CAST: The Golden Age of Insiders (캐스트: 인싸전성시대) , or CAST, is a free-to-watch web series available on the tvN D STORY YouTube channel.
Starring Choi Yoojung (of Weki Meki), Jung So Ri, Park Joon Mok, and several others, it tells the tale of a young, high-school graduate looking to find herself and make a new name all on her own. The series runs for 8 episodes, each around 10-15 minutes, and the entire show can be completed in under 2 hours.
Right off the bat, we’re introduced to the protagonist; Im Yoo Kyung, played by Choi Yoojung from Weki Meki. She’s interviewing to be a staff member at an amusement park named ‘Nini Land’, for the reason being she wants to be a “social butterfly”.
Confused? So was I. After returning home, we learn that she, in her own words, had an incredibly average high school experience; she never dated anyone, she couldn’t confess to her crush, she has average looks and an average personality; disappointed with the way she’s entering her 20’s, she hopes a job at Nini Land will help her cocoon and bloom into the social butterfly she aspires to be. After her inner monologue, she receives news that she’s successfully been hired.
As the first day kicks off, we’re introduced to the rest of the ‘Cast‘ (get it); However, there’s one in particular that catches Yoo Kyung’s eye – her roommate Chae Ye Jin, (played by Jung So Ri) who is in shock upon seeing her. While Yoo Kyung attempts to make conversation, Ye Jin shows clear disinterest and tells her “It’s not necessary for us to be friends.” This becomes the driving force of the show – how exactly do they know each other and what happened between them?
While we do get to know a bit about some of the other cast members, the show mainly focuses on the relationship between Yoo Kyung and Ye Jin. The plot does tend to get stale at some points, but the show has plenty of cute interactions between the staff members at the park and delves into humorous situations often. It also does a great job of explaining Yoo Kyung’s fixation with becoming a social butterfly, and is actually quite relatable – haven’t we all had a period in our life where we’ve felt the overwhelming need to reinvent ourselves? The pressure we inadvertently put on ourselves to “do better” while being exposed to the vastly dynamic personalities that occupy the space around us can often be crippling; after a certain point, we either have to accept it, or we can jump hurdles to change it.
The acting in the show isn’t an extremely attractive point; that being said, everyone holds their own weight. It was a pleasant surprise to see Yoojung act; you’d think she was a regular actress, if you weren’t aware of her involvement in the K-POP scene.
The most standout character for me, personally, was Park Dong Joon (played by Kim Young) – the hyper-active, serotonin filled dancing staff member. As odd as it sounds, you’ll know exactly who it is when you watch the show. Something about the 5-second clips of him dancing and commanding a crowd of 4 people like he’s performing at Inkigayo, paired with nauseatingly-shaky camera movements, was enough to render my lungs completely useless as I giggled away into the night.
Overall, it’s definitely worth a watch if you have 2 hours of spare time to kill. You can find an official compilation of the entire series, right here:
IMAGE/VIDEO COURTESY – tvN D YouTube Channel