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[Revisiting Dramas] Does Answer Me 1997 stand the test of time?

I chose to rewatch Answer Me 1997 for this month’s theme post because, like the characters in the drama, I think of when I first watched it as a much more innocent time for me in terms of drama-watching. It aired just months before I started watching Korean dramas regularly, and in the process of marathoning this drama that I’d heard was so good, I discovered the site that would soon be responsible for changing my life — Dramabeans. Answer Me 1997 was the first drama that I watched while following the recaps closely, because I was new enough to Korean dramas that I wasn’t familiar with the music and historical events that shaped the lives of its characters.

But it still sparked a nostalgia for my own youth, a time when the future lay ahead of me full of potential and promise. I bonded with Shi-won and her friends as I recognized them as kindred spirits, regardless of my very different culture and upbringing. Although I wasn’t familiar with the bands and music that Shi-won loved, and although 1997 was a tiny bit past my own teen years, I remember feeling that passionate about the entertainers of my own time and place (Madonna! Michael Jackson! Nirvana! Prince!).

But now, after having been practically marinated in Korean music, television, and language for the past four years, many of the cultural jokes and pop culture nod-and-wink moments actually make sense to me, and in that sense this rewatch has been tons of fun. Yes, Dramabeans told me why the jokes were funny when I first saw the show, but now I really get it. In particular, the rivalry between the fans of H.O.T. and the Sechskies was hilarious this time around, because not only do I know those groups now, but I also understand the deep and intense love and loyalty a good fangirl has for her oppas. Shi-won’s full-body temper tantrums make more sense, such as when her father ruins her Club H.O.T. raincoat, because now I know how hard it is to get your favorite boy band merchandise!

My shameful secret is that I have a terrible memory for details, so once a drama is over and I’ve moved on to the next one, all but the most broad plot points and dramatic scenes fade away. I can remember the general shape of a show, and the big scenes that had the most impact, but mostly what I’m left with is the emotions that a drama made me feel. In that sense, Answer Me 1997 has remained one of my favorite shows because it made me feel so much, both for the characters and their growing pains, but also for what it made me remember about my own experience as I matured from child to adult. In 1997 I was buying my first home, apprenticing under a master pastry chef, and planning a wedding — it was a very busy and emotional time for me. Answer Me 1997 made me remember how it felt to be on my own, making grown-up decisions as all the while, that voice in the back of my head kept asking, “Who decided it was a good idea to let me be an adult?” (A question I still ask myself often!)

The main, and most obvious, difference between my original watch of Answer Me 1997 and seeing it again now is that when I first watched the drama, all of the actors were new to me. It was early enough in my drama-watching that I wasn’t even peripherally familiar with them, and I went in completely blind. They were mostly rookies then, but in the years since I’ve followed their careers and have become very familiar with them, and have recapped shows with them multiple times. But they made such an impression as the kids from Busan that to this day, this drama is the first thing I think of when any of their names comes up.

There are things about watching a drama for the second time around that will always make the experience very different. The first time I watched, a year after the drama aired, I somehow managed to stay unspoiled in regards to the husband-hunting mystery that would become such an iconic fixture of the franchise. Of course the rewatch loses a bit of its nail-biting quality when you know how the love triangle will turn out, but I still found myself pining right along with Yoon-jae every time the love of his life went out with his big brother. I’d forgotten how frustratingly stoic he is, how he just grows more and more distanced and grumpy with Shi-won, and how she’s so bright and cheerful that at first, she barely even notices.

Speaking of love triangles, Joon-hee’s impossible, unrequited love for Yoon-jae will always be one of my favorite cases of second lead syndrome. Coming so early in my drama-watching career, I had no idea how rare it is to see a same-sex loveline in a drama. Watching Joon-hee pining for Yoon-jae, loving him desperately despite knowing that Yoon-jae could never love him back for so many reasons, was almost harder to watch this time around. I think we all know how much it hurts to love someone that you know will never return your feelings, and Joon-hee’s story just tugged at my heart in such a perfectly painful way that hasn’t softened at all since watching it for the first time.

Answer Me 1997 remains timeless, in a way that feels sweet and innocent, particularly when I think about its spin-offs. While I related more closely with the coming-of-age struggles in Answer Me 1994 and the theme of how family is what you make it in Answer Me 1988, there’s something about the first in the franchise that will always remain my favorite. The way it portrays youth, optimism, and innocence are special in a way that became expected in the subsequent spin-offs, and though they were still executed beautifully, and even had arguably more painful love triangles (never have I been more torn than I was between Garbage Oppa and Chilbongie, and the twist in 1988 still kills me), they didn’t have that same sort of puppy-breath newness to them.

I think that the main thing I learned with this rewatch challenge is that what’s changed isn’t the show or its themes, which definitely hold up even against the changing drama scene in the last five years. The biggest thing that’s changed is me — the way I watch dramas, the way I process and analyze the relationships, the way the themes resonate with me now that I’m a more experienced drama-watcher. A large part of that is the result of recapping dramas for the last few years, and I’ve noticed that it’s even altered the way I watch and enjoy American television. But the question that I went into this challenge asking myself was simple: “Will it be just as good the second time around?” And despite all of the over-analyzation, the answer is no. It’s even better.

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This is one of my favorite dramas of all time! Reading your recap made me nostalgic for things I wasn't even around for lol. Tbf, he show made me feel the same way lol.

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I loved and totally agree with what you said that the show never changed, it's the viewers that do. As we grow and experience different things in life, for better or worse we change and react to the same things differently.

The answer me series has really taught me to value my youth and I have enjoyed them all (especially 1997 and 1988- taek is too cute omg)

This was written wonderfully, thank you I really loved reading it (it brought back great memories and invited me to think over the story again) :)

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“Who decided it was a good idea to let me be an adult?” The question of a lifetime. ? Answer Me 1997 will be my forever favorite of the franchise (Would have been '88 if the eps weren't ridiculously long)

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I still ask myself that question everyday. I was about the same age as the characters and can definitely relate to 1997 even though I lived on a different continent. But what I learned from the AM dramas is that not everything is perfect and life goes on.

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Being an adult is just making it up as you go

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Agreed. I vacillate between AM1997 and 1988 for best drama EVER, and although 1988 has my heart, 1997 is painted in my heart with the thrill of youth, and the experience of watching something altogether unique and poignant and precious. Watching AM1997 was the funnest drama-consuming experience ever. Yoon Yoonjae + Sung Shiwon forever.

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Honestly, I planned to gather up my courage to join this month theme and write my very first resume of this certain drama. But then, I realized that I couldn't simply say I revisited this drama after certain period when I did it so many times. Rewatching Reply 97 is becoming a routine already. I can even recall what each episode major plot, when is the certain kiss scene happened, where can I get a certain joke, I could even remember where to find some of the music background (and this is the hardest). The feeling of watching Shi-won and the squad is somehow growing as I rewatched it time to time. I agreed with LollyPip that it's us who changed, and I feel it too whenever I rewatched this show. While back then I watched them simply for their romance and comedy, now I appreciated their small talk, their eyes locked, the soundtrack, and even the side characters. And it makes me to appreciate the writer, the PD, and their cru even more. This production is one of the best things in life, that I do feel grateful to be able to have it in my life.
This drama also what makes me to be unordinary Jung Eun-ji's fan. And I met my best friend through it. I can't ask for more, this is the best!

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This feels like a love letter to the show. I love it. It makes me want to give the show another try someday...maybe!

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I have also watched Reply 1997 countless times. For me, it has become the show that I will put on whenever I just feel a craving, almost like comfort food. And depending on why I am watching it, different notes in the show stand out, so every re-watch is a little different for me. To be honest, the show is centered around very different lives than mine (I was three in 1997), but I found I could relate to something in almost every character's story, even the side characters. There was magic in how the show managed to portray youth the first time around. And as I have gotten older, I realize just how good the show is at depicting memories of being young as well. I recommend this drama to everyone I can, even just to try it out because if they have even a fraction of the love I have for this show, it is well worth it.

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"I could even remember where to find some of the music background (and this is the hardest)"

CAN YOU PLEASE TELL ME IF YOU KNOW THE SAD PIANO INSTRUMENTAL THAT IS ALWAYS USED IN THE BACKGROUND? I tried searching it for years and can't find it!

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Which episode you're talking about? ? Cuz most of the songs I remember are not the instrumental ones

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-S9HXFpTOk starts @ 0:50 - 1:30. I swear I hear it all the time in the drama. I badly want to find this instrumental!

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honestly my first reaction reading the title is "why are people already revisiting reply 1997 it was on 2012--OH CRAP THAT WAS 5 YEARS AGO!"

time surely went by past. this drama along with sufbb and queen in hyun's man on 2012 were what made me finally paid attention to tvN. I watched it for the first time when I was around the characters' age, so I can relate to them, especially Shiwon's devotion and obsession towards her idol. I rewatched this once in a while, but I have never gotten bored of it. it's still my favorite reply series out of the three, simply because it's the one that makes me feel nostalgic the most.

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Oh my, Queen Inhyun's Man is still the best romance in my heart. Along with Reply, these two helped me get through my hellish thesis period. Hhahaha.
How can even forget that tiptoe kiss scene! So hot, so romantic! And Bong-do's pout!!

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Currently watching AM 1988 and loving it. I wonder why I put it on hold all this long but its surprising how I could never get into AM 1997. I think it might be because the show has many high school scenes and I am unable to get into a high school show even if BOF was my gateway kdrama. Or maybe becuase it focuses so much on love, idk honestly. I remember watching a few episodes and liking the humor which I guess was the best in AM 1997. I hope I catch up to this after AM 1988.

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I could not get into AM 1997 as well. I have not finished it. I will give it another go sometime. On the other hand, I absolutely love AM 1988. Made me bawl a number of times. I did not care for the ships. I was in it for the family and friendships.

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Honestly this is my favorite. I still remember crying like a baby until my eyes were swollen at the part where Shi won found out dad's "cancer". The jean/cancer debacle was so so relatable: the tantrum, the crying, the regretting....

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Yeah, that scene in the show still gets to me. Even though nothing that dramatic has ever happened to me, I am unfortunately acquainted with the feeling of realization I have taken my parents for granted.

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This still stands as my #1 favorite drama of all time. I love this show to bits, and you are absolutely right... it isn't just as good the second (or third or fourth) time around. It is even better. <3

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This drama is one of those things like sports and videogames for me...I wish that I could partake and enjoy and chat about it as much as and with others, but it just didn't happen! I thought the Tae Woong x Shi Won romance far fetched in how it was presented, especially because he had loved her sister and was a teacher (as a teacher that disturbed me even more!) I also couldn't love Shi Won! There! I said it! I'm sorry! I thought she was selfish and fresh, and she reminded me of the deranged boyband fanatics I saw on MTV when I was in middle school that I could never understand. Did I like the guessing game? Loved it! Did I like the group of friends? Loved it! Did I enjoy that infamous orange and brown outfit from the kiss scene? YOU BET! Was I happy that they ended up together? Of course! But even now all I can think about is what ever happened to the Yoon Yoon Je puppy?!!!!!!!! ?

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It's funny you mention the fan part, because as a late 90s tween who was very into stuff like the Spice Girls around 1997, the fangirling part wasn't that far off real life. I mean, look at the Beatles' teenage fans.

The cool thing about Shiwon's fangirling from a character perspective, is that it let her actively pursue her own interests that weren't connected to her love interests in any way - that's pretty rare in kdrama.

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I loved the Spice Girls too :). I know there are a bunch of people who can relate to her extreme fangirling, but I disliked how she put her fan obsession quite above her friends and family so often. That's a good point you make in the second paragraph though too. I may just give it another try someday!

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I didn't quite feel the TW x SW romance too! Like, SW obviously had no romantic feelings for him but yes, like you pointed out, he was her teacher. Although they all grew up together I still get a bit icked out thinking of how he had feelings for her. Obviously this was a plot device because YJ needed a 'real' rival for SW's affections but I couldn't get into it.

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I still watch '97 all the time, I love it. It's perfect, the length, the plot, the actors, everything. I'm like you LollyPip, where I can't remember too much after I finish watching so each time I rewatch it's still just as good, lol. Your post reminds me, I haven't watched it it a few months, I should start it again!

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For me the best reply series, the best storty and the best leads so far

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I loved this drama so much! I'm only 4 months younger than Shiwon so let me tell you I fell super connected to everything even though I was born half a planet away. It was really exciting.

The only thing I remember not liking in this drama is the way Shiwon looked like she didn't want to be kissed at all, so their kiss scenes looked a lot predatory to me. Or maybe should I say Eun-ji?

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I only felt that after their stairway kiss.

Apparently, her dad saw that kiss and flipped a lid, so she held back from then on. Haha. Oops!

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Thank you for going back to Answer Me 1997 @lollypip and for this beautiful write- up! I got goosebumps!

This would have been the drama that I would have gone back to if I took up this challenge but then again, it wouldn't have really been called going back as I watch some parts of it every 2 months or so and as you found out too, it gets better with every re-watch! <3

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Although I only watched this recently, it has become one of my favorite dramas. I found myself laughing all the time and relating to Shi-Won's love for H.O.T...it reminded me of when I was younger and obsessed with a boy band, I could honestly understand why she would get mad at her dad over them. To me, this show combined the love+friendships stories so well! ❤️

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I'm a bit of a late bloomer when it comes to Kdramas, so I've watched the AM franchise only recently. I thought I'd drop in to say that the Joon-hee loveline was what I found special in AM 1997. I thought it was handled with a sensitivity and dignity that's rare on TV. What's more common is the cross-dressing plotline where boy lead develops confused feelings with someone he things is another boy but who turns out to be the girl lead.

What other dramas have similar same-sex lovelines? Personal Taste from 2010 comes to mind.

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Unfortunately there are very few. The cross-dressing trope is very common, and even with those the guys almost always knows the woman is a woman. The best examples of cross-dressing would be Coffee Prince and the Taiwanese Bromance.

Korea still has a huge stigma against same-sex couples and that shows in the lack of good representation in their dramas but below are a couple.

Cheese in the Trap had some interesting side characters that were gay.

Secret Garden had Lee Jong-Suk who was in love with Yoon Sang-Hyun's character, Oska.

In Seonam Girls High School Investigators there are two girls in a relationship who even share a kiss onscreen.

I also think Answer Me 1994 has one.

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Thanks, @trinpie.

I have watched Secret Garden, and indeed the sensitive songwriter LJS was gay. I also liked how it was portrayed. I have yet to see Cheese in the Trap, though the reviews somewhat put me off.

I was a bit confused about AM 1994 because the young med student ended up with a girl. They probably meant him to be bi, but it didn't translate very well onscreen.

I haven't seen Seonam Girls HS. I think girl-to-girl plotlines are even rarer. I haven't come across any, not even the cross-dressing kind.

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One of the central storylines in the 2010 weekend family drama Life is Beautiful is about the challenges faced by a gay son. His story, including the portrayal of the relationship he has with his partner, was also "handled with a sensitivity and dignity that's rare on TV". Some netizens campaigned against it.

Also, there's this: http://www.dramabeans.com/2011/08/drama-special-under-fire-for-lesbian-content/.

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Thanks,@fyi. Didn't get the chance to see Life is Beautiful, but it sounds interesting. I'm a newcomer in Kdrama so my view list includes mostly the recent ones only.

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Cheese in the Trap was brilliant for the first ~12 episodes. The reason you hear such vehement reviews is because we were so disappointed that something so good could go off the tracks so badly. I'd recommend watching the first 12ish episodes even if you don't finish it. The above mentioned storyline is in the first half of the show, so you'll catch that as well.

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Yeah , I watched Lie is Beautiful , it was good .

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*Life is Beautiful

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I haven't watched AM 1997 yet so I'm not sure if it's similar. Noh Hee Kyung wrote a drama special back in 1999, "Sad Temptation" about a same-sex couple. Stars Joo Jin Mo and Kim Gap Soo. It's not subbed and I don't think it's online anywhere.

The 2005 drama, "Beating Heart" has a storyline about a transgender woman. It's an omnibus drama so it's a different main character every two episodes. The transgender story is episodes 3 and 4. The drama was pretty good if a little uneven. This one used to be on Dramafever until a couple of months ago. You can watch it on the usual drama sites though.

The other commenters here gave some more recent examples. I'm not sure if they fit what you're looking for but here are some dramas that I knew off the top of my head.

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Thanks, @dopefish! These sound interesting. Would love to see them if I could get access. I just wanted to do an informal survey of sorts of titles that treated LGBT lovelines as equally valid and touching as AM 1997 did.

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I am ashamed to admit I've not seen any of the Answer me series yet. I have heard so many good things about them also, I just haven't seemed to work my way around to watching them. Not understanding the cultural references of the past has kinda had me staying away, but maybe after I finish what I am currently watching I will watch these next.

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When I first watched the series I was also apprehensive that I would miss out on something by not understanding the cultural references. But I found that following along with the Dramabeans recaps as I watched helped with most things I did not know. I recommend giving the first episode at least 20 minutes of your time, and seeing if the show is too daunting or not. Because in my opinion, you will either love the show regardless, find it a little too hard to follow, or come back to it in the future.

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AM 1997 was seriously wonderful. I used Dramabeans recaps, which are beautifully written by the way, to fill me in on the different cultural references I was missing. It's funny because if AM 1997 isn't you're cup of tea there's always AM 1994 and AM 1988...it seems likes there's at least one of the Answer Me series that each Beanie loves.

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what's interesting is that, out of my small sample set, 30/40-something Korean women living in Korea LOVED AM1994 (i.e., my 15 or so Korean female coworkers), Americans (and foreigners) loved AM1997, and everyone in Korea + Koreans living abroad (including Korean-Americans) loooooved AM1988 (whereas non-Korean-speakers had a hard time getting into 1988). I went to Korea on a business trip right when the finale of 1988 was airing, and I had to force everyone to stop talking or to speak in Korean piglatin about who the husband was. what a phenomenon that was, and I'll never forget it. for me, AM1997 has my heart and 1988 has my soul.

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Maybe slightly embarrassingly, this drama mirrored my teenage years. One being the passionate life of a fangirl, and then way on the other side, the illness of a parent and the awful, chilling feeling of THAT phone call. Never had I related so much. Well despite drudging up some terrible memories, the drama also made me laugh out loud. I don't remember the exact words in the drama but it was like the time when I was chatting with random people on the Internet (AOL!), and since my bio said I was from Texas, I was asked if we rode horses to school. um...Well...

I would like to do a rewatch but I'm trying to make my way through Joseon X-Files and Queen In-Hyun's Man.

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this sweet/passionate drama will forever remain in my TOP 10 - or maybe even 5...
<3

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I couldnt get into this drama for a long time, even as I was already on my 16th re-watch of I Remember You and thinking I should still check out Seo In Guk´s first drama. The fangirl stuff was just too ridiculous and embarrassing. but I did watch eventually and my fave part was Joon-hee and Yoon Jae´s friendship. The impossible love that turned the friendship even more unbreakable. I am glad I watched that drama because it confirmed to me that Seo In Guk is an acting natural from the get-go. it seems almost impossible for a rookie to embody a character so well in his first big role. I mean, who taught him that? incomprehensible. it is not my favorite drama, but at least I am no longer clueless when people discuss it here.

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i can attest that the fangirl stuff is yes, too ridiculous - but also, VERY REAL!! my sister and her friend tried to break into the waterfront hotel the Beatles were staying in when they came to seattle for their very first concert. watching the news with my parents, we saw crying, screaming, fainting girls - it literally scared me and i had to ask my parents what was wrong with them!

crazed fangirls have existed (and still do, especially in Asia - read the articles about the mobbing, having to cancel fan meets, change airport entrances, etc. because of the crazed mob of fans) for a very long time...
; )

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Wasn't his first drama Love Rain? I watched it just for him, and you could tell he was so green, but so cute in it! He was much better in Reply 1997, which was his next role. I do think he's a natural, but I really think the Reply PD and writer have some kind of weird magic with their actors, where they can take any actor, good or bad, and make it work with them.

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I know that, that´s why I said first BIG role.

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Ah, missed that, sorry.

I miss Gukkie, I wish the knetz would let him come back if he can't go to the army. ?

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on the other hand, it is good, he can use the quiet time to write more songs and compose. how else would he manage his music career?

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"My shameful secret is that I have a terrible memory for details, so once a drama is over and I’ve moved on to the next one, all but the most broad plot points and dramatic scenes fade away. I can remember the general shape of a show, and the big scenes that had the most impact, but mostly what I’m left with is the emotions that a drama made me feel. "

Exactly me.

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Me too! It's great to see that even an amazing recapper like Lollypip has the same trouble with remembering details but not with the love they have for their dramas.

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This is so me too!! I always remember I a drama or movie made me feel, but for the life of me, can't ever remember the details!

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OMG I felt better after reading this! I have a terrible memory so I always forget stuff especially in dramas

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I watched 1988 and 1994, but have not watched 1997.....now that the show's available on Netflix, I should binge watch it!

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Ohh you got too! Please post some reactions or pics to the Beanie Wall.

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WHAT NETFLIX? Where do you and can I move there.9

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Live*

Freaking out here!

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ANSWER ME 1997!!!!!!!!

My absolute, absolute, no matter whatever it is, my NUMBER 1 DRAMA OF ALL TIME! I just loved it, everything, every part and OMG, it's been a while since it first aired. What have I been doing???

I love you my darling! I ♡ you, my 1997.

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YESSSSSSSS. I was hoping someone would do a revisit on Answer Me 1997. <3 Bonus that it's Lollpip revisiting it.

"My shameful secret is that I have a terrible memory for details, so once a drama is over and I’ve moved on to the next one, all but the most broad plot points and dramatic scenes fade away."
Omg. That was my secret too. I used to think it made me less of a "good" fan because my memory is pretty terrible. My heart is there people my heart is there! It's feel really good to know that even a recapper can have this issue.
It was great reading this and remembering why I love AM 1997 so much. One of my top favorite dramas.

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Same here with feeling like I am less of a fan. My memory has gotten so bad that I sometimes forget it even before the next week. I feel terrible about it but what can I do.

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I do it with songs too! I can LOVE the group and not know all the words. It's like I see and hear the dramas or songs and feel it deeply but it doesn't stick. Oh well I still think we're all pretty good fans <3

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Me too! I used to know lyrics but not anymore. And I love music. I am that crazy person who listens to the same songs over and over but I still won't know the lyrics. But yea...I think so too! We are good fans. Just poor memory. ?

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My rewatch of Answer Me 1997 might not have had the PLEASE-LET-THE-HUSBAND-BE-YOON-JAE crossed fingers of the first time, but something else jumped out at me - Jung Eun-ji is incredible as teenage Shi-won, but what doesn't get nearly as much attention are the little changes in body language and vocal tone that make her believable as adult Shi-won - heck even I didn't notice it until I had the forceful contrast of Hyeri playing adult Deok-sun in 1988 but looking like she was playing dressup, compared to Eunji who was still a teenager in real life but made a convincing young adult.

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Also, I feel like a huge part of why Answer Me 1997 is so iconic and still beloved even ahead of its higher-rated and more hyped franchise successors is because it's the first and unlike the other two, there wasn't time for anyone to overthink its formula.

And it was the first ever kdrama I watched with an actual sense of terror that the two people who SHOULD be together, wouldn't get together. That is a very rare thing in kdramas, where following the pre-set conclusions is the name of the game.

But that scene in the noraebang on Shi-won's birthday still cuts deep, though - I was nearly in tears. And so does the scene where Shi-won and Yoon-jae finally meet again as adults - that music over the final shot of them still makes me swoon.

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Nothing but beautiful memories! But while I fell for this blurry little drama at first sight, it SOMEHOW had a rocky start with the subs. it was the first ever drama and one of the few dramas that I watched raw- I simply couldn't wait for it be subbed. Dramabeans recaps were a blessing in the skies. Thank you!

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Mom and Dad spilling out of the car in a most delicate position.

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With nearly 15 years of kdrama watching experience under my belt, this drama remains my favorite. I hardly rewatch any dramas and I've already seen this one 3 times. several times I'll even go back to watch certain episodes or scenes. The era is exactly my child/teen years. I remember being in middle school swapping pictures of HOT and going to the local Korean stationary store to buy cds and take stick r pictures. The nostalgia of that era hits home. Probably will remain my top 3 forever.

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Ah, Reply 1997 never gets old. It's my go-to drama whenever I'm in a drama slump or just bored. It's easy to pick up and the episodes are short. It still gets me every time. Can't remember how many times I've rewatched.

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I love re-watching AM 1997. I must have seen it over 20x already since 2012. I thoroughly enjoyed my first watch of this drama but what's even more amazing is that, as I become more knowledgeable of Korean culture, history and Kpop, I get to experience every re-watch with fresh new eyes. Also, no matter how many times I watch it, I still tear up at certain scenes (the cancer scene and YYJ's noraebang confession).

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Yay, Reply 1997! I actually just finished rewatching it a few days ago - it must've been at least my fourth rewatch, and yet somehow I still enjoyed it just as much as I did when it first aired. I don't know if another kdrama will ever beat the no.1 spot that Reply 1997 holds in my heart - it really hit that perfect sweet spot for me in terms of combining ALL my favourite genres and tropes (friends-to-lovers, coming-of-age, slice-of-life, comedy, short!! episodes!!) and delivering it with that pitch-perfect trifecta of acting, directing and writing. Not to mention that it aired during my last year of high school, and that theme of growing up and letting go resonated particularly strongly with me at the time. :'(

Although strangely enough, something that really stood out to me on my fourth rewatch was how much my anger at the Hyung/shi-won pairing has actually grown instead of faded with time LOL. What a weird, weird, weeeeird couple. There were so many things wrong about them LOL.

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I never understood why people were so crazy about this drama because the synopsis never interested me and also because I thought I wouldn't relate to the show (I was born in the 90's and during my high school years I wasn't a fangirl). I honestly gave the drama a shot only because people kept talking about it and it was available on Netflix. And OMG it was one of the best drama I ever watched and seeing walkman and all those stuff again that my younger siblings and cousins don't know about made me nostalgic. I think I'll rewatch this drama in a few years.

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Oh, what a coincidence! I just finished watching this a few days ago. When this show first came out, I couldn't watch it because I couldn't find subbed versions of it, and trying to watch it RAW was a bit difficult since it was mainly in Busan accent. But recently it's on Netflix and DramaFever and I marathoned in a weekend. I love it! It's one of my favourite dramas ever. I'm the same age as the characters, and though I'm not Korean, I felt a lot of the nostalgia of being a teenager during those exact years. The whole boyband trend/fandom culture was spreading worldwide at that time - HOT and Sechkies, I'm sure, started as Korean versions of US, UK and Japanese boybands at that time. I felt like I was 17 and 18 again as I watched the show. What I really love about the drama is that it goes beyond just the teen romance and angst - the relationships amongst the friends and family members are also vital elements of the show. I love how, although I was so sure SW & YJ will end up together (this is a kdrama after all), all the guessing elements still got to me. There's some excellent storytelling and characterization in this drama and thus it is one of my favourite dramas ever. I couldn't really get into R1994 or R1988.

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I couldn't get into R1994 or R1997 either. R1997 stole all my love.

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Yeah, I couldn't get into R1998 or R1994 either. R1997 stole all my love.

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I had a hard time with R1994, but R1988 wrecked me. I can't watch that one again (yet).

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This is one drama I have always hesitated to revisit - what if, it loses the charm and magic, what if, I can't bear the dull ache of finishing this wonderful human drama which is not a mindless entertainment...but then, few minutes into the rewatch, I realized; for the Reply series - it's always a yes... <3

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AM1997 is my favorite in the Answer Me series. It was the first, the storyline and characters just were so relatable. The fangirldom crazy I can relate to(though I did with Jpop) And they just grew up together through all the good and bad times. Their friendship endured , even through the lovelines problem. The fact that they cast newbies in this series was a gamble that paid off. They discovered new talent in the process. And a franchise series was born for TVN. I constantly rewatch this series.
Must admit did not finish AM 1994 but loved the families and story of AM1988. Bogummy is my love. But AM1997 will be my fave. It was the first and it still get me even with how many times I rewatch it.

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Reply 1997 is one of my all-time favorite dramas and it will probably always be relevant for me and many other 90's kids. I love the nostalgic aspects of the show, the tone, the sincerity, the chemistry of the cast members, and even the somewhat outlandish humor. I still get a good laugh whenever I hear that trademark goat bleep. I don't know, I just love everything about this franchise but the first one has to be my favorite.

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Also that Dad has been the same actor for each installment of the franchise! He's fabulous!

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My fave Reply series, and one of my fave korean drama. I still feel this is the best of the series. I was so invested in their OTP, as well as their circle of friends. It brought me back to the days of walkman, dial-up internet access, video cassettes, etc. I was also so caught up with the husband guessing game, i would have been gutted if the husband wasn't Yong Jae. I love watching the progress from friends, to unrequited love, to separation, to awkward friendship, to lovers, to being married, to grumpy bickering married couple. The success really has a lot to do with the cast and the writing. I still watch it frequently cos it always brings a smile to my face. I always have a good laugh no matter how many times I watch it.

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I graduated from high school in 1997, so this brought back A LOT of nostalgia! While I never got into the pop music rabid fandoms during grade school (insert NKOTB, Back Street Boys, N-Sync, etc where Sechkies and HOT were here), most of my friends were. It was fun to relive that here.

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AM 1997 is one of my favourite drama,
I think it's the simplicity and how effective every episode portrayed.
The humour is well done and every message is accepted with 45 minutes, that just so effective.

I like a lot of music that has fandom so I can understand what shiwon feels but their world is so free yet real with all the struggles.
It's about high school with high school problem like grade, what happens in the classroom, rivalry, hair style, love, friendship, college application and how 1st love and 1st relationship is tackled.

I saw how the husband favourite from the beginning but what I appreciate is the progress, it's not about who is the best or the most match but what had happened and the journey, how she get confused and how she finally realised what to do. How love doesn't necessarily hold them back in life and it's a small snippet of life that may look ordinary bur portrayed with honesty.

It's not grand like the other AM series [like the big cast and tackle more diverse isssues] but a simple, honest story of a group of friends in high school and how it's loveable to see them enjoying their youth.

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I love this drama , one of my forever favs . I only wish Joon-Hee had ended up with someone in the end

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I rewatched this a few weeks ago, and I laughed and cried even more than the first time watching. I knew Hoya from this series, not as an idol actor. I still love his execution here. I think this was the first time I saw SIG, which sparked a fan-crush on him. He's still a favorite! I'm pretty certain this was one of the first dramas I'd seen; it was definitely a clincher for me to continue watching k-dramas. And like Lollypip, the second time around was a better experience; this series set my expectations pretty high.

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Yoonjae and Shiwon are, for me, the best kdrama couple there ever was. Most beautiful, engaging, nostalgic, bittersweet show I've had the immense pleasure to witness.

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still one of the best dramas of all time

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