With six full episodes out, "Youth of May" has given us plenty of reasons to stream. But previews of where the story will go in the second half of the series hint at heartbreak ahead.
Youth of May takes us back to the city of Gwangju during the politically charged month of May 1980, when a student-led uprising against the military regime at the time led to the killing of thousands of citizens.
But before all that happens, we're first introduced to medical student Hwang Hee-tae (Lee Do-hyun), who goes home to Gwangju to help transfer a patient wounded from student protests in Seoul. He's a top student at the prestigious Seoul National University, but this failed treatment forces him to defer his graduation.
In Gwangju, he meets nurse Kim Myeong-hee (Go Min-si), who is practically her family's breadwinner. She has one month left, until the end of May 1980, before she has to leave for Germany, where she will study medicine on a scholarship. Lacking airfare funds, she agrees to go on three dates with Hee-tae in place of her friend, Lee Soo-ryeon (Keum Sae-rok), who comes from a wealthy family but actively protests against the government.
1. If you're looking for swoon-worthy dating scenes between Lee Do-hyun and Go Min-si. The first half of the series is all about building up the romance between our lead couple, and they definitely don't disappoint.
2. If you can relate to the dilemma of children having to make sacrifices for the sake of their family, whether it be for political or economic reasons. We all know this dynamic is still typical of many Asian families, more so back in the 1980s. 3. If you want to see '80s fashion done right. Lee Do-hyun looking dapper in plaid shirts and tight jeans is reason enough to stream, right?
4. If you want to learn about the socio-political context behind the student protests at the time and the Gwangju Uprising — a tragic incident played a major role in South Korea’s fight for democracy. Youth of May introduces us to students who were at the frontlines of the events in Gwangju at the time, showing us why they were willing to give up so much in their fight against the military regime.
1. If you're over the "love triangle" trope. Youth of May has two of these, but they're not really designed to give you any second lead syndromes.
2. If your heart is not prepared to see blood and torture. Though gruesome scenes have so far been relatively few and far in between, the fact that the series takes place against the backdrop of one of South Korea's most tragic and traumatizing incidents means it cannot avoid them.
3. If you're not ready for the heartbreaking reality of the Gwangju massacre, which will likely take place in the second half of the series. We're afraid not all of the characters we've grown to love will stay with us until the end of the series.