Popular Taiwanese drama Fated to Love You‘s Korean sister which also goes by the name of FTLY is having a hilarious but banger of a start. It is definitely living up to being a remake but it stands out as being more than just a remake. For me, to differentiate yourself from being a remake is one of the biggest factors to a good remake and even despite the fact that it is a remake, I like to take every drama as its own standalone representative because there are no two dramas which are the same; they might be similar but they are not the same. People who have already seen the original do not need to see another carbon copy just with a different cast. A remake is, on top of everything else, about differentiating yourself and adding your own sparkles to the original to really make it scream out uniqueness. It’s early days but FTLY seems to be doing this, maybe except for the carbon-copy of the title. I like what FTLY seems to be doing; it’s pulling bits and pieces from the original while adding in its own elements which all seem to be working for this remake.
FTLY is a good break from all of the melodramas, saegueks and revenge dramas that I have been hearing non-stop about for the past few months. In fact, I think FTLY may be my first genuine full of non-stop hilarity Korean rom-com drama ever! FTLY is really playing up the comedic factor compared to its TW sister, especially with Jang Hyuk‘s ridiculous laugh, bouncy-flippin’ hair and off-tone Cantonese. It’s all very lighthearted and full warm, something that I enjoy very much. The drama really knows how to make us laugh! I seriously do not remember myself laughing so hard at a drama since forever!
The humour here is just that: humour at its core roots whether that be with the characters themselves or the overall setting. While I love it heaps, there are times when the comedy feels a bit forced at times, especially if you have seen the TW-version. In the TW version, the humour comes about really naturally through organic decisions and interactions between the characters. This is not to say that it’s not organic here but it definitely is but there are just moments which I find feels a bit rough. I don’t know, maybe it is because I have seen the original that I feel this way about the K-version but nonetheless, I do love love love the humour that plays an integral role to the basis of the drama. It really lightens up the atmosphere and I can’t even begin to think how this would have been had it been a melo or revenge drama instead.
Jang Nara is doing an amazing job channelling Chen Qiao En‘s Chen Xin Yi with her role as Kim Mi Young. Mi Young is naive and innocent and doesn’t really have any goals set in mind except running around doing errands for people. She can’t say no to anyone because she can’t stand seeing their pitiful faces so people take her presence for granted making her do things that they cannot be bothered to themselves. She might appear weak on the surface but when she persisted and demanded for Miss Kim to return her the earrings, that was the moment when we really got to see that she is growing to go into a heroine that we will all whole-heartedly support. She is much stronger than she looks despite people handing papers of sticky notes. She is a girl with determination and she will only continue to grow strong with a little marshmallow that is growing inside her!
I love our hero, Lee Gun (Hyuk)! I certainly for one did not expect such a hilarious, exaggerative character since Ethan Ruan‘s Ji Cun Xi was, well, hmmmm, how would I describe this? Cun Xi is definitely much more “toned down” than our Gun here. But I love this different take and JH is doing a great job in bringing across personality and character for Gun. I am just loving the character of Gun! I love how at time he is a bit exaggerative and he really gets me laughing with his hysterical laugh and when he raises his voice. That’s more of his exterior personality but deep down he is actually quite a soft guy. He loves his ballerina girlfriend Kang Se Ra, played by Wang Ji Hon, dearly and his earnest abilities to keep the family line running. He is a granny’s boy with great appreciation and respect towards his granny. He is one of those guys who will go above and beyond to make sure the ones he loves are happy. So even though Se Ra chose to pursue her career, he will support her to the fullest because he knows that she won’t be content to be with him if her mind has other thoughts.
When Gun realised that he had wrongly accused Mi Young, his interior personality really showed through. Seeing her being poked fun at by Lawyer Min and his new lady Miss Kim, he was quick to help her back up, seeing though what a honest person that she is. He sees that she deserves to treated equally and went out of his way to help her see really how great she is. It was a decision that he made because he wanted to help her and that really showcases who he is as a person. It’s moments like this that shines beyond the comedic factor of the drama. Already, despite being only two eps in, the drama is really working it well to present us the different layers to the characters, and especially the leads. FTLY is really building on the fact of the different strengths that the characters behold which are overshadowed by their exterior personality. I can’t wait to see more of this show through not only for Gun and Mi Young but also for Se Ra and multi-talented man Daniel, played by Choi Jin Hyuk, who I know I will be having major SLS for!
For those who have seen the original, the bed scene here is definitely not as steamy as its sister’s. It’s much more conservative here with a hilarious cartoon to tell of the couple’s intimate night of doing some pounding to make some rice cakes which was all too obvious for signs of the product (ehehe) followed by a quick morning after gloss over. They might have been drugged but they definitely made it a night to remember especially with their intensity. It’s hilarious and I admit having went back and watched that cartoon montage more than just a few times. FTLY here did try to bring in as much steam as possible but it is a drama airing on primetime on a major networks so it does have to be a bit more conservative in order to satisfy the Korean consensus regarding scenes like this. I really like this take as it really plays up on the overall mood and atmosphere that it is trying to create while holding a nice resemblance with its sister but yet creating an identity for itself.
Ep one was off to a great start but then it started to fall in ep two. Well, not fall but just not like up to the glimmer that shaped its sister. Ep two just lacked the bang that I had expected and hoped for. There were quite a number of moments which were supposed to really wow you that just left me asking is that all? In comparison to the TW-version, the way the events played out on the K-version was really missing that wow factor, and it’s not because I have seen the original that I am making this judgement. I was quite disappointed with how the casino drama escalated. I wanted to see Mi Young flip the card or something instead of just sitting there doing nothing! I also found that Mi Young gave into to Lawyer Min too easily! I would have liked to see her be more stern in her position and really stand strong before giving in to him. Aside from that, the events played out quite nicely and covered the grounds of the original.
One thing that I was quite disappointed to see was that the drama left out the Cinderella and daddy part in Mi Young’s life! That played quite a significant role in the original to showcase that although Xin Yi might be a nobody to the people around her, but she is her daddy’s little princess. I hope that the drama will introduce it!
FTLY is shorter in duration than its sister so hopefully things won’t get draggy like it did (only a little bit though) near the end of the original. Two eps were spent on the romantic night so with that two eps gone, hopefully this means thinks are going to really start kicking in! I am loving this show for every cent that it is worth and there’s not really much that can go wrong with the writing since the script is basically already in place. I am ready for eps 3-4 to come right now! (I’m really excited too what dog that Gun will be getting! He will get a dog, right?) The wait between eps is killing me! But when it comes, it is full of goodies!
[Credits: Pictures from https://www.facebook.com/FatedtoLoveYouDrama/]