Based in 1996, Yang Xi is spending her summer break training for a long-distance run. One day, she is injured by a lab explosion while chasing a bike thief ruining her chances to compete.
When the school year begins, a new transfer student is introduced, Hua Xiao. He is an intelligent and reliable student with a hot-blooded exterior.
But when Yang Xi realizes it's the same culprit from her accident and that he's running for class president, a new rivalry begins.
How will daily school life change when a tomboyish girl and a hot-blooded genius go head to head?
"When We Were Young" is a Chinese web drama based on the Yan Sheng web novel of the same name.
An Ode To Youth: Why Should You Watch The C-drama "When We Were Young"
1. The loving characters
"When We Were Young" depicts characters with widely disparate personalities, strengths, and flaws in such an endearing way that you'll fall in love with them all.
There isn't a single character in the drama who will irritate you; even those who do at first will grow on you as you get to know them better.
Hua Biao, played by singer-turned-actor Hou Ming Hao, is one of the most endearing male leads ever seen in C-Dramaland.
He's not cold or overbearing, but rather a warmhearted guy who never lost his optimism despite his difficult life and precarious living conditions.
He's thoughtful, intelligent, and responsible, and he always helps others, even if they misunderstand him. It's no surprise that after transferring schools, he quickly makes friends with everyone.
Yang Xi (Wan Peng), the female lead, on the other hand, is not your typical pretty girl.
Nonetheless, she has her own unique charm; she's bright, bubbly, and courageous.
Her academic achievements aren't noteworthy, but she has great perseverance and the ability to improve if she puts her mind to it.
2. The depiction of growing pains in a realistic manner
Growing up is difficult. From becoming self-aware and wanting to appear a certain way – to struggling with our studies and the pressure to find our path in life – to dealing with conflicts with our parents who we think aren't really concerned about us but actually love us more than we can imagine; "When We Were Young" addresses issues that every youth faces, regardless of era or location.
Because we can relate so well, we become even more invested in the story as we laugh and cry along with the characters.
3. The interpersonal relationships
The poignant depiction of various non-romantic relationships: the friendship between classmates, the relationship between teacher and students, and the relationship between the youths and their parents is the drama's strongest point.
The show has so much heart that you will be deeply moved by it. The relationship between Hua Biao and his grandmother is a major highlight of the drama.
Hua Biao was raised by his grandmother under difficult circumstances after his parents died when he was a baby.
He considers her to be his only family and the most important person in his life. I was moved to tears more than once by how much they care for and protect one another.
4. The delicate and innocent romance
Even though "When We Were Young" isn't primarily about romance, first love is an undeniably important part of youth and thus can't be left out of the story.
The drama perfectly captures the warm and fuzzy feelings of first love, as well as the awkwardness of first love: insecurities, the fear of taking the first step, and the clumsy attempts to please the other party.
While there are several love stories, the main couple, Hua Biao and Yang Xi, is the most memorable. The romance between these two develops gradually and naturally.
We see them getting to know each other better throughout the drama, and their friendship and feelings for each other grow stronger as a result.
5. The Beautiful And Well-Matched OST
A drama cannot be complete without good music to complement the viewing experience.
The OST for "When We Were Young," particularly the opening theme song, is not only catchy but also conveys the drama's nostalgic tone and overall positive vibe.
"When We Were Young" is excellent in every way. This little drama is a true gem that you should not pass up!
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