The three-episode KBS drama series Page Turner (페이지 터너) is just as timely today as it was when it first aired in 2016. A hopeful and positive story about youths finding their way.
Both talented pianists, Yoon Yoo Seul and Seo Jin Mok (Kim So Hyun and Shin Jae Ha) are fierce rivals at an elite arts high school. Jung Cha Sik (Ji Soo) is a track star hoping to qualify for the national team. A pair of accidents abruptly change the course of their lives, but what the three of them eventually learn from each other may ultimately have the most profound effect.
Page Turner tells the stories of these young high schoolers as they face all-too-familiar pressures from family, school and society.
Even in just a short amount of time, the series is able to introduce our three main characters, dig deep into their own personal stories and come to a relatively satisfying conclusion in the end.
This is a coming of age story about hope and confidence and finding your path in life. It is perfectly suited for its three-hour runtime.
And Page Turner is essentially a three-hour feature film. If it had actually been produced as such, it could’ve opened up some intriguing possibilities for a grander execution. And it certainly has the cast for it.
Within its television confines, however, it still successfully tells a relatable and meaningful story.
The rivalry between Yoo Seoul and Jin Mok is the central conflict of the story. And through that rivalry, we are able to get what we need to connect with both characters. Even though we first meet them both as bad-tempered and very angsty teens.
Cha Sik, meanwhile, presents himself as the positive, happy and energetic counter to the rivals. And together, the three of them are able to bring out what they need of each other to grow and learn.
The series balances very heavy situations with plenty of welcome lighthearted moments.
At the time of its airing, Ji Soo and Shin Jae Ha were both in the early parts of their careers. Kim So Hyun, likewise, was also just making her successful transition to more mature roles.
Kim So Hyun and Shin Jae Ha do a great job, especially in scenes together where they go head-to-head. While effective rivalries can take all 16 episodes of a series to truly feel satisfying in the end, Page Turner is able to do it in three thanks in part to their strong performances.
Ji Soo, however, takes the spotlight most of the series. His positive, energetic personality projected through Cha Sik is irresistibly charming and endearing. Especially as Yoo Seul and Jin Mok can get negative at times early on, Cha Sik’s almost polar opposite personality naturally shines. And Ji Soo does an excellent job balancing those lighthearted moments with considerably heavier and more dramatic moments later on.
Ye Ji Won and Hwang Young Hee as Yoo Seul and Cha Sik’s mothers, respectively, also get their own opportunities to shine in roles that play a major part in the main characters’ development and the plot itself.
Overall, for a quick, but still meaningful story of hope and finding one’s confidence, Page Turner is a fine series that resonates as well today as it did four years ago.