Reply 1988
Reply 1988
also known as "Answer Me 1988"

Unless otherwise noted, what's below was written by me (Sandra Dodd), in various places in a discussion of Korean Dramas. The stars will get you back there if you're a part of that group (and will get me back there, so sorry if they only work for special people).
Dictionary Desk Pillow
Sleep at work on open book

Japanese and not Korean, but I'm sure it would be just as useful. :-) It's a pillow disguised as a dictionary or something. It fits in a filing cabinet drawer, or on a book shelf, but opens up to be a pillow.

The page says "The Japanese are hard workers, that much is certain. They are also big sleepers. You'll see them snoozing them all over the place: Trains, cafes, on benches. And also at work. Now you can get away with it even better with this great Dictionary Desk Pillow, an open book for you to rest your head (and eyes) while purporting to be studying or working hard!"

In Reply 1988 there's a character who goes to the all-night study place to sleep. :-) He sleeps on the floor, though, and could really have used this, I think!

It wouldn't pass easily outside of Japan, though, because people would see a bright yellow or green book with Japanese writing and grab it up to see what it was.

Still, culturally, it's interesting, in a situation where sleeping at work is not something to get fired about, but a noble, hardworking thing.


Info about the charcoal blocks used for cooking:
Yeontan (on Wikipedia, with photos)
Many years later, charcoal is still the “people’s fuel” in Korea

Genie Maples had written:

Finally finished 1988 this week and loved every freaking minute of it. Up there with Misaeng on my absolute favorites list. Very near flawless. January 31, 2016


I had a harder time liking it at first, but Genie's love for it kept me going, and I was very glad.
I rarely say "Trust me," but if you like Korean drama at all, trust me; this one is special.

My "reviews" (without spoilers):


Finished Answer Me 1988.

Didn't even realize until halfway through that the episodes are 90 minutes long (or more, it seemed, sometimes). I just thought I was taking forever to watch it, but I think it's 30+ hours of a 20-episode series. By halfway through I saw why I had been impatient, and also why I should not have been. This story has no cliffs. No cliffhangers. In a way, no main characters—because it's about the relationships and thoughts and histories (and as it unfolds, the futures) of nearly 20 people. Good people. Interesting people.

The last episode is about parenting, and families, and control vs acceptance, and aging, and peace. I think everyone will love the last ten episodes. Some of you might be lucky and love it from the beginning, as Genie Maples did. Maybe with this reassurance, it will be more likely.

Maybe you'll be impatient for action or details like I was. Don't be like I was. :-)

It doesn't need to be watched quickly. They'll wait for you. :-) They're very nice people.

The older discussion of it is here: **


I learned lots—my favorite thing to do—about culture, and there's something I thought was going to be a mystery, introduced very late, last few episodes. I sat up straight and thought "too late for a mystery!" But it was only mysterious for people outside of that culture. It's a law, based on Chinese law, from hundreds of years, and I had no idea. I'll put in a buried spoiler note for people who don't mind spoilers or who don't even think they'll watch the show, maybe. And it's been changed anyway, but in the 1980's and 90's, not yet.

Also...
I cried. How can a peaceful story without car chases or guns or swords make anybody cry? Because it was so damned PEACEFUL. Words. Nice writing, with words within words. Letters with voiceover made me cry.

SPOILER wikipedia page on a Korean law
So exciting, I know.
SPOILER but if you're going to watch it, just come back here in episode 19.

. . . . . . . . . . .

Sorry. I forgot if you put an image or a link, it doesn't stay at the bottom of the spoiler, but it pops up.

[in the facebook group I couldn't link it without an image, but on this page I can:] Article 809 of the Korean Civil Code


Late 2016, re-watching it, I wrote:

That show really does have a big cast—Reply 1988 does. Five main teens, four other siblings, so nine kids, seven adults, who are all near neighbors. And all of them get to do and be cool things.

Some of the peripheral characters are nice people, too. Or interesting. :-) Or fun.


If you have watched it, or while you're watching it, you might need help. Dramabeans has these recaps, which are harder to find without accidentally seeing spoilers if you don't have a neutral list to work from. :-)

They call it Answer Me 1988

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

Episode 5

Episode 6

Episode 7

Episode 8

Episode 9

Episode 10

Episode 11

Episode 12

Episode 13

Episode 14

Episode 15

Episode 16

Episode 17

Episode 18

Episode 19

Episode 20/final


My page of Korean Drama notes