If you haven’t checked out my halfway review for this drama, click here: Halfway Asian Drama Review: “Reply 1988” (Ep 1-10)
“Reply 1988” is a great drama. It made me laugh, sad, feel old/young, and reminisce on my own childhood. That’s the beauty of the “Reply” franchise. The writer depicts different family dynamics, friendships, growing up, and growing old so well. I’m extremely impressed by this. With that, I can overlook the only flaw I found in this third installment – the romance. Honestly, I prefer ’97 and ’94 more. However, this drama is still worth one’s time because of the things I listed above.
~ Warning! Spoilers! “Reply 1988” (Ep. 11-20) Review ~
What did you all think of the ending? I am a Taek X Duk Seon shipper, but I really thought she was going to end up with Jung Hwan. I started to change my mind when Taek’s smoking habits kept showing up again and again. In the ‘adult’ scenes, Bora mentions that she can only smoke at Duk Seon’s place. After viewers are constantly reminded that Taek smokes, it was easy to realize that her husband is Taek. Well, that was my thought process. Nonetheless, as a fellow Taek X Duk Seon shipper, I was not happy with how they ended up together.
Duk Seon liked Sun Woo because he was the first boy who she was told liked her and therefore must view her as a woman during a time when she didn’t think anyone else did. Sun Woo was actually in love with Bora, and they ended up getting married. Good for them! Next, Duk Seon crushed on Jung Hwan because the guy she always thought was cold shocked her with his warmth. (I remember developing crushes on guys who just did a simple nice act.) With Jung Hwan, he was a little too late. He was a hesitant coward and lost the girl. I’m glad he realized it all in one episode. When he was blaming fate and timing, I was sitting in front of my computer like no, you better not. I’m happy he figured it out. I can see where all these feelings cause from; there is an origin even with Taek’s love towards Duk Seon. Thus, my first problem with their relatinoship is when the fuck did Duk Seon learn of her feelings for Taek. Was it when he went to meet her at a concert she got stood up at… BULLshit! Taek wasn;t even being real with his feelings for her at that time yet. When did Duk Seon clearly know it’s Taek? The show can’t just say it’s Taek and leave it like that especially when the show heavily emphasized Jung Hwan. There’s leading astray and then a complete flip flop. Then, Duk Seon and Taek take forever to get together but their dating is rushed. WTF! We didn’t even get to see their marriage or how they got their parents’ approval. Don’t bring up issues in the end if there is going to be no conclusion for it. We sit through so much only to get so little of their dating relationship. That’s my second problem. I am not lying: I ship Taek and Duk Seon. I find the way they interact to be endearing and honest. Yet, their ‘adult’ selves are nothing like that. This is my third problem. Nothing was cute about their ‘adult’ self. They tried in the last few episodes, but the chemistry was beyond whack… That’s not the Taek and Duk Seon I know. The characterization was completely off for me. This devastated my shipping needs. The show made them end game which would have been way more awesome if it was actually them.
By the way, I heard that there’s a different ‘original’ script. In it, Jung Hwan romances Duk Seon a bit but dies. I would have liked to see this play out. My heart probably would have exploded in pain, but it might have made more sense especially since Jung Hwan get no ending… (SMH)
Yes, let’s talk about that this final episode. I am left with such mixed feelings. When the show ended, I felt empty. I literally could feel a hole in my heart. Nevertheless, there is good and bad with this emptiness. The good part is the beautiful final sequence and epilogue. The ending itself was perfect. Not only do people age, but buildings do too. Viewers learn that we can try to go back physically, but it’s impossible. When ‘adult’ Taek talked about wanting to go back to watch movies with the gang in his room, and we return to the wonderful first episode and flashback to their children self. Oh shit! It dug hard at my tear ducts and old childhood memories.
I’m calling it the perfect ending buy not as a final episode. We spent so much time on Sun Woo and Bora’s wedding. That’s cool, but I wanted to see everyone else as adults. Where is Jin Joo who I predicted to be a weird adult? Where is Dong Ryong, out favorite comic relief? Most importantly, where is Jung Hwan’s freaking ending? The show told us that he’s moving on with him leaving behind his fiance ring, but to what? 97’s second male lead got a proper ending. 94’s second male lead got tossed someone new. yet, what about 88’s Jung Hwan? That’s why I had good and bad empty feels at the end. I had good emptiness in the sense that the drama made me emotional, and I didn’t want it to end. I had bad emptiness because the final episode was not all that satisfying in terms of tying up loose ends.
The last four episodes had me hooked, so many memorable scenes happened. Thank you for the 94 cameo, but where is 97? Sorry, I won’t be greedy. Thank you for giving us Jung Hwan in a uniform. Thank you for the Jung Hwan and Jung Bong brotherhood. Thank you for the dream kiss that wasn’t a dream. Thank you for the intense Bora and Sun Woo kisses. Thank you for the Bora and her father’s letter exchange. Thank you for making No Eul look good that one time. Thank you for the Taek smiles especially the one when his parents are staring at him.
Park Bo Gum has completely stolen my heart with his talent and smile. You know I’ll be watching all this stuff now. 🙂
Let’s end this with a fun fact. While searching up the ages of the main cast, I found out that Park Bo Gum, Hyeri, Go Kyung Pyo, and Lee Dong Hwi are all June babies. Poor Ryu Jun Yeol is the only September.
With that, I want to give this drama a 3.5/5