I’m afraid a lot of people misinterpreted what I said in my previous posts about my rants and insights on this drama, so yeah I made this fully detailed review on this. You are free to disagree with me, but remember that this is plainly opinionated and I try not to be biased here.
This review will be divided into three: first impressions, pros and cons and a bit of rant.
I am more invested in this drama than Heirs, MHIYD or any other dramas this year. IHYV is a tough contender but I can say that AM1994 is slightly more interesting to me. Given that Reply 1997 was very successful, I anticipated a lot on this. I was not yet born in the year 1994 so at first I was curious. What is in there in 1994? Is it as awesome as in 1997?
First impressions: better than what I expected. More mind-boggling. Quirkier, cleverer and funnier (I know they’re just similar to one another) I liked how the writer kept things hidden- the fact that Trash is indeed part of the husband game. In Ep 00, no clues led to Trash being one of the contenders. I love the element of surprise in this drama. The writing is smooth during the first few episodes. What the teasers promised were there- Najung fangirling over Lee Sang Min, Yoon Jin fangirling over Seo Taiji and the boys, Chilbong as a baseball player, and the life of country bumpkins in Seoul. I really love the writing and editing. The cast soon grew on me.
Now for the pros:
The cast did perfectly. Watching the drama is not watching them acting, but probably, watching them being themselves. For a second, I never said that he/she doesn’t fit his/her role. Let’s have Go Ara first. Excellent portrayal. She maybe similar to Shiwon in ‘97, but she has a different feel. She’s Najung. Go Ara established who’s Najung. She’s brave enough to not to act like a lady. I always though Go Ara is a classy woman but her role is just baaaam. Does she still look like a lady to me? Hahaha not anymore. Then Jung Woo, I appreciate him more than anyone else. I find his character very hard to portray. He had to play with his emotions, at one sec, he’s on 4D mode but the next sec, he became serious. I cannot imagine any other famous actors to act as Trash. He fits the role so much that it made me think if he is really like that in real life. Next, Yoo Yeon Seok. It was hard for me to believe that he’s the bad guy in A Werewolf Boy. How could that be?! He played Chilbong like an angel. His appearance made him even look more of a nice guy. His soft voice, his smile, his stares, yes. He’s the nice guy for all of us. Then, Son Ho Jun. I have no problems with him at all. His character was quite annoying in the first episodes, but no worries. Fifth is Min Do Hee. Her face fits the era, idk why. Probably because of her hair and her eyes. It was fun to watch her act. Her height is a major reason of course why she fits Yoon Jin. Then Baro. I’m not a fan of B1A4 but I think his character is of different feel compared to his rapper image. He looks like a puppy uguu. Sixth, Kim Sung Kyun. He’s the oldest but he plays the youngest. He’s so comedic and I swear he’s one of my favorites. Lastly, Sung Dong Il and Lee Il Hwa. Ideal parents, people.. Sung Dong Il was never afraid to play with his facial expression. He’s one of the craziest, I believe.
- The creativity of the writer.
The symbolisms, the secrets, the clues hidden in each episode make the drama much more compelling. The tiniest detail actually gives a big clue to the ending of the drama. This is why I love the writer. We should expect the unexpected in her works. “Oh, so that’s the use of that.” like that. “Hmm.. I bet these words are useful in the later episodes” The way she wrote the episode from the other episode is something creative of her. Each episode has a title right? This title maybe quite symbolic but this delivers the theme of the episode. Who would have thought that stuff toys, figurines and even a towel are actually clues to what is happening? What I like most about the writer is about how she writes every scene. Every scene is important in this drama, but– (to be continued in my cons)
I lolololove the remakes of the original 1990’s songs. Most favorite is Lim Kim’s Happy me. Rare are the dramas in which all of the main casts sang for the ost. In this drama, all of them did. ^^ Though they don’t have the best voices, they still sang for the album.
You know what I mean, right? It’s not just a mere drama. It was done full of effort. The casts with their heavy accent, the setting which is very realistic, the feel of the whole drama itself. The staffs must have not had their sleep in the past few days..
- It has this formula only the Reply series has, in a creative fashion.
The element of surprise. I had lots of “Awwwwww” and “Ohhhh” while watching. The department store incident- the father of the child who died, Trash’s cousin’s words about the bus service being over, the reason why another woman was seated as Trash’s mom in the wedding video, and many many more.
Now for the cons:
- Writer-nim did a mistake on CB’s part.
Frankly speaking, I cringe at the thought that the nice guy had the poorest character development. It was just in the first episodes where in he had a firm storyline with his mother, the rest, almost all about his love for Najung. How he’s been kind to her, how he finds her amusing. Like I said, the writer trolled us to much. It is believable that CB is KJJ because of his lines and his voice-overs (destiny, timing, perseverance). Writer-nim stressed too much on his struggles but in the end, NJ didn’t even feel a little for him. It would have been better if CB had this other story beside baseball and Najung. I’d love to see him getting a better ending. Like in the past episodes, he should have slowly moved on by himself and found his own love story. In the end, writer-nim made CB look pathetic.
- 21 episodes is goddamn too long
If we look closely, the writer just prolonged the answer. At around the time Trash proposed, it could have ended there. Well in fact, it was pretty obvious who’s the endgame in this drama just in the first few eps. Jung Woo in the interview mentioned about the husband thing, that this drama is not about who is the husband but about how KJJ became the husband. NJ never felt anything for CB to begin with. This solidifies what he said. So what’s the use of prolonging it for tooo long? The filler scenes are not boring, but they are absolutely unnecessary. There were holes in the writing too.The fangirling ended at somewhere in episode 5 and a lot were left-out. I couldn’t say that the writing was bad, because her creativity made me watch this show.
It’s fun actually because our minds are being squeezed. But obviously, trolling us is also trolling our emotions. I don’t know if it’s more of a pro or a con though. But I think that the 21 episodes trolling is too much. I know that the husband game kept me glued in my seat but yeah, it was too much. Instead of trolling until the last episode, they could have given the last episode for a wrap-up and yeah, for CB’s part. Sadly, they trolled us up until the last ep.
Baro and Die Die in like 1 or 2 ep? Haitai and Ae Jeong in 1 ep? They could have made their progress in their relationship similar to Yoon Jin and Samchunpo. It would have been better that way.
That ends my pros and cons.
So here’s what I’ve got to say:
This is not biased and I am putting my shoes on someone who ships Haitai and NJ or Samchunpo and NJ or Bingguere and NJ.
If we don’t watch the 2013 scenes, it is obvious from the start that it is Trash who is Kim Jae Joon. If the 2013 scenes were deleted? all clues will lead to Trash. The 2013 scenes gave CB and NJ shippers false hopes. Most of the clues in 2013 led to CB being the endgame. But we know that what’s more important to watch for in the drama is not the present, but the past. This explains why it was set up in the past. 2013 scenes were mostly trolling but 1994-20xx scenes were not, as it shows the realistic progress of their relationships. (But this is an exception: CB has some strong points in the 1994-20xx scenes, his baseball metaphorism, the 10000 hour rule, destiny, his deep lines) But it has been established in the first episodes that Trash is the endgame. You can say your contradictions to me, ask me or whatsoever. But I believe in what I say.
Next, yes, as a Nareki shipper, I agree with you that the ending needs a little bit of explanation- what dafuq happened to the wedding picture?! It was totally different. I
Now, back to being biased. I’d like to defend Trash because honestly it’s been bugging me that almost no one in Tumblr defends Trash’s action. So people have been telling how dafuq did Trash win this game of love well in fact CB is more deserving than him. Yes. CB is slightly more deserving but this drama is about who NJ loves. I think a lot of you missed the point of why NJ and T reconciled again. Episode 20 was an important episode to us Nareki shippers because there was proper break-up. The reason was obviously stated and it’s much better than the reason being plainly an LDR couple. Trash suffers a lot by himself. He always says I’m sorry, or I’m fine or it’s fine. As Najung, I’d be insulted. Why wouldn’t my partner share his sufferings with me? Why is he taking everything every pain by himself? Remember episode 17 where in NJ was shocked to see Trash with the neck thing and the cast? NJ was shock to see him because Trash said in the phone that he’s not hurt at all? Trash kept on saying I’m fine and that she doesn’t need to worry.. So my point is, when Trash texted Najung telling her to come over, NJ finally felt what she never felt before. Trash depended on her. Trash has always been the Hyung-nim of everyone, he has always been someone the other people depend onto. This time, trash texted Najung saying to come over because he’s a little sick.
I’m gonna end my review+rants+first impressions here. I may add more details later.
Conclusion: Answer Me 1994 is not a perfect drama. The flaws are getting more visible in the latest episodes. But one thing’s for sure: I really enjoyed it. If CB is the endgame, I’d still enjoy the drama. Reply 1994 is funnier than Reply 1997 for me, and both are just equally good. Now that the drama has ended, I hope something much better than this will appear in the year 2014.
P.S. I’d like to quote Jung Joon Young from We Got Married: “Dramas mess up women, seriously.”