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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Answer Me 1994" Episode 13

2013/11/30 | 980 views | Permalink

The despair that accompanied the end of the last episode is pretty much over and done with as the drama returns back into more traditional territory. This time around the narrative structure is unusually cohesive, as a mystery is prompted at the beginning of the episode concerning Na-jeong's wedding, and a somewhat unusual event that took place there which seems inexplicable to a random outside observer. Music is involved.

And so it is with the first setpiece, a trip to the music room. It's as dumb and cheesy as possible- all the normal tropes that go into a scene where characters are messing around in a karaoke room? It turns out they're amplified when the music is twenty years old. There's just something endearingly silly about that sound now that it's no longer current and popular. Arguments and poutiness ensue as characaters disagree over what to play next.

Beyond that the humor is mainly focused on relatively mundane events that take on greater meaning largely because of the people involved. I really have to give Go Ara credit here for selling her punchline this episode. Unless they specifically cast her for this rather bizarre skill, it's hard to imagine how someone could be so good at doing something so badly, in terms of general acting terms. There's a fair amount of decent humor all around here, though I'm still holding out for a joke about how the baby never cries.

The romantic storyline this time is all focused on Na-jeong and Rubbish. So, the same old stuff Na-jeong seems to be doing most of the time even though there are supposedly four candidates- but credit is to be given when something actually happens. I don't mean those things that seem important at the time yet are really easy to dismiss as irrelevant in the reaches of memory. Something actually so completely impossible to misinterpret that we're looking at clear progress next episode! Yes, storytelling!

Well, the promise of storytelling eventually anyway. The preview looks to be sending us into stronger territory, with more definitive plot events to follow up on the set-ups this episode. I'm actually fairly intrigued because I genuinely can't think of any way for "Answer Me 1994" to wriggle out of the dramatics this time. This episode has lots of small events that work on their own merits. But personally, I just want something with bigger stakes than argument breaking out in the karaoke room.

Review by William Schwartz

"Answer Me 1994" is directed by Sin Won-ho and written by Lee Woo-jeong-I and features Go Ara, Sung Dong-il, Lee Il-hwa and Jung Woo.

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