Image Credit: Netflix

Netflix’s new slice-of-life k-drama Thirty-Nine is all about three women on the cusp of 40, not one of whom looks a day over 25, which is as binding a disagreement for the importance of peccable genetics Korean people as you are going to watch.

Mi-Jo, Chan-Young, and Joo-hee are best friends and have been for what looks like forever. But now, as adults, they realize almost simultaneously that their lives are not all that distinct from when they were kids. This is part luck and part conscious decision since they avert baby showers and weddings by their admission.

They allege it’s because they’re too senior for such things, but such things may be more a reminder of where they are — or where they aren’t. Funerals, though, are another story, and to give the season a nice hook, it’s strongly implied that one of these three women will die before the end.

The focus in this commencement episode is a little uneven in favor of Mi-jo, a doctor who ties her friends up with free botox, much to the dismay of her older sister, Mi-Hyeon.

Mi-jo was adopted as a kid, which is distant from being a secret, is referenced and examined very heavily. She helps out the kids at the Onnuri Child Care Centre, which she once called home, and has an uncertain conversation with one of the young children there, Hoon, about how she’s going for a year to go on a sabbatical in Palm Springs.

Mi-jo connects to Hoon because she was with him once, and this facet of her character is never distant from the surroundings.

There’s also a developing romance between Mi-jo and the orphanage’s new English teacher, Kim Sun-woo, which is rarely a good idea when one half of the pairing is about to fly halfway across the nation.

However, fate conspires to bring the two together again later, when Mi-jo is very drunk, and they hit it off. I like how tentative Thirty-Nine is with this romance here, letting it build for a good while before it goes anywhere, which ends up being straight to bed. This will necessarily complicate the episode’s closing stinger when Sun-woo turns up at Mi-jo’s place of work in an official capacity, and we’re certainly not looking at a clean break here.

This entrance chapter is 78-minutes long, which is not a unique fork-drama but feels like too much flesh on the bones of a scene-setting chapter built around submitting core characters and dynamics.

Though, the abandoned mood, solid performances, effective humor, and often beautiful sense of romance all give first solid feelings. Thirty-Nine might offer a dose of more grown-up drama, though it remains early days just yet.

You can watch Thirty-Nine season 1, episode 1, “Thirty, Nine”, on Netflix.

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Alice is the Chief Editor with relevant experience of three years, Alice has founded Galaxy Reporters. She has a keen interest in the field of science. She is the pillar behind the in-depth coverages of Science news. She has written several papers and high-level documentation.


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