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It tells the story of 6 former high school friends from a school in Busan who meet again in 2012 and brings back memories to 1997 when they were still high school students. Moving back and forth between the '90s and today, the story centers on the life of Sung Shi Won (Jung Eun Ji), who idolizes boy-band H.O.T., and her 5 high school friends.Written by
I like series that are set in the past and tell us how life was back then while also giving us a glimpse of events from those specific years. Reply does exactly that!
The first installment in the series is called 'Reply 1997'. The story revolves around six protagonists - Shi Won, Yoon Jae, Yoo Jung, Joon Hee, Hak Chan and Sung Jae who are in their senior year of high school and are busy figuring out life after school. The main protagonist is Shi Won played by Jung Eun Ji from the popular K-Pop girl group APink. Shi Won has just one love in her life - H.O.T! She will go any lengths to be a core member of their fan club. She'll skip school to stand in line for their album. She'll run away from home just so she can have a glimpse of her idol. Shi Won has absolutely no clue about life after school because she is just too immersed in her love for her favourite boy band from S.M.Entertainment. She may not be the best of students but she can come up with steamy plotlines about her favorite idol's personal life!
What makes this series popular is the fact that it introduces to all its audiences, both international and domestic, to the fact that 'Fan Fictions' have been in existence since the dawn of boy bands. One of the most loved themes of the series is the rivalry between White Angels and Yellow Kies. When Shi Won finds out that her best friend is no longer a White Angel but a fan of Sechs Kies all hell breaks loose. What makes all of this even more funny is the fact that Eun Ji Won who plays Hak Chan is actually a band member of Sechs Kies.
Sechs Kies and H.O.T were the first few bands to have such large members in their fandom. The fight scene between White angels and Yellow Kies is nothing but epic but the ultimate climax is when the victor is announced!
The series played a very important role in bringing to the fore the foundation of the Hallyu (Korean Wave) that has swept over the world in over two decades and is still going strong. Sung Dong Il and Lee Il Hwa who play Shi Won's parents are portrayed as a couple that's always bickering but there is a definite under current of love that we keep getting a glaring glimpse of throughout the series. Who would've thunk that they would be able to take and make their characters so popular amongst everybody who watched it!
Apart from the obvious KPop theme - other aspects of High School life are dealt with very delicately. This first installment has a mystery theme. The story begins in current day 2012 but takes us back to 1997. We learn how the characters met and their relationship with each other is established and we also see how their friendship has progressed from 1997 to 2012 but in the present day of the series Shi Won is pregnant and the audience is left guessing as to who her partner is at the end of each episode.
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