Drama Recaps
Answer Me 1997: Episodes 1-2
by | July 26, 2012 | 155 Comments

This show is so adorable. It’s perfectly nostalgic, all about looking back on being eighteen with all its attendant highs and lows. It’s like a cross between Freaks and Geeks (though less broad) and My So-Called Life (though less angsty), set to the soundtrack of my adolescence, 90s kpop.

A note about format: The show is actually 16 half-hour episodes, just aired back to back for an hour each Tuesday. I can see now why they ever labeled it a sitcom—for length of episodes, not anything else—because it’s in no way sitcom-esque. I’ve shown the break in episodes, but since they air together, I’ll recap them together.


H.O.T. – “전사의 후예(폭력시대) (Warrior’s Descendant) “ [ Download ]

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EPISODE 1: “Eighteen”

We open in the summer of 2012, as Mom and Dad (Lee Il-hwa and Sung Dong-il) sing an oldie at a noraebang. Suddenly their daughter, our heroine SUNG SHI-WON (Jung Eun-ji) fast-forwards Dad’s song and butts in for her turn.

Dad characteristically rants, saying that Shi-won wears her head on her shoulders as decoration. He adds with a fist in the air, “If you pick one of those songs where you jibber-jabber in English, you’re dead!”

He says oldies are the best, and Shi-won lights up. An oldie you say? Cue her anthem, H.O.T.’s “Candy.” He flares up that this isn’t an oldie, but she argues that it is for her—it’s fifteen years old. Well damn, way to keep it real. *stops to do the math and cringes*

On a different night she takes a cab into Hongdae as she deals with a work emergency over the phone. She’s a TV writer (though clearly a junior one, since she says the writing part of her job mostly consists of labeling props).

She says in voiceover: “At times like these, something small can be comforting, like a song. Thirty-three. An age where we can’t say that we’re exchanging nostalgia yet—our ’90s were still too bright for that. If our bodies can’t go back, at least our souls can. Right now, I’m going back to the ’90s.”

She looks down at her phone to check the time, and still, Tony oppa graces the wallpaper. Ha. New gadgets, same idols. She walks into a restaurant and outside we see a little sign marking the 38th high school friends’ reunion dinner for Busan Gwangan High.

She greets her old friends, introducing one as Dan-ji, known as the Hee-jun oppa fangirl back in the day, while she herself lived as Ahn-seung-bu-in [Tony Ahn’s Korean name Ahn Seung-ho + wife]. Pffft. Everyone greets Shi-won with the annoying “Did you gain some weight?” She scowls.

In walks bestie MO YOO-JUNG (Shin So-yool), as Shi-won narrates that she’s had a lot of nicknames, but her oldest one is Ship-sa-ppa, short for “falls in love easily.”

Sure enough, she squeals over Infinite (and L in particular), and last month it was Park Yoochun, and Kim Soo-hyun before that.

And then, the boys enter. Awww yeah. Slo-mo foursome entrance for the win. Shi-won narrates that they’re here, her boys, her youth’s everything.

She introduces them one by one (right to left): the refined and delicate KANG JOON-HEE (Hoya), the talkative BANG SUNG-JAE (Lee Shi-un), the charismatic DO HAK-CHAN (Eun Ji-won), and the gruff and prickly YOON YOON-JAE (Seo In-gook).

Turns out there’s a reason they’re dressed like F33—they’re coming straight from a teacher’s funeral. Sung-jae talks a mile a minute about the ceremony and then asks for a picture of their group.

The six best friends pose for a shot, as Shi-won narrates, “Today, at this table, one couple will announce that they’re getting married.”

That takes us back to the spring of 1997, in Busan. They fire up a computer to play Dance Dance Revolution, and I sort of can’t believe how ancient this game looks now. Sung-jae, Yoon-jae, and Joon-hee play the game, and then Shi-won pulls the plug because it’s time for Star Docu, featuring H.O.T.

Gah, I love that she’s fumbling to make sure it’s recording on VHS. There is something so specific about that as a part of my adolescence. The boys grumble and sit back, bored, while the girls squeal.

It’s our first of many cameos by Tony Ahn playing himself, as he shows the fans his bedroom. There’s a big white teddy bear sitting on his bed, with “TN ♥ SW” stitched across the chest, and Shi-won freaks out: “That’s the teddy bear I sent!!!”

And then Tony climbs into bed hugging the teddy, and the girls die of happiness. So cute.

But Dad comes home from work (he’s a baseball coach) and nags Shi-won for the ruckus, so tired of seeing those monkeys on the tv again.

She gasps, but he just keeps going, saying that they should all have their heads shaved and be shipped off to army. Dads, they never change. I remember my dad saying almost this very speech verbatim about Seo Taiji.

Yoon-jae wakes up the morning of his eighteenth birthday to find a present and a card waiting for him. He tears into it to find a Guess t-shirt. He gapes, can it be?

Cut to his fifteenth birthday, where his present was an Adidos t-shirt, and then his sixteenth birthday, when he got a Westpak backpack (instead of an Eastpak, HA). He looks at the Guess shirt skeptically.

But when he wears it to Shi-won’s house she takes one look and says it’s not a knockoff this time, and he beams. Mom is busy in the kitchen making birthday soup for both Dad and Yoon-jae, who happen to share a birthday. It seems that whatever Yoon-jae’s family situation is, he eats his breakfasts here normally.

Shi-won refuses to come out and have birthday soup for that ajusshi she doesn’t know, and Yoon-jae has to remind Dad about his comments on her precious Tony oppa. Mom: “Oh the one that looks like a monkey?”

She reluctantly joins them and only wishes Yoon-jae a happy birthday, presenting him with her usual gift, a page full of coupons. He sighs that it’s the same gift every year, but she counters that she’s never known anyone who used coupons so well.

Flashback to Yoon-jae age 11, at his parents’ funeral. Aw, sad. Little Shi-won does a silly dance and the coupon reads: “Use whole body to make me laugh.” That’s so adorable I could cry.

And then Yoon-jae’s middle school graduation, where he proudly takes pictures with Shi-won’s parents. The coupon: “Borrow anything you want for a day.” HA. He borrowed her parents? At the same time, she graduates from her middle school parent-less. Hee.

He looks to see if there are any new ones this year, and sees that all the coupons have a theme: “No matter what,” like “Piggyback no matter what,” “Stop being mad no matter what,” and the biggie, “Grant a wish, no matter what.”

She promises that as long as it doesn’t cost her money, she’ll make good, no matter what. She scritches his chin like a little puppy.

As Shi-won floats away on cloud nine telling the girls in her class about Tony and her teddy bear, we see that outside, Yoo-jung and Yoon-jae are sitting on a bench together. Something makes Yoo-jung blush.

At lunch, Shi-won asks Yoon-jae to record the last episode of Star in My Heart tonight, because she has to go to Daegu for an H.O.T. concert. Yoo-jung sighs at the dilemma: Kang-ta oppa or Ahn Jae-wook?

Sung-jae scoffs but Joon-hee joins in, saying that he thinks Cha In-pyo is better. Sung-jae teases him for liking the drama like a girl, but he counters that Choi Jin-shil is really cute.

They wonder how Shi-won plans to ditch study hall to get to Daegu, and she says she’s already got a plan. Cut to an uncomfortable Teach, who gets the I-can’t-choose-not-to-have-my-period and You-don’t-know-what-it’s-like speech with the puppy eyes. He tells her to go, just to stop her from saying “period” over and over.

Teacher TAE-WOONG (Song Jong-ho) is on watch that night during late-night study hall, and when he comes by the boys’ class to gripe about the noise, the guys complain that he only seems to care about the girls’ classes. Rumors abound and Sung-jae decides he doesn’t like Teach because he clearly knows he’s good looking.

Sung-jae notices Yoon-jae’s new Guess t-shirt, and everyone oohs and aahs. (Oh the power of a brand name—why does that feel so important in high school? But it does.) He’s skeptical that it could be real and Yoon-jae flashes the shirt proudly, saying it is.

Even Joon-hee agrees—it looks real. But Sung-jae dies laughing, “Guess is a question mark, not an exclamation point!” And sure enough, inside the logo is an exclamation point. Hahaha. I totally never would have noticed.

Poor Yoon-jae crumbles in mortification, as the whole class laughs at his expense. But that raises the ire of Teach, who bursts in, furious that they’ve ignored his warnings to be quiet. He demands the class leader to come up front. Yoon-jae stands up.

He gets up but argues that he wasn’t the one talking, which just infuriates Teach even more. He orders Yoon-jae up to the front of the room, to be punished for his classmates. He asks how many times he wants to be hit, and Yoon-jae growls, “Ten.”

He grits his teeth as Teach spanks him with a giant ruler, ten times.

In Daegu, the girls line up for the stage recording of a music program (like a Music Bank or an Inkigayo), and Shi-won prepares with her Tony oppa beach towel, worn like a cape.

They take to the stage for “Warrior’s Descendant” (posted above), and while Yoo-jung screams along with the other girls, Shi-won just saunters into the aisle like a badass.

The music starts and she performs along with her oppas, dancing and singing along to every move. That wave of emotion passes through the crowd, and the girls start to cry as they scream and chant and sing along.

At the same time, Yoon-jae comes over to record the last episode of Star in My Heart, grumbling that he is NOT Shi-won’s flunky, thank you very much, all the while diligently doing what he was told.

He watches the episode with Mom, who sings along to the big final concert scene. (Ahn Jae-wook parting the crowd to declare his love publicly to Choi Jin-shil, the classic kdrama swoonworthy moment.)

After the concert, there’s an H.O.T. fan quiz for prizes, and Shi-won cleans up, answering everything in hilariously excrutiating detail: Tony oppa declared his feelings to his first love on April 15! It was a Wednesday and it was raining a lot! LOL.

But then when it counts, the last question for the t-shirt that Tony wore onstage today, she flubs and answers too quickly, and Yoo-jung swoops in and gets the big prize.

Shi-won stews about it the whole night, but on the bus ride back home, Yoo-jung sweetly gives the shirt to Shi-won, saying that if she ever wins Kang-ta oppa’s shirt, she can return the favor. Aw.

Shi-won pretends to be cool about it for two seconds and then caves, clutching it happily and deciding she’ll never wash the shirt for the rest of her life. But Yoo-jung says she has something she needs to tell her…

Yoo-jung: “Earlier today… I confessed to Yoon-jae.” Eep! Shi-won doesn’t betray anything but surprise, and Yoo-jung blushes, saying that he hasn’t given her an answer yet, but wanted to make sure Shi-won would be cool with it if they dated.

Shi-won asks why she should care if they did or not, but then adds that just last month it was another boy, and a few days ago she was hot for Teacher. Yoo-jung says she’s changed her mind—Yoon-jae is good-looking and smart and good at sports, and very mature. Shi-won: “Is he? I wouldn’t know.”

She walks home just as Yoon-jae is stepping out, and all she does is ask about the recording. He stops to tell her about Yoo-jung’s confession, and says he doesn’t know how he feels.

But tellingly, he asks, “Should I not date her?” Shi-won: “Why are you asking me?”

He takes a step closer and entreats her, “Should I not date her?” No answer. He takes another step forward, “Should I not date her?”

Aaaaaack! Say something! Still nothing. He sighs and takes out his birthday coupons. He rips one out and hands it to her silently. It’s “Grant a wish no matter what.”

She looks down at it, “What’s the wish?”

Yoon-jae: “Tell me not to date her.” Eeee! They stand there like that, the wish hanging in the air.

We don’t know what she said, because we cut to her inside, watching the last episode of Star in My Heart.

Yoon-jae goes home, where Teacher Tae-woong greets him? Wha? Tae-woong starts to apologize about earlier, but Yoon-jae cuts him off and slams his door. Tae-woong hangs his head, and we see a birthday cake sitting on the coffee table, waiting.

Yoon-jae bursts out of his room to yell, “It’s not an exclamation point! It’s a question mark! Hyung, can’t you even get that right?!” Whoa, they’re brothers? Dude, you publicly humiliated Little Bro twice on his birthday?

How interesting that they turn out to be brothers. That’s a surprising twist. Hyung is left stammering, “Question mark?”

Mom rewatches the episode with Shi-won, redoing the whole hands-in-the-air sing-along. They’re so cute. They swoon over Ahn Jae-wook together, and Mom declares that he’s gonna be a big star, and Cha In-pyo’s on his way out. Ha.

But they get to the end of the recording and Shi-won screams. It’s the tape that had her episode of Star Docu on it—the one with Tony and her teddy bear. Oh noes! Gone forever! Sigh, this is a pain the digital age knoweth not.

Yoon-jae cries himself to sleep as Hyung apologizes through the door—he didn’t know Yoon-jae was the leader of that class, he swears.

And as he cries, his pager goes off in a round of angry messages from Shi-won: “18 18 18 18 / 4 4 4 4 4.” [Fuck fuck fuck fuck / Die die die die die.]

Shi-won narrates: “A rear end hit, by Hyung for the first time in his life. A ripped heart, like a video tape that’s been cut.”

Yoo-jung sits up calling Yoon-jae’s pager too, but just to hear his voice on the recorded greeting. The narration continues:

Shi-won: An age where you feel like you could love anyone, where you put everything on the line for the smallest of things. Eighteen. Adults say that it’s an age where we laugh if a leaf tumbles by. But back then, we were more serious than any adult, more intense, and had our strength tested. 1997. That was how our eighteen was beginning.

Epilogue: Shi-won walks out of her bedroom in the morning wearing her own Guess! sweatshirt, and freaks out to see that Mom has washed Tony t-shirt. Not the one with oppa’s sweat on it! She collapses in a tantrum. Turns out the exclamation point is more fitting than they know.

EPISODE 2: “Becoming More and More Different”


Yangpa – “애송이의 사랑 (Youth’s Love)” [ Download ]

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We open at the reunion again, and this time Yoo-jung whispers that she’s “picked a date.” Er? A wedding date perhaps? Shi-won gasps that she’s fearless and tells her not to do it, but she swears she’ll be reborn as a Yoo-jung with a bigger chest. Ha, nice misdirect.

The boys ask what surgery and she says they needn’t know; it’s a surgery only women can have. As they laugh over her obvious plan to get breast implants (and Hak-chan gives a slow clap), Yoon-jae narrates, “There’s a surgery only men can have…”

Back to 1997, where Yoon-jae limps out of a clinic after getting circumcised. At eighteen? Ouch. Shi-won’s mom helps him out, and he asks her not to tell Shi-won about this, because it’s embarrassing. Mom swears her lips are sealed.

But just as she says it, Shi-won comes running up and jumps onto Yoon-jae’s back, “I hear you’re a man now!” He doubles over in pain and she teases him relentlessly, “Does it hurt that badly? I wouldn’t know. If you’re such a wuss about it, it’ll fall right off!”

He scowls at Mom, who insists it wasn’t her who told, only to have three random neighborhood shopkeepers stop to ask Yoon-jae how his surgery went. Oh no, that’s terrible.

Later that day, Shi-won practices her “Candy” steps while Yoon-jae looks for something in her room, and swears he can’t find it. She stomps in and digs through her backpack for him, handing him one item at a time without looking.

She doesn’t notice until it’s too late that they’re standing there holding onto each side of a maxi pad. They freeze like that, not knowing how to get out of this awkward moment.

A few days later, Tae-woong plays Go Stop with Shi-won’s parents, and Mom asks if Yoon-jae is healing okay after his surgery. Tae-woong says with a smile that he’s perfectly healthy.

Flashback to earlier that morning, when he found Yoon-jae hiding in the bathroom, washing his underwear. He snickers, “Did you have another dream? Who was it? Kim Hee-sun? Lee Seung-yeon? Uhm Jung-hwa?” Omg, dying of mortification for you.

Back to the game, where Tae-woong asks why Shi-won isn’t coming home. Mom says she ran away again because she fought with Dad, and they say it like it’s an everyday occurrence.

Flashback to two hours earlier. Dad opens the mail to find Shi-won’s report card. It’s got 48s all over it, as in 48th place out of 48 students. He flips his lid, while Mom just laughs, acting like getting last place is an achievement in and of itself.

He storms into Shi-won’s room, where she’s too busy listening to H.O.T. to hear anything Dad says. She says nonchalantly that she knows she’s last place. Dad: “What’re you going to be when you grow up?”

Shi-won: “Tony’s wife!” Dad: “Who would like a chicken brain like you?” He says that Yoon-jae is always first in his class, and Shi-won counters that the Busan Seagulls (Dad’s baseball team) are always in last place too. Ha, not the best approach, methinks.

Dad loses it and starts tearing up all the posters in her room, calling her certifiably crazy. Dude, did you steal this from my life? Or does every teenage girl’s dad do this at least once?

She screams bloody murder, while he shouts that if she ends up in last place one more time, he’s going to disown her and adopt Yoon-jae instead. He rips up everything in his path, leaving her clutching her posters in tears.

She sits on her floor sobbing, trying to tape all the pieces together. It’s both heartbreaking and hysterical.

Back in the present, Mom and Dad figure there’s only one place she ever ends up—with Yoon-jae, so they don’t even pretend to worry. Shi-won puts a coin in the payphone to make a call, but hesitates.

Yoon-jae sits at home, stewing about something else. Flashback to nine hours earlier in his day, when Sung-jae was insisting he had to listen to his new Yangpa tape. Yoon-jae calls her name ridiculous (it means onion) and her song “Youth’s Love” childish.

He scoffs that if a song like that becomes a hit, he’ll strip down and tumble ten laps around the field at the all-girls’ high school. Cut to a month later, where Joon-hee and Sung-jae watch, as Yoon-jae does cartwheels around the field, in nothing but his tighty whities. LOL.

Back to 9 hours before the card game. Shi-won shows off her latest idol magazine and judiciously gives her friends the pages with their oppas. They swoon over all the members of H.O.T. and then scowl when they turn the page to find rival idol group Sechskies (and a tiny baby Eun Ji-won) in the same zine as their oppas. How dare they?

She’s about to rip those pages out, when Yoo-jung asks for the page with Woo-hyuk oppa on it, which happens to have Eun Ji-won on the backside.

Class starts and the teacher asks why Shi-won didn’t do her homework. She says she really wanted to, but couldn’t because her friend borrowed her book. The teacher wants a name so she says Yoon-jae’s…

But when interrogated, Yoon-jae denies it. Shi-won sits the rest of the class with her arms in the air, out in the hallway, cursing him.

Seven hours pre-game. Joon-hee comes by during lunch to tend to Shi-won’s sore arms, while she calls Yoon-jae one syllable short of a son of a bitch, incidentally meaning “dog bird.” The air is still icy when he comes by to eat with them.

Shi-won cuts herself opening a can, and Joon-hee immediately takes her hand in concern, while Yoon-jae scoffs, “You won’t die.” She gives him a kick in the shoulder for being an ass.

In the present, Mom wonders where on earth Shi-won went if not to Yoon-jae. Shi-won does call Yoon-jae’s pager, but lets out a long sigh, not knowing how to proceed.

Four hours pre-game. Shi-won searches for something in the grass and grins. On their way home from school, Yoon-jae apologizes, and Shi-won asks if he’s really sorry. She tells him to put out his hand.

She gives him something and closes his fist around it. In voiceover he says: “There are two things I am afraid of in this word. Sung Shi-won and frogs.” He opens his hand to find a little green frog and he flips out.

Shi-won picks it back up and chases him all the way home, cornering him with it and taunting him endlessly, to his utter horror.

Suddenly the ruckus stops. We pan down to see them at the bottom of the steps, frozen. In his haste to get her to stop, Yoon-jae has put both his hands straight out in front of him… and right onto her chest. Hahahaha.

They’re both stunned so speechless that they just stand there, as the frog leaps to his escape.

Now we know why they’re both cringing in the present. Shi-won holds the phone up, just listening to the dial tone. She finally puts it down, unable to make the call.

She calls Yoo-jung instead and leaves a voicemail that she’ll wait at her place, and as Yoo-jung listens to the message, she takes off running in a panic.

Ooh, suspense. Shi-won gets closer as Yoo-jung runs. Her mom lets her in and Shi-won heads upstairs. She opens the door to Yoo-jung’s room…

Commercial break? Aaaaah!

She opens the door, and sees something. Yoo-jung arrives behind her, with a panicked expression on her face. Oh no, is it going to be what I think it is?

At the same time, the Go Stop game is building to a high point, and Mom thinks it’s in the bag. She plays her hand and starts her victory cheer, when Tae-woong and Dad initiate their reversal. Mom slaps Dad upside the head, and everyone gasps.

Back to the girls. Shi-won sneers and looks back at Yoo-jung, who’s near tears by now. She looks back at Yoo-jung’s walls… covered with posters of Sechkies, and of Eun Ji-won in particular, surrounded by hearts.

HAHAHAHAHAHA. I’m dying. This cracks me UP. It’s the utter seriousness with which they play the moment. For them, it’s et tu Brute?

To add insult to injury, there’s the page from her magazine that Shi-won gave her earlier, only now it’s clear that she wanted it for Ji-won oppa.

As the parents break out into a fight and Yoo-jung calls Shi-won in tears in the aftermath to say that it doesn’t mean she loves H.O.T. any less, Yoon-jae narrates:

Yoon-jae: Go Stop, a game where you have to match the same shapes to get points. There was a time when we struggled to be the same. But in one moment, we began to be different. That we were becoming different types of people—why was that so hard to acknowledge back then? People are all different; that’s the law of the universe, the law of human growth. Eighteen. We were maturing into different people, and having to accept those differences meant we were faced with yet another consequence of growing up.

Sometime later, Shi-won comes out to find Sung-jae washing up after gym class and they tease each other about whose chest is bigger. She comes around the fountain and has a very different reaction to Yoon-jae.

He narrates that it was 1997, and already a while since their second stage of maturity had begun, when they had already become different. He says he wanted in that moment to confirm, if what they were feeling was embarrassment over having discovered that they were different…

Or if she had become his first love.

He inches closer to her and then stops. He says just one word: “Confirmation,” and kisses her.

She blinks in surprise, and as they kiss, we get flashbacks to their childhood together.

As he pulls away slowly, he narrates that by the law of maturity, a boy grows into a man and a girl will grow into a woman. But the problem is when a boy who grows into a man, and the girl is still a girl. When the timing is wrong…

She kicks him in the shins, “You crazy bastard!” Ha. She attacks to cover up her embarrassment, and chases him up and down the schoolyard.

Back to 2012. The boys swear there was a month during their junior year when the girls didn’t speak to each other. They’re like, “Us?”

And as they chitchat, Shi-won’s bra strap falls out of place, and Yoon-jae leans over to pull her shirt back in place. They smile. Hm.


I love a high school drama done right, when it manages to capture that feeling of youth that can’t compare to how you see the world as adults, when everything is fire and ice, life and death, and your oppa is everything. It’s just universal, no matter where you live or what your idol group was (or is)—and I think the show does something great in conveying that feeling, outside of the specific pop culture references of the time. The fact that it’s also my adolescence that coincides with theirs is just icing on the cake for me, because I get to relieve it in a personal way.

It already feels like a full world with a rich set of characters, and I love pretty much every single one of them. I can’t wait to see the various friendships develop as Hak-chan joins the group next week. (I hope they make a reference to him looking like Yoo-jung’s new favorite idol, or is it funnier if they never do?) Yoon-jae’s growing crush already breaks my heart in a great way, and I can’t wait to see Shi-won, if ever, catch up to him.

There’s something so awesome about telling an enclosed story about one year in people’s lives. The writing feels very assured—after the first two episodes I trust that they know completely the story they want to tell, and how every little event that seems insignificant will end up shaping the adults they become. The tone of this sits so well with me—not hammy but just broad enough to be silly at times, totally willing to play a scene straight for the characters to get a laugh out of us, and completely earnest and heartfelt.

It’s not a story that could be told in 1997, but only now, looking back on then. But that’s what I adore about gems like Freaks and Geeks, though it was set in an era before my pop references (think: Grateful Dead). It conveyed a view on adolescence that only someone who’s suffered through it and survived could do. Gotta do the time to tell the tale. Making that point of view transparent by using narrative voiceovers and the class reunion as a framing device helps to root it as that kind of story, plus I love the mystery of which couple makes it to marriage fifteen years later. Consider me hooked.


155 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Birthday Girl

    going to watch this now

    • 1.1 Shi Kyung widow

      eng subs, anyone?

      • 1.1.1 ren

        where can i watch this with english subtitles?

        • enalem

          i don’t know! can’t find them anywhere!
          not even viki, epdrama, dramacrazy, mysoju, or drama fever!
          T__T will no one sub this drama!?

          • stellar

            me too.:( had to watch in raw in youtube T_T

          • Ara

            download maybe?

          • Cyril B

            its on drama.net
            eng subbed, all episodes and its called Reply 1997

      • 1.1.2 hellli

        Any idea where we could watch this with eng subs? Dramacrazy has the raw (Reply 1997), but does anyone even have news about some subbers?
        I felt instantly hooked to it, even though I was basically a toddler in 1997 (94-liner lol). And thanks to the olympeeeecs I don’t have anything else to watch, so this would be nice 🙂

        • pasaway

          Darksmurf subs is subbing this 😉

        • chocopie83


          and pretty fast too 😀

      • 1.1.3 Indira

        Dramafever.com has it.

    • 1.2 zoe

      Please anyone has the links with eng subs…it looks so cute! 🙁

    • 1.3 HurryUp


  2. lilsu

    I was praying that you’ll recap this *//////////////////*
    THANK YOU girlfriday! Now I love you more, just because of EJW <3

    *off to read*

    • 2.1 lilsu

      like it!
      consider me hooked, too.

  3. Eun

    Why do I love Dramabeans? Let me count the ways.
    1. It never failed to amuse me.
    2. It gave me the inspiration to do a blog of my own.
    3. It let me enoys the drama to its fullest because of its honest reviews and opinion.
    4. Girlfriday is doing a recap of Answer me 1997.

    Thank you for this GF! XD

    • 3.1 sibrani

      so true

    • 3.2 red

      absolutely agree

      • 3.2.1 Ariel

        Same here and a heartfelt thank you. Does anyone know the writer of this Drama is it by chance the same one who wrote Shut Up FBB?

    • 3.3 row.an

      totally agree with you!

  4. hangooksonya

    ok so i dont think this is going to be that great of a show…
    what i predict to happen in the end is that yoonjae will be marring either yoojung or a unanounced character
    he’ll prabably ask shiwon if he sud go through with the wedding and she’d be all ‘why you asking me’ and he’ll pull out one of those “birthday wish coupons” and say ‘tell me not to’…
    just a prediction but watching these eps show that this show will not be very entertaining; so i will not watch.

    • 4.1 Geeme Koon

      — fortunately for all of us, your prediction was wrong. It was by far better than 95% of kdrama productions.

  5. jujuice

    i watched the first episodes about a gajillion times. something about it was so funny and relatable. i was really surprised by a-pink’s eunji’s acting; so real and comical + her busan accent brings so much unf to her character. love it. hate that it’s only once a week ;-;

  6. Kelinci Biru

    I regret why i never heard Sechkies and H.O.T back when they were famous. i was teenager in the 90s, loving backstreet boys and five. this is a fun fun drama to watch and the fact that its really close to the truth is endearing.

    Now, when are my favorite choding will come? can’t wait for next week.

    The bright side of the olympics is here, no gaksital but Answer Me 1997!! woohoo

  7. hipployta

    I was planning on watching after it aired but maybe I’ll just watch it live

  8. misso

    I already know that I’m going to enjoy this drama for various reasons:
    a)I LOVED the 90’s
    b)I miss high school dramas/sitcoms
    c)I LOVE Eun Ji Won/Hoya/Seo In Gook

    I can’t wait for this drama to be subbed!

    Thanks for the Recaps GF!

  9. Misolee

    I was team Sechkies and EunJiWon was my oppa !!! I totally cried when the team broke up. Hahah but I remember hiding my love from these girls in my school who were crrraaaaazzzy about HOT

  10. 10 danny

    HAPPY TO claim, this 90’s is my teenage years. Yipeeee! the main male lead has the jaw and mouth like JaeJoong of JYJ, and the female lead has the face of IU!
    thanks for the recap GFm off to watch now!

    • 10.1 ilikemangos

      i was seriously thinking i was the only one who thinks he looked like jaejoong!
      thanks for pointing that out.

    • 10.2 boms

      she’s from the group A Pink I believe 🙂

    • 10.3 Raitei

      I was thinking he’s a combination of Minki and Jaejoong…

      • 10.3.1 JoAnne


    • 10.4 Eun

      at first glance, you will really mistake her for IU. argh! or is it my poor eyes? XD.

  11. 11 yingz

    aawwwww the drama sounds so sweet!!!

    • 11.1 sibrani

      yes, i agree with you 😀

  12. 12 Ivoire

    Thank You for the recap!

  13. 13 currypoker

    does anyone know where i can watch this with eng/chinese subs? :DD

  14. 14 boms

    where on earth can I dl this?! XO

    • 14.1 Eun

      Semi-fly uploaded the torrent for this episode but for the subbed videos, i don’t have any idea where to DL this. Hope this helps.

  15. 15 sibrani

    wow, i think this drama is great and promising. long time i’ve been no excited to watching drama, but today, just by reading the recap i know this drama will end good (i hope so hahaha) and thank you for the recap

  16. 16 Rashell

    Awww this drama is right up my alley because the characters and time frame is EXACTLY my age. So while I admit to not getting all the Korean references it’s very easy to swap their idols with the American version and understand completely.

    I hope I can find subbed episodes, but in the mean time your recaps are fabulous as always! Thank you!

    • 16.1 ilikemangos

      another fellow ’94-er? 😀

    • 16.2 Laya

      ^This! Only in my case it was Filipino loveteams, lol.

  17. 17 Saima

    Ji-wonieeeee’s backkkk!! =)

    I’m 40 episodes in 1n2d S1 and my interest in this sitcom was piqued by Mr. Cranky-pants Ji-won himself. Thanks for the recap, GF!!

  18. 18 Yue

    I was still too young in the 90s, I was not a teenager well until after the 90s was over, but, I got a taste of it and I can relate to the show at some level – there are some where I have never experienced before. I think I shall watch the show now, I wasn’t sure if I should (the bucket list of drama to watch is overflowing), but this recap convinced me to LOL

  19. 19 ilikemangos

    Cool. i’ll be tuning in this show just to see how the 90’s parallel to today’s highschool era.
    And like GF, love a highschool drama done right.
    It won’t be as nostalgic to GF as it is to me considering my highschool life was a couple months back, hah.
    But it’ll surely remind me of the fond memories.


    • 19.1 ilikemangos

      it wont be as nostalgic to me as it is to GF*

  20. 20 O_O

    wait a minute… so the 1997 is the year when they are eighteen? oh… lol I got that confused with they were born in 1997…. how did i get that wrong…

  21. 21 sapphirevip

    Thank you so much for recapping this! I watched the episode w/o subs and couldnt understand all of it so thank you sooo much!

    I’m in love with this drama too 😀 not only is the story awesome, I’m impressed with the acting. I knew Seo In Guk could act, but Eunji surprised me! (maybe because i wasn’t expecting anything lol)

    Loving the 90s kpop references xD can’t wait til next week!

    • 21.1 texashot

      where do you watch this drama? what website? no torrent

  22. 22 quietpatches

    GAH!… I died laughing on the HOT vs Sechkies.. LOL… that was totally me and my friends.. LOL.. I loved it! LOL…
    Pwahaha… and it was true that it was all very close to heart when it came to our idols!

  23. 23 hmm...

    EunJi is in this show?? OMG.

  24. 24 Abbie

    This show is great. It had me laughing almost nonstop. The ending of episode two was the best. That kiss was unexpected but in a good way. I like to be surprised. This show is cute and heartfelt, and I enjoy it.

    Where can I watch this?

    Thanks for the recap, Girlfriday!

  25. 25 asianromance

    Thank you so much for recapping this! The characters are a couple years older than me (by about 6 years) but I get a lot of the references.

    “(I hope they make a reference to him looking like Yoo-jung’s new favorite idol, or is it funnier if they never do?)” — i wonder if someone will make a reference looking like Eun Ji Won and then her dismissing it, saying they look nothing alike!

    And I think I’ve just fallen for Hoya – the moment he found out that Guess shirt was fake got to me. Now I just want to be his sugar mama and get him a real Guess shirt.

    • 25.1 asianromance

      I mean Seo In Guk (not Hoya)!

  26. 26 BattleAngel

    This sounds good & hilarious… I loved Kang-Ta back in the days…Yoon Jae is hot and I’m rooting for Shi-won & Yoon Jae so I want to watch! But after being disappointed in the ending of “BIG”..I think I’ll wait until the whole series is over before I watch…Maybe it’ll be another couple announcing their wedding but Yoon Jae will bust out a coupon after the dinner and ask Shi-won to be with him! One can only hope…

    • 26.1 BattleAngel

      Oh yeah….thanks Dramabeans for recapping! You’re the best!

  27. 27 Mawiie

    Oh man nostalgia! My teenage years were mostly after the new millennium but this still makes me remember my 16 years old self fangirling over idol oppas. It was the stage where you couldn’t care less about what others think about you, because you fandom was the most important thing ever. I mean..I presented JTL’s “A better day” as my music video about friendship in front of a classroom full of Caucasian kids xD It was the early Hallyu era and subs were really rare. It was hard to be an international fangirl back then haha

    And VHS tapes! I still have a bunch of those at home! I used to program my VCR player to record TV shows, and when something went wrong and the tape is blank it was the end of the world! Or i used to break that little black square because apparently you can’t record something else on that tape once you took away that thing!

    • 27.1 Celest

      Ditto on everything. My teen years were in the early millenium, but I still consider myself a 90s girl. I think that generation was probably more idol-obsessed than this one in my opinion. Boy bands were my life! haha

      VHS tapes were the most amazing things ever until you realize that they can only hold up to like 6 hours lol. I still have my recorded VHS shows somewhere and now I feel like rummaging to check out what’s in those time capsules.

      Will be checking out this drama. My only concern is that the main guy’s hair ISN’T 90s enough for me lol. Let’s take a trip down memory lane.

    • 27.2 bunnymino

      Ahhh…this drama really brings back all of my fangirling memories when i was in esp. middle school..

      Things I love:
      – I can totally relate to all of these characters. I still remember when I used to record almost all of the tv shows that my favourite idols show up on my lovely VHS. Used to ask my mother or whoever at home that day to make sure to record it for me. When it didn’t get recorded, or when it was recorded on a broken tape, i was like 181818(like ShiWon lol).
      – Getting excited when a new magazine issue where my idols on it came up.
      – Daydreaming during class…

  28. 28 Thatgirl

    I have a feeling Imma love the songs of the days on here. And this drama!!! Though I am way younger, I still love 90’s kpop more than todays.

  29. 29 cheekbones

    Whoa, thanks for recapping and introducing it. I’m gonna watch this drama. The short duration is a plus.

  30. 30 amhrancas

    “At times like these, something small can be comforting, like a song. Thirty-three. An age where we can’t say that we’re exchanging nostalgia yet—our ’90s were still too bright for that. If our bodies can’t go back, at least our souls can. Right now, I’m going back to the ’90s.”

    Having just turned 33 last week- this show and that line ring so true with me. 8’D And oh god, so many memories. So many feelings. So much beautiful nostalgia.

    Thank you for the recap, GF!!

    • 30.1 amhrancas

      also- auugh. oh the agony of taping something only to later realize it was your only copy of so-an-so’s live performance once-upon-a-time. Come to think of it- I might still have some of those old VHS tapes in a box in a basement somewhere 8|a

  31. 31 rikkacho

    yay!!!! ur recapping this sitcom/drama *throws confettis in the air*

    its ironic that i can understand the concept of this show even though i was only a toddler when the setting happens (93er here ^^) but yeah i totally love the hot/sechkies fanwar and the vhs/pagers/and guess references lols

    cant wait til they show the oldschool cellphones and the tamagotchis lols

    thanks again for recapping this

  32. 32 neonrainbowstarrs

    I’m 16 right now..and most of this crazy stuff holds true for me now. I get its true when people say that this kind of teenage angst is universal. My dad did the exact same ripping up my posters thing, only in this case it was a Se7eN and 2NE1 poster 🙁 🙁 :(. This is kinda crazy though. When Joo Ji Hoon got into his whole marijuana scandal my dad said the EXACT same thing, about shaving his head and shipping him off to the military. it’s crazy. I’m really loving this drama, and I can’t wait to see more of it.

  33. 33 Noelle

    So happy to see EJW!

  34. 34 KDrama Fan

    Thanks GF.

    This looks good.

  35. 35 SandrOu

    thank you, i’m glad you recap it! i’m lovin it

  36. 36 fogetdeadlines

    The circumcision thing cracked me up! In our country, boys usually do it around 12 yrs old, on summer vacation right before high school but if you do it earlier, it makes you sort of ‘cooler’ compared to your peers . Something like a thing of pride between boys so if you do it during high school or later, the other boys will make fun of you…

  37. 37 Mawiie

    Because we are all in nostalgic mood over the 90’s: http://www.cracked.com/article_19109_6-things-our-kids-just-plain-wont-get.html

    Seriously, I still have a box full of floppy disks lol

  38. 38 anna

    So it’s not an actual sitcom with an 100 episodes or more.. great! I’ll be watching this then 😀 Thank you for the recaps 🙂

  39. 39 ck1Oz

    Oh wow. I laughed and cringed my way through the recaps.
    Memories… one is never as embarrassed as when you mess up when you’re young and perfect. Or not. But definitely full of emotions and feelings.

    Sounds like a lovely series. Might watch it just for the fangirl love. It’s hilarious.

  40. 40 rheina07

    this sounds goodd !!!

    guess i will watch it when I wait for ghost to air its final episode.

    Seems like cable tv has better dramas lately. 😀

    Thanks for the recap GF !!!

  41. 41 Stardust

    Thank YOOOOU girlfriday for the delightful recap! I didn’t grow up liking any pop idol groups, cos back then I was really a nerd. lol

    Is it me or the boy playing Yoon-jae looks like a young Jae Jong? haha… Loving the cast, who are unknown to me, but I think they really look their parts.

    I hope Shi won and Yoon jae are the ones getting married. Please don’t be the sibling love that we-are-so-close-we-can-adjust-each-others-clothes becos if my brother touches my shirt I will.punch.him.

  42. 42 Viki

    I see a lot of Eunji and Seo In Guk…a lil bit of Hoya. OMG GOTTA WATCH!

    Anybody know if it’s subbed anywhere?

  43. 43 Jules

    I… don’t think I was actually into pop (or boy bands) as a teenager. But my best friend was obsessed with the Backstreet Boys and I had to try to remember not to confuse BSB with N’Sync, or heads would roll (mine, specifically).

    I loved Bon Jovi and Def Leppard instead and am now wondering if that was a little weird for a teen in the 90’s. Hm.

  44. 44 Pandamay

    Thank you for piquing my interest. Ha I am now 37 and I will watch. Pagers still makes me tickled to no end as I used to send similar codes to my then boyfriend who is now my husband.

    I think Yoon Jae will end up with Shi won after several hiccups. Look at the initimate way Yoon Jae cover Shi won’s cloth

  45. 45 ___

    I love this show. T_T It takes me wayyy back. I can’t wait for next Tuesday’s episode.

  46. 46 pinkpia

    I LOVE THIS <3

  47. 47 maldita

    OMG this recap just sold me this drama. I really hope somebody subs this. I died over the H.O.T vs. Sechs Kies drama. Totally reminded me of my older cousins back in the day. The oppas of my teenage years were DBSK.

  48. 48 ms.auggie

    Seems to be a good written drama, or sitcom as they say, hopefully with a wonderfull and more logical ending, unlik its Big Sister drama (ehem-QIHM-ehem). Waiting inpatiently on when Jiwoon’s character will appear and how his position is in this already solid group of character. I’m totally hooked!

  49. 49 Bridget

    where I could watch this with english sub? been searching all day. dying here.
    I’ve watched the raw and read the recaps, but still wanna watch it.
    and I find the Busan dialect a ‘lil bit funny 😀
    (no offense to Busan people)
    actually I like hearing the dialect ’cause after all this time, I only heard the Seoul dialect in most K-dramas.

  50. 50 folie a deux

    Wow, this is interesting. I was still in elementary back then, but thanks to our cable provider I was able to watch some korean tv shows so I became interested in Kpop and entertainment as early as 12. 🙂

    I wanna watch this, but I don’t know where to download the raws and subs. Could someone please help me out? Thanks a lot! 😀

    • 50.1 anaelle

      Check out on Dramacrazy for raws. Subs are not out yet.

    • 50.2 anaelle

      The title is different though: Reply 1997.

      • 50.2.1 folie a deux

        I see. Thanks! 😀

        • anaelle

          You’re welcome 🙂 !

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