Looks like cable station tvN has another hit on its hands, with its nostalgic comedic drama Answer Me 1997 causing a buzz from the moment it hit airwaves. The ratings are doing well, and in fact the rebroadcasts are outperforming the initial ones as word of mouth grows and attracts more attention to the charming, heartfelt show.
The show premiered last week with Episodes 1 and 2, which were packaged together into one hour(-plus)-long installment. That drew a solid average rating of 1.2%, which peaked at 1.8%. It performed particularly well with teenage females with an average 2.2% rating in that demographic, with a high of 3.4%. Twenty- and thirtysomething women also had a strong response to the drama (holla), with a 2.1%.
This week aired Episodes 3 and 4, which performed similarly to its first week (1.2% average rating, 1.7% peak), but perhaps more notable is that the reruns improved upon those numbers by inching up to 1.6%, with a high of 2.4%.
I’m enjoying the show, which is full of humor and heart. There’s a thread of genuineness running through the characters, and that’s not just because of the show’s laser-sharp attention to detail, re-creating the late ’90s with an accuracy that has fans singing its praises. Like the details of a particular fan club, for instance, or the time-specific, location-specific slang used by the cast, or the callbacks to the trends of the day.
I feel like that’s what happens when you get a show made by people for those same people. It’s not done in a self-indulgent way, but in the sense that you’re keenly tapped in to what you’re doing, what you’re referencing. And because the show follows 18-year-olds who turn into 33-year-olds, it really feels like you’ve got a bunch of 33-year-old drama producers remembering what it felt like to be 18. It’s a lot different than when you get a production team who’s clearly just trying to appeal to the youth demographic without really understanding how to do that. (That’s when you get the kind of trying-to-be-cool gimmickry that makes said young people cringe and whine, “Mooo-ooom! So lame!”) There’s an intimacy and realism to Answer Me 1997 that’s awesome and refreshing. And that kind of sincerity has a way of connecting with people — even those outside that particular generation.