Answer Me 1997: Thoughts on Episodes 11-12


So…I would turn gay for Joon-hee…ok that doesn’t make sense cause I would have to get a sex change first…ok too confusing. Anyway.  So many many cute moments and devastating moments!

1. My favorite Joon-hee moments: Joon-hee turning on the CD player which Yoon-jae forgot to turn on in his haste to avoid Shi-won. Yoon-jae whispering in Joon-hee’s ear not to break the yolk. Did you see the look on Joon-hee’s face? There must have been all kind of shivers down his back.  He really just rounds up this show.

2. Yoon-jae spilling his guts to Shi-won. A little too angsty but then again Yoon-jae is the epitome of angst. But yah…I want to cry when he cries.

But anyway the discussion. 1997 continues to toy with us. The ring clues and the coffee clues. There are some inconsistencies, I’m sure the earlier episodes neither Yoon-jae or Tae-woong were wearing rings. Unless my video quality was just too low. But I’m sure the PD was just trying to save the clues for the right time.

One thing I did want to mention was why Shi-won turned Yoon-jae down. I really do think she couldn’t face her feelings just yet. She was going to college, moving out of her home, and she was dating Tae-woong. Too many things going on! She’s a simple girl (brain overload you know?). I also don’t think she really got that she was dating Tae-woong. Did you see how she freaked out when he teased her about wanting him? And she was absolutely stiff when he kissed her forehead. I’m pretty sure she broke it off with him…. she better!

However, I don’t like the time jump. Six years is a little too long for me. I think Yoon-jae definitely needed a couple years to learn how to live life for himself since he was all about Shi-won. But isn’t 2-3 years enough for that? Six years most likely means OTHER GIRLS! That’s just wrong! Ok I’m being a drama queen.  But anyways, I haven’t thought too much about the whole drama. 1997 can get so deep. But right now I’m just satisfied to be on this whirlwind of excitement. So thankful for 1997! You have make my 2012 so much better.



As the padre likes to say, “The neighborhood is being swept away” — by the tide of my squeals of joy, howls of laughter, and wails of heart-wrenching grief.  Who knew that I, the jaded drama watcher, could be so wholly taken with a sweet high school tale?  That I, an obsessive ffwder, could marathon 12 episodes without skipping a single second?

Okay, maybe I did skip a couple conversations here and there.  And maybe I ain’t as jaded as I pretend to be.  But I am pleasantly surprised – no, scratch that.  I am maginormuperdeeduperously THRILLED to have found this drama, courtesy of whitecarrot.  It has set up house in my quite cluttered heart and has shown me once again why it is I love film and television.  Thank you, dearest drama.  And Yoon Yoon-jae.  Hee!

I’ve thought long and hard about why it is I’m so taken with this drama, and the answer is quite simple: it preys on my every weakness.  I have a soft spot for best guy friends – wish I had one myself.  I have a weakness for friends-turned-lovers.  And I have a penchant for unrequited loves.  (Explains why I always ship the OTP that is never to be.)  I adore bad boys who are helpless in the face of love.  I idolize sweet Oppas.  And I unashamedly love family.  Answer Me 1997 hits every single one of these sweet spots in the best way possible.

Now as for Episodes 11 & 12: Ack Aack Aaack Aaaack AAAACCCKKKK!  I’ve noted again and again – to my dog, who truly enjoys watching dramas with me, really! – that everyone, and I mean everyone is delivering lights-out performances.  But these two episodes, especially Episode 12, were hands down created for and existent because of Yoon Yoon-jae aka Seo In-guk.  His confession, ripped out of his heart, was filled with all the tortured anguish of a teen on the verge of manhood.  In my book, it’s seriously rivaling Yeo Jin-gu’s performance in The Moon that Embraces the Sun, and that boy’s got game.

The writer’s been superb at yanking us back and forth on the Daddy Issue, but at this point I’m 99.9% sure our lovely Yoon-jae is the winner.  Shi-won delivered a nasty punch with her “friends” line, but I think she was just flustered and shell-shocked and all-around suuuper cooorrnfused.  As for the ring-for-a-present issue, I don’t think she was subtly asking Yoon-jae to give her a ring because she just wasn’t fully aware of his feelings — or hers, for that matter.  She doesn’t know what she feels about Yoon-jae, and she only gets the first inkling in Episode 11 that he may not just be the boy next door.  As for the rescue scene that preceded that revelation, I think it was quite telling that she called Yoon-jae in her time of panicked need.  Rather than speed dial #1 aka Tae-woong, she called Yoon-jae on his cell phone and later at home.

Tae-woong is a character you can’t hate or even dislike, though he’s puttin’ serious dampers on our OTP.  He truly does like Shi-won, in my opinion, but I don’t think it goes much further than that.  I just don’t think he loves her as Yoon-jae does, which is something that also comes to light through the rescue scene.  Yoon-jae was too worried about Shi-won to call his brother back.  You can’t say Yoon-jae loves her more than he does his brother, because it’s a very different relationship, but in that moment, Shi-won was his first priority.  For Tae-woong, I think Yoon-jae may always come before Shi-won.  The way he burst into the home looking for Yoon-jae, clad in an inside-out sweater, says a lot about how deeply his love runs for Yoon-jae.  I don’t think he’s ever shown such a depth of feeling for Shi-won.  That’s not to say he doesn’t like her in his own right, and that he won’t be heart-broken if/when Shi-won breaks things off with him.  But with each unfolding episode, I grow surer and surer that Yoon-jae and Shi-won are meant to be.

The 5-6 years of separation between the two was good – and necessary – for Yoon-jae and Shi-won’s relationship.  She needed some time alone to reflect, understand her heart, and appreciate the boy she’s always taken for granted.  As for Yoon-jae, he, too needed time to be sure that the love he feels for her will never fade.  We have no clue what he’s thinking at this point, and even if he thinks he’s over Shi-won, he’ll soon learn it ain’t that easy.  Plus, it gives Shi-won a chance to do the pursuing.  Normally I ain’t a fan of the girl pursuing the guy, but in this case, Shi-won needs to step up her game because it’s a mutual relationship, not one-sided.  [Some have asked why they’ve never met during the 4-5 years if they’re both in Seoul.  Seoul, first of all, is packed with people, and as with any place, if you don’t make an effort to see someone, you probably won’t.  These two – or at least Yoon-jae, for sure – intentionally chose to not seek each other out.  So it’s not surprising that they haven’t seen each other.]

There’s so much to say and discuss, but I’ll end things here – for now. ^^  Answer Me 1997, you are just all kinds of amaztasticfantabulousness.


14 responses to “Answer Me 1997: Thoughts on Episodes 11-12

  1. I truly am glad for the time skip… Absence makes the heart grow fonder. I’m going to enjoy watching Shiwon give her all to get her BFF. This tale is all sorts of amazing. 2 Hours to Go!!!

  2. OmG…your thoughts are the same as mine sweety…I ain’t korean but that confession was so heartbreaking..I was crying not even understanding all of the words … but I felt YoonJae’s pain and his heart crushing into millions of pieces specially when ShIWon told him to stay as friends…I do think that SW at that time was confused and shocked and not understanding the depth of YJ’s love for her, and how YJ bravely put everything of him on the line to tell her what he truly feels… she said all the wrong things unintentionally making YJ’s heart ache more. It was best for both of them that it happened during that time, with the separation -they became more mature and it did make their love stronger in the end and I definitely see this OTP finding each other’s love somewhere down the road (even if it was 6 long years into the future of 1997) ,…bring it on ep13 and 14 but please don’t dissapoint us drama….be one that will be remembered for a long time.

  3. i guess i agree with whitecarrot. 6 years is just too long for me. though siwon is yoonjae’s first love and it’s absolutely hard for him to get over her, it’d be more real if there’d be another girl in the picture at the point when they meet again. I mean he’s such a smartypant and hottie, right? girls’d line up and there should be at least one worthy of consideration. i’d love to see siwon struggles a little to prove her love for Yoonjae… anw, we’d have to see…

  4. Excellent points from both whitecarrot and pinkplossom! I especially like the point that Shi-won in her most frantic time, her first instinct was to call Yoon-jae. This speaks volumes about her true feelings whether she realizes it or not. Whereas the inside-out shirt of Tae-woong speaks volumes of his love for his brother. I also feel that if Yoon-jae had told his brother about his feelings for Shi-won, I am one hundred percent sure that Tae-woong would not have pursued Shi-won regardless of what he felt towards her. That’s just the type of brother Tae-woong is, and which is why it is just so hard not to love his character. I foresee a happy ending for Yoon-jae and Shi-won. I think real love takes time, and that both people have to be ready to give and receive that love. Shi-won was just not ready, and she did right by not accepting Yoon-jae at that time. In fact the Shi-won of 1997 still acts immature so I am all for the time jump. Their emotional maturity will be key to a lasting relationship.

    • as you’ve so kindly pointed out, i have to wonder, now that we’ve seen eps 13-14, if tae-woong would have had a different response if he’d known six years ago how yoon-jae felt about shi-won…
      thanks for joining us in our spazzings, old soul!! 😀

      • Thanks for the welcome, pinkblossom! Sorry for the late reply. I still stand by what I said (given that we’ve already seen episodes 13 & 14) that Tae-woong would have given up Shi-won had he known that Yoon-jae liked her first—-that is, six years ago. I think the fact that TW waited for SW for that long allowed him to believe and justify his love for her. Now this is the concept that I always hated about Korean drama. When a person insists on fighting for his/her love even if he/she knows that that person loves someone else. If a person truly loves someone, then they should only wish happiness (even with another person) for that loved one. But when a person insists that they are the right person for that someone (even if they know that that someone loves somebody else), I think that just goes to show that this person loves himself/herself more than the person they insist on loving. Whew! I wonder if I made any sense.

  5. Haha an obsessive ffwder too here, with such lame internet connection, I wonder why do I bother to download some dramas. It beats me.

    But AM1997 is a different story, it had me since the 1st episode when Siwon narrated “The age of 18, we fall in love easily and worry too much, adults say we laugh at the simplest things but at that time, we were serious. It was intense and harder than other adults”

    Those lines nailed it. Simple yet beautiful as you saw Siwon with her tantrum. It brought back all those feels for me. Those teenage angst, the confusion, the foolishness, your unrequited first crush, the heartbreak, those days when you wrote your heart out on your journal. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times 😉 Writer-nim, PD-nim Sarange!

    And thank you guys for blogging about this drama, I found your blog a little to late, but better late than never right? BTW my husband was also my BFF. Though there are days that I want to strangle him but he’s still my BFF until this day. Can’t wait to see Siwon and Yoonjae going home together from the reunion.

    • ohmygawsh, i totes say the same thing to myself after watching a 60-minute show in 5 mins — WHY did i download this again?! lolol
      and EEEEEEEK you are so blessed to be married to your bff!!!!! SO. CUTE. AAAAACKKK!!! ok, i need to stop. EEEEEE!!! 😀 😀 😀 spoilers have been floating around about the ending, but i totes think that seeing them go home together from the reunion would be the best ending eeeeveeerrrr!!
      thanks for spazzing with us here, tarianant!!! happy spazz-fest! 😀

  6. Yeah, 6 years is a really long time not to see each other. But then again, I’m sure those 6 years is significant time leap for the story line. We’re talking about a drama with the most solid writing I’ve seen so far in history, and with the least production mistakes. If you watch all of the episodes over and over again, you’ll notice each item correspond the year the scene was set in. The calendar, the popular comics at the time, the handphone used, movie posters, ads flyers, the popular actors and actresses, those tiny details are amazing!! And I really love how they literally translate that years flashes like numbers in front you. Brilliant idea to show a time jump.

    • Yes… the attention to detail is what makes this lovely world complete. This will resonate with everyone… Even though I try at my tender age of 31 attempt to remember 18 (lol) its a bit hazy but its the historical points, musical influences, weird hairstyles you or your friends had, the gossip at the time – that really complete the memory. =) I adore this drama and its for certain that it will have space in my harddrive and back up harddrive to boot. =)

  7. i agree with Pinkblossom about the last part where they chose not to see each other during that 6 years’ time. In a big city, it really takes effort and intention to actually meet someone. During this time, I believe too that Shi Won has grown more mature and time has probably helped her assure her own feelings. But this time round, she’s the one to ask first whether he still likes her and all of that. I, too, am never fond of girl-falling-head-over-heels-in-love-first and chasing the guy around until she gets heart broken (bla bla bla). But, as Pinkblossom said, she needs to step it up. This IS a mutual relationship. It doesn’t matter whether she’s the girl but she too has to show him the love and care he had showered her with during their time in senior year. They grew up together so it wasn’t easy for her to realise that he could be more than just her best friend. This brings me back to the moment when her mother says that it’s impossible for a guy and girl to be “just friends” and she points at Yoon Jae. At that point, he was clear that to him, she isn’t “just a best friend” but much more than that. As time approaches for her to move into college life, she realises that too.

    UGH~ I am obsessed!!! I should be studying but I’ll surely be back real soon for more!!! 🙂 thanks Whitecarrot and Pinkblossom for posting all these stuff~!!!

    • i’m always so divided about that belief that a guy and girl can’t be merely friends… yes they can! no they can’t! yes! no! aaahhh!!! ^^
      study hard, musewb, and come spazz with us during your study breaks! ^^ whitecarrot and i were just telling each other that we’d burn and die if this show was goin’ on during our schooldays~~ hahahahaa!

  8. Hi, do you happen to have the subtitles for E11-12 combined episode? I have been searching high and low and unable to find this last subtitles. If you have, could you send it to my email?

Share your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s