If you’ve been watching tvN‘s latest K-Drama Twenty Five Twenty One, like us, you were probably especially excited when the leads had their first kiss in the latest episode!
If you’re new to the drama, it’s currently being released simultaneously on Netflix for international viewers. The story of Twenty Five Twenty One alternates between the present day and the past as it parallels the struggles of youth during both the COVID-19 pandemic and the IMF (the International Monetary Fund) crisis. However, it also focuses on the romantic lives of five characters in the ’90s, with the main focus being on female lead Na Hee Do, played by Kim Tae Ri, and male lead Baek Yi Jin (sometimes romanized as Back Yi Jin), played by Nam Joo Hyuk.
In a time when dreams seem out of reach, a teen fencer pursues big ambitions and meets a hardworking young man who seeks to rebuild his life.
In Episode 12, the characters fear the world will end due to “The Year 2000 problem” (also known as the Millennium bug, Y2K problem, Y2K bug, Y2K glitch, Y2K error, etc.). So, Hee Do and Yi Jin ring in the new year together, and as the clock strikes midnight, going into 2000, she kisses him for the first time.
The kiss that started when I was nineteen ended when I was twenty. It was now a new year and a new century. I guess I also wanted a change for myself.
— Na Hee Do
Fans of the drama were excited for the couple’s beginning as we have watched this couple’s journey for 12 episodes now. Kim Tae Ri fans also recognized the actress’ first small screen kiss.
This meant that she had mainly done feature films before with kissing scenes. Yet, one netizen was amazed that this was Kim Tae Ri’s “1st kiss ever,” believing that the actress hadn’t had kiss scenes before.
this is Taeri’s 1st kiss ever!!! 😎 dont thnk she has had a kiss scene in drama or movies! and she gave it to NJH! 🤩
— HopeFaithLove (@AdoreEunbin) March 20, 2022
Of course, that’s just not the case. Kim Tae Ri is an accomplished actor and 31 years old (international age). Of course, she’s experienced when it comes to kissing. So, her fans reminded the internet of the actress’ previous work, particularly The Handmaiden.
You must not have seen the handmaiden 🤭 pic.twitter.com/Fb7Zar1kg2
— RNZY (@renztampus) March 21, 2022
The critically-acclaimed 2016 erotic psychological thriller The Handmaiden is undoubtedly one of Kim Tae Ri’s most notable projects, and it’s also sapphic AF. Based on the 2002 novel Fingersmith by Sarah Water, the film went on to win awards, including at the 71st British Academy Film Awards.
A woman is hired as a handmaiden to a Japanese heiress, but secretly she is involved in a plot to defraud her.
In The Handmaiden, Kim Tae Ri portrays a Japanese heiress’ maid, and they fall in love. She won several acting awards for the role.
There are quite a few spicy scenes in the film. Anyone who has seen it knows that it’s a film best watched by yourself, especially to be avoided watching with one’s parents.
Considering the risqué nature of that film, netizens were stunned at the idea that Kim Tae Ri was so innocent that her Twenty Five Twenty One role would contain her “first kiss.”
first kiss? when this exists ?? pic.twitter.com/n9azP0XXcS
— did supercorp kiss today? (@superkisscorp) March 21, 2022
Oh please… 🍒 pic.twitter.com/VqqwTjpkf2
— 🥃💍🏐 (@LISAgittar) March 21, 2022
Pls girl performed the whole kamasutra in the handmaiden but yall think this is her first kiss,, 😭😭 https://t.co/5eKsiCzy8O
— 𓆏☆ 🕷️🦋 (@020828vv) March 21, 2022
Netizens wondered what her many sensual kiss scenes throughout The Handmaiden could be referred to if not this. So, some suggested creative alternatives.
Gals being pals doing best friend stuff together🥺
— ❖reima (@areima262) March 21, 2022
Even those who have not seen The Handmaiden are well aware of just how erotic the lesbian love story is.
— ^~^ (@papitropica) March 21, 2022
So, one fan broke down Kim Tae Ri’s acting career related to onscreen kisses. Believe it or not, The Handmaiden was actually her first kiss scene as it was also her debut film! Considering the subject and her skills, it’s remarkable.
To be clear that Kim Taeri's:
first ever kiss scene (with a female actor)
– "The Handmaiden" (her debut movie)
first ever lead series
– "Mr. Sunshine" (but no kiss scene)
first kiss scene (with a male actor/on small screen)
– "Twenty Five Twenty One" (with Nam Joohyuk) pic.twitter.com/KX1PFuOFbY
— yeng ²⁵²¹ (@kdramacircle) March 21, 2022
The same year as The Handmaiden, Kim Tae Ri appeared in a cameo role in the Korean series Entourage before her first K-Drama lead role in Mr. Sunshine which contained no kiss scene. So, Twenty Five Twenty One is technically her first K-Drama kiss!
Until Twenty Five Twenty One, Kim Tae Ri had no kiss scenes with male co-stars. Rather, she had kiss scenes with two different actresses. Besides The Handmaiden, she was in Moon Young. So, she has appeared in a couple of GL (Girl Love) films.
Moon-Young (Kim Tae-Ri) holds a camcorder while walking through a subway station. She films people there. For Moon-Young, her home life is like a living hell with her alcoholic father verbally abusing her. One day, Moon-Young leave home to avoid her father. She walks around without having a destination. Moon-Young hears a loud sound and she follows the sound. A woman shouts, calling somebody. Moon-Young films the woman, but the woman notices her.
The original commenter had a great attitude when corrected! Besides, it surely brought a lot of humor to everyone.
Honest mistake 🤣, brought a lot of laughs though
— eunwoo’s little lisp (@cosmictwice) March 21, 2022
Some have even said that Twenty Five Twenty One has sapphic vibes and implicated GL relationship, possibly due to Kim Tae Ri’s acting.
i wasnt gonna say this sorry but this reminds me of THAT scene from the handmaiden😭😭😭pic.twitter.com/CPvGo0uU2s
— mfs miss kim taeri kissed a man (@dksosh) March 20, 2022
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