Oh, just how I have fallen in love with Fated to Love You cannot be sufficed with words. Prior to the airing of FTLY I was sure I was going to love it and that certainly came around but in ways that didn’t expect. It made my heart flutter in numerous ways and it made my heart ache in several ways. I went into this seeing it as a remake of its Taiwanese sister of the same name but eight eps in and it has showed itself to be so much more than that. It certainly holds the foundations of its sister but it stems in way whereby the originality from its sister is retained while its uniqueness is allowed to foster and override the “remake” connotation that it holds. This should be what all remakes are about – being able to hold similarities yet shine with differences.
Two hours per week of this goodie is not enough for me. I have been all over this and honestly, I can do with a lot more hours. FTLY is such a joy to watch each week. Its craftsmanship is something very beautiful. It’s simple but holds intricate details that one really comes to appreciate. I love its attention to detail and its effortlessly woven in flaws. No drama is without flaws, but it is the way that these flaws are worked with that really embraces the drama. I definitely see that here and this is partly why these eight eps have been such a breeze to watch! Having seen the original one, my fingers itch to make comparisons here and there but I don’t want to do that here because despite the similarities between the two versions, they stand on their own as dramas with their own flavour. I’ll probably do a comparison post later down the track but for now, this post will be about the K-version and K-version only. (:
FTLY is a story about bringing two unlikely people together and allowing their love to blossom. Never would Kim Mi Young (Jang Nara) and Lee Gun (Jang Hyuk) have crossed paths with one another should fate have not brought them together in Macau and in these six eps, we got to see their relationship grow more and more complex by the minute. Their relationship is not bounded by time but rather it is time that is bounded by their relationship. They are literally playing with time and the more that they do, the more difficulties that comes before them. Although they were forced into a relationship and despite their initial coldness towards one another, they very quickly warmed up to each other, assuming a position in each other’s heart that means so much more than what they think. The baby is just a catalyst to speeding up their romance towards one another and it is certainly doing that at a veryfast rate!
I adore Mi Young and Gun’s relationship so so so much! They have been through numerous extremes together despite having only spent a few weeks together and out of it, they come out stronger than how they went into it all the while having their hearts melt when with each other. They are both very similar people – they try to look strong on the outside when they are actually very fragile on the inside and because of this they slowly finding their way into each other’s heart. It’s not a matter about understanding each other because they aren’t quite into that stage of their relationship but it is more so a matter of seeing the world through each other’s eyes. Brought up as a chaebol with all that he could every ask for, it completely changes his world to see someone like Mi Young who lives in a world completely opposite to his. She is a girl who people can barely bat an eye to, living under the direction of others around her. But together, they have a balance and they get to see the world in a completely different light.
There is so much that I love about Mi Young and Gun’s relationship. FTLY is so rewarding to watch largely attributed to their endearing relationship (which is then attributed to the stellar chemistry that the Jangs have with each other). In order to be able to create such an endearing relationship, you need some actors who will be able to not only strike a chemistry when they are together but also be able to bring their characters. The Jangs have definitely done that. That’s why whenever I see Mi Young push herself backwards and Gun show concern for her to be more than just a post-it girl that I can really feel the connection between them. It’s these small but great underlying actions that really lifts up their romance. I love seeing this because it really puts on an impact to the story.
Mi Young and Gun’s relationship is not bounded by time and neither it is tied down because of the baby. Instead, their relationship is being brought together but fate. It’s been on a mere few weeks but the warmth that radiates from them is comparable to relationships that may take years to build up. Despite their backwards start to their relationship, this has not hindered them to learn to understand each other. In fact, it is because of this reversal of their relationship start that allows them to bond closer with each other. It’s crazy how endearing their relationship has become and how thoughtful that have become of each other. Mi Young was essentially just the surrogate mother to his child but she very quickly became something more than that. She because his wife, the granddaughter-in-law to the Lee household and the mother of his child. The more that he finds himself caring for her, the more that he feels that he has wronged her. Their relationship has become more than just a contract because it is their hearts that are on the line.
FTLY is doing a really good job at enrapturing my heart through creating meaningful and heartfelt relationships. It is no question that I absolutely adore Mi Young’s friendship with her neighbourhood oppa Daniel Pitt (Choi Jin Hyuk). Just how cute are they!? Cute, that’s what! I need a neighbourhood oppa in my life too! I just love how easily they fell into their relationship. Right from the start, Mi Young saw Daniel as someone who she can trust and lean back towards and even after he revealed his true identity, she still sought to him for advice and comfort. She found a sense of security with him and she knows that he will welcome her with open arms regardless of how late or how early in the day it is. She has become someone worth his time and worth his effort. He sees her younger sister, and he wants to be that elder brother that he never was. He wants to protect her from the vulnerable world and he wants to see her happy. I guess one of the best thing that I like about their relationship is that he doesn’t seem to overstep any lines. In dramas like this his treatment towards Mi Young would make me want to ship them together any day but because he is merely just playing the elder bro role, I don’t feel the urge to ship them together. I dunno, this is hard to get down in words. You really just have to see this for yourself to understand my waffling. Hehe.
I am really enjoying the exploration of character relationships here. Character development and character relationships probably plays the most fundamental role to FTLY. This is what makes the drama what it is but more than that, it is this distinction in personalities that differentiates Chen Xi Yi from Kim Mi Young, Ji Cun Xi from Lee Gun, Dylan Dai from Daniel Pitt and Anna Shi from Kang Se Ra. FTLY (K) is a remake but the characters are definitely their own unique person with their own unique approaches to life. I love that we get to see four very individual characters. They have traits from their counterparts but they all possess their own distinct traits that allows the drama to be more than just a remake which I think is a very important factor because really, about all else FTLY is a drama with its own distinct personality.
I haven’t quite warmed up to Kang Se Ra (Wang Ji Won) all that much yet but I don’t dislike her (yet). In fact, I actually really appreciate her character. I really enjoy how she is being played out. I like the way her personality is being shown despite her limited screentime. I love that she is a strong woman and unafraid to chase after her dreams. I don’t necessarily see her as the “bad” person here. Her actions might not be as selfless as Mi Young’s but that doesn’t mean that she is “bad”. She was wrong for having left without informing Gun but she did nothing wrong with her decision to advance her career. She just wants to pursue her dream and she did just that. Though that does not mean that she does not love Gun. She does, it’s just that she isn’t willing to invest in the amount of love that Gun puts into their relationship and neither is she ready to give up her career just yet, not when she is so close to achieving her lifelong dream. So when the choice of furthering her career or remaining but Gun’s side, she made the decision to chase after her career and leaving Gun alone to brood over his misery. If anything, the reason for their relationship downfall is not because they don’t love each other enough but because they aren’t following the right path. It’s fate and fate is telling them that they aren’t meant for each other.
We’re almost halfway through the drama and there will definitely be some big stirring soon! I’m excited to see how this will play out but more than that, I am especially excited to see how the different relationships will turn out. It’s fate and nothing can be done to alter the pre-determined events. We can only sit and watch as it all unfolds right before our eyes.
Click here to watch Fated to Love You.
[Credits: Photos from https://www.facebook.com/FatedtoLoveYouDrama/]