Reply 1988

A.K.A.: Answer Me 1988 / Respond 1988

Third in the Reply/Answer Me series.

About: Five families that live in the same neighbourhood in Seoul 1988.

Starring: 
  • Lee Hyeri (Girl’s Day) as Sung Deok-sun, the only girl, lives in a half-basement
  • Ryu Jun-yeol as Kim Jung-hwan, stoic, lives above Deok-sun
  • Park Bo-gum as Choi Taek, a genius baduk player who struggles with simple tasks
  • Go Kyung-pyo as Sung Sun-woo, lives with his mother and little sister
  • Lee Dong-hwi as Ryu Dong-ryong, the guy in glasses

Genre: Friendship / Family / Youth / Romance

No of eps: 20        Release date: 6 Nov 2015

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥   ♥ ♥ ♥

Recommended: If you like slice-of-life or youth dramas. It had me feeling nostalgic about 1988 and I wasn’t even born yet!

Reasons for watching: It’s part of the Reply series. It’s a must! Park Bo-gum ♥

Reasons to keep watching: Ryu Jun-yeol! New love ♥

Re-watch: No… maybe. I’m stuck on episode 18 because she’s going to end up with the guy I’m not rooting for. I’ll get around to it… soon.

reply 1988 food

I was already suffering withdrawal symptoms just waiting for episode 19 to come out. Which I haven’t even watched yet after all that waiting. I know. I’m still suffering. But she’s going to end up with the other guy. I don’t want. I knew it was going to happen. But I still don’t want. I can’t face the truth. I want to throw a tantrum about this.

Supporting Characters:
  • Deok-sun’s family
    • Sung Dong-il as Sung Dong-il, father, as in all the Reply series
    • Lee Il-hwa as Lee Il-hwa, mother, as in all the Reply series
    • Ryu Hye-young as Sung Bo-ra, older sister
    • Choi Sung-won as Sung No-eul, younger brother
  • Jung-hwan’s family
    • Kim Sung-kyun as Kim Sung-kyun, father
    • Ra Mi-ran as Ra Mi-ran, mother
    • Ahn Jae-hong as Kim Jung-bong, older brother
  • Lee Mi-yeon as adult Sung Deok-sun
  • Kim Joo-hyuk as adult Sung Deok-sun’s husband
  • Jeon Mi-seon as adult Sung Bo-ra
  • Jung-woo as Kim Jae-joon/Trash (Reply 1994), cameo ep.18
  • Go Ara as Sung Na-Jung (Reply 1994), cameo ep.18

I read an article that was mentioned that the directors base the characters off the actors real personalities. Maybe that’s why they can act so well… No, I can’t trash talk my lovelies. They really are amazing actors. But in saying that, I can’t tell if the picture above is as themselves or their characters. But this is so bad for my heart. It’s the ultimate fangirl’s dream. That means the character does not only exist in the drama but in real life too. Yea they may not be exactly the same but it’s so close it’s wonderful. I’m quite sure it’s true, just look at any other sources like fancams and variety shows and it’s easy to spot. YouTube them, just YouTube them. What’s also the ultimate fangirl dream is that the boys Ryu Jun-yeol (Jung-hwan), Park Bo-gum (Taek), Go Kyung-pyo (Sun-woo, the one with the little sister) and Ahn Jae-hong (Jung-bong, the older bro) are in the fourth season of Youth over Flowers set in Africa. There’s a scene where they are all naked in a pool 😉

Weird! Jung-hwan’s father plays Samcheonpo, one of the Reply 1994 university students! The one who ends up with Jo Yoon-jin (Min Do-hee from Tiny-G). So weird! Especially considering that Kim Jae-joon/Trash (Jung-woo) is Sun-woo’s senior at the hospital in 1994. Really, really weird!

I may be too young and not Korean for all the references made in the series but even I can pick up on some of them. Such as when Lee Mi-yeon’s (adult Sung Deok-sun) advertisements are played on t.v. in 1988 they always comment on how beautiful she is, and how Deok-sun is not.

reply 1988 group.jpg

See in character and out of character are the same! Or are they just in character?

All I can talk about is the romance now. Romance is really not the point of the series, of any of the installments in Reply. It’s meant to be about the nostalgia, the life of youths in that era, the interactions between family and friends. But they need something to drive the story and that is the romance. They give hints to it throughout the whole series so it feels like romance is a really big thing and even the actors don’t know who the girl will end up with until the very end. In Reply 1997 they even filmed two versions of the end. That’s how undecided and secret it was. But I’m so hung up on the romance! It’s so good and cute! It’s really realistic too, not all Romeo-and-Juliet-like.

I can’t get over Jung-hwan being the only one squatting. Why? I don’t really feel it’s in character, doesn’t it stand out too much for his personality? But sometimes he does things I don’t expect hmm…

Thus from now on are SPOILERS!

So I was shipping Kim Jung-hwan and Deok-sun really hard and that is why I can not finish the series until my feels die down and I can come to terms with Taek ending up with her. It makes sense logically, Taek getting with Deok-sun. This is the third in the Reply series and in the first two, even though they tried to make it that we can’t tell who the girl will end up with, both times it was the main guy. Surely, with the realism of the series, they can’t do that again right? Right. So they didn’t.

Another similarity between the previous installments is that the main girl is closer to the main guy than the other guy in the love triangle. In this one Taek is “the new guy.” Sure, it’s been over ten years but he’s still the new guy in the neighbourhood. Also, he doesn’t go to school and is always travelling or practising his baduk so they see him the least. The only time they see him is when they invade his house or make plans. Even then he’s not always there. So there’s another difference. Everyone’s stories are different so it makes sense that this one is different.

Also, as in She Was Pretty which I just finished watching, is the theme that everyone’s the main character of their own story. So Reply 1988 made it seem that Deok-sun and Jung-hwan were the main characters but effectively, Taek is the main character of his story and in his story why can’t he get the girl? If you reflect on basically all Korean dramas, there’s a scene where the girl needs help and both guys somehow hear about it and go running to her. In them the main guy gets to her first while the other guy is just 2 seconds too slow and watches them have a moment from 20m away. This drama had that scene too. Where Jung-hwan was watching Deok-sun and Taek from 20m away.

This all makes sense. It’s very logical. My brain can rationalise this. But MY HEART DOES NOT. MY FEELS! MY FEELS ARE NOT HAPPY! I don’t care that Taek loved her more, that he pursued her harder, that he chased her whereas Jung-hwan lingered. I don’t care that Deok-sun had a moment where she saw Taek as a man, just like the moment in Reply 1977, and she didn’t have any such moments with Jung-hwan. I don’t care that, thinking back, the only moments Jung-hwan had with Deok-sun were all one-sided on his part. That when there were moments between the two it was just because she knew he liked her and what teenage girl doesn’t want to feel loved. I don’t care that she just suddenly stopped when Dong-ryong told her to chase after what she wants not who wants her. I mean that’s a clue! But then she could’ve come to like Jung-hwan later too! Jung-hwan why!? Why are you too cool to chase after the girl you love!? Why did you not love her just a little bit more so you would chase after her!?

The scene where he confesses to Deok-sun was so adorable but then he passes it off as a joke! It was a great scene but why Jung-hwan why you do this! Also I haven’t watched it yet but I’ve heard adult Jung-hwan is not seen in the last episodes, that he basically just makes a cameo appearance in the last one. How can that be? I thought he’s the main character? So if he doesn’t get the girl does that mean he’s not important anymore? Can’t be! Why!?

The husband in the present time is shown long before it’s known who the husband is so I was trying to figure out from the husband’s personality who he is. I was pretty sure it was Jung-hwan too. He’s sarcastic and uncaring like Jung-hwan. He teases Deuk-sun but both Taek and Jung-hwan tease her. Just in a slightly different manner but people change over 20 years so I wasn’t going to take it into account. However I always thought Taek was a bit autistic but the husband doesn’t seem autistic at all. He also seems a bit too dull for Taek, more like Jung-hwan. The only thing that pointed towards Taek as the husband, and this I only thought after I knew the husband was Taek, was why are they having an interview at all? It’s because Taek is a baduk genius. But they could have made up another reason for having an interview that would’ve been plausible even if Taek wasn’t the husband.

What’s with the leopard print school uniform?

I was reading articles of why Deok-sun chose Taek, from the director and Hyeri. She was saying how in episodes 15 & 16 there were scenes of her lying awake when her date with Taek fell through. Also, that she would lie awake worrying about him. That unlike with Sun-woo and Jung-hwan she didn’t know that Taek liked her yet she still thought of him all the time. But she’s never had feelings for a guy before so she didn’t know it was because she liked Taek. So when she was asked who she loved from Dong Ryong she thought hmm.. maybe I like that person…

That scene the first picture’s from though. The feels! & the lols!

It’s a bit weird that even though she’s the main character her feelings weren’t shown until the very end. To be snide I could think gee the director just wants to build the drama he’s not truly creating a story with the main character and in a sense that’s true. But at the same time showing her feelings obviously makes it a typical shallow drama don’t you think? She wants the guy, she pursues the guy, she gets the guy. This way though we get to fully experience all the emotions of the other characters as well and it really makes this a true entire drama, not just a romance.

 Off Ryu Jun-yeol’s & Hyeri’s instagram, so cute.

I think Deok-sun got a bit of flack for playing with Jung-hwan’s emotions, since she didn’t even like him in the end! But it’s totally understandable right? Oooo a guy likes me I better impress him. Everyone’s a flirt of some kind, whether it be dressing just that little bit better or smiling more. Especially teenagers. Everyone feeds off others opinions of them but especially teenagers. Besides, knowing someone likes you generally makes the heart beat a bit and you think of them more. Especially for teenagers.

I totally did not see this couple coming but OMG CUTE❣❣❣ I was really worried for them. I really had the feeling that their relationship wouldn’t end successfully, because really how many high school relationships end well but not to worry! Also, that rain looks so fake why is there none of the top right corner. Pretty sure there’s no roof there.

Conclusion: I’m slowly becoming accustomed to the fact that Deok-sun and Taek will get married. I’ll watch those last two episodes soon. It’ll be ok. Or so I tell myself. Ryu Jun-yeol (Jung-hwan) had better star in a super awesome drama soon where he gets the girl!

Update 3 weeks later: My heart still breaks for Jung-hwan every time I remember the scene of Deok-sun and Taek kissing. Why Deok-sun why!?

Update a year later: Still haven’t watched the last two episodes and still heartbroken but at least Ryu Jun-yeol is doing well ^^

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