"Respond 1997" was relegated to history with a happy ending.
The drama, which aired its finale on Tuesday, took place in Busan of the 90s, a time when pop culture and teenagers were being transformed by the first generation of idols, H.O.T and Jexkiss in particular. Fangirl Si Won (Jung Eunji), Si Won's childhood friend and admirer Yoon Jae (Seo In Guk), funny guy Hak Chan (Eun Ji Won), and sensitive boy Jun Hee (Hoya) were among the incredibly unique characters that gave light to the drama.
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The drama chronicled how they changed from their high school selves in 1990 to the 33-year-old selves in 2012. How exactly did it change how people now perceive dramas with its popularity?
Variety Experts Dominates Dramas!
"Respond 1997" was produced by the writers and producers of "One Night Two Days" and "Qualifications of a Man." They even showcased a new format where the episodes were 30-minutes yet aired 2 at a time, which took advantage of both the sitcom format and the drama format.
Because they had never produced a drama before, they were able to come up with new ways of presenting the drama and they didn't feel like they had to abide by the rules. Witty captions, ridiculous background sounds and amazing cameos made the drama incredibly fun to watch and reminded one of the popular variety shows on other channels as well. It's said that they changed the original idea of the korean 'drama,' forever.
"Respond 1997, Responded 2012" 90s throwback good for the young generation.
The timeframe of 1990 is a very special time for those that are currently in their 20s and 30s, who were at the very center of this time. Everyone else ranging from teenagers to people in their 50s were also present for this time in culture, which allowed them to identify with the drama enough to enjoy it.
The drama perfectly reenacted the spirit of those times, which allowed the people to absolutely understand everything the drama was trying to say. It was the first drama to talk about the first generation of fangirls who were in love with H.O.T and other idols. They carried around beepers, walkmans, damagotchi and other little items that made the drama that much more realistic and incredibly detailed.
The OST for the drama, which also included songs that were famous in the 90s, was an instant hit and sold out in a very short amount of time. The duet songs by Seo In Guk and Jung Eunji were also ranked #1 on many music charts.
Despite the fact that this was their first lead roles in dramas, Seo In Guk and Jung Eunji showed off very stable performances and incredibly seasoned and professional mannerisms. This allowed them to become the new 'it' couple.
Jung Eunji, a Busan native, was able to really immerse the viewers into her genuine portrayal of a Busan school girl and was able to realistically portray the mood swings of a true fangirl. Seo In Guk was able to win the hearts of female viewers everywhere with his masculine charm and his dedication to his first love.
The other characters including INFINITE Hoya and Eun Ji Won were also lauded for adding more flavor and color to the story. They were the much needed comical relief and made the drama even more worth watching.
Remembered as one of the biggest hits ever!
It's not an overstatement to say that "Respond 1997" was a sensation. It was always near the top of the search word rankings and was ranked #1 in the amount of buzz it was able to get on social media. Despite the fact that it was aired on a cable channel, it created more issues and more fans than those on the big syndicated channels.
They received attention for not just the drama but its representations of fashion, trends and others as well as celebrities' reactions to the drama.