The ‘Thirty, Nine’ writer Yoo Young Ah recently revealed that the show was originally intended to be a film, her inspirations behind creating the story, and more. Upcoming JTBC drama ‘Thirty, Nine’ is another one in the slew of women-centric dramas we are being blessed with this year: and this drama follows the trio of thirty-nine year old women who are best friends with each other as they navigate through their love-lives, loss, and friendships. Scriptwriter Yoo Young Ah’s last drama was tvN ‘Encounter’ (2018). She is also one of the scriptwriters of the movie adaption of the popular feminist-novel ‘Kim Ji-Young, Born 1982’, released in 2019.
The star-studded casting of the show is making all the headlines right now. Son Ye Jin makes her return to the small screen after three years (her last being ‘Crash Landing on You’) playing the role of Cha Mi Jo. Jeon Mi Do of ‘Hospital Playlist’ fame plays the role of Jeong Chan Young. And Kim Ji Hyun, famous for appearing in dramas like ‘Artificial City’ and ‘Hometown Cha Cha Cha’ is playing the role of Jang Joo Hee. Other revealed cast includes Yeon Woo Jin, Lee Moo Saeng, and Lee Tae Hwan as the male leads.
‘Thirty, Nine’ writer on title change and inspiration
‘Thirty, Nine’ writer Yoo Young Ah revealed the origins of coming up with the storyline of the drama. Following her last work, the 2021 Korean drama ‘Encounter’, she got the idea of turning the storyline which was originally intended to be a movie into a television series. “I just was not able to let go of this storyline, because it’s one that’s very close to my heart.” She revealed that the story was originally titled ‘Thirty, One Two Three’ and at that time was about the love lives of three friends.
On being asked about the title change and the significance of the age “thirty-nine” in her show, the writer says, “When in my early twenties, ‘cause the thirties looked fabulous. I was even looking forward to turning thirty when I was twenty-eight. However, in reality, the thirties didn’t bring anything special other than getting weary of existence and feeling stifled. So I came to the realization that our thirties was too early of an age to be making something of yourself, and that it is supposed to be turbulent and we still have to fight on.
Continuing, she says, “However, turning thirty-eight was different: I felt pressurized because the forties were just around the corner. They say you cannot be swayed by anything in your forties, but for me, it felt as though I was charmed by something new every 365 days at age thirty-nine, and I wanted to portray the nervousness-filled imminence of this age through this drama.”
Additionally, the ‘Thirty, Nine” writer says the show deals with heavy topics such as adoption and terminal illness with light-hearted sincerity, and promises the viewers that they will find the unconventional approach to the topics will not disappoint the viewers. “I read in a book one day that the happiness that people get from buying a new car or house is short-lived and that unhappiness stemming from our inter-personal relationships digs deep into our hearts and lasts there for a long time. And isn’t it true that we get the most comfort from the words of compassion and truth from our close ones, rather than expensive things, when we are struggling or feeling down? I think that having sincere relations with the people around us is the most important thing, no matter our other circumstances. This is what I want this drama to portray.”
‘Thirty, Nine’ Writer on The Casting
Lastly, writer Yoo Young Ah couldn’t stop singing praises of the cast and crew of the drama. She says, “The cast is the chief driving force of the drama. I feel very grateful towards them. I was very pleasantly surprised at how much more charming they made the characters feel. The characters came out to be even more beautiful and charming than what I had in mind while sketching them out, thanks to these actors. They are really the cream of the crop in their fields”. She promised the drama will showcase a warm story emphasized by good acting performances.
Release Date of ‘Thirty, Nine’ Confirmed
‘Thirty Nine’ is confirmed to be twelve episodes long. It will be taking over the time slot of JTBC’s “Artificial City” (watch on Viki), airing Wednesdays and Thursdays. “Thirty-Nine” is set to premiere on February 16 at 10:30 p.m. KST on JTBC channel. That is 7pm IST, 8:30 am EST, and 11:30 pm AEST. You can watch the episodes after they air, on Netflix.