Saturday, February 6, 2021

'18 Again' Review: I cried in every single episode.

It's no secret that I'm a bit of a crybaby. In fact, I habitually and purposefully search for movies, series, songs, and books that make me cry because it's one of the only ways that I can confirm that I still have a heart. Lelz.

What I didn't expect, however, was that I was going to cry in every. single. episode of '18 Again'. Now, I'm not gonna lie: the only reason why I watched it in the first place was because I saw that Lee Do-hyun was the lead in it. See, I had developed an unhealthy obsession with him after watching 'Sweet Home' and although I hated the Zac Efron movie '17 Again', I decided to give this a try for him. AND I HAVE NO REGRETS.

In case you aren't familiar with the premise, '18 Again' is about a man who, seemingly unhappy with the life he has led thus far, gets his "wish" of becoming young again.

Basically, he ends up looking like his 18-year-old self but with all of the knowledge of his 36-year-old self and in the world that his 36-year-old self was living in: complete with his two kids and his ex-wife. It sounds fun and fantastical; but for single mom-me, it was a nostalgic trip into all of the heartaches and pain of my past.

And I found myself crying in every. single. episode. That is not an exaggeration. I literally did. I couldn't shut up about it as I was watching it, either. It had actually been a while since I last binge-watched a Korean drama in just one day (at least one that didn't involve zombies or monsters).

It has been more than a decade now since I embarked on my life as a single mom and I am so proud to say that I overcame all of the struggles that came with it: living alone, having very little to eat, and raising a baby with zero knowledge on how to raise one in the first place. I had no one to guide me and no one to turn to, and I locked myself in the bathroom more times than I'd like to admit to cry my heart out. All of these feelings came back when I watched '18 Again' and it was just as painful as actually living it.

Major props to how the actors in this cry, by the way. One of my pet peeves in KDramas is when they're ugly cryers (Lee Min-ho) or OA cryers (Nam Joo-hyuk). These guys actually made me cry when they cried instead of rolling my eyes or looking at invisible people next to me to roll my eyes with.

Will you enjoy the series if you can't relate to being a young single parent? Honestly, I think you might actually enjoy it more than I did because you won't have your heart wrenched out of your body in every single episode. Lol. Beyond the young single parent stuff, there is a lot to be taken away from this show.

'18 Again' reminds us to take a step back and breathe and look at all of the good things in our lives instead of constantly complaining about things or looking back in regret. One question I've been getting a lot recently is whether I regret becoming a mom and whether I ever wonder what life would have been like if I had chosen a different path.

I did when I was much younger, but I was lucky enough to eventually move past that mentality. (Pretty proud to say that I moved past it all on my own, too!) I chose not to dwell on my mistakes and my hardships, instead looking back fondly at how I overcame all of the shit in my life. But I'll get to my shitty life of a decade ago in another post.

'18 Again' also touches on bullying (at school and for being a geek), prejudice at work (for those who didn't graduate, mothers, divorced women, older women, and women in general), and bribery.

'18 Again' reminds us not to take anything or anyone for granted and not to assume that we know what is going on in people's lives (even those we are close to). It reminds us to be kind at all times, to be understanding, and above all, to communicate better.

It reminds us how important it is not just to listen, but also to speak up about things that are bothering us. How can you fix anything if you never tell people how you feel? How can you move forward if you keep pretending everything is fine and dandy? How can you expect things to be better if you never say what's on your mind? How can you be happy if you never speak up?

'18 Again' is a gem of a KDrama that I am surprised nobody on my feed is talking about. It is a beautiful series, whether you have kids or not, and I highly recommend watching it. And did I mention that Lee Do-hyun is in this?!?? (Or am I the only one absolutely obsessed with him?) Hwang In-yeop is in it, too, in case you want to see more of him after watching 'True Beauty'.

If you've seen it, let me know your thoughts!

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