Lazy Unnie’s Couch: Reply 1994

Reply 1994

Set in 1994, six university students from various provincial areas live together at a boarding house in Sinchon, Seoul, which is run by a couple with a daughter named Na Jung. The timeline moves back and forth between the past in 1994 and the present in 2013, making the viewers guess who will become Na Jung’s husband among the male characters.

  • Starring : Go Ah Ra | Jung Woo | Yoo Yeon Seok | Kim Sung Kyun | Baro | Do Hee | So Ho Jun
  • Episodes : 21 ( 1 hr. 17 mins.)
  • Aired : October 18 – December 28, 2013
  • Network : tvN

(Slight Spoilers Ahead)

It had almost been a year between the time I started this and finished its predecessor, Reply 1997. I think it took me so long to start this one because the love that I felt for Reply 1997 was so strong, I didn’t think anything could live up to that. Boy, I was wrong.

Immediately I was reminded of Reply 1997. Almost to the point where I was screaming at the TV that this is the same show! But did that stop me? Hell no. Let’s look at some of the comparisons shall we?

Headstrong fangirl female leads? Check
Brother/Sister kind of relationship? Check
Love Triangle? Check
Flashbacks from the present and mystery husband? Super Check

I could go on and on about the comparisons because it’s hard not to compare the two in the series. But even with the similarities, 1994 had a charm that was it’s own. This friend group was brought together with their common denominator of all being from the “countryside” and living in Seoul for the first time at the boarding house of Na Jeong’s family. All of them coming from different areas, they all had certain quirks that rounded out the friend group. The humor and genuine chemistry that came across every time the whole crew was on screen were parts I found myself waiting for. The dynamic never felt unbalanced for me.

Now the part that really is important, the love triangle. Personally, I liked this triangle better than the one in 1997 but at the same time I hated it. With the mystery of who Na Jeong’s husband was, is a straight throwback to 1997 but what I didn’t like was I knew from the beginning who the husband was. Trash or Chilbong, Chilbong or Trash. Na Jeong loved one man and one man only and anyone else wasn’t going to cut it. I read somewhere that the original choice was changed because of the fans reactions. And now that I think about it, I can see the shift in characterization. But personally, I had only one winner in my mind. There were times when I wanted to smack the shit out of Chilbong for being pathetic. No woman is worth making a fool of yourself over and over. I could see where I was supposed to fall for Chilbong, and I almost did, until he started being a complete asswipe.

ANYWAY, another thing I thought I would hate but ended up loving was Na Jeong’s parents. They were the same actors who played Sung Shi Won’s parents in 1997, even with the same names! I thought this was lazy but the way they wrote it, I didn’t even get the same vibe from them. What made it even cuter were the Reply 1997 cameos! I was living for them and didn’t even see them coming. I legit screamed at my TV when I saw Seo In Guk come on my screen. Major Swoon.

The moment I started this, the nostalgia was threatening to overwhelm me as I was transported to my own childhood. Even though these characters were way older than me at that time, I still felt a connection from growing up in the 90s. With the Korean pop culture references and actual facts swarming in and out from the narrative effortlessly, it didn’t feel like I was in some history class. The love story didn’t overshadow the coming of age stories of  each of the characters. Dare I say, I liked this more than Reply 1997? Probably not, but it was really up there.

Acting : 9/10
Story : 7/10
Music : 8/10
Overall : 8/10
Recommended For : Those who can survive a love triangle and really like flashbacks.

Fave Song: ‘Farewell for Myself’ – DIA

Published by Unbothered Unnies

A couple of ladies who love to express their opinions from anything and everything. That includes shows and music and anything in between. This blog is dedicated to our love and appreciation for Asian entertainment and culture.

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