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Answer Me 1988: Episode 4

This episode is all about the people you can’t help loving, be it ungrateful husbands, nagging wives, unresponsive kids, embarrassing parents, or your oldest friends who call you out on your dumbest mistakes. And we find that there’s pretty much only one way to mend rifts in any of these relationships: one sincere gesture, no matter how small, that comes straight from the heart.

 
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Lee Moon-se – “빗속에서” (In the Rain) [ Download ]

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EPISODE 4: “Can’t help ~ing”

It’s November 1988, and we begin with another mad dash to school. Deok-sun pulls on her stirrup pants (why did we wear these, really?), Sun-woo eats his mother’s terrible breakfast, and Dong-ryong says goodbye to an empty house since no one’s ever there. Jung-hwan turns down an offer from Dad to give him a ride in the car, saying that he has a ride of his own—his precious Air Jordans, he means.

The bus is so crammed full of students that latecomer Dong-ryong has to crawl through the window to get onboard. Deok-sun is left out on the street, so she hangs out of the open doorway as the bus takes off, which seems crazy. Aaand two seconds later, she’s left sitting in the street.

One day, Deok-sun announces to her family that she’s going to college. They all look at her like she’s crazy, and when she asks for a tutor, Dad tells her to learn from her sister. Deok-sun looks over at Unni Bora with a look of horror, and flashes back to three years ago when Bora tried to teach her algebra and ended up berating her for being so stupid.

Deok-sun says she’d rather die than be tutored by Unni, so then Dad says he heard that this “thing” is great for boosting your concentration. Next thing we know, Deok-sun is sitting across from an incredulous-faced Taek on either side of a baduk board.

Taek asks if she even knows how to play, and Deok-sun nods. He prompts her to make the first move… and she puts a stone down in the middle of a square instead of on an intersecting point. He pretty much gives up right then and there, and suggests eating ramyun instead.

Deok-sun’s parents get invited to eat upstairs with Jung-hwan’s parents, who wanted to share the fish they bought. Deok-sun’s mom marvels at the whole fishes piled high on the table, but it looks like what she’s more envious of is the way Jung-hwan’s dad dotes on his wife and peels the fish for her. In contrast, her own husband chomps down on his fish without even giving her a taste, and steals her rice so that he can eat twice as much.

Jung-hwan’s dad asks how the baduk lessons are going for Deok-sun, and Dad says she quit after the first day. But he heard that this other thing is great for concentration… and we cut to Deok-sun having a staring contest with a Rubik’s Cube.

She tries and tries but can’t seem to get it, and then peers over at Taek, who’s struggling to open a carton of yogurt. It cracks me up, this running thing with the genius who can’t do normal things like feed himself. She offers a trade, and no joke—Taek solves the Rubik’s Cube in the amount of time it takes her to peel open the yogurt and take a bite.

She messes it up and tells him to solve it again, and again, and every time he does it with machine-like precision. Over at Jung-hwan’s house, Hyung is trying to do the exact same thing, with Jung-hwan on a stopwatch to time him.

Deok-sun’s mom gets up early to start her day, and runs into Jung-hwan’s dad out in the yard. He’s carrying a giant sheet of seaweed to cook for his wife because it’s her birthday, and even stops to check on the laundry and pick up shoes on his way in.

Mom watches all that with a little sigh and returns to her own house, where Dad is sleeping the day away. She pinches him in the belly in retaliation, and he hits his son sleeping next to him, thinking it was him.

Jung-hwan’s dad stops him on his way out again, this time to remind him about their dinner plans tonight. Jung-hwan lies that he has night class, but Dad easily catches him in the lie because it’s Saturday and tells him to show up.

Jung-hwan and Deok-sun both stop in their tracks when they reach the yard at the same time, but the awkward moment passes as they revert to their usual bickering. She calls him a moron and says he’ll get caught for wearing those shoes to school, and he calls her the moron and points out the rice still stuck on her face.

She peels it off her face and eats it, ha, while he walks away with the tiniest grin on his face. I love the sneak-grins.

This time Deok-sun manages to get on the bus, but it’s crammed full as usual, and every time the standing passengers are jostled, most of them complain, but there are a fair number of boys who hoot and holler as girls get pressed up against them. Jung-hwan is clearly fixated on Deok-sun, who’s surrounded by a few other boys nearby.

His worry starts to build, and then there’s a really big lurch that sends everyone sliding… and in her haste to keep from falling, Deok-sun reaches out to grab onto Jung-hwan’s shirt. The buttons come popping right off and the shirt just hangs open. LOL. They just freeze like that, too embarrassed to say or do anything.

That night Jung-hwan’s family gets ready to go out for Mom’s birthday, and Dad is the only one excited about it. Jung-hwan is non-responsive, as usual, and Hyung can barely be convinced to leave his room because he’s so obsessed with solving the Rubik’s Cube.

When Mom finally comes out dressed up in her finest, they all gasp in horror and Jung-hwan asks if he can stay home. Still, Dad’s good mood won’t be killed, and he piles the family into the backseat of his dinky company car and drives them to dinner.

At Deok-sun’s house, the dinner table looks especially sparse today, and Dad complains that his favorite dish isn’t on the table. It launches them into a massive fight, with Mom calling him inconsiderate and Dad calling her dumb for not graduating high school. Yikes.

Meanwhile, Jung-hwan’s family arrives at the restaurant and no one really listens to Dad, all insisting on eating different things. When the waiter comes by to take a picture, Dad’s the only one who’s excited.

It’s like pulling teeth to get anyone else in his family to participate in anything, and the waiter stands there awkwardly as he has to convince them to take one damn picture.

He urges them all to smile, and the Polaroid gets left on their table. As the picture starts to form, all we see is Dad’s face with his giant smile.

Sun-woo heads to the library to study, and finds a cassette tape with a piece of candy in his locker. The note says, “All I can give you is this candy [satang],” and the song highlighted on the Byun Jin-sub tape is, “All I Can Give You Is Love [sarang].” It isn’t signed, but we see Deok-sun walking down the street with a bag of candies in her pocket and a smile on her face.

Jung-hwan’s dad comes home with ice cream for his family, only to be met with silence from Jung-hwan (who’s got his headphones on), and a dismissive wave from Hyung (who’s still in his Rubik’s cave). Aw, Dad looks so disappointed at the rejection.

It turns out that Jung-hwan is listening intently to the news report on Taek’s latest match, where he was uncharacteristically bested by a newbie. He showed weakness, and people are speculating on a slump.

Sun-woo is listening to the same broadcast in the library, and turns to tell Dong-ryong about it, only to find him passed out on the floor. When Sun-woo gets home, Mom is on the way out with kimchi pancakes for Taek and his father. She tells Sun-woo not to say anything about Taek’s loss in case he feels bad about it.

Jung-hwan’s dad leaps to his feet in excitement when Jung-hwan steps out of his room, but of course Dad’s silly gags get absolutely zero reaction out of him. I love this kid, but seriously it would suck to be his parents.

Jung-hwan is outside feeding the dog as Deok-sun comes home, and when he hears that she was at the library, he scoffs like it’s not possible. He teases her for the popsicle stains around her mouth, and when Sun-woo comes by to ask her for pencil lead, Deok-sun hides her stained lips. It seems to bug Jung-hwan to see Sun-woo and Deok-sun going downstairs without him.

Taek’s house feels even more quiet than usual today, and Taek sits in front of his baduk board looking a little lifeless. Man, I hope he’s not reliving his losing game. Eek.

Sun-woo’s mom comes by with kimchi pancakes and whispers to Dad that they should just act normal, and Dad agrees, though he’s worried because Taek seems more affected by this loss. Dad sighs to see Taek taking medicine—I don’t know what for, but it appears to be headache medicine.

Jung-hwan’s dad comes to the kitchen for some water in the middle of the night, and discovers the carton of ice cream he brought home earlier, still sitting on the table where he left it. It’s all melted now, because no one bothered to come out.

When Taek’s dad wakes up in the morning, he finds Taek still sitting in the exact same spot, having practiced all night long. Ack, I hope our Taekie isn’t broken!

Deok-sun’s parents tell her to get tutored by Unni, who’s being paid to tutor Jung-hwan. Deok-sun would get to sit in for free, but she refuses to be subjected to it… that is, until she hears that Sun-woo will also be there.

In preparation for tutoring, Deok-sun squeezes into her tightest jeans and plucks her eyebrows, Jung-hwan madly brushes his teeth and scrubs his face until his nose bleeds, and Sun-woo insists on pulling on a wet shirt from the clothesline because it has to be that one. Is there going to be any learning in this tutoring group?

Jung-hwan runs into Dad in the kitchen, and is surprised when Dad responds with barely any energy. Aw, is he mad? Dad refuses to leave the house with Mom, who leaves the house so that she doesn’t bother the tutoring session. The ajummas gather for an afternoon beer out in the street, with the usual chitchat complaining about their husbands.

When Taek’s dad comes out to return a plate to Sun-woo’s mom, the others whisper at her to make a go of it with Taek’s dad. Sun-woo’s mom says he doesn’t say more than two words ever, and argues that she couldn’t marry a man that quiet.

Unni Bora’s tutoring session begins, and they all wonder what Dong-ryong is doing there. They ask if his father the teacher wouldn’t report them if he knew (because private tutoring is illegal), only to find out that his father tutors other kids on Sundays.

Bora checks to see what level everyone is at, and it’s clear right away that Jung-hwan and Sun-woo are the smart kids and Deok-sun and Dong-ryong have little interest in studying. Jung-hwan’s hyung comes out to bring Bora juice and cookies, and heads out to ask Taek about how to solve the last corner of his Rubik’s Cube.

The others tell him that Taek has gone back to the dorms and it’s been hard for them to see him lately too. Taek is playing baduk at the pro training center, and one by one his sunbaes file in with words of consolation. But it only seems to weigh on Taek more when they give him the canned you-can’t-always-win speech.

Back at Bora Academy, Unni gives up on math altogether and asks Deok-sun and Dong-ryong if they know any English. They recite a string of pronouns that they learned, and then chime in with all the other foreign languages they know, via song lyrics. They perform with gusto, and Sun-woo claps and cheers, much to Deok-sun’s joy.

Deok-sun’s parents run into Taek on his way home and Mom makes sure to shush Dad about anything baduk related. They invite him and his father over for dinner, but Taek declines. He runs into Jung-hwan’s mom too, who asks how he’s doing and offers a conciliatory, “Be strong.”

Jung-hwan’s dad is still in his funk and refuses to come to dinner, and Jung-hwan runs out to go see Taek. Mom warns him to be careful about Taek’s feelings.

Deok-sun’s family watches Kim Hye-soo on TV and Dad marvels at how pretty she is. Mom says she was that pretty at nineteen too, and Dad reminds her that they met at eighteen, and they have another fight over who looked worse back in the day.

Deok-sun heads out and her parents yell at her not to bug Taek either, and that they’ve all been taking great care not to make him feel bad. Sun-woo gets the same warning from his mom too.

Taek’s dad cleans up Taek’s room and sighs to find a sea of empty medicine packets near his baduk board. Dad cleans up the shop when the kids start arriving one by one, and he tries to tell all of them that Taek’s not in the best condition right now, but the kids all ignore him like they ignored their own parents and saunter right in.

Taek is near tears sitting in front of his baduk board by himself, and Jung-hwan opens the door. At first he has the same look of pity that everyone else has been wearing around Taek lately… but then he greets him with: “I heard you totally blew it! Good job, bastard. How can I go anywhere when I’m ashamed of my own neighborhood?”

They all come in with similar greetings pointing out his massive loss, not the tiniest bit sensitive or careful. Taek defends himself: “It was a mistake.” Dong-ryong says genius baduk players aren’t allowed to make mistakes, and Taek fights back: “Do I have to win all the time?!”

Dong-ryong: “Yes. You’re not allowed to lose, or be jinxed, or fall into a slump, or poop. Okay, you can poop, but it can’t smell.” They all laugh at that, and Taek does too. Aw.

Jung-hwan tells him this is no time to be laughing, and suggests swearing instead. He demonstrates, eliciting a groan from Deok-sun. Of course, when he prompts Sun-woo to say the same thing, she finds it cool.

They egg Taek on to hurry up and say it, so he finally does and they all burst out laughing. They even make fun of the way Taek swears, and prod him to do better until they’re all shouting curses at the top of their lungs.

Deok-sun turns on the TV and starts a dance party, and they pull Taek up to his feet to dance, their laughter floating all the way out into the street. This is the cutest thing ever. I luff these kids.

Deok-sun’s parents go to a parent-teacher conference at her school, where her teacher is full of praises about her outgoing personality. But then she shares Deok-sun’s grades, and Dad slumps down in utter defeat.

As they stop for dinner, Mom complains that if they had more money, they could’ve gotten Deok-sun a tutor right away, while Dad complains that other moms tutor their own kids. Mom finds fault with everything today, from the way Dad orders without asking what she wants to the way he picks his teeth with his chopsticks at the restaurant. She sighs to see another couple at the next table with the husband feeding his wife tenderly, which only makes her own husband seem even less uncaring.

As they head back out in the rain, Dad grabs his own umbrella and walks out, and Mom finds that someone else has taken her umbrella. She wonders if maybe this is a chance for her to upgrade: “I can’t swap husbands but I can swap umbrellas.” And she grabs a pretty flower umbrella and quietly asks if it belongs to anyone. Satisfied that no one answered, she walks out with it.

Except when she gets outside, she finds that the umbrella has a gaping hole in it and she sighs that this is just her lot in life. But Dad comes back for her and tosses the other umbrella aside so they can share his. He offers his arm and chides, “No matter how much someone else’s things seem better, it’s all in vain.” She takes her husband’s arm with a tiny smile.

Jung-hwan’s mom calls everyone out for kimchi pancakes, but when the boys come out, Dad shuffles into his room and ignores Jung-hwan’s attempt to talk to him. Jung-hwan hangs out with the boys in Taek’s room and slides over to Dong-ryong to ask how to get his father to stop being mad at him.

Dong-ryong says that Jung-hwan’s dad is the world’s easiest person to smooth things out with: “All you have to do is respond.” Ha, you mean to his terrible gags, don’t you?

Jung-hwan’s dad eats ramyun by himself and won’t even eat the kimchi that Mom puts in front of him. The only thing that gets him up is when the door opens, and Mom asks if it’s Deok-sun. Dad does his usual over-the-top gag greeting… only to turn around and find Jung-hwan standing in the doorway.

The most awkward silence passes as Dad stands there with his arm raised in the air, knowing he’ll get nothing in response. But then Jung-hwan does exactly as advised and raises his arm up in the air to mimic Dad.

You can see the look of confusion and shock on Dad’s face as he tentatively reaches his hand out to do the rest of the routine, and though Jung-hwan is awkward as hell, he does every step along with Dad. It ends just as awkwardly as it began, and Jung-hwan just kind of walks away.

Dad stands there blinking, still a little shell-shocked… but then a smile creeps up and he’s back to his old self. Mom notices that he eats her kimchi now, and smiles gratefully.

Deok-sun’s parents are a little less contentious today, and Dad notes happily that Mom made his favorite dish again. Jung-hwan’s dad accidentally sends a toenail clipping flying into his wife’s open mouth and expects to get hit for it, but instead she just picks it out and asks if he wants to have some soju.

As they walk out, we see the family Polaroid taken at Mom’s birthday dinner. Everyone’s smiling broadly along with Dad. Aw.

The radio DJ’s message about the value of familiar, comfortable love fades into Jung-hwan reciting the same passage in his textbook, about how you can’t help loving those who’ve been around you for a long time.

Deok-sun thinks Jung-hwan’s fancy English skills are annoying, and turns to Sun-woo to say, “I am raining.” He corrects her without calling her stupid, which says a lot of his character.

They eat ramyun and Sun-woo asks how the studying is going, and Jung-hwan points out that it can’t possibly be going well when it’s the first time she’s studying in eighteen years. She and Dong-ryong have given up on math altogether, but they think they have a shot with languages and demonstrate with their mastery of the English “can’t help ~ing” phrases like, “I can’t help laughing.”

Dong-ryong says even Taek doesn’t know that. Taek hands Jung-hwan the completed Rubik’s Cube that Hyung was so desperate to solve, and Jung-hwan says that even if Taek started studying for the first time today, he’d still be better than Deok-sun or Dong-ryong.

Taek’s dad calls out for the boys to help carry something in, and Jung-hwan gets left to clean up the table. (They all earn points for not leaving Deok-sun to do it, in my book.) When Jung-hwan picks up the table, his leg cramps up and he shouts, “Cramp [jwi]!”

He tells her to do something, so she goes, “Meow!” because jwi also means “mouse.” She does it again and again until he laughs, and then he’s rolling on the floor cramping and laughing at the same time.

Deok-sun heads out to school on a rainy morning and finds Jung-hwan waiting outside their front gate. She asks if he’s waiting for her, and he scoffs like that’s absurd, when he’s clearly doing that very thing. He says he’s waiting for Sun-woo so she joins him, which gives him a chance to steal little glances at her. But then Sun-woo’s mom tells them he left eons ago, and Deok-sun leaves for the bus.

It’s another bumpy ride as passengers get jostled back and forth, and this time Jung-hwan decides to do something about it. He squeezes his way towards the back of the bus where Deok-sun is and positions himself right behind her, and then creates this little space bubble to keep her from getting tossed around.

He does this entirely by brute force, using his arms to keep them both in place with all of his strength. It’s ridiculous and adorable and totally swoony. Deok-sun notices that she’s not being tossed around before she notices Jung-hwan, which seems impossible since he’s basically surrounding her on all sides.

But she finally turns around and sees him there, and he just looks away, pretending not to notice her looking at him. Then she looks over at his arm, which is practically turning purple with all the veins popping out as he strains to hold them in place, and she cracks a tiny smile.

 
COMMENTS

Augh, how can I not love Jung-hwan when he’s being so cute with his crush? He just grows funnier and funnier with each episode too, revealing that he’s actually just as dorky as his friends and just as thoughtful too, no matter how much he tries to hide it underneath that cool-guy, I-don’t-care façade. His storyline with Dad really made me melt, because of all the kids, he seems the most outwardly embarrassed of his parents and not interested in their feelings at all. So when he took it upon himself to go the dumb gag routine with Dad even though it probably made his insides curdle, I loved him just a little more. Of course his feelings for Deok-sun continue to be adorable (the bus thing totally slayed me), and so far his crush on her is outshining her crush on Sun-woo. At this stage I actually like it that Deok-sun has no clue about his feelings and I hope it continues that way for a while, because the secrecy (and his lack of stealth) is what makes it delightful to watch.

His dad’s arc in this episode really tugged at the heartstrings too, because he suddenly seemed like such a sad clown. He requires so little to make him happy—not even outright appreciation or gratitude, mind you—he just wants his family to be present and responsive, and when he had to force family fun time like that, I felt so bad for him. He might be a childish father and a silly husband, but it’s so obvious that he loves his family more than life itself. Deok-sun’s parents had some pretty tough moments in the last two episodes too, and theirs is a relationship that’s almost too true to life—decades of fighting and nagging where now even the fights have turned into a familiar refrain. But just when it seems like it could take a turn for the worse, Dad always manages to remind Mom that they belong together. And in the end, a hundred gentlemanly gestures from rich, well-mannered men can’t compare to one thoughtful gesture from the man she loves.

But the most moving thing in this episode was Taek’s storyline, which revealed some interesting (and some worrisome) things about his character. I don’t think I could handle it if his headaches aren’t just stress-induced, so he’d better not be taking any more medicine after this, ya hear me? Being a child genius sure isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be, even with Taek’s successful winning streak and world-championship fame. He seems stunted in every way that isn’t related to baduk, from basic hand-eye coordination to dealing with the emotional stress of losing. I guess it’s not really a coping skill you ever learn if you’ve never lost before, and it was clear that losing once nearly broke him. It was really tough to watch his reaction as everyone tiptoed around him, or offered those well-meaning words of encouragement that only drove him further into self-loathing hole.

What a perfect twist to have all the adults walk on eggshells around him to preserve the precious boy’s feelings, only to have his friends stomp all over him like they would if Deok-sun had failed another test, or if Jung-hwan had lost a game of soccer. They’d rib each other and be brutally honest, and that’s exactly what Taek needed—to be treated just the same, not any differently because he lost. They frankly don’t care whether he wins or loses, because either way he’s just their friend Taek who can’t use chopsticks, rain or shine. I love their refreshing approach—pointing out the big elephant in the room and swearing at it until it disappeared—not only because it made Taek smile again, but because it showed us that he can be carefree and silly and loud too, and that there are other joys in his life besides baduk. Their unconditional friendship actually teaches him about failure—that it’s okay to lose sometimes, because the people that matter in your life will love you all the same.

 
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Lmao

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haha I ain't gonna do the shipping thing anymore (fingers crossed)... but yes... Jung Hwan slayed me in this episode.

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imma join that angry mob
the writer and i are going to have words

you may only slay innocent puppies at the altar without mercy once (chillbong bb T___T)
never again

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And So it Begins...Haha.... Early days but i'm team JungHwan too

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THE FEELS!!!

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Sunwoo obviously doesn't feel anything for Deoksun yet, but if and when he does, I think he'll break my heart a little. The way he looks at her!! I don't even know if it's intentional on the actor's part or not, but, agh. That look. Jung Hwan is totally cute with his crush, though. He's going into uncharted territory (for him, at least) and the way he's reacting is hilarious and endearing.

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I for one i see him even when he is looking at her all smiling as somehow a brother looking at his sister,hat endering feeling even more if he might like Bora,her unnie...maybe i'm wrong but that's how i see him at the moment

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I think all we have to guess right now about SunWoo's feelings was the fact that he decided to wear the wet shirt even though it wasn't dry. Why would he put so much thought into what he was wearing to the study group...eh...eh? ;)

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I get the feeling that SunWoo actually likes Bora... though I haven't watched the next two episodes so maybe I'll be eating my words in a couple days. But it seems like something the writers would end up doing.

I also feel like I'd be so sad if SunWoo and JungHwan's relationships got strained because of crushes and such. The friendships in this drama are so real and so cute! They really stick with each other through thick and thin and know each other best. How they helped Taek in a way that no one else could was precious.

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I never expected that I would be fall for Jung Hwan this fast.

He's like the second Go Bok-Dong imo.

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Jung-Hwan...Jung-Hwan...JUNG-HWAN!!! If he is not the husband, I will riot lol. It's gotta be him.....

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Jung Hwan playing along with his dad's joke greeting is the best scene of this episode. It makes me cry more than reply 1997.

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I'm glad that Junghwan treated his dad better and did his silly gag. I understood why he ignored him, but it still hurt to see his dad treated like that by his family. He's such a sweet guy, if embarrassing, so it's good to see him happy again.

Sunwoo doesn't like Deoksun yet, but I get the feeling he could pretty easily. I'm still unsure about her feelings for him despite what she says. Junghwan is making me melt right now, but I really do love that she doesn't like him back right now and she doesn't know his feelings at all. He's so tsundere the minute she knows he'll stop doing it probably lol. It's adorable.

I feel Taek should take a break and go live a normal life for awhile. Recharge or something. It's sad to see someone so young so stressed.

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Of all the teenagers, Taek is the one I most want happiness for. I'd like him to get a girl, not nece either of the sisters, but someone who can make him laugh, be his conduit to the real world, a real good cook, may be a noona, to make up for the love he lost when he lost his mother, whom he misses every day.

And if the Song triplets at 3 years old can learn to use chopsticks by using trainers w rings for the fingers, he should be able to learn too.

That house of his is so quiet, so sad, with just him and his dad, who can't cook and is of few words.

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True he can still learn... But he'll never get good at those things because the brain's window of opportunity and the critical period for learning those basic things have already passed... But he can still learn to do them up to a satisfactory level.

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This is chopsticks we're talking about here not a foreign language. Chopsticks are easy to learn to use if use them every day.

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Jung Hwan is seriously squee-inducing XD
Go Jung Hwan go!
As someone previously pointed it out before, I think Sun Woo has a crush on Bora unnie, and I think during tutoring he was smiling at her too.
I watched the eps raw, understood 75% of it, then read dramabeans recap to fill in the gaps hahaha

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Agreed, I think he has a crush on Bora. They way he was so insistent on looking good for the tutoring session only but not any other time when he's just with Deoksun looks to me the he likes her. I think he would be a really good match with Bora. She's such a horrible character that his sweet and patient nature would calm her down and soften her. I think his crush on Bora would be the catalyst for Deoksun dating Junghwan. I don't think she really likes Sunwoo, she only started crushing on him because her friends told her that he liked her. It's not a natural crush,it was forced. I think she likes the idea that a boy likes her so she's going after him. Not that it won't still crush her when she finds out, she's built this fantasy in her head that sun woo likes her so it will crush her when she finds out he doesn't. Thats why we have the swoon worthy Junghwan~~

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Yeah, I agree too. I'm probably thinking that they'll prolong the reveal of Sun-woo having a crush on Bora for a few more episodes so that the tension and drama builds.

I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how their relationships change once the three of them are involved in the indirect love triangle through the years too.

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and the preview for episode 5, when bora got stalked (?) i guess, i don't know but why do i feel like it's going to be sunwoo who come to rescue her....

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It looked to me like she was being bullied. Which sorry to say she deserves to get her butt kicked. It's something her parents should have done a long time ago. I'm sure they will make her look sympathetic but she won't get any from me. I will never understand why they let her act that way. She mentioned age hierarchy well okay missy how can you talk and or treat your parents like that? Last time I checked they gave birth to her.

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@Britt she's not being bullied. She's an activist and thus is being chased down by authority figures.

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yahhh I love your deduction. No wonder next episode's preview involved Bora and Sunwoo, I really hope the show goes the direction you predicted!! please...please...

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reply 1988 story wise is so much better than reply 1997 and 1994. It's focus on family and friendship is so refreshing and meaningful. Urg andd JH seriously i love this guy.

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Even though it's still too early to judge, but so far, I think so too. 1988 is better.

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Agreed. Plus, I could relate to growing in the neighborhood more than fangirls or Seoul urbanization.

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can someone please help me to find the song when junghwan 's legs cramped? and the song in the bus scene!! :(

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i can't help falling in love with you by bob marley

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The bus scene is "Can't Help Falling in Love" by the band, UB40.

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김현철(Kim Hyun Chul)'s '동네' (Neighbourhood)

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Thanks for the recap. I found this episode so precious! The title of the song that Deok-Sun and Dong-ryong was singing in this episode during Bo-ra's Sunday tutoring session is "Ice Cream Love" by Yeom Byung Soo. So, I found it even more entertaining that the theme of this whole episode is all conneced with ice cream - from Jung-hwan's dad's ice cream to the dancing scene where all kids danced while holding ice cream in their hands to the same song.

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the song they're singing during the study session with bo-ra is "directo al corazon" by luis miguel! for those wanting to find it

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oo really?! thank you
but i cant find that song :(

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I'm officially shipping Jung hwan and Deok sun now. I hope I don't get it wrong this time :/

I'm still waiting for subs, so a big thank you girlfriday for the recap.

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Man, I grew up halfway around the world from Korea and those stirrup pants at the beginning could have been mine. I graduated HS in 1989, so there are so many things I can relate to (I loved my Walkman!). Anyway, these recaps are a godsend, since I've been watching raw waiting for devilfever to post subbed eps. Thank you for your hard work.

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just here to lol heartily at "devilfever". :-)

I love these recaps but I have to say either my self-control is going to grow exponentially to wait until subs are up before reading recaps or I'm going to learn Korean, because it is just a ROUGH time of it!

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Man, I love this episode.

I'm pretty sure from this episode that the endgame is going to be Jung Hwan, and this is coming from a Sun Woo shipper lol. It's so obvious. I get what the writers said about this series not going to be about husband-hunting b/c it's so obvious.

Taek really shone in this episode. I can see why a well-seasoned actor like PBG was needed for Taek even though the guy doesn't get any lines. It's not about what Taek SAYS but every nuanced facial expression, the eyes getting red like he's on the verge of tears, that sudden laugh when his friends made him laugh--wow. Just incredible acting.

I'm pretty sure Sun Woo has a crush on Bora. I actually can't stand that girl, I think she's such a condescending little A** but the previews show a totally new bada** side of her which is awesome.

And Jung Hwan's father? Dude, he is an amazing father who loves his family so much. I can't believe his family treats him like that.

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100% agree with you on PBG playing Taek. Everytime he's on screen, I pay extra attention. His every little facial expression pulls me in every time. When he greeted DS's parent and they invited him for dinner, his eyes, from a distance, were on the verge on crying or when the teachers came in to console him, you could see how he didn't give a darn on what they're saying because he's so beat up on the lost and the pain in his eyes were telling.

I know everyone loves JH and SW but my heart is with Taek!

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So true. My heart goes out to Taek. the way he puts himself under pressure, all too familiar. I friggin know this thing too well. how many times have I gotten sick because of that? Migraines, stomach aches, took me 25 years to realize health is more important. mental and physical. So Taek, please. Don´t break. Here I go again, taking a character for real.
It is all his fault though. Cause Park Bo Gum makes such an impact acting with his eyes alone. and why is there a screen in between us and the characters, when their sadness feels so real but you can´t go and give a hug? *bump* *kabonk*

I am wishfully thinking that Taek creeping in to everyones lives is a hint, and that mothers fighting over whose son in law he is going to be is another hint.
but there is no way, right, when there is this obvious pattern?

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If you compare the various role PBG has had, it becomes obvious he is a wonderful actor despite his young age. He makes each char distinct.

Here all we see is this lonely, serious, genius of a klutz, whose life would be so sad without these friends. Hats off to PBG!

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Omg.. samcheonpo.

Even though, he looks too young to be a father imo. But the actor is so versatile. I just watched "The neighbor", and he was a serial killer.

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Very nice episode! I'm still wondering how they will do 16 90 minutes episodes... I'm scared of the storylines to come...

There were many moments I loved. Besides the swoon worthy ending scene, Taek's cheering up scene as very heartwarming! And the Meow scene was cute too!

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Oh, and another thing.

I know it won't happen, but I actually ship Deok Sun with Dong Ryong haha.

I love their interactions, they're adorable.

The actor that plays Dong Ryong always makes me laugh so hard. He was hilarious in Divorce Lawyers in Love as well.

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This episode :')))))) not one character you don't care about. It really is more family centric (JUNG HWAN THOUGH.) It makes yoy care equally about Mom's happiness and Taek's baduk game and Junghwan's cramps. :D

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I am just wondering, what do you think about Hyeri acting? Is she did a good job? Because in every drama i've watched, i am always invest to the female lead acting. I am hesitant to see this drama........

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yes, she's good. her acting is not what you call reaaaally good, but it fits the character so much.

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I love her in this. The best actors are the adult cast, but as one of the kids she's comparable to the rest of them and really adorable. You feel sorry and should like Deok-sun from episode one. She's very easy to relate to and a fun character. There are no complaints about her at all. Check it out, the drama is great so far.

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She's not comparable. Like someone said, she's serviceable at best. However, I think her character is the least developed so maybe she'll improve?

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She's doing fine - if you liked the acting from the other females leads in this franchise, then you'll like her. The directors of this series do a good job of making actors tap into their full potential imo.

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She's just okay imho. At times her efforts to act/emote come across very strongly on screen. I find the leading ladies of 1st and 2nd franchise are more natural than her. Having said that, she is serviceable and we still have many episodes left so my opinion may change for the better later on.

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deoksun's meow scene gives me life tbh.

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Ohmigosh, I laughed so hard when she started meowing. Also Junghwan's routine with his dad.

When the episodes are 90 minutes, there are invariably 4 or 5 scenes where I think the scene is going 45 seconds too long, but this episode just flew by. Loved it!

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What if there's a major plot twist and it turns out Sun Woo has a crush on Deok Man's sister?

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I think that might definitely happen. I even think it's likely to happen. Some people have speculated that he likes Bora because of all the times he notices Deok-sun's things being her Unnie's.

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yeah i definitely think so …
i feel like he sees Deok Man in a cute older brother way
He's nice to everyone and I don't really see him treating her in a nice "i like you" way … What if all the times he came over to borrow her things, it was just an excuse to see Bora? But yeah, unlike Sunwoo, Junghwan's just adorable and too obvious haha
but who knows !

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I totally feel like the writers are egging us on like it's either gonna be hella obvious who the husband is like in Reply 1997 (with a hint of doubt) or just totally two-sided with Reply 1994.

Can anyone tell me why when Deok-sun calls for Jung-hwan, she says, "Kim Jung Pal?" like is that a nickname or the way she speaks or what?

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Lol reply 1994 was not 2-sided at all. The second lead syndrome was just overwhelmingly strong in that one, but all my friends who liked chilbong were those who wanted a similar boyfriend... If you watched the series and did not depend on recaps, AND if you were a boy and did not crush on any of the male leads, i think it would have been obvious where najung's heart was. Chilbong never had a chance because najung's heart didn't beat for him.

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Couldn't agree more!

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i agree with you...for me its pretty obvious where na jeong heart is....

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screw husbands, im just wondering who'll be gay this season and who'll break my heart lol.

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lol me too. Hoping its not taek cos hes already such a sad character already and we all know this series wouldn't actually have a gay couple :/

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this season there will be not gay character like reply 1994 (according to Shin PD).

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That sucks, really. I hope they don't let their homosexuals disappear as they move back in time. After all, in a group of ten friends, there will usually be at least someone.

They have already depicted two different outcomes: 1: Eternally lonely and 2: Probably being bisexual and awfully happy about that. Both are fine.

I would have liked it if they kept exploring the theme of being gay in eras that doesn't permit it. Someone who found love but had to be secretly happy would be an option. The bad outcomes that are so common in both movies and history is another. I wouldn't scoff if they let someone actually come out to their friends either.

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Honestly wouldn't it be a great twist it Taek turns out to be the husband? Or at least the rival for Deok Sun's affections? Because at this point it seems like Sun Woo is dead set on Bora, and her parents' foreshadowing isn't convincing me otherwise either. In dramaland, "I want him to be my son in law" means he will be their son in law by one daughter or the other lol

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nah it's not the same case with chilbong? remember when najung's parents all over him? lol

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yea same with junnie in 1997 when both the parents wanted him to be with shiwon because he was so good-looking... but he ended up falling in love with the first-place rebel

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The more I think about it the more I think he'll be the third person in the triangle. SW will try to win Bora over (good luck with that.... ) and Taek will go back to school and "grow up" some and be Jung Hwan's rival.

I don't think he'll win, but he's going to break a few fangirl hearts along the way.

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So far...the only two that could make me have internal shipping wars are Jung Hwan and Taek. Hopefully Taek never gets a crush on her so I can maintain inner peace. Oh, also, if she just marries some other random dude I'm so done. This series loves to troll viewers.

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DUDE! i've been thinking the same thing ever since they showed the future scenes! like how she could've dated one of her best guy friends but didn't work out and ended up marrying someone else! i thought it was a stupid idea but i thought it would be funny!

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I wonder why we both thought that!? It would be funny but I'd be annoyed, I think.

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Jung-hwan is such a sweetheart, falling in love with him from the beginning :') hopefully he turns out to be the husband although i'm pretty sure (95%) that he will be

You can tell that Sun-woo has no feelings for Deok-Sun but has a crush on her sister
1. He's nervous before the private tutoring with Deok-Sun's sister and decides to wear his best clothes despite it being wet
2. He often visits Deok-Sun's house to borrow a pencil lead, white-out to meet Deok-Sun's sister
3. When Deok-Sun was wearing her sister's clothes and asked Sun-woo what he though of it.. he immediately recognized it as her sister's clothes

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Wow, you're so perceptive... I assumed Sunwoo's crush on Bora because of #1 ... the white-out and Bora's jacket weren't even in this episode ... Do you like reading detective novels or something? :) :D <3

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Didn't even notice #2 and #3. You're really perceptive!

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this episode was great... of course it would be better if i could watch it with subs, but oh well! i was just happy Taek got to say more than one line and of course it ended up with him cussing it out. i love their friendship though because if you're brutally honest with each other, it means you got some true friends right there...
saying who the husband is though.. isn't it a bit early? i mean it's not even halfway through... and i really don't want to ship anyone because like in 1994 i was heartbroken Chilbongie wasn't the husband even though most of the clues led to him.
i really can't wait to see how the future scenes plan out because we already know what the husband looks like... REPLY 1988, PLEASE DON'T BREAK MY HEART!!! T-T

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Uhm the biggest clues that trash was the husband was in najung's unwavering feelings for him, as in reciprocated love. The biggest clues from the show that chilbong was not the husband were najung's unwavering platonic feelings for him and the fact that his feelings were one-sided. Like lol, the clues you talk about were ambiguous at best to mislead but the main female lead's feelings were just in your face giveaways. You just don't make a rom-com series that focuses on one couple's love story for major parts of the episodes and then have them end up with other people because the second-lead is swoonworthy... Chilbong is the classic second-lead case. The male lead is always portrayed as flawed so that he has more room to grow, change and be fleshed out in the end.

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yah your right....we saw it in na jeong expression where her heart is....

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@ABBA @dorz

Na ahhh~
YOU DON'T KNOW OUR FEELINGS AS CHILBONG TEAM!!!!
WE WERE WAITING FOR MIRACLE TO HAPPENS!!
JUST LIKE THEY DID TO DREAM HIGH!!!
WE CAN SEE THAT SUZY'S CHARACTER LIKED TAEC FROM THE VERY EP 1, BUT THEN ON EP 16 SHE CHANGES HER HEART TO THE 2ND LEAD!!!
WE WERE WAITING FOR THAT MOMENT!
DON'T YOU DARE SAID THAT NAJUNG'S UNWAVERED FEELINGS TOWARDS TRASH!!!
THERE'S NOTHING YOU CAN PREDICT ON KDRAMA!!!!!!!

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I love this drama! and especially the bus scene made me shouting awww since there was a very similar happening of my own in the past! good old days

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I think the husband will be Taek. He surely needs a break and someone happy go lucky like her....

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hahaha...me too..
i think deok sun will end up with taek....

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IM NOT EVEN WATCHING IT YET AND I AM ALREADY SHIPPING. IF ANOTHER CHILBONG HAPPENS IDK WHAT TO DO WITH MY LIFE BYE.

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Have you guys seen ep 5 preview? I dont understand korean..but sun woo yaaaaa T_T

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Thanks for the speedy recap, girlfriday, as always. After watching the episode raw, and then read the recap, now while waiting for the subs to come out it's time for me to re-watch the episode with the recap in hand, side by side :-)

Another wonderful drama that gives me the feels. Love all the characters, love their interactions (between friends, family members, families), even love the clothes! Well, love how the drama truly stuck to the 80s fashion, not that I love how they look..lol.. I can't believe I had one of those pants!

I'm currently in the stage where I am mostly looking forward to Taek's scenes. I noticed he's getting more and more screen time and I'm so happy :-D

That last screenshot is precious!

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What a great episode! Park Bo Gum's acting really shone here. That scene with the four friends teasing him, and swearing and dancing together was just so heart-warming.
By the way, did anyone notice that Taek's baduk instructor is also Jang Geu-rae's baduk instructor in Misaeng?

I also love that Dong-ryong, despite his looks, is actually the one with the highest EI among all the kids, and hence the one Jung-hwan approaches when he needs some "counselling".

Jung-Hwan's silly gag with his dad was so painfully awkward but I'm so happy he reached out first. And the polaroid photo showed all of them smiling :)

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omg, it's him. When i watch this episode, I'm like "i've seen this ahjussi somewhere" and then I read it here, lol.

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my guess was right when in 1997 i believed yoon jae is the husband of shi won... when in 1994 i strongly believed that trash oppa is the husband of na jeong ( my ultimate fav kdrama so far 1994 ). and now i believe that Taek will be the husband of deok sun...i dont know why but i have this feeling that there is a twist in this series...im looking forward for the other episode... ^_^

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haha Reply 1998 might throw us under the bus. lol. What if it's Taek or Dong-Ryong? haha... Idk why but when I first saw the teasers for 1988, I thought Park Bo Gum's going to be the husband. It's too early to tell though.

In the early episodes of 1997, I pretty much knew that Yoon Jae is the husband of Shi Won. In 1994 I fell for Chil Bong soooo hard that my heart just broke when Trash Oppa was revealed as the husband of Na Jeong. haha. Never going for ships after the 1994 Shipping Wars. I'm really enjoying 1988 so far. It just feels so realistic and so heartwarmingly nostalgic.

I like Sun Woo in ep 1 and 2 but Jung Hwan is sooo adorkable in eps 3 and 4.I hope I get to meet a guy irl who's a cross between JH and SW. lol... that would make for an awesome husband!

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hahaha...thats what i think also, i dont want to ship any team anymore because of the two previous series, although my team when the lead girl's heart and i dont want to disappoint my heart also...but this (reply 1988) makes me trill...hahaha...what the im crazy about thinking again whose end up with, and i have this feeling that it would be taek....

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I called it... One of them are going to die. I have this feeling its either going to be Teak or JH. and one of them are going to be the husband too.

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I mean the husband is either going to be Taek or JH!

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I've been a fan of the Answer me series since day 1. Okay, not much of the 1994. But still this series won me over. I'm so into Taek's character. I'm falling in love already!

Also, it's the first time for me to leave a comment after all those recaps I finished reading. I just want to send my appreciation to the whole dramabeans team. *highfive!*

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Despite how much I screamed that I wasn't going to watch this... I gave in and watched it yesterday, hurr...
I liked it (as expected) although... really? 1 hr 15 mins? This PD and writer should be awarded for directing and writing 20 X 2 movies.

I guess that's something only people with super-longtime best friends understand - I totally expected them to tease him about his loss (Taek, I mean). Between best friends, there's no such thing as tip-toeing or being careful unless you're the one who messed up big (BIG) time. Loved that scene. It spoke to me. Totally loved Park BoGum's acting too.

As an eldest child, I totally laughed at BoRa. I wasn't as crazy as her, but I sure see some degree of me in her. I totally smirked when she called DeokSun stupid to her face but tells dad that DeokSun has a problem focusing (and not really that she's stupid). That's so elder sis.

JungHwan is killing me, urgh.

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Also! Also, I hope DeokSun ends up woth JungHwan if only for his dad's sake. HAHA!

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Me too! I love his dad and he loves DeokSun, so she needs to marry into the family and they can do gags all the time. And annoy everyone. I also really have a soft spot for him because he gave her that chicken and said it was just for her. Nobody else does stuff like that for her, not her family for sure, so it was really sweet.

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I feel so lucky cause I watch reply 97 and 94 when it's already aired, cause my friend strongly recommend this series.... i should've wait til this drama ended.... I can even wait for oh my ghost till aired 10 episodes, but it's hard for this drama. blame my curiosity, the torture of waiting....

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I totally love the answer me series! I forgot about it then I come back to watch it and it makes me realise how much I love it. They have done it again, the cast is so perfect for their characters. I'm loving junghwan so much heart behind that cool exterior. And the friendship, with friends like that you can tackle almost anything in life. I hope it'd only get better from now on. It seems like the subtitles are taking longer to come out so this recap means a lot. Thanks drama beans for recapping.

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I love Reply 1994&1997.. and im loving this series too.. much fun and so thrill.. every end of the episode gosh, im always wishing to the next airing day to come fast.. up to this episode i wont ship anyone yet. Got the wrong guess in 94 and 97, still frustrated.. i cant afford to unguezz the correct husband this time.. but i love JungHwan and Taek here..

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Really loved this episode....tfriendship is indeed the best medicine out there...Also i really felt sorry for Jung hwan's dad this episode and i guess the family especially Jung Hwan experienced a little bit of what dad was getting all this time,or better being forever ignored,still loved that he tried to mend up even if it was sooooo awkward see him "respond" to those gags...I also liked how Sun woo corrected Deok-sun english without loosing control or calling her stupid(or other names),at least he iein't making her low morale about learning even more low,not even mentioning the funny duo singing of korean-spanish song,so funny...the ending scene is adorable as funny,as i kinda feel for Jung hwan struggle to keep them in place in that bus,he sure uses all his force to keep them there and earn points,he is quite charming when he takes action i won't hide it at all even more when at home he is this poker face,cool guy!

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I am not seeing this subbed in English anywhere. Where are you all watching this drama?

Thanks in advance!

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There are sites like Dramanice, DramaFire, and DramaCool where you can watch this subbed for free. However, it takes a while before they can release the fully subbed episode since the show's an hour and a half; and it's pretty filled with different dialects aside from the Seoul one, as well as references to old K-pop culture ;)

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P. S. Anyone know that song from the cramp scene up to that moment when they were standing in front of their gate? :3 Thanks!

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Ahhh, the bus scene. Sooo cute. We've seen guys protecting their girls on public transportations this way in dramas but this takes the cake. I thought he was going to do it in the earlier bus scene but I'm glad they saved it for later because it would have felt predictable then.This time, it felt more real and totally swoony! Besides the boys, I also enjoy watching Deok-sun's antics. She's so wacky and hilarious, but also adorable. Can't wait for next's episode!

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Superb

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My fave characters so far are Jung Hwan and Bora. Jung Hwan because how can you not with the bus, secret smirks, and waiting in the rain scenes. Bora because I can really relate to her being an eldest child and all (as well as to her fashion sense!). I actually hope that there will be an episode focusing on her own life outside the family and if there's a romance in there, why not? Oh and I also totally loved the interaction between Bora and Jung Hwan's brother seeing as she can be relatively tamed towards him.

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That scene in the Taek's room somehow make me feel nostalgic with friendship between Harry's parents in Harry Potter.
I imagine Taek as Lupin 'the different ones', Sunwoo as James Potter 'the moral holder', Junghwan as Sirius Black 'the Rich Charming Badboy', Dongryong as Peter Pettigrew 'the... I'm sorry, I don't know', and Doeksun as Lily Potter 'the lovable girl'. But I hope in this series Lily end up with Sirius... Hehe.

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But james potter is far from "the moral holder" he bullied snape several times during his hogwarts days

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I really loved this episode, and I'm loving 1988! I never watched 1994 because I didn't think it could beat 1997, but I'm thinking that 1988 is already better? My only concern is that each episode is an hour and a half plus the fact there are twenty episodes... I hope the episodes don't end up dragging! I didn't want to get caught up in the husband guessing game lmao but I just can't help it... but I think it's still too early for me to make any bets. Over everything though, I just lovelovelove their friendship. So cute!

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Really should watch 1994 b/c the "gang" is just as good (and better than the one in 1997).

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Taekkiieeeee!! He should be with in a love triangle with Dok sun and Junghwan! Lolololol! And yoh those sly eye flirting going on in Taekie's room! Hahaha so cute!

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Task really really worries me...

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I'm pretty sure Sun-woo likes Unni Bora at this point. Every time he comes over to borrow something or wearing the wet shirt, it's all for Unni. We'll see...

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OMG, I'm totally agree! Instead of crushing on Deok-Sun, I think Sun Woo is actually crushing on Bo Ra, just because he seemed so excited to join the tutor and always want to come to Deok-Sun's house to borrow anything.

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