fredag 15 februari 2013

Kdrama: Answer Me 1997 (응답하라 1997)

By many hailed as the best drama of 2012, and maybe one of the best of all time, Reply 1997 is one 16 piece story I also really, really recommend. What makes it stand out is that it is actually a korean drama that have a go at the "slice of life" genre, ie it tries to tell a story that is closer to everyday life, and that is something you dont see to often in Korea. The story centers around five best friends who we get to follow in two parallel stories. The framework is a class reunion in 2012, but most of each episode consists of flashbacks to (mainly) the year 1997 and the following years. We early get to understand that the lead female character, Sung Shi Won, is married to one of the other guys, with whom she has one child and is pregnant with another, but we actually don't get to know who it is until the last episode.
Another key element of the story is the central role kpop plays in the students life, especially for the girls.

The whole story and all its key roles is handled with such respect from the script, that for once you actually get a Korean drama (or any drama) that actually feels like it lets the characters grow naturally which makes you feel for them in a way not often experienced today. Add to that the experience of recent contemporary history of the 90s, and you often feel as you are watching a kind of (if somewhat romanticized) documentary.
If you have seen a Korean drama and become sceptic due to the sometimes exaggregated stories, please give the genre another chance with this, you will most probably not regret it.

As it isn't easy to find a version of this that works outside DVD Region 3, I will tell you what some people do, not that I say you should do likewise.
1. Some people download the series from here, by clicking on one of the arrows next to the magnet.
2. And then you could find subtitles here. You will have to fix the filenames to match the videofiles, but the titles themself should be synced with the videos. (This supposed that you have a video player on your computer with the right codecs).
3. Note: Episode 00 is in itself a kind of prequel "fake" documentary about kpop fans.

If you find that current copyright laws should be updated to the 21st century, why don't you read more here?

And just to mention some of the things that makes this story so great. The love interest of the best friend of Shi Won, Mo Yoo-Jung, is the new boy Do Hak-Chan, who is played by former leader of kpop group Sechs Kies Eun Ji-woon. This is funny since Yoo-Jung in the story changes her favorite band from H.O.T. to Sechs Kies - her character is actually dating a boy played by Sechs Kiss' lead singer!

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