Reply me 1988 Episode 16

Korean Drama Reactions & Reviews | December 28, 2015 | 414 viewed

Director: Shin Won Ho
Writer: Lee Woo Jung
Genre: Family, Comedy, Romance
Character: Hyeri (Duk Sun), Ryoo Joon Yeol (Jung Hwan), Ko Gyung Pyo (Sun Woo) Park Bo Gum (Taek)
Release Date: 19th December, 2015
Reply Me 1988 Episode 16 [Teaser]
Reply Me 1988 Episode 16 [Review]
Reply Me 1988 Episode 16

With this episode "Answer Me 1988" attempts to explain why its story, to the extent this drama has a story at all, moves so slowly and with so little apparent inertia. Somewhat paradoxically, the reason for this is that the characters are mostly doing all right. They're happy. And the surest way to risk destroying happiness is through radical change. Making a love confession requires courage, not because we're scared of rejection, but because we're scared that the possible potential change could be for the worse.
It's for this reason that my favorite scene this episode was without a doubt the one between Taek and his dad. While father and son definitely love each other, neither one of them are particularly good at expressing themselves in words. So it's really touching when one of them struggles awkwardly to make that effort, to suggest the possibility of radical change, practically asking permission, because that's what emotional bonding is. It means considering other people first.
That's where the real conflict comes in. I've been criticizing "Answer Me 1988" for its lack of conflict, but I see now that to a fair extent the conflict is completely, deliberately internalized. When a person leaves their family for an extended period of time, not really knowing when or under what circumstances they're going to return, the main priority has to be not letting them realize how painful the process is. Because if your family worries, then you might have doubts about what to do.
Even though all the characters in "Answer Me 1988" have very different personalities the emotional moments usually follow this same line of cipher-like storytelling. We emphathize with the characters less because of their specific situation but more because it's all too easy to remember moments like this in our own lives. That's a very subtle element of nostalgia that's often easy to miss- certainly I can't remember ever feeling the same way while watching "Answer Me 1994".
Oh right, and there's the jokes. Let's see...in that department, everything that involved the singing competition was great. The other humor wasn't quite as memorable, but recall again that this episode is so focused on its emotional moments that not too much is really supposed to be funny anyway. I will admit that, thematic resonance notwithstanding, having an entire episode dedicated to explaining why the plot moves slowly is more than a little irritating. Hopefully the final stretch is going to be a little more brisk, now that "Answer Me 1988" is just about completely out of ways to stall the story.

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