Thirty But Seventeen

Overall Rating: A+ (Don’t even try to argue with me here)
Subtitles: There were little grammar things here and there but the subs were overall very fluent, not a single moment that I did not understand or was confused by.
Brief Synopsis: A group of people haunted by a traumatic event 13 years ago are brought together by chance and explore what it means to heal. Watch it on Viki here.

**Full show spoilers below the image. If you do not wish to be spoiled, do not proceed**

Ending Type: The warmest, happiest, coziest of all endings. They even made me OK with the concept of people growing and changing and some of our favorite family members moving out of the house to pursue their own dreams. SO. PURE.
Characters: I love all of these characters so much and my life would be the most perfect life ever if I could be part of their little found family. I am obsessed with all of them and, unlike the characters in most shows that I love a lot, I’d really just like to know them in real life.
I actually found this show because I love Shin Hye Sun and I saw that she was the lead, Woo Seo Ri. Seo Ri was in a car accident when she was 17 that left her in a coma for 13 years. She wakes up as a 30 year old with no family or friends around her or anywhere that she can find, and she’s understandably upset and scared and confused, but she is the sweetest and cutest and most joyful human from the get-go. Warmth just exudes from her, and the fact that she is still very much seventeen gives her a charming innocence, especially because she was an incredibly sweet and charming teenager to begin with. Her character’s resilience and sweetness and beautiful wisdom are the heart of the show and the glue that ties everyone else together. I loved that she spoke her mind and stood up for herself but communicated clearly and carefully and worked hard to understand the people around her and wanted nothing more than to bring people joy. She was a living ball of sunshine and I adore her.
Gong Woo Jin (Yang Se Jong) actually had the biggest growth arc and had the most healing to do of all of the characters, which was kind of a surprise for me but was also really wonderful. He has PTSD from his belief that he caused the death of the girl he liked (surprise it was Seo Ri all along but they don’t discover this until they already have a deep and loving relationship and I was a big fan of that–more later) and as a result has closed himself off from the world. He doesn’t really feel joy and he doesn’t know how to connect with people, but he is still clearly a caring individual–he loves his nephew, he waters plants on the street, and he goes out of his way to care for the family dog. He was awkward in a really endearing way, and the rawness of his grief and anxiety really got me. As he opened up with Seo Ri’s help he stayed very much himself, but became a brighter and warmer version of himself. He retained all of his sweet and silly quirkiness and was easily the most endearing male romantic lead I’ve ever seen. I just loved him from start to finish, and his growth and emotional journey was really, really powerful. I was a big fan of the way Se Jong played this character and will be keeping an eye out for more that he’s in.
And we cannot forget Chan (Ahn Hyo Seop), the purest and brightest ray of sunshine to exist on this freaking planet. This kid made me believe that maybe teenagers are OK after all. He was adorably dense at times and incredibly impulsive the way teens so often are, but he was bright and positive and always loving and kind and caring. He and his friends were hilarious and sweet and wonderful together and his energy and enthusiasm were an absolute joy to behold. Cannot express how wonderful it was to have a character like him around and how bright and charismatic he was in every scene. Love, love, love.
JENNIFER (Ye Ji Won). Good gracious I loved this character. She started out as this robotic human (it was great how often people asked if she was normal) and for a long time it just seemed like this fun side character who existed for comedic value. It was fantastic that she got her own backstory and then her own healing and growth arc. Even when she was still her robotic, closed-off self she was incredibly caring and was relentlessly there for the whole family in the house, offering her quirky advice quotes, making sure everyone was fed and healthy, and constantly checking up on people when they seemed off. The fact that she got her own story and got to embrace the things she loved and get a second chance at life was the bonus cherry on top of the perfect sundae that was this pure and delightful and perfect show.
**BONUS: There is no villain in this show. The characters aren’t trying to overcome some evil person’s scheming, they are facing their own demons and growing and leaning on each other. IT IS. SO PURE.
Relationships: This show is just one giant relationship that is basically the hug that you get from your favorite person right when you need it the most.
The found family relationship (between our four main characters and Chan’s two bffs) was beautiful and pure and I am obsessed with it. Honestly just their entire dynamic and the way the house was a microcosm for the world they were trying to navigate together was utter perfection. The way they jumped in constantly to help each other, the way they were always sensitive to each other’s moods and needs, the way they shared meals with this effervescent joy–it was such utter perfection. We could all only hope one day to have a group like this around us.
Seo Ri and Woo Jin also had easily the sweetest and cutest and purest romance I have ever had the joy to behold. They were both emotionally stunted due to the accident that marked both of their lives but not in a bad way–they just had that innocence of two people who like each other but have never liked anyone before or expressed it so they are shy and sweet and the littlest things bring them so much joy. The warmth and love they developed for each other early on was incredibly beautiful and touching, and when they slowly start to realize they like each other and explore that and what it means–look if a heart could explode from the pure sweet joy of it I would be a dead woman. There were SO MANY just tiny little beautiful, sweet, pure, joyful moments that I about lost my mind. And normally I am not the biggest fan of “everything fits together in the end,” but when we get the full flashbacks and see that they truly liked each other before the accident too–friends there was actual audible squealing. I am in love with this love story, with the gentleness and caring and respect and compassion and generally just absolute perfection of the whole thing. I spent a lot of time screenshotting conversations and things that Woo Jin was saying to her and sending them to my friends to say, “If only guys could actually communicate like this.” I am fully obsessed with this couple and also this show.
High Points: EVERYTHING OK? EVERYTHING? When I sat down with this show I was not expected to be wrapped up in a warm bed with a cup of tea and some nice little cakes and birds singing outside and the literal personification of joy giving me a hug. I swear to God I experienced actual healing watching this show, and not because it was about healing (THOUGH THAT WAS DONE SO WELL!!!) but just because it was so absolutely warm and joyful and sweet and like constantly just putting a smile on your face in the best and most caring way and just. Wow. I just… wow.
Low Points: I wasn’t overly fond of the excessive use of in-show flashbacks. Like the past timeline flashbacks yes, good, necessary. An occasional flashback from earlier in the show to help provide context or help us understand what a character is thinking/remembering–sounds good. But the flashbacks to moments earlier in the episode I could have done without. Mostly because I wanted those moments to be filled with even more of this precious and wonderful and joyful and perfect show.
Final comments: Whew. * Deep breaths * Look, this show is a warm fuzzy blanket on a perfect fall day in front of the fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate and everyone you loved there with you. I have never in my life witnessed something so relentlessly pure and joyful and sweet and bright and hopeful and uplifting. This was a straight weekend binge for me and I was depressed when I realized it was almost over because I think literally my own anxiety would be healed if I could just watch this show continue on endlessly forever. I am not saying there aren’t emotional or sad or tough moments or that you don’t get frustrated with the characters ever, but every single piece of emotion and trauma in this show was handled so gently and delicately and the entire tone of the show and the vast majority of its contents were just so freaking joyful and wholesome and hopeful and beautiful. Trauma is a real thing, and they tackled it in a variety of forms, including straight up PTSD and related panic attacks, but the message of the show was about love and healing and opening up to happiness and learning to forgive yourself and the beauty of resilience and the courage that is joy in the face of grief. Yes it was one of the cutest and purest romances I’ve ever seen, but I honestly think I would have enjoyed this show just as much if there hadn’t been a romance at all because the general tone and message, the relationships between our main characters, and just the overwhelming joy and comfort of the whole thing was more than I ever could have asked out of a TV show and I am not and will never be over it. This should be required viewing for all people, and if you need a pick me up or you just want to feel warm and fuzzy and get some of the baggage that life throws at you off your shoulders, WATCH THIS FREAKING SHOW. I am so, so thankful that this was made.

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