Reply 1997

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Reply 1997
Answer me 1997 poster.jpg
Promotional poster for Reply 1997, with Jung Eun-ji
Also known as Answer Me 1997
Answer to 1997
Respond 1997
Genre Romance, Comedy, Teen
Created by Shin Won-ho
Rhee Myung-han
Written by Lee Woo-jung[1]
Lee Sun-hye
Kim Ran-joo
Directed by Shin Won-ho
Starring Jung Eun-ji
Seo In-guk
Shin So-yul
Eun Ji-won
Lee Si-eon
Sung Dong-il
Lee Il-hwa
Song Jong-ho
Composer(s) Kim Han-jo
Country of origin South Korea
Original language(s) Korean
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 16
Location(s) South Korea
Cinematography Oh Jae-ho
Bae Young-soo
Running time Tuesdays at 23:00 (KST)
Original channel tvN
Original run 24 July 2012 (2012-07-24)  – 18 September 2012 (2012-09-18)
Related shows Reply 1994
External links
tvN official website

Reply 1997 (Hangul: 응답하라 1997; RR: Eungdabhara 1997; also known as Answer Me 1997) is a 2012 South Korean television series that centers on the lives of six friends in Busan, as the timeline moves back and forth between their past as 18-year-old high schoolers in 1997 and their present as 33-year-olds at their high school reunion dinner in 2012, where one couple will announce that they're getting married. The coming-of-age drama also examines the extreme fan culture that emerged in the 1990s when first generation idol groups such as H.O.T. and Sechs Kies took center stage and K-pop was just blossoming.[2][3][4]

It originally aired live on cable channel tvN in 16 episodes (14 30-minute episodes aired back-to-back over a period of 7 weeks,[5] with the last 2 episodes aired separately and lasting 1 hour each due to the amount of material the staff didn't want to edit out[6]). But due to its popularity, the 15th and 16th episodes were also aired simultaneously on Mnet, OCN, O'live, Ongamenet and OnStyle. The last episode recorded the highest ratings at the time for a Korean cable drama,[7] and the series has garnered praise from audiences and critics for being well-researched, refreshing, genuine, and full of humor and heart.[8]

Cast and characters[edit]

Main cast[edit]

Cast Role Description
Jung Eun-ji Sung Shi-won She's the ultimate fangirl who lives for boyband H.O.T.. Shi-won is last place in her class and has her head firmly in the clouds (when her exasperated father asks what she's going to be when she grows up, her totally heartfelt answer: "I'm going to be Tony oppa's wife!"), but she's also forthright and sassy.[9][10][11][12]
Seo In-guk Yoon Yoon-jae The boy next door, first in his class and the quiet, brooding type. Yoon-jae grew up with Shi-won all his life and as teenagers, he falls in love with her.[13][14][15][16][17][18]
Hoya Kang Joon-hee Yoon-jae's best friend, who suddenly starts to spend a lot of time with Shi-won. Joon-hee is gentle and sweet, loves to dance, and harbors a secret.[19][20][21][22]
Shin So-yul Mo Yoo-jung Shi-won's best friend. Yoo-jung is known for falling in love at the drop of a hat. Every day it's someone new, whether idols or real boys.[23][24]
Eun Ji-won Do Hak-chan The army brat who just transferred from Seoul. He's good at sports and has an enviable porn collection, but his one weakness is actual girls.[25][26][27]
Lee Si-eon Bang Sung-jae The mile-a-minute talker and one-man rumor mill of the group.[28][29]
Sung Dong-il Sung Dong-il Shi-won's father and a baseball coach of the Busan Seagulls.
Lee Il-hwa Lee Il-hwa Shi-won's mother and a housewife.
Song Jong-ho Yoon Tae-woong A teacher at the high school who turns out to be Yoon-jae's brother.

Extended cast[edit]

  • Noh Ji-yeon as Jang Dan-ji - Moon Hee-joon fangirl
  • Jung Kyung-mi as Kyung-mi / "Eun Dokki" (Eun Rabbit) - Sechs Kies fangirl
  • Sun-ah as Sun-ah / "Eun Gak-ha" - Sechs Kies fangirl


  • Tony Ahn as himself (ep 1, 3, 6)[30]
  • Kim Gook-jin as himself (ep 1)
  • Kim Ye-won as Sung Song-joo (ep 3, 4, 9)
  • Moon Hee-joon as himself (voice) (ep 3)
  • Siwan as ROTC chatmate (ep 4)
  • Lee Yoon-seok as Gyu-gaeng, bungeoppang vendor (ep 5)
  • Kim Jong-min as driver in car accident (ep 5)
  • Shin Bong-sun as Busan H.O.T. fanclub president (ep 6)
  • Hwangbo (ep 6)
  • Jung Joo-ri as noraebang customer (ep 8)
  • Jung Myung-ok as noraebang customer (ep 8)
  • Kim Tae-won as noraebang customer (ep 8)
  • Choo Min-ki as Choo Shin-soo (ep 8)
  • Ryu Dam as Lee Dae-ho (ep 8)
  • Park Cho-rong as young Il-hwa in 1968 (ep 9)
  • Kang Kyun-sung as young Dong-il in 1968 (ep 9)
  • Yoon_Bomi as young Jung-mi in 1968 (ep 9)
  • Son Jin-young as young Joon-hyuk in 1968 (ep 9)
  • Yang Joon-hyuk as Yoon Joon-hyuk, Yoon-jae's father (ep 9)
  • Lee Yeon-kyung as Moon Jung-mi, Yoon-jae's mother (ep 9)
  • Kim Ki-wook as cellphone store salesman (ep 9)
  • Park Ji-yoon as Joon-hee's sixth older sister at noraebang (ep 8) / seventh older sister at pojangmacha (ep 10)
  • Yoon Hyung-bin as Eun Gak-ha's husband (ep 10)
  • Yang Se-hyung as Eun Dokki's husband (ep 10)
  • Ahn Young-mi as Sechs Kies fanclub president (ep 10)
  • Kang Yumi as H.O.T. fanclub president (ep 10)
  • Kim Dae-ju as PD with megaphone (ep 10)
  • Shin Dong-yup as MC of the 1998 Golden Disk Awards (voice) (ep 10)
  • Lee Jooyeon as Doctor Lee Joo-won (ep 14, 16)
  • Lee Sol-ji as TV show host (ep 15)
  • Go In-bum as Dong-il's uncle (ep 15)
  • G.NA as blind date (ep 15)
  • Bae Da-hae as Yoon-jae's colleague and drinking buddy (ep 16)


Episode Broadcast date Title TNmS ratings[31]
Average Rating (%) Peak (%)
Becoming More and More Different
What You See Is Not Everything
Fair Play
Life's Counterattack
Love Makes You Do Things You Didn't Do Before
Future Hopes
The Thread of Fate
The Reason I Like You
The Definition of Relationships
The Meaning of a Hand
Next Time... No, Now
The Heart Is What Makes You Love
While You Were Loving
Why First Loves Don't Work Out


The TV serial mostly consisted of idol singers with scant acting experience, and apart from the meta casting of Sechs Kies member Eun Ji-won (who previously worked with director Shin Won-ho and the writing staff on variety show 1 Night & 2 Days),[32][33] it premiered to little hype.[34][35][36] But with strong word of mouth, it soon gained recognition as a high-quality production with a distinct sense of identity, becoming a buzz-worthy "syndrome" show (Korean slang meaning, a real hit with an ardent fanbase).[37][38][39][40][41]

With Korean cable shows generally considered successful if they hit 1%, Reply 1997 took cable ratings by storm,[42][43][7] and received an immense amount of attention and critical praise. The show has been credited for its laser-sharp attention to detail, re-creating the late '90s with an accuracy that has fans singing its praises.[44][45] Endless pop culture references are packed into every minute of the show, with little pop culture easter eggs hidden in scenes, callbacks to the trends of the day, and cameos that are in-jokes.[46]

It was also a digital success, receiving more than a million hits after it was made available for downloading and streaming on internet and mobile site Tving. This was attributed to the fact that Repy 1997 had aired on a cable network (pay television channel), such that several viewers were unable to watch it live.[47]

With majority of Korean dramas shot in the capital Seoul, another of the show's charms is its Busan setting, which is treated in a matter-of-fact way as a locale. The realism is aided by the fact that much of the principal cast is actually from the region, who speak with authentic Gyeongsang dialect. The dialogue also uses time-specific, location-specific slang.[48]

But '90s nostalgia and meticulous attention to detail is only part of the show's appeal.[49] Fans were also intrigued by the clues which the 2012 scenes dropped at regular intervals about who ends up together,[50][51] as well as the episodes' subtle twists. And its smart, witty way of addressing the growing pains of its adolescent cast makes it just as relevant in the present as it was back in the late-'90s setting of its primary plot. Audiences have lauded the show's intimacy and realism, with a sincerity that connects with people — even those outside that particular generation.

Seo In-guk, Eun Ji-won, Lee Si-eon and Shin So-yul hosted the September 15, 2012 episode of sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live Korea, which included skits that parody scenes in their series.[52] On September 20, 2012, a special was aired on tvN's enews featuring behind-the-scenes videos and a few bloopers from the set.[53]

A novelization was published in January 2013.[54]

Director Shin Won-ho re-edited all 16 episodes for a special director's cut DVD, released in February 2013. It also included 358 minutes of exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, a blooper reel,[55] as well as commentary from the director and actors.[56]


The '90s-set drama didn't have an original soundtrack of its own since a huge aspect of the show's mood is set with era-specific music, one of its defining characteristics.[57][58] So as a thank you to the fans of the show, lead actors Jung Eun-ji and Seo In-guk recorded a 2-part mini OST called Love Story.[59] Seo was the first season winner of the music audition program Superstar K, and Jung is the main vocalist of K-pop girl group A Pink. Their duet in Part 1 was a remake of 1990s idol group Cool's "All For You."[60][61] Their duet in Part 2 is a remake of "Just the Way We Love," from the soundtrack of 1999 film Love Wind Love Song.[62]

The two singles topped the charts of online music sites including Gaon Single Chart and Billboard's K-Pop Hot 100,[63][64][65][66][67] and Jung and Seo gave a live performance on Mnet's M! Countdown on September 6, 2012.[68] On September 19th, the song "All For You" won No.1 on New Music Program Mnet KM's Music Triangle.[69]

Due to popular demand, CJ E&M eventually released a "Director's Edition" soundtrack that feature Jung and Seo's 2 covers, as well as '90s songs played throughout the series. It also included a mini photobook and a behind-the-scenes DVD.[70] Before its official release, the album sold out its 12,500 units via pre-order, surpassing the average soundtrack sales figure of 5,000.[71][72]

Album information Tracklisting
Reply 1997 Director's Edition OST
  • Released: September 28, 2012
  • Label: CJ E&M

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient Result Ref
Style Icon Awards
Top 10 Style Icons Seo In-guk and Jung Eun-ji Won [73][74]
Korea Drama Awards
Best New Actor Seo In-guk Won [75][76]
Best Couple Award Seo In-guk and Jung Eun-ji Won
Mnet Asian Music Awards
Best OST "All For You" – Seo In-guk and Jung Eun-ji Won [79][80]
K-Drama Star Awards
Rising Star Award Seo In-guk and Jung Eun-ji Won [81]
Best Couple Award Seo In-guk and Jung Eun-ji Won
Best OST "All For You" – Seo In-guk and Jung Eun-ji Won
Melon Music Awards
Best OST "All For You" – Seo In-guk and Jung Eun-ji Won [82][83]
Remarkable Awards
Best Drama Reply 1997 Nominated [84]
Best Actor Seo In-guk Nominated
Baeksang Arts Awards
Best New Actor (TV) Seo In-guk Nominated
Best New Actress (TV) Jung Eun-ji Won
Best Screenplay (TV) Lee Woo-jung Nominated
Seoul International Drama Awards
Best Series Drama Reply 1997 Nominated


Main article: Reply 1994

Another series from the same writer and director, Reply 1994 was produced in 2013. Set in a college campus, it follows the pop culture events of that year, including the emergence of seminal K-pop group Seo Taiji and Boys and the basketball craze of the era. It also starred Sung Dong-il and Lee Il-hwa, but as different characters.[91] Younger cast members Jung Eun-ji, Seo In-guk, Hoya, Lee Si-eon, Shin So-yul, Eun Ji-won, and Lee Jooyeon reprised their Reply 1997 roles in cameo appearances.[92][93]


An American remake, Answer Me 1999 is in development at Fox, written by Amy Andelson and Emily Meyer (Step Up 3D), with the pilot episode directed by Jon M. Chu.[94]


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External links[edit]