A bittersweet but very moving portrayal of youth, love, family and friendship. I don’t usually like family-centred dramas but let me tell you: “Reply 1988” got me hooked. You don’t find that easily such an heart-warming drama. The cast’s chemistry was something else! My biggest motivation for starting watching this was Park Bo Gum (god bless whoever chose him for this role because no one would do it better; every time he smiled I felt like I could die) but all of the cast did an outstanding job: Hyeri fitted really well her character; Ryu Joon-yeol was a big surprise for me (really excited to see him again in “One Way Trip”); Lee Dong Hwi’s character is pure gold (he’s that friend who only seems to care about having fun but knows more about life than what people think). I have been watching a lot of Go Kyung-pyo’s works and I think he deserves more recognition for his acting: I watched this after “Chinatown” (a.k.a. “Coin Locker Girl”) and he did a remarkable job with both roles, which are completely different. Finally, in my opinion, one of the most incredibly played characters is Sung Bo-ra (Ryoo Hye-Young), I could write a lot about her but I’ll only say I was really moved while watching the scenes about her unspoken love for her dad. I fell in love with every single family. I shared the parents’ worries and fears, I had fun along with the five friends of Ssangmun-dong and, at the end, I felt like I grew up with them because they taught me so many life lessons. The character’s individual traits aren’t given to you all at once, but slowly, as things unfold in an extremely realistic pace. I was really moved by all of the families’ stories that I actually got the feeling I lived in that neighbourhood. Everything is so raw, that it touches your heart in a special place. The writers did an outstanding job interlocking each family’s stories and fitting them in each episode’s theme/moral and on that level in my opinion it outshined R1994 and R1997. The music and the lyrics support beautifully the plot and gave me such a nostalgic feeling about that time (which is kind of weird because I was born a lot of years later). However, if you’re expecting a fascinating love story I fear you won’t be completely satisfied. In contrast to R1994 and R1997, the mystery around the identity of the female lead’s husband isn’t the main topic. That’s mainly why some people were really disappointed about the ending (which I won’t spoil). I admit I was expecting to see more of the “bigger moments” between Deok-Sun and the husband and maybe their romance could’ve been a bit better developed. But as I said before, you can’t start watching this extremely focused on the romance or you won’t really get what it is all about: whether we want it or not we’ll eventually need to move on with life and say farewell to our younger selves, jumping in to the adulthood, living behind our “own Taek’s room”, where we can only go back to in our memory. After following closely the story of this neighbourhood, you’ll find yourself being grateful for your own family and friends and you’ll cherish your youth in a different way.
Was this review helpful to you?