Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Dear Answer Me 1988

I’ve started this letter multiple times. I just wasn’t sure on how I should start this letter and I’m still unsure so bare with me here.

First, I want to thank you for doing something new with family and neighborhood love. The neighborhood was a core center for this drama. I loved every minute I spend with each family. It’s a different time when a community of neighborhoods cooks, lived, and loved like this one did. I’ve said this over and over the course of 20 episodes how I wanted to be apart of this neighborhood and the feeling still hasn’t changed.

The trio of ahjumma Mom’s we’re a delight to watch every week. I love the friendship of these women. It isn’t often women in dramaland are not vindictive towards one another. These women displayed what true friendship is all about. I could watch a drama with just these three. Make no mistake the ahjussi Dad’s we’re just as terrific as their counterparts. These men shared their tears and worries about their family, jobs, and life. Great Dad’s are able to ask for help and to let others see their fears. 

In 1997 & 1994, most of the families had tragedies with death of their child/sibling and parents. A death of a parent is still a main focus on two of our characters, but the story takes a break from replaying the dead child/sibling card. Instead, family love is a main focus for our core cast of characters which I admire this attention. 

 I see myself in the relationships with many of these characters with their family. However, it’s the love and adoration Jung Hwan as towards his mom and brother which tugged on my heartstrings. He’s such a romantic at heart despite what his friends may say. His dreams are his brothers. All his life he’s wanted to allow his sick brother to live through him from being a soccer player to a fighter pilot. It’s a beautiful look at brotherly love and I’m thankful to you, drama, for this relationship.
He such a quite and brooding character, but he sees more than people realize. He’s able to figure out how to put a smile on his mom’s face. The moment Jung Hwan wrote his mom’s name on her passport or giving her a wedding she never had, just endears me to him. This relationship at first seems like a rocky one, but I find him more charming and devoted than Sun Woo is to his mom.

This part of the letter will not be as nice and praising as the first part. Make no mistake; I really enjoyed watching Answer Me 1988. However, I have a tad problem with some areas of the drama. I’m trying really hard not to rant at you, but I’m afraid it’s probably going to happen anyway. 

The hour and forty minutes average for these episodes are super long. I understand you have a huge cast compare to 1997, yet you stuff flat jokes and unnecessary set up. Long doesn’t mean the drama will be better. Good directing and editing is the key to keeping focus on the narration. Oh and lose the goat. You’ve lost the touch of the humorist goat sound. 

I was pleasantly surprised with the older actors portraying the younger kids. Those jokes work by the way. Yet in your quest to keep the husband a mystery you failed to develop Deok Sun as a whole character. There is something flat and missing from the character. Parts of her, I can relate to being a middle child myself and the child who’ll drop everything to take care of my family, but her friendship with the boys seemed to have missed something. I can’t say if it’s the acting or part of not being able to live inside her head. I just feel this group was never as close as 1997 nor 1994. 

I don’t understand her emotions in most of the series. She starts with a crush on Sun Woo to be rejected. She comes to learn Jung Hwan may have a crush on her and get’s proof when he tells her not to go on the blind date. However, this girl who reads romance novels and likes the idea of being in love won’t throw caution to the wind and put herself out there and confess first? She tries for a brief moment getting up early to go meet Jung Hwan on the bus. It could’ve been the shirt and the misunderstanding, but I just don’t understand. When Deok Sun is passionate about something, she’s loud. Yet, I feel like I missed out on her figuring out was it Taek or Jung Hwan she had learned to love. 

Jung Hwan’s crush had more visual meat verse what we’ve seen from Taek. He saves her on the bus, he saves her in the rain, and he got her the pink mittens she wanted for Christmas. It’s so wonderful to see the goofy grin on his face when she walks in. Yes, Taek and Jung Hwan, both knew the other liked her, and I get he stepped to the side for his friendship. It just pains me to see him confess years later, and you drama, just treats it like it doesn’t mean anything. It’s not just the joke confession, but the fact five years late he’s still in love and his lets it go without trying. I get it makes for good drama, but it doesn’t feel like its playing fair to the audience nor the character. If he’s giving up his one-sided love for his friendship, don’t throw his crush away like trash. He deserves to be treated better as a character for his sacrifice. 

Would I been on the moon to see Jung Hwan with Deok Sun. Yes, but not because I think Deok Sun should pick him. I just want to see Jung Hwan have something which is truly his and to see the more romantic and goofy side of him. However, Taek is the husband and that’s that. I’m not going to debate the clues or the facts why Jung Hwan should have ended up the husband.

The one thing about 1997 and 1994, the adult scenes had a purpose. It was a reunion for the group to go down memory lane. You failed to deliver on these adult scenes. I liked the idea of it being an interview, but I wish there was more to those sit downs to talk about the present day and the group. How are all the parents? What is everyone up too? Did Deok Sun ever find a dream? 

Maybe the real reason I’m super annoyed with you is the lack of closure. Deok Sun/Taek and Bo Ro/Sun Woo got their happily ever after, but what about Dong Ryong or Jung Hwan?  With all the other “could be husbands” or crushes in the Answer Me series, there was a special someone out there they ended up with. Once again, Jung Hwan get throw away for such a beloved character. 

You Drama are not my beloved 1997 with the lightening caught in a bottle. There was something magical about 1997. You Drama feel more like 1994, but a much better flesh out in the theme. I did enjoy you despite the long narration sand your lack of closure to the ending. I think what I’m getting at is I don’t want to go on another husband mystery ever again when you because you just don’t play fair to the losing party anymore. 

I guess with I’m saying is, we’re over. This relationship we have is an abusive one. I trusted you, but now your words mean nothing to me, because your actions spoke the truth. Just because Drama you can’t see my scars doesn’t mean I don’t have any. I’m standing up and taking back my life.