Thirty But Seventeen (aka Still 17) Review
Synopsis. Thirty But Seventeen is a 16-episode (32 split) 2018 kdrama about a girl in a coma due to an accident when she was 17. She wakes 13 years later, 30 years old and alone in the world. She goes to her former home but others live there. The primary occupant is a 30 year old man that avoids relationships due to a trauma 13 years ago. Little do they know their lives were intwined in the past. He agrees to let her stay in the house for a period of time while she reestablishes herself. They build a relationship unaware of their past connection. Once revealed, will that past connection strengthen or destroy their current and future relationship?
What I liked.
Gentle Romance. Writer Jo Sung Hee had the challenge of developing a romance between a woman that initially felt 17 and a 30 year old man. Slow and steady was the right pace for this romance. The first half of the series, our leads weren’t fond of each other, giving the female lead time to adjust and begin her maturation process. Writer Jo had the male lead very aware of this gap, verbally stating he’d wait for her to feel comfortable and engage with him. Due to the sensitivity, their romance evolved from a friendship where they helped each of bloom after years of dormancy. Lovely!
Gong Woo Jin (Yang Se Jong). Woo Jin was a loner, self-imposed after a trauma 13 years ago when he believed he’d caused the death of a 17 year old girl. Back in Korea after living abroad, Woo Jin settles into a household with an athletic nephew and quote spouting housekeeper and a darling dog. When a young woman lands on his doorstep that used to live in the house, he’s NOT interested in engaging. But he caves as her brightness lights his soul. He begins to care. He knows she needs time and tender care. What he doesn’t realize he needs time and tender care too. He is patient and supportive. He’s forced to grapple with his own trauma. Watching him deal with the past and emerge an engaged individual was a wonderful story in itself. Shout out to the actor (Yoon Chan Young) that portrayed the appealing young Woo Jin.
Woo Seo Ri (Shin Hye Sun). At 17 Seo Ri was a gifted violinist on the cusp of studying to become a great artist. But an accident put her in a coma and ended all that. When she wakes, the world is different, her family is gone, and she’s alone. She manages to find her former home and convinces Woo Jin to allow her stay until she gets her bearings. Her spirit is undaunted as she searches for answers and the path her life will follow now. She befriends Woo Jin’s nephew, the housekeeper, and reestablishes her relationship with her darling dog. It’s not all sunshine and roses. She can’t play the violin like she used to. Her family appears to have deserted her. As she struggles, Woo Jin is there supporting her path forward. She begins to realize he’s more than a friend. Shout out to the actor (Park Si Eun) that portrayed the young, fun, music-centric Seo Ri.
What I didn’t like.
First half of the series between our couple. Initially our couple did not like each other. Woo Jin did not want his world infringed upon by Seo Ri, but she was a force. She pointed out his behavior patterns could use an upgrade. Once they got past this phase, their friendship and then romance began. I’ll admit to some fast forwarding in the initial episodes.
Would I recommend Thirty But Seventeen? Yes. I enjoy gentle couples with heart. Woo Jin’s and Seo Ri’s connection from the past bore fruit for their future. I enjoyed the ride.
OST. This drama’s OST had 7 vocal and 12 instrumental tracks. The full album’s track list can be found at DramaWiki (link). My favorite track was Just Stay sung by Hyolyn.
The vocal tracks are here:
The instrumental tracks are here: