Discussion: Is Answer Me 1994 Still Worth Watching After the Husband is Revealed?

I’m always the one watching a drama and talking about it, so I thought it fun to turn the tables on y’all with a drama that is currently the hot topic du jour and quite the hotbed of heated debate. I still haven’t watched Answer Me 1994, not even a scene or snippet, but its impossible not to overhear some of the discussions about the unfolding storyline. The final episode aired tonight and much as I wasn’t seeking to learn who was the husband I received an email from a drama friend that spilled the beans. I have no feeling whatsoever on the husband reveal since I have no clue why this drama needed to actually keep in the bag who the husband of the leading lady was. Since the drama is reportedly quite good, clearly it’s not the incompetence of Marry Him If You Dare unable to figure out which way was up or down hence never gave a satisfactory conclusion until the end (and not even then). I didn’t check out AM1994 when it first aired since I really am blah about Go Ara,Β but I loved Answer Me 1997 so I was planning to check out AM1994 if the reviews were good. By the time the drama picked up steam I was so busy I decided to bank it until it finished for a nice marathon session. Then the shipping wars began and boy did it look like a slow motion train wreck even from the sidelines were I was standing. Now that the drama is finished, what is the recommendation on the totality of AM1994? Should I even bother to watch it? Will those who recommend it turn out to only be viewers whose ship sailed? Will the sunken ship fandom give a persuasive argument for why this drama is so fundamentally flawed as to be not worth my time? I actually thought the whole husband reveal was the weakest part of AM1997 so to have it repeated in AM1994 actually is a turn off and knowing who the husband is now a major relief for me if ever I did elect to watch it. Shouldn’t it be obvious who the leading lady loves and wants as her husband? It certainly was in AM1997 hence the narrative should be about the journey and less about structuring for a last minute reveal. Read on for the spoilers on who the hubby is and then share your recommendations on whether AM1994 is good, bad, worth a watch, or destined for the trashbin.

So the hubby is Na Jung’s oppa, aka Trash, aka Kim Jae Joon. Anyone surprised? When I saw Jung Woo cast as the lead with Yoo Yeon Seok as the second male lead it looked pretty obvious to me. So why all the shipping wars, peeps? Was Yoo Yeon Seok really that awesome that a woman needed to be deaf, blind, and probably dead not to pick him over Oppa? Do tell because I’m really curious. From a dispassionate casual observer, I’d say Na Jung and Oppa look cute together from these stills alone other than her wedding veil being the height of hideously poofy.

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Discussion: Is Answer Me 1994 Still Worth Watching After the Husband is Revealed? — 169 Comments

  1. TBH I have been an oppa-najung shipper right from the start; i guess it’s just me, but I really don’t get the Yoo Yeon Seok appeal, even though I did understand why many fans adored him (plus I totally felt bad for his character given his awesome one-sided love where he just gave and gave and gave and never expected much in return). Trash may have been more enigmatic from the start, what with the writer’s decision not to reveal Trash’s real feelings until pretty late in the game but for some reason I think I saw enough in Trash’s actions to make it obvious that he did return Najung’s crush.
    I think overall AM1994 is worth a watch; it’s not particularly good or fresh the way AM1997 was, but there are some really poignant moments in the show that really make it worth watching, plus I really quite enjoyed the character arcs for every single one of the side characters (Haitai and Binggeure were totally satisfying and adorable characters to follow). In the end I think there are only two biggest flaws in AM1994: it’s almost inevitable that it’s going to be compared with AM1997, and honestly 1994 does fall flat a little, in that it’s not as tightly written or as fun to watch. The second is one that I think everyone who watched the show hates: the friggin husband mystery. I honestly feel that if the writers had told us straight out who was going to be the husband, then made the story more of how all three legs of the love triangle had grown from their experiences, the shippers would probably be much more satisfied, regardless of who ended up as Najung’s husband. Instead the writers chose to drag out the mystery, have the pendulum swing from one guy to another until most of us got so tired of the conflict we didn’t really give a damn who it was anymore as long as Najung was happy.
    One more plus about AM1994 (to end on a good note): Go Ara, who has been lacklustre in everything else I have seen her in, is a joy to watch in this show. She really embodies the character of Najung; even when she isn’t the focal point of the scene, she’s still inhibited by the character, to the point that she really makes the viewers see her as Najung; I think that is the mark of a good actress. I don’t know what magic potions SM finally fed to their actresses, but it seems they’re finally getting their act together!

  2. I admittedly did not watch the drama (I followed it by recap), mostly because I had no time for it. That said, watching R94 now will be a more meaningful experience because you don’t have to deal with the netizen chaos or the husband anxiety, which lasted too many episodes. The whole series is about family and friends in an era past. With the husband mystery, everyone forgot about what made the series do heartwarming in the first place, the boys and NJ living together as a huge hostel family and interacting with the things that made the 90s so great. The only downside is that the episodes are RIDUCULOUSLY long, but since you’re more of an expert in these things than I am, you may enjoy it way more than I would.

    So yeah, that’s my two cents. I’m just glad the shipping war nonsense is done.

  3. Yes, it’s still worth watching. The story itself worths more than just the shipping war.
    But be careful for any unsatisfying explanation made throughout the last episode. Seriously, the writers could have given the viewers better reasons for certain incidents.
    For people like me, whose ship’s sunken, it would take a few days to accept such ending. I need to re-adjust my perspective, be neutral when i re-watch the whole episodes (>.<')…

    • i think it is one of the better korean dramas out there so do check it out if you have the time.

      the scenes about friendships and family were nice, i wish there were more of those.

      the characters here are more defined or fleshed out in terms of characteristics or mannerisms.

      i loved chil bong from the start and i can’t really explain why. i just did. i read his character and actions differently from some people probably because of my bias.

      anyway, i think a lot of people were able to identify with him because he did a lot of the voice overs. he’s also a straightforward character but yoo yeon seok portrayed him really well. i mean, you can see and feel his intentions and emotions just through his eyes, and then those were followed through with his actions.

      i hope you don’t mind spoilers. he did the epic and romantic scenes by concept such as the first snow, confession, traveling for 12 hours (6 hours one way) to be with na jung for 3 hours, etc. the scenes were also made epic and romantic through directing and cinematography. i mean, his actions were simple and it’s always just him and na jung but the scenes were made magical — it perfectly captures fictional realism of romance.

      all the actors here are great, they more than delivered their part and have made their characters memorable. i think it’s great that this drama is paving the way for these talented actors to be more popular and to have more projects.

  4. I am probably one of the few who watched 1994 before 1997. I enjoyed 1994 much more than 1997. I loved every character in 1994. I don’t care who the husband is because I would be happy with either one. I think this show is a must watch. I am definitely going to rematch it myself.

  5. I HATED the ending. I am actually bawling right now and don’t know how to calm myself down. I never shipped one guy over another, but in the final stretch of the drama I started to despise the male lead. He is just so incredibly selfish … I just can’t like or support him anymore. And Chilbong’s storyline was completely tragic. It is hardly new for a second lead to develop a one-sided crush, but his love for Na Jung was so heartbreaking and selfless. He tried to get over her for years and could not. Is was just painful to watch.

      • Tell me a solid reason he broke up with her. I was not shipping anyone, I loved Oppa before that.

      • I thought the reason that they broke up was because Oppa wasn’t selfish enough! He never wanted to burden her with his troubles, not even telling her about his mom, to the point that Na-jung didn’t feel like they were true partners, that maybe she was only someone for him to take care of. That’s why it was so significant that he asked her to come over because he was sick. For the first time since they became a couple, Oppa was showing weakness around her and letting her take care of him.

      • I know. I’m at a loss too. I can’t even read comments anymore without wondering if we’ve been watching the same drama.

      • Quaggy is right. They broke up, because Oppa treated her too good. He never let her feel his problems, he tried to protect her from everything. Only after he allowed himself to show her his weak side, they became a real couple. One of the few series, that shows, that RL relationships are that complicated.
        AM 1994 never was about Chilbong, it was always about Trash and NJ. They even wear couple clothes on the first poster!
        The show is flawed, it is too long, they pulled some tricks just to confuse the audience, but it got a great ensemble, some very, very good acting and a consistent story.
        It doesn’t matter, whether you know who the husband is or not, because it should be clear from early on who is the end game.
        Just watch it for the great acting, the funny interaction and the adorable boarding house family.

        Not to be missed.

    • To be honest, Chilbong actually was a bit selfish in the way he kept pestering Na-Jeong about waiting for her. It’s just not necessary to do that when someone is obviously in a happy relationship, especially when she gave him more than enough chances to see that.
      He treated her like a prize to be won in many cases and was never really interested in getting to understand her side of the story. Granted, Trash also did some bigoted and out of character things in the past few episodes, but he never expected to get anything in return.

      I think it was a problem Chilbong had with *himself*, not Na-Jeong. He treated love like baseball and assumed that his hard-work, patience, and dedication would pay off, but that’s just not how it works. The real tragedy is that the writers never got to explore that, we never got to see much depth there (when there was plenty to explore).

      • i think it’s not the distance but the fact that he didn’t actually *include* her in his lives that caused the rift. the distance just highlighted it.

        my main problem with the show stem from the focus on the mystery in that it sacrificed juicy character growth and the overall pacing. i think that the najong-oppa thread makes sense (although najong-chilbong reversal could also make for great character development for all three leads) but it wasn’t developed thoroughly. sure, when he asked her to come over while sick was a first step towards inclusion and a beautifully poignant moment but it is treated like the cure-all moment for their relationship(a bit deus ex machina imo): he took a step to change and they get happily-ever-after. If the writers planned to go down that path from the start, I wished they had put more time to actually flush out the progression.

        but for the heart-warming friendship, it’s still worth a watch.

      • Episode 20 she did say that they broke up because they cant be honest and say when they’re having a hard time. Then they show the footage when oppas mom passed away and he didnt tell it to najeong about it and when she did find out and called him up he just kept on insisting he’s okay and not to be burdened about it. On the voice over she said since they started being like siblings oppa cant stop being an oppa.

    • I don’t get it. How is trash selfish? It’s comments like these that i have to take with a grain of salt. I like chilbong so i’m not going to accuse him of such qualities without so much as a well-backed up argument. I wouldn’t call chilbong nor trash selfish because if you compare them to most other male leads in k-dramas, both are golden, no? It’s just chilbong is the perfect guy doing the perfect things for a girl he has a one-sided love for, and alot of people fell for that quality. Trash, as always, was one to silently care for others without drawing much attention. That understated, flawed trash like character is why I loved him.

      Like Quaggy said, if anything, trash and na jung broke up because he wasn’t selfish enough. He didn’t lean on her when he should have. In all those flashbacks you see where trash was going through a rough time, he carried those burdens by himself, he didn’t wan’t to put it upon na jung too because he loved her. That reason in itself is so real, we didn’t get no noble idiocy or change of heart — they still loved each other, they just ended up drifting in that time he was going through a rough patch. That’s why na jung bursted into tears after getting the text from him that said he was sick and wanted to see her. Because he finally felt like he could rely on her, and that’s all she wanted. She didn’t want no “sorrys” — she wanted precisely that.

      That’s what i love about this show — it has so much heart, it’s genuine, it’s real. The hubby mystery shot itself in the foot, and is what kept it from being so great imo. But one would be silly to deny all the great moments this show had to offer us. It ruined my enjoyment of the show just reading the comments filled with so much bashing, but I will give credit to this show where it’s due.
      I really do think if you watched this show without settling upon a ship, you would enjoy the ending. It wrapped things up neatly — it made me nostalgic for all the moments shared between our characters. Obviously Team Chilbong would be devastated by the ending, but i have a few Team Chilbong friends that already accepted their fate and started to prepare and thus, disliked the show that much less. False hope can really kill a show for someone…

    • Lol at calling Trash selfish. I guess we were watching 2 different shows. If you actually watched the show, Trash was the selfless one and Chilbong was the selfish one. Chilbong never did anything Na Jeong wanted but he did everything according to his feelings. It was never about her and always about him. Trash was so selfless that it became detrimental to him and Na Jeong relationship.

    • I all depends what you think is “selfish” and “selfless” behavior. What Trash kept on doing here is same as noble idiocy, basically, and I have never myself considered it to be selfless. Quite the contrary, deciding for other what is best for them and then acting according, IS selfish. Keeping yourself closed “to protect” the other person is selfish because you are, essentially doing it to your own good: you don’t want to see the other person suffer because it would cause pain to YOU to see her/him suffer. Being a martyr is not being selfless.

      In my eyes Trash became less selfish when he started to give something of him to NJ instead of hiding behind the mask. But, as I say, this is a matter of interpretation of these words.

  6. Overall I really enjoyed the series. It wasn’t about who she married at the end, it was how they got to the end. The characters development was beautifully crafted. I think many people got discouraged in the middle due to the fact the the love stories keeps getting swing back in forth. I will forever be a Chil Bong fan. He was bold and brave. His unrequited love for na jung was his greatest flaw though. Many says that his character was only about baseball and na jung but that’s him. What more do you expect a baseball player to do? On the other hand, oppa was the perfect husband for na jung. He was synced to her feelings. Just like Chil bong, he has flaws. Timing was never his thing but he still made it to the end. Yoon jin and her hubby was the best thing that happened. I totally didn’t see them getting together since I was a Haitai and yoon jin shipper or maybe that all my ship sank. πŸ™ at the end of the day, don’t shelf a drama just because your ship isn’t gonna make it to the end. There’s so much more to the story than finding love and Reply 1994 totally makes it worth the ride!!

  7. Yes, it is totally worth watching even if you already know who the husband is… or maybe especially if you know who the husband is. Then you don’t run the risk of falling for Second Lead Syndrome. Without the husband mystery, you get to watch a sweet slice-of-life comedy about the life and becoming an adult in 1990s. While In A Good Way more about campus life, Answer Me 1994 is about the world outside of academics. It’s about small moments in life and life’s funny beats (or goat sounds bleats, if you prefer). I think you will enjoy it.

    If you are for the Na-jung/Oppa pairing from the start, then the whole storyline (even the angst towards the end) feels natural and completely understandable. Just two people who fit together perfectly, navigating through what it takes to become a stable, happy unit. And it’s so nice to finally have a story where the big-brother-protector-type gets the girl in the end. Heck, the girl in question never has eyes for anyone else!

    To be honest, I think the husband mystery was more of a way to add a little tension to an otherwise straightforward romance than anything else. Na-jung’s feelings never wavered. Ever. And once, Oppa decided he was all in, his never did either. Watching them together has been a joy and I’ll probably rewatch the series at some point in the future. Maybe even more than once!

      • I think it might be because so many Chilbongie shippers were actually just plain Chilbongie fans and whatever he wanted, they wanted for him, regardless of anything else. They were watching the show through the filter of their favorite character as the lead role. Nothing wrong with that necessarily, but you miss a lot about what makes this show so wonderful (not just the romance, but the entire show in general) if only one character is your sole focus.

      • Quaggy you are in sync with my thoughts. I don’t think CB shippers were all that surprised about the endgame, unless they were in denial and skipped all trash-najung moments and were deadset on CB. They’re just upset because of where the show took this beloved character. They wanted the best for him, but the writer ended up doing a disservice to him in the final stretch, mostly because the writer kept the “it’s not over until its over”, stringing their hopes along, and then threw another possible love interest in the very last episode instead of doing that beforehand. So much more CB fans would have been more satisfied had this writer revealed EARLY on who the husband is and instead set CB up with a nice gal while developing their relationship.
        That’s the only reason i can see CB fans getting angry at the writer. Anyone else who is gobsmacked at who the endgame has been living in their own bubble throughout the show.

    • I feel exactly the same, they never wavered in their feelings toward each other. Chilbong having feelings for her were his own but she only saw him as a friend. I didn’t feel there was a love triangle at all despite the PD trying to make it so.

  8. Storywise, I think AM1997 had a better flow and better integration of the scenes to keep the mystery of the husband interesting, but not exhausting. The same can’t be said for AM 1994, where the guessing game compromised the story-telling itself by cutting scenes short to preserve the mystery so that viewers aren’t able to tell the motivations behind the characters as well.

    However, with possibly the exception of Chilbong and Najung, the characterization in 1994 was insanely well written. Each character had their own arc and you see their growth and learn to love them as who they are. In the case of Chilbong and Najung, their actions sometimes conflict their previous actions or they lack development throughout the series, just so the guessing game can go on. The 1.5 hour episodes also make the series seem much more draggy than AM1997.

    However, all in all, it was an excellent series and the actors and actresses were all winning in their roles. The parents were especially wonderful and I did enjoy AM1994 more than its predecessor, but I don’t know if I would rewatch this like I did with AM1997.

  9. It’s worth watching but some things are DRAGGED outbsome episodes feel long for no reason

    I was Team Trash Oppa but since the only person she had feelings for the entire time was Oppa I couldn’t understand the other ship.

    Also…personally a lot of things Chilbong did and said in regards to Na Jung kind of creeped me out. It’s like Twilight syndrome. If CB wasn’t a very handsome man would people have found his actions acceptable?

    • In regards to your last question – nope. No wonder casting directors pick hot guys, since it seems like a pretty face can paper over seriously questionable behavior.

    • You could say that for most Kdrama male leads too, it’s messed up that there isn’t a real alternative to that stock type character with its aggressive and possessive man-child behaviour. It’s tiring.

    • Honestly, I couldn’t enjoy Chilbongie for that reason. I’ve been in Na-jung’s shoes and it’s not fun. Having someone in love with you for years totally believing that some day you will love them back, despite all evidence to the contrary, is not romantic. It’s not necessarily creepy, but it’s so tiring having someone’s romantic expectations pushed on you. It’s an extra burden you have to bear, because of course, you don’t want to hurt your friend. And in the end, you even wind up resenting him a little, because why are HIS feelings more important than yours? Chilbongie, at least, decided to value the friendships he was offered over the hopes he had previously cherished. But much of his heartbreak was his own doing.

    • The show definitely was draggy in some parts and i never understood Chilbongs character because I thought is character was annoying. He was extremely clingy and needy. If he was a girl character so many people would be bashing on her instead of calling him sweet. None of his actions were sweet because it was never ever for Na Jeong sake or happiness.

  10. I shipped Chilbing and Na Jung from beginning to end. I don’t like the “siblings” love between them! Even though they aren’t related the fact they always treated that way then magically Na Jung fell for him turned me off…

    Perferred 1997 better as 1994 focused way too much on the lovelines.. And Na Jungs fangirling antics were barely part of the storyline it was in the beginning but not anymore… Don’t give the whole “age” issue look at Yoon Jin same age and was basically a die hard fan from the end. Though the drama is about the basketball craze it shifted towards baseball more.

    Not to mention the storyline of Baros sexuality as he wasn’t sure if he liked boys or girls and I felt no chemistry when he got pairs with Jin Yi.

    I liked Hai Tai, Yoon Jin and Samcheonpo though they were hilarious… But that’s it.. 1997 forever!

  11. If you haven’t watched it yet, you better should be but with caution. Why?

    Story wise: Each episode of Reply 1994 gives you enough laughter, tears, life lesson, and nostalgia.

    Characters: As you watch each episode, you grow along with them. You will become a part of their family. Understanding their dynamics and knowing why they came up with that decision and why not.

    Ending: It was quite obvious to whom Na Jung would end up with when she got mad over the groom for setting the wedding day on an important baseball day in Korea (or was it soccer? I totally forgot). That type of error can only be made by one person, and that is Trash. What I don’t like about the ending is how pathetic Chilbong was. It was kinda lame of Na Jung to go over Chilbong and hug him then say thank you for liking her. C’mon! Who does that these days? It would be more realistic if they just talked over the phone because that’s how things like that work, right? Even Na Jung and Trash’s not-really-breakup-breakup happened that way. So I guess, this part of the series felt flat to me.

    Series as a whole: I’m a big fan of Reply 1997 as well but I must say that Reply 1994 is better when it comes to stories of friendship, family ties, and love. What I don’t like in both series is how they emphasize “your first love”. Let’s all be honest here. In real life, only 1% or less of the population gets the chance to marry their first love (which includes me. ha!). It would have been better if the husband is just a giveaway and the story slightly focused on how you will move on from a first love disease.

    Overall, I will still recommend this even with its slight flaws. Nothing’s perfect anyways.

  12. Well, for me I decided not to watch the last two episodes after knowing the spoiler. It is just a waste of time and draggy storyline. if they stuck with trash from the first time, they should have end it earlier, why they still gave a false hope until ep 20. Usually, I’m the type that like the love story between childhood friend or between people who know each other for a long time (like in 1997), but this time, It’s hard not to root for chilbong after all the efforts that he has done, he is just so sweet, the ultimate of second lead syndrome, that you can’t hate. All the revealing in the ending just seem ridiculous for me.

    • It’s your loss because the last two episodes were the best!
      I’ve never felt so satisfied with the end of a show like this one! Best drama of 2013 <3 It has my heart forever!

  13. I haven’t watched the last episode yet, but it’s glaringly obvious, to me at least around episode 15 or so that Trash was endgame. I was Team Chilbong and I actually dropped the drama around episode 12 or 13 because my ship was going nowhere and I didn’t want to get caught up in being mad about it like a lot of fans were doing. But I caught up with it this week, thinking that I don’t care who the husband was because at least everyone was happy in 2013 and after that AM1994 became much more enjoyable.

    The secondary couple is beyond adorable, and I love the other characters and their individual storylines. I do see how Chilbong fans feel he got shafted compared to the other characters; I don’t think we actually meet him until episode five or something and he’s always pining after Na-jung or playing baseball. It’s not like the writer ran out of time (21 episodes that all run an hour and a half or more), but by episode twenty it’s clear why he was written that way, though I wish they could’ve done it without shipping him off for five episodes.

    Yeah, it’s not perfect, and the husband mystery drove everyone nuts, but I don’t regret watching it. Also, I was never a fan of Go Ara, but she’s great here. I don’t know what she’s been doing, but she’s totally believeable as Na-jung, hitting every high and low that Na-jung goes through.

  14. The friendship within the boarders is great. If only this drama would more focus on friendship it will be great. It just the husband mistery, the love triangle between oppa-najung-chilbong ending that unbearable and unrealistic. Its like the writer change the ending into total mess for the love triangle. (Like in MHIYD they promise you flower but give you shit in the end) You will know what I mean when you watch it. Watch it for a great side character stories, love and friendship if during the ride you happen to fall in love with Chilbongie just watch until episode 20 then read fanfics for alternative ending. You have been warned, there is reasons why there are so great shipper war, YYS stole this show as Chilbongie with 100 times better character than Choi Young Do of Heirs but with a mess result/tragic ending ever.

    • I get what you were trying to say with the whole MHIYD ending as it probably feels that way being a CB fan, but i wouldn’t compare that shit ending to AM1994’s. There’s is a clear difference between the two — MHIYD was unclear on who exactly mi-rae chose. It was wishy-washy, open ended, and lacked romance between whoever she really did end up with. You literally felt you spent hours watching for no good reason.

      In AM1994 Na jung ended up with who she was to all along according to the story this writer wanted to tell.. And if the baseball analogies and message the writer was trying to send out was unclear, then i will dock her points for that. All the friends found their own happy endings. Even Chilbong. The only tragic thing about the ending really is that CB as a character deserved more than what he got, and that I get.

  15. I honestly think the drama had its golden moments. But I think it’s rather personal assessment whether they make up for the heavy-handed, overwrought pacing and editing of the storyline. The drama doesn’t have much of a plot, because of its slice-of-life approach, making the whole husband reveal the supposed focus. I think this is where it fails and where AM1997 definitely wins over AM1994. In AM1997 it is a much lesser point of focus but in AM1994 it takes up much more storytelling space. It clearly directed and negatively affected the story’s editing and pacing to the point that at the end of it I wished I only read recaps (because I was definitely putting my drama on 2x/fast forward). The main OTP + main love rival (played by Yoo Yeon Seok) toward the end had the weakest characterizations. And the editing was just plain odd because of the fact that they could not drop hints natural to the story line. The PD and writers basically had to hide them until episode 20/21. A lot of the dramatic progression and characterization of its leads was to me overwrought to a point that it made no sense to me. The energy level of the drama’s beginnings did not hold well toward the end. It definitely should not have been 21 episodes.

    The parts that were worth it? The 2nd OTP, led by Yoon Jin and Sam Cheon Po. They had some of the best dramatic moments. And for folks who remembered what the 90s were like, the drama worked in some fun nostalgic throwbacks.

    My main threshold and criterion for dramas are storyline and character arcs and development (similar to food at restaurants as the primary criterion), but that is, of course, personal and subjective. In that regard, this drama didn’t not hold up well against AM1997, which definitely helped spur the ratings run for AM1994. Some one had pointed out had the airing been switched, with AM1994 airing before AM1997, it would likely not have garnered as much attention as it did. Though hard to rewrite history and substantiate, s/he made an interesting point. I would set expectations accordingly and perhaps venture in if you’re leaning toward seeing what the AM1994 craze was about.

    • I know a lot of people who preferred 1994, because the characters were stronger. The fact that people felt so strongly about any of those characters speaks volumes. In 1997, I felt detached reading just recaps, but in 1994, I felt a connection to the characters by words alone.

      • The themes in AM1994 were weightier and far more serious than those in AM1997. They make the 1994 cast of characters far more personal and relatable. On average (taking the drama series as a whole), there were a lot of weaknesses in the characterizations for the 1994 cast compared to those for 1997. The two culprits were mainly the antics and tactics behind the husband mystery and the focus on creating story lines for each of the side characters. To me, it took away the focus and the husband mystery made for some weird pacing of story surrounding the main leads. And some stories for the side characters only lasted a half-episode to a couple of episodes. Some of these story arcs I did not find interesting. Rather I found them to be flat and predictable.

        At least in AM1997, it had a couple of really solid stories around the leads. It never steered away from that focus and kept the story pacing tight. In AM1994, I felt it was very ham-fisted. I blame the set up and poor handling of the husband mystery by the PD and the writers, as well as having to fill 21 episodes at an average of 1.5 hours each. That is virtually 30 episodes worth of material! (And we’re not counting episode 0!)

        Having watched both, I think AM1997 had more thematic limitations. That, in turn, lent it more room for spontaneity, creativity, and entertainment. It also did not overshoot in the life’s lessons department, which I felt AM1994 just had too much of. I can understand that some viewers would like the themes in 1994 more than 1997. But I don’t think the execution was better in AM1994 with regard to the story, which to a great degree drives how the characters are portrayed.

  16. I say yes. I would watch it for all of the characters again, but I wouldn’t watch it for the love line if you don’t want to be thoroughly confused or annoyed about why Oppa is endgame when Chilbong is great too because it confused the heck out of me and it felt like (especially with the one episode extension) the writer wrote things that just didn’t make the story flow. I was an Oppa-Na Jung shipper from the start and then wavered because I liked Chilbong, because honestly he was a good character. I thought it was unfortunate that we were able to explore everyone’s characters except for Chilbong, there was enough focus on everyone else, even though I still have questions (Binggurae’s dad) but I never felt a connection to Chilbong because I didn’t see enough of him (yes his baseball, yes his unwavering devotion to liking Na Jung, but I didn’t see what he liked beyond baseball).

    I came to appreciate all the other characters as well (particularly mom and dad because they’re just great actors) but I wish the writer had spent more time on them because it felt very choppy–there were so many flashbacks and flashforwards but not enough to fill us in on what happened during the years…i.e. jump from 1994-1995-1997-1999-2002-2013.

    Also, even though I liked Oppa-Na Jung from the beginning, I actually thought it was Chilbong-Na Jung OTP and that Oppa was advertised just as her brother. Many people who didn’t ship Oppa-Na Jung didn’t have problems with Oppa necessarily, but found their sibling relationship too weird to be romantic, although I had no problems. I felt like yes they were close but there were also romantic undertones which I could see from the start. Also, I felt that while Chilbong may have been thoughtful, attentive and just an all around super star, she knew what she wanted from the outset and was vocal, whereas in 1997, Shiwon didn’t know–she felt she had to take the place of her sister for Taewoong’s sake, until she realized she had feelings for Yoonjae. From the start it was always about Na Jung’s love for Oppa and I think many kdramas are about first loves and getting the guy you’ve always liked to like you back but he’s really just the second lead, the girl pines for him but she can’t have him because he’s married or something prevent her from her “first love” so she has a relationship with the actual male lead and that’s the focus of the series (does that make sense? In particular I’m thinking of Lie to Me–Yoon Eun Hye’s college sunbae marries her best friend even though she’s had a crush on him a long time and she ends up with Kang Ji Hwan who’s really the male lead because she can’t have the sunbae because he’s married–but let’s be honest I’d rather have Kang Ji Hwan lol) but that doesn’t happen here. Instead, it’s always been about Oppa and I was worried in the latter half when it was all fine and dandy for Oppa and Na Jung. But I knew by episode 20 it was kind of too late to make the OTP anyone else.

    I don’t want to spoil anything else (I probably have already, sorry!) but I would still watch it because I liked the characters, particularly dad and Oppa together, they had some awesome scenes together.

    • Okay, after rereading my Lie to Me comparison I’m afraid I’ve confused people lol. So here are my two takes on kdramas (at least for rom-com dramas) which is a complete overgeneralization but just to help clarify. (1) Girl likes boy for ages, boy never recognizes her even though they’ve known each other for years, but eventually a second male lead comes in and boy falls in love with girl (ex. Playful Kiss). (2) Girl likes boy for ages, boy never recognizes her, gets married to someone else, or something basically prevents him from recognizing her, boy is actually second male lead, and girl develops feelings for actual male lead and their relationship is explored in the bulk of the drama (ex. Lie to Me). I know there are many more, I’m just trying to say that (1) is basically what happened here and if (2) had happened we would have needed more Chilbong-Na Jung time.

    • I agree with Katie. Reply 1994 is good watch for the characters, but not the love story. I only watched it for Chilbong’s character(cause who wouldn’t love his character after he confronted Oppa about Oppa’s feelings for Najung which triggered Oppa to decide and stop being wishy washy). I felt like the writers should have showed us more of Chilbong other than his love for baseball and Na Jung too.

      It might just be me, but I feel like Oppa’s love for Najung isn’t very convincing. It totally felt like the writers turned his oppa-dongsaeng love into LOVE just to have conflict. Even after all their dating and when they were together, I felt like he wasn’t as into their love…but that might just be because of my Chilbong bias. Hehehe.

      I have to say though, I didn’t like this one as much. I think 1997 was much better. Not because Chilbong didn’t end up with Najung. I’m glad he didn’t cause I really disliked the fact that he was only all bout Najung. I dislike those kind of characters, I like characters who have more than just liking someone and chasing after that someone for the whole drama. I liked his character because he was willing to confront his feelings and the people he liked. I liked him for being able to push Oppa to admit Oppa’s feelings. I liked him for his courage to realize that he should let Najung go. I like him for still trying to get with Najung. All these things show how courageous he his and how un-cowardly he is, which is why I wish they should’ve done more with him. (But then again, I admit, it might just my Chilbong bias talking, so I apologize if I sound contradicting).

      • I thought the love-line was different (in feel, not the whole first love set up) than it usually is in k-dramas, and i appreciate it that much more. I think it IS worth watching for the love-line, but probably not worth the whole “whos the husband mystery” I know CB shippers probably didn’t like the love line, simply because one would prefer CB, but you already mentioned being CB biased so i get that as we all become biased in moments where we really love a character or show.
        I do agree that the writer could’ve done alot more with his character though, but i’m not going to deny how organically najung-trash felt. The love they shared was more real than half the k-drama relationships out there, but that could also be my trash-biased opinion.

      • I did like Chilbong before his crush but He became annoying until last two episodes when he finally understood that the girl ws NOT into him as a lover!
        Trash is not perfect but HE is her choice, her one and only love, for Gosh sake it’s not because someone is nice to you that you have to LOVE HIM back, love is a feeling not something that people deserve)
        She loved Trash since the beginning , she fought to have him and she freakin’ got him….I’m so in love with the writer right now and with Sung Na Jung but I won’t claim her Trash oppa Because
        1) I know I would loose the battle
        2) I love you too Sseureki
        3) I am a straight girl πŸ™‚

  17. Oh Koala…sad face here.

    Your question is a good one and a tough one.

    On the one hand, there was no doubt, AT ALL, as to who NJ loved – the entire series. Never did she waiver, never did the writers show her loving CBie. Those (of us) who wanted her to end with CBie hoped there was some trick up the writers’ sleeve where there was some unrevealed truth. So it really was not the mystery that pulled me through.

    The problem wasn’t that CBie didn’t have a chance, really really really didn’t have a chance, like EVER. The problem was he thought he did, and those (of us) who were on his side moved the POV from the heroine’s to his. I blame YYS’s heart-wrenching portrayal of the loneliest character I have ever watched (more than his beautiful physique which they generously shared.) They also made CBie incredibly romantic and sweet and thoughtful. All the things second leads usually are. It was a losing side from the git-go, but that never stopped me here or before from rooting for the second lead. There is a cathartic effect watching someone else love impossibly, remembering when I was in the same situation back in the day.

    Even going into the end, all I wanted was for CBie to be happy. I knew that didn’t mean he should end up with NJ, but ottoke? It would have been the easiest ending for him. Watching him watch her love someone else, knowing he would never get what he wanted, holy sh^t, that is compelling. For me, that overshadowed the actual love story which had been decided as early as Ep 2.

    I haven’t mentioned all the wonderful side characters and lovely moments spread throughout but I did enjoy more than the love/not love story immensely. The casting was perfect. Music worked. They did a great job establishing moments and moods.

    I will go back and watch scenes of this drama, but never an entire redo. I can make up my own ending, as I have with so many others.

    • It was the same for me. Watching Joon’s unrequitted love was more compelling than the OTP’s story. He pulled the heartstrings that the OTP wasn’t able to. As a disclaimer I loved Oppa before the triangle started, but that version of Oppa never came back. He had the right balance of dorkiness and swooniness. But his dating relationship with NJ became tinted with an unspoken solemnity for whatever reason, even amidst their (very strange) shenanigans… and I guess I never quite felt it. Emotionally, I’m okay that she chose whoever she chose, because feelings can’t be explained. I prefer Joon, she prefers Oppa, that’s fine. But narratively there are a lot of loose strings that aren’t tied up as well as in AM1997. Things didn’t quite add up satisfactorily, which is why fans are crying umbrage. Because the trolling was done sloppily.

      Considering the story it turned out to be telling, which was simply a Qingmei Zhuma couple with little progression trajectory, it didn’t need 21 eps of 1.5 hrs each. Scenes get lost in extraneous dialogues, plots get lost in extraneous scenes. Not an awful drama by any measure, but can be taxing and unrewarding if you don’t know what you’re getting into.

    • I 100% agree with you. I didn’t get caught in the shipping war because I simply root for Chilbong-ie to be happy, not to be with NJ (given that NJ only puts her heart towards Trash). I hope so much for CB to find someone who loves and adores him as much as he will do for her, someone who can fill his loneliness and wants to be with him. Since episode 11 when Trash steps up and decided to reciprocate NJ’s feelings, I already knew that CB would be the one to get hurt, but kept hoping that the writer would develop his character more and let him meet “someone”. In my opinion, this husband guessing game actually ruins the character development in Answer Me 1994. So my suggest for Koala unni is: AM1994 is worth watching for the warm family and nostagic feelings but it isn’t as awesome as AM1997 (IMO).

    • Thank you, Jomo, for eloquently articulating how I feel. From the mid episodes, I have already accepted that Oppa and Najung are the end game. My gripe is that this drama has made us fall in love with this incredible guy who is also incredibly lonely and alone, and never allowed us any reprieve. Until the end!! (writer could have thrown us a bone! at least). I am not just dissatisfied, but totally heart broken about what happened to Chilbonggie. I had hoped when he returned to Korea in the last two episodes, the writer would have developed his story and gave him a convincingly happy ending. But I guess the husband mystery was more important, huh?

      I concur that YYS is totally to blame for the heart-wrenching portrayal of Chilbonggie. For introducing this wonderful actor to me, I give props to the writer and PD (that would help me forgive them a little bit). CB will forever be my most beloved loneliest second male lead. Apart from him, I like all the other characters in the drama… all of them, yes, even Oppa and Najung, Haitai, Mom and Dad, even the cameo roles are all awesome (loved Die-Die).

      In conclusion and in response to your question Capt. Koala, I’d say yes, watch Reply 1994. You are in a much better position than all of us, because you already know the end-game. Then maybe you can enjoy it much better. It’s still a great watch with very good acting and music.

  18. A drama worth watching and investing every single ounce of your emotions in. I just abhor the manner in which CB’s character was handled so pathetically in the last episode. Throw him a last-minute wife and that’s his so called closure/happy ending?

    If not for the misdirection of clues, this would have been perfect. Now, it somehow feels like a cookie trail that ends up broken…

  19. I only personally watched it for the husband mystery and am now incredibly disappointed. other than Chil Bong’s story (and the mystery), I wasn’t all that invested in the other characters. therefore, I can’t really remember what the drama was really about. -__-
    not gonna go back and re-watch the whole thing though.

  20. the shipping war ruined this drama for me..
    if you watch it with open mind you can tell na jeong never ever have feeling for cb more than good friend but cb shippers just shove it up to everyone face’- watching viki and read their rude comments left a sour taste on my mouth..

    im not trash shipper by the way…im just a ex-reply 1994 fans

    • I’m an ex-Reply94 fan too, but both sides destroyed my initial adoration for the drama. Trash shippers were incredibly rude and nasty, Chilbong shippers had this one track mind that elevated delusional to the highest level.

      Personally, I didn’t like any of the contenders (Trash or Chilbong). Trash laughed at NJ three (or four?) times before he acknowledged her feelings and only because the other guy said he would make a move, which excuse me while I lol – “Love of the Century” indeed. Chilbong was so underdeveloped by the writer, he had one of the most pathetic, sad arcs I’ve ever seen in a second lead (he was basically a plot device). And NJ was soooo spineless for a chunk of a drama that I cursed at her for being a sad shadow of the great character she could’ve been. All this had only one intention: keep the “mystery” alive. Sorry, magician, I know all about your trick and I don’t like it.

      So, if you go alone into the journey, you might like it. It drags A LOT, and when I say a lot, I mean it – it hadn’t nearly as much story to tell as what its ridiculous length might indicate. The husband is glaringly obvious from episode 3 or 4 onwards, it shouldn’t make you angry. Also, the side characters are hilarious and amazing (one side love story is everything I wanted to see in a drama, and I only watched their scenes before dropping the drama entirely).

      I give it a 6/10.

  21. As the final episode illustrated, this drama is essentially about the members of the Shinchon boarding house – of the relationships they forged and the growing up they did. Much (too much) time may have been spent on the Garbage-Chilbongie-Najung love triangle, but that was because it played an important role in the developmental arc of each of the three characters. If one skips the present day timeline scenes, I think it’s much easier to get the general message of the drama – which is quite similar to that of Answer Me 1997 – and not be distracted by all the angst of unrequited love etc. Admittedly, I didn’t think this two episodes ago as it seemed that the love stuff was taking over the drama and fueling the flames of the absurd shipping wars. But Chilbongie got his chance to shine as a character in his own right, as a dear friend to the other members of the Shinchon boarding house and rather than Najung’s second-place suitor, in the final two episodes and that was redeemed this drama for me.

  22. My experience with this drama is like taking an airplane. Firstly, I wasn’t interested in this drama because I thought this drama would be the remake stereotype of other dramas like Goong. After trying to watch the Episode 0, the drama seemed interesting to me, so I decided to watch this drama. HOWEVER, this drama has totally made me crushed like landing the airplane in emergency state because the result is out of my expectation πŸ™ In my opinion, this drama is worth to watch, but I just want to give you a warning, if you later fall in love with the 2nd lead male, just better drop it, otherwise you’ll end up miserable (like me right now, lol).

  23. I am so done with this show. So utterly burnt out. Team Chilbongie from the start, so I’m picking up all the pieces of my broken heart now. Honestly, though, if it weren’t for the stupid husband mystery, this show is very watchable. But since the husband mystery is the main plot of this drama, basically if you’re in the losing team this show doesn’t really warrant a second rewatch. Honestly, I’m just sick and tired of the fan war. I just want to wrap myself in a blanket and pretend that episode 21 never happened. Be delulu for a little bit longer. Make up fanfictions in my mind for my OTP who is not canon. You should find out whether it’s all worth it if you try out the first and second episode. Hopefully I will see Oppa and Na Jung as a couple in a new light in the next few months if only for the sake of closure.

  24. I know what you mean about Go Ara – I have watched “Who Are You” (the original one not the one from this year) twice because of my deep love for Yoon Kye Sang but I would cringe through every scene with Go Ara in it. So I went into AM1994 with a lot of skepticism. She was WONDERFUL. She has really grown as an actress. She was fearless in this role – willing to make herself look like a complete fool at times and she deserves all the praise she gets. It is hard to remember sometimes that she is REALLY young. She started making dramas in her teens and was playing older and so she really did start off terrible but she has grown (I say second time for emphasis). So I would not let that be a reason to not watch this drama. And since you can watch without getting swept up in shipping wars you will probably be able to love it for the things that it does right and there are many of those. It is a very sweet show with many lovely characters and is most definitely worth a watch.

    • GAR was definitely good in the beginning but after a while her character got shafted as well. I’ll say out of the two girls Dohee was a VERY pleasant surprise. She was truly wonderful as YJ!

    • I loved loved Go Ara in this role. I would somewhat say that AM1994 is a breakout role for her. I say somewhat because she’s already well known before this, albeit not for good acting chops. I’ll cut her some slack, since she was pretty young when she debuted — and she’s STILL young — 23. Yoona is kinda doing it for me like Go Ara did it. She’s definitely improved and i’m loving her in her role.
      Go Ara owned the role of Na Jung, after she tones down her over-acting in the first few episodes. I fell in love as she fell in love, i felt like hiding for her in all her embarassing moments, and i cried when she cried. She so accurately portrays the ins and outs of what it feels like to fall foolishly in love.
      She’s definitely a revelation to me, and i’ll be forever smitten since i got to connect with her so much.
      Majority of the comments i’ve read on Go Ara’s acting is overall positive.

  25. nope, don’t watch it. shipping war aside, as someone had put it on another site, the show was a jumble of catchphrases like “its not over till its over” that never added up to anything and thus the show lost its heart over trying to keep the mystery of ‘who’s the husband?’. what did it all mean in the end? first loves? second families? friendship? there was a lot of scenes and points that contradicted all of that, and thus it lost its narrative sense. after some time, i realized the tension i felt about the relationships was really just manipulative and the writers catered to garner ratings and fuel ship wars. the episodes are long and slow paced. the bonus of that was that you spend more time with the characters and i think that’s why people feel so strongly over RP1994 over RP1997 because we got to know so much more about them. i mean at an average 1h30 min, of course i’m going to get to know them more and thus love them more! i think every episode had the Dad ‘predict’ something stupid about the future just to get a goat laugh. the show started to sound like a taylor swift youtube parody. (‘bahhhh’) overall i think RP1997 is a better show with 2 or so characters that i truly loved. On the other RP1994, i adored most of the characters but can’t fully love them because a part of me has been conditioned to be suspicious of their intentions because the writers chose twists and turns over organically developing them. anyways it was a roller coaster of a ride and emotions which i guess is the point of dramas. but idk if i’ll be rewatching episodes of RP1994 like i do with RP1997 when i can’t fall asleep and want to remember the great chemistry and poignant storylines.

  26. I signed up for this drama cause I loved AM97, it had the funny and it had the tension at just the right amount. Additionally I was hoping for the same era & culture introduction, the beating & real relationship stories (friends, family, love) and lastly this feeling of nostalgia that was in AM97. Lastly I was a happy camper to get mom and dad duo back because they were just awesome. With Shin PD and writer lee co captains in this thing, I was so IN.

    I never did get the who is hubby concept of AM97 because it was super obvious from the get go that it was YoonJae-ShiWon story and I rooted for them tooth and nail. So again with AM94, I came in knowing that I really don’t care about the ‘who is hubby’ part cause that was never the story of AM97 and I expected the same for AM94. And before it aired I was already shipping chilbongie/YYS, so there was really no doubt in my head about who is hubby. But I still had a little doubt, and it was like you koala, it was Ara, I had watched her other shows, and for a a very pretty face, sadly she was forgettable. But STILL I had faith in the writing and the directing, so I signed up from the start.

    Episode 1 came and it was really slow, maybe because the duration was lengthened to 70 minutes episode as opposed to 30-40 minutes episode of its predecessor. but I found myself still getting the same nostalgia feeling that I got from AM97.
    Then ep2 happened and that is when the different shipping started with the introduction of the hubby contender for Najeong. That is when the lines got murky and the “who is hubby” became the thing of this series. I mentioned that I was in for YYS because I thought he was main lead, that happened before it aired. That is how I perceived the presentation of YYS, from the character description to episode 0. I guess in a way the PD and writer misrepresented a little, or maybe that is a harsh work. Okay its like when you are a kid and your mom tells you that the food in the plate is pork only to find out it is tofu, it is still delicious but still you were thinking about the pork. That is how I took the turn of events with the reveal of the hubby contender. And for me that is a welcome change (at first) cause unlike AM97, the “who is hubby” in AM94 got interesting, frustrating, exciting, confusing wrapped in a ball of uncertainty and fun.
    Anyway as with my tofu comparison, some people liked the tofu and some still insisted the pork, it really depends on each other taste. But sadly the different taste of people started the different shipping and well that turned out to be the biggest shipping war I have ever encountered.
    I am a pork person but the tofu lured me, so I did jump ship. The ‘Who is hubby’ part of the drama was real and that blurred the lines of who was the main male lead. Usually the male lead would be pretty obvious from day one, He would be the one she loves and that would be the one to root for (natural inclination). and as you watch, you wait wait for the leads encounter, root for them falling in love, pray for the end of an idiotic sacrifice to end and be happy for their together ending. But here it was a little different. I think this is the first drama where I really didn’t know who the female lead will end up.
    It was nerve wracking as the pendulum kept going back and forth from the two lead contenders as her hubby because the potential of both guys as was just too even. It started as picking the male lead you want as her hubby at ep2 turned to fun shipping then serious shipping then escalated to shipping war. It was a pretty scary progression. Anyway I will not delved into the shipping war cause there are thread about that in korea and international forums and it doesn’t need another addition.

    It is really a sad that ‘who is hubby’ became the thing for AM97, because that is not all there is for this drama. There is the same the era and culture introduction that was just unique in AM97 as it is in AM94. Present also was the feeling and revelation of nostalgia of the time. And lastly there was also the beating and real stories of relationships of the people in the drama. And in my opinion AM94 did better in exploring the character arcs progress and maturity. and each relationship and character was really made to shine. Each character made me want to root for their happiness as they grow up and mature — with all their uniqueness, imperfection, dilemma, and endearing qualities.

    I don’t know about the rest of the people that watched AM94, but I will certainly remember Haitai as the sex-maniac-condom-buying-guy who will be the first to as everyone if they are okay, I will remember Samcheonpo as the oldest-looking-youngster with straight-laced-principled but will still steal a toilet bowl to get his girlfriend happy, or Binggrae the-confused-and-lost-soul who just needed someone to guide him to a direction where family and dream coincide, or YoonJin the-small-scary-foul-mannered-fangirl who is loyal to her boyfriend, or Chilbong the-little-dim-baseball-star who will do the most sweetest and straight forward things to let his first love know his heart, Sseureki oppa the trashy-and-childis-guy who would take on all the burden without complain for the people he loves and Najeong the loud-mouthed-daughter who would would work abroad for family.

    In conclusion, Who is hubby may have been the ‘thing’ for AM94 but it is not all there is to it. and to the shipping war boxed this drama on who is better for najeong is not its concept. This drama is about the change of relationships — the shift and the maturity. This drama is about character — their growing up and learning thing about life. So for me this drama is about a story of two people along with their friends who’s life started to change and mature as they fall in love, face problems, get rivals, finding direction after being lost, reaffirming family, encountering fate, making decisions and redefining love and relationship.
    KUDOS to writer Lee and Shin PD

    PS
    ACTING WISE regarding Go Ara, well to say the least I am a fan now. watching her in AM94 makes me smile cause I really didnt’ see ara, I saw and loved Najeong.
    Jungwoo was awesome in this. this is really his platform to stardom cause as much as sseureki was half parts trashy/childish and other parts awesome, as an actor he was wholly awesome.
    YeonSeok was endearingly sweet that I would want to bottle him and carry him with me always.
    Sunkyun was just EPIC, epically funny and epically awesome, Hojun as haitai is just so sweet and is contender for my fave character in the drama vs oppa. Yoonjin is amazing on fire. Baro was a little rough around the ages but he was still earnestly cute.
    SungDongil and Lee IlHwa needs to be dubbed national mother and father because of this. I would always wait for their team up again.

    • Jungwoo was cast as lead with YYS as 2nd lead, was YYS awesome that people pick him over oppa?

      I don’t know if it is just me or maybe some are just lost in translation but as one to read only 2nd hand through blogs and an international fan of this drama. I really though the YYS was the lead, even the episode zero which showed some making scenes seemed to reaffirm my belief that he was lead. Then episode 1 was aired and still no one believed that oppa was lead cause he was introduced and implied as Najeong ‘blood related’ oppa. Only to reveal at ep2 that he is hubby contender.. as with my tofu-pork comparison…

      TBH I am a super NAREKI SHIPPER, so all I can say is that oppa is so VAGUE in the first 10 episodes that you would want to pull your hair as to why the whole vagueness. and on top of that vagueness he was AWESOME than Najeong really fell for him, and I did as well. As an older-brother-like oppa he was already awesome but when he went and accepted/confessed he reciprocated her feelings he became just mind blowing, goosebumps inducing, swoon worthy awesome. hehehe biased view!
      As for YYS as Chilbong, he was awesomely endearing. The character was straight forward and honest and Sssssooooo sweet. And just an all around good guy. TBH if I had meet both guys I would fall for him first cause he is a cutie, sweetie, and star athlete…

      but for Najeong, I would still pick oppa for her cause they were just meant for each other. They were equal parts childish and awesome together with his cherry on top trashy ways…

    • here is where AM94 failed:
      1. The episode was too damn long at an hour and 40 minutes or 100 minutes. that there were just some scenes that needed to be cut down and removed
      2. They had to make ‘who is hubby’ be the thing and have everyone play until the last episode that in the end it really was getting bitter to whoever doesnt get the girl. But if the scene was all uniliner in time with no 2002 and 2013 scene, I think most people would gave caught on.
      3. you cant make two good guys as love rivals cause their would be fall outs such as people feeling burned out on WHY SUCH A GOOD GUY DIDNT GET THE GIRL
      4. on top of having some 90 minutes episode, they added another episode, making the 20 episode into 21. material was thinning
      5. the trolling with the clues/hints got on peoples nerves but mostly people got confused because of the 2013 house warming party and 2002 wedding scenes.
      6. they should have closed the whole chilbong love triangle thing at ep 20 or 19 so that he can have his own arc story that would make all people satisfied

  27. I actually didn’t care for the OTP because I have never been fond of brother/sister type of relationship and shifting them to a romantic type…regardless if they are not blood related, it still creeps me out(especially if they lived in the same roof and was regarded as siblings)…it’s like going out with your stepbrother. One thing also, I know that Chilbong did act selfish as well coz even with Najung not showing any signs of having any feelings for her, he still went ahead and persue her. Najung was also at fault since she never flatly turned him down. I loved the other cast though. They were the one that actually kept me watching the show.

  28. AM1994 excelled in various areas. For one, it has a great cast and the characters they play have their own distinct personalities. It’s funny and there are times when the show can give you all the warm fuzzies.

    The characters were very realistic in that they’re not that complicated, but they’re as complicated as me and you. The viewer can easily understand the motive behind someone’s actions, as long as one cares enough to notice it.

    But I actually think that this whole commotion about the husband mystery was what made AM1994 suck. Everything else was great, but then the necessity for trolling comes in and the whole concept of the characters and the narration gets shaken up. And what’s frustrating is that it doesn’t even add up.

    Like how Oppa’s generally the assertive type when it comes to everything else, but then angst should ensue… And so he won’t confess his feelings for Najung for a long time. His excuse was because he was like a son to Najung’s parents and he didn’t want this relationship to get shaken up. Despite this, he pursued her when he got threatened by Chilbong. And despite his adamance of being the stand-in son, he was the one who cut off all ties to Najung’s parents. He didn’t even beg for forgiveness on his own volition. It was appa who went to him first.

    Like how Najung’s generally the sensitive type, but then she’s so sensitive that she strung Chilbong along. She’s so sensitive that she didn’t realize what Chilbong needed the most was space. She just kept on caring for the guy who has always longed for affections.

    Like how Chilbong’s generally the type of person who doesn’t force himself in other people’s lives (his parents and his cousin), but then the love triangle needs to drag for 21 episodes and so he had to be pathetic. He has to give up at one point. But then that wasn’t enough. He had to come back again and get rejected again. Only then would he learn to give up.

    Like how every episode had a theme that could have led us to the ending… Only they didn’t.

    Chilbong narrated the beginning of summer of 1994 when he met someone who made him feel more fired up than baseball and how that summer was the beginning… Of his rejected first love, apparently.

    Najung learned in one episode that a man’s first love shouldn’t be touched, but then Chilbong laughed at the video of the wedding of his first love.

    Chilbong narrated that what makes him change more greatly is the one who blocks the path to his dream, the rival… But apparently, he didn’t change a single bit, because he never had the chance to prove himself.

    There are other things I can point out, but it’d be too long. I’m just ranting because I wasted 20 hours for this ending that didn’t even make sense. See, they even have this comparisons of different shots that show why the official group picture doesn’t make sense. It feels like they totally changed the ending. That’s why they had to photoshop Oppa and Chilbong there. Or maybe I’m delusional and they intended to do that from the beginning and they were hoping that nobody would notice.

    The resolution on Oppa and Najung’s relationship actually made sense. One would argue that this kind of resolution showed that in the end, Najung’s still at Oppa’s beck and call, but the fact that he opened up was a start. So this ending, wherein one vital step could let the viewers assume that other steps could be taken – that I could accept. It’s the journey that I couldn’t. Because the narration focused on Chilbong’s side, but apparently we were being led to the story of how his first love failed.

    • great character points. i think the writers also skipped major gaps on the journey that the viewer is like ‘wait, how did we get here?’ or ‘wait, what happened to that arc?’. in the end i just went with the ride, and even though at times i got a little car sick, i’m glad that we finally got there and the trip is over. i realized that RP94 and RP97 are kind of opposites in story and execution where one’s strengths was the other’s weakness, so they are very different shows despite similar styles.

      ANYWAYS, recovery process: let’s have time wash away all the bad memories so that we can remember only the good ones, because there were a lot if we get over the OTP. and some fantastic character developments, even if some parts got negated later.

      NOW if only there was a super-fan project where we edited out all the filler and random trolling and then gave Chilbong a real ending, we would have a super awesome show. it would be like the best of R94 and R97 in one!

  29. Yoo Yeon Seok stole my heart in this show that just thinking about Chilbongie brings tears to my eyes. T_T He’s prolly the most sympathetic male character I’ve ever come across. My heart will hurt for quite some time as to the cavalier a manner in which the writer handled his character arc. He started out in the show with no friends, indifferent family and he ends up in the same manner. My heart bled for him in E20 when his friends forgot his bday. The writer kept mounting on misery after misery on him and us. Heck, even Haitai and Grae had sufficient development in their loveline. Whereas a girl in introduced in the final or so minutes of the finale for CB. :S

    The reason why we, Chilbongers, kept thinking that CB had a chance was the show had recurring parallelisms, gut-wrenching tracks, & very obvious 2013 clues as to he may be endgame. As we all know now it was all for naught. Anywho, am thankful for AM94 for Chilbongie and Yoo Yeon Seok! Am glad that after a decade in the industry he has arrived! <3

  30. I would say watch it. Thiz drama is more than just the OTP. The parents and the boarders grew and lived their lives in the 90s. They wwre warm, cared for each other and there were great and poignant movements.

    On the other hand, omg, some of the commenters from the shipping war were ridiculous. They gave both sides a bad name because their opinions were fixated interpreting all things their way. Both actors in fact, all the actors except the ones playing the parents, were new to me. They did a wonderful job.

    I will also point out I wavered between Trash and CB. Because of their acting and charisma.Plus how warm and caring or funny they were. However I do not like being lumped by the haters for liking ghe men just because of their looks. There was a reason why they have been acting awhile but didn’t get the leads or recognition. They are not conventionally good looking. So when immature posters called CB shippers idiots for only liking his looks? I actually felt insulted even though they were strangers. And anyone who actually watched bad dramas would say this was a good drama. Makjang indeed? Some people need to read the definition. Just because there is a 2nd lead does not qualify this drama as Makjang.

    Yeah as a drama watch this Ms Koala. I’ve seen some real duds with you this year on this blog. This drama is nowhere as low in that aspect. In fact would one of the things I would take away from it is how much I loved the other characters in this show. Truly an assemble cast.

  31. Don’t watch it. I say skip unless you want to watch remake of 1997 in different package. Yes, I agree that there are many memorable scenes and the friendship theme is great. But in the end I felt cheated with inconsistency from past and present. Illogical. This is K-drama after all.

  32. Because I don’t like feeling manipulated by the writers I decided to NOT watch this drama till after the series ended. I may watch it now since the who’s the husband thing will no longer be a mystery.

  33. I say watch it now that it’s over and you will enjoy it a lot more knowing who the husband is; I wish I had done the same.
    Before I begin; I can’t understand why people thought CB was the lead and I don’t care what they saw in episode 0 because it was just a vague character introductions. CB appeared in episode 3 when I thought Haitai was the 2nd lead and at the same time, everyone found out Oppa wasn’t a real sibling even though us as viewers were told somewhere in episode 2….Some people can’t get over the brother not brother issue that was resolved very early in the drama and that pisses me off; was it ok in AM97 because the brother was the rival but not here because it was someone else?
    I think one thing 94 did better was in getting the parents involved in the relationship unlike in 97 where you had to wonder if the parents knew the kids were dating.
    I love the fact that NJ never wavered in her feelings for Oppa but I hate that the writers made it so that she doesn’t full out reject CB, thereby setting him free to move on, even if he didn’t want her to give him a reply that would have led to him giving her up.
    Yes, Oppa took a while to confess, but if you had been watching without bias, you will have no doubt that he cares about NJ a little too much to be sibling related.
    CB’s character said some things that would be really disturbing in real life and all the deserving NJ that his shippers felt that he was entitled was only because he felt the same way. NJ never looked at him but did realize at the end that he was there for her too even if it was for his own benefit. NJ never rejected any of his outing requests because the writers wanted them all to remain close.
    Lastly, I wish CB was given someone last week than at the end of the final episode; I think AM97 had more time with the brothers wife than this one.

  34. Captain Q, this drama is the case of ‘you should watch it yourself and marathon at that’.

    that’s the best advice can be given to you. oh, marathon it from episode 1 to 10. then next day 11 to 21. then the next day, i would love to hear your opinion.

  35. Here is the deal. You see what you want to see with this drama. You go in with an open mind(you will you have already been spoilt)you will enjoy this drama if you like slice of life that is. It does feel a tad too long sometimes but it is totally worth the ride. You get to see great great friendship wonderful relationships and most of all its totally relatable. You would have faced these in your life. The feeling of being lost in an unfamiliar surroundings, beginning of wonderful friendship, loss and pain of missing a loved one, learning to move on, tender family relationships which are not perfect yet so much more meaningful than anything else, stirrings and giddiness the first love, the heartbreak of unrequited love, great relationships which just feel real, warm fuzzy feelings of a small skinship just everything that you come across in your life.

  36. What a good question. Is it worth it, after all the gnashing of teeth, pulling of hair, bashing, insulting, and shut down of soompi threads due to the shipping/fan wars? I’ll be honest to say i’d waver on saying yes. But that’s only if you watched it week-to-week and stalked the recap threads and participated in the heated arguments, you’d probably have lost bundles of hair just trying to defend your ship instead of sitting back and enjoying the show. But that’s mostly because of the passionate fans who got a little too passionate and ruined it for a few others. That’s why I ended up putting it on the back burner since episode 16 and waited till today to finish marathoning the rest.
    But wait — is it worth it if you marathon all 21 episodes in one go? Yes, yes, yes. What a wise choice, koala, and one that i wish I did. You would enjoy it so much better, i guarantee that. As much stress this show gave me, I would still argue it as one of my favorites of 2013. I would still argue AM1997 as the overall better executed show with faster pacing, and perfectly capturing the highs and lows of youth. It was the original, and thus, will forever hold a special place in the majority of people’s hearts. That said, AM1994 is the show that i will forever hold dear to my heart over AM1997 anyday.

    Those that really watched the show and paid attention to the natural progression of our character’s relationships to one another knew who the endgame was early on. If they thought otherwise, it was because the writer would give false hope to other teams or constantly give clues to throw viewers off. I knew it was trash from day 1 it was revealed he was not actually na jung’s brother. It was always trash. The writer obviously favored him since he was the most layered of all other characters, the most different, the most understated. Na jung never wavered once in her feelings for trash. Thus, i didn’t quite understand why there was so much fighting over who the hubbie REALLY was. I do however, understand the frustration of the viewers who fell in love with chilbong and rooted for him only to have his character be relegated to typical 2nd lead by the end, so it was a double whammy for those that was Team Chilbong. I realized the shipping of Chilbong and Na Jung was rooted out of their love for the character himself. (You’ll see what i mean when you watch it. Chilbong’s a pretty worthy 2nd lead rival so I still loved him despite some of his fans being rather fervent).

    I think AM1994 had some of the more epic moments between friends, though, and that’s where it wins over my heart. These group of friends who came together from all over the country into the city. I really did feel for all their *goat sound* moments and the best of which were shared in the boarding house. That’s where this premise wins me over compared to AM1997. AM1994 is NOT without its flaws, by no means, and you’ll see throughout the show when the hour long episode turns into an hour and a half long (many have complained about this issue early on) but some of us ended up accepting that AM1994 is more about a slice-of-life moments and that the excess built upon their character relationships. It is all about paying attention to their interactions, since there’s not much plot going on. The first episode didn’t win me(mostly set up) but after that this show kinda gets you like a slow burn.

    It was definitely a show worth watching, and the memories formed between all these friends is something i will probably never forget. If someone asked me for a recommendation of a show with focus on friendships and family, i’d say AM1994 without a moments hesitation.
    Hope you do an overall review if you do plan on watching!

  37. I have this feeling you will appreciate the toned down relationship of OTP. They have a very realistic relationship with problems and issues that stem from their flawed decision and not some manufactured conflict. But yea, second lead shipping isn’t that difficult here.. so it depends on your preference, I’ll say. Now that you know the ending, it’s easier for you to decide. But I’ll say that narratively, this pair always made sense and you should watch it (especially, if you like best friends turned lovers type of stories).

    It is true it has it’s dragging moments due to the ‘guess who’ game plus the longer run per episode. At least you can fast forward those scenes. Overall, I recommend.

  38. Sure, it is. Who the husband is was always obvious to me. It was the guy the main character actually loved the whole drama and of course that’s what happened. A lot of CB shippers didn’t seem to watch the drama for anyone but him and hate on NG now that she didn’t do what they wanted. She never had feelings for CB. Ever. Even when Trash was just her oppa and not her boyfriend, so why does it ruin the drama when she didn’t suddenly change her mind? Anyway, their flipping out has actually been more fun to watch than the drama.

      • i see people disappointing because the writer didn’t manage to explain the message and inconsistent

        because people see that hard work didn’t pay well
        but the execution of the character is loss
        it better not have 2013 scene because the narrative is pretty awesome yet it didn’t mean anything

      • @demarvie –
        Wow! You made a great point about the 2013 scenes not being necessary…I wonder if some wise person could chop them all out and we could enjoy the story just as it is.
        CBie is obviously NOT NJ’s future husband without the misleading clues from 2013; he’s just a really strong but still typical second lead who is bound to lose…

  39. like everyone, this is recommended but ironically i would say the ending is out of logic, because all the message or 2013 scene or 1st love can’t be touch is just gone with wind
    if this show doesn’t have 2013 scene, it might be easier to accepted in logic, everyone is great but i just said I’m disappointed with the conclusion because not every missing puzzle is explain and you get bored on some filler/repeating scene
    the whole story is not packaged but i just filled of disappointment towards execution of chibong character who is really great but ended up like it wasn’t him
    and all the obvious picture that turn out to be lied, why lied because no one can’t argue, it just bad mannered for the viewer
    good to watch but not for re-watch
    the writer cheat her statement in some voice-over and that’s was not pleasent

    • truth. the future scenes weren’t worth it and if they really cut out the trolling then there would never be an argument of who the real husband was.

      As dramabeans said, i felt like it was ‘the wedding video that would never end’. and it reminded me how i was the opposite with R97 where i loved the 2012 reunion scenes.

      1. it made sense that it would last forever because they were drinking and catching up at a bar (and seriously i wanted to join them) and
      2. it involved other people besides the main cast which made it more interesting. you could see the growth from their 97 selves to their 2012 ones.

      in the last episode when they were like ‘omo its 11 pm,’ i was like ‘ITS ONLY 11?!’

  40. Well..where does one start? Being a person who does not get emotional while watching dramas, I have to say this one made me cry, laugh, scream, giggle and curse all at the same time. This drama is all about the FEELS and relationships which these characters share with each other. We might all have our own opinions on which ship should have sailed and who the husband should be, an aspect of this drama which made it extremly frustrating and irritating to watch. If you go in for it with an open mind and just go with the ride youΒ΄ll end up loving all characters for the realistic way they are portrayed. 1994 was a more emotional ride while 1997 was the overall better drama. As Eunji stole the show from 1997 as the most memorable character, Yoo Yeon Seok did with 1994 (according to me). If you go for it, prepare some tissues πŸ˜‰

    I would have watched it just to know what all the fuss is about hehe

    • “1994 was a more emotional ride while 1997 was the overall better drama”

      If i could sum it up in one sentence in comparing the two.

    • Eunji stole the show in 1997 and Yoo Yeon Seok did in 1994. Yes!!

      I love both shows, but I do agree that 1994 was more emotional, I am more invested with the characters, and I think the conflicts (or non-conflict) are more “real”.

  41. You should definitely watch it. I am curious how you will feel about the series, already knowing who the husband is. That’s what I did back than with the first series. I really loved it and I am sure, it will be the same for you with the second installment.

    Regarding the “triangle”, I don’t think it ever was one. As somebody already said, she never wavered in her affection or love for Oppa. She was never torn between the two of them, there was never a decision she had to make. I get that people loved him and wanted a happy end for him. But why did he have to get NaJung? There was never a moment, where I thought she might love. To me it always felt like puppy love, he was so needy that it was painful to watch. If his character was portrayed by an actor less attractive, I’m pretty sure that some things he did would look so romantic or cute.

  42. I love Najung. She was the most coherent character and I saw her for what she was and not for what the triangle had made of her. The triangle was awfully painful. I started loving Trash and then it was Chilbong, and then Trash again, and finally Chilbong, for Najung to end up with Trash. That’s too much mental stress to me and I felt manipulated. I never felt like I could give my all to wholeheartedly love the male leads. Only for Najung. Even though she was some kind of passing ball to the writers and I hated that. In the end the writers made me dislike both Trash and Chilbong, cause they gave off hints of an ego war towards Najung and I hate that shit.

  43. I will watch it with the FF button. The SCP couple and Haitai scenes would be a must watch. The first 10 episodes were the best.They were tightly written and well executed. There were little character development in the OTP couple besides the love line. Haven’t said that NJ did grow because of the Asian crisis. CB was merely plot device. His character was the least developed out of the group of friends. The last episode made me laugh because it was written to plug all the polt holes that were left unanswered but failed miserably. Oppa and CB resolved that hard feelings beacuse they were doctor/patient. Ya right a national baseball hero treated by a doc barely finished his residence.

    I will watch it for the friendship.

  44. It’s an ok watch. I decided to watch this drama because I enjoyed AM1997 so much. I stopped watching abou episode 8 or 9 and started to rely on the recaps. I decided to wait for the series to end before continuing. I picked up again last week and marathoned the remaining episodes.

    The show should have been wrapped up in 16 episodes, but was dragged to 21. This too affected the pacing and storyline. IMO, it would have been nice of the hubby was revealed a few episodes earlier and the viewer was provided with scenes of how the characters grew up, got married, had kids, then reunited in 2013 for the housewarming. As many have voiced previously, I thought the episodes were too long at 80-100 minutes and the pacing a bit too slow.

    Now that it’s over and you know the outcome, please watch the show for its characters and life in the 90’s. There are some plot holes and inconsistencies, but we’ve survived many a drama with plot holes and inconsistencies. It’s a an easy watch, hubby mystery aside, but you can probably ffwd through some parts. The scenes of YJ-SCP are fun to watch. The drunk YJ scenes got a bit too draggy, but necessary in the plot reveal.

    With regard to the hubby, I preferred CB merely because I personally liked his character package much better than the package the show presented for T. What I’ve enjoyed about watching some of these dramas is that, as a female viewer, you can sometimes relate with the girl and start to project yourself onto the character. So for me, if I were NJ, I would choose CB. However, the actual NJ character is not actually me but very different from me, so the only person (or character) who knows who is best for NJ is NJ herself (er, actually the writer behind NJ). I saw that T was the main guy and would likely get the girl, yet still hoped for the other outcome. (On a side note, my friends didn’t understand why I like Gu Jun Pyo over Ji Hoo, in BOF. So, yes I don’t always pick the sweet, nice guy.)

    Alas, no such outcome for me and the others who were rooting for CB. I did enjoy reading Jomo’s blog and her posts throughout the run of the show. I especially liked the post of CB and Science. Team Chilbong RIP. (Now looking forward to the next lead or 2nd lead to follow.

    • U took the words out of my mouth! Agree. I also tend to fall for the calm, nice and sweet characters like Chilbong. They just make my heart all fluffy. But as u said, it was quite obvious that T was the hubby.

    • I think i said this once before, but if Chilbong was a character in another drama with one of those typical jackass chaebols, i would so ship him with female lead 100%, no questions asked. I would ship him over Gu Jun Pyo, over Ji Hoo, over Kim Tan, over Joo Won. But the thing is, it was hard for even chilbong to outshine trash as a character (imo, of course). Chilbong is a shiny option, in the sense that he, as you said, overall had the package — qualities of being hardworking,passionate,willing,lovable,handsome. But Trash was so imperfectly perfect(if this makes sense) that it was hard for me not to fall in love with this atypical male lead.
      Once in a while a 2nd lead waddles into my life, which is why my fervent love for current 2nd lead David Choi in Pretty Man, who i am hardcore shipping for IU’s character bo tong. Not once wavered.

      • I end up comparing this with real life crushes we have. Sometimes we can’t really explain why we like a person, we just do. Same thing with these characters. Our hearts just reach out to some (my case chilbong and daniel) and not others. Same with Na Jong as well. Her heart just goes towards oppa one day and she never looks back;) That’s the sad reality we all face. Feelings cannot be forced and when those feelings are not returned it’s freakin’ heartbreaking.

      • @minush90 — you’ve hit the nail on the head.

        This is exactly what i have to keep reminding myself while watching AM1994. Some characters just reach certain hearts, and that we can’t really explain WHY we love a character so much, but just that we do.

        It really is heartbreaking, chilbong’s trajectory — and i think that the show did capture that heartbreak so well. It’s painful to watch chilbong so heartbroken, because he really was such a great character who woulda had a decent chance had na jung looked his way. But this show was able to give us so many different facets of love. Love, pain, and friendship. It’s hard to please everyone.
        It may have ended bitterly for some, but his love for her was so tragic beautiful. As long as Chilbong is smiling at the end (which i saw more often than usual in the last episode), i’m smiling for the boy.

      • After watching way too many dramas (too many because much of them weren’t very good) I’d say, given two male characters, no matter what kind of character they are, there won’t always be a black and white definite answer who will end up with the girl. It’s up to the writer what direction and story they want to tell. There will be different preferences among different viewers because we value different traits more. Not every second lead is so shiny but are winning in their own ways, and also imperfectly perfect. And we’ve definitely seen shiny but lonely types like Chilbong come through as the lead character.

  45. 1997 definitely benefited from having aired first. 1994 feels really similar in that way, but a few episodes and a few hours too long. They didn’t need 21 episodes @ 1.5 hours each. Banking on the reply me franchise, 1994 could also often feel less sincere and more commercialized.
    Both in terms of actors and characterization, though, 1994 had the advantage. 1994 benefited from a much more balanced and well-performing cast of youngsters and their dynamic was more interesting in the setup than 1997. Of course, the later episodes sorta deteriorated a little, but all in all, it’s a decent show.

  46. NO WAY u may say that trash and najung are cute from the stills but i dare you to watch this drama and not swooon over chilbongie everytime he appears. nothing to do with his incredibly handsome looks, its his personality. so endearing and loving and just ..i cant even begin to explain. i was a huge oppa/najung shipper at the beginning and then oppa started to get to bland and boring and tbh his manchild personality is annoying not to mention how careless and late he is for everything! i still shipped them tho, but out of nowhere chilbongie came and stole my heart away. never have i wanted a couple together so badly ( second leads) , never. if u watch the series, you will see that all the damn clues from 2013 scenes point to chilbongie. story wise, trash should be the husband in the 1994 storyline, but for 2013 it was definitely chilbong. after episode 20, trash and najung shouldve ended it and chilbong and najug shouldve started after a few years, maybe after he came back again( like how yoonjae and shiwon dated after like 5 years or somethig )
    it wouldve made sense and te ending wouldve been logical.
    i need an alternate ending or i honestly will wipe this drama from my memories and i dont want to do that because chilbongie is a character i can never forget. those heartbreaking scenes tore me apart and he deserves so much better as a character. his storyline never got fleshed out properly ad he was in the end a mere plot devise for the “main couple”. but yoo yeon seok played him with such sincerity i swear i am totally a hardcore fan of his now.

  47. I would say that if you loved AM1997, you should definitely give AM1994 a go. The beauty of family showed in the predecessor is even better in AM1994, with more spotlights given to Mama and Papa Sung as well. While the show definitely suffered rather than gained from the who is the husband game, I think its still worth a watch for the precious little moments which were still so full of heart. I found the characters more relatable, and most of their arcs resonated really well with me. With the pressure of the ‘love triangle’ gone, I think it would be a great watch if you like coming-of-age sort of shows.
    Like quite a few commenters here, I do feel that Chil Bong’s arc could have been expanded better, but alas we’ll have to settle for what was given.
    I must say though, in regards to your comment if Yoo Yeon Seok was really that awesome: Yes.

    • “a woman needed to be deaf, blind, and probably dead not to pick him over Oppa”

      Well. My personal opinion is that I was rooting for him because his character really resonated with me. Because when you’re in love, you can’t help but hope that the person loves you back, even if you find out that they’re in love with someone else. So… very similar to Ren Wei from IAGW I guess? Haven’t seen IAGW btw, just based on your recaps πŸ™‚

      But YYS definitely sold it really well. The ups and downs of being in love πŸ™‚

    • Agree — the idea of family in AM1994 is explored in much more depth, and the character arcs are much more relatable. I ended up forgetting much of the friends in AM1997, but we saw so much fleshing out of the characters in AM1994 (where there’s a downside to the long, drawn out episodes, there’s an upside).

  48. I never watched the drama but kept myself up dated with the recaps and people’s comments. I honestly didn’t want to invest time and emotion on something that would just make me mad in the end. I’ve seen enough Kdrama and read people’s comments to know about the tendency to twist the story based on viewers’ reaction. So I normally stay away from currently showing drama. Having said that, I never really thought I would really get caught up with the whole drama and war shipping just by reading recaps!!! Since I couldn’t wait for the recap of the last episode, I was on Twitter waiting for the revelation. My heart dropped together with a LOT of viewers when Trash was revealed as the husband. Chilbong’s character and love for NJ was really worth barracking for. But what really annoyed me with this drama is that the ‘who is the husband’ mystery went too far. It played with people’s emotions (including mine!) and divided the drama viewers. Is it still worth watching after the revelation? With Reply 1997, I also read the recaps first before watching the entire drama and I had much fun watching as I did when I was reading the recaps. Will I do the same for Reply 1994? No. Watching it would be a torture for me.

  49. The drama was draggy but definitely still worth a watch if only for the characters and the performances alone. I don’t think knowing the husband will effect one’s enjoyment because its pretty obvious especially in the second half that Chilbong was never going to get the girl. The fact that people were so adament about him being the husband made me question if we were watching the same drama because everything pointed to a Trash ending. That said i think knowing the husband will actually increase your enjoyment because it will allow you to take this drama for what it is which is a slice of life drama about how this group of friends lived out their 20s that shaped who they are today.

  50. Miss Koala, I also got spoiled by some people on twitter this morning (I had left off on episode 3) and I asked the same question? Do I really want to sit tr

    • oops, *through 17 more (really long) episodes if I already know who she ends up with? This is really helpful, so thanks for this! ^^

  51. yes, watch it. I am one of those for whom the choice is not really the thing. Oppa was good. I wavered on Chilbongie. But romance prevailed. Go Ara was fantastic. Never saw her in any show before. But really natural. opps was awesome. Never saw him in any show either. Now, i’ve got two stars to watch out in the kdrama firmament. But i enjoyed the camaraderie, the growing-up and maturing stories with the whole group of friends. It had really funny moments. You’ll find yourself laughing out loud in every episode. Very heartwarming.

  52. Koala, you should definitely watch this series. This was my weekend drama so I’ll terribly miss it once it’s over. I highly recommend you to watch it, it’s a story of the whole group as well as the central characters. Binggurie, haitai, yoojin, samcheonpo and the parents provided so much laughter and warmth to the story that it is also worth watching for just these characters. Each of these characters added to the story that is, Answer me 1994. The fish out of water moments towards the beginning and the genuine family like bonding of the bording house people tugs your heart strings just the right way. This is a rom-com done well. Your have so much comedy out of rather common situations, the heart aching love triangle, the strong friendship and a rather easy on the eyes cast (being rather vain here). So this makes for an easy watch that makes your laugh out loud and weep like a baby at times. How can you not watch this gem of a drama Koala? This is one of the better dramas of 2013 and I will miss it a lot after it ends this week πŸ™

  53. I’m one of the few people who got tired of the love story of AM 1994 that I decided not to watch some episodes before going back and actually finishing (I always feel guilty when I can’t finish something that I started). After watching tonight’s episode I realized that the story was never about the love triangle. Not even about the love of Najung and Sseureki oppa. It was about celebrating youth, passions, family, and friendship. I think AM 1994 and 1997 are celebrations of our nostalgic memories of the 90s. I totally agreed with what Kim Sung Kyun (Samcheonpo) narrated at the very end. Because of these two dramas, I’ve looked back on my youth, and I’ve realized how those days made me who I am.

    So, yes, my recommendation is to watch it. There will be times when you’ll feel really frustrated with the story, but then you’ll realize, “I was also a little bit like that at my age…or when I experienced that.” AM 1994 is a celebration of youth and life. I’m happy I celebrated with everyone who watched this drama.

    And please, no more shipping wars. Chilbong was wonderful and Oppa was wonderful, too. I’d both marry them off to Najung, if possible, but the love story was really about being loved, loving someone, and letting go. After all, sometimes letting go can be as much loving as holding on to someone. Let’s all be friends now, ok?

  54. it’s still worth watching. yes, definitely. i like reply94 better than r97 because of the characters. they’re stronger, deeper, and have much better storyline AND airtime EACH. i can totally relate to chilbong’s loneliness to the extend you have to lie to get your friends accompany you. i WAS chilbong-najung shipper until ep 13 but than i change my mind because the fanwars was getting worse and i LOVE trash oppa more and more. jung woo is such a GREAT actor. he made me cried only by ONE tear on the ER-sampoong dept store collapse scene. episode 20 firmly made me glad that the husband is trash. i LOVE chilbong because he is SOOOOO me, but i want him to move on and find a better girl, a girl who has her eyes only on him, not najung-like girl who is too much look alike him (only set their eyes on one things till the end).
    annddd about the side roles…I LOVE everybody…i love binggrae’s ‘confirmation’ scene, i love samcheonpo’s proposal, i love haitai’s interaction with najung, i love appa’s moment with trash when he said ‘ i’ve already lost a son. when you said you’re dating najung, i didn’t approve because i’d lost another son’. ToT..and don’t forget about yoonjin’s support for najung every time and everywhere.
    alsooo……last but not least, i don’t regret watching this drama although i invested TOO many hours of my life to get emotionally involved (i get involved in the fanwars for a second HAHA). i love chilbong AND yoo yeon seok, so i’ll wait for YYS’s next project and be the main lead please, so you can get the girl.
    “It aint over till it’s over, but if it’s a game with no ending, i must end it on my own” HAHA
    WATCH IT, KOALA, WATCH ITTTTTT!

    • i forgot something. i think reply94 is not only about ‘who’s the husband’ but more like the process to reach that name. i like how trash oppa finally had break-down moment and told najung he’s sick and needs her. i also like how chilbong finally realized he NEVER had the chance to get najung. the whole process is soooooooooooo interesting and you can learn a lot from it. i learnt a loootttttt.

  55. If you like your man who is NOT proactive, then go ahead and watch it. If you like your man who needs his woman to pick up after him, then watch it.

    I just simply dislike the way the writer trolled with the viewers, dropping hints after hints that can go either way, because it gets really tiring in the midway. The side characters are much more interesting than the main love triangle.

    And I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in the impression of YYS being the main lead, because I’m pretty sure I’ve read before AM1994 is his FIRST leading role. I mean, surely second lead is NOT a leading role, no? Did things get lost in translation? Did the trolling already started before the drama started proper?

  56. Jie Jie! This season has been so traumatic with Young Do who has no one to eat noodles with, Chilbongie who has no one to go home to, and me with no one to cry and whine about it with. Weep wail sob sniffle. Come home so we can eat and go to spa.

  57. I saw reply 97 last year and started reply 94 pretty much from the start this year. The former definitely benefited from the shorter length and tighter writing. The latter definitely has better characters and growth and much better acted. It’s a true soccer of life where you follow the characters through their ups and downs. The characters aren’t perfect they’re all endearing but have their selfishness and bad decisions and sometimes it makes it frustrating but you see them live through their choices and growing from it.

    The husband game was only frustrating because in the future scenes you know the pool of guys NJ is going to pick and when is her wedding. This makes it a frustrating watch because when something happens you will think but that doesn’t match up with the wedding something must have happened. If you just follow the story trajectory through the years and follow the rollercoaster in their lives the story does come to a logical conclusion. Also as annoying as the husband question is in a way it does mirror real life in until we live through it we don’t know how our ending will be.

    It’s not a perfect show. I think if it was preshot it will not have suffered from some of the inconsistency and holes but I applaud it for giving something different and remember it fondly got the characters who we can see bit and pieces of ourselves in each of them.

  58. Somewhere along the way, I no longer care too much about who’s the husband. I thought it was a dead giveaway who the husband is from the beginning. I am on team ChilBong, but even I know I want him to get the girl only because he was such lovesick puppy. And no, not because he is the greatest man on earth.
    The thing that hook the audience with AM1994 is of course, much more than the love triangle. The love triangle is the anchor, but there is also a lot of HEART. Characters are not perfect, the second half (starting ep 11) is slower compare to the first half, but the characters are so relatable and endearing with all their flaws that you feel they could be YOUR friends in real life.
    Of course if u didnt live in Korea, some of the cultural mentions doesn’t have as much of an impact. But even when the situations are different, the feelings are the same. Mini Spoiler: I could relate to a lot of themes in the drama: the character’s fish-out-of-water experience, being away from home for the first time, the “freshmen” feeling when you are new and want to try out everything, the tingling feeling of a budding romance, etc…

  59. Watch it!!! But with caution and dont fall in love with Chilbong (YYS). I never shipped a second lead this hard and kept on wishing for a twist til the end even if it was so obvious that she’ll end up with Trash.

    YYS is so good here he melts my heart. Reply 1997’s breakout star is Eunji while for me, its Chilbong for Reply 1994.

    On a side note…im happy to know that YYS will star in a movie opposite Park Shin Hye.

  60. To be honest, I never had the chance to develop second lead syndrome or feel torn between the two guys,I fell for Trash almost right from the start: Chil Bong is the one who declares to the world and all his love for Na Jung, willing to do all those cheesy grand gestures that are really sweet at times. While Trash is not as overt; he’s the quietly caring type which is why I fell hopelessly in love with him in ep 2 (SPOILER when he lay down next to her on the hospital bed without saying anything, just quietly comforting her).
    Chil Bong may do the grand gestures, but I never felt that he understood her personality deep down, while Trash doesn’t need to say anything but always knows what she needs and just gives it to her in an understated way.

    In a way it felt like the drama wasn’t really about Na Jung but the journey of Trash having to mature (even though he’s the oldest of the group) and learn to be true to his own feelings.

    • Well said. That’s also how I felt about CB and Trash Oppa. Perhaps because I’m myself well past 30, CB doesn’t appeal to me much as a man. He is like a child, that wants to be loved and less about giving love.

      • mind you, im still 17 but i dont get the CB appeal either. while yys sure did a great performance potraying the awfully adorable and ever sweet chilbong, his character itself doesnt have much depths and lacks dynamics. thus, i found his character kinda hard to root for.

        while in the contrary we have trash oppa, whose character is not terribly good on paper but him being placid or blunt and often not the most sensitive man on the surface (as in too lazy and thought that it isnt necessary to every minute care and concern to someone he’s close with like nj) is what makes his character irresistible.

        but seriously ms.koala, watch this series! and once you’ve finished watching it, do share your insights πŸ˜‰

  61. Mrs Koala, by now after reading the numerous comments above that tend towards a positive answer, your mind must be made up.

    Let me just summarize this show by a key word, and yours in the intro – “journey”; now that the fear of a non-sensical ending has disappeared, the watching should be more enjoyable.

    Extra bonuses:
    1/ the bleating sound whenever an awkward/hilarious situation comes up. It got me in stitches each and every single time.
    2/ the historical context. The writer chose to incorporate national events in the characters arc development, from 1994 onwards, such as the collapse of the Sampoong Department Store, global economic crisis and the World Cup. This clever device showed how little stories fit in History.

    And as a ’94 high school graduate entering a French university after the passing of her brother, the writer provided me with a story similar to mine, yet different, giving me an insightful perspective on how a South Korean fictive character (maybe inspired by the writer’s experience) dealt with such a loss and life in general. It somehow echoes “In a good way” with a different location setting yet universal questions.

    • On the topic of Go Ara’s acting, her spunk and fierceness were similar to her rather tailor-made role in the movie 파파, displaying promising skills. Korean idol training does include acting and her improvement will please you greatly.

  62. I’d definitely say yes, and not having to bother with the pointlessly prolonged and boring “who’s the husband” palaver will make it a better experience. Dong Il and Il Hwa aced it again just like they did in 1997, and the second OTP was totally daebak, truly awesome. I kept finding it hard to believe it was Do Hee’s debut, her performance and the genuineness of her chemistry with Sung Gyung was riveting. The longer episodes, while often TOO long did allow for more time to be spent on all the characters, one of this show’s strengths. I hope you watch and enjoy it.

  63. Yes, a definite yes. Even if the episodes were a bit too long, it’s still a really well-written drama. Characters were memorable, cameos were wonderful, OST’s awesome.

    The fanwars made me lose a bit of my love 3 weeks ago (mainly because of the rabid Chilbong fans) and I stopped reading comments at DB, but I rewatched everything before this week’s episodes with a friend and made me laugh and giggle and love it all over again. And at least my friend, even if she’s Team Chilbong, was reasonable and level-headed. She knew it was gonna be Trash-NJ and just felt sad for CB but I told her they were all happy in the 2013 scenes so she said she’s going to enjoy their journey until the last episode.

  64. This drama is so awesome! I think people tend to forget that Na Jung has always, ALWAYS, been in love with oppa. Sure Chilbong was hot, nice, and adores her, and believe me so does oppa. I love Chilbong personally and as I learned in A1997 it’s better to go along for the ride, however long it is, rather that bash the character that got the girl. Can I have Chilbong instead?
    Also Na Jung NEVER was confused about who she was in love with, and that dedication and belief is why all I cared about towards the end was her happiness!
    Btw I think people are forgetting that Chilbong got his happy ending too, just not with Na Jung. Accept it, embrace it, and don’t let it get in the way of loving the drama!
    Also this drama made me more emotional, it had some of the sweetest interactions. So Koala Unni watch it, if not for the story at least for the abs πŸ˜‰

  65. Yes Koala, a woman has to be blind, deaf and dead to not pick Chilbongie (played by Yoo Yeon Seok) in AM 1994. Trash and Na Jung’s relationship is really just another ‘Autumn in My Heart’ Small Town version, and seriously AIMH lead guy at least try to fight to be with his girl.
    Trash didn’t actively go after Na Jung. Na Jung practically chased after him, and only when Trash felt like he is losing Na Jung to CB will he ever make a a move to contact Na Jung. Seriously, a Text Message saying, “Can you come to my house, I need you.” Yeah…how (un)Romantic.
    Yoo Yeon Sook really stole the show in this series. I don’t understand how his character could be creepy when Na Jung never told him ho. Regardless, the ending was so different than in Reply 1997 where all the questions were answered without any more questions from the viewer, the ending episode was just so badly done. Questions from the viewers were not answered and then really was bad. This series should have only been 16 episode long without the need for that extra episode at the end. Basically a “Trashy” ending that befits the the namesake of the character Trash!
    But anyways, if they had stopped the husband game early on (midway through) and just focused on the characters and not trolled us to the end, I would say this drama was good. I mean, the PD even released statements from other actors that they chose CB to be Na Jung’s husband before the last episode. So watch it, and maybe if you don’t fall in love with Chilbongie along the way, once you are hooked to his character then the ending will be bad.

    • I love how you totally miss the point of how important that simple text message was. It was romantic to HER and if you paid attention to why they broke up in the first place. But given your other posts I’m not surprised.

      • You just proved my point on Trash shippers, attacking a viewer personally and not stating your opinions just on the show, character, writer etc. In my opinion nothing Trash did moved me at all and I blame it on the writers at how well they wrote the Oppa/Donsaeng relationship. Had they not written the brother sister relationship and made me believe they were actual brothers and sisters for almost two episodes, perhaps I wouldn’t gag every time I see Trash and Na Jung together, so in all fairness, it really was the writer’s fault. In fact, had Trash stayed the OPPA figure with no Romance with Na Jung, I would have even thought he was endearing, but nope, the writers just got lost with the Guess the Hubby game and and gave too many bait to me as a CB shipper to watch til the end, once I found out who was the hubby, I didn’t even want to watch the last episode, but I just watched it because I wanted to see CB’s future wife, since they say it was that girl from I need Romance 2, and yes, I pretty much fast forward all the Trash and Na Jung’s moments in the last episode since I just wanted to see all the other character and CB and the Mother and the Father.
        You have your opinion and I have mine. Seriously, nothing you write can convince me that Trash and Na Jung is right, because that is just my opinion. Just like I can’t convince you why Chilbongie would have been the most awesome husband to Na Jung either. At the end of the show, CB’s wife is the luckiest girl in the world. Since CB gives his all when he loves someone.

  66. Oh one more thing about Chilbongie that I just loved about him.
    He is the one that will love a girl and give a girl his all. Even when he can have his pick of girls from the nation of Korea he only had eyes for one. All the girl has to do is say “Jump” and he will ask how high. I mean he got a Tyrannasaurus cookie for the girl from Tous le Jour (AKA TAO’s Liz Jaraus) even when Na Jung was mocking him about his prononciation, and he did it with a big SMILE! So that is why CB is the best guy, because for a woman, who wouldn’t want her man to just love her and only her. And the beautiful romantic scenes that were only for Na Jung and Chilbong and no beautiful romantic scenes for Trash and Na Jung, that is why CB fans felt so mistreated at the end. At the very least, Chilbongie did get his happiness with that cute girl from I need Romance 2 and his is a multimillionaire at the end!

    • That is so biaised, you say NJ/Trash did not have beautiful scenes?
      Because you did not want to see them!
      Any woman would want a guy like Chilbong every woman but Najung!
      She liked him as a precious friend and their scenes were merely friendly on her part so… I don’t understand the fuss, Chilbong is as perfect as other second leads here, sometimes you do fall for them but the heroine’s heart is what matters the more!

    • Everything you have written is about you, not Na Jeong’s character. How YOU would love to be the one girl that a famous “handsome” millionaire chooses to be infatuated with over evey other girl out there. To make YOU feel special with YOUR perfect Prince Charming. Which is why you and many CB shippers are so mad at the writer, as if she was taking away the story and ending YOU wanted for yourself and not for NaJeong, who never wavered in her love for JaeJoon and from the get-go never saw CB as a man, but a friend.

      • Jeez, this is the difference between Chillbong shippers and Trash shippers.
        Chilbong shippers usually keep the comments on the show, character etc and don’t personally attack an actual viewer.AND Oh, by the way, Ms. Koala was asking for an Opinion and I gave one to her. Just because I don’t agree with your opinion on the Trash relationship doesn’t mean you can attack the viewer personally.
        Anyhoo, like I said, if the writers showed Chilbong moving on to another girl (Chicken) much much earlier and actually have a story with her (Cuz I really like that actress) then I wouldn’t have been so mad at what the writer and director did to CB. No need to bring him back to just pine over Na Jung for another two long episodes, when they could have shown that after 2-4 years in Japan, he came back and is ready to move on with that “Chicken” girl, cuz I would have loved to see the interactions wiht CB. So no I am not mad that CB didn’t get the Na Jung, I am mad that they made CB into a pitiful character to the end who is renting his super nice apartment to his past love rival and his friends all making a joke about his first love with Na Jung at the end. Even all the other actor’s and actress from the Sinchon boarding house think CB character was better with Na Jung since he complemented her, so my point was the ending episode was just “BAD”

      • @AM1994 —

        I don’t think there was so much of a personal attack on your character as there is stating the fact that alot of the arguments you made as to why CB was the better man were through your own ideals of love. This is not the problem to me, but only when it becomes clear that one has neglected to see anything beautiful in Na Jung/Trash moments.
        I will agree with all those winning qualities about CB, but I have to disagree with your statement about the text being unromantic. I don’t think that was the point the writer was trying to make, of whether or not it was romantic. Smaller, more nuanced gestures can be as poignant as those grander gestures from CB.. The text was a turning point in their relationship because they were finally able to resolve that conflict that drove them apart, while Trash showed some character growth on his end. That’s the thing — trash’s actions were those smaller, collective moments that you had to pay attention to because it ran deeper. I’m not saying they’re romantic, just that it always gave bigger impact (imo, of course) in their relationship when trash was just being trash. That’s why i understand why CB’s actions were always the more appealing one, since it was always more grandiose. What woman wouldn’t fall in love with him? I did.
        I became a CB fan because of that — while i remain unmoved in being a trash shipper.
        Of course this is all based on opinion, and that’s why we’re all here to state our arguments in the most objective way as possible.

        and lol at the “trashy” ending pun — no hard feelings.

      • a – I was not on Team Trash. Neither was I on Team Chilbong. A viewer needs not to “ship” any pairing to enjoy this drama, as expressed in my direct reply to Mrs Koala above.
        b – This was not a personal attack, but a mere analysis of how your projection of your own desires on Chilbong affected your understanding of Na Jeong’s character, as well as the writer’s work and led you into your current mindstate.
        b – This is a blog, not a forum so I won’t go at length to answer and/or comment anymore, since Mrs Koala asked for your opinion, which you already have detailed.

  67. Its still worth watching. The series is endearing with an exception of sometimes dragging but its fun and romantic. Kind of irritating at the end with all the loopholes but taking aside the disappointment of not having cb the husband it still is enjoyable.

  68. Before I say my two cents on this, I will disclose, just so it’s clear, that I’m a huge Chilbong (Yoo Yoon-seok) fan, not in the way that I would hate for Oppa to be the husband (I like him a lot) but in the way that I want Chilbong to have a good storyline post-Najung heartbreak. Unfortunately, that wasn’t shown in the story, all because the writer decided to wring out the mystery too long. Had they decided to just reveal who the husband is even a few episodes earlier, Chilbong would have had time to heal in the drama and we would have been shown more scenes of him falling in love again, instead of everything being squashed into the finale.

    Anyway, Answer Me 1994 is still really good, and I believe one of its weakness as a drama WAS the Who-is-the-Husband mystery. In the beginning there were actually two husband mysteries in 1994, but when the first one was revealed, it didn’t take anything away from the sweetness of their love story; in fact it even made it all the more thrilling to see their journey from then on.

    If I compare 1994 and 1997, I think I liked how 1994 chose to tell more of the supporting characters’ storylines apart from the lead, but in doing so it lost the tightness and succinctness that was central to 1997 being so snappy and such a breeze to watch.

    Anyway, I won’t answer the question as to why tons of fans root for Chilbongie to be happy and get the girl–if you watch the show, you’ll learn for yourself if you think he’s an adorable puppy and want him to be happy by getting the girl, or you think he’s a selfish annoying guy who can’t take a hint. I’m more on the puppy side, of course, but I do understand why some people might take him to be annoying.

    tl;dr: Despite the annoying husband mystery, it’s still a good drama to watch. πŸ™‚

  69. It’s hard to find anything to say that hasn’t already been said about this drama. It would have been more enjoyable if the shipping wars hadn’t overshadowed it and people had been able to watch it without creating so much drama on their own.

    To me, the love story of Trash & NJ was obvious from the beginning, you just had to let yourself see it instead of letting yourself be sidetracked by another character. CB IMO was a sweet guy but hedidn’t have the ability to understand the depth of some relationships and thought of them more in terms of winning a competition instead of feeling someone’s heart.

  70. I figured out Trash oppa will be the husband from the end of second episode. He had way more depth given than Chil Bong, although he was a good character too. I wish he was given a better story so that we wouldn’t feel so bad for him and not have his relationship with Na Jung just float aimlessly.Overall I enjoyed this drama because it made me laugh and cry which I enjoy about dramas which can make me feel emotions ^___^

  71. I always fall in love with the guy the main girl loves. Because I always put myself on her shoes NOT on the guys shoes.

    And this is why my ship never sank: NJ through the whole drama only loved Trash, only had eyes for him, and never, NEVER waved for CB. Even when both were single she did not wave. This tells something no?

    As for people saying Trash and NJ couple were boring or lacked romance, well, I guess you guys did not watch their scenes or brushed off, because it was subtle not throw in your face, and I loved it.

    BEST COUPLE OF 2013. Their relationship and jorney was the best. I really loved it, from childhood friends to lovers, to immature love to real and mature love. Their break up, their make up, was so perfect I have no words for it. It has been long time in kdramaland we had such caring and sweet and selfless main guy, and such brave, loyal and determined Main girl. They were perfect for each other.

    Imo, there was never a lvoe triangle, they show showed the couple development and one sided love from CB.

    Sometimes in life no matter how you work hard, you don’t get things as you wished. That is life. CB thought working hard would make NJ’s heart go to him, wrong, and I’m sure he too realized it and matured.

  72. Btw @Koala

    Not sure how good your Korean is, but the big hint is the perfect OST.

    The OST tell us everything we need to know about the sistuation and feelings of each character. The OST does not lie.

    It is just so perfect that I can’t.

    I think many CB fans did not pay attention to OST because it told us all of NJ’s feelings, Trash feelings even before episode 11 like they claim to not know before it.

  73. Yes, it is worth watching. Despite too minimal editing and some abandoned character arcs and developements (I wished for more Hatai’s story for example).

    The first half is better than the second, but that is a usual problem of many shows.

    And the knowledge of who is the husband can actually be an advantage.

  74. It definitely doesn’t compare to AM 1997, but it’s still enjoyable. The 2nd male-lead was so well written and well acted that I forgot he was the jerk in A Warewolf Boy and fell for his character in AM 1994. Actually, every character was very well written but there definitely are unnecessary scenes due to the extended episodes. It’s one of those dramas where you would watch if you had the free time instead of making time for it. I can guarantee your brain wouldn’t hurt as much as from watching Marry Him If You Dare or Jung Yi Goddess of Fire.

  75. I didn’t actually watch this since I don’t have time anymore to watch any dramas, but I did follow the recap faithfully in Dramabeans. I am probably one of the few that was disappointed that Na Jung picked Garbage instead of Chilbongie although I would say that probably about half-way through the show, I’m about 50/50 between the two. But it could also be preference, whether you like the guy who loves you but doesn’t show it or the guy who loves and shows it plainly, so much so that a person would have to be blind to miss his feeling. I’m a sucker for the second one. I’m done with the stoic lover type hahahaha …

    This isn’t too bad compared to AM 1997 but the fact that I literally have to wait for the last episode to find out who the husband is kind of sucks because that means there’s no time for the lovey/dovey couple scene ^^

  76. Hi there,long time lurker on your site. Just wanted to give my two cents on the crack that was Answer Me 1994.

    And boy that was some crack. I definitely think you should watch this drama, not for the shipping war that ensued but for the journey of these characters in it. I really loved AM97 as well and I was apprehensive watching a sequel, usually they always turn out so bad (like dream high). But I was very presently surprised and I would even say I was more invested 94 than 97.
    94 had more character development and story arc. Every character had some story to tell and some journey to embark on. Avoiding spoilers so I won’t mention the story line, but will say you will fall in love characters. My favourite after oppa, has to be haitai. One could not ask for a better friend than him. You will understand once you watch it. Even the parents were great…much meatier than 97.

    On to shipping war, I would be lying if I told you I am not giddy with happiness that my ship sailed…And it sailed strong and proud. Lots of people watching agree that two type of people were watching 2 different drama..much like the magic eye book you will encounter in one of the episode. One side just could not see what was obvious for the other and vice versa. My drama instinct knew right away that it was game over the moment it was revealed that oppa was not her real brother. But the writers strung us along till the very end.

    And that was the major flaw of this series. May be it fell victim to its own popularity. And the extension did not help either. Cb, I feel suffered the mostin his one-sided love and remained stagnant throughout series. Even though he did not get the love he wanted, in my opinion he gained what he truly wanted…and again you will understand what I mean when you watch the drama. And I hope his fans will see that as well when things cool down.

    All in all, this has got to be one of the best drama of the year. Despite its flaws, it had lot of heart and soul.

  77. imo it”s eve better because then all the trolling with fake clues will mean nothing and you can just ignore it.
    Personally I was team Everyone x Happiness and since we get to see the future where clearly everyone is happy and they’re all good people I didn’t mind who she ended up with.
    Although they did troll the viewers and shippers, as someone who stayed mostly unbiased throughout the drama I don’t think they stirred the Chilbong fans along as much as they are complaining. Na Jung never, ever, reciprocated Chilbong’s feelings. From episode 2 till 21 she was in love with Trash.
    From what I read a lot of the people who wanted Chilbongie as the husband loved him, felt for him, felt ~sorry for him that he was so obviously in love and heartbroken and they wanted him to be happy and that meant Na Jung reciprocating his feelings. The comments were all about how he deserves her because he’s been in love with her for so long and with his perseverance she should love him back. Or that she doesn’t deserve him.
    There was a lot of misogyny going on (from both sides) which I found disgusting. Soon it wasn’t about Na Jung’s feelings – or lack there of – but about Trash’s Chilbong’s and the shippers’.

    Bottom line is, the drama is good. The 2nd half definitely drags with loooong episodes but it’s still good imo, especially if you care about more than just the love triangle.

  78. I think Reply 1994 is worth a watch, if you can watch very selectively:
    – ignore the 2013 scenes, they are just filled with worthless clues designed to create some sort of “mystery” about the husband.
    – ignore any hints of a love triangle. There is no love triangle, there is only Trash and NaJung and an unrequited love that these two alternately angst over or ignore.
    – watch for Go Ara, finally showing what she is made of as an actress.
    – Watch for great ensemble dialogue and acting.

  79. I would say it’s worth watching for the first half which is lovely. It’s all about relationships (family, friends, etc) all intertwined with the time and if you’re a Gen X like I am, you really appreciate the pop culture aspect and references, too. 1994 surprised me with how heartfelt it was in the beginning and a lot of my friends agree that the beginning was better than 1997.

    The problem with 1994 is that 1) it was just too long. A shorter amount of episodes would have forced the writer/director and editor to make a tighter story. At 21 episodes, the second half just dragged on and on and one, just to fill up the space it seemed. B/c if you really paid attention to the story, the end game was obvious.

    Which brings me to problem #2. The end game was obvious so the mystery and making it seem like CB had a chance just felt frustrating and frankly cruel.

    The 3rd problem is they kept Trash’s feelings a mystery so long that you couldn’t help but fall for and start rooting for CB. And even though subsequent episodes showed that the husband had to be Trash, your heart had fallen for CB and what could you do? Just hope against hope… then you just hoped they would resolve it early enough so he could have a happier ending and they dragged the mystery to the bitter end.

    I think the beginning 8 – 12 episodes are very watchable and then perhaps just skip thru or FF thru and watch the last two episodes.

  80. I think that it’s better to watch it after you know who the husband is.. because you don’t have to depend and fell for hints and clues dropped by the tv station. Those clues and hints made you think hard when there were no meaning behind it at all.

    The first 10 episodes were beautiful.. Agreed with a lot opinions out there that they should finish it in 16 eps instead of dragging it to 21 episodes. The husband mystery was no fun at all.

    I don’t really care about who is going to be NJ husband since I care more about the friendship, family bonding but I hate to see the writer tortured CB character like that. He deserved better ending. Other characters got nice ending, love and family life respectively but we were kept in the dark about what happened to his family (his relationship with his parents) and his 2013’s family. All we know that he’s happy, rich and successful but who’s behind his happiness and how that person helped to change him to be the man he is in 2013.

  81. I know I’m coming here pretty late, but I wanted to finish watching this without being spoiled before I answer this…IDK if you’re still reading this Koala, bt I think you should definitely watch this show…its got some flaws but for me its been one of the better shows of the year…The husband mystery trope which it borrowed from its predecessor is probably one of its flaws as a lot of people might agree, but it also keeps the best qualitie of AM1997 the heartwarming familial relationships and friendships and the wonderful characterizations…the best part of this franchise is that it creates some great, real characters that are unforgettable …I personally also think the acting is better here with some standouts like Jun Woo, Yoo Yeon Seok and Kim Sung Kyun and for the first time ever, Go Ara…I thnk she was the heart of this show and this i coming from someone who despised her thanks to that abominable Heading to the ground….I still love 1997 more since I’m a sucker for coming of age stories but this show had more of a theme since its about country bumpkins settling into a new city and building relationships and exploring their identities…The biggest issue with show for me was the editing and the running time, which was almost 2 hours for the finale

  82. Hi Koala!
    I think you should definitely check it out! It has a better character development than AM1997 (and this is coming from someone who absolutely loved AM1997) and if you’ve been hesitant to watch it because of Go Ara, I think you’ll quickly find that your concerns are unfounded.

    And although I agree that YYS was great in his role, I never understood people for thinking that the main guy didn’t show his feelings enough b/c I thought it was clear as day. I also blame the viewers for falling for the fake trolling b/c even that was pretty apparent.

    I watched it feeling pretty positive that Trash was the husband, and I don’t think you’ll enjoy it any less just because you watch it after getting that confirmation.

    Enjoy!

    • Please don’t blame the viewers for falling for “fake trolling.” It was trolling, and it is the fault of the writers/PD that they put it out there in the first place. Lots of people found it easy to ignore the attempt at husband mystery, but it was there, it was placed there on purpose, and it is not fair to blame the viewers for trusting the show and following this gimmick. It’s like blaming the victim of a practical joke.

      • I think you are absolutely right about that. It is hard for us viewers what we are supposed to take seriously and what we are supposed to ignore. If they were going to put fake trolling then don’t make it into a mystery where evidences count.

  83. I’d say give it a try. You will definitely enjoy it more if you go in already knowing who the husband is as you’ll be able to appreciate the show for what it really is about which is the love amongst the Sinchon Boardinghouse family and not the pointless husband mystery which overshadowed it because of how excessively misleading it was. I admit to being one of the foolishly stubborn ones who really thought Chilbongie would be the husband, not only because of the trolling hints in 2013 but because of the themes and messages they presented associated with his character that further fueled the hope that they would go there. It also didn’t help that being the husband seemed to be the only satisfying resolution to his story because they made that his one and only story arc. So as someone who came to care for the character, you do feel cheated as you expect for him to have a decent wrap-up but instead get something rushed and contrived in the 11th hour. In any case, Chilbongie is still a great character to root for and this is partly due to Yoo Yeon Seok who just takes you through the motions of Chilbongie’s every emotion with how he fully immerses himself into the role. Jung Woo is also really great here but shined more in his scenes outside of his relationship with Na Jeong. Same goes for Go Ara,who surprised me with how dynamic she can be and definitely gained my respect for her as an actress and not just another pretty face.
    The secondary characters are given more focus here than in 97 but personally would have liked to see them more fully fleshed out but they’re still lovable all the same.
    The comedy is also a hoot and I find myself in stitches at some points.
    And as I’ve said before, the highlights of this show are the family and gang moments when they’re all together, not even doing anything out of the ordinary. Rarely do you get great ensemble cast bonding in kdramas, much less have it be the focal point of the show. Well, it would have been if not for that darn husband mystery.

  84. Yes, I say watch it ESPECIALLY since you know how things turned out with the husband (so-called) mystery.

    My initial reaction was that it fell short of my expectations, especially compared to Answer Me 1997. However, now that I have some distance from the final episode, I really I wouldn’t mind watch it again. There was a lot of awesome story arcs, such as the developing relationship between Yoojin and Sanchampo, the family interactions in the boarding house and the numerous pop culture/news reactions.

    You were also better not watching it in real time due to the crazy fan wars. Goodness, it’s just a drama!

  85. yes, watch it since you already know who the husband is. It’s really good, just like am1997 and Go Ara’s acting really exceeded my expectations because i started off with low expectations for her like how you did, but i was really wrong. WATCH IT KOALA!!

  86. Let’s just say that if you can watch Heirs which imo is pure unsaturated b&*^%$ than you should not miss this drama πŸ™‚

  87. This is almost e 1st time I m ever so hooked by a kdrama & so very affected by e characters in e show…it sure kept me thinking about it even after I have finished watching e drama for weeks. Initially I m with oppa until the episode which chilbong’s character starts to show his infatuation, followed by affection towards NJ, and slowly poured in all his sweetness pursuing for NJ..my heart went with CB. In fact, during the period when NJ & oppa dated, I am always looking forward to their breakup(yeah I know I m bad ;p) , and those 2013 scene clues just led me to assume CB wld b e sweet husband…of coz my heart sunk in epi 20 when husband’s name was tagged to oppa. πŸ™ *sob sob*
    Initially I thought little details such as CB trying to show his affection via the magic eye book (btw, if u were to do a deliberate pause over e scene which appa was trying to read the page which NJ failed to.., & if u are able to “read” such 3D art piece, u wld hv seen a heart shape from the page which CB challenged NJ over a bet). I thought towards the end when the husband was revealed (CB), e dram wld bring us back to little details such as the art piece was acty his first affection declaration to NJ.. but alas that art piece was never mentioned again …frankly I was pre tty disappointed after epi 20 with husband confirmed to be oppa..somehow I felt the drama was ended the wrong way. (No offence for oppa’s supporters, its just a personal view). In fact I thought how nice it would be if the producers were to consider a dual ending perhaps with 2 different choice made by NJ (Eg add another ending whereby NJ chose not to go to oppa when he texted her that night when she was in the cab , I supposed she was making her way to CB’s place after he discharged from hospital without informing her. And carried on the story to develop her r/s with CB thereafter) , meaning have 2 different ending to make both oppa & cb supoorters happy.

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