If someone asks me about the things I remember about the year 1994, honestly speaking, I can’t remember anything about it. I was three years old and I can’t even recall the memories of being a five year old, let alone two years prior. Because of that, watching Answer Me 1994 wasn’t something that I planned to do in the nearest time but last Sunday, I felt it was the right time to dive into the world of 1994.
I don’t know exactly what made me grab the first two episodes available and start watching them right away. Maybe it’s because of the recaps on Dramabeans, but I knew I made the right choice. When the first episode started, everything felt so familiar.
The premise is the same as Answer Me 1997: the characters are telling the stories of their shared past in the form of flashbacks, this time traveling back to 1994. Coming from the same franchise, it can’t be helped to feel the need to compare 1994 and 1997, but each of them has their own strengths. Answer Me 1994 brings the characters into a new world: not only they’re starting a new life as college students, but they come from different parts of the country and struggle to find their footing in the alien city of Seoul. The kids are boarders at a boarding house run by Sung Dong-il and Lee Il-hwa, who recently moved to the city from Masan.
The parents are returning cast from 1997 and while they’re a nice reminder of the predecessor, they are different from Sung Shi-won’s parents. Sure, the daddy is still a baseball coach who likes to yell and the mommy is a friendly housewife who cooks a mountain of food, but they are shown in different light, especially how they are treating the kids. My favorite so far is when daddy has to rub the daughter’s head for her to go to sleep. So lovely.
Their daughter Sung Na-jung (Go Ah-ra) is also staying there since she’s starting her freshman year at Yonsei University, and she’s a girl with a voice of a thunder. Pwahahaha. The family is a close-knit family but once Na-jung gets into a quarrel with her ‘Trash’ Oppa-ya (Jung Woo), even the parents choose to ignore those two. They bicker, fight, and quarrel, but at the end of the day, he’s the one who puts her to sleep and she’s the one who know where he put his things.
As pop culture is part of the theme for the series, Na-jung is naturally a fangirl since she’s the main character. However, instead of the boy group Seo Taiji and the Boys, she chooses to be an unpaid (and extremely loud) cheerleader fan for Yonsei University’s male basketball team, with her favourite being her Lee Sang-min oppa. Being a college athlete’s fan definitely looks simpler compared to bring a fangirl of a boy group, because Na-jung gets to see her oppa during practices and matches, live or on the television. Plus, she gets to be close to him, to the point of keeping the treasure that is her oppa’s sweat trapped in her handkerchief.
The first two episodes are mainly introducing the characters and laying the foundation of the story consisting of Na-jung, Oppa-ya, and the other boarders who happen to be Na-jung’s classmate. So far, only the most senior person in terms of look is introduced to us, Samcheonpo (Kim Sung-kyun). The nickname is from his hometown but describes his older looking face perfectly. He might look closer to a lecturer than a freshman, but he’s like a lost child while finding his way around and his journey to the boarding house is an adventure itself. His awkwardness makes him all more adorable and I can totally understand his feelings, being a new person in the town and trying to fit into the big city that is Seoul. Samcheonpo is currently in a love-hate relationship with his roommate, Haitai (Son Ho-joon). They’re like the opposite poles and always at odds with each other, quarreling and arguing about the smallest problem. Isn’t it lovely to see two bickering guys finding a common ground when they’re thrown into a new world?
Jo Yoon-jin (Min Do-hee) is the representative of the fangirl, being the sole stan of Seo Taiji and the Boys in the circle (so far). Always walking around hiding her face behind her hair, the girl doesn’t really talk a lot, but never make her cuss. That would be a great eye opener and to be honest, I can’t wait to hear more of her cursing. Teeheehee! Another addition to the house is the nice guy Binggure (Baro) and his Seoul cousin Chil-bong (Yoo Yun-suk), who is in the good books of daddy for his talent in baseball.
As someone who watched Answer Me 1997, I feel that Answer Me 1994 is slower in pace compared to its sister since the former compressed two episodes into one slot while the latter airs like a normal drama with 65 minutes for each episode. It takes time to get used to the longer duration of episode but so far I’m liking it. The songs put me into the mood and the drama makes me feel all nostalgic again. Looks like we’re in for another “Guess Who’s the Husband” game, but I’ve started to ship Na-jung with someone…and I hope she will end up with that person!
For those who loved Answer Me 1997, I think Answer Me 1994 will capture your heart too. I’m excited for deeper insights into their lives and what will happen to them as they continue their respective adventures. I’m already impatient waiting for next episodes and here’s hoping that it will continue to be awesome!
9 thoughts on “First Impression – Answer Me 1994”
I love 1994 as much as 1997 and somehow, my heart is leaning more towards 1994. If a drama can make me laugh for the first 5 minutes and I still laugh after second episode, then yeah.. this is a drama worth watching… no, worth watching and rewatching until the next two episodes are out! Gosh… I hate waiting…I NEED ANSWER 1994 NOW!!!!
I think I have watched both episodes for 4 times at least 😀 Never thought I’d completely fall for it after watching only 2 episodes..Friday, where are you?!
Aw. This sounds like a good watch, and yay that you found some drama time in your very hectic schedule!! Woot! ^^ I’m probably going to check this out only when it’s done airing.. Joining the live-watch bandwagon for just one drama (Heirs, but of course. For Woobie ❤ – but of course, heh) is already a huge step for me. You tempt me, but I’m still holdin’ on to my resolve.. for now 😛
I’m intrigued to check out Heirs for Woo-bin and Hyung-sik but too many dramas on my plate is dangerous 😛 I’m sure you’ll like Answer Me 1994 when you start marathoning it!
Heirs has been a slow, easy watch for the first 4 eps.. Mostly set-up, and mildly pleasant without being terribly different or cracky. But we’ll see how E5 goes.. That’s when set-up seems to be complete and people are set to finally face-off. Woobie and Hyung-sik are doing well so far, but they don’t get a whole lot of screen time. I’m hoping that will change now that we’re back in Korea and everyone’s going back to school. Coz I’m not gonna lie, I’m watching this purely for Woobie 😉
Long story short – you haven’t missed all that much so far, with Heirs! And yes, I’m definitely putting AM1994 on the list! ^^
The first episodes were really entertaining. I was really looking forward to this one and I’m glad I wasn’t disappointed.
All the characters seem really interesting and likable and I loved all the funny moments between them.
I’m so excited to see what happens next because it just seems to have a lot of potential. New kids, taking their first steps in adult life and that while being far away from home in a new alien, as you said, city. I can’t wait!
Somehow I like that the show introduces new kids and allows the characters to narrate the story. I feel closer to the characters and it’s easier to love them 🙂
As a fan of Reply 1997, of course this is a must watch drama for me. Despite the new and unfamiliar faces, the story is great. So down to earth and easy to relate. A drama where you ship anyone and hate no one.
I watch Heirs, too. An easy drama but too much ado about nothing. I feel bad for Hyungsik, he’s doing good job in Nine and Sirius but in Heirs his character is such a waste… 😦
The only scene worth watching is Chan Young – Lee Bo Na.
It’s a rare occasion that there are no villains to be hated in a drama 😉
Actually, I wasn’t that excited when I heard about Hyungsik being cast in Heirs back then, because I was afraid that he’d be overshadowed by other characters…and it did happen. I really hope he’d get a better project next time and if having Heirs in his resume can be a stepping stone for him, then it’ll be good, both for him and us, his fans. I think that’s the reason he picked up Heirs in the first place because he’s still regarded as a rookie actor since Sirius was a drama special and Nine was a cable drama, so people might not know much about him..or maybe they would recognize him as the Baby Soldier in Real Men.
Ah, I get carried away while talking about Hyungsik and Heirs. I want to watch it for him and the other cast as well, but maybe not now.