Phew! I just caught up with the latest episode (13) of Reply 1994! I’ve been marathoning the drama this entire week. Much like its predecessor Reply 1997, but with a brand new cast (except mom and dad who are from Reply 1997) and storyline, it is a drama filled with the feeling of nostalgia. Reply 1994 is about a group of college students living at a boarding house in Shinchon that accommodates students from the countryside who come to Seoul for college. This drama describes the lives of the college students as they learn to live in the big city Seoul and depicts their experiences as students as they go through basketball obsession, Seo Taiji and Kids and other social issues that occurred during 1994. Reply 1994 has surpassed Reply 1997 in terms of popularity and has broke records with a viewership rating of over 9% which is exceptionally high for a cable drama. Due to its popularity, the show is adding a 1 episode extension, making it 21 episodes total.
The cast for me, is relatively unknown except for Go Ara who I recognize from a couple dramas but I’ve never watched and Yoo Yun Seok who is most well-known for his villain role in A Werewolf Boy. The positives about casting a drama with fairly unfamiliar faces, it lets you focus more on the story and its characters. Reply 1994 has shown some exceptional beautiful moments in character development, as they highlight the cast individually not just main characters of the story. I will be honest, and admit I am one of those fans who tend to be more biased towards an actor I like in a drama (i.e. Yonghwa’s Se Joo in Marry Him If You Dare). It’s refreshing to see new actors and fall for them for the very first time, because you do not have any prior favouritism or expectations about them. I felt the same way for the cast of Reply 1997, I was not familiar with anyone in the cast prior to watching it, and in the end I became fans of Seo In Guk and Hoya. I read the casting for Reply 1994 was an extremely extensive process as they spent a long period finding the perfect actors that would fit the drama, since they were not looking for actors who were already popular. All the hard work of the production staff is certainly shown; all of the cast fit their characters to a T and have an undeniable magical chemistry with each other.
I can say that Reply 1994 is much funnier than 1997, I had so many laugh out loud moments. Especially during those fish-out-of-water moments when the countryside boys interacted with Seoul students through group dates, MTs, riding the subway, etc. I watched the show during late evenings and I literally had to hold in my laughter, my mother would come in sometimes and ask what the hell was watching haha. Of course, we can’t forget about the infamous stories about first loves in this drama, which everyone can relate to and the strong bond of friendship is particularly well done.
Now, moving on to the real appeal of the drama, it is what I call the friendly fan-wars between Trash Oppa and Chilbongie. In the beginning I totally fell for Trash Oppa and later on Chilbongie came into the picture and BAM I was without a doubt on Team Chilbongie full force. As the drama progressed, there were moments that Trash Oppa made my heart sway. Oh drama, what are you doing to me?? Now that I’ve caught up to the latest episodes I’m back on Team Trash Oppa. It’s not to say that either or is more deserving of Na Jung, both are great men in their own rights. I adore Trash Oppa as a person and character; he is so lovable and caring, who looks out for the best of the people around him, whether it’s his family or friends. Chibongie is incredibly sweet and endearing, who just makes any lame excuse to be around Na Jung. ANNND did I mention how insanely HAWT Yoo Yun Seok (Chilbongie) looks in a baseball uniform?!? Omo I finally learned to appreciate baseball players and their appeal, because of Chilbongie (and the latest episodes of Running Man with LA Dodger’s Ryu Hyun Jin). I love how Chilongie refuses to let Na Jung ignore how really awesome he is and to show her that he’s equally a strong contender for her affections like Trash Oppa. However by the end of episode 13, it seems one ship has officially sailed while the other has sunk, but true to the fashion of the writers of Reply 1997/94 we will be continuing through a whirlwind of guessing games. Just like the quote at the end of episode 13 by Chilongie, “It ain’t over till it’s over” so we don’t know who will be the final “winner” till the very end. Whoever she doesn’t chose in the end, I’ll be happy to take either man! *Swoons* I’m so ready to have my heart swayed and torn to pieces with the remaining 8 episodes.
The OST is really great too! Check out some of my fave songs below