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Answer Me 1988: Episode 3

Here we go, first love begins as feelings start to creep into friendships, and everyone gets their wires a little crossed along the way. Our heroine experiences firsthand just how loyal her friends can be, even if they might treat her like the annoying little sister on most days. Turns out these boys are just marshmallows—some squishy on the outside and others coated with a caustic candy shell—but marshmallows all the same.

 
SONG OF THE DAY

Sobangcha – “어젯밤 이야기” (Last Night’s Story) [ Download ]

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EPISODE 3: “Not guilty if you’re rich, guilty if you’re poor”

We back up a little to August 1988, where Deok-sun is learning the latest dance moves at the ddukbokki shop. She’s got her two besties with her: Mi-ok, the first girl in their school to get braces, and Ja-hyun, the romance novel supplier who shares a desk with Deok-sun.

They’re dancing to ’80s boy band Sobangcha (Fire Truck), and her friends insist she get the moves right because they only have a month left. The girls immediately stop dancing as the boys walk in, and Deok-sun’s friends just gape as she chitchats with the guys.

Deok-sun calls out for more ddukbokki on Jung-hwan’s tab, somehow understanding that his grunty, “Hey!” of complaint is actually tacit permission. Dong-ryong calls her by her nickname Special Forces, and Sun-woo asks about her picket girl practice for the Olympics.

Sun-woo taps Deok-sun on the shoulder to ask sweetly if she wants ramyun too, and though she turns them down because of Jung-hwan’s complaining, when they boys leave she has ramyun in front of her and Jung-hwan has paid the whole tab.

Her friends stare agape and wait till the boys are gone to inform Deok-sun that Sun-woo likes her. They’re sure of it, insisting that he didn’t have to ask her for water or use skinship to offer her ramyun. They congratulate her on getting a boyfriend.

Once the idea has been planted, it’s all Deok-sun can think about, and she jumps up excitedly when Sun-woo comes over to borrow white-out one evening. She’s suddenly all girly and shy around him, which is adorable.

He’s back again at dinnertime, and when Mom and Dad invite him inside to eat, Deok-sun suddenly disappears from the table. She’s run inside to change out of her pajamas, and puts on a whole skirt-and-blouse outfit and starts madly caking makeup on her face. This is going to be so disastrous.

When she comes out, everyone gasps in horror at her over-powdered ghost-white face. Dad asks where the heck she thinks she’s going looking like that, but she says they’re going out for raymun.

She walks out the door with Sun-woo, and in voiceover she says, “In the summer of 1988, the first love of Sung Deok-sun’s life—my first love—began.”

We catch up now to our original timeline in October of 1988, when the latest thing on the news is a prison break. The ajumma trio sits on their usual perch, and Sun-woo’s mom worries about a thief showing up in their neighborhood too. Jung-hwan’s mom calls her husband a thief for not fulfilling all his husbandly duties, and picks up a giant sweet potato with a sigh, ha.

Deok-sun’s dad arrives home drunk, carrying bags and bags of vegetables that they don’t need. This is definitely a recurring thing with him—buying things because he feels bad for other people when they’re just as poor. Mom’s frustration brings her to tears, and she asks how he can be so cavalier about helping other people when they can’t buy things for their three children and Mom’s socks are full of holes.

He argues that those who don’t have should be helping each other out, and that money is just something that comes and goes. Mom scoffs that she’s never really seen the money coming in to know about that.

Upstairs, Jung-hwan’s parents are arguing about money too, but in the reverse. Dad’s brought home five whole tangerines, and Mom begs him to just spend some money like a regular person. He argues that it was only three years ago that they were dirt poor, but she doesn’t want to hear that excuse anymore.

She worries that their kids will become just like their father, and points out that Jung-hwan’s hyung is already sensitive and cheap like Dad. Dad says he’ll change when he goes to college, but Mom asks if he wants to bet on whether Hyung is studying in his room.

Hyung is slaving away at his desk… over his stamp collection. Mom unleashes her fury in a string of gnarly bleeped-out curses, but then when we cut back to her, she’s still standing in the doorway having imagined the whole outburst. She tells him to just keep at it, looking defeated.

Deok-sun asks Dad to buy her a Walkman, but he tells her to just share with Unni, as usual. Deok-sun’s friends yell at her for still not having perfected the steps to their dance, when they’re supposed to perform it at their school retreat tomorrow.

Deok-sun says she’ll do whatever it takes to master it, dead set on getting first place in the talent show. The reason is the first-place prize: that Walkman she’s been begging for. Her secret weapon is Dong-ryong, who knows every dance to every popular song.

That night she gets a crash course from Dong-ryong, who mostly teases her for not knowing Sobangcha’s moves already. She turns to Sun-woo and Jung-hwan who are just hanging out in the corner of the room, and asks if they know. Sun-woo: “US?”

I fully expect him and Jung-hwan to be way too cool for boy band dance moves. But then we cut to Deok-sun’s shocked face as she watches the three of them bust out Sobangcha right in front of her. We only get to see her reaction, not the dancing, and Sun-woo tells her that they won first place with this last year.

Dong-ryong prompts her to show them what she’s got so far, and Deok-sun points at Jung-hwan and says she’ll dance if they shut him up. Sun-woo orders him to stay quiet. Jung-hwan: “I can’t even laugh?” Sun-woo: “No, just go to sleep. Okay? Dance.”

Of course, as soon as she starts dancing, it takes every last ounce of self-control for Sun-woo and Jung-hwan not to bust a gut. They swallow their laughter and struggle to stay quiet as Deok-sun flails about the room, arms and legs everywhere.

Taek comes home to this madness (ha, they were hanging out in his room the whole time), and just silently leaves again. Deok-sun finishes the routine and asks if it wasn’t close, and Jung-hwan falls over from trying not to laugh and says it’s not even a little bit close.

Sun-woo says maybe dancing isn’t her thing, and she should try something else. Dong-ryong suggests pooling their money to buy her a Walkman, rather than go through this again. LOL.

They open the door and find Taek sitting out in the hallway of his own room, just playing baduk by himself. They’re happy to see him and ask for ramyun, and Sun-woo gets up to go cook it, since Taek doesn’t even know how.

Deok-sun’s mom is scraping the last of her face lotion out of the bottle when Dad comes home with yet another useless thing they don’t need. This time it’s extra pointless—music for babies—bought because of someone’s sob story, like always. Seriously, Dad’s bleeding heart is gonna make them broke.

Dad argues that living in a half-basement unit is fine by him, but Mom cries as she tells him that they don’t even have enough to give Deok-sun any spending money for her class retreat. And upstairs, Jung-hwan’s mom lathers expensive cream on her face and yells at her husband for still wearing an undershirt that’s stretched thin.

The kids sit down to eat ramyun, and when Sun-woo struggles to pick up a sesame leaf, Deok-sun helps him out with a sheepish smile. Taek struggles to even pick up a piece of kimchi because his chopstick skills are that bad, and Dong-ryong puts them in his bowl because it’s too exasperating to watch.

Taek asks about the retreat, and Jung-hwan guesses that he’s a little envious about not being able to go with them. Jung-hwan points out that this is why he told Taek not to quit school, but Dong-ryong shuts him up with: “Last year Taekie earned a hundred million.”

Deok-sun still supposes he’d want to come because he’s never been to Gyeongju, but then Sun-woo asks where his next tournament is, and he says Tokyo. Aw, I think he’d still rather go to Gyeongju with you guys.

Deok-sun’s Dad heads upstairs to borrow money for her retreat, but can’t bring himself to knock on the door. Mom already knows this and pushes past him to go in there herself, and Dad slinks away in relief.

She shares a drink with Jung-hwan’s mom and tells her about the latest fight with her husband, and the two women share their woes over one husband who spends what he doesn’t have and the other who lives as if he’s still the poorest kid in the neighborhood even though he’s now the richest.

Mom hems and haws over how to ask for money, and Jung-hwan’s mom asks if this is about the money she borrowed last time, assuring her that she needn’t pay her back right away. Deok-sun’s mom can’t say anything after that, and leaves without being able to ask. She sits up the rest of the night, not knowing what to do.

Deok-sun comes home and sees Little Bro counting a giant wad of cash in the yard, and he looks rather suspicious as he hides it and says it’s his class money that he collected. He seems relieved that Deok-sun believes him.

The sisters fight as Deok-sun packs for her trip, and Mom tosses and turns in bed. She’s surprised when Jung-hwan’s mom comes down this late at night, bearing a basket of corn. It’s not until she’s gone that Mom notices an envelope tucked inside the basket, full of money. Oof, that makes me teary-eyed.

There’s a note too, scrawled in terrible chicken-scratch penmanship (indicating that she came from a really poor background too), telling her to give Deok-sun spending money for her class trip.

In the morning, Dad makes Deok-sun pinky-swear to guard their family camera with her life, vowing to disown her if she loses it. He gives her two rolls of film and tells her not to waste the shots, and she promises not to lose the camera. Which ensures that she will certainly be losing it, right?

The boys pack too: Jung-hwan takes out the secret bottle of whiskey he’s been saving, Sun-woo takes two portions of his mother’s kimbap and kisses his kid sister goodbye, and Dong-ryong meticulously mousses his hair.

At Taek’s house, Dad struggles to make rice properly, not sure why he keeps getting it wrong. When he calls Taek to the table, Dad notices him staring at a piece of paper and sees that it’s about the other kids’ class trip.

The kids take the train down to Gyeongju, the girls all singing along to “Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You,” while the boys are busy drawing a bikini on Dong-ryong while he sleeps.

When they arrive, Deok-sun’s friends want to take a picture before they get on the bus, so Deok-sun reaches for her camera… which of course she left behind on the train. You lost it before your retreat even started?!

She’s so upset that she bawls her eyes out and asks if she can go home, because she doesn’t think she can handle the fear of Mom’s wrath hanging over her. Her teacher offers to call and break the news to Mom, and though we don’t hear the reaction that Teacher gets over the phone, Mom tells Deok-sun not to worry and have a good time.

That’s all it takes for Deok-sun to bounce right back and dance on the bus ride. She assures her friends that they’ll win first place in the talent show as long as they don’t go breaking their arms or something. Oh no, did she just jinx them?

Back at home, Mom’s day goes from bad to worse when Little Bro’s teacher calls to tell her that her son has been caught selling things to his classmates, which according to the teacher is because he wants to take his girlfriend out. Well that explains the wad of cash.

Deok-sun is eager to get more practice time in before tomorrow’s talent show, but her friends are more interested in sneaking over to the boys’ guesthouse to watch their talent show. Deok-sun chases after them to try and stop them, but they hop over the wall. There’s an unexpected lull of silence, and then SPLAT… and when Deok-sun looks over the edge, her friends are sprawled out at the end of a reaaalllly long drop. Yikes.

When Dad comes home, Mom tells him to go to their son’s school tomorrow, and gets angry at Dad’s cavalier attitude about it. She seems to be the only one upset that her son has resorted to selling things to have spending money.

Upstairs, Jung-hwan’s dad comes home and shows his wife the new expensive jacket he bought on her orders. She’s happy that he finally listened to her and bought something nice, only to discover that the zipper is broken and the Polo horse stitched into the front has six legs, hahaha.

Deok-sun’s worst nightmare has come true—her friends have casts on an arm and a leg, and their teacher says that Mi-ok and Ja-hyun won’t be leaving their room for the rest of the weekend. Deok-sun asks about the talent show, and Teacher says she’ll have to go it alone. Deok-sun asks if all she has to do is fill the stage, and says she’ll do whatever it takes to do her dance.

She spends the rest of the day craning her neck looking for the boys, and finally discovers their bus as it pulls up. She can’t get Sun-woo’s attention, but manages to get Jung-hwan, who slings an arm around her and passes her the bottle of whiskey.

He asks her to keep it until tonight because their bags are about to be searched, and tells her that he’ll come for it at midnight. He warns her that she’s dead if she doesn’t come out or if she touches the stuff, or if she loses it.

Jung-hwan just walks away after that, so Deok-sun is relieved when she runs into Dong-ryong, and hugs him excitedly. He refuses to help her out with the talent show though, claiming an allergy to girls. Deok-sun knows how to bait him and says there’s a girl in her school nicknamed Joey Wong and another nicknamed Maggie Cheung, because they’re that pretty.

It’s a total lie—she’s referring to her friends Ja-hyun and Mi-ok, who are nicknamed that way because their names sound similar to the actresses’. It works like a charm though, and Dong-ryong wonders how to get Sun-woo and Jung-hwan onboard.

Deok-sun tells him not to worry, sure that Sun-woo will come because of his crush on her. She says that Jung-hwan will come when he utters the words, “Something Special,” aka the name of the whiskey she’ll be holding hostage.

The talent show begins that night, and Deok-sun’s friends worry that the boys aren’t coming. Deok-sun is confident that they will though, and smiles when she sees them coming toward her. Sun-woo complains and Jung-hwan tries to run away, but Dong-ryong drags them along.

Dad goes to Little Bro No-eul’s school to meet with his teacher, and though he’s apologetic in front of Teacher, he assures No-eul that he’s not in trouble at all. No-eul is relieved, and Dad asks about the friends who got caught doing this with him. He says they’re the same best friends he’s had since junior high.

Those friends see him standing there with his dad and call out to him, “Hey, Half-Basement!” Ugh, that is a terrible nickname. No-eul thinks nothing of it and runs over there, but Dad is suddenly struck with the realization that living in a half-basement isn’t something to be satisfied with.

It’s time for Deok-sun’s turn in the talent show, but when her act is called up to the stage, it’s three boys who head up without her. Ha, she’s brilliant. Also, I cannot wait to see this.

The boys pose with fingers pointed to the sky (this is my new favorite Jung-hwan moment), and then launch into the Sobangcha routine in perfect sync. Naturally, the crowd of screaming girls goes wild.

Deok-sun wins her precious Walkman, thanks to the boys. Sun-woo wonders if it makes her that happy when she knows that Unni will just steal it from her, but Deok-sun intends to keep it a secret.

Dong-ryong asks to meet the pretty girls she promised, and Deok-sun dutifully introduces them to Mi-ok and Ja-hyun. When she calls them by their actress nicknames, Sun-woo asks who Deok-sun is then, and she chirps, “Lee Mi-yeon” [who plays Adult Deok-sun in the show]. Jung-hwan snaps at her not to sully Lee Mi-yeon’s name.

Dong-ryong drags the boys away before they have to get too friendly with Deok-sun’s friends, and Jung-hwan calls after Deok-sun to follow them. He tells her to hand over the whiskey, and Deok-sun realizes she forgot it all this time. She had it when she was talking to Dong-ryong earlier in the day…

And a flashback shows that she ran off to catch her bus and so did Dong-ryong, leaving the bottle behind at the snack shop. A man comes over and picks it up, and ha—it’s a random cameo by Kim Su-ro.

Jung-hwan doesn’t even have time to get mad at her though, because their teacher Dong-ryong’s dad comes after them for sneaking out. Deok-sun just waves at Dong-ryong’s dad, and Jung-hwan has to haul her away so that they don’t get caught.

They split up on the way, with Sun-woo and Dong-ryong running up ahead while Jung-hwan chooses to hide because Deok-sun can’t keep up. Dong-ryong trips and falls though, and he asks Sun-woo to knock him unconscious before his dad comes. Sadly, they’re caught right away.

Jung-hwan and Deok-sun duck in between two buildings in a tiny sliver of an alley, with just enough room for two bodies to be pressed up against one another. At first they’re both breathing so hard from the running that they don’t notice the closeness, and they’re snapping at each other like always.

But then she rests her head against his chest in exhaustion, and suddenly he seems to be very aware of just how close they are. Omo.

Dong-ryong and Sun-woo get herded back to the dorm, while Deok-sun and Jung-hwan continue to hide in that space. It starts to get a little awkward for both of them, and they each look away as if that’ll make it better.

It only seems to get worse for Jung-hwan, who’s aware of every little thing—the way his lips are inches from her forehead, and every point of contact between their bodies. He starts looking strained… Omg, is he… trying to hide a hard-on? I’m not sure, but he looks like he’s trying really hard to do something, lol.

Deok-sun seems to notice, and then things definitely get awkward. He tries to press his back further into the wall, which is just futile in that tiny space.

Later that night, Deok-sun sleeps soundly with her Walkman, but Jung-hwan lies awake unable to fall asleep.

Little Bro No-eul runs to fetch Dad at the pojangmacha, who sends him home first and whispers under his breath, “I’m sorry.”

Jung-hwan’s parents are still fighting over that faux Polo jacket, and Mom asks why Dad still hasn’t returned it and demanded his money back from this so-called friend who sold it to him.

She tells him to only keep the good friends, like the one who helped them out when they were completely broke (hiding money in a gift much like she did with Deok-sun’s family). But Dad finally tells her the truth—that it was the same friend who once helped them out, fortunes now reversed.

Deok-sun’s dad gets drunk at the pojangmacha, and an elderly lady comes by to sell gum at all the tables. He refuses at first, then calls her back to say that this will be the last time. Jung-hwan’s dad drinks too, and we see that they’re in neighboring tents.

On the television, the news reports on the prison escape and resulting hostage standoff, and the social inequality that led to the prisoners’ revolt. The incident popularized the phrase, Not guilty if you’re rich, guilty if you’re poor, indicating that the rich and poor live by different laws.

Deok-sun’s dad sighs that poverty is a crime, which he’s just now figuring out. Deok-sun comes back from her class trip with a backscratcher as a present for her parents, only to be met with Mom’s wrath for losing the camera and have the backscratcher turned on her as a weapon.

Deok-sun makes a run for it into the yard, where she uses Jung-hwan as a human shield. She’s got her arms around his middle like she’s backhugging him, and he looks completely out of sorts about it, which is just the most adorable thing.

She and Mom continue to argue and run around in circles, and Jung-hwan just tries not to freak out from the contact. Finally Mom makes her move and swings… and hits Jung-hwan by accident instead.

Mom comes back still furious, and Dad says they’ll just buy a new camera, and to stop berating their children. Mom says this is his fault—she wouldn’t harp on everyone if he brought home a decent wage.

Dad gets up and walks out, saying that he’s going to get rich just like she wants, and Mom shouts for him to just not spend any more money, and that getting rich overnight doesn’t happen to just anyone.

Flashback to three years ago in 1985. Jung-hwan’s family is poor and living in a half-basement just next door. Mom gets mad at Hyung for his latest obsession—lottery tickets—and takes them away so they can eat.

The TV remains on as the winning lottery ticket is announced, and Mom is the first to notice that the first few digits match. The family is on edge, mostly in disbelief, as the final number is called. It’s the winning ticket, and they’re so stunned that no one moves or speaks.

Dong-ryong arrives just then with rice cakes in hand from his mom, and finally Jung-hwan speaks, “Dong-ryong, we’re moving.” Dad bursts into tears and Mom hugs the boys, and soon they’re all hugging and crying as Dong-ryong stands there totally confused.

 
COMMENTS

Well that explains why they’re so rich. I’ve mentioned this already, but I really like the way money has become a major theme by making Deok-sun’s family poor. Their financial struggles add such realistic dimension to the family story, and it gives so much meaning to all the small things like neighbors sharing food, or Mom using cosmetics samples instead of buying lotion, or Jung-hwan’s mom knowing to tuck money inside a basket of vegetables so that Deok-sun’s mom can preserve her pride. The two dads’ parallel stories in this episode painted an interesting picture, where they started out as opposites and ended up not so very different at all. I’m with Mom every time Dad opens his wallet to help someone else out, but when we see him in the moment buying gum from an elderly grandma, we see that it’s because he has such a good heart. I thought Dad was a little too complacent when he said he was fine living in a half-basement, but it made the reversal land better when he felt so ashamed to hear his son being ridiculed for it.

The episode was full of reversals, from fortunes to expectations. I certainly didn’t expect Jung-hwan to be the first to fall for Deok-sun (though who knows what future flashbacks will reveal is going on in Sun-woo’s head, or Taek’s for that matter). I was bracing myself for him to be frustratingly opaque like Garbage Oppa, but I’m so relieved that he’s not—he might be tough on the outside, but he’s kind of terrible at hiding his feelings, which I love dearly. And contrary to what he seemed like at the start—way too cool for boy band dances, that’s for sure—he surprises us all with that performance at the talent show.

Not to leave out Sun-woo, of course, who seems like the natural choice for Deok-sun’s first crush. I do think that her friends were reading too much into it at the ddukbokki shop—he’s that nice all the time, and not just to her—but I found it more suspicious that he came to borrow white-out when Jung-hwan lives right there. In any case, it was a fun reversal to have Deok-sun announce that her first love was starting with Sun-woo, only to end the episode with Jung-hwan twisted in knots.

I actually like where the lovelines are going, with Jung-hwan falling for Deok-sun, who’s falling for Sun-woo. This love triangle actually feels evenly matched, which I guess is both the upside and the downside of it. But because they’re all friends first, there’s so much humor and affection just between all of them as friends, and I enjoy that that’s the emphasis in the story. I know, I know, I’ll be kicking myself for saying that I like it when one (or three?) of the boys is crying over a broken heart down the line, but right now the awakening of feelings bit by bit is too priceless not to enjoy. I mean, who knew that the bad boy was going to turn to geeky jello at a girl’s touch?

 
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Deok Sun and Jung Hwan's chemistry though...

If Jung Hwan isn't the husband I'm going to be surprised.

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Usually I'm able to guess the husbands correctly with reply 1997 and 1994. You can tell from hints in the episodes :) so I also think the husband will be Jung Hwan too. Hopefully I'm right again this time.

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i'll actually be really sad if it isn't him. it's like chilbongie all over again. be still my heart!!

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I honestly think that many of us would want Deok Sun to be with Sun Woo like how they both had a crush on each other & looking at the previous episode, it seems like the husband is Sun Woo.

But other than that, I also do think that Deok Sun would get married to Jung Hwan because they did say that they did not expect to be married to each other. :-)

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does the husband really seem like sun-woo?? i thought he gave more jung-hwan vibes tbh

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i think it's either jung-hwan or dong-ryong. i'm leaning towards dong-ryong personally ><

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They're really wasting Park Bo Geum, he hardly has any lines or screen time in all 3 episodes. I was left wondering what the point of his character is, which is a shame.

Other than that, I'm starting to warm up to Jung-hwan, and Sun-woo can't be more perfect. By the way, why is Sun-woo the only one whose surname hasn't been mentioned yet?

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I feel like Park Bo Gum's role is going to get bigger as the show goes along. After all, there are 20 episodes that are like an hour and a half; plus they wouldn't cast such a great actor in such a tiny role. (I also kind of think he might be the husband, although I'm totally rooting for Jung Hwan at this point.)
And I think Sunwoo's surname is Cha (I read it in a Naver article).

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Same. There is still plenty of time... I feel like Taek's story is gna be a slow build and I kinda love those..at least that is what I am hoping.. Taek is the character that gets me right in the heart too..

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I would love to see more character growth and developments for Taek in future episodes. I mean, we know that the actor is wonderfully talented and will definitely measure up to the challenge. He can deliver strong emotional punches with the limited screen time he's been given, so please writer, give him some exciting substance to chew on.

At the moment he's a very passive, sad puppy who kind of just gets dragged along, even in his interactions with his best friends. I'd love to see him get out of his shell and find his voice, perhaps even shocking everyone by actually being a chatterbox. That would be a great twist.

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there's a character like that in every Reply series though... the quiet, shy, type of guys who sometimes make the most impact on the show. like Bingure in 1994 and Joon Hee in 1997. even though he doesn't say much, his eyes just kills me... so much expression!!

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I don't see any reseblance between Binggrae and Taek to be honest. But Taek is definitely a lot like Joonhee, with a bit of Chilbongie (that 'outsider' feel) mixed in.

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I haven't watched ep 3 but I think there is something going on with Taek and his dad. I believe he will be given the arc sooner or later. I'm guessing it will be Mr. Choi actually still loves his wife very much (and maybe, just maybe, his wife's death had something to do with Taek that's why he seems so distant with his son).

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I really hope so, cause with those few lines this character still lingers with you. This silent boy, who misses his mom and is like that last puppy in the basket that hunches in the corner. I also want Taek to get more attention - just people give him some attention, please notice stuff. don´t just talk about his money and competitions, notice the person.

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Despite limited screentime Taec affects me the most on emotional level. He is just such a sad and lonely puppy. Other boys are great, but I am yet to really warm up to anyone in particular (although Jung-hwan earned some brownie points for the back-alley scene).

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I agree, I'm so interested in Taek and his story. Even with limited screen time, I think PBG is doing great with expressing this loneliness. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but I pay extra attention to Taek whenever he's on screen from what he says to his actions.

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Yeah, I paid way too much attention to him as well, mainly because I just want him to do SOMETHING. Also, this "Taek struggles to even pick up a piece of kimchi because his chopstick skills are that bad, and Dong-ryong puts them in his bowl because it’s too exasperating to watch." I noticed that he's using his left hand to eat, which is why he's struggling with his chopsticks, but Taek's right-handed when he plays Baduk. I wonder if eating with left hand is some sort of insurance to protect his right hand (because it's his precious livelihood).

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great catch, I never noticed the left hand eating and right hand baduk play

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i like that Taek is the quiet one though, because it shows contrast between him and the four loud ones. sometimes those are the best type of friendships...

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I am sure the purpose of his character is to be 1 of the friends. Every reply series has a few main cast and this is his purpose.

I am sure he knows what he got himself got into so if they are wasting him, it's also his choice to be wasted in this drama.

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I am the only one who wants it to be sun woo to be the end game? i dont know, if its gonna be jung hwan, then it's gonna be reply 1997 and 1994 all over again.
Iam also curious how love's going to grow between each other without that bickering formula.
(NOTE: I don't ship deoksun and sunwoo nor deoksun and junghwan, but as a reply series fan, thats an opinion from me)

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count me in ! ~~~

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I don't see any chemistry between the two and... he's too nice. I mean, nice guys are nice but he needs to be fleshed out more. Right now, he's just perfectly awesome nice guy who is nice to everyone. It's not that heart fluttering when the nice guy is nice to the girl. He's never not nice. I like the character, but hope there is more to him than he's showing.

I think bickering kind of works here because Junghwan gives in to her every time and his threats aren't serious at all. He's all talk.

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Fair. But I also don't see any chemistry between deoksun and junghwan, even on alley scene, i guess my heart would move atleast like for Trash on reply 1994 even tho i didn't root for him, but i felt nothing. So what you feel about the chemistry between the pairing is based on PERSONAL PREFERENCE which would take us years to see the ending of this convo.
But as i noted above, its my opinion as a reply series fan, which i want to see a different side of story the writer can tell, as reply 1997 and 1994 told me before, i'd like to see a new side that blows my mind.

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I just don't see Junghwan being much like Trash really. It's not the same, maybe on the surface, but looking at the characters they are different. The dynamics are also much different. For one, the guy is in love first (or getting there) while she's crushing on someone else. His feelings are also easy to read even if he denies them.

Deoksun likes Sunwoo who likes ?????
Junghwan (will) like Deoksun who likes Sunwoo.

Personalities aside, and even those aren't that close, it's not that similar.

Sunwoo needs his moment to show us his feelings (if he has any). Right now he's just a nice guy, but all the guys are really nice to her. It does come down to who she likes and right now I'm not sold she has anything more than a crush on him (after some encouragement from friends).

And yeah, chem is a batter of opinion for sure.

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but I didn't say Jung hwan being like Trash, or like Yoon Jae, did I? So far I see, his character is different from both. But he looks like that one of the most possible and abvious husband from reply franchise, similar to reply 1997 and 1994. So i can tell even if with my eyes closed the husband is most likely would be jung hwan.
Based on that, how I wish i can see a different side of story from the writer, that blows me away, as I already experienced on reply 1997 and 1994.

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@nami,I don't see the chemistry either.Yes,it's personal choice,which can make the difference.But,the writers keep doing the same story line again,and gets even praised for it.Already,everyone is saying,how the story''s like reply 97,because of the parallels.So,what about innovations?Can't they write something different for the first time.Want me to tell,how the story is similar again? 1.They live in the same house basically..like the first two.2.They do bickering all the time.3.First one had bickering,but the girl had something going on for older brother,so yoon jae kept having something for her ,which is going to happen this time with jh,and basically everyone can say,what's going to happen on next step.If they give so much time on putting the details but does not do anything creative with the loveline,then how is it different?
Also,I don't get what's wrong with nice guys,lol?And what's with the theory nice is boring,and being bad and pissed off is cool? This has done so much before that the same theory is going to wear off.

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+1 Agree. Jung Hwan is adorable precisely because he tries to put up a tough guy act while being all jelly inside. I think this season of Answer Me won't disappoint us with the romance. I love that Ryu Joon Yeol is playing Jung Hwan with so much sincerity.

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I haven't seen reply 1997, but I have seen 1994, so to me jung hwan seems nothing like trash. Even if they are bickering, Jung hwan's personality just seems completely different. Whereas trash hadn't figured feelings till much later, Jung hwan already kind of seems to aware of it. and he is much more aloof with his family, unlike trash, who was very close to mom and dad in 1994. I think people think he is like trash on a shallow level because of the bickering.

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Trash has always had feelings for Najung. No, it wasn't until much later like you thought. It's because he thought about his relationship with Najung's parents that he didn't come to her sooner.

I think what the OP is trying to say is that the husband always the one that bickers with the female lead. The OP also didn't mention that she thought JH resembles Trash. Minus everything else, the one thing that Trash and JH share in common is the bickering (regardless of how the bickering is conducted).

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Me too! Jung hwan is a 'way too predictable' one here which is the same as reply 1997 and reply 1994. Yet i know reply series never disappoint me but i might not gonna be satisfied about this one :/

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It's the opposite for me. If Sun woo it's the husband, it 'll be like 1997-1994 all over again. I mean, they're going for the childhood-friends turn to lovers again (seriously, again?) so I hope the writers go for a different direction and make Deok sun fall in love with someone else who is not her "first love".

P.S: I don't know if my words make sense, english is not my first language.

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But does Junghwan also her childhood-friend? and also about first love, I can't say its really her first love since she seems hava a thing for sun woo after her friends teases her that sun woo seems liking her.
If you want to see a total opposite, we can take Jung Hwan's brother as her husband, but it seems impossible. Still we have to take it out of 4 boyfriends. And the most 'mainstream' candidate yet the one who probably would be the husband is Junghwan, like @sky mentioned above, character seems different but he obviously being the one and have these similarities with both reply series before:
1.They live in the same house basically..like the first two.
2.They do bickering all the time.
3.First one had bickering,but the girl had something going on for older brother,so yoon jae kept having something for her ,which is going to happen this time with jh,and basically everyone can say,what’s going to happen on next step.

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I know they're all childhood friends that's what I meant. It is clear that storyline is being used again. Actually, after answer me 1994 ended, I used to joke and say: if there's another series, I put my money on the childhood friend. True story.
That is why I would like it if she later falls for Jung hwan, because we already know Sun woo is her first love. In my opinion that would make it a little bit different. Of course it doesn't change all the other similarities you've mentioned :)

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i think it doesnt make any difference, atleast from reply 1997, like shi won with tae woong, and later she fell in love and married to yoon jae, it is all the same.

and about deoksun has a crush on sunwoo, its not that kind of 'crush', you know like a puppy love, just because her friends teased her it made she otomatically thinks "he likes me so why not?" lol Different case from reply 1994, najung is 'adult' enough and how deep her love for Trash and how she said she wanna marry her oppa, that is a real first love I think.

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For that reason? Nope. I supported Haitai for 94 and now I like Jung-hwan. HT is purely because he's the best-looking guy on '94 and JH because atm JH and DS have better romantic chemistry. These things are really subjective, 'cause personally I couldn't bring myself to support either Trash or Chillb... (so I dropped '94 pretty quickly). But in any case I don't think predictability should have anything to do with it.

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LOL, i survived watching reply 94 for trash oppa. and now, i have no reason to watch.. so this one, i dropped it on ep 2 but coming here for the recaps :)

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Me too..

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Honestly, I love this show more than I thought I would. It just speaks to me. Loove everything about it. Even that goat sound.

I can't help but thing that Deok-sun doesn't really like Sun-Woo, but she's been convinced she does and went from there. Sun-Woo I don't think her either, but just generally a nice guy so he's going to be nice to his friends. I still don't see end game there, but I really do love the whole dynamic between the three couples. It's not following previous shows and that's great. We might end up having two one sided loves.

I might regret this, but I just can't ship anything but Junghwan and Deok-sun. Unless something changes. The alley scene sealed the deal for me. He's also such a pushover despite his looks/attitude. And that's just the cutest thing to me. To act tough, but deep down be a big giant softy.

The whole dad thing, well Dad does have a good heart, but he also needs to take care of his own family first. Buying the gum almost made me forgive him for the whole thing, until I remembered all the other worthless crap he's bought. Dad should buy his wife some lotion, give spending money to his (youngest two) kids and THEN help out the needy.

I hope Taek comes to school. He obviously wants to and I want to see him be part of the gang.

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yeah!! i'm not sure if this is correct but she started liking sunwoo after her female friends implied that he liked her, right?? bc the whole scene dukbokki scene with her female friends was a flashback

regardless, i think there has been only one scene so far where junghwan's reaction to sunwoo x deoksun was shown and my heart went ??? pls.. they better be endgame. i can't believe i'm doing this all over again

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Aw..Jung Hwan just stole my heart. He's flustered face is so adorable. Can't wait to see how he handle his feelings towards Deok-Sun. It's still early in the game to start picking sides but I can't help but to put my money on Jung-Hwan (for now) hehe

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i was mad when dad bought everything when they don't even need it in the first place. i admit that he's so good-hearted, but think about family first, no?
but the scene when he bought the gum, i totally fell for it.

i love the parallel between deoksun's family and junghwan's, i do. when mom's struggling to make dad stop buying unecessary things, junghwan's mom got mad at her husband for still wearing such thin cloth.
and teared a bit when junghwan's mom gave deoksun's mom money indirectly :''')

OH, they finally told us why in the hell junghwan's family is so rich. i keep questioning it since the first episode. becuase his dad does nothing at all. lmao. thanks, btw.

anyway, when future deoksun said that her first love begins, i think it's not sunwoo. well, she said it right after she and sunwoo went to eat ramyun, but i do think the statement goes for the latter scene. i think her first love is... junghwan? eeek, don't know though.

I LOVE WHEN THE BOYS DANCEd. AND JUNGHWAN. DON'T YOU GUYS THINK HE'S THE MOST FOCUSED ONE? I MEAN HE PUT ALL HIS HEART ON THE PERFORMANCE LMAO.

cute little puppy who doesn't know how to hide his feelings.

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Actually Sunwoo has a crush on Bora, it's written in his profile info that he has a secret crush on someone for 3years and that he will end that by confessing in year 88. And when his mom opened his drawer, a space was empty and it fits the cassette that Bora was listening to when lil bro tried waking her up. He lent her the cassette tape is a theory.

Also when Sunwoo went to borrow the white, he was staring at Bora washing her hair when Deoksun opened the door. As well as when he came to ask them out for ramen, he was clearly looking at Bora when he entered their house.

From episode 4 preview he also stared at Bora when the group sat together.

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you blowed my mind. thank you.

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+ oh and sunwoo knows it's bora's jacket when deoksun wore it in the second episode??? am i wrong..

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Yes i know about this one because korean netizen has speculated it since sunwoo noticed bora's jacket and sunwoo lends bora a tape.
That's why im curious about love story this time, i think it would be more complicated than ever.

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That makes so much sense given the sister dynamic the two have, and the fact that Deoksun gets nothing she ever wants while her sister gets everything. The guy she likes will like her sister and she's misinterpreting his feelings of friendship for liking her. Harsh and awkward really.

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oh my god.... that could happen!! poor deoksunnie (if it's true about sunwoo and bora))

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And they already have couple photoshoot on cosmopolitan for reply1988 http://www.koreaboo.com/photo/reply-1988-stars-go-kyung-po-ryu-hye-young-get-steamy-cosmopolitan-pictorial/

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Well, whaddya know!

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Yeah, this kinda makes sense.

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First of all, I seriously am annoyed that I have to wait till monday for subtitles! UGH! Stupid drama fever!

Aside from that, I am totally loving this show's ost. It's SO relaxing! Yesterday, I was obsessed with the first song they released, "Youth", today, I'm in love with "don't worry." Reply series has always had such great osts since the first installment, so I am glad that trend has continued. I really like this 80's sound of it.

and though I promised myself I would stay away from all kind of shipping after the heartbreak that was chilbong, I do find myself leaning towards jung hwan! and I like that he is already aware of his feeling. It's going to be interesting to see how this all plays out since DS starting to like/notice SW. Other than that, the family dynamics is what makes the show! And I'm glad that romance is not taking full frontal seat. I have a feeling this is going to be one of my most favorite installment of reply series, but let's see. I don't want to jump the gun yet, since there are 17 eps left. lol

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So unfair! Usually I get to watch first before I actually read the recap! It's soooo annoying how the subs are taking a long time! I wish viki subbed it instead of dramafever cause they really take a long time in doing so

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Yeah Sunwoo noticed Deoksun use Bora's jacket in second episode. And if anyone just pay attention to Sunwoo when there's Bora in the picture you can see he's clearly looking and staring at her with puppy eyes lol. And episode 4 preview, her bandage on the chin is similar to Sunwoo's previously too.

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may i know what picture you're talking about?

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Yeah, Husband's almost certainly Jung Hwan. Oddly, unlike '94, I actually found myself hoping for one candidate right off the bat (Sun Woo), and while I'm slightly sad he'll very likely be the one whose heart breaks, I'm pleasantly surprised that I'm not generally indifferent regarding the couplings, which I thought I would be considering how I felt about the love triangle of the closest predecessor (definitely, definitely not '97 though). I think I'll echo netizens and say it does look a little bit like Sun Woo fancies Bora, which could serve interesting if not dragged on too long. I've noticed that Hyeri's Deok Sun is much less of a prominent (for lack of a better word) heroine than, say, Eunji's Shiwon was to their respective series (in terms of screentime, I think, at least). It really feels much more like a collective story than one told through a single character's eyes (which I really like for this season). JH is charming, DR is incessantly hysterical, and I'm hoping Park Bogum is finally a major character (as much as Joon Hee was, anyway) when he goes back to school with the friends. Sun Woo -- I'm not quite sure where they're going with his character quite yet, but I'm silently rooting for him and it to be as well executed as possible.

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Hhmm, given that Sunwoo is supposed to be the main guy lead, per reports during casting that Kyungapyo was up for the main guy lead, if Junghwan is the husband, it won't follow the past two installments that main girl ends up with main guy, who has been the first love's so far...which will also be a broken trend this installment if Junghwan is the husband. Anyway, agreeing on Bogummie's limited appearance. Sadness. He deserves more screentime and a major storyline. ?

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I really didn't want to jump on a shipping boat because I know it will just get frustrating but it's too late and I hope the husband is Jung-hwan

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So far I'm really enoying the show, I didn't want to start picking a side this early but I always seem to be going with the one who starts to show interest first, LOL. So, right now I'm rooting for Jung hwan.

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I wish Park Bo Gum fans can stop whining that he has limited screen time/wasted in this series.

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Well i think many of the peoples who watching is his fans.
They come from his previous drama and know how good is he.

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Well.. There goes my wait and see approach for the drama to end before watching it... I am in! And I already have a favorite (JH).

It's sad to see so little of Park Bo Gum. (so much potential!) Taek is such a lonely and sad kid.. I'm guessing his theme is same as Baro's from last season, lost in life.

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Ugh...have to wait until Monday for the subs to come out. :( But I saw this recap and couldn't resist reading it. I was planning to just sit through the drama and let it flow...but ottoke, I'm already shipping Junghwan and Deoksun...

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I agree, having Deok-sun's family struggle with money is such a good addition because I think it speaks to a lot of people and is relatable (myself included). But dad's bleeding heart spending habits need to be a toned down at least a little.

I'm trying hard not to get too invested in any potential couple (not after the heartbreak from 94) but I thought Deok-sun's crush on Sun-woo and her trying to pretty up and impress him was adorable, and that Jung-hwan's obvious sudden awareness of Deok-sun was even more adorable. I'm so glad that despite being a more stoic bad boy character, he's transparent, at least to the audience. The chemistry there is so cute, but I don't want to get my hopes up.

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I thought I would be bored with the premise the third time around but I was actually laughing out loud while watching this episode. I really admire the writer.

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I think duk Sun will end up with Taek...thats what i assume..
I notice it through the series in every episode 2.. they have this FLASHBACKS.

REPLY 1997 episode 2 :when yoon jae kiss kiss shi won (it has a flashback about the two of them became friends, how close they are). at the end yoon jae said whats the used when he become a man and shi won is still in the process of becoming a woman.
REPLY 1994 episode 2 : when na jeong was in the hospital and jae joon oppa/ sseuriki oppa was with her to make her feel better, and they slept together while hugging. ( the flashbacks was when they met, how they met and became close). and na jeong said her dream is to marry her oppa.
REPLY 1988 episode 2 : again is has a flash back of how the 4 friends met Teok and they became 5.

for those who complain why teak line is too short, well were still in episode 3... so excited to watch reply 1988, its so refreshing..

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omo! you noticed that too!! I was actually thinking of the same thing since those flashbacks tell how the guy becomes part of the girl's life. I want to believe that Reply 1988 will not waste Park Bo Gum's potential here. I'd like to believe that they have something special in store for him that would surprise the viewers because if his character would stay that way, his arc will be boring & useless at all.

At one point, we'll get to hear Taek's feelings too & if it's going to related to Deok Sun....I better prepare a lot of tissues.

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I love the Anwer me series (although I'm more partial to 1997) but I wasn't sure about this one, but so far I'm loving it!
I love the scene on the train when they are singing “Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You”, well some parts of the songs... As a not English speaking native I totally saw myself in those moments where you only know the parts in your mother tongue and the little pieces like I love you... hahahaha so funny and so true.

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i've watched the scenes with jung hwan and deok sun so many times!! the freaking feels!!! i don't want to start taking sides because most of the time i end up getting disappointed. plus the drama isn't even halfway yet, so it's a bit too early to tell... but the future scenes are going to be tricky since we already know what the husband in the future looks like.... i just hope i don't get my hopes up and ends up screaming in my room by the end of the series. BUT! that doesn't mean i can't enjoy the budding first love romance!!!

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Placing my bets on Junghwan because Sunwoo is too nice and squishy!!

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Thanks for the recap! I'm still rooting for sunwoo..i'm soooo go kyung pyo biased hahaha

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I bet Taek will have Sun woo and Jung Hwan a run for their money in the later episodes. I have a feeling that we shouldn't left him out of the husband race just yet;)

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I think I'm going to be heartbroken by being in #TeamSunWoo on 1988...
This writer was consistent in making his first male lead the husband. I was in #TeamOppa on 1997 and #TeamChilbong on 1994, and the scar is still there. But this series was so addictive that I keep wanting for more. What should I do?!?!

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hi kimsoohyunftw, maybe its difficult for you for the two reply series that your team you imagine didnt work... i am also like that when i watch we got married and my couple didnt work out in the end but when it comes in kdrama i have this hope that my imagine couple will end up in the series, just like yoon jae and shi won and reply 1994 oppa and na jeong.... this time i will go for #teamtaek....

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Enjoyed this episode.
Deok-sun hiding behind Jung-hwan when mom chased her reminded me of Sassy go go's Coke fighting scene, and I totally wished they were Jisoo and Eunji. I wished they gave a scene like the one Jung-hwan and Doek-sun were stuck on the alley. Can you imagine what will do to Jisoo's poor heart if he were stuck like that with Eunji?

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Ji-SOO AND EUNJI

I CAN TOTALLY SEE THIS IM SQUEALING

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Taek's real-life model is Lee Chang-Ho, which is a legendary Korean Baduk player. They won't make any serious ove-line with Taek for that reason (Korean netizens currently assume that he will marry to Jin Joon - Sun-woo's little sister - because Lee Chang-Ho's real-life wife is actually 12 years younger than him).

Also, someone above already explained this well, but Sun-woo most likely has crush on Bora not Duk-sun based on the character descriptions on the tvN's website and some of "little hints" on previous episodes.

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Love-line - not "ove-line"

Jin Joo - not "Jin Joon"

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"Can you imagine what will do to Jisoo’s poor heart if he were stuck like that with Eunji?"
Actually the alley was long, they could've stayed side by side (not complaining at all though), but now that I read fan's comment I'm melting at the image of Jisoo stuck there with a lead girl :D
And the comment in the recap about what Deuksun felt when they were close. I don't think she reacted to his proximity, I think she felt him getting hard, and thay's why she looked down. So awkward, loved it! :P

About the answer series, I am really enjoying this one. I'm rooting for Jonghwan, but I'm not in a hurry to see the development, and if the husband ends up been Taec or even (omg I don't remember the name) the one with the glasses, I think I might be even fine with it, if the stores takes me there properly. I don't think Sunwoo will be the husband. Maybe is personal preference, because he is excessively nice, but I don't see it happening, specially if he has a crash on the eonni.

But what I find more interesting in this series is the friendship of the kids, the families, and the awakening of the first feelings and passions, the guys talking about pretty girls, the girls reading the romantic books...

I think Sunwoo is bottleing up some anger though, and teac needs some normal life. Sometimes I really think glasses guy is going yo be the dad, out of the guys I feel he is Deoksun's best friend.

And in today's episode (4), I'm really looking forward to see the development of the kids' feelings, but I am really curious as well about rich dad, I want him to be his happy self and for his family to show him love. This why I love this writer more and more, don't care if the love store ends up being a repetition of the other answers, it's just a small part of the ensemble.

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Yeah i agree, why couldn't they just stand side by side (other than to move the plot along)? the alley was long enough to accommodate both of them and save them the awkwardness

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agreed. like, there was literally no reason for them to be squished in front of each other?? the alleyway was so large. i'm not complaining, though, it was really cute lol.

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I vowed not to fall into the husband maze but why you are so good show??? Ughhh.. now I'm totally confused. I want the super nice guy SW to get the girl, but damn, JH and DS are super cute together and JH is soo marshmallow in disguise. And how bout giving the quirky character like DR get the girl? It's gonna be super fun watching him with DS. Oh I'm also getting mad when uri Bogummie had soo little screentime but we're still in early epi. I'm sure Taek story gonna unfold and he will eventually had a reason to be running in the husband game.

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I really enjoy this drama. Only watched two eps so far but I cried a river already ;__;
Reply series has always been strong at their story telling, I never feel disappointed with the ending for previous series. I know many viewers wanted chilbong to get the girl and afraid that reply 88 will repeat history, but chemistry is the key. I fell for sunwoo right away but I think deoksun's chemistry with junghwan is stronger, so far.
About park bogum's little line, don't worry too much. I'm a fan of him myself but I don't want them to make him ooc just for him to speak more. He's that good even without many lines he stole our hearts with only one sentence and facial expression. I'm sure there will be more spotlight on his character tho. Just wait :)

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Couldn't help myself and watched this without subs. During the Sobangcha dance performance, I was screaming so hard "Oppa! Oppa! Junghwan-ah!!!" AND I WAS TEAM SUNWOO TO BEGIN WITH!

Junghwan, you life ruiner, you!

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I'm new to the Answer Me series and still relatively new to Kdramas. Is this a thing with this series--picking a couple to "ship" and trying to guess the entire series in the first few episodes?

Asking, so I'll know if I should probably just skip the comments for this series.

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I thought i was pretty good at the husband guessing game in 97. Easy Peasy. But with 94 i have never suffered a worse second lead syndrome in all of my drama watching days, but looking back it was obvious who na jung was going to end up with. my heart calls out for sun woo but my brain is yearning for jung hwan

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Well if you're live-casting the show, nobody in the comments know the ending. For Reply 1997 it was clear as day who our leading lady was going to end up with, unlike the unexpected fame the show recieved. In Reply 1994 the guessing game is a little harder, and the show had a bigger audience, so I would avoid comments if I were you. The whole Reply premise is to go back in time with a heavy dose of nostalgia, and to guess who the lead will end up with.

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I think I made the biggest mistake of my life watching this. I watched both the earlier Answer Me series after they were completed. Now.. I can't even. Oh my.

Though guessing who the husband is is truly frustrating, I can't really miss out on this one. I kind of expected that Jung Hwan will be the first one to fall. Also I couldn't care less who it will be since I like them both.

I just wish that the show won't make us go to one side and get our hearts broken in the end. Keep the battle fair and square!

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Jung-hwan's hiding-in-the-wall boner was the funniest thing all episode. I laughed hardocre at that.

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YES!! LOL especially when he realized that Duk Sun's boobs were touching him.

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I noticed how when Sun Woo is calling for Duk Sun. Bora says "Ouri sun woo will break the door" or something and Ouri means my/our in Korean. Her expression was different too. Or maybe I am reading way to much in everything because of the last two series focused on tiny details XD

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I'm not shipping. I'm not. Definitely Not.

........Ugh. Who am I kidding? All signs lead to Jung Hwan but ack, I really want the nice guy to get the girl this time 'round. And by nice guy, I mean, the guy who doesn't bicker with our heroine(at first at least because 2015 Husband is grumpy lol)

Anyways, the mothers and their friendship -- that, I so love. And Dad and the granny. My heart hurts when it comes to elders.

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everytime the mother goes crazy about money (or the lack thereof) i want to shake her and tell her 'lady, its his money, he can do whatever the fuck he likes with it, you want more money then go earn it yourself.' sheesh =_=

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That dance routine was my absolute favorite!

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