Answer Me 1988 Ep 1- Do You Remember That Time………

a30Awe, the days of yesteryear (or 28 yesteryears to be exact).  Its time to travel back to 1988 for the newest drama in the “Answer Me” series.  You might be asking yourself (at least those of you who have been following me for years) “Kmuse, didn’t you vow never to watch another “Answer Me” drama again?”  And while I do admit that was my feelings three years ago, I have since forgotten a lot of my anger.  It turns out that Answer Me dramas are a lot like childbirth.  Your memory tends to forget the pain after a while.  So come join me on this new recapping adventure for a new blog.  If nothing else, we are in for an emotionally charged time.


For those of you just discovering our awesome blog, I am Kmuse, one of the main bloggers at “Dramas with a Side of Kimchi”…many of you know me from my previous blog “The Crazy Ahjummas”.  I will be bringing you my opinions on all of the odd episodes, while Jennie will be chatting with you on the even episodes.   A little about me: I am a mother of three and an avid kdrama watcher, in that I love to watch literally everything.  There are very few currently airing dramas that I am not watching so if you have any questions about them (or really any drama since I have seen an insane amount) feel free to ask me in the comments.  Or better yet come like our facebook page and ask me there. For those of you who have not read my past recaps, I am one of those bloggers that really likes to just discuss my opinions on certain scenes or concepts of the drama.  I don’t go step by step through the whole thing.  So if you are looking for a more complete recap you might have to look elsewhere (and then come back and read ours of course).

I actually really enjoy the “Answer Me” franchise.  Yes they have their issues (like when the perfect man doesn’t get the girl #CHILLBONGIE4EVER) but that aside, they are the perfect examples of a slice of life comedy.  I don’t feel that a step by step recap is the way to go with this one (and it’s not just because I hate doing step by step recaps).  So we are going to just reminisce with all you readers about our favorite moments.  It might be a character, or a scene, or a specific song, the “Answer Me” sky’s the limits.  So join me as we remember the best times of Episode 1.

REMEMBER WHEN – Kids used to hang out with neighborhood kids on their block/street?


I have fond memories of sitting in front of the TV with my friends, so it was fun to watch our 5 leads do the same thing.  And just like in episode 1, I think this is the perfect time to introduce our leading lady and her potential spouses (Yes, they are doing the “Who is the husband” shtick yet again…….let the shipping wars begin).

1. Duk-Sun (Hyeri – Jekyll, Hyde, & I)

a5The lone girl of the block, Duk Sun is a loud tomboy who is very much in line to the previous leading ladies of the reply series (Does anyone else sometimes wish we could see a different style of female lead from the reply series?  Maybe one that isn’t so aggressive and doesn’t have the same hairstyle?……….sorry, digression is over and I am sure I will learn to love her overbearing ways).

2. Jung Hwan  (Ryoo Joon Yeol )

a3His nickname is “Dog” because he is not quite human yet.  Hmmmm Having flashbacks already of the whole “Trash” situation of 1994.  Moody, as only a teenager can be, there are flashes of maturity that indicate he is going to end up being a great guy.

3. Sun Woo (Ko Gyung Pyo – Potato Star 2013QR3)


The golden boy of the block, he treats his mom and younger sister extremely well.  He always has a smile and is nice to everyone.  But lately he has been coming home with scratches on his face.  Is he into something nefarious?  An underground boxing ring?  Bully training?  Trying to learn to shave and nicking himself?  Hahahaha, little did I know that it really was because he was trying to shave.  Poor boy doesn’t have a father in the picture so was teaching himself.  Sure show, tug on my heartstrings a bit more and try to get me on his side.  I am on to your wily ways.

4. Taek (Park Bo Gum – I Remember You)

a6A genius Baduk player and obviously the smart one of the group.  I know that I am bringing my feelings for this actor across from his last drama, but I am already on his side.  Sure I know that he is an unlikely suitor for our plucky heroine, but a fangirl can hope can’t she?  P.S.  Why did we get no Taek moments?  The episode was 90 freaking minutes long.  The least they could have done was shown us his cute puppy face for more than 50 seconds.  I demand more screen time.

5. Dong Ryong (Lee Dong Hwi – Divorce Lawyers in Love)


The block’s “counselor”.  Other than that we don’t really have much more to go on.  I suspect they will flesh out his character in future episodes.  Out of the five, he is the least likely to be “The Husband” so I doubt we will be focusing on him much.

REMEMBER WHEN- The Bowl Cut wasn’t the “in” hairstyle for Korean men?

Sure I know that we are a few years away from the Korean metrosexual revolution, but I really miss the stylin big hair of the 90’s


REMEMBER WHEN- Everyone on the block would switch around side dishes to create a whole meal?

a27Yah, me neither.  But that sure looks like fun.  And I love the expressions of the kids as they are forced to be the messengers of the previously mentioned side dishes.

a7This is totally the face my daughter makes when I do something that embarrasses her.  Good to see that embarrassing one’s teenagers is something that is worldwide and timeless.


REMEMBER WHEN- The best product placement ever created came on-screen?

a12Awww.  How adorable.  Does this not just make you want to go drink a coke?  Like seriously, I am tempted to drive over to the local Mcdonalds post-haste to fill my coke cravings.  Luckily I was then distracted over the concept of a kid that age drinking a coke.  What about the caffeine addiction she is sure to face, and at such a young age too?  And how about the lack of sleep she will be getting and the hell she will give her mother that evening?  I shake my head at the stupidity of the unaware consumers of the 80’s.  I might not be the caffeine addict I am today if product placement had been banned way back when.


REMEMBER WHEN- Siblings Sucked.

You don’t have to look any further than Duk Sun and her thug brainiac sister Sung Bo Ra (Ryoo Hye Young -Spy) for this one.  I have to admit that I am enjoying the sister dynamics because it feels so realistic.  A younger sister, slightly ignored, and not living up to her older sisters potential.  Treated like a pest and 2nd class citizen by her family.  Add in Bo Ra’s brutal thugesque personality and things tend to get a little dicey in the Sung household. 


I loved the scene where Bo Ra orders Duk Sun to not use her expensive makeup.  Going so far as to hide all the applicators around her desk.  But does that stop Duk Sun?  Heck no.  She might be 1000th in her school ratings, but the girl knows how to navigate her household and bedecked herself out in blue eye shadow and mismatched foundation in true 80’s fashion.

a13 a14 a15

But it’s not just sisters that drive a girl to distraction.  We find out that Duk Sun’s brother is also getting favored.  Everyday he rushes to meet his father as he returns from work.  Is this the sign of a dutiful son?  Nope, it is a special bonding moment where the dad buys him an ice cream before going home to all the women.  I love everyone’s expression as they get caught by Duk Sun.  Family dynamics at their best.


REMEMBER WHEN- Life just handed you lemons, but no sugar or water to make lemonade?

Poor Dok Suk.  Here she is, the youngest sign bearer at the Olympics for the barely known country of Madagascar.  a10But that doesn’t matter since she is going to be in the Olympics right?  Wrong.  While being interviewed on national TV, Dok Suk discovers that Madagascar is not participating in the Seoul Olympics (due to political issues regarding North Korea) and she has been cut from the program.  Talk about heart breaking.  You can just feel for the poor girl.  3rd place in her house, the only girl on her block (treated like one of the guys), and now her only accomplishment is taken away at the last-minute on national TV.  Sometimes life just sucks.a17 a18Just as I was about to mentally flay the fictional Olympic committee alive for destroying Dok Suk’s dreams.  We find out that Dok Suk will indeed be in the Olympics taking the place of a girl who had dropped out.  She proudly walked in front of the athletes of Uganda and all of her friends and family (even her sister via the door) were watching to cheer her on. 

a20 a19

I think that this was officially the moment where I was 100% on board the Answer Me train despite any future mental anguish this show might make me feel.  It was a great moment and I admit to even getting a tad bit teary eyed.  Good job writers, you have snagged me yet again.

REMEMBER WHEN- The writers told us that they would not be doing a “Who’s the husband” concept for this drama?

You know, just a few months ago?  Well they lied.  They are super-duper stupid head liars.  Because lo and behold, what do we have in the last few seconds?  It is Dok Suk being interviewed 28 years in the future.  Discussing how her current husband was someone she grew up with on her block.


Thats right.  We have already met her soul mate and now must spend the next 19 episodes figuring out who he is.  Will he be the sweet happy Sun Woo?  The moody yet hot Jung Hwan?  Or will my personal favorite (despite his lack of screen time) Taek take the top honors?  Only time will tell, since I am sure the writers won’t be letting us know anytime soon.


My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this episode so much more than I was expecting.  I think the main reason was that the writers included a lot more of the parents this time around.  Being a mother of a teenager myself, I could  relate with a lot of the trials the various moms were going through.


I could really connect on many levels and not just on my enjoyment of the possible romance developing among some of the kids.  There is something to be said about a drama that has decent parents for once.  They are not trying to force anyone into arranged marriages, killing off various characters, or hiding the ex-wives of their dumb sons (Sorry, I watched a bunch of episodes of “I Have a Lover” right before this.  Those parents are truly Makjang to the nth degree). 


Instead we get people who are worried about everyday life.  Are my children happy?  Will I have enough money for my daughters glasses?  Is my child in a secret fight club and beating up unsuspecting wusses?  It is something that everyone can relate to, which definitely is reflected in the strong ratings that the first episodes achieved in Korea.


Just this once (or maybe in passing if something really stands out) I will discuss how I feel about this drama in relation to the previous “Answer Me” dramas.

a9I love the parents and that they have continued to keep them through the whole series.  Both of those actors never fail to make me laugh.  And the food, so much food.  It is a long running joke that just makes me smile.  Talking about long running jokes……..I am glad that the goat noises have made it to the third installment.  I know that there are those of you out there that find it very annoying, but for me it is a tradition that makes my heart all warm and fuzzy.  And if this series of dramas is about nothing else, it is tradition.

Now for the negative traditions…………REALLY? We are going for drama #3 focused on the “who is my husband” trope?  For those of you who have not watched the previous dramas, this is a running theme.  I loved it in “Answer Me 1997”, I enjoyed it in “Answer Me 1994 until the writers took it WAY too far into the series so I didn’t really get to enjoy the OTP (regardless of who it was going to end up being).  Not to mention all the “clues” ended up being pointless because the writers just felt the urge to mess with the viewers which pissed off a million Ahjummas that were firmly on Team Chillbong…..myself included.  So if you are wondering if I am glad they brought back this tradition……the answer is HELL NO.  Let me enjoy my slice of life and romance, free of stupid husband clues that end up being red herrings.  Or if you really are going to go that route, put in a little more effort and maybe send us a curve ball, like putting her with Park Bo Gum.  Only when my cute Gummy gets the girl will I truly forgive you for the shipping debacle of 1994.


**Episodes are not out with subs (at least at this point in time) until Mondays.  Therefore, look for our recaps early in the week unless Viki starts subbing this drama.  We look forward to chatting with you about all things “Answer Me 1988”.

0 thoughts on “Answer Me 1988 Ep 1- Do You Remember That Time………

  1. i’m so glad you’re recapping this one! I also teared up when madagascar was cut and i also am pleased about the parents being relatable (having teenagers myself) 🙂 I don’t think Bo Gum even had 55 seconds! That better improve lol …The thing about neighborhood kids hanging out together is one of my favorite things about the series. My block even had a big wheel gang when we were small…so i got misty at the bike/trike scene in this episode 🙂
    I look forward to reading these throughout the series! Thank You!

  2. Pingback: ANSWER ME 1988. TVN. | IKurate

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