doesn’t need any surgery, but he’s warned to be more careful or else he won’t be able to work in the future. It’s not good news for Dad. Hae-hyo reunites with Jeong-ha after her lecture concludes and she’s quick in deciding to go home. Since Hye-jun has his family meeting, Jeong-ha has no plans for that night anyways so she’s better off just going home. Hae-hyo points out how busy Hye-jun’s become, but Jeong-ha isn’t worried. She’s confident in how her relationship with Hye-jun is going, but she’s not so confident in her salon. She’s not getting that many customers and clients so Hae-hyo offers Jeong-ha his support. He’ll recommend a female celebrity to her.
Hae-na and Jin-woo spend some time together on another date. Jin-woo’s not that jealous about Hae-na’s blind date, but Hae-na has other plans. Forget the blind date, she wants to get married to Jin-woo. Of course, Jin-woo is taken aback by the sudden confession and he struggles to come up with a response to Hae-na’s statement. Hye-jun has some time until his family meeting so he decides to make a pit stop at Jeong-ha’s house. Meanwhile, Min-jae reads some comments criticizing Jjampong Entertainment (AKA her) and their inability to take care of Hye-jun. She then receives a phone call from Reporter Kim who follows up with her about the dating rumors swirling between Charlie Jung and Hye-jun. Although Min-jae strongly denies the accusations, Reporter Kim isn’t buying any of it. It’s not as if Min-jae is the only one who knew Hye-jun from his modeling days which prompts Min-jae to immediately think about CEO Lee. CEO Lee must have been the one behind everything.
CEO Lee and Do-ha hang out again and just like all the other times, the only person they can talk about is Hye-jun. Do-ha’s stressed out about Hye-jun and even accuses CEO Lee of wanting to work with Hye-jun again now that he’s successful. CEO Lee has his own thoughts about Do-ha’s situation, but he doesn’t say them out loud. Hae-hyo drives Jeong-ha home and she discovers a sleeping Hye-jun on the couch when she enters her house. She attempts to surprise him, but Hye-jun was merely pretending to be asleep. He was awake the entire time. While hanging out at her house, Jeong-ha receives a phone call from Hae-hyo who wants to meet up with her really quickly. She forgot some of her books back in his car so he wants to give them back to her at that moment. However, Jeong-ha is busy so she denies the opportunity. She’ll get the books another time. Hae-hyo gives in and gives up. There’s nothing he can do.
Hye-jun reveals the reasoning behind his family meeting that night: they’re going to discuss how Hye-jun’s popularity has been causing the family some stress. But Gyeong-jun and Dad (and Mom) aren’t the only ones who have been stressed. Jeong-ha too has been upset with Hye-jun, but she pretends as if everything’s fine. She updates him on her plans to not be as involved with both Hae-hyo and his activities now that she has her own salon. She wants to practice more make-up on women so she’s limiting her work with the two actors. Hye-jun voices his support for his girlfriend and will be on her side regardless of what decision she makes just like how she was there for him during his early career. Of course, her salon wouldn’t have been possible without the help and support of Hye-jun. Although he was busy, he made time to help her design her salon and come up with a name for the place. Although time was limited, he visited her on the day she moved into her new salon and congratulated her. Hae-hyo too was supportive and helpful during the process and Dad made sure to show his love for his daughter as well.
Jeong-ha volunteers to walk Hye-jun out the house, but Hye-jun declines. If she did, he would feel compelled to walk her back home, lol. So the couple bid farewell for the night and Hye-jun heads home. Before the family meeting, Gyeong-jun privately chats with Grandpa regarding their house. Hye-jun only listens to Grandpa so Grandpa should pitch forth the idea of moving out to a bigger and better house. Their conversation is cut short when Hye-jun enters the bedroom so Gyeong-jun leaves and the family meeting starts. Gyeong-jun starts off with his complaints: he’s been having to take on a lot more at work due to Hye-jun’s success. Dad even feels the same way with how friends assume he must be getting allowance money from Hye-jun when really he isn’t. Mom doesn’t find it such a big deal so what else does Gyeong-jun want to say? Gyeong-jun brings up the dinner that the branch manager at his bank wants to schedule with Hye-jun, but Grandpa reveals the topic about moving out that Gyeong-jun brought up earlier to him in the bedroom.
With that, Gyeong-jun has no choice but to talk about moving out. Now that Hye-jun makes more money, they can move out to somewhere in Hae-hyo’s neighborhood, but Hye-jun disagrees. He doesn’t plan on moving anywhere. Instead, he’s going to pay off Mom and Dad’s debt, purchase the current house they’re living in, and remodel the basement to make it his own bedroom. Everyone agrees with Hye-jun’s plans and Gyeong-jun eventually does as well. Mom and Dad can’t help but feel a bit apologetic and guilty over Hye-jun’s plans to pay back their debt, but they’re also grateful to their son. Dad updates Mom about his doctor’s appointment earlier that day and how he needs to be more careful with work. He’s still determined to build and design Hye-jun’s bedroom though and that’s something he’s definitely going to do. Hye-jun updates Jeong-ha later on that night on how the family meeting went. He’s happy over the fact that he’ll be getting his own bedroom. It’s a major win and upgrade for the actor. Hye-jun has truly made it.
The next day, Hye-jun and Min-jae attend a meeting with the world-renowned director, Mark James. Director James is highly impressed with Hye-jun and proposes to work with Hye-jun on his next project. And our Hye-jun scores another deal once again! Reporter Kim prepares for her TV show and the topic for that day is centered around Charlie Jung. With his recent passing, many are curious about the fashion designer’s secret love life and who he was in a relationship with. Although Reporter Kim doesn’t reveal or expose anybody on the show, it’s obvious that the person she’s referring to is Hye-jun. Mama Hae-hyo watches the TV show of Reporter Kim, but takes a break when Mom arrives for work. Mama Hae-hyo brings up the rumors about Hye-jun’s secret affair with Charlie Jung and how much stress it can cause Hye-jun, but Mom isn’t worried. She’s confident Hye-jun can take care of things and if he can’t, maybe she can step in to help. Mom doesn’t see the big deal behind the rumors for gender shouldn’t matter when it comes to love (yes, Mom, yes!). Even then, Hye-jun has only dated girls and he even has a girlfriend at the moment. Mom doesn’t believe in the rumors swirling around Hye-jun.
Things are different for others though. Gyeong-jun’s manager brings up the rumors about Hye-jun possibly liking men and how it’s all everyone is talking about online at the moment. Gyeong-jun too doesn’t easily believe the rumors and notes that unlike him who’s never dated before (LOL), Hye-jun has only dated girls. It doesn’t take too long until Hye-jun and Min-jae learn about all the rumors and controversy surrounding Hye-jun and his connection to Charlie Jung. Reporters swarm Min-jae’s phone while Hye-jun learns about a Youtuber who’s made a video about him and Charlie Jung. The Youtuber speculates that Hye-jun and Charlie must have been romantically linked to each other given just how involved the two were with each other during Hye-jun’s modeling days. Min-jae and Hye-jun are in shock upon watching the popular video and Mom, Dad, and Gyeong-jun even threaten to sue the man. Grandpa also wants to know what’s going on, but they keep things a secret from Grandpa for now.
As the brain of the family, Gyeong-jun suggests that the best way to tackle the issue would be if Hye-jun transferred to a bigger entertainment company who could protect him. Hye-jun arrives home not too long afterwards and the family is worried about him. However, Hye-jun reassures his family that they’re handling everything and he retreats into his bedroom. Gyeong-jun for a second ponders about the validity of the rumors, but Dad is close to beating Gyeong-jun up for even thinking such a thing. LOL. Hae-na checks in with Hae-hyo on Hye-jun’s future. Hae-hyo believes in Hye-jun and is positive things will eventually be sorted out. Mama Hae-hyo joins her two kids and is still stressed out about Hae-hyo’s career. Hae-na steps out to use the bathroom, but leaves her cellphone in the room. Of course, this is exactly the time when Jin-woo calls Hae-na so Hae-hyo and Mama Hae-hyo pick up the call. Jin-woo is quick and straightforward and he has his response for Hae-na about the possibility of them getting married. It’s too late for Hae-na when she returns to the room and the secret that she had been hiding this entire time gets exposed. Mama Hae-hyo is speechless upon hearing Jin-woo’s comment and she slowly exits the bedroom as calmly as she can. Hae-hyo is angry and he can only think about beating Jin-woo up. Lol. Oops.
Min-jae talks on the phone with a reporter and vows to meet up with him so that she can clear up all the rumors surrounding Hye-jun and Charlie Jung. But the reporter isn’t the only person who Min-jae meets up with. She and CEO Lee discuss about Hye-jun’s situation at a cafe. CEO Lee shares his thoughts on everything and suggests that Hye-jun be transferred over to him. Things are too big and challenging for someone like Min-jae to handle; CEO Lee believes he can take things on and handle the situation much better. Hye-jun can always go public with his relationship with Jeong-ha to prove his stance. As Hye-jun gets bigger and more popular, more and more people will continue to use his name to make money. That’s something Min-jae will have to get used to and be more prepared for. If she isn’t up for the job, CEO Lee is.
While working on creating Hye-jun’s new bedroom, Jin-woo’s Dad suggests the same exact thing to Dad. Hye-jun can always make his relationship with Jeong-ha public, but Dad is hesitant about the idea. He wouldn’t want to drag someone else’s daughter into all of the mess. Min-jae spends some time with Jeong-ha at her salon while Hye-jun is at work. Jeong-ha hasn’t been the most confident in how she should approach and support Hye-jun with everything that’s been going on so Min-jae suggests that they maybe go public with their relationship. Jeong-ha is willing to do anything to help Hye-jun. However, Hye-jun refuses to reveal such news to the public. He wants to protect Jeong-ha’s privacy. As if things weren’t bad enough, Ji-Ah meets up with Reporter Kim for a brief interview about Hye-jun thanks to Hae-hyo who connected the two together. Ji-Ah makes sure to update Hye-jun about the meeting through a phone call. An exclusive news article should be out soon and Hae-hyo has no fear in revealing his involvement in all of this. During a meeting with Min-jae and Hye-jun, he informs them that he was the one who introduced Ji-Ah to Reporter Kim. The two friends stare at each other in silence as Hye-jun holds his phone to his ears.
This episode felt pretty long and empty to me and that’s primarily because it was centered around one thing: rumors of Hye-jun being gay and potentially being romantically involved with Charlie Jung. I’m not a huge fan of the issue and I certainly feel conflicted about everything. I know homophobia is still a huge thing in the entertainment industry (and the world at large) and there’s still so much stigmatization and discrimination in regards to this, but I’m also not so sure if this was the route that the drama should have taken narratively. If there was going to be an issue or a factor that affected Hye-jun’s career and caused controversy around his name, I wished it was because of something else. Charlie Jung isn’t even in the drama anymore and he never played that big of a role in the first place, I just find it a bit odd narratively that he’s now being brought back into the drama just so the drama has a reason to shake Hye-jun’s career up.
I mean, couldn’t there be some other reason as to why Hye-jun’s name was dragged into the spotlight and as to why his career was at a possibility of tanking? Why did it have to be because of rumors surrounding Hye-jun’s connection to Charlie Jung that he was at risk of losing his career? I don’t know, it just leaves a sour and bitter taste in my mouth and I kind of wanted to see something different from the drama. Like Hye-jun’s Mom said, people should be able to love whoever they want to love regardless of their identities, sexual orientation, gender, and so forth. Why is it such a big deal that Hye-jun and Charlie Jung were affiliated with each other?
It was sort of fun and interesting to watch Hye-jun succeed and rise and we certainly knew that it wasn’t going to come without a cost or a few bumps, but like, why did it have to be this bump that threatened his career? If the drama had been touching on the heightening competition and rivalry between Hae-hyo and Hye-jun, why couldn’t that be the focus? I’m not so sure I buy into the mess and controversy that Hye-jun is in at the moment. I find Min-jae, Jeong-ha, and Hye-jun’s family reactions realistic and I like how supportive they are of our Hye-jun, but the reason itself behind everything is what makes me iffy. Why are they using Charlie Jung’s sexual orientation to drag Hye-jun and take him down? There were other things the drama could have done if they wanted to show us Hye-jun’s career being threatened and yet, they went with this one. I’d like to say that we got a pretty good view of Hye-jun’s upwards trajectory and his success so I wanted to see something as satisfying when it came to the battles he would face as a rising star. I liked that we got to witness everything when it came to Hye-jun succeeding and it was so easy to root for him because of that. My only problem is, I wanted to see something just as interesting when it came to this tricky phase in his career, but I’m disappointed that the drama made a big deal out of nothing to do so.
I can’t even say that I’m curious as to how everything is going to get solved because I’m really not. I wished the drama had just transitioned to focusing on boosting Hae-hyo’s career so that he could serve as the potential threat to Hye-jun’s career. If there was anything or anyone that would turn things upside down for Hye-jun, I wished it would have been Hae-hyo and his jealousy for his best friend. It should have been Hae-hyo’s yearning and envy to be as successful as Hye-jun and him turning on his friend to win in the end. Instead, the drama took a detour and decided to focus on this outside issue with Charlie Jung and Hye-jun liking men and it just doesn’t make much sense. To be fair, the drama has never really been one with substance in the first place, but I did find the last few episodes to be a little bit better and tolerable for me to watch. I just want to see where the drama is going to take Hae-hyo and Hye-jun’s friendship and I hope the two are even pit up against each other. Until then, everything is just kind of there for me and I’ll be waiting to see if there’s more that the drama can offer.
Extra screenshots from the episode~