Answer Me 1988 #AToZChallenge




Reply1988 or AnswerMe1988 is the third installment of the Reply Drama series(Reply1997, Reply1994). This romantic comedy family drama was widely acclaimed by audience and critics alike for its original theme of celebration of youth, family, memories and days of yore, thus making it the highest rated drama in Korean cable television history. A lighthearted coming of age tale of five friends and their families living in the same neighborhood, this anthology slice-of-life series of 20 episodes spanning 90-110 minutes each is bound to take one of the favorite spots in your drama lists.

The episodes focus equally on the filial bond and the romance between the teenage characters. A persistent question through the episodes is who among her best friends Duk Seon, the female teenager, marries eventually. The actors shine through their performances, and each is given his own screen space, time and big-hearted story. Each character is so endearingly flawed, earthly and humane that you are instantly drawn towards him.

The kids: Love them!!

The world of the yesteryear is recreated here through the fashion of the late 1980’s, the hairstyle, the variety tv shows broadcast then,  listening to the news, music and anonymous love letters over the radio, car models of the past and humongous video recorders. The retro backdrop is charming and awesome. It sets the perfect stage for the story.

I won't go into the characters details or plot revelations here, as it is so intricately detailed and nuanced that it would take me about three posts. It's a treat to watch, slowly go with the flow. So read on, it has no spoilers.


Family:

Sometimes another’s family seems more fulfilled and flawless than ours. We yearn to have that perfect family, that perfect lives for ourselves, but we rarely realize that our idea of perfection is different from another’s. We fail to see that someone else considers our life as gifted and our family as the best. We sometimes fail to acknowledge that even in the most monotonous daily routines, we feel at home only with our family. 


There is a deep seated comfort with the company of those that you have been acquainted with over the years. They know all your virtues and all your vices. You don’t feel the need to hide in front of them; you are comfortable in your own skin. They might be the most oblivious to the inner workings of your mind and heart but they are the ones who’d stand with you till the end. Your family is the best gift that life has bestowed upon you, so make sure to take the time to appreciate it and spend it with your loved ones.


“There’s nothing one is more sick of and considers tackier than something that has belonged to them for a long time. However, another way to say “tacky” and “sick of” is “accustomed to” and “comfortable”. The feeling of being accustomed only comes with having spent a long time with something. And the only people I’m comfortable with can truly know me, embrace me and console me.

Friends:

There would always be that one friend who’d embarrass you in public, one friend whom you’d fiercely protect from the world, another who you’d confide in, and another who’d be your secret crush. Everyone has had this set of friends at least once in life. Friends are treasures we cherish with all our heart. This drama would make you nostalgic, make you reminiscence the friendships that you had or still have.



First Love:

Themes of that perfect innocence of first love can never grow old. It will always be fresh and touching, how-many-ever renditions it might have. Teenage love dominates here as the prevailing plot as Duk Seon falls for one of her childhood friends, and is dunce enough to get the feelings of another. It’s a triangle. They deal with these tumultuous tides of emotions along with their grades, high school pressures, dreams/ ambitions, and that ultimate question of what to do with one’s life- the major decision of career path.

Choi Taek: Love Ya!!

“A line indicates a limit, saying “that’s as far as you get”. To maintain that boundary means to maintain the same familiarity, and it means that one will respect the universe that it outlines through abiding by its rules and maintaining the relationships existing in it as they are.
This also means that, if one were to never cross that line, one would never experience the world, rules, and relationships outside of the currently established boundaries. If one wishes for a new relationship, if one wishes for love, one must cross the line. If one were to not cross the line, that line would demarcate the limit of how far you and that person can go.
Of course, there are some lines in this world that should never be crossed.” 
The mothers: gossipy, chatty, discussing their husbands
and children while merry-making.

Hindi Drama equivalent:

None so far. But to a certain extent, I think ‘Baa Bahu aur Baby’ gave me this feel. The story was about a family with well-portrayed ensemble characters about growth in everyday life with ample amount of humor and comedy. Gattu, Baa, Lila Bhabi and Baby were so endearing. The characters are etched in my mind. If you liked ‘Baa Bahu aur Baby’, you’ll love ‘Reply1988’.

(PS: If you think that 90-110 minutes episodes are extra long, take my word, you’ll be thankful for it. There isn’t a single minute when you’d get bored or want to forward it. I can vouch for it that even after finishing an episode you’d yearn and want more screen time with these characters. You just can’t get enough.)

Linking the post with UBC  and AToZChallenge.


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