Oppa is the trend this year, it sure is.
Just when I thought nobody could beat or give Im Joo Hwan’s saintly brotherly character Jun Soo in Ugly Alert a run of his money this year, in comes a new contender for Best Oppa of The Year. Everyone’s been raving cookies and milk the past 2 weeks, TELL ME, who doesn’t want cookies and milk?!
Pretty tight competition Jun Soo, Oppa is pretty much awesomesauce here. No saint, but pure divine awesome.
Year 1994 is a toughie. Contrary to year 1997 which cemented the Backstreet Boys and Internet (a whole lot of influence there yeah), 1994 was pretty much vague bits and pieces of memories to me. I don’t really remember much about it other than that I was 8 and I’d moved to the house I’m living in, still. Prob that’s the reason why it wasn’t an immediate hook to me when I started Reply 1994, I yawned, nearly dozed off, I was bored. In short, it was a matter of – I couldn’t relate and connect to anything and anyone. 1997 worked because there were plenty of things that I knew and could recognize right off the bat, things that made our lives the way we are today. Not that I’m blaming writer1994 for the disconnect, it’s me problem.
Then magic happened, must be Oppa, it MUST BE! HE IS DIVINE! By the end of Ep 2, I was already a hopeless shipper of Oppa and everyone. Not just Na Jung. He is of course the most awesome with his ditzy crazy and brash sister, their rapport and wonderful chemistry filling every single space nook and corner, but he’s also a hoot with everyone else! Our loveliest parents played by the awesome parent duo, the boys and even his trash! His presence alone fills any void, with such lovable character and personality, making me smile glee squee from head to ear to toe, it’s hard to not adore him. I am so madly in love with Oppa. I don’t care about the fauxcest, I LOVE OPPA!
Enough with my cray cray over Oppa, the other characters are just as lovable and endearing enough for me to overlook nitpicky details. There are scenes tailored for me to understand and buy into the period but I can’t feel or connect with, but the characters sell their own personal stories decent enough for me to overlook. I loved the gang in R1997, part of the reason the drama scored so well with me, but I think I’m gonna love the R1994 gang even more, with personalities even more distinct and unique than the former, with rapport and dynamics far more interesting. I also love that our boys have nicknames (for obvious reason) that sound so effin stupid lol, half the time I was thinking maybe I’d never get to know their names until the very end, and honestly I don’t think I’d mind. Trash Oppa, Garbage Oppa, Samcheonpo, Hae Tae, Binggeure, Chil Bong…etc, whoever made up these names, way to go!
You know I wish I had a bro or boy-friend whom I could just go OPPPPPA-YAH. The way Na Jung calls her Oppa Oppa Yah and how he responds so obediently, I love it, I love IT! Everything about this relationship and this dynamic tickle and flutter me heart, not in the romantic way, but in the awwwww sweeeet sugary way. Like when someone does something nice for you out of nowhere, without obligation, purely genuine out of heart, isn’t that lovely?The endearment in their interaction, moves and touches me, and reminds me of my younger days with sista when we’d go all crazy and fun, when we’d just dwell in our own lil world with no caution and gauge of the RL world outside. Of course Oppa is a guy and things might be different, but it’s the family closeness that matters, and just like R1997, R1994 lives up just as much.
The boys and Yun Jin OTOH, make for spicier and interesting watch. I get some ppl might zone out easily from scenes not necessarily related to Na Jung and her possible OTPs, which are more focused on the trend and nuances of that period, somehow I feel the same way. There are some which I honestly skipped playing with my phone (mostly Na Jung’s fangirling Sang Min and the Seo Tae Ji scenes), but did sit through most of those focused on the boys and their teasings and banters. What is a family drama without the bromance eh? Love LOVE LOVE Hae Tae and Samcheonpo, this even more than R1997, because they are just so HILARIOUS together. LIke SO HILARIOUS I pee my pants. Their relationship I could connect with the most because of the similarities and differences they share, and can goof about like lil kids. Their awkward but cute interactions, gahhh, I cannot NOT picture them together, they’re meant for each other LOL And of there is Chil Bong who is like the sweetest nicest kindest character in the show, whom I think show’s pitting for as NJ’s future hubby (he’s seriously got the package inside out’) and Yoon Jin who isn’t as fleshed out yet.
Still nobody beats Oppa, because Oppa is fine, Oppa is awesome.
Writing and directing are both spot on (at least for me nothing bugs), and I sense the same amount of effort put into this package as much as that was poured into 1997. Though some references aren’t as significantly emphasised, I’m not very worried or affected. My expectations from 1997 have lowered significantly and TBH after 6 eps, I don’t even think much about the predecessor. The actors are more refined in here that has to be said. Though Go Ara did bug me in the beginning, with her over-zealousness, she’s settling in quite fine as Na Jung and is becoming even more a revelation of quirk and charm than I’d expected. I am very impressed and I like where she’s going. And she has plenty and overwhelming rapport with Jung Woo (icing on the cake!) who is such a natural himself. He eases SO WELL into Trash Oppa, and the best thing is that we don’t know this guy from anywhere (at least we knew Seo In Guk as a singer before) and all of a sudden he pops up and surprises us. He IS Oppa, and I cannot see anyone exert the same amount of Oppa-ish vibe and charm in this character as much as him. He is effortless. Then of course we have Sung Dong Il and Lee Il Hwa the who make such an awesome pair of parents (finally I can get Ugly Alert Joo Young’s mom out of my head for a while u_@#@+#(+@)#)), Kim Sung Gyun as Samcheonpo who is as versatile as expected (he played a vile gangster in Nameless Gangster take that!), Yoo Yeon Seok, Son Ho Joon, Baro, Min Do Hee and the rest, they all blend in decently, and that’s as good as it can get for drama with a rookie cast. Can’t ask for more.
I don’t ask for more, I just want Oppa to win (though I don’t mind if Chil Bong cuts in the line for a bit hehe).
credits: pictures as tagged