Thursday, February 13, 2014

[K-Drama Review] Reply 1997 (2012)

Finally be able to finish another series. I watch this series from the first place because Reply 1994. Few people told me that Reply 1997 has a better story. So I watch it to prove if what they’re saying is true. Turns out it’s a 50-50 point for me. Even though I love the story and the cast, my heart still goes directly to Shinchon Boarding House’s kids in Reply 1994. But after all Reply 1997 is also had a good value. Therefore I must salute the Screenwriter-nim for giving us such a beautiful story of the 90’s. Can’t wait for another ‘Reply’ drama!

Reply 1997 tells a story of six youngster who (5 of them) grew up in Busan and spend their time together at Kwang An High School. They are Sung Shi Won, Yoon Yoon Jae, Kang Joon Hee, Mo Yoo Jung, Bang Sung Jae, and Do Hak Chan. 

Sung Shi Won (Jung Eun Ji) is a diehard H.O.T fans. Her bias is Ahn Seung Wo a.k.a Tony. She’s a typical undying fan girl who can spend days starving and sleeping on the street if it is for her ‘oppa’. Her father, Sung Dong Il is always tell her to study more since she ranked last in her class but her mother Lee Il Hwa is always proud of her daughter and stand in front of her if her husband ready to smack her. Beside her life as a fan girl, in the 90’s Sung Shi Won faced a harder questions in her life when she figured out who is her first love.

Yoon Yoon Jae (Seo In Guk) who grew up together with Shi Won is the total opposite. Growing up without parents and raised by his only brother, Yoon Jae always rank first in class. However he’s under Shi Won’s spelled. Even though both of them fighting all the time, he always follow Shi Won’s order and ended up losing. But one day he decided to not give up what he has and faced the most difficult times of his time when he has to choose who he loves the most, his first love or his guardian angel.

The rest of the group also has the distinct characteristic. Kang Joon He (Hoya) is the second smartest kid in school after Yoon Jae. Looking picture-perfect from the outside, Joon Hee hides a dark secret inside that no one could ever wonder. Mo Yoo Jung (Shin So Yul) is Shi Won’s BFF. Her cuteness is her power. Like friendship relationship in common world, she and Shi Won also had a big fight when she chooses to love the forbidden one.

Bang Sung Jae (Lee Si Un) is the unluckiest guy of the group yet he still enjoys his unfortunate moments and lives his teenager’s life blissfully. Do Hak Chan (Eun Ji Won) is the last member to join the group. He’s a transfer student from Seoul. Behind his cool act between guys, he can’t say a word or even looking eye to eye to a girl. He also known as the Porn King in his high school days.

gang in 1997.
gang in 2012.
Together in the 90’s they find their first love for the first time and struggling through time until in 2012 the group together again in their Kwang An High School Alumni Class of 1997’s reunion when one couple announce they’re getting married and having a baby together.

After watching Reply 1997, I’m officially declared that I’m addicted to ‘Reply’ drama. I really love how Lee Woo Jung  Screenwriter-nim collect all the memories we had about the 90’s and our first love then spread it out in one marvelous story of Kwang An High School Gangs and Sinchon Boarding House’s kids. The voice over which depicts the moral lesson on each episodes is my favorite thing from the drama. I’m in awe for the beautiful words that (miraculously) paints all the character’s feeling. 

life of a fan girl, 'Reply' drama signature :))
However I didn’t find Reply 1997 as attractive as Reply 1994 on the early episodes. I don’t know if it is because I watch the 1994 first or not. Maybe because the story is a bit different. You know how Reply 1997 tells a story of a teenager’s first love in their high school, while Reply 1994 express how a college freshman finding out their first love. Other thing is that I don’t find myself laugh out loud watching this drama as what I’ve done when watching Reply 1994. Oh and also I find the bonds of Sinchon Boarding House’s kids are stronger.

a moment like this is one of the reason why i love 'Reply' drama.
But putting out Reply 1994 – Reply 1997 comparison behind, Reply 1997 is definitely one of the best dramas I’ve ever watched. From the story, the casts, the soundtracks, the cinematography, all nearly reach out a perfect point.

one of the best scenes.
I rarely find a bad story in one drama or movie. The same case goes for this one. The story of Reply 1997 is really light yet enchanting. It starts from a simple point at first. About how you chase your first love and spend your time from a spoiled teenager to become a grown up. But each day, each moments these kids spent is really special and form a breathtaking journey. Unlike other drama, Reply 1997 shows their viewer a moral lesson. The story explains that a person can have their up and down moments in life. It is not only link to love relationship, but also family and friendship. Salute for the writer. It gives me chill to watch a lot of beautiful moments in one drama.

I never knew that Jung Eun Ji can act so well. I really loved her character in here. Actually i thought Sung Shi Won is her true character in real life, because from what I see Eunji also has a lively and bubbly image when she attends variety and music show. Besides Eunji, I really love how Seo In Guk portray his character in here. Next to his striking face (and body), I thought he only perfect when he plays a cool yet mesmerizing guy (Again, I got that image because I watch him in The Master’s Sun first, when he plays Kang Woo, the head of security department who has a cool character) I can say that sloppy and funny Seo In Guk in Yoon Yoon Jae name is way hotter than Kang Woo in Master’s Sun. 

hope to see u in another drama production Hoya ;)
But then again, who caught my attention the most is Hoya. Maybe he can teach L how to act since he acts so well in this drama. He really represents his character effortlessly. The way he standing, the way he holds something in his hand, the way he talks, and his glare is really what the personality of his character would do. I must say that Hoya is also in a race on becoming to be the next successful actor-dol.

you're the best Sung Dong Il ahjussi!
Alike Reply 1994, I also find Sung Dong Il is the vitamins of this drama. I always laugh when it comes to his scenes. Strangely, I also cry watching few of his scenes. He really is a great actor. He can drive his viewers crazy and brought them into the same state with him. Two thumbs up for Sung Dong Il ahjussi!

Another thing I like from this series is that it has more familiar cameos than Reply 1994. It will be a spoiler if I call it one by one here but some of the cameo (who also came out in 1994) really makes my jaw drop.

A good drama always have good soundtrack, but a good soundtrack doesn’t always belong to be a good drama. In this case, the first option is what I chose. I really love Deli Spice – Confession music, I think I’m going to be listening to this song for a couple times in the future. Another song I like is definitely Seo In Guk – Jung Eun Ji’s All For You. I find it shocking though when this song played for the first time. It’s not because this is not a good song, but because the scene when this music played is not the main lead scenes. On the other hand if I have to compare it to Reply 1994’s soundtrack, i find Reply 1994 soundtrack is more interesting. Maybe because a lot of today’s singer sang the OST, unlike Reply 1997’s OST which filled with 90’s music. 

Finally, if I have to put a score I will put 9,5 out of 10 for this series.

“The reason I like you? Because it’s you. Just you. That’s the only reason. I wish I knew. Then I could figure out how to stop liking you. If I can’t avoid it, I only want one thing. To stay as a friend who doesn’t change. For heartache. For love.” – Kang Joon Hee (Reply 1997)

Ps. I’m really looking forward to another ‘Reply’ series. From what allkpop write is that tvN already prepare a ‘Reply 2002’ drama. Can’t wait! Oh and another thing is I’m officially a fans of tvN drama. Love love love the distinction from any other drama! 

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