Thoughts before the penultimate episode of Answer Me 1988


Statement: I am actually #TeamTaek , but, from the beginning of the series, I thought that Jung Hwan was probably the end game. As we get to the end, I’m getting more convinced that maybe Taek is the end game after all. (Really, truly, I held out that it could probably still be Jung Hwan, but I don’t know anymore…….)

A note to begin with: I don’t like the term “Chilbonged”, especially as used by viewers of Answer Me 1988. Look. The thing about Answer Me 1994 was that Na Jung had liked Garbage from the very beginning, and never really paid attention to Chilbong’s bleeding heart. Chilbong was the underdog. At the beginning of the 1988 series, the assumption was that Taek would be the Chilbong… being the quiet one, who looked like he had less of a chance and may actually do things from the background a lot more. Somehow, part way through, when Taek quietly announced to the other guys that he liked Deok Sun, fans roared that Jung Hwan was going to get Chilbonged. I contend that both Jung Hwan and Taek had equal chances, so I don’t think that either of them can be tagged as Chilbonged. Actually… maybe Jung Hwan had better chances because he’s around more often, took bigger actions first, and she was tipped off by her girl friends about Jung Hwan.

In any case…

To reiterate, I was ready to have my ship sink, but without any big bad feelings just because of how much I love this show and this group of friends. I thought that Jung Hwan had the upper hand, until he kept taking a step back. I did find it a little odd, though, that, if the end game were to have Jung Hwan being so in love with Deok Sun, why would he not have volunteered to stay with her by the beach when they were bringing Dong Ryong home? They just went ahead and volunteered Deok Sun and Taek for staying behind. This was just before Taek’s declaration that he liked her.

Jung Hwan
At first, the contender was Jung Hwan.. and, yes, I am willfully disregarding Sun Woo, because he’s going to Bora.

  • Jung Hwan used to sneak peeks at Deok Sun, even if he says somewhat mean things to her.
  • He and Deok Sun were up against each other in that alleyway. (Ep3) (He also later freaked out when she grabbed him from behind, but he was just a friend to her then.)
  • Deok Sun practically strips him on the bus… and later in the episode he puts his arms around her to protect her… probably his first active move from the viewers’ perspective. (Ep4) (I thought that in typical kdrama fashion she would get that dogeun dogeun awareness, but that didn’t seem to happen.)
  • He waits for Deok Sun to get home from the library every night… and even brought her an umbrella (Ep5)
  • Jung Hwan pretending not to wait for her in the mornings.
  • He goes to find her at McDonald’s when she calls for him (Ep7)
  • He goes with her to the Starry Night Concert and has that photo
  • (Ep9) (People noted that she wasn’t smiling. She didn’t like Jung Hwan yet, particularly as she didn’t yet know that he really liked her.)
  • He tells her not to go on a blind date (Ep10)

Deok Sun’s friends mention that Jung Hwan must like her, as of Ep7. They had to reiterate with proof in Ep10 before she believed it… then she tried her damnedest to try to reciprocate.. but he frustratingly did nothing with that. He even tried to avoid her (Ep12) 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦

I may be Team Taek, but, hey, the girl you like is showing interest in you. What the hell, Jung Pal? If he’s going to be the husband, this is just weird… and he should try to show her that he was interested in her, too. But we’re down to the penultimate episode in a few hours, so… Actually, let me point out that this trait is more Garbage-oppa than Chilbong. Na Jung liked Garbage and he liked her back but kept her at a distance for virtually no reason. Ugh.

Taek was quiet, but he was truer in his actions. This kid is away a lot, but he purposefully and obviously pays her special attention.

  • He asks Deok Sun to the movies (Ep6)
  • He calls Deok Sun for gift-giving advice for his dad; he could have called the other guys, too. (Ep7)
  • He runs out to apologize to Deok Sun right away, even after taking his sleeping pills already. (This might not really mean anything at all actually. Ep7)
  • He lets himself be roped in to Deok Sun’s dance and pays particular attention to her at the baduk center (Ep8)
  • They actually spend a lot of time together without the others when they go to China in Ep9. Her view of him changes somewhat during the trip, and she sees just how different his world is… and perhaps how little she actually knows of him. I do love that this allowed the show to give us a different side of Deok Sun… being unexpectedly extra-attentive, when the show had mostly given us “immature”.
  • Taek and Deok Sun left alone at the beach. She’s startled when he covers her from being hit by a volleyball, and he declares that, of course, he’s a man. I think this may have also jarred her a bit to seeing him as a man. (Ep10)
  • He gives Deok Sun his family’s “I like you” treatment _-_;; (Ep11)
  • He tries to have Deok Sun’s back while she’s scared of the flasher (Ep12)
  • He tries to listen to and follow what she tells him.

I like that the caring seems to be reciprocated between Taek and Deok Sun. I like that Deok Sun randomly sees a different side of Taek and is reminded that he is a man (the phrase meaning that he has the potential to be something other than just a friend)… and that she seems to develop feelings for him on her own… without anybody ever telling her that Taek liked her. With Sun Woo and Jung Hwan, her interest seemed to be triggered by the fact that she was told the boys were interested in her… culminating to an end where she cries to Dong Ryong: “Why doesn’t anybody like me?” Girl, I’m glad Dong Ryong said what I was thinking. 😡

The beach and the China match make me think that they’ve had a lot more alone time together. Hm…

Little things that probably mean nothing, but are interesting to note:

  • Ep2 Deok Sun pats Taek on the butt and tells him to drink his milk so he can grow up and marry her.
  • Ep8 Deok Sun chose the pink mittens from Taek instead of the pink gloves from Jung Hwan.
  • Ep10 The guys tease Deok Sun, telling her she needs to take responsibility for Taek all her life; she agrees, laughing.
  • Her parents wanting Taek as their son-in-law… maybe this is the one Answer Me series where that could come true. LOL. JK.

As for the future husband…

  • His way of talking made me think it was going to be Jung Hwan. Taek didn’t seem to talk that much, and he wasn’t that sarcastic. That seemed more Jung Hwan’s alley. As the episodes progressed, however, I feel like we hear Taek talk more often.. and he is a little dry when talking.
  • People noted that she worried about her husband not dressing warmly enough, just like she did with Taek in the past.
  • The whole thing about hating interviews? Yeah, I’d think that was Taek… but I wouldn’t rule out Jung Hwan. Based on personalities, Dong Ryong would have loved it and Sun Woo would have been fine in front of a camera… but I would imagine that Jung Hwan wouldn’t have much to say to an interviewer… and this clue may be a toss-up between the two.
  • Is it OK to assume that Bora feels alright smoking in Deok Sun’s place because Taek smokes? Then again, who knows if Jung Hwan picked up smoking in the last 30-some years… or is just tolerant about it?
  • The comment about the husband’s numerous girlfriends…. Jung Hwan barely tried, but Taek had a bunch of blind dates. I wouldn’t call any of those girlfriends, though. _-_;;

A couple of thoughts leading up to the penultimate episode in the final hour…

  • I think I’m with other people in assuming that Deok Sun kept looking at the door because she was waiting for Taek. I was starting to wonder if maybe interest sparked again. Or maybe they started dating as of the concert… and she could be waiting for him to arrive to announce it to the others? Oh, the stuff of imagination and fanfiction. It could be for some other reason.
  • What was up with leaving the ring on the table? Maybe after the shoot finished, somebody went back to get it?
  • I really do think that Deok Sun didn’t discount the confession. It’s a little frustrating that it was just… like that. He put it out there and walked away from it without letting her react. Goodbye, First Love… without even seeing if maybe she’ll accept? It’s frustrating that he ended it as a joke, even though it wasn’t.
  • I don’t think the kiss was a dream… but it could still be. _-_

There’s probably a lot more that I want to add in about the interactions between Deok Sun – Jung Hwan and Deok Sun – Taek.. but I’ll let it lie. I need some sleep… and the penultimate episode starts in just a few short hours. 😮 I’m so excited!

P.S. I haven’t seen any previews for 19-20

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