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[Revisiting Dramas] Answer Me 1988: It hurts so bad it’s good

By Toni

I got excited with this month’s theme, as luckily enough for me, I had just finished rewatching Answer Me 1988 with the intention of killing time while waiting for School 2017 to air. But since it was a rewatch, I never expected to get all the feels again, and with greater weight than the first time. Knowing that I was in for hour-and-a-half-long episodes, my plan was to watch two to three episodes a day, but ended up binge-watching the whole series in three days.

In between episodes, I was seeking comfort for my aching heart, hoping that someone might just be feeling the same by rereading the recaps here at Dramabeans. As Deok-sun said, “The year was 1988, a time when it was chilly, but our hearts were fiery, a time when we didn’t have much, but people’s hearts were warm.”

Answer Me 1988 already had a special spot in my heart and watching it again definitely sealed that spot and made sure it would be permanent. Was it different the second time around? BIG FAT YES.

I didn’t realize that it was a sadistic move at first, but by the end of the first episode I knew what I was getting myself into with the lovelines, but I was so into it that I couldn’t just let it go. And so, I got to witness everything and feel everything all over again, while knowing who Deok-sun would eventually end up with.

Not that I don’t agree with who the husband was, because I do; it’s just that the emotional force was stronger somehow, knowing how it would end. And so it crushed me and made me bleed more for the one who blamed the traffic lights for not getting the girl, only to realize that it was his own hesitation that had held him back. I mean, it shouldn’t be that painful the second time around, right? Boy, was I wrong.

On the other hand, what changed for me when I saw the series again was that I was able to better understand Bora’s character and where all of her actions were coming from. At first, I didn’t like her for her dominant personality and sharp attitude towards her siblings and even her parents.

However, this time around, I had a better grasp of who she was, and was able to sympathize with her as someone who’s just not really good at expressing her emotions, smart as she may be; but she spoke with her actions. Her interactions with her father—who’s basically another version of her in a man’s body—hit me more this time as well. They spoke so little when they were together but their intentions were so palpable—they clearly loved each other so much, but they were too stubborn to ever be gushy about it and just admit it to each other.

What remained the same on my rewatch was my love for the strong familial bonds in the neighborhood, blood-related or not. I loved how all of the relationships woven together were each unique, but all felt real and relatable. I love how the Ssangmun-dong gang valued and respected their friendship so much that it came first before love, to the point that everyone was acting selflessly. It was so heartbreaking and so good that this kept friends from rushing to make a romantic move, knowing that someone else would be affected.

But if I were to choose a favorite among all the relationships portrayed, it would have to be the three ajummas, who were the definition of the kind of unabashed friendship that I would like to have someday. They constantly helped each other out without ever feeling the need to be repaid, simply out of affection towards each other—be it by joining competitions and ending up getting drunk to wash away the nervousness, or sneaking extra money into their constant food sharing when one is in need but reluctant to ask. Who wouldn’t want neighboring friends who are willing to move and follow you to your next neighborhood, just to have someone to play Go Stop or grow old with?

I was born a little later than 1988, but you don’t have to have lived during that time to appreciate and love this series. It’s a shout-out to our innocent and clumsy, youthful selves who made mistakes and learned to live by them, by embracing all the flaws and imperfections to become a better version of ourselves.

The simplicity of how people used to live back then and the efforts made make me want to be in that time as well. Given the continuous advancement of telecommunication, their handwritten letters and waiting by the landline for a call in the middle of the night felt all the more endearing and romantic. If I were to watch the series for a third time even after ten years, my heart would surely feel all the feelings again, and I might even love it more than I do right now. I just have so much love for this show. Oh, did I forget to mention that singing Cheetah Ra Mi-ran dancing to the egg vendor’s tape is the best?

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Oh man, what a show. Personally, I can't forgive the husband ending - I can accept that it would be Taek but nothing in the narrative convinced me it would be him, absolutely nothing, and I just feel scammed by it. A few tweaks in the writing and I could have dealt with it but ughhhhhhhhhh

Nevertheless, this is a great drama. I love all the older siblings and their different styles of interacting with their dongsaengs <3

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To clarify, I'm fine with Taek being the husband in theory but in practice it didn't make narrative sense with the way the story was portrayed to us. We didn't get to see Deok San's side at all and the flashbacks to try and convince us of his eventual personality change were laughable. Come on writers, give us more depth than that.

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I looooved this show, but I did feel the writers/producer did the actor who played her adult husband a disservice by not telling him who he was meant to be. I think the actor was good but picked the wrong guy to portray, obviously.

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I agreeeeee!! I believe I read somewhere that even PBG and RJY didn't know who'll 'get the girl' till close to the end though.. Although the production team has decided from the very beginning that it will be Taek. So I think all the dispersing of information may have led to a lack of coherence in terms of depiction?

I definitely remember feeling like there's a disconnection between PBG's portrayal of Taek and Kim Ju-Hyeok's (older Taek). I thought even the dynamics of the relationship between Taek and DS was different in their older age. Although I contributed that to the natural evolution of all relationships, it still didn't feel like it sit quite right..

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I understand it the older Taek talked how her father talked. Not like the younger Task. I really like Park bo gum but the older version didn't have that feeling of being a little uptight with very good control over himself

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I am watching the show for the first time knowing which ship will sail and I agree with you guys. Even if the writer did give hints about Taek being the husband in the 88 time, the present time husband was so unlike Taek. Even if KJH didn't know who the husband was, the dialogues he was given were just so unlike sth Taek would say and that makes me feel that the writer might have changed her mind by the end. If not then they should have given KJH proper, better dialogues that would represent Taek not JH. Or that might be their point all along- trying to confuse the audience in believing JH is the husband.

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but that is the whole point.. to throw people off.. who would want to show the older actor behaving exactly like taek .. for audience to know the secret in ep 1 itself? Important clues were given as deceptively as they could manage

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So true! The future husband was nothing like Taek's mannerism and speech (well cigarretes and interview-hating aside) that I was sure when I was live watching that all of Junghwan's secret little Prince Charming-moves will pay off in the end. But gaah was I heartbroken. They didn't even show him being happily married in the future. At least in R94 the writer had a conscience so Chilbong had the slipper-girl when Najung ended up with oppa.

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Maybe I was a bit biased because I was in team Taek when I watched this drama. But I chose Taek because I could see few hints, and one of them is when Duk Seon talked to Taek in the very beginning something like "grow up fast, so I could get married to you" and another one is, Duk Seon's present husband is smoking and only Taek's shown smoking.

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When they finally showed Taek smoking, that's when I thought it was game over for Jung-Hwan and my heart. Also, the scene where Sun-Woo told his mom Jung-Hwan doesn't smoke when she thought the pack of cigarettes was his. That said, I am now appeased by the fact Jung-Hwan and Deok-Sun are now dating in real life. :p

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I guess you could say I was lucky(? Maybe?) Is been spoiled to the out come and even listened to the podcast where Girlfriday talks about her feelings. I didn't plan on watching because I didn't like the deliberate bait-and-switch they pulled. But that drama has a lot of favorite faces. I'm fine with Taek as the end game, with a wall firmly up against his rivals. No matter how swoony they may be

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It's funny -- I completely disagree. Virtually EVERYTHING pointed towards Taek being the husband, the only reason people felt somehow scammed were ones unable to accept that the most obvious choice wouldn't be the planned one (which is fine and understandable, considering obvious and planned weren't separate factors for the endgames in r97 & r94). If the husband ended up being Junghwan (which it really wouldn't, not in any logical/conceivable way) absolutely nothing would have made sense AND the show would have lost its emotional impact.

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I agree with you. The drama has always been pointing to Taek as the husband. But more importantly I always felt the reason Taek was the "one who got the girl" is not because he likes Deok Sun but because Deok Sun has ALWAYS liked Taek BEST. The bonus for Deok Sun was that Taek likes her the same way without hesitation and with no reservation. Since, Im also a middle child, I can totally understand why Deok Sun would like Sun Woo when she thinks Sun Woo likes her, same goes with Jung Hwan. She only liked them when she thinks they liked her because for a middle child if someone singles you out as special and likes you that is your kryptonite hence they were her undoing. Good thing Dong Ryong told her that what is really more important is who she really likes because SHE IS ALREADY A GIRL WORTHY TO BE LOVED so the right question is who does SHE LIKED? The answer throughout the drama has always been obvious. She and Taek have always had a special bond. That is why they are the OTP. This drama was the best of all Answer Me series for me because the love story shown was just my cup of tea.

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I still haven't watched the last 2 episodes. I'm not sure if I'd be able to finish them even if Iwatch it the second time around.

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Omg me too! I still don't have enough courage to watch those two episodes!

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so I'm not the only one!!

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There are dozens of us! ??
Reading the recap is enough heartbreak for me and I don't think I will ever watch those 2 last episodes ever. Well..maybe if Ryu Jeon Yeol and Hyeri get married in real life, then I'll watch it .?

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oh same with me
i'm afraid to finish and rewatch it??

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I'm a big Junghwan shipper and I did manage to get thru the last episodes. With tears. Lots of 'em. Crying thru each Deokson-Taek scene and wailing why the universe is so not fair. But since Ryu Junyeol-Hyeri is a thing now, you guys might wanna brave the last two eps! ?

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same - maybe we should form a support group

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So there are others like me.. I thougth I was the only 1..Until today, I couldn't bring myself to watch the last 2 episodes..

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I want to give Reply 88 another try but I just can't justify the episodes being that long.

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I agree about the running time of each episode. Too long. In my book a drama should only be around 50 minutes. Even if my faves are in a drama, I still do not like having to sit through one episode for more than an hour. That being said, I finished R88. Loved it but some scenes were drawn out unnecessarily.

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Did you skip some scenes? I"m not a skipper so I just decided to let it go. I have the attention span of a goldfish so I just can't sit and watch a drama that has an hour and 44 min running time. The drama lost me then.

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Same, each episode is the length of a movie

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THIS. i did actually manage to finish all the episodes as it was airing, but nothing can justify those monstrous episode lengths. there wasn't a single episode where i didn't feel like i had to force myself to finish watching, which meant that i was a lot less emotionally invested in the characters than i would've liked. it's one of the reasons why the husband reveal didn't bother me as much as it should've - because i was so emotionally checked out by the end that it didn't even really matter LOL. it makes me sad, because r88 had this somewhat unusual, heart wrenchingly melancholy vibe that i normally really dig, and it also had these really well-written, layered relationships (i related so much to bora and her dad), but it was just too much effort for me to focus on them in the midst of all that filler.

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Same. I think if I wasn't live watching R88, I would never have finished. ? But at that time, I just loved loved loved the show but it left me physically drain watching 3-hours worth every week. My back ached, my eyes blurred.. Or maybe I'm getting old. Lols ?. Still, some parts I felt like I forced myself to watch

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I thought watching this for the nth time would make my heart ache less for JH knowing that Hyeri and Ryu Junyeol are dating but then it hurt the same... I still get tears in my eyes for the touching parts and burst out laughing in the funny ones. I miss the parents and the friends who made Ssangmundong so lively. This is the only drama that I can watch over and over again and still feel, if not more, the emotions they evoked the first time I watched it.

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Love this show. Did not care for whatever ship/otp. The families and friendships were truly gold. I watched for those and came out with my heart feeling full.

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I watch it for the families as well. This show hurts me not because jungjwan didnt get the girl, but how similar their dynamic and situation with my own neighbourhood where I grew up as a kid in 1980s.

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I rewatched this series as well coincindentally Hyeri and Jun Yeol's dating news broke out *swoon*

I was a Jung Hwan shipper when I watched the series first. But when I watched this the second time around, I could see all the foreshadowing, all the clues that would point Taek as the husband. I love both boys though - they're so well-written and well acted by both amazing actors.

I still cry whenever I listen to the theme song "Ssangmun-dong" and remember all the heartwarming moments the family and friends shared in that street. <3

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This is a drama that I love so much it hurts! But I don't think I would have the courage to rewatch it and go through all the pain once again.. I teared a little reading this post. Oh Jung Hwan, what have you done to us!

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Goodness, you watched all of this in three days? Does it even fit into three days? From what I remember, poor girlfriday recapped the whole thing and was despairing as the episodes gradually crawled from 90 minutes to close to two hours per episode.

This was the best show ever until that twist ruined it all for me. I'm not a 'shipper' and I love Bogummie more than anyone, but that totally killed the story. I couldn't bear to watch it again. I wish they hadn't done that. Oh, well.

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Is R88 worth the time??

I am completely blind over Rep series, except R97 which I also skip for some part ( I think I need to rewatch to understand the whole meal), but so many people rave out about R88.

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This just happens to be the only Reply drama I've watched. I didn't care about the romance or the whole husband thing. I enjoyed watching it for the family relationships and friendships. I found the parents more interesting than the kids.

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thanku so much! i will put it under family binds when I want to watch something warm ^^

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Hmm. What was your reason for skipping through 97? If it's because of time length, then you'd be skipping so much more in 88. It's three times longer than 97. The family plot in 88 is really good though, it's worth watching just for that. I didn't finish it because of the length but yeah, story was quite awesome.

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@earthna I dk the exact reasons, but I do always a picky watcher since I've been Kdrama minions for 9years :( the irony of us.

I love the fast smart wacky banter between casts. (Eun Ji & her father dialogue are gold). Smart & short dialogue is my trope. And Shi Woo's loves for Tony & the whole crazy fan antics is the very reason I love 97 (since I'm 90's kids, BoA Fly to the Sky & KangTa were our superhero. Nobody understand this better than us lol)

But sadly I recall other than that, I didn't get sold by other things, including the love story btween Shi Woo & the bros.

I just afraid 88 accent & the whole nuance will be too suburban ( I still love a lil bit fashionic touch), or the dialogue can turns oldie n moving in slow pace. Since the timeline is too far away from my era or the tittle has nothing to do with the actual era? lol. Oh, is it funny?

How about R94?
Thank u so much btw for ur feedback sorry if make me like a pricky just to watch a drama lol, but we just afraid diving into dead sea rite? ^^

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If you haven't finished R97 (its the shortest sweetest series imo), I wouldn't recommend R94. Gah, the husband trolling was worse in that drama! If I live watched it, I would've irreparably heartbroken. ? Try R97 first. It's so, so good. Save R88 when you have lots of time and patience. Or if its raining you want to watch have homey, warm soup of a drama. ?

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It is worth the time. I watched a few episodes of 97 too but couldn't get into it maybe because I just can't ever get into high school storylines. 88 is more about family and friendship bonds than love itself which was more in 97. I kept delaying 88 because of the length too but if you have enough free time then time just passes by. There are hardly a few episodes where I thought that there was filler material otherwise you don't even realize when the episode ends.

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I feel the same way about this show! It was the best for me until the husband twist. Now I too can't bear to watch it again 'cos of the heartbreak I am guaranteed to feel again and again if I did. I loved R97 and R94 that I've watched them twice, but this one, no. Whenever I hear the song "A Little Girl" my heart still feels a pinch.

I only look back fondly on the Ahjumma Trio and the friends' shenanigans when they were together as a group

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That Little Girl song! And they played in Junghwan's pseudo confession! God, I was crying for daaays. Maybe even weeks. Even now when I hear that song! ?

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Yes! Everytime I hear it all of Jung Pal's scenes replay so vividly in my mind! ? Gosh this drama is amazing in the way the feelings associated with it lingers after all this time ?

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My all-time favorite drama! The best drama ever, 'nuff said.

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Thank you for this post, Reply 1988 will always have such a special place in my heart ❤️ ❤️❤️

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Reply 1988 was really all about friends and family. I love it so much :)

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I agree! That was my favorite part of of the drama. If only the episodes weren't so long, it could have been my favorite out of the series.

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I'm all alone here, liking Taek. ?

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No, you're not! I love Taek, maybe because I'm myself is an introvert (though not as much as him), so I can appreciate his way of seeing things. We are used to be misunderstood. We can be totally quiet (because large group overloads us due to our over-sensitivity to social interactions) but show more sides of our self to those we're comfortable with.

And both Jung-hwan and Taek are great guys for Deok-sun. I just appreciate Taek more, because he knows what (who) he wants, he fights for her, hard, and he's totally unapologetic about it all.

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Yes. Taekie knows what he wants and doesnt hesitate to go all-in when the situation calls for it. That was his advantage. JungHwan is a sweet guy and was a good contender for DS's heart. DS is lucky to have amazing guys around her.

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I love Taekie! ? You are not alone. I had a soft spot for him the first time he showed his cute adorable face. The mother-less boy whom the entire group doted on. I knew that Duk-seon favored that boy. And it sealed the deal for me when she told her friends that they can meet the other boys in her street. But Taekie, genius baduk player, is off-limits to them.??

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Yeah, definitely not alone. PBG is so convincing as Taek.. although I like the Jung Hwan character too. They do say it's all fair in love and war but both guys considered their friendship first & that was kinda sweet. Ultimately though they both hesitated and ended up trying to 'strike' at around the same time--which is a bit frustrating ?

But that scene where Taek arrived, panting to find DS waiting alone in front of the concert hall, that truly won me over (& later you found out that he missed a match to run to her)..

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Oh yes, I love that scene too!

Baduk is his life, yet he’s demonstrated that Deok-sun is way more important than that. He forfeited his match (for the first time ever) just so he could accompany her to a concert when she’s forced to do so in lacking warm clothes. It’s not a life-or-death situation, it’s just a concert and what’s at stake is only her pride, but that’s enough reason for Taek. That’s when you know that this boy will do just right by her and will give her the well-deserved priority and spotlight that she sometimes lack (due to being a middle child). Even more points to him because of the fact that he did so without much fuss. He just decided and did.

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Yassssss!!! I do like the JH character too and understand that one of the ways he won the audience (&DD to a degree) is cos of all the little, sweet gestures he made from early on in the series. It was all really nice and rather gentlemanly--makes you feel all "awww" just watching it.

But I think Taek is unafraid to go all out and that, in a sense, is putting his 'money' where his mouth is. Like you mentioned @silverdrafts , baduk is Taek's life. But that day, he made a clean and clear decision which just further shows how much DS means to him.

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No, I love Taek too. I recently watched it after dropping it midway through when it first came out. I think this is one show that is actually improved by spoilers. Knowing she would end up with Taek, I could see the little hints they dropped throughout the series, like when she chooses his mittens over Jung Hwan's. And Taek is just adorable. Their romance was definitely underwritten, though. Bora and Seon Woo got so much more screen time! And even though I shipped her with Taek, my heart still broke a little for Jung Hwan.

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Agree. I think why DS-Taek ship is a tough pill to swallow for me is bec their love story is 'underwritten'. They were always painted as friends-friends not so much romance (til Taek confesses his feelings). The show lingered more on Junghwan's pining and longing stares (Gah, the heartbreak!) But I do adore Taek (who doesn't). He and DS live happily-ever after in R88 dramaverse and Junyeol dates Hyeri irl. All's well! ?

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I like him too! team Taek unite!

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#TeamTaek here since the first episode :)

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1988 is my favorite Answer Me. I enjoyed all of the storylines but I still don't agree with the OTP.

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Honestly just reading this brings back the excruciating pain i felt after hearing who the husband was going to be and even though my otp got together in real life, it doesn't make up for the drama ending lol! That said, R88 is def my favorite korean family drama (which reminds me i have to add it to my favorites on dramabeans)

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Im still of the belief she was supposed to end up with who most of us wanted her to buy because somone gave spoilers they ruined it for everyone else lol!

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me too... i think it get worse when i somehow decidedly to watch last 3 episode live. i envy those who watch this drama after its run. at least you know what to expect already. even with hyeri-junyeol dating news wont get me to watch the last 2 episode again. that is how traumatic it is to me.
nonetheless, this writer is really good at creating a heartwarming family drama. Kim family is really memorable. too bad, we only know how jungbong live is, in 2016.

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I've watched Reply 1988 thrice, and thrice I cried in almost every single episode. The familial love, and the lovely friendships (be it the Ssangmundong gang or the ajumma trio or the silently supportive father figures) warm my heart. This is why this is one of my favourite shows, and Ssangmundong/ Hyehwadong remains as one of my favourite songs ever.

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I think what I really enjoyed about Reply 1988 wasn't just the heartwarming friendships between the Ssangmundong gang, but just how much the parents themselves were developed as characters.

And the ending with all of their younger selves together was enough to cause the onion-cutting ninjas to appear. Loved the sense of nostalgia that pervaded it!

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I love this series so much. Part of what drew me is the warm family vibe of these people who just happen to live on the same street. It reminds me a bit of my childhood. I have a large extended family and we practically grew up together. So I just wondered how it would be on a different part of the world. I realize thats it not any different. I had my own fair share of dramas but at the core its a group of people living their lives the best way they know how.

Plus I want to be one of those three ajummas when I get older. Part of this close knit group who would help me without expectations. I have friends irl who are just as amazing as them hopefully we continue to be as close. And grow old as wonderfully as these three Moms/Ajummas.

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I knew it would be taek from the time duk seon pat his butt while hurrying for school..

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Watched it 2 times without even calculting tineswhen i rewatched specific episodes and still brought tears to my eyes and warm to my heart ???

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"I love how the Ssangmun-dong gang valued and respected their friendship so much that it came first before love, to the point that everyone was acting selflessly..." Oh man, no truer words T.T

This will forever be one of those Shows where all the emotions, feelings, pangs, heartbreaks, and all else will always make me feel the same, hurt the same, make me get all giddy the same.... but most of all, make me love this Show all the same, yet, more intensely with every re-watch <3

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i was verrrry late to watch this series -- like last month!

i LOVED IT!! i loved the families, i loved the parents, especially the moms who sent food to one another's families daily, who supported one another anytime there was a crisis or change or situation... they were the total HEART of the series -- and if i could write fanfiction to follow the series, it would be that all the kids would keep in touch and stay close and run to be there for one another...

but alas, the reality is that the kids did not (unlike the Reply 1997 kids)...

i am still tickled to know that Ryul Joon Yeol and Hyeri are dating -- fanfiction doesn't get any better than THAT, right?
; )

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It is a good time to watch Answer me 1988. I am watching it for tefirst time righ now and I see so many watching or re watching it. Thanks Toni, your review made me feel better about not live watching the show and not being a part of recaps and comments right now.

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I actually just finished my 6th re-watch and 4th dramabeans recap re-read just two weeks ago. Still not over it. The one thing I can't do ever again is read the comments because it got too ugly... although I look at the numbers and remember how invested everyone was.

The husband was always a toss-up for me.... knowing what the franchise is. Admittedly, I was Team Taek and overjoyed... but still so sad for Jung Hwan. I wish we could have seen a glimpse of everyone being happy years down the road.

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the thing I hate about this show is the second lead syndrome oh man it hurt so bad

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The drama is re-watchable and although each episodes are long, it doesn't feel long. That's how good the drama content is with all the relationships in the neighborhood, family, and friendship. But re-watching also made me see things I couldn't see before. Like the editing is manipulative to invoke the viewer emotions. Somehow I was very frustrated with it.

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I was born a little later than 1988, but you don’t have to have lived during that time to appreciate and love this series.
This is pretty much the entire reason why I love all the Answer Me series so flippin' much. I'm not even Korean and don't get all of the references, but the series does a fabulous job at creating charming and relatable characters and stories that anyone and everyone can identify and connect with.

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I am still yet to understand just what exactly gave people second lead syndrom and why they were mad.
when I rewatched it, I kind of paid more attention especially to the dads. it was easier because the first time everyone was predicting Taekie to die because of his headache like "those pills mean he is sick! they refer to him in the past!" etc. and then that fake scare with the plane, I actually fell under the influence and thought maybe. but it soon turned around and I was so relieved.

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I have to admit this was my favorite in the franchise, but I thought it was too recent to be 'revisited.' I'll never forget how Madagascar sort of became 'best supporting country' with its participatiin in that Olympic fiasco for our main girl. I mentioned this to a friend in Madagascar and she thought it was funny.

Drama crossed my radar again recently with the news that second-lead boy got the girl IRL. Good for them! Made me want to watch it again and see if there was extra crackle in their chemistry onscreen.

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you are like me!! i'm watching Reply me ALL SEASONS Again and i will watch them again and again and again. i'm from Iran. i found them like People of my country. Relations of family members, neighbors and friends. I wish tvn will take on air the next chapter of these series. (sorry for my bad engilsh)

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Though i was very upset that Doeksun did not end with Jung Hwan, ( i skipped the finale ep) the BEST thing i loved about this drama was the friendship and rapport between the elder cast. Love them to bits. They stole the show from the younger lot. I could watch the mother's meetings and their hilarious antics all day long and never get bored. It deeply saddens me that , the society and the times has changed so much, that we dont have time to spend with out neighbours and chit chat freely like them. The caring and sharing attitude has gone and its always 'ME' than 'US'.
This drama would be the drama that i really truly wished for the female lead to end up with second lead.

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I am currently watching this drama for this first time so was spoiled about the whole husband mystery, and have never watched any of the other Answer Me series amd wild debates about them before. So I made the unusual decision not to watch the "future" segments (especially after a first glimpse of one if them I just felt a disconnect). I personally have never liked in movies, tv, or books when we time skip to see "where they are now", especially when a show is about teenagers, young adults. I enjoy the in the moment here and now journey (whatever time period it is set in), and can imagine for myself where they might go from there. And for me, I enjoy watching their youth and how I remember my own. The friendships between the parents and families and kids is way more important to me than the romance anyways. Although the romance is great, for me I want to see the tug of the two boys and leave it open ended and hopeful for both about the outcome. It is in that moment, not the future that matters. Which has made it so I don't feel betrayed about the potential "outcome", since I am not watching that part anyways. I can enjoy it for what it is. Friendship, family and growing up, it is all the same and important no matter the time or place.

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The parents in this drama hurt my heart in the best way. Especially, for some reason, the little scene where Jung Hwan's dad talks about being embarrassed of selling jajangmyeon, and how happy it made him when his kids ran to him in the street. Makes me tear up every time I think about it, more than any swoony romance has ever done.

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Love me this show so very much and the fact that my OPT was the ONE!! was like ice cream on top of more ice cream. I loved my Taek so much and loved the grown up actor that played him, one of my favorite korean actor.

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I am gonna rewatch this today because you made me remember how much I enjoyed this series. Thanks

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What made the Ajummas so great was how well rounded they were. They were women, point blank. They weren't just mothers, or wives, or house keepers, just women. They had real emotions, wants and desires. Watching these women flirt with their respective partners, laugh with their friends, and travail over what age does to your body was so relatable. One of the rawest moments, IMO, was when all the mothers were together and Dong Ryong's mother discusses her stance on motherhood. What woman has not felt the pressure of deciding between working and motherhood. Or felt guilty for choosing one for the other?

For me, these women were some of the realest women I've ever watched on television. American, Korean or otherwise. I felt myself grow with this show and it made me realize that though I am a mother, I'm still me. There's no reason why you have to lose your identity to become a parent.

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"There's no reason why you have to lose your identity to become a parent."

This +1000, because when my girlfriends and I get together, we're just us, no perfect parents here. And my kids can roll their eyes all they want when they see us acting like teenagers!

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To all you shippers- I wasn't even shipping anyone- I was there just to watch the friendships. But after I finished the series- the last couple of episodes were actually my favourites. Where the resolutions ended. I think it's a disservice to yourself not to watch it. It gave me the warm fuzzies like watching where my friends ended up.

Can't be bothered about my age now since the Korean hairdresser called me ahjumma the other day. But the whole era- and leaving high school- made me miss my childhood and high school friends so much. So yeah, totally think Reply 1988 is a fantastic series. And my mum just met up ( cos' I arranged to meet up with my old neighbourhood friend this year after almost 30 years not seeing each other) with her. I am almost in tears remembering what it was in those days in Asia.

So forget about the freaking shipping and enjoy those innocent times. The music. How parents could spend time with the children. Where no one is busy talking selfies or glued onto their mobiles instead of interacting.

That, and crushing on a boy in class. Or hanging out together and NO RECREATIONAL drug use ( barring cigarettes)- cos' you know, hanging out in malls and driving dangerously ( and causing injuries ) are more the things that happens now in 2017.

There, that's my adult me saying Reply 1988 rocks. Focus on the important things. Not the whole stupid Taek and JH shipping war. That was totally nuts.

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I wouldn't have minded who the husband ended up being but I was more upset that we didn't see adult Jung-Hwan ...

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I attended the elementary school reunion and found 2 friends who also turned out to be very crazy about this series. There is no other way. Coming home from the reunion I made an What's App group specifically to discuss this series and then another drama as well. Want to know what this group profile is? The five of them were eating ramyun and smiled at the camera! (^O^)

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