Replay (aka Replay: The Moment) is a 2021 love-triangle webdrama told in flashbacks – hence the name Replay. No twists, no turns, no surprise reveals – just a teenage love triangle, plain and simple. That’s all.
Gong Chan-Young and Lee Ji-Hoon both liked Yoo Ha-Young. However, when Ji-Hoon lied and told Chan-Young that he and Ha-Young were an item, Chan-Young not only backed off emotionally but also left school.
Two years down the road Chan-Young and Ha-Young happen to run into each other and because both Ji-Hoon and Chan-Young have never stopped loving Ha-Young, the triangle starts right back up again.
Gong Chan-Young was studying classical piano at Seong Hwa Art School when he realized that particular genre of music just didn’t suit him so he transferred to a regular public school. As soon as his new homeroom teacher discovered he was a talented pianist, she begged him to join the school band which was in desperate need of a keyboardist. Chan-Young was captivated with Yoo Ha-Young from the moment she fell into his arms so he decides to join the band when he finds out she is one of the members.
Yoo Ha-Young is the friendly vocalist in the school’s band. It doesn’t take long for her to realize she is enamored with the new student and although she doesn’t vigorously pursue him, she has decided being close friends would be a great place for a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship to start. She likes Lee Ji-Hoon but feels nothing more than friendship for him.
Lee Ji-Hoon and Ha-Young grew up together and, as a result, are very close. Ji-Hoon has grown to love Ha-Young and everyone in the group knows it but Ha-Young herself. Ji-Hoon is liked by the faculty and does well in school. His handsome looks and quiet personality makes him the number one heartthrob of a great many girls at school. Ji-Hoon plays the guitar in the band.
Im Seo-Eun is the band’s bass guitar player. She has a boisterous personality and is the more social one in the group. She is constantly sparing with Shim Tae-Young but that’s just her way of flirting.
Shim Tae-Young likes Seo-Eun but hasn’t said anything yet so she thinks her feelings for him are just one-sided. He is protective of Seo-Eun and will take her side no matter what. Tae-Young is the drummer in the band.
The guy who plays Gong Chan-Young is twenty-year-old Kim Min-Chul. His acting debut was in 2018 via the motion picture Brothers in Heaven. Melting Me Softly and Love Alarm are two of the four dramas he appeared in the following year. Then, last year, he was in two shows, Record of Youth being one of them.
Cho Mi-Yeon began her career in the entertainment industry as the lead vocalist in the girl group (G)I-dle and has recorded songs for the Kdramas Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol and Tale of the Nine-Tailed. Replay happens to be Mi-Yoon’s acting debut, starting out with the leading female part of Yoo Ha-Young. She is currently co-hosting M Countdown alongside Nam Yoon-Soo.
Kim Hwi-Young, the guy whose character is Lee Ji-Hoon, started his career off in 2016 by debuting as the lead rapper in the boy group SF9. He began acting that same year with a supporting role in the webdrama Click Your Heart. Since then, he has appeared in three webdramas and the Kdrama Was it Love? He also has a supporting role in the currently-airing drama Imitation. (It’s on my watch list so you can look forward to a review of Imitation within a month or two.)
The part of outgoing Im Seo-Eun is played by Choi Ji-Su who debuted in the leading role in the fantasy-comedy webdrama 300-Year-Old Class of 2020. The show deals with three students from the Joseon Dynasty who time travel to 2020. The time travel end of things made me interested in the show so the webdrama is now on my watch list. Even thugh Seo-Eun was only her second role, I think she did a wonderful job.
The part of Shim Tae-Young is played by Lee Hyung-Geum. In 2017 he debuted as a member of HBY, going by the name Marco. In 2018 Hyung-Geum participated in the survival audition show The Unit, finishing in fifth place and earning him a spot in the show’s project group UNB, which was only active for a year. Marco went back to HBY and stayed with it until it disbanded last year (2020). Like Cho Mi-Yeon, Replay just so happens to be Marco’s acting debut.
I’m guessing that, because it’s a webdrama, Replay’s writers didn’t want to add in a sub-plot and take time away from the romance because, after all, webdramas are given precious little time as it is. The show is fine the way it is but most people would rather watch a great drama than a fine one. Just sayin’.
I caught a few “oops” but nothing major. However, I think Replay just may have the first writing “oops” I’ve ever encountered. When Chan-Young is asked why he transferred from his old school he acts sort of uncomfortable and says he’ll explain it all another time, but he never does. It makes no sense for scriptwriter Kang Min-Chae to have that verbal exchange between the characters if nothing was going to come from it. So, was Chan-Young supposed to reveal something important and writer Kang just forgot to include it in the story (“oops”), or was the question and response written into the script intending for it to never be answered.
Airing in January of this year (2021), Replay was very well received by webdrama fans, garnering two million views in just ten days and six million by the end of February, joining the list of popular Korean YouTube videos and top webdramas on several different portal sites.
Although the show is promoted as a music webdrama, there is only one time during the entire thing that the little band, which they call Neon Paprika, actually performs. The team decides to enter a contest and we get to listen as they rehearse a song. That’s it. However, according to Replay’s production company, so the acting would be realistic, the actors/actress learned the instruments their character plays in the drama and actually played them while filming. As I was watching that one rehearsal, I did notice that their playing looked authentic, especially the keyboard and drums. Kudos to the production company for wanting things to look real, and more Kudos to actors and an actress who actually learned an instrument just to play a two-minute song.
A drama that claims to be about musicians should have a really good soundtrack but, in my opinion, Replay’s comes in at just a B-. One plus is that Cho Mi-Yeon (the gal who plays the female lead, Yoo Ha-Young) sings the ballad Dreaming About You. It’s definitely one of the better songs connected to the drama. Another good performance comes from Pentagon who sings the upbeat song Honey Drop, and two thumbs up go to Kihyun from Monsta X who croons the soft-rock song O.M.O.M.
The high school is the story’s main focus background but Neon Paprika’s band members go on a little retreat, staying at Seo-Eun’s uncle’s place. It provides a nice outdoors, nighttime setting for a budding romance to take place as a slightly awkward young man and woman sit side-by-side on a lawn swing. Very charming.
Although there’s nothing wrong with this webdrama, the problem is there’s nothing fantastic about it either so I just couldn’t bring myself to give it a high score. Even-keel, uneventful, placid… yeah, that about sums up Replay.
The actors really play their character’s instrument
No evil bad guys
Ten episodes, each about 15 minutes long
Nothing even close to wow
A couple “oops”