Written by Franz Darwin V. Ignacio 

Honestly, I was hesitant to watch this drama because I find it slow-paced at first. Eventually, everything turned out amazing.

Reply 1988 touched my entire human body particularly my heart. It gave me nostalgic feelings that were new to me. It shared a glimpse of Korean culture in the year 1988.

The writer, Lee Woo-jung, gave a beautiful storyline with a solid complex plot about family, friendship, youth, and love. It was so realistic and had a huge impact on me which made it unforgettable and exceptional. I was wondering sometimes, if I were living in an era without technologies, will I also experience the characters felt here?

Reply 1988 centered on the lives of the colorful neighborhood of Ssangmun-dong. It showed the ups and downs of ordinary families, whose children grew up together: Duk-seon (Hyeri), Jung-hwan (Ryu Jun-yeol), Sun-woo (Go Kyung-pyo), Dong-ryong (Lee Dong-hwi), and Choi Taek (Park Bo-gum).

Duk-seon is a bubbly and the only girl in the group. She just wanted to love and be loved. Jung-hwan is a kind-hearted person. He has feelings towards Duk-seon but sadly, he could not confess it. But what would happen if he and Duk-seon ended up together? Sun-woo is the most diligent and smart in the group. Duk-seon loved her first but he fell in love with her sister. Dong-ryong is a strong man who desired for his mother’s care. Taek is an adorable person and determined to win his game as a baduk player.

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This group of friends became my most favorite K-drama squad. Even though they were not blood related and such, they still got each other’s back. They are willing to share each other’s happy and sad times. They made me miss my friends.

I am Team Taek throughout the series. Taek bravely seized the moment and expressed his feelings to Duk-seon while Jung-hwan inevitably had sweet moments that Duk-seon did not realize. But the biggest love lesson learned from this love triangle was what Jung-hwan said:

“In the end, fate and timing do not just happen out of coincidence. They are products of earnest, simple choices, which make up miraculous moments. Being resolute, making decisions without hesitation – that is what makes timing. He wanted her more than I did. And I should have been more courageous. It was not the traffic light’s fault. It was not timing. It was my countless hesitations.”

I loved the other characters in this show as well because they had their own stories which beautifully enhanced the lives of five main characters.

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My favorite scenes were: when Taek gave pink gloves to his father, a simple wedding celebration of Jung-hwan’s parents at Dong-ryong’s restaurant, ‘Thank You’ plaque to Duk-seon’s father, and when Sun-woo asked permission to his mother because he wanted to marry Bo-ra.

Furthermore, I saw a picture of a perfect family even though they went through a lot of problems. They still smile and never gave up. They managed to have a firm friendship not just by the young ones but also to the parents because they did a lot of sacrifices (i.e. when Taek’s father offered money to Sun-woo’s mother and when they helped each other in times of need). It was really admiring and made me cry a lot especially in the last four episodes.

Hence, I supposed the major event this series had was the development and growth that happened in different characters.

This drama was really a gem. Therefore, it must be appreciated. It would give you a lot of realizations and would teach you to treasure your family and friends. I loved this show very much. I truly felt I was part of this neighborhood. I could not help myself to control my tears because of the heartwarming scenes with the help of meaningful lines.

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I learned so many things in life after watching this. For instance, live your life with no regrets. We must enjoy our youth so we could reminisce and remember it someday.  Spend more quality time with the people who are with us. Moreover, if you like someone, grab the moment and tell him/her now. Do not lose someone you love over your pride.

And the most important lesson I learned was that everyone was allowed to make mistakes and learn from them. I could proudly say I would never leave this neighborhood and forget the beautiful memories that helped me to be a better person. Thank you, Ssangmun-dong!

What are you waiting for? Start watching Reply 1988 now!

Images courtesy of tvN

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4 thoughts on “Here’s why “Reply 1988” is a gem

  1. Very good kdrama..i love it..makes me want to have faith in humanity…if only all people in this world are like those characters in reply 1988…

  2. I agree with the writer of this article. There were so many scenes that were so touching and made me cry but t was balanced by the funny dialogues they exchanged. The actors were fantastic that they immersed with their characters so well. It was long but I watch every episode diligently and couldn’t wait to watch the next one until I finished. This series is added to my faves and I was to glad I made the right choice from all the K-series.

  3. Watched it twice and still want to watched it again and again. Love the story, the casts and their soundtrack. Reply 1988 will always be my favorite Kseries..

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