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6 Must-Watch K-Dramas By 'Reply 1988' Director Shin Won Ho

Are you done binging the 'Reply' series?

South Korean director Shin Won Ho is known for producing heartwarming and tear-jerking dramas about groups of friends, featuring crossovers and cameos for his projects (like when Sun Woo's mom and Taek's dad from Reply 1988 made a special appearance in Hospital Playlist), and helping rookie actors rise to fame (e.g. our fave Park Bo Gum). 

And because we know you love him, here's a roundup of shows directedand co-directedby Shin Won Ho! Most of them are also written by his longtime collaborator, Lee Woo Jeong.

1. Old Miss Diary (2004 to 2005) 

The cast: Ye Ji Won, Kim Ji Young, and Oh Yoon Ah

What it's about: The drama, which had several directors, centers on three single women in their thirties and their struggles and joys while living in the city and looking for love. Old Miss Diary had more than 200 episodes and ran for almost a full year. It also had a spinoff movie in 2006.


Where you can watch it: There are clips of the show on the KBS Drama YouTube channel! 

2. Reply 1997 (2012) 

The cast: Jung Eun JiSeo In Guk, Eun Ji Won, Shin So Yul, Hoya, and Lee Si Eon

What it's about: Six people in their 30s meet for their high school reunion. Of course, as the title suggests, this drama will bring you back to the '90s where, according to Viu: "bellbottom pants were replaced by hip-hop pants, and newly introduced cultural icons were idolized." Here's a fun fact: Sung Dong Il and Lee Il Hwa played the main character's parents in Reply 1997, Reply 1994, and Reply 1988.

Where you can watch it: Netflix, Viu

3. Reply 1994 (2013) 

The cast: Go Ara, Jung Woo, Yoo Yeon Seok, Kim Sung Kyun, Son Ho Jun, Baro, and Min Do Hee

What it's about: Viu writes that in a boarding house run by Na Jung's (Go Ara) parents in Sinchon, Seoul, student boarders who attend Yonsei University come from several different regions. "The show switches back and forth from the '90s when they are students, to the 2000s when they are adults." 

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Where you can watch it: Netflix, Viu

4. Reply 1988 (2015 to 2016) 

The cast: Park Bo Gum, Lee HyeriRyu Jun YeolGo Kyung Pyo, and Lee Dong Hwi

What it's about: The third installment in the Reply series brings us to the '80s in Ssangmundong, Dobong District, Seoul. The story follows five teenagers who grew up in the same neighborhood and feature stories about family, siblings, and most of all, friendship! Our *main* character is Deok Sun, the sometimes loud and overlooked middle child of the Sung family. 

Where you can watch it: Netflix, Viu

5. Prison Playbook/Wise Prison Life (2017) 

The cast: Park Hae Soo and Jung Kyung Ho

What it's about: According to Soompi, this series tells the story of "a famous baseball player who beats up a man who was abusing his little sister. He gets sentenced to prison despite what the other man did, and the series involves his prison life and the people he meets." 


Where you can watch it: Netflix 

6. Hospital Playlist/Wise Doctor Life (2020) 

The cast: Jo Jung Suk, Yoo Yeon Seok, Jung Kyung Ho, Kim Dae Myung and Jeon Mi Do

What it's about: Five friends with different personalities have stayed close to each other ever since they attended medical school together 20 years ago. They're even part of a band! The show lets us see what medical professionals' lives are like "behind the hospital curtain." Hospital Playlist, even though it hasn't finished airing yet, will reportedly have a second season in 2021. 

Where you can watch it: Netflix

Upcoming Projects 

In 2016, when asked about another Reply installment, Shin Won Ho said that it's not very likely to happen soon: "I'm worried that I might upset the viewers if I start on another installment already, since Reply 1988 received a lot of love. I'm going to start filming the sequel once people have almost forgotten Reply 1988." In 2019, he was also rumored to be working on a series about badminton, and that it's "one of many ideas being discussed and considered for his upcoming projects." 



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