A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The fiancial crisis in South Korea during the late 1990's is a theme. Characters compete in competitive fencing, the rules of which are demonstrated throughout the series.
Be true to yourself even when things are difficult. Don't let your dream die. Be open to possibility. Understand that your parents and grandparents have a story too. Everyone is doing their best to get through tough times. Respect your elders.
Positive Role Models
Na Hee-do's fencing coach is tough on her, but fosters inspiration. The female characters have difficult relationships with their mothers, but both sides try to build bridges over time.
This series takes place in South Korea; all of the characters are of Asian descent. No LGBTQ+ or ability diversity is represented.
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Violence & Scariness
An organized girl fight happens in an alley -- the girls punch, kick, shove, pull hair and throw each other. Minor injuries result. Fencing competitions get intense, though nobody is hurt.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Hand holding, kisses.
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"Hell," "bitches," "ass," "prick," "damn."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
N Hee-do visits a club as an underaged kid (part of her plan to get kicked out of school). There people drink beer and mixed drinks and smoke.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Twenty Five Twenty One is a romantic comedy in Korean with English subtitles that has some language ("bitches," "damn," "hell"). A multi-generational story about teen girls whose dreams are disrupted by family disputes or political issues, girls are sometimes called "idiots" by their coaches or other adults. As part of a plan to be transferred to another school, a main character tries to get expelled from school by taking part in a fight, and when that fails, goes to a night club where people are drinking and smoking. Some hitting, shoving...and lots of fencing.
Is It Any Good?
Bubbly, spirited, youthful, Twenty Five Twenty One asks how people can follow their youthful dreams when the world has other plans. Girls in this series are not to be deterred, which is refreshing, if challenging. Mothers' and daughters' voices spiral in dramatic arguments that passersby can hear from the street. Girls run away from home, trying to escape pressure, getting into trouble for the sake of saving their own dream. Though not always artfully executed, the modern Korean woman's plight is lightly explored in this show.
Fans of fencing will enjoy how seriously the sport is taken by characters in this show-- not a sport rom-com's are typically built upon. The romantic aspect of this comedy develops at a maddenly slow pace, which might leave some teens wanting, though others will stick around to witness the innocent joys of first love.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.