[Kdrama] ‘Reply 1988’ ep 1-10 ~ first half impression/ opinion/review ~

I wanted to write this before I watch episode 11 – although I did see some scenes on twitter. First of all I like Jung Hwan and most likely he will be the husband. Second, even though I like him, I just want to enjoy the drama as it is without getting into fan wars or anything of that kind.

It was never my intention to compare Reply 1988 with its ‘forerunners’ however along the way I ended up doing it so. I like all the Reply series but after seeing just the first half of Reply 1988, I have a feeling that it will end up being my favorite drama. Currently ‘Dalja’s spring’ is the queen of my top 10 dramas but soon it will drop to second place. That’s how much I love this Reply.

Character wise, I like them all. There’s not even one character that could annoy or disturb the peace of the story. The writer gave everyone an important role within the story thus they all blend well making the development enjoyable. Frankly, I did think in the beginning that Bo Ra was a total lunatic but as the drama went forward I could understand her more and she wasn’t the crazy older sister anymore. Her interaction with Sun Woo is fluttering and no matter how much she tries to act like an adult around him, he manages to take the ground beneath her feet to make the girl fall for him.

The older characters aren’t ignored either. There is an interesting division between the older and the younger characters, both sides having the same amount of screen time while still maintaining to give off a nostalgic and lovable interaction between all the characters. Truthfully speaking, for me when it comes to Korean dramas, there are times when I’m fast bored of the older characters but with Reply 1988, I find myself looking forward to the scenes of all the parents especially the ones with Jung Hwan’s family (I totally love Ra Mi Ran).

And now the most sensitive subject: who is the husband? Well, I won’t go into more details of who I think it is and so on, all I know is that I want Jung Hwan to be the husband. I’m going to ignore all the hints from the writer while enjoying the interaction between Jung Hwan and Deok Sun.

I love Jung Hwan’s body language, actions and expressions whenever Deok Sun is around or the subject of the conversation is about her. Ryu Jun Yeol makes all that seem natural and I can’t imagine anyone else for the role of Jung Hwan. Of course, even if I’m in the “TeamJungHwan”, I can’t ignore Park Bo Gum’s acting. As an actor, Bo Gum is clearly someone who will do much more in the future however as a character or potential husband for Deok Sun, all I can think of is that he can’t be the one. One of the main reasons I like Deok Sun and Jung Hwan together is because the two bicker a lot. They let their temper out whenever they are together, thing that she barely does when she is with Taek. I do understand that there is a possibility for Deok Sun to like Taek, but all I’ve seen for now is that she always has a somewhat motherly-like feeling and constantly takes care of him but not really from the point of view of a (possible) relationship or at least not for now.

To be honest, I’m kind of tired of Taek being taken care of by the others around. I wish he will do something for himself by his own. On the other hand, I do admire his straight forwardness to reveal that he likes Deok Sun as more than a friend to the other guys. Jung Hwan lacks that and just takes small steps towards Deok Sun like taking her to the concert or looking at her while she sleeps in the bus.

Regarding the acting, everyone is amazing. Among the younger cast I love Ryu Jun Yeol’s acting, it’s like those are his real expressions. But the most surprising out of all the actors is definitely Hyeri. I knew the others act well, I’ve seen their past projects (with the exception of the actress who plays Bo Ra) and I was against Hyeri being part of the cast. I even thought the producer, the writer and everyone from the casting team lost their mind with the addition of Hyeri into Reply 1988. I was sure this drama will be a total mess and she won’t do it but that was bad of me and in a way I’m actually glad she proved wrong to everyone and she can do it. Not only that she is natural and with no awkwardness around the camera, she created Deok Sun in such a manner that it’s hard for me to see Hyeri as the member of an idol group, I just can see her as Hyeri, the girl who played Sung Deok Sun.

The only thing I’m displeased with from this drama is that Dong Ryong, as a character, seems to be ignored. There were hints in episode 10 that he will have his own part and he will be discussed in the story but I really hope Dong Ryong won’t be just that funny guy of the show. Lee Dong Hwi is a great actor and I want to see the drama giving him to chance to explore his emotions not as an actor but as Dong Hwi.

The OST sends an arrow every time straight through my heart. Everything about the OST is lovely and pure nostalgia.

Apart from the love-lines like Doek Sun-Taek, Deok Sun-Jung Hwan, Bo Ra- Sun Woo and Sun Woo and Taek’s parents, I like the heartwarming moments from this drama. For example I totally loved when everyone around the neighborhood gathered to build JIn Joo a snow man or when everyone shares their food with everyone. Those apparently small things make the drama worth the time even if some may be scared of spending 80 minutes on an episode. For me, those 80 minutes fly by really fast.

I hope that for the next 10 episodes the production team won’t get blinded by the ratings and will continue to do a good job especially in the writing department.



  1. […] Episodes 01 to 10 […]

  2. […] Other interesting reviews: Couch Kimchi The Fan Girl Verdict Shikidrama […]

  3. I totally agree with your review except for the part where everyone takes care of Taek. he is so adorable, i could have adopted him too. I like everyone taking care of Taek…He’s the neighbourhood male baby..(Jin Joo is the female baby). Also…i agree with the Deok Sun-Jung Hwan team… i totally shipped them but Alas! I was really hurt that Taek is the husband…my heart broke. If it wasn’t that I enjoyed every minute of the other parts of the drama, I could have given up because of this reason. I did that when I watched ‘Dr Stranger’ as I wanted Kang So Ra with Lee Jong Suk. In reply 1988, the adults gave me life! They were totally adorable. Ra Mi Ran was awesome…my kind of woman. Each family had something I looked forward to every screen time.

    Also, there’s a certain quality to the acting that I can’t explain. It was totally relatable, understandable and it felt ‘right’. Reminded me of ‘reply 1997’, ‘dear my friends’ and ‘dae jang geum’. Such that even when they were acting out ‘normal’scenes, i just feel like a part of it. My comic relief was Jung Bong and Dong Ryong especially Dong Ryong. He’s dumb yet understanding….silly yet amazing. He gives the others advice and is always there for them. I can’t imagine the drama without him even though he seemed to be the least (story wise) of all of them.

    Finally…my man, my love story and my heart was with Kim Jung Hwan in this one..my Jung Pal. You see, they already gave us a hint that he’s not a very affectionate person (unlike SunWoo). Remember his relationship with his mom. Yet he gave his affection in his actions. His eyes spoke volumes when others weren’t watching. Everyone watched Taek look at Deok Sun but nobody looked at Jung Hwan when he watched Deok Sun. His eyes glowed and his whole face changes when he smiles. My heart just took hits during these rare, beautiful, times. He was my man for her. That confession in episode 18…

    My heart totally…broke!

    1. Damn, your comment just reminded me how much I liked Jung Hwan hahaha. In all honestly, I do think that the show, the story was shown from the perspective of someone who wasn’t involved in the love relationship between the main characters. Now, after a long period of time, I do think that we saw the story from Jung Hwan’s eyes. He could witness everything from his perspective. Although my heart hurt because in the end he wasn’t the husband but at the end of the day, it’s not our story so the writer can end it however she wants.

      All in all, we all enjoyed a well done family drama where not only romance was the main idea but humans were, the moments sp0ent with those close to you and so on. It was a great watch.

      Thank you for the comment, I appreciate it a lot. Have a great day~

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