So apparently, I’m thankful on how my cousin insisted that I need to watch this series. I’ve never thought that aside from Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo, I’ll be adding this one to my drama lists I’ll take time to recover.
I may be 5 years late since this drama aired, but I’m really happy I’ve finally watched this. And if you haven’t yet, I’m really hoping this 8 reasons can convince you!
1. It’ll take you back in time.
Given the series’ title, Reply 1988 gives you an overview on how was the world back then. The main highlight would be when South Korea hosted the 1988 Olympics — in which our female lead, Sung Deok Sun became a country picket holder. The aesthetics and technology are the ones that has caught my attention: arcades, cassette tape players, and betamax were the source of entertainment back then.
Cellular phones aren’t being used yet and friendships back then blossomed because of the neighborhood. The trends back then is completely different on how the technology changed the world today. With this drama, it’ll widen your idea on how the people lived in struggle and in comfort without too much technology.
2. The plot and its sub-plot lines.
Reply 1988 is a well written drama. It intended to focus on the five childhood friends: The bubbly Deok Sun, the grumpy Jung Hwan, the good-kid Sun Woo, the funny Dong Ryeong and reserved Choi Taek. However, it also tackles different stories of their respective families who experienced struggles in work, financial, education, and social. The series is easily relatable since the characters aren’t portrayed as someone who’s rich or powerful but as someone who’s living a simple life.
You’ll get to discover on how amazing this drama hits with its different sub-plots. One thing that touched me would be the endless love and care of the parents for their children — on how they wouldn’t mind buying themselves new clothing just so they can provide whatever their children needs.
3. Learn more about the Korean culture and practices.
Sure we can learn about the Korean culture through different forums or first hand experiences. Sometimes we get to experience it when we study, work or even get married to a Korean family. In this series, I learned that marrying someone with the same surname is a taboo practice back then. Thankfully the law changed allowing Koreans to marry someone with the same surname.
Another Korean culture that shown in this drama is the value of education. The youngsters in this drama tried their best to excel in school. It’s a surprising reveal on how schools back then holds night sessions until 11 PM for students to continuously study and get ready for the next day’s class.
Study rooms are a common thing for students to hangout and study during their school breaks.
4. The ahjummas.
Ah the moms! To whoever thought of retaining the original names of the mothers who played in this drama is a genius! I love how Mom Lee Il Hwa, Mom Ra Mi Ran, and Mom Kim Sun Young were able to deliver their mother roles in this drama. Their acting will really stuck you at some point especially when they are faced with their own struggles.
The mothers in this drama will also show you how housewives were able to maintain the household back in the day. Their daily adventures and stories are the ones that’ll give you laughs and tears in this drama!
5. The ahjussis.
Of course, the children and the mom’s wouldn’t be present if it weren’t for the dads! *winks* Just like the mothers, the dads also used their original names. Dad Sung Dong-Il, Dad Kim Sung Kyun, Dad Yoo Jae Myung, and Dad Choi Moo Sung will give its audience the head of the family vibes. They may not be as visible as the moms as most of them are working, but once they appear, you’ll surely have a good time! Just a heads up! Expect to laugh whenever Dad Kim Sung Kyun is present in the scene. He’ll make your day!
6. The children’s coming-of-age.
Reply 1988 is a story between the childhood friends: Sung Deok Sun (Lee Hyeri), Kim Jung Hwan (Ryu Jun Yeol), Sung Sun Woo (Go Kyung Pyo), Ryu Dong Ryong (Lee Dong Hwi) and Choi Taek (Park Bo Gum) who are neighbors in Ssamun-dong, Dobong, Seoul. The story takes you to a journey on how the 5 friends grew up and is currently on search of their own dreams. One thing that this drama also emphasized is that sometimes, finding someone’s dream doesn’t come too easy; you’ll feel lost but your decisions will take you further.
It’ll also take you to a romantic roller-coaster ride as it’ll give you giggles and blushes with the guy leads! The drama was able to deliver how the main characters grew up and has found their careers to help them become successful in their present lives.
7. It emphasizes the strong value of friendship.
Aside from taking us back in the day, the series will show you the importance of friendship. Having good friends will take you to good places and give you lifetime memories. In this series, you’ll get to feel how our main casts are genuine and how much they cherish each other.
Spoiler alert, when Choi Taek lost in one of his matches, I love how the 4 friends visited him and asked him to express his frustration rather than keeping it to himself. That part is somehow realistic and it’ll make a lot of viewers relate to with that scene.
8. You’ll get to cherish and reminisce your youth.
One thing that Reply 1988 will leave to its viewers is the beautiful memories of their younger days. The viewers can definitely relate to the characters once in a while between the episodes. It will also give you a realization on how much you’ve enjoyed your youthful years especially if you can relate with the trends and lifestyle portrayed in the series.
There will be a point in our life where you’ll wish to be Taek who’s earning a lot of money for playing Baduk instead of studying. Sometimes, you’ll feel lost like Deok Sun who’s not sure on what to do in the future. Also, there will be times that you’ll be like Sun Woo who’ll fall in love with someone to keep you motivated, or even Dong Ryong who wanted to enjoy the life as a youth. A point in our life can be relatable to Jung Hwan when there are moments in life you’ll hesitate to pursue something because of what’s at stake.
To conclude, Reply 1988 is a series that will give you laughs and happy tears as you reminisce the good old days and bid farewell to your youth.
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