Answer Me 1988 Finale: Goodbye Youth. Goodbye Ssangmun-dong.


This drama is seriously the death of me. I haven’t cried this much watching a drama since Mari and her 3 Puppies. If episode 19 was bad, then the finale is worse—for my eyes, that is. From the moment I hit play, 5-10 minutes in, I already began crying, and this continues to the end. I thought I might go blind from too much crying.

I hate you, writer, for making me cry so much, but I love you too, for giving us Answer Me 1988 and the great casts. I wouldn’t have it any other way.


This episode hit me bad and hard, twice. I resonated with Jung Hwan’s Appa’s story of how he thought he would be an embarrassment to his sons as a noodle delivery man, whilst at that moment Mi Ok walks past her dad without acknowledging his presence. It reminded me a time I suddenly became our class outcast, just because a girl saw my dad picking me up from school in a shabby car. I still find that girl mean till this day, because we were only 7-8 years old then, things should be simple and innocent for us. At least I was. I wasn’t ashamed of dad, and we weren’t even poor, but I could relate to the parents’ fear of their kids being ashamed of them, because it’s real and true—just how judgmental the people and world can be.


Ahhh, so Interview with the Vampire came out in 1994? I don’t remember the year, except it is still the best vampire movie I have seen. And then I’m going to complain: watching that movie kill the romantic mood I should feel when Taek held Deok Sun’s hand. What was played during that exact moment isn’t a suitable time to get romantic. I supposed Taek isn’t really paying attention, huh? LOL. Seriously, were there no romance comedy back then to use, show? Hmph.

Sun Woo and Bora. I gotta give it to them both—for their persuasiveness. They give the parents no reason to say no, especially Sun Woo. I knew it would be extremely easy for him, not because Omma is a softie, but because he has an ace card against mum—the “I did everything you wanted me to, I never disobey you” card. I wonder if he knew it all along that he needed this card when he fell for Bora, but I could tell when he was contemplating using this card when he sat in his room. It hurts him to draw that card at mum, as we see him brooding and drinking later, but I guess it was a necessary evil. It is the most effective, quick and swift way. Mum will heal, she has Taek’s Appa now.

We then get the conversation between Taek’s Appa and Sun Woo’s Omma next (so weird seeing them sleeping next to each other) about how Taek started baduk, and how Appa was so against it before, but realise he will never win against his own son. It’s exactly the same for Sun Woo and Omma. On the sideline, I love the little information concerning Taek’s journey in baduk, and how it all began. This really doubles the ties Taek has with Deok Sun and/or her family.

Taek and Deok Sun’s dating scandal—I am impress how grown up and mature Deok Sun has become. I love how she went from the Deok Sun who cries not wanting to celebrate her birthday with Bora, to making a sacrifice for the time being, because she loves Bora, Sun Woo, family and neighbours. Knowing that it was not the right time to reveal their relationship; knowing how much hurt the families will get. I love her for having full confident and belief in their relationship that it will stand the test of time.

I remember when I first saw this episode without subtitles, I was taken aback with how it all played out especially the second half of the show. I did not understand why there were so much screen time for 2016 Deok Sun and Taek, and if I have a choice, I still would prefer to see their younger selves—only because I couldn’t relate their younger version to the old version, but I completely understood after the subtitles: this is because the theme of the show is Youth; Deok Sun and Taek are reminiscing their past at Ssangmun-dong.

Bora and Sun Woo’s wedding is essential due to several reasons: it depicts true history for the people with same family name of that time, it’s important. It is also because Bora is the eldest daughter of the family, so naturally she is to be married first, and it is writer’s last attempt in focusing on family love/father-daughter’s love. I was a goner from the moment Bora turns around to find Appa has cooked lunch, and he cooks her favourite egg fried rice. I literally burst into tears. I think I have put myself in Bora’s shoes, and felt like I’m getting married off, and is no longer Appa’s daughter. *Sniff*

I think this whole scene is extremely sadistic; I was so immersed in the feelings of a daughter about to leave home, leaving my own father and mother. I don’t want Bora to go through this ceremony of saying farewell to her family. Honestly, I am glad we only have to go through Bora’s wedding, and no Deok Sun’s, because god, how much more crying that will be, can you image? Deok Sun will most definitely be bawling her eyes out with Appa and Omma, as we know how aegyo she can get. Needless to say, I might die from drowning in my own tears by then.

Thus, I am satisfied that we were given a special story-telling part for Taek and Deok Sun’s relationship. It is also very true to their characters the way their relationship play out. I love that Taek also starts to show more emotions, getting mad at Deok Sun and vice versa, it was sweet and cute to watch. It was also satisfying that I was right about when Taek starts to love Deok Sun, how she is always special in his heart, and that their relationship began since young. [Videos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4]

Loose end was tied up very well too, especially on how Taek found out Deok Sun likes Sun Woo, and how adorable was he when he shows a bit of jealousy by whacking Sun Woo’s back? Hahaha, and that was the end of his jealousy as he smiles brightly and goes to bed, heh.

There was a lack of mention for the rest of the characters in 2016, but I didn’t mind not knowing. Deok Sun and Taek are about 46 years old by 2016, this also means all the oldies are 70-80 years old; this can only mean some of them may not live through to such old age. I prefer not knowing especially Deok Sun has already teared up thinking how healthy her parents were back in 1988. I don’t think I can handle, so it was better to leave it ambigous and open for interpretation. I didn’t mind not knowing how Dong Ryong or Jung Hwan are too, because I believe they are living well and healthy, and that the gang still find time to gather together whenever they can—just because, their friendship goes waaaay back. *Sniff*


Goodbye Youth.

Goodbye 1988.

Goodbye Ssangmun-dong.

Goodbye Deok Sun, Bora, Sun Woo, Taek, Jung Hwan, Dong Ryong, Jung Bong, No Eul, Jin Joo, Ra Mi Ran and the rest….

Goodbye Answer Me 1988, and thank you—for such beautiful drama…

And here I end this post with my favourite OST from this drama, one that always tug at my heartstring, makes me teary whenever it came up in the show.




One thought on “Answer Me 1988 Finale: Goodbye Youth. Goodbye Ssangmun-dong.

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  1. That’s a really wonderful review, dear. I nodded with every single word you wrote there, coz I felt exactly the same way like you do.
    To me, Answer 1988 stands as the most beautiful story ever told, and it sits there on a throne wearing a crown written The Best Drama of All Time. Future dramas need to slave themselves away in order to come close to that title.
    It saddened me everytime every one who was not happy about the husband said mean comments about the drama, and even the actors. But anyway, I’m just going to focus on the drama itself. For showing us how beautiful Taek and Deoksun romance was, Thank you, Writer-nim, PD-nim, tvN-nim!!!


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