Goodbye, Reply 1988!

Hello everyone! It’s been so long since the last time I shared my thoughts on a show that I watched. I am super excited to talk about this. So last month, while I was waiting for the ending of The King: Eternal Monarch (the struggle of watching ongoing shows), I decided to watch this drama.

Reply 1988 (2015) is a remarkable South Korean slice of life drama about family, friends, and youth. It revolves around five childhood friends living in the same Ssangmun-dong neighborhood in Seoul back in 1988.

💭 My Thoughts After Watching

The drama portrayed the simple life of these five families in the same neighborhood and the typical real-life problems that arise. All the families are good friends, and they are like one big family living in the same street. They celebrate together, console each other, support each other, and take care of each other. They showed how hard life is and how it can sometimes make you feel like it’s unfair, but being with the people you love makes it bearable.

“As you live, sometimes you become indebted to others or inconvenience others. Everyone lives like that. Don’t suffer too much on your own.”

– Moo-sung

It is a pretty long drama with almost 2 hours each episode, and there’s a total of 20 episodes, but I assure you, you will not get bored. Each episode is pack with the everyday lives of the families, and you will get attached to each character and feel like you’re living with them. There’s no character to hate, which is refreshing. Their interactions looked real and natural, and the pacing of the story is just right, not too fast and not too slow either.

This drama brought back so many memories of my childhood and high school days. I was born in the 90s, but I still experienced using landlines to communicate with my friends, trading or sharing goods with neighbors, shouting parents outside your house to call you for lunch or dinner, waiting for your favorite show to be streamed with your whole family or friends, playing at the arcade and beating high scores, tuning in to your favorite radio station to listen to your favorite songs and to wait and hope for your letters to be read, etc.

“There was no internet or any smartphones back then. Thinking about it now, how did we spend all that time?”

– Deok-sun

The 5 Childhood Friends

These are the 5 childhood friends: Ryu Dong Ryong, Sung Deok Sun, Sung Sun Woo, Kim Jung Hwan, and Choi Taek (from left to right). As I’ve said, they are more like family than friends. Their favorite place to hang out is Taek’s room, where they play monopoly, eat ramen, read comic books, and watch movies. I had fun watching them go through their youth experiencing first loves, rejection, being the 999th placer in school, struggling to be the middle child, etc.

“You have to study. Open your books and study. It may be hard now, but as you get older and have kids, you’ll look back and realize how beautiful this time was. Yeah. Of course. You probably don’t understand what a great time in your life this actually is. How would you guys know? Study!”

– Teacher

We all show our love differently. Some are very vocal and very sweet, but some are not spoken and just use small gestures to show their love and some even do it without them intending to even show it. There’s Deok-sun who is the sweetest daughter and who is loved by everyone despite her struggles being the middle child. She just lights up the neighborhood. There’s Sun-woo who is the perfect son. He studies hard to get a college scholarship because he hates to see her mom work and that’s also why he doesn’t ask for branded clothes and shoes. The scenes where he eats up the rest of his packed lunch before going home even if it’s salty. It’s very touching.

It’s fine to be deluded sometimes. If you can make your mom happy by making her think her cooking is good, it’s easy enough to eat awful lunches.

– Deok-sun

There’s also Jung-hwan’s hidden sweetness and hidden smiles. He doesn’t say it, but his love for his loved ones speaks louder through his actions and small gestures. There are so many times he did something for his loved ones even when it’s out of his character. Like, for instance, when her dad is feeling down, he tried doing the signature hi of his dad that he finds uncomfortable to do because it’s corny and childish just to cheer him up. It was such a funny scene.

There’s Dong Ryeong who dislikes studying but got so much wisdom and people usually turn to him for advice. His parents are always working that he doesn’t get to have meals with them. He causes trouble or runs away from home to get attention. There’s also Taek, the treasured gem of the group and the famous Baduk player, whose love is quiet. He rarely says anything, but no words needed. Just look at his eyes. He’s very adorable. His friends are very protective of him and always lectures him because he always gets scammed.

“What are you going to do? How will you survive in this cruel, harsh world? The world isn’t such a simple place. Be clear about what you want and what you don’t want. Do you know how many scammers are out there? You’re a pushover. You’ll get scammed ten times in one day.”

– Deok-sun

Lastly, there’s Bora, Deok-sun’s older sister. She’s not part of the group, but she’s worth mentioning. Her unspoken love for her parents speaks volumes. She has this somewhat badass image and all the other kids in the neighborhood are scared of her. She seems tough on the outside, but actually soft on the inside. She just doesn’t show it because it’s not in her character and it makes her feel awkward. I don’t know for you, but I understand her and I can relate to her. That’s probably why her character development affected me the most.

It all boils down to making your parents proud not only about your achievements but also on showing them that you grew up well as a way of thanking them for raising you and for all their hard work and sacrifices. This drama will show you the struggles of parents. We always think that they are strong and capable of handling everything because they are adults already, but they are humans too, and like all humans, they cry, they get tired, and they get frustrated.

Lastly, we are only at this age once. We can never go back to our youth. We can only remember.

Who is the husband?

This is one of the Reply series, the other ones are Reply 1997 and 1994. I haven’t watched the others but I’ve read that they all revolve around a group of friends and it will span across their youth days and it will make you guess who the female lead ends up with through the few scenes from their adult life.

“In the end, fate and timing… do not just happen by coincidence. They are the products of countless earnest choices that make up miraculous moments. Giving up and making decisions without reservation or hesitation… That is what makes timing. He wanted her more than I did. I should have been more courageous. It was not the traffic light. Nor the timing. My countless hesitations were to blame.”

To tell you honestly, I considered dropping this drama when I was almost halfway through because I got spoiled who she ends up with on youtube. It was an accident. I was looking for one of the OSTS and saw one of the video recommendations with the thumbnail photo stating who it is. I got disappointed because I’m really rooting for the other one. Their chemistry is just too strong. But after a day of not watching, I can’t stop thinking about how did that happen and what made her choose the other lead so I decided to finish it. It didn’t disappoint because the other person is also really deserving. Also, I realized it’s not mainly focused on romance. It’s more about family and their tight friendship.

All in all, there are not enough words that would describe how good this drama is. It felt so real and raw. Yes, I’m a bit disappointed with the ending because I want to see them get together as adults but I think that’s life. Even our closest friends, when they move away, we lose contact. But other than that, I can’t hide the fact that I enjoyed this drama so much. There’s so much wisdom that can only be gained through time.

“Time will always pass. Everything will pass by. Everything will age. That might be why youth is beautiful. It shines, blindingly bright, for just an instant. But, you can never go back. A time when everything was so green, I had such youthful times.”

– Deok-sun

Goodbye, Ssangmundong! This story will forever be in my heart. Thank you for the valuable lessons.


Wow! I didn’t know it will be this long. If you’re still reading this, thank you! I hope you enjoyed it. It has been a month since I finished watching this but I still feel emotional. There were a lot of funny scenes but there were also scenes that will touch you. For those parts, I can easily hold back tears. But while watching the last 2 episodes, I lost it. I bawled my eyes out.

Also, there are too many quotable lines so expect a collection of quotes on my future posts!

For some reason, my review got cutout. 😅 I copied and pasted it from notepad paragraph by paragraph, scheduled it, and went to sleep last night. My apologies! I just edited it and included the missing ones.

Have you watched this drama? What are your thoughts? Which character stood out to you? Why?

[Photos from Google and Tumblr]

50 thoughts on “Goodbye, Reply 1988!

  1. ‪just finished this last week. So much tears. I don’t think I will ever be able to say goodbye to the families and the five best friends. This is one of those few dramas I won’t hesitate to watch even if it was 100+ episodes.‬ Thank you for sharing your thoughts!😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is!!! I also don’t mind if it has 100 episodes. It’s worth it! Just curious, are you team Jung-hwan? or Taek? haha
      Omg! I just saw your comment. I don’t know why it’s not on my notifications. 😅

      Thank you so much for reading, Kim! 💖

      Liked by 1 person

    2. It’s okay😊. And oh, team Jung-hwan FTW!!! ‪He deserve more, e. He deserved to be loved!! I remember the scene where Jung-hwan confesses… it brought closure and i was able to accept the plot after crying😂.‬

      ‪Sorry, ate. May second-lead syndrome po ako hahahaha‬.

      Liked by 2 people

    3. Same here!!! If only he was more courageous… sayang talaga! 😅 Their chemistry is too strong. Oh, I heard they’re together in real life!!! 😍
      I don’t have anything against Taekky, tho! He’s so cute, too! Haha but #TeamJunghwan parin.

      Liked by 1 person

    4. Truth!! He has a lot of hesitations instead of taking a risk. On the other hand, Taek is competitive and has a determination to get his goals in life and he’s honest about his feelings toward Duk Seon. As they say, No guts, no glory. ‬

      ‪Honestly, I can’t blame Duk Seon for choosing Taek cos it’s like dun ka sa taong kaya kang panindigan (charot hahaha!)‬

      ‪also, I can’t blame Jung-hwan because he can see in Duk Seon’s eyes that she has a feelings for Taek. Just wow!!🤯😢‬

      ‪Anyway, they’re together naman in real life so he’s still the winner!! Hahaha.💙‬

      Liked by 2 people

    5. Soooo true!!! He had a chance at first, and Deok-sun already had an inkling about his feelings for her. She’s just waiting for him to admit it. Haha anyway, true! Taekky is deserving. He’s always there, ready to come and rescue her without hesitating, and she fell for him alone without knowing about his feelings.

      Napahugot eh 😂 Nasaktan din ako when Jung-hwan realized that she fell for Taekky na. Huhu Yes! Honestly, that news comforted me. Maybe he learned from his role? Haha

      Thank you so much for sharing, Kim! I enjoyed talking about this with you! 😄

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Seems like this show really resonated with you, Nath. It sounded like a lot of tears on the last two episodes! But this is why these shows are good, isn’t it? They help us feel or remind of things in our own lives.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, that’s true! They also make us reflect on our life. That’s why I also love this. Their situations are realistic, and the characters are relatable. Thank you so much for dropping by! 😄

      Like

  3. Thank you so much for sharing these! I don’t watch a lot of TV (I barely watch it, really) but now I want to. I feel that shows in my country, or the American ones have lost that sense of simplicity and wisdom. The 1988 show you describe it as a lesson on love, and I am really interested. I will start trying to find these two to watch online today 🙂 Thank you!!!

    Natalia | Lindifique

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s true! I don’t really have against American shows, but I also observed that on some of them, and I can’t watch shows that have too many seasons. It’s too long. 😅 I’m very excited! Let me know what you think after watching it!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post Nath! Just reading about this movie makes me want to watch it. I am currently watching “what’s wrong with secretary Kim” I ll make sure I check Reply 1988 out when I am done👍 great review

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve been hearing positive remarks about that show. How was it? Thank you so much for reading this! 😄 I highly recommend it! It’s an awesome show!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Omg! I didn’t know you watch kdrama. I always get excited when I meet someone who loves it! 😄 Do you have a favorite? 😄
      Thank you so much for reading, Pooja! 💗

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Yes I love Kdramas! Right now I’m watching the third Let’s Eat- I love Korean food so I love kdramas about food lol. My favorite is probably Boys Over Flowers it’s such a classic! What’s your favorite?

      Liked by 2 people

    3. I also love Korean food! I love their sauce and spices! I saw a trailer of one of them before. Are they all connected? 😄

      Yes!!! I love Boys Over Flowers, too! Haha It never gets old! Another favorite classic is Secret Garden.

      Liked by 2 people

    4. Omg same! I’ve been adding Gochujang to everything lately. All the seasons aren’t exactly connected but it does help if you watch them all in a row.

      Ooh yes Secret Garden is so good!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I watched the reply 1994 series and wrote about it in my blog. When I was going through the feed, stumbled upon this post in the related section. Many people told me 1988 is the best among the reply series, so I will give it a watch. Thanks for the detailed rooting for the drama. I too found out about the husband in between because I couldn’t handle the curiosity. But decided to be happy for the couple I got😋

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello, I haven’t watched the other reply series, but I checked on the ratings, and this was, indeed, the highest-rated drama among the three that’s why I went to this one. I am super curious about the other ones, tho because I heard they’re also good. I’m gonna check out your review!

      Right! Haha I also realized that the one she ends up with is deserving. 💗

      Like

    2. Enjoy watching, and I would love to hear what you think about it after watching it! 😄

      Aw! 🥰 Thank you so much! Your blog, too! I love the way you do your reviews.

      Like

    3. It might appear dull..but it’s about family and is really good. The OST’s also😁. And I watched a Japanese drama on Netflix – Million yen women. I have wrote something it today. If you haven’t watched it, try it also. It’s just 12 episodes each half an hr. But it’s good as well.

      Liked by 1 person

    4. I think I’ll give it a try right after I finish my summer classes in a few weeks.

      Omg! I’ve always wanted to try Japanese dramas. I’ll check out your review. 😄

      Liked by 1 person

  6. WOW! This K-drama sounds amazing! I love K-dramas so much! I love how you described this show and how big of a role friendship plays in this show! Friendship is so important to me and I love reading and watching those “friends who are like family” relationships! Thank you for this amazing recommendation! Will definitely be watching all of the episodes 🙂 ! Also, I just found your blog and I love it so much! Just subscribed and so excited for more posts!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is! Even if I’m only watching, it made me feel like I’m part of their little community, and there’s so much to learn from them. I can’t wait to hear what you think about it when you watch it! 😄

      Yay! Thank you so much for dropping by Manasa! I’m so glad you love it. 🥰 I can’t wait to check out your blog!

      Liked by 1 person

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