A coming of age story about young people in their twenties and the problems they face in university. Nam Soo Hyun and Yeo Joon, two boys with contrasting personalities, unexpectedly become friends when working on a project together. Depicts the realistic worries and conflicts of university students in their 20's, centered around 1st-year student Yeo Joon. Even though Yeo Joon has an attractive appearance and comes from a wealthy background, he carries pain inside. His character is a puppy-dog freshman who takes a liking to a sunbae and follows him around, leading to an unlikely friendship between two very different boys. (Source: MyDramaList) ~~ Adapted from the webtoon "Campus Life" (멀리서 보면 푸른 봄) by Ji Nyoong (지늉). Edit Translation
Where to Watch At a Distance, Spring Is Green
Cast & Credits
Friendship is enough, is there a need for romance?"My smile is not fake anymore, what took my mask away?"
Disclaimer: I haven't read the webtoon yet so this review is solely based on drama.
In the first few episodes... you'll encounter a lot of tension between 2 male leads that definitely gives you the feeling and vibe, 'is this BL?' so let me clear this question: No it isn't. It's not typical youth drama, it tries to be different in many aspects adding some twists that are usually not seen in this type of drama, making you wonder about many things.
As of the first impression of Joon, I didn't like him at all (really at all lol). Loved his character development throughout the drama.. it wasn't out of nowhere or abrupt it was slow and natural. He got friends and love from them that he deserves. And not to forget he found his 'real smile.' Soo Hyun.. haha he acts oblivious and clueless many times, but he is adorable at the same time. I liked the change in his personality too, how he becomes comfortable around friends, having conversations even okay with getting help when it's needed. It's pleasant to see.
What I enjoyed most in the drama was the interactions, tension in the initial stage between Joon and Soo Hyun, the development in their friendship how they start to rely on each other, trust each other... the most pleasant time! Seeing Na In Woo was a surprise for me (I don't really check many things before starting drama lol)... ah I wanted his more interaction and relationship development with Jun maybe I would prefer it more than his time with So Bin :')
Romance ah the most uninteresting part of the drama, it has already many other things to handle lol (no offense it's my opinion) it is out of nowhere, it's like someone slams the door on the face as says yeah now leads like each other apparently for no good reason, you have to find why they like each other? Okay, so I get it about Joon as he is someone who is in need who hasn't been loved by anyone... so it's kinda acceptable for him to bit hungry for love. But what about So Bin, why the heck she likes him? Plus she is like one of the most important characters (Apparently one of the leads having poorly written) who gets really big screentime is the most uninteresting (or boring) character, yeah she has her backstory and all but still, she doesn't have her own identity or even personality, at the end of the day her role in the show becomes only as of the love interest for Jun. Maybe they had shown big character development in her or she even made some less stupid mistakes.
And this isn't only about Joon or So Bin why everyone should have their own love line, coz it's drama. Ah, I would have liked it more if it has shown friendship more other than bombarding too many love stories (Not to forget that love triangle lol).. other than triangle the trio of leads (only as friends) would have been the best scenario.
I don't have a problem with casting, not a very superficial level but we are getting decent acting. Everyone did an okay job portraying the characters. Especially I'm impressed by Park Ji Hoon's acting (It's my first time seeing him) especially with crying scenes he did a great job.
The soundtrack is really good.. our main lead is the singer, of course, we are getting ost sing by him 'Talk to me' (말만 해). 'Bom Bom Bom' (봄봄봄) by Punch is really refreshing. Bom/Boom '봄' means 'Spring.' And not to forget the duet of Rothy and Han Seung Yun 'Hug' (품) it's a soothing match with the drama's main concept. I liked the color palate specifically as it fit the theme of the drama.. spring! with really good cinematography.
I liked the fact it tries to show some social problems, sensitive topics without being over the top.. how they solve their problems overcome the traumas, but it tries to show many things in a short amount of time, it doesn't get draggy but a bit overcrowded I'll say. Drama isn't really like what the poster says it has different shades with being a bit dark also mysterious not losing its refreshing touch.
I don't rewatch so it's just a random number lol
In the conclusion, character development in some characters (not all), how they overcome their problems is my most favorite aspect of the show... it does have many problems if we ignore some poorly written parts and characters, it can count as an enjoyable show for sure!
"You owe me emotionally"It has been a rollercoaster ride to follow up these broken characters from young adults with painful scars of their past, to the adults that bear secrets to uphold the way they chose to live their own lives.
The highlight of this drama it has to be the bond and bickering between Soo Hyun and Yeo Jun. How these two helped So Bin, making the three of them become an inspiration to many others who crossed their paths in character development.
"Can't you love me?"
Ji Hoon has really engaged into his character Yeo Jun to the point that we can really see the pain and neglect from his sorrowful stares and feel the agony he has tried to hide for most of his life behind fake smiles yearning to be loved to fill the void of loneliness. I don't know how to explain it but he seems so soft looking and yet can depict such a tragic character.
"I lived many years in darkness due to my father's physical abuse.
I'm all better now. I'm in the light."
Although mostly all the characters have their troubles and painful stories, the trio we have come to love and support through this Journey have more similarities than all the others. Yeo Jun, Soo Hyun and So Bin all share family problems. Although different and the same, they all have been through childhood suffering in their own way by those predicaments.
Yeo Jun being a victim of an abusive father, Soo Hyun having to step up as the older son and provider to help his mother and younger brother after his father passing, and So Bin with her parents divorce and knowing her mother left her behind cutting ties. It all leaves scars running deeper in their souls and slowly defined their personalities all through the course of their lives.
"If someone ever says awful things to you, it means that person is hurting inside."
It is not easy to rely on others and much less to share personal pain. Having a traumatic experience can also mess up our memories as a way to cope with the pain, we create walls as a mechanism of defense, only those who come close enough to knock them down and sustain the fall are reliable. I am glad that these three complete strangers from the first episode have come closer and learned in some hard but valuable way how to manage that, and be there for one another.
Developing a close friendship, a loving relationship and strong brotherhood.
Jun Wan always seemed more than met the eye, emotionally closed he had more secrets to hold than anyone. I only hope that he too breaks free from that habit, from their abusive father by saving the ones he loves and cares about, his mother and brother and finds valor in himself. For such a young kid to be willing to sacrifice his life and happiness so that his brother has it own was commendable, although it did not work as he thought it would. By pushing Jun away he only created a wall between them isolating the other, it has also caused him pain when Jun should have a strong pillar for support he found himself alone.
They all were lonely living in the shadow of their father.
Mi Joo and Young Ran are two characters that I really like in terms of development and that are fresh in dramas. Their bonding is pure and amicable and not as usually rivals tend to be that at some point in the story it turns sour and petty. Not, these two, they are both strong female characters that despite their differences and being total opposites still manage to become supportive friends and rivals when it comes to love. Kudos for that, it's a rare sight be it in real life and drama land.
Mi Joo seemed like a spoiled brat in the first episode but revealed to be a misunderstood and naïve character with a pure heart, still I must say, the courage she mustered for a confession, facing a rejection and accepting and still wrapping it all up by letting go it was honorable and this should be an example of a healthy way of moving on.
The character that I still have trouble warming up too has got be Chang Ki, now he is not bad and I for sure love his interactions with Jun when it comes to jealousy. But overall as a best friend, there was always something about him that lacked. I haven't read the webtoon yet, so I have no idea how it goes there. If he had any clue that So Bin had a crush on him like in here he seemed to have and yet he still engaged in pointless relationships or should we say nightstands that were hurting her.
Although claiming to be her best friend and always there, that is just an excuse. Because in the end their friendship shouldn't be measured by the years they've known each other, but by how they were there for each other. In the end So Bin knew more about him than he knew about her, that he even neglected that she appeased him in his own tastes because she liked him when he truly believed that she liked the same things as well.
Only when she become unavailable on his radar did he deemed her to be the missing piece in his life and that important? Only then did he brought the topic that her mother asked him when he was a child to look after her. Was he living with that in his conscience and not being able to confess any feelings he had, being afraid of losing their friendship in case things went sour?
If it's like that then he and Young Ran are on the same boat by having crushes on their friends.
Nevertheless, that's the reason these two bond as well in their rough times they learn to rely on each other and show an unlikely and inspirational bond to overcome their own troubles. I enjoyed their scenes and advices, it's relatable.
I really am fond of the main characters, and the moments that move me more definitely are the scenes with both Yeo Jun and Soo Hyun. I have been rooting for these two to get to know each other and pass the strangers mark to having a close bond and friendship and I am really content with the development so far. No one can measure who bears the most pain there, both are still suffering, but the best thing now is that they are no longer alone. They have each other. The fact that Jun calls him hyung is proof enough of how they matured and surpassed the barriers they had ever since the first meeting.
"I've become an adult who can share his true feelings, thanks to the people who love me for who I am."
The acting of the cast is good. I like most of the cast in their roles.
Bae In Hyuk and Park Ji Hoon are enjoyable to watch, the first being playing two polar opposites roles in two different dramas. Here being a poor and broke student, quiet and reserved, while on My Roommate is a Gumiho being the rich playboy who redeems his ways when falling in an unrequited love. Quite the promising young actor of this new generation.
The same goes with Park Ji Hoon, from idol to actor, he has talent in both. What I love most about him is how he conveys the emotions in his characters, they couldn't have chosen a better for this role of Yeo Jun other than him, he has the cute and soft look, while conveying the hidden emotional scars in his lonely tears. I am looking forward for more roles with him, he seems to get better and better and he truly dedicated himself to embody Yeo Jun in many lenghts.
The OST is pleasant to hear. The main theme, Talk to Me by Ji Hoon is so catchy that I find myself going with the flow. Rothy and Han Seung Yun song Pum is also nice to hear. And of course it wouldn't be a youthful OST without having Punch here.
I recommend, either you have read the webtoon or came to see this blind as I did. Its okay.
There will always be main differences and preferences on both sides, but the journey is always the same.
"You can write your own ending to your story."
Therefore don't despair in your own struggles, where there is darkness there is also light, create your path at your own pace :)