Asian Drama Reviews: Reply 1988


It’s comfort food packaged in 20 episodes of family, friendship and coming of age for five friends in the neighborhood of Ssangmundong in Seoul.

Reply 1988 (2015)
Country: South Korea
Cast: Lee Hye Ri, Go Kyung Pyo,Ryu Joon Yeol, Park Bo Gum, Lee Dong Hwi

“1988. This is the end of our Ssamundong story. Longing for that time and longing for that street is not because I miss a younger version of myself. That’s the place of my father’s youth, of my mother’s youth, of my friends’ youth. It’s the place that holds the youth of everything that I love. In that landscape, where we won’t be able to gather like that again, I regret being unable to say my final farewell. To, the things that are already gone, to a time that has already passed, I want to say a belated farewell. Goodbye, my youth. Goodbye, Ssamundong.” – Sung Deok Sun

Reply 1988 is like a piping hot bowl of ramyeon, it gives you warmth on a cold stormy day. It’s comfort food packaged in 20 episodes of family, friendship and coming of age for five friends in the neighborhood of Ssangmundong in Seoul. 1988 was the year the city hosted the Olympic Games and one of the characters got a chance to participate in the opening ceremony (Fun fact: That was the last Olympics for the Soviet Union and East Germany).

Like the others in the Reply series, real-life events serve as a backdrop in the story but unlike in the previous ones where romance was the focal point, this one is more about family. Though you may still debate about the ending in the romance department depending on which of the leads you prefer but it’s all part of the thing called second lead syndrome in K-dramas.

Great OST featuring remakes of old songs. Reply 1988 has 20 episodes and is available on Netflix, Viu, and iQIYI. A Filipino dubbed version aired on TV5 in 2020.

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