When We Were Young – Mini Review

Name: When We Were Young 人不彪悍枉少年
Writer/director: Deng Ke & Liu Guo Hui
Date: November 2018
Number of episodes: 24
Genre: Friendship, School, Family
Based on book/manga?: No

Why did I press play? While I was perusing for a new drama to watch, this one had great reviews!

During which episode was it dropped? It was dropped around the last third. The wonderful story become rained on by drops of unnecessary drama.

A few thoughts and observations:

  • Fun, thoughtful, and the characters grow on you. They each have distinct traits, quirks, and personalities.
  • Each character has a unique and contrasting family situation. However each one’s situation is a little over the top and feels like caricature instead of real life.
  • Heo Hou who plays Hua Biao gives an excellent performance. The character faces a variety of situations and pulls them off excellently. Initially I was worried that his acting would be cringy, but it turned out to be quite the opposite. There aren’t many romantic scenes, but when there is a girl can’t help but gush. For example in the later episodes when they are hiding under a box, and Yang Xi asked who he likes, his eyes and expression…. dreamy!
  • Yang Xi was charming, but often annoying. Hua Biao balanced out her role.
  • The drama takes a well worn story of high school life, and breathes life into it, with a unique and enjoyable perspective, characters, side-plots, use of real voices, props, and locations. It’s a fabulous little drama.
  • The delightfully surprising synchronized actions of the actors. For example when Hua and Yang sneak out to the arcade at night, while on his bike they wave in sync at Li Yu, who was watching from the window.

Who are the main characters? Which actors play them?
Hua Biao played by Neo Hou
Yang Xi played by Wan Peng
Li Yu played by Gala Zhang
Si Tu Er Tiao played by Marcus Li
Yang Xiao He Mei played by Pan Mei Ye
Huang Deng Deng played by Dai Lu Wa (ballet dancer)
Kong Xiao Jun played by Wilson Wang (teacher)
Yang Chao played by Chen Xi Jun (Yang Xi’s brother)

Theme: Deep friendship is one of the best things in life. Even though things at home can get tough, friendship can add so much joy and support.

What it’s good for? A hearty drama to look forward to each evening.

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