[TV Talk] Reply 1994

Oh, did I love this show! It's been a while since I've been able to indulge in a full Korean drama. With US sitcoms, it's fairly easy to multitask while watching them (outline a paper while still knowing full well what's happening on "Trophy Wife"), but with Korean dramas I need to pay 100% attention to the subtitles, or I have no idea what's going on. So, once I finished up with school, I dove right into "Reply 1994." The last Kdrama I watched, as a matter of fact, was "Reply 1997," and I fell head over heels in love with it, so, of course, I put my good faith back into the PDs for this spin off.

Here's my issue with most K-Dramas I watch. They move pretty, freaking slow, and every little thing that happens means something way, way more. Twelve-year-old me would have a huge complex by now if I had grown up watching them like I did sitcoms. I mean, eating the same apple as your crush counts as an "indirect kiss" and is thus debated and replayed in memory for at least a few episodes. Never mind anything past kissing, good lord. Not to mention, Asian dramas are notorious for having very, um...stiff romantic scenes. Just look it up or watch one. Let's just put it this way: An incredibly popular drama trope is to have the couple trip somehow (and probably before they even know each other) and land on each other's lips (Note: "Boys Over Flowers").

While "Reply 1994" did not have the same pacing as "Reply 1997," which seemed to zoom through, it did have a fairly good pace considering its 1 hour to 1 1/2 hour episodes. I was in stitches laughing at some scenes, and because I took a Hallyu course when I studied in Yonsei, I was fairly familiar with the culture allusions they used (Like Seo Taji, haha). It also helped that the students were Yonsei students, and I got to see that familiar ivy covered building in many shots!
Anyhow, here's the basic premise: Sung Na Jung is the daughter of Sung Dong Il & Lee Il Hwa, and the family has just moved to Seoul from Masan and opened up a boarding house in the Sinchon district where Yonsei is located. They take in other "country bumpkins," which leads to our motley and absolutely perfect cast: Sseureki, also from Masan and close to the family, (literally means "Trash"), who is basically an oppa to Na Jung and is in medical school, Samcheonpo from Samecheopo, who looks like he's thirty when really he's the youngest of the group, Haitai from Suncheon, nicknamed for the Haitai Tigers, Binggeure(meaning "Smiley") from Goesan, nicknamed for the Binggrae Eagles, and Binggeure's cousin, Chilbong (nicknamed for his legendary seven shut-out baseball game), who is actually from Seoul. The main plot line is trying to figure out who Na Jung winds up marrying and is the yeobo of the 2013 crew. 

It's funny and sweet and serious in all the right moments. Frankly speaking, I think the husband is fairly obvious because Na Jung never wavers in who she likes, but I won't spoil it here! I will say I think Chilbongie might be my favorite ever because he's so goofy and sweet, and, you know, the baseball thing doesn't hurt either. If anything, I think you ought to watch "Reply 1994" first and then "Reply 1997" because it might feel a little slow if you watch in reverse orders. I'm currently pretty much blowing through the "I Need Romance" franchise, so I'll update with that later!

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