K-Drama Reaction: Girls’ Generation 1979 | Series Review

Ooops, this drama only shares the same name with SNSD but definitely has nothing to do with them. This is actually an eight-episode drama based on the novel Lingerie Girls’ Generation by Kim Yong-hee. Set in the late 1970s, this drama follows the story of love and friendship of teenage girls studying at an all-girl high school in Daegu. I had high expectations for this drama as the press releases about it gave me Sunny x Reply-ish feels (I could already imagine the throwback music and outfits it would showcase), and gladly, it didn’t disappoint! I also find the characters’ strong Daegu accent very cute and charming, and can’t help but compare it with Save Me, which is a drama that also uses a strong suburban accent. So, before I give you my quickie series review of Girls’ Generation 1979, let me first introduce to you the characters that left an impact on me.

  • Lee Jung-hee (Bona): One-half of the Lee fraternal twins who knows how to fight for what she believes in. She’s not-so-good at studying, and gives much importance to her friends. She falls in love at first sight with the most popular high school boy in town. She hates her dad the most because she feels that he’s not treating her the same way he treats her twin brother.

  • Park Hye-joo (Chae Seo-jin): A.K.A. the Seoul chick. She transfers to Lee Jung-hee’s school and quickly gains popularity as she’s smart, kind, and pretty. This causes Lee Jung-hee to feel jealous towards her, but they become close friends later on. Though a lot of boys admire her, she only has her eyes for the town’s thug.

  • Bae Dong-moon (Seo Young-joo): A dorky-looking high school boy who falls in love with Lee Jung-hee. He’s willing to do everything just to make her notice him.

  • Joo Young-choon (Lee Jong-hyun): He’s a very hardworking young man, but that’s often overlooked because he’s a thug. He’s also a kind and responsible brother to his little sister. He falls in love with the Seoul chick, but tries his best to shun his feelings because he knows he’s no good for her.

  • Sohn Jin (Yeo Hoe-hyun): Son of the town’s chief of police, he’s popular among high school girls for his jaw-dropping visuals. He also falls for the Seoul chick, but the latter’s connection with the communists hinders him from going all-out with his feelings.

  • Shim Ae-sook (Dohee): The No. 1 school bully who often gets into physical fights with Lee Jung-hee. She’s a troubled teenage girl who has a one-sided love for Joo Young-choon.

  • Lee Jung-hee’s father (Kwon Hae-hyo): The head of the Lee household who often berates his wife and daughter. He engages in a forbidden relationship with their young and pretty house helper.

  • Lee Jung-hee’s mother (Kim Sun-young): Though she’s seen as naggy and bossy, she’s actually a loving and considerate mom to her twins especially to Lee Jung-hee. She can also be considered a martyr wife because despite the harsh words her husband often throws at her, and his infidelity, she opts to stay. And yes, she’s the same ahjumma from Reply 1988!

  • Hong Dong-hwa (Park Han-na): The Lee family’s young and pretty house helper. She’s kind and sweet especially to Lee Jung-hee, but her forbidden relationship with the latter’s father puts their closeness in peril.

  • Lee Bong-soo (Jo Byung-gyu): Lee Jung-hee’s older twin brother who is often favored by their father. He’s childish and also bad at studying. Though he often teases his twin sister, his love for her shows whenever he protects her from their parents’ beating.

  • Oh Man-sang (In Gyo-jin): Lee Jung-hee’s Math teacher who often resorts to corporal punishment to discipline his pupils.

  • Drill instructor (Kim Jae-hwa): Lee Jung-hee’s poker-faced drill instructor who has a crush on Joo Young-choon.

  • Joo Aeng-choo (Joo Ah-in): Joo Young-choon’s cute little sister who is rumored to be actually his daughter.

  • Unnie #3 (Han Geu-rim): Worker at the Lee family’s factory who has secret feelings for Lee Bong-soo.

I know, I know. This is quite a list of characters, and I could’ve just highlighted the major ones, but I cannot! Simply because I love them all. This is the beauty of Girls’ Generation 1979. Even though it only has eight episodes, it still managed to give each of its characters their own moments to shine. I’d also like to credit the actors’ superb acting skills that enabled them to bring memorable characters to life.

Lee Jong-hyun, Yeo Hoe-hyun, and Seo Young-joo

Of course, I have to mention that my fangirl heart and ovaries (Ooops!) are happy because I have many oppa discoveries! Who wouldn’t swoon over Lee Jong-hyun, Yeo Hoe-hyun, and Seo Young-joo? They’re sure a pleasure to watch!

Girls’ Generation 1979 might only be a short drama, but this didn’t hinder it to give the viewers a juicy plot especially in the love department. The heroine falls for the town’s heartthrob, who develops feelings for the new girl in town, who loves the town’s thug, who actually also loves her but avoids her because he feels he’s not enough for her. Complicated, right? But the amazing thing is that the drama was able to give each of them a satisfying ending.

Another admirable thing about Girls’ Generation 1979 is that it didn’t only focus on love and friendships but also touched on other significant issues like communism, the role of women in the society, infidelity, school bullying, and giving out corporal punishment at school. Though I have to admit that the last episodes felt a bit rushed. I would appreciate it better if Lee Jung-hee’s father didn’t only apologize to his wife but also to his children for committing infidelity. Joo Young-choon’s revelation that Aeng-choo isn’t really his sister is like a bomb dropped out of nowhere. I’m also wondering where is the mystery element in this drama as it was clearly stated in its press releases that it would involve multiple disappearances in its story, but that didn’t happen. And whatever happened to Park Hye-joo’s father? Nevertheless, Girls’ Generation 1979 is a nice throwback drama perfect for your weekend K-Drama marathon so, go ahead and binge watch!

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