Answer Me 1988 Spawns Breakout Stars in Male Leads Ryu Jun Yeol and Park Bo Gum

Now that Answer Me 1988 has ended, I can finally marathon this baby and not get sucked into the usual shipping wars. I’ve participated in my fair share and honestly it’s exhausting, but hard to avoid when live watching a drama that’s popular and garners heavy audience involvement. One thing that everyone watching the drama seems to agree on is the breakout success of both male leads, Park Bo Gum and Ryu Jun Yeol. I’m predisposed to go for Park Bo Gum in the drama since I love him to pieces ever since laying eyes on him as the younger version of Lee Seo Jin in Wonderful Days. But with so much buzz around Ryu Jun Yeol stemming from both his performance and character, I’m certain he has the ability to win me over depending on how the drama narrative unfolds. In the end, I’ll probably add another talented actor to my male harem after AM1988 regardless of who the leading lady picks because I’m not the leading lady and can take both guys home. Check out their recent pictorials and see if both or either one tickles your fancy.


Answer Me 1988 Spawns Breakout Stars in Male Leads Ryu Jun Yeol and Park Bo Gum — 51 Comments

  1. They both got popular from this series but imo Park Bo-gum has gained way to much popularity compared to Ryu Jun Yeol. Park Bo-gum has also trillions of ships out side this series into Kpop land, veteran actresses and what not. his basically everywhere nowadays

    • in a sense that is true BUT park bo gum has already been garnering attention since before reply1988. ppl began to show him some interest when he starred in cantabile and then even more so in hello monster. on the other hand, ryu jun yeol came out of the left field and everyone was just like “what? where has this man been all my life?” lol.

      yes both got popular off reply1988 but i think ryu jun yeol did more so (when it comes to this series) because he really was a no name and then his popularity exploded. PBG already had some sort of a base that has continued to skyrocket, of course. ryu jun yeol also consistently wins all popularity polls for this series and if you are active in reply1988 forums, the #teamjunghwan (that’s his character) are diehard and have no chill. THEY ARE INTENSE AND THEY ARE PROTECTIVE OF HIM. since i don’t want to give any spoilers, i’ll just leave it at that lol. RJY truly became a breakout star because of this series.

      at the end of the day, i love both actors and am anticipating all their future works. which, even if i couldn’t stand their female leads, i will still tune in solely for them <3

      • Yessssss Kayla, you are right! We, the #TeamJungHwan are diehard shippers who are intense and very protective of him. We’re scary and we don’t know how to chill. Haha. We will hunt down anyone who attack our ship! Lol. Kidding aside, I love your comment! It speaks the truth.

      • i agree with you @Kayla. i actually watched reply 1988 because of park bo gum. it was my first time to see him in hello monster or i remember you and he impressed me so much. i also anticipated that he was the end game considering he made a name already with his past dramas on his belt. but to my surprise, it’s ryu jun yeol who got my attention so i rooted for him. he’s an amazing actor. park bo gum did a very good job too but i too believe, ryu jun yeol is the breakout star.

        looking back, i came to watch reply 1988 because of park bo gum but ryu jun yeol conquered me instead. 🙂


      • I agree with Kayla here. I like both guys and they’re both good actors but the one that was virtually unknown was RJY. I didn’t even know his name until the k-news outlets started pointing out that he played a meagre character in The Producers (which had a huge supporting cast in the first place). He was the “WhoIsThatGuy?” for me and for probably 99% of the people watching. Definitely the true breakout star even if I do prefer PBG a tiny bit better. Just a tiny bit.

  2. Remember you were so upset hyeri got the lead and all that shit, wonder if I can see an apology in the future ?
    It got 18% on a cable network, public broadcast wish they can get that much

    • eh, hyeri was good at the beginning of the show but did not show improvement. she consistently showed 1 type of acting (the naive, big-eyed, innocent girl) even when the show had a time jump and she moved into her 20’s and supposedly “matured.”

      she definitely exceeded my expectations (which were low, lol) but she has not proven to be a versatile actor capable of acting through the little subtleties of her eyes, body language or etc. yet. granted, she is still young so she has time to improve however as of now, i wouldn’t she she did amazingly well. now that i have seen the show in its entirety and follow girls day as well, i can say DS (her character) was written well for HER, it fit her personality (plus she’s young) so it was easy to play. however, once she grew up, she lost herself and IMO, couldn’t deliver. but eh, we’ll see how she does in the future.

      • Yeah I think we are thinking of the same particular scene where her acting was SO flat. I couldn’t read her facial expressions.

      • Why do i think we all are thinking the same particular scene where Hyeri as DS failed to deliver decent.
        RJY gave me goosebumps in the same scene and I hope once in my life to hear the same words from a guy.
        Ahh, JH I miss you so much….
        I hope I ll see him soon in a new project.The guy knows how to act.

    • I agree she wasn’t horrible (which I expected from all what I heard) but she was nothing especial.. She got off for having a bubbly, no excess needed type of character. Besides, the script helped. In short, she was ok.

    • I don’t think she is great at acting actually. She is the weakest link but she didn’t have to carry the drama and they tailor the role to be exactly like her so that’s why she didn’t have problem.
      Let’s see what can she do after this Series

    • The show does not depend heavily on her, which I am grateful for. I mean she was fine for the type of character she’s playing, but mostly faded into the background when there are other actors sharing the same scene with her.

      • A lot of people have said but probably forgot the fact that the writer wrote Deoksun character based on Hyeri’s personality in variety shows. I can’t say her acting is great, but I must admit she didn’t make me want to turn off the drama just like she did in her previous dramas.

        I thought the directing and her character writing helped her a lot in this, but after her character got some development I can see she still needs to work on her acting skill outside of beinh Deoksun.

  3. DON’T WATCH IT LOL. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but the show fell through in the end regardless of the shipping war. I was neutral and was only watching for the second couple, but even I thought that the ending was just stupid and rushed.

    If you watch it, just watch it for the most adorable second couple, cutest little girl Jin Joo, and the parents. They made the show worth watching.

    • lmao. i agree BUT i would say watch the first 10eps only. if anything, i think the first 5eps was when the show was at its strongest. the second half of the drama (ep11-20) became way too long, dragged and yes, narration, development and pacing was HORRIBLE.

      it was like one AMAZING, heartwarming drama patched onto an unfortunate mess (perhaps not to that extent but it wasn’t good, lol) of a drama. it sucks cuz this drama had potential to be so amazing and i thought it’ll be my fav installment of the three however after watching it, reply1997 still reigns supreme. everything was just right in reply1997: character depth and development, realistic development between the couple and a great use of the time jump.

      • I agree, Kayla. Reply Me 1988 could’ve been the best out of 3 Reply series. But their greed for ratings ruined it all.

        Just like Hobak said, if people want to watch this show, just watch it for the family stories and the awesome parents.

        And you’re also right about Ryu Jun Yeol, he’s the real break out of this series.

      • I havent watched the last 2 episodes (waiting for subs).

        For me 1988 was totally set to be the best of the Reply series… so sad to see that the ending is disappointing!

        Whilst waiting for the 1988 series to continue over the break, I checked out parts of 1994 and rewatched some of 1997. 1994 was so draggy and all over the place that I never finished it. 1997 really shows that original is best. It had is blemishes but the magic was there!

      • I for one thought that the writer-director pair did well in putting the family/friendship theme central to the storyline, which is what they set out to do for this series, and the show did exactly that and more. This is the show about friendship through and through. I understand the hesitation of the main male leads in pursuing their love interest because they truly value their friendship just as much (perhaps even more), to the point I don’t care who the husband is going to be because I am going to be equally happy and heartbroken for them, and that to me made this show into such a compelling story. I mean, I still cannot choose which team I want to be in because they’re both such adorable puppies, and I will ecstatic for one and devastated for the other.

        Also, I think their friendship didn’t fall apart like some of your mentioned here, it’s just unfortunate that the show didn’t properly “bid farewell” to the other’s character (and some other characters, and for that I am quite disappointed with final episode). Show, me wants some reassurance that the other is doing well and is happy too, not the just main pairing, ok?! Kthxbye.

      • For me Reply 88 ended in episode 18.The last 2 episodes were like someone got tired and could not not wait to finish to go home.
        such a waste of a good drama.

    • Rewatching the show again for the second couple, and I get more and more frustrated by the show. I am supposed to be happy, BUT I am not! Everything they had set up was a waste. They even ruined the friendships at the end. I don’t blame the fans for being that angry. This drama had my favorite couple (second one) in all three installments, but because nothing made sense in regards to the to other characters I couldn’t even be happy. Answer Me 1997 was the best.

    • I was really addicted to it until the last 2 ep. It felt rushed. They show less of ____ just because Hyeri didn’t end up with him and they have to build the chemistry between Hyeri & the other guy. They show more of the supporting characters on the last 2 ep. Hyeri did well as a young DS but as DS in her 20’s her acting was just a meh. BTW, what happened to the ring? I went through it so fast because I was getting bored & didn’t notice if they showed the ring again from the ending of ep 18.

  4. I thought Park Bo Gum was already getting some hype before? (probably with critics only?)… I started watching this because of him and by the end I wished he wasn’t in it at all hahaha the ending just left a bad taste that I need some time to forget. Ryu Jun Yeol was awesome… Actually Jung Hwan’s character helped showcase him.

    Horrible pacing (the first few episodes were awesome!).. The drama itself couldn’t decide where to focus and develop important characters…

  5. It’s funny how I started the show because of cutie Park Bo Gum (with the expectation that I would be torn between him and Go Kyung Pyo) but I ended up rooting for Ryu Jun Yeol’s Kim Jung Hwan. I rooted for him soooo hard, it bled my heart dry.

    You know it says a lot when a total newbie, in his first ever leading drama gained soooo much buzz attention when he’s not even the usual, pretty boy leading man we always have in dramas. He’s not really a head-turner but his charms are brimming the moment he goes on screen and starts to act. He’s a testament that excellent acting can do wonders even if you are not incredibly good-looking at first glance.

    • THIS. I’m still picking up pieces of my heart and it doesn’t even have much to do with who the girl picked in the end… I only wnated to see a happy JH in the end… T_T

      • Totally agree with you. I was originally rooting for JH, but when it became VERY clear that it was Taekie, I was disappointed. However, I managed to get over it.

        But the ending was disappointing for poor JH. Even Dongryong had a girlfriend. JH basically didn’t have an ending! At one point, I was wondering what he had done to anger the writers! And not to have the whole gang together at the end was so sad. Their childhood and friendship was so intimate and warm (even their parents), so it was kind of a blow to me not see everyone together again.

        The writers could have a get-together of EVERYONE, at say, someone’s children’s or Jin Ju’s birthday. Then JH can at least appear with his girlfriend…and I would be satisfied.

        But it left me empty.

      • @crazyajummafan: I was wondering the same thing too, if RJY had a falling out with the writer and/or director for his character to be dropped out all of a sudden. I even Googled for articles of any scandal but found none (except for that minor car accident recently).

        I also wonder: was the drama told in Deoksun, Taek and Bora’s perspective? Looking back, they were the only ones interviewed right, which is why only their older selves were shown and not the rest?

        If so:
        1. How did they know so much about Junghwan’s crush on Deoksun when he never really told anyone? And why did he come out a lot in their “recollection of the past”?
        2. What do we make out of Junghwan’s narration in Episode 18? Was he interviewed too? Because otherwise, how did anyone know he would say things like that? Or did they just made it all up?

        To avid (and rabid) fans out there, please know that I’m only curious. I’m not putting anyone down or attacking anyone. I’m just confused is all.

        Finally, I also wanted the whole gang to get together as their older selves. Surely the writer could come up with a reason for them to meet together, right? If not, even a mention of Junghwan and Dongryong would have been fine too. After all, they were the closest of friends. Circumstances may not allow them to gather regularly, but they could have continued to keep in touch right? After all, it’s 2015/6!

    • Exactly this..Went in for Park Bo Gum and came out with Ryu Jun Yeol and a broken heart *sigh* Excellent acting from both guys but i have to give RJY the edge just cos we saw his journey from beginning to the bitter end. Hope to see him in more projects to come (and PBG). Its great that he has already done his army service so I think we will be seeing more of him while other actors of his age are getting ready to enlist (cant believe he is 29!)

  6. I loved it…cast and all. Did not watch 1997, caught some of 1994 and became a fan of YYS. I found myself laughing and just enjoying the love of everything that is great about the connection with the family and friends. The ensemble cast did a great job, both male leads deserve their spotlight and I thoroughly enjoyed Hyeri’s portrayal of DS and her comedic scenes in just being one of the guys. I got my older brother into watching after ep16 aired…this being his first korean drama. He gave a 4 out of 5 (5 being best). It was so nice to “compare” notes on the show and we both selected the same husband who we thought would match the girl based on the the character’s personality and interactions with the girl and not the clues.

  7. I think both Park Bo Gum and Ryu Jun Yeol are good young actors with great potential. In this series though, Ryu Jen Yeol’s Jung Kwan lit a fire in ma belly, especially after the time jump. He’s not pretty, but he oozes with sex appeal. The man has charisma galore.

  8. For me is Park Bo Gum. RJY is good too but I always have soft spot in my heart for PBG since I remember you. He is excellent too in there! Can’t wait for future project~

  9. Bogummie was already a rising star before AM1988 because of his role in I Remember You (where he stole the show) and his Music Bank MC gig etc. There’s been alot of buzz around him for awhile. This role has just cemented his status imo and proved his versatility. He’s a very sweet guy and he’s going to be huge.

    RJY is the true breakout of this series though, like Jung Woo was last series. Basically unknown actors (though RJY was even more under the radar than Jung Woo was) playing iconic roles that captured the Korean viewers heart’s. I have a feeling that RJY will also do films after this like Jung Woo instead of dramas (though I really want to see him in another drama asap). He’s such a natural actor, I could watch him forever basically.

    I have had issues with the AM series but one thing I do love about them is the casting. They are always spot on and perfectly match their roles – and they give unknown/rising actors a chance instead of just using the same old faces. It’s awesome!!

  10. I went into the series without any opinion of any of the cast members and I survived with my heart completely stolen by Ryu Jun Yeol. I totally didn’t expect it, but I WILL PROTECT HIM FOREVERRRRER <3 I loved the cast down to Dong Ryong's dad and little Jinjoo, but Ryu Jun Yeol… AHHHHH, he truly was the breakout star and I'm definitely gonna keep tabs on his future work! <3 even off screen he's got hell of a lot of charm (his Naver V app segment was just *guh* heartwarming and funny and just overall wonderful)!

  11. The show feels very bland to me. I dropped it after a few episodes (and I didn’t even watch through all of them).
    the older sister is too violent to her sister, to the point it’s not even funny…

    • Lol your comment about the Elder sister’s violence made me laugh real hard.. Lol that was just a piece of cake compared to sisters I know. And my own relationship with my own sisters. Yo!we seriously go for it when we fight but at the end of the day, I absolutely love my sisters to pieces. But then families are different lol.

      • Yeah, families are different, but I can’t stand too much shouting and hostile expressions but the sister especially when I watched this drama in the middle of the night… Just too much for my taste. Still keep the opinion about the violence though 🙂

        Still don’t know why this show is so popular. LOL. 1997 is the bestso far to me

      • dubuO i am with you.I could not stand Bora and I skipped all her scenes because I can not stand bossy people.

  12. The previous Reply series set to have happy ending for like everyone , even though sometimes a bit forced. I didnt know why they didnt do it for this one, particularly when it is a character that loved by many.

  13. Park Bogum caught my attention right away in Naeil Cantabile. He’s such a eye candy. Ryu Jun Yeol did really well in Reply 1988 that I could expect some leading roles for him.

  14. Bogummy is usually smiling and cute, in pictorials he seems more like Min than like Taek. I swear, no matter how cute he is, if I ever met him and he gave me the “Min look” I would go running or hide under covers. It just doesnt make sense at all how such different things come out of one puppy!

  15. Yes two of the actor are great. But watch reply becoz of bogum or uri taekiee… i notice him first becoz of music bank mc n then wonderful days as the young lee seo jin. And also hello monster. He captured my heart with his “min” character. The brothership was perfect between him and seo in gook. Also of course he in the same management of song joong ki and cha tae hyun. 2 of my favourite actor. Just saw his clip in the fanmeeting concert last saturday. He cry a lot. He is such a crybaby. Also he is such a positive person. He don’t swear, smoke n drink…looking forward for his next project…

  16. PBG is the reason i stay for this drama. he the one that draw me into this drama. i could care less about the lead female she sux at acting.

  17. I like this reply 1988. Bring memories back about those years. Love the family story, love the love story, love the friendship story. It gave me laugh, cry, touch my heart etc 🙂

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