‘A-Teen’ is a short web series hosted on the official PlayList Global YouTube Channel. Featuring a packed cast, it tells the tale of 6 high-school friends trying to navigate the awkwardness of being an18 years old; an age where you’re neither considered a child, nor an adult.
People say 18 is a good age. They (adults) believe we’re carefree. It’s hard to say so, because we have our own concerns.
Let’s start off with the casting for the show:
Unsurprisingly, one or more of the cast members may look extremely familiar to you. Shin Ye Eun has starred in Day6‘s ‘Shoot Me‘ music video and is currently signed to JYP Entertainment. Lee Na Eun is a member of South Korean Girl Group – April, and coincidentally is an ex-trainee of JYP Entertainment. Kim Soo Hyun is a trainee from the first season of Produce 101 and is currently signed to MYSTIC Entertainment to focus on her acting. Kim Dong Hee is a JYP Entertainment signee and had made his acting debut through ‘A-Teen’, and followed up with a role in Sky Castle (2018) and Itaewon Class (2020). Shin Seung Ho of Starship Entertainment had participated in several modeling contests by the time he was cast in ‘A-Teen’. Ryu Eui Hyun has stacked up a large number of appearances in various movies and TV shows, prior to ‘A-Teen’, and is signed with Kokun Management.
In addition to the above main cast, the show also features cameos from NCT members Jeno and Jaemin, as well as South Korean YouTuber Dotty.
The OST for the show is quite memorable, especially the track “A-Teen” performed by k-pop boy group Seventeen. It’s very recognizable, and I found myself humming the tune for days without even realizing it.
|“You, Again” by So Soobin|
|“I’ll Be Your Star” by So Soobin|
|“A-Teen” by Seventeen|
|“Don’t Run Away” by Motte|
So on to the bread and butter of the show. What is it about? The story revolves around our 6 18 year-old protagonists, and their daily lives at the high-school they attend. They attempt to navigate the various hurdles that are thrown at them, each one harboring a problem that they struggle to relay to the others. This results in a myriad of misunderstandings, arguments, tears shed, words exchanged, and hugs of sympathy all around.
Without spoiling too much of the plot, we’re presented with 6 people who can each be summarised with a certain characteristic behaviour of theirs; as the story progresses, we’re given insight as to why exactly they behave the way they do. The show portrays stories of heartbreak, new love blossoming, familial troubles, and a lot of self-introspection on the part of the characters themselves.
While the show managed to do a swell job with the episode length and limit it was given, it still suffers from awkward pacing. I had to take breaks from the show multiple times just because it felt like the plot was moving at snail’s pace in between. However, the series manages a good, steady pace towards the later half.
Personally, I also felt the plot relied on the miscommunication trope one too many times. Several arguments that took place could’ve been solved with one simple conversation. One could chalk it up to it occurring due to the characters technically being teenagers, and even with that reasoning, I feel as though there are multiple other ways to create tension between characters besides the obvious cliché.
Despite its flaws, I think the show has managed to carve a special place for itself in my heart. The awkwardness of the special age of 18 – where we’re neither qualified to call ourselves naive kids nor fully-fledged adults, is a central theme of ‘A-Teen‘. Each character deals with it differently, and it made me think back to when I myself was going through the same pains. Did I make the right choices? Would I have dealt with it any differently? Questions arose in my mind, one’s that I didn’t have the answer to; but found a unexpected sense of comfort in watching others navigate through the same struggles.
18 is not a carefree age, because we were serious for every moment of it.
IMAGE/VIDEO COURTESY – Playlist Global YouTube Channel.