K-drama reviews in brief

Reply 1994
In Reply 1994, Sung Na-jung (centre) winds up marrying one of the five men in her life – but which one?

I have been trying to learn a little Korean on Duolingo. I enjoy learning new languages and I figured this was one I might actually make use of semi-regularly – to understand more of the K-dramas I watch. Not that I expect to be able to do away with using the subtitles, but I had already learned enough to notice some differences between original and translation. (That isn’t necessarily a failure of the translation – a literal translation is often not the best solution.)

Which is to say, no I have not stopped watched K-dramas, I just haven’t been reviewing all of them because I have less to say about some than others. I’m not going to stop reviewing them altogether, but I thought this might be a good time to reflect on some more briefly.

Toward the end of last year I watched Reply 1994 (tvN 2013),which is the second of three series with the same basic set-up. In modern-day Seoul, a group of friends are gathered together and reminiscing about the year when they all met: 1994. The action switches between 1994 and 2013 and the concept is that the female lead Sung Na-jung (Go Ara) has ended up marrying one of the five men who co-star – but which one? They all shared the same house during university and have stayed in touch, but the husband is not revealed until the final episode.

It’s a really cheesy concept and I found the contrivance immensely annoying, but other than that this was an enjoyable show. Most of the annoying K-drama tropes were mercifully absent, the relationships felt more realistic than many I’ve seen, and there were details of the recent-historical setting that added interest for me. The other two Reply series are also on Netflix so I might check them out.

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