Reply Me 1988 Episode 5

Korean Drama Reactions & Reviews | November 20, 2015 | 305 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: 20th November, 2015
Reply Me 1988 Episode 5 [Teaser]
Reply Me 1988 Episode 5 [Review]
Reply Me 1988 Episode 5

Even though the young characters are the main billed actors of "Answer Me 1988", I frequently get the feeling that it's the parents who are the real protagonists of the drama. The conflict of this episode is a case in point- the three main storylines are about the worries mothers have regarding what happens to their children when they're not looking. This being 1988, there are good precedents for that. There weren't any "don't try this at home disclaimers" for silly stunts seen on television. A lack of cell phones made checking up at home difficult. And also there was the whole college student movement getting into fights with the secret police.
South Korea may have democratized in 1987, but its first elected president was sympathetic to the previous dictatorial regime and in 1988 there were still very legitimate concerns about whether the democratic government could be maintained. And just as was the case in 1987, in 1988 college students made up the primary vanguard of the movement. Naturally, their mothers worried a lot, which adds a pretty heavy element to Deok-seon's generally ineffectual attempts to study for college.
"Answer Me 1988" isn't really a political story, though. That's just what happened to be going on at the time, which definitely adds a surreal element to any storyline with a similar yet completely different real-life analog. I don't even know what those charcoal brick...things are supposed to be called, yet apparently that's how South Korean homes used to get their heat.
The form the errands take, though, aren't really relevant. Take those food abominations that Seong-gyoon's family comes up with absent maternal influence. That's the kind of terrible nutrition people had to get before junk food made the process much easier. Weirdly enough the entire grossness of Seong-gyoon's family household kind of comes off as a more serious crisis than Il-hwa panicking about her daughter being in physical danger.
Really, it's all a matter of perspective, and I rather enjoy how the various families of "Answer Me 1988" have completely different problems that must be dealt with in completely different ways. The last major storyline involves a single parent struggling over questions of financial scarcity versus personal pride. There's a definite heart to these portrayals that's missing from, say, the question of who Deok-seon's husband is going to be. This isn't because the Deok-seon husband storyline is necessarily bad, it's just that writer Lee Woo-jeon-I is wisely exposing the issue through a proper lens.

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