One of my favourite Korean Dramas is the Reply Series – Reply 1997 and Reply 1994, so when there was news about another one, Reply 1988, I was so excited! When the casting was announced, a lot of people were skeptical over Hyeri’s ability to act. She’s from the girl group, Girl’s Day. I’ve seen some of her dramas, “Detectives of Seonam Girls High School” and “Hyde, Jekyll, Me”, and was unimpressed, however, in Reply 1988, I believe that she totally nailed being Duk Seon!
If you haven’t watched the series, do not proceed. Spoilers ahead.
Reply 1988 introduced me to Ryu Jun Yeol. To be honest, he’s not even handsome, but the series turned him into a charming young man. He was supposed to be Duk Seon’s first love. I was rooting for him in the beginning to be with her, but his inaction completely annoyed me. The push-and-pull made me hate the writers, too.
Who can forget this bus scene? C’mon! There was an episode where it seemed like he is the husband. However, when Episode 18 came, during Jung Hwan’s confession to Duk Seon, I cried a river. It felt like he was saying good bye, that he lost all hope. I think I replayed that scene ten times. I wished Duk Seon replied back, but her expression during the confession looked like she was done, that she wasn’t moved by it. Maybe the writers felt like they had to debunk all the spoilers, so they changed it in the end. So my initial ship totally failed.
Then there’s Park Bo Gum‘s character, Choi Taek.
I first saw him on Naeil’s Cantabile, then Hello Monster. I was actually looking forward to his role on this series. It started out as him, having almost no scenes during the first few episodes, to having so many, and he was just so adorable. He played the part so well. He looked so innocent and adorable, and his smile melted my “noona heart”.
When this scene turned out to be real, and not Choi Taek’s dream, I squealed. AGAIN. I squealed when I saw this for the first time, and thought, was that real? Was it? WAS IT? Then Duk Seon didn’t acknowledge it as a real until they were in Beijing years after. As much as I liked Jung Hwan to be with her, I believe that Choi Taek was so persistent. He made an effort, and girls do appreciate that.
The lesson? Confess your feelings before it’s too late!
And who didn’t cry during the letter scene?
Anyone who has a dad would’ve cried with Bo Ra. Those letters were so touching that I couldn’t help but cry. My dad is the same. We don’t really say how we feel with words, and I could definitely identify to that scene.
In conclusion, I did love Reply 1988. I know that I would’ve been happy with whomever ends up with Duk Seon. I also loved the fact that they highlighted different characters, and showed the struggles that they faced during the 1980s. The scene, where they, one by one, moved out of the neighborhood, felt like a punch in my heart. I was just a bit disappointed that there wasn’t any clear conclusion as to what happened with Jung Hwan and Dong Ryeong’s characters. I felt like they dropped Jung Hwan like a hot potato. I knew he became a pilot, but I felt like he deserved his own “future” scene.
I will miss Reply 1988 and the Ssangmundong Neighborhood. I hope they make another one. #