This has got to be one of the most unique dramas I saw lately, and without a long introduction, I’m going to explain how I liked it right away.
The story revolves around a 38 year old, Ha No Ra (played by Choi Ji Woo), who has led an isolated life ever since she got pregnant at 18 because of a one night stand and then went on to marry the father of her child, Kim Woo Chul (played by Choi Won Young). An ambitious man, Woo Chul has climbed the ranks at universities and is acknowledged as a respectable professor of Psychology. However, his conduct at home is absolutely obnoxious, since he treats his wife as just a housekeeper, and shows contempt towards her for her ‘lack of intellect’ since she was never able to study at a university on account of their baby. On top of all this, he has her sign an agreement about three years before the story takes place that they are practically divorced and will officially leave each other when their son makes it to college at the age of 20.
However, when we enter the story, No Ra has made the difficult decision of privately preparing for university at the same time as her son, in a last attempt to keep her relationship together. She believes that she may be able to meet her husband’s intellect if she does this. Coincidentally, both her and her son are admitted to the same university, while Woo Chul also shifts colleges and comes there as a professor. She manages to hide the fact that she is enrolled at the university for a few weeks but her lie is caught and her husband tries everything to make her quit, because he’s having an affair with a professor at the university.
In this premise of ‘to divorce or not to divorce’, one of No Ra’s professors turns out to be one of her closest friends back when she was still a young girl, before her pregnancy. Cha Hyun Suk (played by Lee Sang Yoon) has harboured a crush on her for over 20 years and was unable to confess to her as a young boy, before she was whisked away by Woo Chul. As much as he loves her, he’s also very hurt by the way No Ra just up and left as a young girl. As he becomes aware of her situation at home, he softens towards her and presents so many opportunities in front of her to help her grow and fulfill all of her unfulfilled wishes of 20 years. In this way, he plays a very important role in bringing No Ra into the real world she had been cut off from for so very long.
In short, Twenty Again was a story about retrieving lost time, and stressed on the need for women to actively define their destinies by making independent decisions. If men have any role in women’s lives, it’s one where they should be encouraging women to think for themselves instead of criticizing them for possessing a limited worldview. Seeing our female lead changing her outlook on the world around her by exposing herself to it showed so much growth and development. She was endearing and we rooted for her throughout her journey to find herself.