The Queen of Asian Drama is Back with more Irreverent Reviews and Snarky Commentary.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Answer Me 1988




Romanization: Eungdabhara 1988
Hangul: 응답하라 1988
Genre: Nostalgia, Romance, Human Interest
Network: tvN
Episodes: 20
Release Date: Nov 2015 - Jan 2016



Cast


Plot


In 1988, Duk sun (Hyeri), Jung hwan (Ryoo Joon yeol), Sun woo (Ko Gyung pyo) and Dong ryong (Lee Dong hwi) are high school students and Taek (Park Bo gum) plays Go. These five have been friends since they were little and grew up together in the same neighborhood. Their families are also very close. They hang out inside Taek's room and spend time together. ~~DramaWiki

Review


Just finished watching the last as-it-was-uploaded episode today (1-22) and have to say I'm disappointed with the outcome . . . again.

For those of you who might be new to the Answer Me series, this is the 3rd installment, and the plot description above doesn't do this series much justice.

The Answer Me (or Reply) series take us back in time and show us what life was like in South Korea at that time (1997, July of 2012, 1994 in 2013, and 1988 in 2015).

It introduces us to the main characters -- youths who are close friends -- and we then watch episode after episode as they grow, learn, experience life and first loves, and with the whole thing culminating in a surprise ending of sorts when we at last learn who it is the girl has chosen from among those boys to be her husband.

This occurs with infrequent 'interviews' with the cast as modern-day adults being asked about their past and how they came to be united.

So far, I have to say that 1997 was the best of the three, and with 1988 coming in a super-close second, followed by 1994, which was just as great a watch with terrific story line and characters, but with a very disappointing outcome.

I'm sure a majority of the fans of this series will disagree with me about 1988's final decision from Duk sun, but I didn't care for Taek as much as I did Jung hwan.




Plus, that Jung hwan's character just kind of fell off the side of the earth towards the end bugs me, too.

He just did more to show her he cared even when he wasn't able to be as vocal as he was hands-on.




I suppose that was meant to throw us off and keep us guessing for a majority of the show, but it still doesn't change the fact that he would have made a far better husband/lover than the Go dude.

Taek as an adult in 2016 was far more attractive and interesting than he was as a comatose young one surrounded by four very spastic, emotionally charged kids at or near his age.

The best part about this series is the nostalgia factor, and according to sources at Wiki, the writers and set designers are pretty darn accurate in their recreation of popular events, things, styles, slang, and music.

Scene stealers included Duk son's older sister, Sung Bo ra (Ryoo Hye young) as a terrifying college attendee who participates in rallies and protests, and naturally bullies the younger kids on the block as well as her two younger siblings.




The appah, who also starred as the appah in 1994




and the three omanee's who were just as close friends as their children turned out to be while living in close proximity to one another in this old neighborhood.




Jung hwa's appah was ridiculous most of the time and yet he managed to capture my interest in no time and make me laugh.

A real dork with zero fashion sense or class, but who remained true to himself, his domineering wife, and to his two sons as well as to his friends and their children.

I grew to like Kim Sung kyun despite his weirdness.




1988 was also probably the funniest of the three so far, too.

All three shows employ the intermittent sheep baa  whenever someone says, does, or looks stupid, and for me, it'll never get old. 




I end up giggling every time.

The one who tended to put the most effort into his roll as the abused misfit of the troupe was also the most fun to watch and even root for on occasion.

Lee Dong hwi as Dong ryong




There wasn't too much in the way of current events going on in 1988 Seoul to make this one a tear jerker the way that 1994 turned out to be, but 1988 managed to work in some at-the-time stuff that proved interesting as well as confusing.

Koreans who share the same last name weren't permitted to obtain a marriage license.

Wouldn't a simple blood test have worked to erase any doubt?

Taek never went to school. He remained a champion Go player, Dan-6 to Dan-9, and never attended school. 

Not sure if the laws have changed in that regard, but that one floored me.

Jung hwan's older brother had a heart condition that required a pacemaker, and yet he spent a majority of the show wolfing down sugar and vegging inside his bedroom.

The only real issue I ever have with the Answer Me series is the annoying fact that they always blur the television highlights.

I'm sure there is something legal in that decision, but it is still frustrating since I'm not knowledgeable about the original shows, their stars, or what all of the hype was about at the time and would really like to be able to see for myself but can't.

Good one, recommended, and if you're new, start at the beginning and work your way up to this one before the next Answer Me airs.



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