Reply Me 1988 Episode 2

Korean Drama Reactions & Reviews | November 8, 2015 | 278 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: 08th November, 2015
Reply Me 1988 Episode 2 [Teaser]
Reply Me 1988 Episode 2 [Review]
Reply Me 1988 Episode 2

Seong-gyoon (played by Kim Seong-gyoon) is kind of the goofy uncle in "Answer Me 1988". Aside from doing a ridiculous dance at regular intervals Seong-gyoon also tries to show off how happening he is with modern technology by buying a camcorder. Ah, nostalgia, how sweet it is to remember that people used to consider having their every waking moment caught on camera to be weird. Seong-gyoon isn't a dork, the man's just so ahead of the curve that everyone has confused him for a dork.
The nostalgia elements in "Answer Me 1988" are hitting me a lot harder than they did in "Answer Me 1994". Which is kind of weird, given that 1988 was the year after I was born. One possibility might be that a lot of the scenes in "Answer Me 1988" come up a lot in less well-known Korean media about the old days. Deok-seon and Bo-ra on the floor with their grandmother, for example, is a constantly recurring image even though very few people actually do that anymore.
My personal specialty might also have something to do with it. I loved the guys scheming to get into the movie theater because that entire sequence has an important subtext missing from most classic discussion of Korean film. It's a common assertion that Korean films "improved" with the laxening of censorship standards in the eighties. While there are several important high quality Korean films from that period, they were not enabled by weaker censorship laws. The removal of standards mostly just resulted in more sexploitation. Just look at those ridiculous background posters. All legitimate, I can assure you.
"Answer Me 1988" is managing its sense of humor primarily by using the nostalgia as a building block, although it's not the only important element. The entire chase scene is easy enough to identify with, for example, but the special flavoring is watching the background scenery. We constantly get the feeling the "Answer Me 1988" takes place in a rough-and-tumble neighborhood, and that this has had a subtle but profound influence on the attitude of its characters. Observe the episode's afterword for good evidence of this.
In terms of plot (the main element of "Answer Me 1988" that's easy to forget), this episode mostly deals with loss. Seon-woo (played by Ko Kyeong-pyo) is a useful sounding board on the subject because everybody knows that he's had to face loss, and yet Seon-woo is just that much more determined not to let his departed dad down. It's just one of the many subtle elements of growing up that to date "Answer Me 1988" has really managed to nail.

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