Drama Recaps
Answer Me 1994: Episode 1
by | October 19, 2013 | 83 Comments

Here we go with our second trip back in time to the nineties, courtesy of the team that brought us last year’s cable sleeper hit Answer Me 1997. This time our story takes place in 1994 Seoul, with a cast of transplants all from different small towns across the country, here to make it in the big city. That gives it a distinct feel from its 1997 predecessor, and it begins with a low-key vibe that focuses on what it feels like to be displaced, accompanied by the pop-culture references, wit, and heart we’ve already come to be familiar with.

There are overlaps though, so we’ll have to wait and see if 1994 can make a name for itself on its own two feet. So far I like the first episode and the family at the core, and I’m eager to see more. The first episode recorded 2.6% ratings on cable network tvN, which means it’s off to a good start.


Lee Chang-kwon – “다시 시작해 (Let’s Begin Again)” from the Last Match OST
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EPISODE 1: “Seoul Person”

We open in Seoul 2013, as our heroine SUNG NA-JUNG (Go Ara) unpacks a few last things in her brand new apartment to prepare for a housewarming party. Her best friend JO YOON-JIN (Dohee) rifles through her stuff, amazed that she still has her old basketball paraphernalia from ye olden days.

Na-jung digs through one box in particular, and then shouts with glee that she’s found it—her wedding video, which she’s never technically watched (for fear of shriveling up in mortification). As she dusts off the old VCR, a teenage boy makes his greetings and runs out the door. Is that… your son? You can’t have a son that old, right? For now we’re left to assume it’s her son, though who knows.

Hubby calls and she gives him traffic-conscious directions like a proper Seoulite, complete with a city-girl coffee order, and Yoon-jin marvels that she isn’t a country girl anymore. Na-jung points out that she’s been living in Seoul for nineteen years now, which ought to count for something.

Yoon-jin plays the wedding video (which she shot) and Na-jung gasps audibly: “What is that… THING on my head?” We see that it’s 2002, and on the tape Yoon-jin teases her about her future husband’s promises that she could continue to chase her basketball idol around. Yoon-jin: “And you believed him? What wouldn’t he say before the wedding?”

The groom arrives behind her, and Yoon-jin fumbles with the camera as she turns around… to get a shot of his feet. OHMYGOD, you’re gonna make us wait twenty episodes, aren’t you? WHY. I should’ve known.

She finally gets the camera swinging up towards his face… as we fade out to a familiar computer screen with our title card. That fades into a TV blaring the intro credits to—you guessed it—Last Match. Oppaaaa! Excuse me while I sing along.

Na-jung sits on the couch between Dad (Sung Dong-il) and older brother, who goes by the unfortunate nickname GARBAGE (Jung Woo). The three of them sway along to the theme song with synchronized gusto. It’s awesome, and so true to life that it makes me instantly love them.

Dad scowls that Jang Dong-gun’s slam-dunk defies realism, while Na-jung argues that a drama is a drama. Oppa takes Dad’s side, and the argument devolves into fisticuffs. Ew, did you just pinch her cheeks with your foot-fondling hands?

Dad yells at them to cut it out, and then Mom (Lee Il-hwa) comes in with the biggest mound of noodles I’ve ever seen. Is that just for the four of them? So basically, the parents are exactly the same as their Answer Me 1997 selves, down to Mom’s proclivity to cook for an army when she’s feeding four.

Na-jung is obsessed with basketball star Lee Sang-min, who might as well be god, while oppa nitpicks at her choice of idol. They really do talk like siblings: Yes he is. No he isn’t. Yeah-huh. Nu-uh. Is too. Is not. Wanna bet? Once they start pulling each other’s hair, Mom and Dad just sigh and look away.

It turns out Mom actually has a reason to cook for an army this time, as other kids start trickling into the boardinghouse they run. First home is HAE-TAE (Sohn Ho-joon), or Haitai in case he’s named after the food company. Mom tells him that he’ll be getting a new roommate tomorrow, and he greets Na-jung as a classmate.

Na-jung says they’re both in the computer science department, and Mom and Dad get a little too excited that she might have a prospective man-friend. Next home is Yoon-jin, who doesn’t speak and walks around with her hair in her face like Cousin It.

Mom guesses she was out stalking Seo Taiji as usual, and Dad sighs with a what-is-the-world-coming-to speech about wasting his money on educating a daughter when all she does is chase celebrities around.

Na-jung realizes he’s talking about her, and insists she’s got potential. Dad: “Potential for what?” Na-jung: ” To marry Sang-min oppa.” Pffft. She’s dead serious too.

To drive the comparison home, we fade in from Shim Eun-ha in Last Match to Na-jung screaming in the stands for Sang-min oppa during a practice game. She’s overzealous even among the other fangirls, who try to quiet her down.

At home Mom gets a call from a concerned mother, who’s sending her son up to Seoul today from Samcheonpo. Mom assures her that she’ll treat him like her own, and we learn that it’s only been a month since the family moved up from Masan and started the boardinghouse.

(Dude, that piano phone! What was it about the ’90s and phones shaped like other things?) His mother says he looks just like Leslie Cheung, and of course the cut to his face is a gag in and of itself.

The new student in question will be going by his hometown as his nickname: SAMCHEONPO (Kim Sung-kyun), which also happens to mean “tangent.” He arrives outside Seoul Station and calls Mom for directions to the house, insisting he can find his way there. But judging from the trouble he has crossing the street, I think this is going to be a long day for Samcheonpo.

Na-jung waits outside the gym for the Yonsei University basketball team to make their grand exit (cameos from real players Moon Kyung-eun, Woo Ji-won, and Kim Hoon), and succeeds in handing Sang-min oppa a handkerchief to use to wipe his sweat. She practically dies a happy fangirl right then and there, and then rushes off with the other girls to beat the bus to the oppas’ house.

At home, Garbage downs a carton of week-old milk (“Oh, I thought there was something chewy in there”), while Mom sighs that this is why people call him Garbage. He drops off laundry in Na-jung’s room and has a staring contest with Lee Sang-min’s poster, wondering what’s so great about him anyway. Are you jealous that your sister thinks someone’s cooler than you?

Samcheonpo’s eyes start to glaze over trying to figure out the subway system, and when he asks the ajusshi next to him when the train is supposed to come, he puts SO MUCH effort into hiding his country accent that I think he might pop something.

Meanwhile Garbage and Dad get down with some Kim Gun-mo in the middle of the afternoon, complete with sideways baseball cap and hands in the air. Screencaps don’t do Sung Dong-il’s comedy justice. Mom warns that they live in Seoul now and the neighbors will complain, which of course they do.

She wants to fit in around here, but all it takes is a box of tiny tangerines (she cries that even fruit is sizeist against country folk up here, ha) for her to cry that she wants to go back home. It seems that life in Seoul is an adjustment for everyone.

Na-jung camps out by the basketball team’s house with the other fangirls, and when Sang-min oppa comes out of the van, she runs up to ask for her handkerchief back, fake-crying that it was the last thing her grandmother gave her. He gives it back, and she drinks in the smell of oppa’s sweat. Well that’s just gross.

Mom keeps getting calls from Samcheonpo’s worried mother, and assures her that her twenty-year-old son will find his way here. I’m not so sure, as we watch him get shoved along by the crowd of commuters and sweat through the subway transfer. All the while he’s determined to hide his accent, but try as he might, even the token guy at the subway asks if he came up from the country.

There’s this side-splitting sequence where he fiiiinally gets to his stop, but can’t cross the giant city intersection to get to the right corner, and has to go underground, above ground, underground, and back up, over and over, each time farther from his destination, which he can SEE but can’t touch. It’s hilarious.

And then it’s followed by a pang of homesickness as he sighs aloud in defeat: “Mom, should I just go home?”

At home, Dad and Garbage watch an episode of Moon of Seoul, the characters’ smooth arrival in the big city feeling like such a stark contrast to Samcheonpo’s weary day.

He finally gets in a taxi and hands the driver the address, and literally gets taken for a ride, as the cabbie takes advantage of the country bumpkin to drive all over town and hike up the cab fare. By the time they pass Seoul Station—where he started his day—he knows he’s been fleeced, but can’t do anything about it. Poor new guy.

Na-jung is still on her stakeout by nightfall, determined to get a photo of Sang-min oppa today because she had to beg and plead with Dad to lend her the camera. The other girls note Yoon-jin’s presence nearby, and Na-jung says she’s a Seo Taiji fangirl who lives at the boardinghouse.

A nondescript black car pulls up nearby, and both Yoon-jin and Na-jung run up to snap photos, each convinced it’s her oppa in the car. Guess they’ll have to develop the photos to find out.

Samcheonpo tries calling the boardinghouse from a payphone, but gets a busy signal (remember those?) because Mom’s busy reassuring his mother that nothing’s happened to him, despite growing worried.

Na-jung arrives home and screams bloody murder when she gets to her room and discovers oppa’s idea of “bring your sister her laundry.” Pwahaha.

She storms into his room to retaliate and he breezes that she ought to thank her brother for bringing her laundry all the way to her room.

So she insists that she needs the clothes off his back this instant to wash, and proceeds to strip the shirt, pants, and boxers right off of him. HAHAHAHA. I’m dying.

I couldn’t even tell you whose emotional trauma is worse from the incident, but I love that she quotes him with her comeback: “If your sister takes your laundry, you should thank her!”

He calls her back just to get her to shut the lights off, and she body-slams him repeatedly instead. God, they’re like actual siblings. It’s crazy.

It’s late enough that Dad gets dressed to go looking for Samcheonpo, and tells them to call his beeper if he shows up here first. The neighbor comes knocking again, and this time Dad erupts in a complainy fit about not being able to do a damned thing freely in his own house in this godforsaken city… only to have Mom sheepishly return and say the neighbor came by just to warn them that rain is coming and they should gather the laundry.

Mom rushes to the kitchen to make something for the neighbor, suddenly feeling very at home for the first time.

Samcheonpo stops at another payphone to call home, and lies to his mother that he got waylaid when he met a friend. He swears he ate and that it’s nice and warm here in Seoul, as he watches the rain fall with tears pooling in his eyes.

He hangs up the phone barely holding his tears back, when suddenly two police officers come by asking for his ID. He gets nervous and as he fumbles through his bag for his wallet, a handful of flyers fall out—activist flyers from the protester he ran into repeatedly while circling the subway exits. Uh-oh.

So then it’s at the police station that Dad comes to collect Samcheonpo. His first shock is that this is the guy who supposedly looks just like Leslie Cheung, and then the second comes when he finds out he’s only twenty. Dad brings him home, and is still using half-jondae and bowing because the kid looks so old.

Samcheonpo bows respectfully and makes his way up to his room, too worn out from the day to process anything, but then Mom shouts up that his mother sent over his things, including the nicest biggest blanket she’s ever seen. He opens his door to find it laid out, and his eyes well up with tears at the thought of his mother. Awww.

He gets into bed and closes his eyes… and then roommate Hae-tae scares the beejeezus out of him by appearing under the covers, stripped down to his boxers and muttering to ajumma that the blanket is too heavy.

As he gets back into bed, Future Samcheonpo narrates:

Samcheonpo: My first night in Seoul. I still remember the softly crunching feeling of that fluffy blanket, and the warm but chilly air. 1994 Seoul was exactly like that to me—crowded but lonely, intense but tiring, a hot but cold city. A city I couldn’t know. We had become rightful citizens of Seoul, but had yet to become Seoul people.

Downstairs, Dad pets Na-jung to sleep on his lap, complaining that he’s tired now. She says she isn’t sleepy yet and he dutifully continues, heh. She tells him about seeing Sang-min oppa today and thinks they did well by moving up to Seoul, though Dad has his reservations about how she’ll grow up here.

She says that living is the same anywhere you go, adding that she is a little worried about Samcheonpo though. Dad assures her that everyone adjusts eventually.

Na-jung: Age twenty in Seoul, when everything—city and people—was frightening. Our sole refuge that kept us from being foreigners in that strange land was our house. This place. Shinchon Boardinghouse.

Morning brings a bustling breakfast table at the boardinghouse, where Garbage greets Hae-tae by misremembering his hometown (he’s from Suncheon, Jellanamdo), and Samcheonpo continues to be stiff and awkward.

Mom points out that they’re all in computer sciences, and Hae-tae is surprised since Yoon-jin never said she was in their department. Mom tells her to stop hiding behind her hair, but she just continues her silent routine and gets up from the table abruptly.

Na-jung comes running in like the Tasmanian devil, waving her freshly developed photos in her hand. She announces that she’ll show them all pictures of her oppa, and makes a big deal of the drumroll reveal…

And the whole group comes to a grinding halt. Na-jung scowls and Mom says he looks familiar, before realizing who it is. Everyone leaves the table one by one, finally giving Yoon-jin the chance to see if maybe it’s her oppa in the pictures instead.

She picks it up… and then opens her mouth for the first time. Out comes this barrage of bleeped-out F#%*^$*er#&$%!MYOPPA!#$&SH#$&^*!! swearing from the tiny girl that silences the whole room. LOL.

And then the camera pans over to the photo, of ex-president Chun Doo-hwan, aka ex-dictator and pretty much the most hated man alive. Wah-waaaah. Definitely NOT oppa.

Na-jung: Where unimaginable things could happen. That place was Seoul, and we were twenty.


In some ways, Answer Me 1994 can be seen as sticking to its strengths—nostalgic pop-culture references, authentic details, homegrown humor, and the looking-back-on-myself past/future narrative framework that worked so well for 1997. But the other way to look at it is that it doesn’t do anything new, at least not yet. I feel like I’m still waiting for a twist, because so far the show hasn’t shown me anything the franchise hasn’t done before, and while I realize all those are good things, it’s also the second time around. There’s something to be said for pushing to be better, even if it means daring to go outside the winning formula you set out with, and I hope we’ll see a little more experimentation as we get the story rolling.

That doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying this cast of characters, because I am, and I fully expect that we’ll get a satisfying story. I just want one that feels unique to them. I do like that this story is set in Seoul, because the treatment of small-town transplants in the big city feels really personal and grounded in that twinge of universal emotion that this team can do so well. The crowded-lonely feeling is so distinct to city life, and coupled with the theme of young adults leaving home for the first time, I think we’re going to get at some fantastic conflicts. I’m downright giddy at the fact that they’re bringing back the ’90s college campus drama as a genre—their best use of meta so far—which should give the series its own flavor (I hope), or at least make it different enough that it isn’t just high school all over again.

I already love Na-jung’s relationship with Garbage (which we went with because Trash sounded too mean), and Jung Woo just steals every scene he’s in, which is no surprise. Go Ara’s performance hasn’t shown a lot of subtlety yet, but I do find her really endearing as Na-jung right away. And Samcheonpo (played by film actor Kim Sung-kyun who’s purposely 34 playing 20) is going to run away with this show. He’s so great. It’s too bad we didn’t get to meet Yoo Yeon-seok or Baro in this episode, but I trust that we’ll get our share of cute in the next one with them.

For a premiere it didn’t fly by, but the heartfelt characterizations did make up for the slower pace to some degree. We’ll have to wait and see how Housewarming Party 2013 will pan out as a framing device, and if they’re going to go exactly the way of 1997 by giving us two potential suitors and one series-long mystery. I really hope they find even a slightly different angle, because that would be the worst of the repeat offenders if we just do the straight version again. We were all there for How I Met Your Mother in 1997. But I do see a lot of potential, especially in the setup of the Shinchon Boardinghouse with all of the kids living under one crazy roof, brought together from totally different regions but united in their outsider status. It’s like the perfect band of misfits just waiting to form, and I’m looking forward to watching their misadventures in conquering the big bad city.


83 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. aina

    Joon’s Appa~~

    • 1.1 reina

      hahaha feel the same way. especially when he said, wuri addeul…

  2. snow_white

    Thanks GF for the recap….

    Haven’t seen the episode yet but I’m so looking forward to it….and yay that we have a college campus drama… 🙂

  3. efflorescence

    Thank you for the recap! ^^
    I was really looking forward to this series and this didn’t let me down. I actually have no problem to it being similar to Reply 1997 because I love the nostalgic tone and the actors are all so amazing, I’m especially proud of Go Ara.
    Looking forward to seeing Baro and Yoo Yun Suk 😀

    • 3.1 nomad

      Me too! This is the one drama I’ve been sooo looking forward. And I love it! That phone call from Samcheonpo to his mom and him lying to his teeth to calm his worried mom totally brought tears to my eyes (and that’s suchhh a rare occurrence). I can totally relate, being a lone immigrant to a new country at 17 years old, suddenly I’m thrown back to that feeling he must’ve felt. The feeling of wanting to go home and curl back inside mom’s safe arm, but the last thing I want to do is worrying her even more with my current homesickness. It’s universal, no matter where we’re going and what nationality we have.

  4. MeeisLee

    I’m anticipating that the story will continue to hit home because I think it’s doing a good job so far (and it’s just episode 1). The fish-out-of-water/ crowded-lonely vibe feels so in tune with starting college. Funny how AM97 was set in high school when I was in high school and AM94 is set in college and now I’m in college. If there’s another story in the franchise, I wonder if it’ll be about young adulthood. I’m taking this as a sign that dramas and I are meant to be together.

    I love hearing the accents and dialects in this show :). And I love how they kept the sheep “baaa” sound! And I love Sung Dong Il!!!

    • 4.1 JoAnne

      I was so happy to hear that sheep sound!

    • 4.2 eternalfive

      “Funny how AM97 was set in high school when I was in high school and AM94 is set in college and now I’m in college.”

      :O Same LOL. And definitely, the fish-out-of-water feel definitely reminds me of the start of uni haha. Makes me feel nostalgic 😛

  5. chickenwing

    That’s a happy teddy!


  6. Kit

    Thanks for the recap! I crawled out of bed first thing to watch this episode, and about five minutes in I put my hand on the cursor to check how long it had been, which isn’t the best sign. It felt slow – especially because 1997 was so zippy, but they were only 30-40 minutes so needed to be more punchy. I also thought the adults were definitely the most winning by half way through, which I was a bit disgruntled with – not that the parents aren’t great (fantastic fangastic) but because I didn’t feel enamoured with the leads right away. Half of that I think is because there was a lot of recycled material from Ep 0.

    But then we were introduced to the new boy, and far out, my heart was with him the whole way. Those silent beats of being so lost, and not having the courage to speak up really got to me. They’d get to anyone, I’m sure, we’ve all been there. And dude, as a Korean who was born and raised overseas, Seoul always kills me with its thousands of exits and buildings that look so close but aren’t. 120% empathy. It only takes me about three days each time to become a pro, but those first three days are hell.

    Overall, I’m liking it. It’s slower, but we’ve got 20 hours this time instead of 12 or something. It’s also impatience with what seems like the same WHO DID SHE MARRY set up, but fingers crossed its different this time. After all, that’s probably not her kid. Oh! Her brother’s maybe?

    We’re going to get deeper into the characters, and it’s really going to be about how all of them fit together as a family which I already love. If 1997 was about growing up, 1994 is about growing into your own skin. It’s similar, but so different. Different life lessons for a different age group. I’m here for the ride.

    • 6.1 eternalfive

      “If 1997 was about growing up, 1994 is about growing into your own skin.”

      Aww, nicely put. 😀

  7. almondherb

    I love you GF! Thanks for the recap. *hugs*

    I watched the raw episode but still need your dose of AM1994 recaps. So far I like Mom and Dad the best. They’re exactly the same as in AM1997. Dad is so funny in his baseball cap. Lol.

    And so we have to wait and guess who’s the husband, huh? Can’t wait.. 🙂

  8. ck1Oz

    I already laughed at the laundry and then your last screenshot.

    * wipes tears from my eyes *

    The recap made me laugh and laughed so much. Oh man this is going to be good.

  9. Lisa

    Wow a great episode!
    I’ve only read the recap so far but I’m definitely in the AM1994 train!
    Can’t believe Yoo Yeon-Suk didn’t come out in the first ep! 🙁
    Anyways hoping for some good chemistry between the two mains.

    • 9.1 Caitlyn

      I watched the episode and then read the recap, and the recap makes it sound better than it was, lol. I mean, it was okay. Not great but still worth watching. But the recap makes it sound so much funnier than it was.

      • 9.1.1 Momo

        no it doesn’t…

  10. 10 rinka

    Overall I like it! It’s heartwarming and familiar.

    This episode is felt more like slice of life drama, rather than usual rom-com. I didn’t see the big plot, yet. I hope they play it soon, because usually that’s what make me curious about next episode.

    Also that fake urgent SOS to turn off the lamp is gold! My big brother and sister used to do it to me. Is there any older sibling manual out there? How can they think alike?

    • 10.1 ht

      Hahaha. Loved that scene. I do that to my big sister often and she falls for it every single time.

    • 10.2 nomad

      Or that sentence “can you get…for me?” (fill in the blank) I’m the youngest, and no matter how old I get, for some weird “programmed” reason in my head, I still get what ever that is for my big sister. Even while ranting “can’t you get it yourself? why do you always ask me to get you things?”

  11. 11 JD

    I’m actually very pleased with Go Ara :’D She and Jung Woo are such a hoot to watch. Everything’s great so far, even though it did feel slow. Can’t wait ’til all of them are under the same roof!

  12. 12 Minaya

    English subs aren’t out yet, so I decided to read the recap after I watch the episode.

    • 12.1 efflorescence


      Here you go(with eng subs) ^^

    • 12.2 adette

      hmm i definitely watched it on viki like, three hours before this comment was posted, though…

    • 12.3 Windsun33

      They are up on Drama Fever, but have not watched it yet.

  13. 13 SoyB

    I liked it so far. I guess I didn’t find it that slow as I was FFing thru to the actual dialog for subbing, so I will have to watch it again. I realizedfrom the recap I missed some the silent beats like I didn’t know about the cab ride taking so long!

    I love the sibling relationship, it really feels so real the constant bickering, the petty revenges, etc. I love the parents from 1997 so I am fine with them being the same. I am also so happy it is a college setting and even though I didn’t go to school in Korea, a lot of the cultural references are sooooo familiar!

    The only thing I see as a potential problem is the whole “who did I marry” reveal… That is the only thing I could do without.

    2013 dramas formthe most part were so disappointing, but the year is finishing out strong! I am really loving all the fall dramas. Thanks for the recap!

    • 13.1 nomad

      I agree with you about the “guessing game”. This time around I totally don’t care and putting it as merely the little annoying mosquito sound or something.

  14. 14 Jammy

    Absolutely in love with the first episode! I really like the way the story is progressing even though the writer has not introduced us to the male lead yet.
    I also love the fact that the makers are using that ‘Awkward Goat’ sound again in this drama. This makes it even more funny.

  15. 15 noernov

    I do love them…..awesome 😉

  16. 16 Miky

    I loved the first episode and it’s pace,so nostalgic vibe….i’m also expecting some twist in the husband thing…while watching some videos about them i’m curious if Yoo Yeon-Seok character will really be her husband,wasn’t he the only one from Seoul? …i’m watching Baro’s character as well,he has an intersting vibe and seems to like our heroine …i guess i’m waiting for the sec couple development the most here

    • 16.1 Ally

      I think Garbage is a strong contender too, just sayin 😉

      • 16.1.1 adette

        strong contender? you mean… garbage as her husband? but he’s her brother .____.

  17. 17 Ally

    Show, you got me!!!!!
    Thanks GF for the hilarious recap 🙂

  18. 18 saranga

    it was slow, i felt it too. but in retrospect, i don’t mind so much because we did get samcheonpo, who is shaping up to be the sweetheart of the show. and HOW much did i love that mom’s habit of cooking for a battalion has carried over (or, back) to 1994? but here she has a more legit reason. hehehe!

    the preview definitely showed some of go ara’s best moments, because in this first episode i could see some of the gaps in her acting. but she’s throwing herself body and soul into this role, and when an actor is working that hard, it shows, and you can’t really NOT help liking them. and she’s definitely got potential.

  19. 19 ss

    i think that the boy in 2013 is not her son but the kid that is living with her (boarding-house-kind)?

  20. 20 ninji

    Yay finally! Let those college hi-jinks ensue!

  21. 21 ht

    Things I liked about this show:
    the Gor Gor lookalike.
    Jung Woo.

    The last time I saw one of my fav male actors portrayed an innocent and adorable role was in 2010, Yoo Jitae in Hello Schoolgirl. I know, I’m SO enjoying and fangirling over Kim Sung-kyun.

    • 21.1 ht

      And yay for Young Choi Min-sik’s cameo. Haha.

  22. 22 iviih

    I liked first episode.

    It connected with me so much!

    Maybe because the same thing happened to Kyu, happened to me too – minus the getting arrested – and I could understand his feelings too well.

  23. 23 Dasotong

    The teenage boy is Sungjae from BTOB. Don’t anyone think that he looks similar to Seo In Guk?

  24. 24 Rovi

    Where & when will Na PD appear??? D: Or did he already, and GF forgot? Yonsei was already mentioned here, right?

    • 24.1 adette

      yonsei is going to be mentioned a lot with or without Na PD (it’s actually because the show has so much to do with Yonsei that he did a cameo.. not the other way around~). the boarding house is in shinchon (area around yonsei university) and i’m fairly certain all the boarders go there. na-jung’s favorite team is also the yonsei team (and different parts of yonsei’s campus showed up in the teaser for episode 2:)

    • 24.2 CupidinLove

      I think Na PD appeared in Episode 0 which aired last week or so, and there was the recap on Dramabeans.

    • 24.3 latteholic

      He’s going to show up in episode 2! It’s HI-larious!

    • 24.4 kit

      His cameo was legit the best in Ep 2. Watch out for it.

  25. 25 neener

    Keeping an eye on this drama 😉

  26. 26 CutiieAngiie

    Gosh’, can someone tell me where the hell did you watch it ? I tried gooddrama earlier but didn’t find anything and with viki, I can’t watch it because no available in my country (France) –‘

    • 26.1 Waiting

      dramaholics 🙂

  27. 27 PollyRose

    I feel like I’m walking into this one with a slight advantage since I only watched the first couple episodes of 1997. So overall very few comparisons for me 🙂

    I have to say that though like most I did find some moments slow, I’m really digging the show so far. I really like the characters we’ve been introduced to so far, Na Jeong and Garbage are hilarious together and Samcheonpo really drives home that feeling of isolation and unfamiliarity.

    Looking forward to more!

  28. 28 adette

    goshhh that taxi driver ajusshi taking advantage of samcheongdong like that made me so sad.

    mostly because that totally happened to me and my friends in korea hahah.. but one of my friends is incapable of just letting things go so she really let that cab driver have it.. i remember she was like, scolding this guy for thinking he could take advantage of us because we were foreigners and that it wasn’t our first time in a taxi and we knew that he purposefully added 15 minutes to our trip… and then she very dramatically ended with “your wife and kids would be really disappointed in you, ajusshi.” before stepping out of the car and slamming the door hahah. he got all embarrassed and acted like he didn’t mean to do it and said we could just pay him 1/3 of the fare before complimenting us on our korean ahahah

    • 28.1 adette

      ugh i meant samcheonpo lol. why did i type samcheongdong;;;

    • 28.2 ryoko

      Your friend sounds awesome. 🙂

  29. 29 Waiting

    I am committed to watching this as I did not see 1997 yet. I am sure much of the references that are specifically Korean I’ll have have to use my best vicarious skills as I read the recaps. Thanks you for recapping and helping the rest of us find a deeper appreciation and understanding to what we are seeing and hearing on screen. 🙂

    The sibling interactions were a highlight and I have so much love for Jung Woo from his Bread Man days on YTBLSS…he stole the scene there as well. I really like Go Ara as well and when she screams after her oppa to the point of her voice gets more husky, it makes me giggle. I am looking forward to the next ep!

  30. 30 Min

    Lol I don’t have an oppa in fact I only have two little sisters, but If I did have an Oppa and he dared to manhandle my underwear like Najunng’s Oppa did, then I’d also definitely go whacko on him and get revenge… hehehehe lol but since I’m not Najung I enjoyed his little artistic touch of putting it on the teddy bear.

    • 30.1 rham


      Wow I could not believe you are beanies too.
      I’m pretty new in kdramaland but managed to finish many drama recaps now. Weeks ago, it happened to me found Padam padam recap at your blog. I was looking for the recap in DB but only found a few. Then, after some googling, it was such a relieved I found it at yours.

      I haven’t properly say thank you once.

      Anyhow, thank you for getting rid of my thirst.


      NB: After put my cursor on ur username, I know who you are.

  31. 31 Liliino Kpop

    I really liked this first episode!! Actors seems to be good, this first ep was really funny and in the same time Samcheonpo’s part touched me ^^ I hope it will continue to be good

  32. 32 kittycat

    IDK the first episode was alittle boring to me. I just felt like nothing was happening during it. The mom and dad are similar to there characters in 1997 and Go Ara’s character is similar to Siwon. They used some of the same jokes as 1997 and I only found myself laughing a few time while watching. Reply 1994 didn’t grab my attention immediately like the first season did, and I’m not a sports person so the basketball isn’t doing anything for me right now. I just hope it gets better and finds it’s own identity as a drama, and not shadow the first season too much. Hopefully it picks up.

  33. 33 Shadow-chan

    Well well well, I really liked this! 🙂
    I haven’t watched 1997 yet, so I can’t compare (which might be just good) and even though I read the recap first and therefore already knew what was going to happen, I didn’t find the episode slow or boring at all.
    I mean, obviously there wasn’t really much happening story wise, but I liked the characters and just the whole atmosphere of the thing.
    And I love the music, haha.

    Aaaaand I finally know that Seoul has a subway!
    I swear, this is the first K-Drama ever that I watched where someone was taking the subway! (Well, except for The King 2 Hearts, but the subway there was in Pyeongyang…)
    So why is it that in dramas, everyone always takes the bus?
    Because you can’t car-stalk the subway…?

    • 33.1 Momo

      Yup. They are just comparing reply 1997 and reply 1994 too much and not having fun.

    • 33.2 ilikemangos

      “Because you can’t car-stalk the subway…?”
      Haha, you’ve pretty much said it.
      Bus scenes make for some good,dramatic chasing scenes either by running or driving alongside it.

      Answer me 1994 is more of a spin-off than a sequel, so i’ll be holding out on comparisons, even if the two are similar in style and atmosphere.

    • 33.3 newgirl

      There’s a great little subway scene in Dal Ja’s Spring. Well worth watching, and not only for the Lee Min-ki eye candy.

  34. 34 porcelain

    Like… how could one fall for a drama from a recap? I did… loved AM 1997… have good vibes for AM 1994…
    And awkward goat sound is still there!

    Here for Sung Dong Il Appa! And love Omma too…

    Kids… Bet they are all gonna be amazing… loved the satoori too!!!

    If nostalgia is the theme and the mystery of whom did she marry or how I met your mother… I am all good… kyaaa…..

  35. 35 asianromance

    Thanks for the recap! I just watched the first episode and loved it, especially the parts with Samcheonpo trying to navigate his way around the city. I think I can watch him do just that for episodes on end!

  36. 36 Sophia

    I thought I would really hate this, because I’ve never been a fan of Go Ah Ra and always found her pretty annoying, but yep, she’s actually quite endearing in this. I too hope they come up with a different format and not make us wait 20 episodes to find out who her husband is.

  37. 37 earthna

    So far, I like 1994 but yeah, I hope they do things differently from 1997. That’s the thing about sequels, they get the burden of having to be better than the first one because people expect a lot from them. At least, I do. That see with Samcheonpo talking to his mom on the phone just made me cry. It made me think about my first day living in a dorm away from my family. Getting lost in a big city, I’ve been there too so I totally understand what he was feeling. Well, I’ll continue watching and we’ll see. I like seeing the parents again and the running gags that come with them.


    Thanks for the recaps girlfriday!!

  38. 38 Sajen

    So far so good but are we really going to do the husband guessing game again, it was fun until it was obvious the right guy won, but then it got tedious.

    Personally I still wish we’d gotten a sequel set sometime in the future with Shi Won and Yoon Jae as the parents and their children as the protagonists, but the characters here show potential.

    • 38.1 lajs

      Don’t worry…I’ve got a feeling the husband guessing game in this one’s going to be harder to figure out and thus, more fun! 😉

  39. 39 wren

    am I the only one squeeling my lungs out Cuz the dad n mom are the same from ‘1997’ ?
    I’m sooo happy to see them. weren’t they awesome in the prequel.rt? rt?
    I dint see any previews or posters to this show, so it was a pleasant surprise when I saw them! happiness !!!

  40. 40 Sajen

    I meant to ask this earlier but here we go. My knowledge of Korean history especially recent history is admittedly low but here goes. Wasn’t the guy Chun Doo-hwan took over from a dictator as well, they even made a movie about the other guys assassination right?

  41. 41 newgirl

    Love this show, even though it seems a bit formulaic after Reply 1997. Can’t wait to see all the characters brought out. I loved watching Jung Woo in YTBLSS; it’s nice to see him have more screen time. Such a relief after suffering through watching Heirs!

  42. 42 lajs

    Oh wow! I’m in love with this show! Please recap episode 2 soon! I want to see you’re take on the new plots that have developed. 😀

    I really liked Answer Me 1997, but it was only 2 months ago that I finally finished it after hearing all the hype over it last year. My friend and I tried to watch it when it came on Viki, but we could barely finish half of the first episode. We were only 1 year old in terms of K-drama watching and everything seemed strange to us…from the accents to the jokes about a time in Korea we knew nothing about and artists we’ve never heard of. It was just a confusing mess so we gave up. I tried multiple times after that but only got to episode 3 or so. It wasn’t until I got a little bit into K-pop that I was finally able to start again and finish it…in one night! It got so addicting and I loved the OTP so much!

    Perhaps it’s because I was eventually able to get Answer Me 1997 after so many failed attempts that Answer Me 1994 clicks with me much faster and stronger. I’ve already gotten so emotionally invested and actually teared up during the second episode. I’m so happy now that it looks like I’ve found my new crack drama after TMS ended (still suffering from withdrawal…) and the other shows (i.e. Heirs, MHIYD) don’t really do it for me. I’m excited for the journey ahead and only wish I didn’t have to wait 9 more weeks to solve the mystery…and it looks like this one’s going to be tougher than the 1997 version. 😀

    Oh and I love Jung Woo! He really does steal the scene in everything. Glad he’s getting more screen time here compared to YTBLSS…I missed him.

  43. 43 Momo

    I just have one thing to say ”OPPA YAAA” ~~~

    LOL it is so cute calling oppa with accent XD

  44. 44 Obsidian

    Wow. So clearly I feel a bit different from most viewers here. I’m not quite sure if I like the series just yet. And I loved 1997, but I don’t really want the same old thing. Like I loved how the Mom always cooked huge portions…but seeing it here…it just felt a bit of the same. And at times, it seemed like sometimes it was trying to be too funny. I swear I heard the sheep so many times.

    I’m not sure if I like Najung just yet. She sometimes seems a bit too over the top. I hope I do come to like her as she is the main character. I really liked Samcheonpo’s character. You could really feel the fish-out-of-water. Who hasn’t ever felt that lost? This gives me hope that show does know what it’s doing, since it was able to do that with 1997. I don’t want another cough *dream high 2* again.

    I will have to watch the next couple of eps to get a real feel for this drama. It may just be that I really want to like this drama.

  45. 45 Abbie

    What a hilarious opening to the series. I love it already. Can’t wait for more!

    Thanks for the recap, GF!

    • 45.1 Abbie

      Also I think the boy at the beginning could be the parent’s son.

  46. 46 bird

    It didn’t occur to me that the cab driver was fleecing Samcheonpo… I thought he’d simply driven to Sincheon (신천) near Seoul Uni instead of Sinchon (신촌) where Yonsei Uni is haha.

  47. 47 neha singh

    Can u also upload KBS mini drama Secret Love…and thank you.. For uploading Heirs….

  48. 48 Mia

    Awww thank you for the recap!

  49. 49 Nicole

    Hahaha, I think I just about died of laughter from the laundry scenes. Such great acting on both Go Ara and Jung Woo’s part. Looking forward to this drama 🙂

  50. 50 meggy

    was wondering this after the first one as well….What is with the goat/sheep whatever sounds?

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