First Official Stills of Lee Do Hyun in KBS Period Romance Drama Youth of May Set in the 1980’s Student Democracy Movement

I’ve got all sorts of feels when it comes to Lee Do Hyun and his upcoming KBS drama Youth of May. He’s finally the solo male lead and I can’t wait to see what he brings to the role. But with the recent netizen attacks on any drama that it perceives to deviate from history or take fictional liberties in ways that demean South Korean culture or historical figures, Youth of May has a target on its back because it’s set in the 1980’s dealing with the student democracy movement, though the target not as big as the one on jTBC drama Snowdrop. I also find it cute that Lee Do Hyun keeps traveling through time, he was a Goryeo general in Hotel Del Luna and then in modern times we went from the 1990’s in 17 Again to present day 2020 and for his cameo in Beyond Evil he’s once again back to the 1990’s. He definitely fits in seamlessly in any period role I’ve seen so far and I’m hoping this drama doesn’t offend the K-netizens and can air without a hitch.


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First Official Stills of Lee Do Hyun in KBS Period Romance Drama Youth of May Set in the 1980’s Student Democracy Movement — 11 Comments

  1. Pingback: First Official Stills of Lee Do Hyun in KBS Period Romance Drama Youth of May Set in the 1980’s Student Democracy Movement - Kpopnchill - All About K-pop News

  2. Same sentiments Ms Koala. When I heard abt all the accusations against JTBC’s Snowdrop , I thot of LDH & Youth of May and really pray that they won’t suffer similar issues.
    Really like LDH, find him very good and wish him success in his projects

  3. Knetz should give dramas like this a chance. Let young people get to know this part of history via the drama. Movies like A Taxi Driver and May 18 were made to remind people what happened during those times. Dramas Youth Of May have the same purpose.

    • Devil’s advocate: They are precisely afraid that people will learn a distorted view of history from these dramas (and in the case of Snowdrop, you really do not want to be on the government’s side there), hence the hyper-vigilance.

      I sympathize with where they’re coming from, and I take exception with your statement “let young people get to know this part of history VIA THE DRAMA.”

      But, the weightier consideration for me is the chilling effect arising from such hyper-vigilance. Netizens should not want to be the very enemy they claim to be fighting.

      • yeah and May 18 is speculated to be the reason why Lee Joon Gi ended up on the Park Geun Hye government’s blacklist…

        Dramas are not history lessons but too often people take them as truth.

      • The reason I said that was because after I watched Reply 1994 and 1988, it made me curious at what happened in Korea during that time. 1994 mentioned a former president’s name and 88 mentioned about student protest if I’m not mistaken. And that made me interested in watching A Taxi Driver.

        I’m not saying dramas are history lessons but rather a way to make people who weren’t even born at that time learn about some real life events that had such impact to the people of Korea.

        What happened to JE is a wake up call to all writers who wants to write stories based on real people. The public has already expressed quite clearly and strongly about their sentiments.

        I am just hoping that they give dramas like Youth a chance. I love to watch Korean dramas since their food, language and culture which I fascinating, is just so vastly different from where I grew up.

  4. Historical dramas should be screened more from the first four written scripts hence the cancellation like with JE wont happen again.Networks have their huge accountability to their viewers especially to Korea viewers.

  5. I’m apparently new to this but definitely not new to kdrama. so, no matter what is being portrayed in the movies, I still do my research at the end of the day (fiction or not). But I wouldn’t have had any idea about such happenings if not portrayed in dramas because I’m not a citizen.
    So I wouldn’t go as far as sympathizing with netizens

  6. I understand your concerns about cancel culture and K-netizens being too harsh on some dramas, but I don’t think you’ve been quite fair about the reasons for why these shows were cancelled. I agree that K-netizens can be unnecessarily harsh and the cancel culture in Korea is significantly more powerful than in other places, but as a Korean person, I think the concern around both Joseon Exorcist and Snowdrop are not unfounded. In the case of Snowdrop specifically, it was extremely concerning that Ji-soo’s character was going to be based on an actual historical figure who was an activist during the democratization movement and survived police interrogation. Writing a story where this real-life person would have a romance with a government spy would have been incredibly disrespectful to Chun Young Cho’s legacy and her efforts in the democratization movement. It would have been disrespectful to all activists who contributed to the movement and to the victims of these very government spies, an actual thing that happened by the Chun administration to infiltrate student activist groups, which led to countless human rights violations.

    I understand the drama has not yet aired so it isn’t right to make baseless accusations. But it makes me uncomfortable when non-Korean people see us reacting to our history being potentially distorted and tell us that we are overreacting. I don’t think you need to project whatever happened with Snowdrop onto Youth of May, as if all Korean people are a senseless mob who will direct their ire at whatever period piece strikes their fancy. It feels like a gross generalization and frankly infuriating when coming from non-Korean fans who have not lived with the legacy of the democratization movement. Korea does not have a problem with period dramas or period pieces; we have problems with works that end up promoting a potentially positive view of the agents of a dictatorship that committed atrocities against its people. Youth of May does not have a target on its back because it deals with the 80s democratic movement. Please look at the countless other shows and films made about the same time period, including classics like Sandglass; there’s already a well established precedent for the depiction of this time period.

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