Netflix reality show ‘Nineteen to Twenty’ captures coming-of-age moment

July 7, 2023

What happens when you turn 20 years old? What makes the age 20 such a big deal?

Netflix’s new reality show “Nineteen to Twenty” follows a group of participants born in 2004 to explore these questions by capturing their crucial turning points in life.

Cast members spend their last week as teenagers in the “19 School,” where they receive lessons about becoming adults and their first week as 20-year-olds together in the “20 House,” a place of independence that marks the start of their new adult journey.

The show was shot when South Korea’s age-counting custom considered every person 1 year old at birth and added another year when the calendar hit Jan. 1. It was revised last month to count ages based on the passing of birthdays.

A promotional poster of Netflix's new reality show "Nineteen to Twenty" is seen in this photo provided by the streaming platform. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)
A promotional poster of Netflix’s new reality show “Nineteen to Twenty” is seen in this photo provided by the streaming platform. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Kim Jae-won, the producer behind Netflix’s hit dating show “Single’s Inferno” (2021-2022), said he pitched the new project to present something different from the previous program featuring hot singles.

“The starting point of ‘Nineteen to Twenty’ was ‘Single’s Inferno’ because I wanted to make a completely different show,” Kim said during a press conference Thursday.

Kim said “Nineteen to Twenty” and “Single’s Inferno” were shot in the winter and the summer, respectively, which deliver a different atmosphere to viewers.

“If ‘Single’s Inferno’ tells stories of seasoned adults, ‘Nineteen to Twenty’ gives a feeling of a coming-of-age story of immature, clumsy and youthful friends. I can assure you that these two shows have completely different tones and manners,” he said.

Cho Kyu-hyun, one of the four MCs in the program, said the reality show will remind viewers of their young and innocent days.

“Wasn’t everyone once 19 and 20? You will recall memories from your youth,” Cho said. “The only rule in ’19 School’ is no dating allowed.”

“Nineteen to Twenty” will be streamed July 11.