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Character introductions for Answer Me 1997

Awwww yeah. If there ever was a drama made for my generation, this is it. Throwback 90s drama Answer Me 1997 premieres today on tvN, and judging from the long preview, this one’s going to be near and dear to my heart. I mean, a heroine who’s obsessed with H.O.T.? Teenage Me is doing a little dance right now. The 8-episode series (though it’s been called a sitcom, it’s more like a short miniseries) looks pitch-perfectly nostalgic, amazingly innocent and sweet, and a whole lot of fun. Here’s an introduction to the world and its characters.

The title is meant to be a question to your 1997-self, as in: Answer Me, 1997 Me. In Korean it’s Answer Me 1-9-9-7, the numbers read out as digits. The throwback drama features a group of teenagers who are all 18 years old in the year 1997, and while the story unfolds there, we get a How I Met Your Mother-esque flashforward, where we meet them all again in 2012, as 33-year old adults. They gather for a small high school reunion dinner, and there, one couple will announce that they’re getting married. We just don’t know which pairing survives the 15-year gap. It’s a fantastic setup, especially for a drama that’s only 8 episodes long.

The story takes place in Busan, and the idols that were cast are originally from Busan themselves, which makes a whole lot of sense. tvN released an Episode 0 special to introduce the series, featuring all the pop culture references of the day, like the Sechskies/H.O.T. fanwars, moms across Korea swooning over Ahn Jae-wook in Star in My Heart, and that quintessentially teenage feeling that you’ll never love anything or anyone as passionately as you do right then.

The heroine is Sung Shi-won (Jung Eun-ji), a girl who lives for H.O.T. and H.O.T. alone. She’s in love with Tony Ahn, who guests in a cameo as himself, so that she can do embarrassing things like wait outside his house to tell oppa that she loves him. They pull out all the stops, like the baggy overalls and the exact car he drove that year. Shi-won is last place in her class and has her head firmly in the clouds (when her exasperated father asks what she’s going to be when she grows up, her totally heartfelt answer: “I’m going to be Tony oppa’s wife!”), but she’s also forthright and sassy.

Her BFF Mo Yoo-jung (Shin So-yool) is her partner in crime, and her character is known for falling in love at the drop of a hat. Every day it’s someone new, whether idols or real boys. But one day she asks Shi-won if it’s okay that she confessed her feelings to Yoon-jae…

Yoon Yoon-jae (Seo In-gook) is the boy next door, first in his class and the quiet sensitive type. He’s grown up with Shi-won all his life and as teenagers, he falls in love with her. It looks like a really sweet and heartbreaking first love, because at first his competition is just Tony oppa, but then…

There’s Kang Joon-hee (Hoya), Yoon-jae’s BFF, who suddenly starts to spend a lot of time with Shi-won. Ruh-roh. Joon-hee loves to dance and also harbors a deep dark secret.

Bang Sung-jae (Lee Shi-un) is the mile-a-minute talker and one-man rumor mill of the group. He wants to be a rapper and is mostly concerned with everyone else’s business.

And then a new kid comes to town: Do Hak-chan (Eun Ji-won), the army brat from Seoul. His popularity is instantaneous for two reasons — (1) he’s good at sports; (2) he’s got a porn collection that rivals the naughty video store. HA. His one weakness is ACTUAL girls, because he goes from cool and charismatic to a babbling, spastic idiot around the opposite sex. I just love that Eun Ji-won is actually playing one of the teenage set, since he was one of the original idols of the day.

The entire show is like a nod to the audience in that way, and features cameos left and right: Kim Jong-min (How adorable of you to cameo in Ji-won’s new drama!), Shin Bong-sun as the the H.O.T. fanclub president (who behind the scenes confesses to being a Sechskies fan back in the day *gasp*).

It’s just nice to feel like a drama is tailor-made for my generation, clearly produced by people who listened to the same music that I did, and had a field day with throwback touches like tiny pagers and SES hairdos. More importantly, it looks like it has a lot of heart–both the love of the 90s, but also a strong coming-of-age narrative, about who we are at eighteen shaping the people we become.

Answer Me 1997 premieres today on tvN. Crossing my fingers that it delivers…

Via Daum

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This sounds awesome! Hope someone will be kind enough to sub this.
Though I wasn't into Korea or Korean music back in the 90s, I still remember my own embarassing fangirl moments over Take That and the Backstreet Boys. :) Today when I'm at a club and oldies like "Quit Playin' Games With My Heart" are being played, my friends and I bask in nostalgia. :D It's always a special moment when you feel connected to a whole generation because there was a point in time you all felt so much and experienced so many new things while transitioning into adults together.

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Quit playing game is oldies now? I feel old. sinatra's my way is my oldies.

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I didn't mean to say that it's a really old song or anything like that. I guess I'm really bad at articulating myself.
That song certainly can't be called an oldy if compared to songs from the sixties or before that, but it's a song from a band I was absolutely crazy about during my teens. Ten years ago I wasn't old enough to drink, drive and I certainly didn't have access to a computer. I was in love for the first time back then, and I was sporting a really weird ponytail...
Even though I loved the Backstreet Boys with such an intensity for a couple of years, after that phase was over I never touched their CDs again and I never really think about the 90s today. So whenever I do happen to listen to a song from them, it automatically takes me back to that time when a lot of things were different and only then do I realize that ten years have already gone by. :)

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you must be around my age. :) my friends and i were so crazy about BSB, Nsync, Moffats, Hansons, we cut posters and pictures and paste them is somekind of special celebrity books. my brother was in US at the time, so i ask him to buy me the CDs, books and everything he could find on BSB for me. and boy i was so proud to be the only 1 to have those.
but then like u said, once i got out of high school, the phase was over. but whenever i heard the songs in radio, i still squeal and sang like a school girl. :)

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I'll be honest, I'm a guy and loved the 90s music. I have BSB album on my iphone actually, and right now I'm listening to " A Whole New World".

I love pop music, and grew up listening to it, while all my friends were getting into rap and r&b.

Some of my favourites, and still are :

NSYNC, O-Town, Moffats, 98 degrees, S Club Seven, Spice Girls, BackStreet Boys, Hanson, and probably a whole bunch of them that I missed too, oh yea B4U

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Nothing wrong with that. Down in Samoa, it was the norm for guys back in the 90s to be into BSB and NSYNC - it was not something to be embarrassed about. It was cool then. Hell, they'll still sing to the songs today if it pops up on the radio or something. XD

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What? Huh? Samoa!? I thought I was the only Samoa-polo who stalked this site! Talofa!

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What sort of a club is this that plays quit playing games with my heart...?

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There are disco complexes (is that the correct term?) that have several different floors. One floor with a DJ playing Hip Hop, on another floor they play Tecno, on another one they play Charts and older hit songs like Backstreet Boys, etc.

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Oh my goodness, that sounds adorable. In the summer when I go to clubs in the city all I hear are the top hits in a dark crowded room... And then I get licked and danced on by strangers. >_0 hahaha - I love going out, but call me crazy, that's not really my thing, y'know?

But the town I live in during the school year (is quaint, and I love it, but it) runs on gas stations and train freight, so there are not any clubs nearby. The closest thing we have are bars and fraternity parties.

Bars are awesome - unless they're open mic (- why can't America get on this karaoke room we see in all these k-dramas? Let drunk people sing in a contained room all they want! More power to you! SO. SMART.).

Fraternity and house parties are fun, especially dance parties at fraternity houses. But there all they play are the top 40, and dupstep - which is fun, but I tell you what I want, what I really, really want~ Some Spice Girls, some N*Sync, some Backstreet Boys... That would be so much fun to hear that right after Rihanna or Skrillex...

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Oh, eww, getting licked on in a club? Well, that's disgusting. :(

I'm from a semi-little town myself, though a few bigger towns/cities aren't far off. Cocktail bars are pretty popular here, but normal bars are most often frequented by older generations, mostly I think because every little town has one and so the townspeople go there to meet up and chat, while the younger people usually travel a bit to the bigger cities to have a better choice of locations.

My friends and I stopped going to one- or two-room clubs because they are crowded (as you said) and because once a fight between two tall brawny guys broke out right next to us and there was only one exit door from the club. I'm really short, so it's a little frightening having a guy swing his fist for no apparent reason (other than being drunk) and without any kind of consideration for other people not involved in the fight.
That's why disco complexes are really great. :) They have bigger rooms, they often have food areas and sometimes even a recreational room with big beds and couches. :) Geez, I'm advertising, aren't I? :P

We unfortunately don't have karaoke bars either like the Koreans or Japanese do. I actually know of only one club/bar in the vicinity that sometimes has karaoke events, and that's a gay bar - and going there is really awkward for both the gay and the straight guests. :( We went there once for a birthday, but then never again, which is really a pity.
So we usually have Singstar events at someone's home, which are also fun. ;)

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Love open mic. I mean there are private karaoke rooms in the U.S. now and those can be fun too, but open mic bars are the awesomest test of bravery (or foolishness/craziness) that ever existed. Hahaha.

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If I ever get into a club that plays Backstreet Boys, I WILL GO DOWN AND DOMINATE THE DANCE FLOOR! While singing my heart out to each and every lyric. Lol. It's been 10+ years already but I can still sing the lyrics to Larger Than Life, I Want It That Way, and Shape of My Heart. Aaaw. Those days. :)

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Haha, what's funny is when the DJ throws in a Backstreet Boy or Spice Girl's song or whatever when not a lot of people are dancing at the moment, and then the first few notes hit and people a few years above being 18 suddenly start squealing and run for the floor. And the 18-year-olds look a little weirded out, because they grew up with Lady Gaga and the likes. :) It's a sight to be seen.

....And yes, I still know the lyrics to a few BB songs myself.... :D

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I'm right there with you about the Backstreet Boys. Ah BSB. I may have turned up the volume in the car last week when I Want It That Way came on the radio.

Am I, your fire...

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where's the like button when i need one? :)

true, those were the days.

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Where I live, there's a club specifically for the old school nineties music

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Same here. BSB, Boyzone, OTT, you name it, and the whole MTV things. It was my whole life back then in 1997. Hadn't know about Korean yet, but Japanese drama had quite poisoned my life. haha. I wish someone would sub it and upload it. :)

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Yes. Realizing that ten years ago you were just a young adult or barely legal lol... I was 21 at the time and when the realization that ten years have passed I almost died a little inside lol but I wouldnt give the experience back for anything. I was a MAJOR NSYNC fan with my gang of misfits. Youth is living dangerously with no care but EXPERIENCING with all your heart

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HOYA! :o

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Seo In Guk! OMG. Shirtless Seo In Guk!

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The 90s... Japan culture was huge on my end. I remember how it was all anime and Japanese dramas every day - Power Office Girls and that Go Go Rangers or something... I was a bit too young to understand the significance, but I remember it just about enough. Definitely looking forward to this and hopefully someone will sub it since I am rubbish at Korean (an ongoing learning process). I'd really love to see what it was like in Korea in the 90s...

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Yeheeeyyyy its here been waiting for you guys to introduce this baby. Hoping for recaps. How sick is it that Eun Jiwon looks so cool in a high school freakin uniform!!! He probably knows the secret of the ageless wormhole.

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I'm may not experience the things you have mentioned above, but I reaally like this.
I'm with you girlfriday! I hope this delivers :D

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And JIWON IS BACK!! KYAAA!!
I was wondering, how can he look so YOUNG! DUDE! YOU are 34 this year, but he is freakingly HOT and awesome!!
GF, this drama is also for Us!! Yeaaa~

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i know right!?! he does not even look slightly out of place! i can't wait for subs! i miss Jiwon!!

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Regi goes wildddddddddd, It's something to check out!

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I am torn between thinking : it premieres TODAY?!! YAAAY and Today?!?! OH NOOOO... Olympics is gonna come and crash our momentum now isn't it... T.T hehehe Maybe I will wait till all 8 eps are done before watching it... but.. knowing me....probably not...

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The Story reminds me of the american Series "My Generation"

"The series follows an eclectic group of young adults whose lives were being filmed for a documentary just before their graduation from Greenbelt High School in Austin, Texas in 2000. The group includes the Overachiever, the Beauty Queen, the Nerd, the Punk, the Jock, the Brain, the Rich Kid, the Rebel, and the Wallflower. Their hopes and dreams for the future were recorded, and as they meet up ten years later, they realize that things don't always go as planned. The series is set in present-day with flashbacks to the past".

http://thetvdb.com/?tab=series&id=167581&lid=7

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sounds awesome.. Hope it'll get subbed, would love to watch jiwon again. In 1997, im already a 'real' adult, graduated working & earning money, lol

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Sounds like a must-watch. I was interested in this drama ever since I read In Guk fell for EunJi in real life during filming. I'm sure 90% of it is publicity for the drama, but the premise sounds adorable. <3

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Its 8 episodes. So it can be subbed quickly right? Right? RIGHT?

*crosses fingers*

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Palli, palli..we wanna see it heahaha!!

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Oh gosh, haha! I got into K-pop right when the 90's idols were at the cusp of ending, so I actually got to enjoy and pick a team kek. Totally looking foreword to this!

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This one sounds really great. But only 8 episodes?!
Anyway I am crossing my fingers for it to be a blast and to be subbed fast. hehehe

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Dude, where's the g.o.d. love? lol. Man, I loved the idol wars back in the day. Up until 2006-ish it was feasible, but with all the idol groups now...I dont think anyone is as invested in them as they ~were~ in the past. It was kind of ridiculous.

Still, excited for this!

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I'm really looking forward watching this drama.

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I would watch this to see Eun Ji Won. I miss him!
The premise is nothing new, but the set-up and the throwback sound interesting. And with only 8-episodes I think it would be an entertaining and not draggy.. :)

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you and me both...hope to see ejw more after this project, no?

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This sounds adorable. And in 8 episodes? Perfect. I'm worried I may not get all the 90's k-pop references, but it sounds like its got a lot of heart.
Does anybody know if this is going to get subbed?

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Oh man, I seriously can't wait for the first ep. The intro ep made me so giddy. Being a K-pop fan from America was so much harder back then because there weren't as many concerts as there is today. Though I wasn't really an HOT fan. My younger sis was. I think I liked Sechkies more.

Haha, it's funny when Eun Ji Won asks how old A Pink's Eun ji is. They're 15 years apart but EJW does high schooler so well! I miss Eun Choding.

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So cute... definitely gonna watch this and it'll be interesting to find out who's engaged at the end. I was still a little young for the generation but that was around the time when I was introduced to K-pop. I remember my friend asking me, "You don't know H.O.T.?!" And then my mom bought me a Diva CD from Korea. I still have the music on my computer. Those were the good ol' days.

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love the plot!

don't know much about the actors but if it's subs, I'm gonna watch it!!!!

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Also known as Reply 1997 or Answer to 1997

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LOL at the fanigirl love and singing expressions. Ah.. first love, there is no other feeling like it.

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Thank you!

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I feel like there's 95% chance that this won't be subbed. So...

I beg all of you, drama gods and your team of wonderful subbers, PLEASE SUB THIS! TT_TT

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I'm off to look for that Episode 0. But if anyone would be kind enough to lead me there...?

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semi-fly has it up for download on Soompi. Otherwise if you're looking to stream it then I'm not sure where you would find it.

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Omg u are awesome. I have been looking for it for over an hour. I was getting tired already.

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Awesome! Thank you so much! I'm off to watch. :))

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Thank You so Much, every since I read this post I have been wanting to see it. Thank YOU!

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I'm going to give this a shot simply b/c tvN's 'I Need Romance 2012' has been so enjoyable.

Based on 'Joseon X-Files', 'Killer K' and others, some of the best series are definitely from the cable networks.

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I can't wait for this drama! 90s generation FTW. =)

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I love tvN :D

I hope this delivers and that they do a sequel of sorts that does the GOD/Shinhwa/BoA era (which is selfishly my generation, but I can totally deal with answer me 1997). :D the premise sounds fantastic.

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This sounds awesome! But are they using the same actors to play the young and adult characters?

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OMG. HOYA? I'm so down.

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where can I find ep 1?

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It's looks so cute :)

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this looks to be epic. i wonder if the dramabeans crew will do a recap? a weecap? overall 8 episode review?

*puts on her best puss-in-boots expression*

ahh... 1997. I was into BSB, NSync, Boyzone and Manchester United, then. Good times.

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Well then... I was a wee baby/toddler in the 90s. BUT! I do know the words to several Backstreet Boys songs :). I use to hear it play on the radio on the way to school in the morning.

I don't know if I personally will be watching this drama as I feel like a lot of the references would be lost on me. And that's no fun :(. Though, if recaps are present, I would read just to enjoy the nostalgia other people are experiencing :).

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yeah me too, i probably won't get a single reference as well i was one at the time.

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same here. :)
I may have been born in the 90's but that doesn't mean I'm not into the music at the time. I've been told I have an old soul. ^^
I'm still a little said that I might not get all the pop references which, I'm sure is supposed to be part of the experience while watching this show. :(
I'll still watch because it seems like an awesome drama, and it's short so I won't have to deal with nonsensical filler other than plot. :)
I will wait until I finish my other drama's before starting this, since I'm notorious for leaving dramas near the end when I have too many to watch all at once.

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Thanks GF.

This looks A.W.E.S.O.M.E!

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Watch Answer to 1997 aka Reply 1997 Online with English, Chinese & Other Subtitle:

http://www.dramastyle.com/drama/Answer-to-1997/

Just finished watching Episode 1

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SO EXCITED! EUN JI WON <3

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Oh hell yeah! If you were into Kpop back in the '90s you know what's good! My favorite group was Shinhwa and I was in love with Eric Mun <3

Thanks girlfriday!

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YEEESSSSS!! Those were the kpop glory days, I was OBSESSED with Shinhwa, H.O.T, S.E.S and Baby Vox lol Pretty please recap this!!

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I'm already in love with tvN~! so maaannny refreshing dramas has came out from this channel, like I Need Romance, FBRS, SU!FBB~~ and now, count me in to this drama! ^^

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WOW just finished watching ep. 0 raw and it got me so full of nostalgia..my mind literally took me back to 1997 when I was a sophomore in high school. It made me think back when I used to fangirl like crazy, my wall in my room was covered with all idols posters, used to collect idol magazines, and I was HUGE Sailor Moon crazy fan, I mean is today and still got my Sailor Moon poster in my room :D I'm so going to love watching this mini series, I hope it can be subbed.

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lol in 1997 i was 1 and half years old. but it does sound quite interesting and i'm sure it will even better for the people who grew up in the 90's and were around the same age in 1997. i'm gonna turn 18 next year and one of the character sounds like me, having no idea what i want to do in life. i might check it out.

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I was in high school in 1997, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have been able to locate Korea on a map at the time. I'm still psyched for this show, though...substitute "Hanson" for "H.O.T." and you pretty much have my life. ;)

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Ahhhhh the 90's.

I remember when Nickelodeon was a quality channel and the N'SYNC/Backstreet Boys debate (N'SYNC!). Ahhh, ahahaha. It'll be nice to see another country's 90's! I'm loving it already :)

And isn't this just one or two years after hip-hop made it's way to Korea?? And someone already has it as their goal in life. Love that!

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ohhhh, i was born during '97.

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tvN is the best. They make consistently good quality dramas sprinkled with a few a couple of crack dramas here and there.

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Wow, this is interesting...I'm a late 90's Kpop and Kentertainment fan (thanks to Arirang World LOL), just watched Architecture 101 (which also showcases some throwbacks to the 90's Korea) and now this! :D

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tvN is amazing! I can't believe Hoya and A Pink's Eun Ji are in this! I usually don't like school dramas but...

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I wanna watch! This will be soooo interesting to see how Kpop music change over the last 15 years. In 90s, I was tween and didn't know anything about anything and basically just listen to what my older sisters listened to. I heard all kinds of music, from rock to reggae. The Backstreet Boys, like said above (though my fav has to be "Everybody"), The Fugees, N*SYNC. Alanis Morrisette, The Dixie Chicks, BLACKstreet, TLC, Shania Twain, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Hanson (I'll admit it....MMMBop), Destiny's Child, Mariah Carey, No Doubt (I'm Just A Girl!!!!!), Jamiroquai, Fiona Apple, Sugar Ray (Mark was finest thing ever), John B................................I could go on like this for a while.

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Same here. I listened to what big sis listened to, which was everything from reggae, to pop, to hip hop, island jams and a bit of rock (I came into my own with rock music later in my own teen years). This will be awesome.

Looking forward to seeing my Jiwon again. HEHEHEHE

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Will you girls recap it?
I know that you don't like people requesting recaps, but this seems to be a show that suits you very well. Moreover, it's only 8 episodes long, so, not that much of a commitment...
I am asking, because I am afraid that no one will sub it. I can just hope that some Chinese subber will do me the favour and allow me to enjoy it, but i am not so sure... (cable tv series come out very late on Chinese stream websites)

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A 90s throwback drama a la the style of 'How I Met Your Mother'? Holy sdfjsk....I think I just found my next drama to watch! This drama HAS to be good!

Totally crossing my fingers that the rest of HOT will cameo! (I'll take Shinwha and Sechskies too ;p)

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Can't wait for this drama. I got into kpop right after HOT and Sechskies disbanded, but I got my hands on some of their mvs and loved them. Listened to more HOT songs, but was more in love with Sechskies because of Kang Sung Hoon's honeyed voice. But Shinhwa ruled them all =D

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