‘Age of Youth 2’ premieres with modest, promising rating

JTBC’s new drama, Age of Youth 2, aired its first episode Friday night and received a modest nationwide television audience share of 2.23 % according to Nielsen Korea. The new drama is the sequel to last year’s Age of Youth which barely surpassed 2 % in ratings and obtained an average of 1.33 %, the third lowest among the 21 Korean cable dramas that aired last year.

Despite the low numbers, the first season became a sleeper hit with ratings that generally went up from 1.31 % in the first episode to 2.12 % in the finale. The second season premiered on August 25 with a modest but promising audience share that surpassed the first season’s premiere rating by 0.92 percentage point. This is so far a good sign that the sequel is off to a good start and holds the chance of being able to keep up the record-breaking achievement and relatively high ratings of its three predecessors.

Age of Youth 2 is the fourth drama to premiere on cable network JTBC this year. It ranks third among these dramas in terms of first episode rating, following Man to Man and Strong Woman Do Bong Soon which achieved 4.06 % and 3.83 %, respectively. Woman of Dignity, which ended recently, comes in fourth on the ranking. It also started off with a modest rating of 2.04 % but went on to achieve the highest-rated cable series episode so far in 2017.

Age of Youth is the first ever JTBC drama to get a sequel, with four of its five original cast members returning for season 2. Han Ye-ri, Han Seung-yeon, and Park Eun-bin are back to headline the show while Ryu Hwa-young is appearing only as a guest. Park Hye-soo, who starred in Introverted Boss earlier this year, was not able to reprise her role due to conflicts with her schedule, so Ji Woo was tapped to replace her and play the same character. Meanwhile, Choi A-ra was added to the cast. She is playing a major role occupying the room vacated by Ryu Hwa-young’s character and completing the five housemates at Belle Epoque. Age of Youth 2 centers on the lives of these five housemates living in one house and experiencing together the joy and pain of growing up and going through one’s youth. It will be replaced in October by The Package, a series starring Lee Yeon-hee and CNBLUE’s Jung Yong-hwa.

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Me? Just an ordinary lad with an extraordinary (says this something called 'stereotype') habit of watching Korean dramas. It started with action-filled City Hunter and the rest, as they say, is history.