It is rare that there is a drama that all The Fangirls are watching together. But somehow “Answer Me 1988” has become such a drama. So since we are all sad that it is finished and we have to say goodbye, we decided to say goodbye together in our first ever drama roundtable. So join us as we chat about our favorite characters, couples, and just all things Answer Me 1988.
I know that only around 20% of the whole show focused on the question of “Who is Duk Seon’s Husband?” but it was the focus of the last few episodes and the most debate. What do you think of the outcome and your enjoyment of the show as a whole?
CLKYTTA: I thought I knew from the start who the husband was, I was positive, so positive and so very wrong. I was really happy with how it turned out though. What really made the show click for me was that it wasn’t all about “who’s the husband”, it was about the many relationships and interactions between normal people. I fell in love with the block, not just the OTP.
KMUSE: Agree Clkytta. Thedrama is the block as a whole and not one couple. I actually was pretty even on liking both guys for most of the drama so wasn’t devastated when Taek was the winner. I will admit I was happy that to find out who the husband was a few days before watching the last two episodes. It gave me time to come to grips with the situation and reflect on how the hints supported Taek. Also, I am thrilled to find such a unexpected talent like Ryoo Joon Yeol. I personally think that no one could have predicted how amazing he would be at winning hearts. If he hadn’t been so charismatic I doubt there would have been such a thrilling battle. I look forward to seeing Ryoo Joon Yeol in future projects…….and he better be 1st lead because I will be furious if he doesn’t get a happily ever after with someone soon.
KdramaJen: I love the Reply series. Even though it drives me a bit crazy trying to guess who will be the husband, I still love these shows. They have such heart. I fall in love with each quirky character. I was honestly fine with either boy getting the girl, but Taek totally convinced me with his 1994 kiss. I might have watched that multiple times. I might have watched it again today… I was also beyond impressed with Ryoo Joon Yeol. I have no doubt he will be a future leading man to watch. This was a great cast with so many stories inside stories. I loved them all.
Jennie: It’s funny because at the beginning I really wanted Taek and everyone kept telling me it wasn’t going to happen. That didn’t sway me, but Joon Yeol’s acting did. The second I found out he liked Duk Seon I was all aboard. I still liked Taek, but in the end my heart belonged to Jung Hwan. I was in complete denial until the last episode. That didn’t chang my love for the show. It’s one I’ll never forget.
Drama Geek: It’s funny because after the first 2 episodes I gave Taek a 1% chance of being the husband. In my defense, he doesn’t fit this writer’s usual leading man MO. And even up until I woke up at 5AM on Friday morning to see who the hubby was, I still held out hope for Jung Hwan. But… Taek and Duk Sun are beyond adorable together and he really did love her to pieces. And in the end, this drama was about everyone that inhabited that block, the many types of love there is in this world. I was and will always be Team Block Buddies.
Who was your favorite couple in the series?
CLKYTTA: My favorite couple was Sun Woo and Bo Ra. I was rooting for them from the get go. They had such good chemistry and I wanted them to be happy. Their story line was really good. I knew they were meant to be when Bo Ra took his mom to the country. So many characters in this show were originally presented as one way and gradually were revealed to be much deeper than I originally thought.
KMUSE: For me it was Jung Bong and Tweedledee. I literally squealed all through their first fated meeting, the cute dates, and their eventual reunion. If any of the couples were “meant to be” I would say it was these two.
KdramaJen: My favorite couple was really a trio. I loved the ahjumma moms and their relationship. It’s not easy raising kids, but how awesome to never feel like you are doing it on your own. The friendship and conversations shared on the porch steps, through the exchange of food, and the common experiences of raising a family through difficult times forged lifelong bonds. I felt a deep longing to get a perm and hang out in their neighborhood. I loved seeing this relationship develop over the years!
Jennie: Have to agree with Kmuse. Honestly, I want a spin-off show of just them 🙂
Drama Geek: I have to choose? If I have to then it’s Sun Woo’s mom and Taek’s dad. Their relationship was the sweetest and brought two lonely people much happiness. Plus it made Sun Woo and Taek brothers and gave Taek a little sister to dote on. So much win.
Your favorite moment?
KMUSE: UGH picking just one moment out of all those memorable scenes is so hard. With that in mind I am going to mention several…….a few……..a plethora? First off would be whenever the three ahjummas hung out together. Their friendship was epic and makes me wish I had something similar. They were so fun to watch. Also when the block buddies found out about Bo Ra and Sun Woo were dating. I wonder how many times they had to re-film that scene to get it right. Then when the Block Boys danced in the talent show in place of Duk Seon. And FINALLY (only four references is not to many if you consider there were thirty + hours of material to choose from) all the kisses. Each one was so memorable and gave me the happy flutters. If nothing else, this director really knows how to do a well developed skinship scene. Let’s hear it for fun and sexy smooches.
CLKYTTA: When Jin Joo ruined the Go Stop game. I laughed so hard I couldn’t breathe! The boys are always making reference to how awesome their mom is and to see Mi Ran in action was hilarious.
KdramaJen: The bus scene stands out in my memory. I have already mentioned the 1994 kiss, but the “dream kiss” was pretty great too. Mostly, though, it was any time the whole gang was together. I loved the dynamics and their comfortable relationship. KMUSE*** I am just throwing out the thought that I am willing to perm my hair if you move to Portland. Hint hint.
Jennie: Totally love the ahjummas, too. And I’m a serious sucker for great kissing. But all of Duk Seon’s bad dancing has to be my favorite. She was hilarious at it. I also have to add all the Jung Hwan peeking moments where he would act all cool, then he’d look out the window at Duk Seon or he’d turn his back, or he’d hang up a pink shirt and stare at it. And to be honest, Taek’s time at the beach with Duk Seon was AMAZEBALLS.
Drama Geek: Okay, you guys are killing me with just choosing one!! I can’t. You’ve all listed so many great moments. I’m going to pick places instead. Taek’s room. The series began and ended there. So many laughs and talks happened there. The staircase. Again, so many heartfelt talks. Hours of waiting for each other. Sun Woo and Bo Ra’s yummy kiss. And last, Jung Bong and Jung Hwan’s living room. It seemed to be where the grown-ups gathered the most. If only I could perm my hair and have lunch with my favorite ahjummas, life would be bliss.
What would you do differently?
KMUSE: I felt that the drama needed maybe one more episode. I would have liked to see everyone’s reactions when Taek and Duk Seon came clean about their relationship. Not to mention their wedding. I will always be sad I didn’t see Taek getting his wedding on. Also Jung Hwan needed closure. It felt like he was left out of the last episode. Maybe to firm up the relationship love for Taek and Duk Seon, but it still felt like a bit of a cop out. I really wanted to see him happy and in a relationship.
CLKYTTA: I think it would have been nice to see Jin Joo grown up, the girl had skills and it would have been fun to see what she turned out like. I also could have done without seeing the neighborhood years later, that just broke my heart.
KdramaJen: Jung Hwan needed a happy ending of some kind. I needed him to have one. Maybe he did, but we did not get to see it. Also, I wish we could have seen Duk Seon’s feelings a bit more. I really had no idea how she felt about any of the potential husbands. That development would have been a nice touch.
Jennie: I covered this in my recap, but yeah, I agree with all of the above.
Drama Geek: For me the only thing I wish had happened was closure on some of the characters they never mentioned in 2016. Jung Hwan, Dong Ryong and Jin Joo are the ones that stick out the most. I feel like this writer’s biggest weakness is not knowing how to give the second lead a proper send off (this isn’t just this writer’s issue, I feel most kdrama writers have a hard time with this). I would have loved if they’d just made mention of how Jung Hwan’s life turned out.
How does it compare to the other two dramas in the Answer Me series ?
CLKYTTA: Pros, better story arc, not completely husband focused. I loved how it was family focused, we saw the relationships between parents and children, siblings and friends. I wanted to be in Sun Woo and Taek’s family, those parents were awesome.
Cons, some of the storylines weren’t fleshed out as well as they could be. There seemed like a lot of place holders like Dong Ryon’s mom, and Taek’s managers, kind of like they were going to do something with the character, tossed out a few scenes and then said, nah, no one cares and moved on. I felt like there was backstory I missed somewhere.
KMUSE: Answer Me 1997 will always have a strong place in my heart because of my #1 bias, the ever sexy Seo In Guk. That said, Answer Me 1988 was much better written and I loved that it told the story of a group of people and not just a love triangle. As we discovered in Answer Me 1994, thirty plus hours of love triangle makes everyone a bit cranky and disappointed.
KdramaJen: Hmmm… I loved Reply 1997. I watched it while I had the flu in one fever-hazed dramathon. I didn’t get caught up in the weekly worry of the husband game. It was awesome! I watched Reply 1994 as it aired. That was not awesome. I don’t want to give spoilers, but my soul was crushed and I will never be the same. Having said that, when I watched it again I actually enjoyed it. Reply 1988 captured my heart. I learned my lesson after 1994, so I prepared myself for second lead syndrome. I did not have that problem at all. I loved the whole crazy neighborhood. I will definitely be watching it again now that I know who is end-game. I think I might love it even more the second time. Well, for that one kissing scene it will be the 81st time, but who’s counting?
Jennie: 1997 will always be the best drama to me. But this one is a close second. Didn’t hate 1994, but I’m still bitter looking back.
Drama Geek: 1997 had the best OTP of the series but 1988 won me over with the block family and overall story arc..
Would you suggest this drama to others now that it is all done with?
CLKYTTA: I would recommend it. Now that it’s over, I’ll probably watch it all over again just to see what clues I missed on the first go round.
KMUSE: Have already watched it all the way through twice (except the last two episodes). I would of course suggest it to everyone.
KdramaJen: Absolutely! This will be a career-launching drama for many of these young actors and actresses. I think this will be one that is talked about for a while. There is that kissing scene… Wait, have I mentioned that?
Jennie: YES!! As long as they know who the husband is ahead of time so they can focus on the cute couple. I still loved it not knowing, but I think I would’ve enjoyed it even more the other way around.
Drama Geek: This drama has ended up in my top 5. Now that it’s over viewers have the luxury of circumventing its main flaw by knowing who the hubby is, so I would recommend it wholeheartedly. The acting talent alone should bring you in. I’ve never noticed Ra Mi Ran in a drama and now I want to go back and look at everything she’s done. I’m dying to see what all the block buddies end up in. I feel like Ryoo Hye Young (Bo Ra) and Ryoo Joon Yeol (Jung Hwan) are two to really watch out for. Yes, of course, Park Bo Gum as well. But those two were pretty much unknown and they really set the screen on fire. Oh, and the little girl that played Jin Joo. She’s adorable.
Sadly, now it is time to say goodbye. It was a truly wonderful experience watching the people on the block grow older together. This was also a wonderful first drama to recap for our new blog. So let’s lift our glasses to everyone involved in this project and hope that they have many successful projects yet to come.
Til next time,
0 thoughts on “The Fangirls Roundtable: “Answer Me 1988””
I would have liked a few more episodes, but I can see the what the writer was going for by not giving TK/DS a wedding. It goes back to the first episode where DS had to share a birthday and had a hissy fit because she felt unloved. In the end, she gave up having the spotlight and attention so her sister could have it. She could have told everyone she was dated Taek, and caused problems and got the attention from her family, but she didn’t. She’s not longer that girl desperate for love, but is happy and willing to let delay her happiness a bit in favor of her beloved sister. I thought it was a nice touch.
I think Jung Hwan did get his happy ending. We didn’t see him fall in love again, but after 18 episodes of loving DS (and lifetime before that) it wouldn’t make sense to give him a random girl. But he was happy with his family and had a career he liked. He also learned a valuable lesson about telling someone what you feel when you feel it. He let go and was at peace with everything.
The best scenes with Junghwan were always with his family. From making his mom feel better by acting useless, to humoring his father and doing this gags, to his lovely relationship with his brother, to planning a wedding his parents never had…. those scenes are what I remember. Not him brooding on the bed for half the drama about a girl who didn’t know he even liked her. His family became stronger, more loving and more open, and he had a lot to do with that.
I would have liked to see a final “this is what JH is doing..”, but I like that we don’t really know, but through the drama and his growth I know he’ll be fine, and probably married a great girl and has a lovely family.
I’d also recommend this drama to anyone. I think TK/DS makes the most sense if you both look at it from her pov and take JH’s words of regret seriously. This wasn’t a drama were the girl magically figured out what the guy was feeling even if he never said it. Instead, she moved on to the guy who was always there and who she always loved a little more than her other friends.
I loved this Answer Me the best of the series, Seo In Guk aside… Wonderfully written, not husband-hunt driven, NOT derailed by greedy producers or higher-ups so that the writers’ original vision got fulfilled 😀
I too would love an epilogue – where we got to see Jung Hwan, Jin Joo & Dong Ryon in 2016, & have flashbacks of Taek & Duk Seon announcing their relationship, & their wedding. But I can live w/o it. Especially as there are disturbing rumors that the plan had Jung Hwan dying in the interim which would just tear my heart out….
I did read somewhere that there may have been a different, much sadder, ending planned for Jung Hwan. If that’s the case, I guess I’m happy they didn’t put us through that. If the writer wanted that ending for him but everyone else wouldn’t let her, I can see why she decided to just leave it open ended.
Paark Bo Gum’s Taek was incredible! He is the gem in this story. Want to see more of him.
I guess you’ve got your wish come true with MDBC <3