The Popular Korean Drama The Director And Cast Thought Would Fail
The throwback Korean drama Reply 1997 was released in 2012 to viewers who didn’t have high hopes for its success. Despite the odds, the show became a hit, broke records as the most-viewed K-Drama on cable, and sparked spinoffs Reply 1994 and Reply 1988.
Though fans still rank Reply 1997 as the best of the Reply series, the director and cast confessed why they initially thought it would fail.
To celebrate Reply 1997‘s tenth anniversary, most of the cast reunited to reminisce about its iconic scenes and share facts viewers hadn’t known. Because the drama’s success caught everyone by surprise, the cast confirmed that “no one knew” it would reach such heights.
The cast had such little faith in the show that Seo In Guk and Lee Si Eon cried after watching the first episode, replaying comedic scenes that were out of place for a standard K-Drama.
Lee Si Eon: I lived with Seo In Guk at that time, and we cried after watching episode one.
Hoya: Cause you thought it would fail?
Lee Si Eon: Yeah.
Seo In Guk: He always thought the drama would fail, and he said that to the director.
Lee Si Eon was worried long before the drama began filming. Because Seo In Guk was known as a singer from Superstar K and had little acting experience, Lee Si Eon didn’t think it would work in their favor. The director was also convinced the drama would fail—for other reasons.
Since director Shin Won Ho originally planned to be a movie director and only had experience in comedy, he didn’t have a clue how to film a drama. Even so, he accepted the chance, despite believing it would fail.
I didn’t know what to do because CJ was a cable channel, and it was a totally different world. I thought the first program I do would fail.
— Shin Won Ho
Shin Won Ho ended up creating one of the network’s best dramas, earning the chance to continue the Reply series and create the popular Hospital Playlist series. The cast of Reply 1997 also gained fame from the show and went on to have successful careers.
Fortunately, viewers resonated with the show’s plot and characters. Sometimes all it takes is a chance for something extraordinary to happen.