Reply 1988 / 응답하라 1988 (2016) (Kdrama Review)

reply-1988-poster-540x764Title: Reply 1988
Revised romanization: Eungdabhara 1988
Hangul: 응답하라 1988
Director: Shin Won-Ho
Writer: Lee Woo-Jung
Network: tvN
Episodes: 20
Broadcasting Dates: November 6, 2015 – January 16, 2016
Runtime: Fri & Sat 19:50
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea
Related TV Shows: Reply 1997 (tvN, 2012) and Reply 1994 (tvN, 2013)
Source: watched online on www.dramafever.com

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Synopsis: 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) is a go player. These five people have been friends since they were little kids. They all grew up together and are neighbors to this day. Their families are also very close to each other. They always hang around Taek’s room and spend time together.

Duk-Sun’s family is poor and they live in a semi-basement house. Duk-Sun’s father Dong-Il (Sung Dong-Il) lost money due to guaranteeing someone else’s debt. Nevertheless, Duk-Sun has a bright personality and enjoys singing and dancing. She always gets into fights with her older sister Bo-Ra (Ryoo Hye-Young).

Jung-Hwan’s family became rich overnight. Jung-Hwan is crazy about soccer.

Sun-Woo is a model student at school, good son and good brother at home. Sun-Woo’s mother has raised Sun-Woo and his younger sister alone after Sun-Woo’s father passed away.

Dong-Ryong likes dancing and hanging out with his 4 friends. He gives up going to a university due to his poor academic score.

Taek is a famous go player known as God. Since he dropped out of school, Duk-Sun, Jung-Hwan, Sun-Woo and Dong-Ryong are his only friends. (as found on Asian Wiki)

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– CAST –

(As found on Asian Wiki.)

Reply 1988-Hyeri.jpg Reply 1988-Ryoo Joon-Yeol.jpg Reply 1988-Ko Gyung-Pyo.jpg Reply 1988-Park Bo-Gum.jpg Reply 1988-Lee Dong-Hwi.jpg
Hyeri Ryoo Joon-Yeol Ko Gyung-Pyo Park Bo-Gum Lee Dong-Hwi
Duk-Sun Jung-Hwan Sun-Woo Taek Dong-Ryong
Reply 1988-Sung Dong-Il.jpg Reply 1988-Lee Il-Hwa.jpg Reply 1988-Ryoo Hye-Young.jpg Choi Sung-Won Reply 1988-Kim Sung-Kyun.jpg
Sung Dong-Il Lee Il-Hwa Ryoo Hye-Young Choi Sung-Won Kim Sung-Kyun
Sung Dong-Il Lee Il-Hwa Sung Bo-Ra Sung No-Eul Kim Sung-Kyun
Reply 1988-Ra Mi-Ran.jpg Ahn Jae-Hong Kim Sun-Young Reply 1988-Yoo Jae-Myung.jpg Reply 1988-Choi Moo-Sung.jpg
Ra Mi-Ran Ahn Jae-Hong Kim Sun-Young Yoo Jae-Myung Choi Moo-Sung
Ra Mi-Ran Kim Jung-Bong Kim Sun-Young Yoo Jae-Myung Ko Gil-Dong
Reply 1988-Kim Sul.jpg Lee Min-Ji Lee Se-Young
Kim Sul Lee Min-Ji Lee Se-Young
Jin-Joo Jang Mi-Ok Wang Ja-Hyun

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– TRAILER –

You can tell from the trailer above that this kdrama was quite funny most of the time! I definitely laughed quite a bit!

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– MY REVIEW –

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tumblr_mxr81vl4pm1qfakbgo5_r2_250First of all, thank you for being willing to read my first kdrama review! I’ve been toying with the idea of reviewing dramas on here for a few months now, but only recently got back into watching them. This is the first one I’ve actually finished since starting this blog, …thus it shall be the first one to be reviewed! I do have a Tumblr dedicated to dramas, which I have been running for some years, and I may begin reviewing some of the dramas I’ve seen in the past! We shall see. And now, on to the review!

I went into watching this drama having seen both Reply 1997 (which is in my top 5), and Reply 1994. This series of “Reply” dramas are not really connected, although characters from one season make short appearances in other seasons (which is really fun, if you’ve seen them all). The main purpose of these dramas is to explore the 90s and 80s in South Korea, and they certainly do a great job of that (if it’s alright for me to say so, having not lived in South Korea…ever, much less in the 90s and 80s).

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Not only are the plots interesting, but there were a number of other things which I appreciated about these dramas as well. I like how all 3 seasons (if you can call them that) do not place the focus merely on the younger characters; the experiences and lives of all of their families are explored as well (children and adults alike). And this was especially the case with Reply 1988. The actors are also quite skilled, and I think that casting did a great job in putting faces to the characters which were originally on paper.

ezgif-1-40f91f5cf8A lot of work was also put into portraying the time in which these series take place. The clothing, music, food, way of speech, etc. was on point in showing us Seoul in the 80s and 90s. No detail was overlooked! The dialogues were also great, as was the case with the previous two series, and each episode contained a good dose of comedy and drama. There was a very good balance of both laughter and tears for me. There was also a good dose of romance, although it did not take over the plot. The main focus was the lives of regular everyday people living in Seoul in the 80s and 90s.

Another thing which I should note is that each of these episodes is nearly 2 hours long (a trend which started with Reply 1994, I believe)! While I am not complaining about being able to spend more time with this story and the characters (I was quite happy about that), it was very difficult to get through any one episode in one sitting. But on the other hand, if they had made the episodes the usual 1 hour each, and had the 20 episodes turn into 40…I’m not sure if I would have signed on to watch this show. I tend to like my kdramas to be between 10 to 20 episodes, you see. My patience becomes strained when series are longer than that, and there is a high chance that I will not make it to the end.

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Despite the lengths of these episodes, however, I made it through to the end! And finishing this drama was so very worth it! I finished it last night and I was just sitting by myself and weeping because of how emotional the last episode was, and because I knew that I had to say goodbye to this drama which I’ve been steadily working on finishing since sometime in 2016. I highly recommend this drama! Although I also suggest that you watch Reply 1997 (my favourite kdrama!) first, followed by Reply 1994, and then 1988.

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You can watch this drama too! Just click on the icon below to get redirected to the streaming site which I used, Dramafever:

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I have a paid account, but I think that all of Reply 1988 can now be viewed with a free account as well!

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SOME IMAGES AND INFORMATION COURTESY OF ASIAN WIKI. NONE OF THE IMAGES ARE MADE OR OWNED BY ME. THANK YOU FOR READING MY FIRST KOREAN DRAMA (KDRAMA) REVIEW! DO YOU WANT KDRAMAS, OR HAVE YOU BEEN MEANING TO? OR HAVE YOU NEVER HEARD OF THEM BEFORE? I’M CURIOUS! ALSO I WOULD APPRECIATE ANY FEEDBACK OR ADVICE YOU MIGHT HAVE ABOUT FORMATTING, AS WELL AS THE THINGS I FOCUSED ON IN THIS REVIEW, SO THAT I CAN CUSTOMIZE FUTURE KDRAMA OR TV REVIEWS TO MY READERS’ LIKING! PLEASE LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENT BELOW!

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3 thoughts on “Reply 1988 / 응답하라 1988 (2016) (Kdrama Review)

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