tvN’s Answer Me 1988 is unstoppable; the rating just keeps rising steadily each week, with episode 15 clocking in an average of 15-16%, and 17.4% at its highest peak. Now the question is, will it reach 20% by the end of the show? Many years ago 20% seems nothing, when the ratings could go as high as 60%, but 20% these days are considered good enough to call for Deok Sun‘s Appa (Sung Dong Il) bringing out his gingseng wine.
Ratings aside, as happy as I can be for the cast and crew, my concerns still lie with the story. With 14 episodes down, only 6 more to go, it is unnerving that they haven’t had a time jump. I half expected to see a time jump because that’s what everybody has been spreading on the social network, but this week’s episodes were still slowly, and steadily telling the stories of the characters in past tense.
The good news is, which I am so happy for the Sung family, is that Deok Sun’s Appa has finally paid of the loan. Yippeeeee! I wonder if this means they can move to a better household with plentiful sunshine. It’s heart-wrenching having to see them live in such a small house, sleep in the same place as they eat or watch TV. I even share the same joy as Deok Sun’s Omma (Lee Il Hwa) when she was marvelling happily with her new cook stove. Seriously, Appa should really take Omma out for some clothes shopping too, especially the worries and scares she had gone through in this week’s episode, as well as showing appreciation of her undying support of the whole family.
However, I think the one character that really got to me this week has got to be Jung Hwan’s Omma (Ra Min Ran). I always thought her character is the most interesting in the show and among all other mothers; and in episode 14, she really puts me to tears with what she said to Sun Woo’s Omma, (Kim Sun Young), not that she hasn’t put me to tears in other episodes before. However, it really touches deep in my heart when she asks Sun Woo’s Omma to consider living her life for herself, instead of her kids. The weight behind those words are really meaningful, especially during those conservative times (and in Asian countries) where it’s almost impossible or socially acceptable for women to re-marry, especially after they were widowed and have children from previous marriage.
Ra Mi Ran is the eldest among the 3, even though she teases her dongsaeng a lot, it didn’t hide the fact that she really cares about them, and wants her friends to be happy and healthy. Wipe tears She has a firey and spunky personality, and can be scary, but she is the most generous giver, and has the biggest heart. I think I see a little bit of Deok Sun in her. Apart from the kids’ friendship that I absolutely love and adore, the Omma’s friendship is just as awesome and rock solid. The Appa’s on the other hand, pales in so many ways in comparison. Hee.
**Oh geezzzz, it’s not until now I realise the parents’ names are all their own real names! HA. Amusing.
This week’s episodes, we see the show focus more on:
(1) The Meaning of Father in a Family.
With Deok Sun’s Omma identifying a lump in her chest, and Taek’s Appa (Choi Moo Sung) thinking Taek’s plane had crashed, the show digs deeper into the father figure’s characters: showing us as tough as their exterior looks, they feel just as we feel and are not invincible — they are, no matter what, still made of human’s flesh and blood.
This is particularly true. Hehehe. It reminds me of my dad, whom we kids used to be so scared of, and run away when he’s home, and it’s not until I got a bit older that I see his soft side, which I now find it endearing. He’s also no longer grumpy or easily angered all the time, and I find myself easier to perform aegyo with him fulling knowing I won’t get yelled at.
(2) Developing the relationship between Bora (Ryu Hye Young) and Sun Woo (Go Kyung Pyo), as well as resolving Sun Woo’s Daddy’s Issue.
The relationship between these two is alarming. At the moment, I don’t see them as equal in maturity. Sun Woo has been a sulking kid lately, and constantly needs either guidance or comforting words from Noona Bora. It feels tiring to watch little Sun Woo chasing after adult Bora, and no matter how much he runs, he can’t catch up to her mindset yet.
The uneven relationship feels like a ticking bomb, waiting for the right time to explode. It isn’t like I think this relationship won’t work; it can, if both are willing to work through that huge (maturity) barrier—which unfortunately I believe involve them reaching there by parting ways first. Sun Woo needed more time to mature, whereas Bora needed time off to mend her distorted future due to her family’s financial difficulties.
(3) Jung Bong (Ahn Jae Hong) and Jang Mi Ok (Lee Min Ji)
Jung Bong Oppa is so cute, LOL. I adore his sincerity towards Mi Ok. These two are perfect match for one another. I am really curious of Jung Bong’s future—as in what he will be doing or become, seeing how much uncertainty his future is now based on his current state. I don’t want him to live off his family or Mi Ok’s father, so it’s definitely curious what sort of ‘obsession’ he is going to take on in future that will allow him to earn a stable living and support his own little, but happy family. Maybe Mi Ok will put him in place, hehehe, just like his own mother always put his father in his rightful place.
(4) Taek’s Appa (Choi Moo Sung) and Sun Woo’s Omma
Sun Woo’s Omma has received blessings from the neighbours, and little Jin Ju’s heart is also bought; and judging from the end of this episode, even Sun Woo has come to terms in accepting Taek’s father, so it is only a matter of time for these two. The one person left to convince is Taek.
Will Taek be an easy-going one? Or will he behave like Sun Woo? Last week we were all misled in thinking he ran away because he found out, turns out tvN played us all, and what really happened was nowhere near what we thought. So Taek is still in the dark about this, or maybe he’s not as dense as we thought? We shall see. However, I do wonder after what he found out about Appa’s reaction to his fake death, he may perhaps react differently to the news. I hate to speculate on Taek, but I have no choice, since the writer is not letting me peek inside Taek’s mind at all. Urgh. What’s going on in that tiny head of yours, Taekie?
(5) New Friendship
The trio of BFF: Deok Sun, Min Ok and Wang Ja Hyun (Lee Se Young) may have increased to 4 now. Deok Sun once again displayed her reliable and trustworthy capability when her classmate illness broke out. I was in tears when classmate’s mother hugged Deok Sun and kept thanking her. Aw. I was as proud as Appa and Omma when the teacher called to tell them.
Last but not least, the main topic in question remains unanswered and still sitting in the backseat for two weeks now, brewing…
There is still no real progress between Taek (Park Bo Gum), Deok Sun (Hyeri) and Jung Hwan (Ryu Jun Yeol). It has becoming unnerving with only 6 episodes left, and we, the viewers, still know nothing certain of the future of these 3. It is alarming when Taek tells Sun Woo that he likes Deok Sun so much that he is happy when she’s with her, and when he doesn’t, he feels like dying. Even though he says it quite lightly at the time, but pleeeeaaase tell me that’s not some sort of foreshadowing—not when my sea of worries was calming down in knowing he has taken less painkillers and sleeping pills for his headaches and insomnia. Biting nails nervously
I just had to attach the above picture because Jung Hwan looked so hot with the wet hair, heh. Hotness aside, I’m glad the writer hasn’t made him act like a noble idiot—or at least he hasn’t yet—the way I see it, he’s still conflicted and has no idea what to do. He seems to be just letting it pass day after another, delaying it as long as he can, neither making a decision to stop his feelings for Deok Sun, nor taking an action to confess.
Oh yeah. I wonder why throughout the episode, the kids only gather together to celebrate Taek’s and Jung Hwan’s birthday, but did not do something special for Deok Sun and Dong Ryung?
Next week’s preview