Alternate Endings: What if Park Bo Gum, Park So Dam, Byeon Woo Seok's Record of Youth was changed?

tvN’s ‘Record of Youth’ was every bit the fabulous tale that we had hoped it would be, but there’s one thing we’d like to change- the ending. Here’s our take.

Updated on Dec 18, 2022   |  05:36 PM IST  |  605.6K
Record of Youth: courtesy of tvN
Record of Youth

Youth K-dramas have always had a stronghold on our minds and hearts and tvN’s ‘Record of Youth’ lived right to its name. A stellar cast in the form of superstars Park Bo Gum and Park So Dam formed the perfect lead couple to introduce the real world of fashion and acting. While the drama breathed its last on October 27, 2020, after airing for 16 wholesome episodes, many people were left wanting more. ‘Record of Youth’ has often been cited for going downhill towards the end and there are so many reasons why. Today, we are taking a look at the show’s end which could have been different in another edition of ‘Alternate Endings’.

Record of Youth Cast

Park Bo Gum played Sa Hye Jun, the aspiring model with little success to his name. He dreams of becoming a famous actor and applies to countless roles, auditioning day in and day out. He faces a lot of rejections but never gives up despite facing flak from his middle-class family. Park So Dam works as an office worker-turned-makeup artist, Ahn Jeong Ha. Her passion for her dreams leads her to take her hobby seriously and she begins working at a beauty salon often frequented by stars of the entertainment industry. Byeon Woo Seok embodies Won Hae Hyo, a well-off model turned actor. As Hye Jun’s best friend, their lives are often compared to each other. Hye Jun’s mother works at Hae Hyo’s house as a helper and the whole situation is exactly what K-dramas are made of- extreme drama and sorrow. The show was also heavily based on Hye Jun’s grandfather who began his own career at a very old age, wary of the world but supported by his family, especially his grandson.

The ending

‘Record of Youth’ forges ahead with a forceful ending where its original calm nature is soon marred with swiftly changing emotions, heady confessions, time slips, and more. The lead couple breaks up after everything with Ahn Jeong Ha demanding a simple, uncomplicated love and Sa Hye Jun grabbing at loose ends to save whatever he can. His untimely love confession is just one of the many things wrong with the ending as more and more characters take a step back in their lives. The bold, spearheading attitude that we admired at the start of the show goes missing towards the last few episodes, which takes away greatly from the show’s essence. Just like the couple, Won Hae Hyo retreats to his original self and recognizes the barrier in his relationship with everyone including his friends and his controlling mother. The last thread of our patience came loose when the ultimate scene showing Sa Hye Jun and Ahn Jeong Ha aired, presenting the question of will it be the right time for them the second time around. We wonder if an open end was really justifiable.

Record of Youth- The alternate ending

We were never wishing for an unrealistic ending and so hoping that the breakup never happened would be inappropriate however we can suggest a few ways it could have taken place otherwise. The two did grow apart but it was not the most natural thing on the show. One’s exponential success does not have to affect the other’s relationship angle so severely. Sa Hye Jun was impatient, but the love confession really did come out of nowhere and very much could have been anything else. Now imagine if Sa Hye Jun and Ahn Jeong Ha never met again, or even if they did, they stayed as friends, important parts of each other’s journey. Posing the possibility of them getting back together only undermined the very storyline of their extremely painful breakup. The only thing we were a fan of is Won Hae Hyo and Sa Hye Jun rekindling their friendship and we would not want to change that, given their history.


And while we can keep on adding more “ifs” and “buts”, the show became what the team intended and continues to be a good watch for its cast, acting, the first half of the storyline, and the side characters. We will remain a fan of ‘Record of Youth’, how about you?

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Top Comments
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Dec 20, 2022
I really loved this drama.
Dec 19, 2022
Liked the cast. Loved park so dam. And i am wondering of what ifs.