Fated To Love You (MBC) – First Impressions Review

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I have to admit, it’s a really strange feeling watching a drama where I know the story already and how it’ll go. This is my first time ever watching a drama where I’ve seen the original and am watching the remake. (Suspicious Housekeeper was a remake, but I had never seen the original Japanese drama so everything was kind of new for me.) It lends a certain level of both boredom and surprise because I know what will happen, and yet I’m watching to see how it will happen.

In an earlier post I had expressed a lot of apprehension towards this remake. I wasn’t sure if Jang Hyuk could do comedy (never seen him do it), nor had I seen Jang Na Ra in any drama. Basically this would be new territory for me with these actors. I’m pleasantly surprised by how they are together, but I’m a little disappointed that the direction Jang Hyuk was given was to be a little over-the-top ridiculous. That’s not really an actor’s fault, but more the director’s choice that was a bit off-putting. And OMG THE HAIR. Can we just point out that that flair is just so… BLEGH. When he cleaned up during the gambling scene I could not help but cheer because FINALLY I got a nice looking male lead to look at! (Abs aside, of course.)

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Even despite all this, as I had initially felt, I really ended up liking Choi Jin Hyuk and Wang Ji Won a little more. Call me biased, but everyone’s got a bit of a bias, no? 🙂 Why do I like Choi and Wang a little more? Because the way they acted (in the brief scenes they appeared in) felt like they knew the show wasn’t resting on their shoulders. There’s something more relaxed about the way they played their characters. Or maybe again it’s just a direction thing where the director wants Jang Hyuk to be crazy enough for everyone, in which case it made me like these two second leads more. In addition, their first meeting on the plane was just plain awesome. There was a bit of a flirtatious vibe, but at the same time I can see them becoming bickering siblings. If that’s where the drama decides to go…

Story wise, things happen quite quickly and not too different from the Taiwanese drama. We learn that Kim Mi Young (Jang Na Ra) is a “post-it girl” who’s as necessary and dispensable as a post-it. Lee Gun (Jang Hyuk) is the heir of a soap company where all the first born males have died in their thirties, and it is the mission of his grandmother to make sure he produces an heir. She’s hilarious and I love the grandmother as much as I loved the Taiwanese one.

Lee Gun is very aware of his family’s curse so he finds the whole marriage deal more of a necessity than a burden or annoyance. Not to mention, he’s already got the woman he’s been wanting to marry for forever: Kang Se Ra (Wang Ji Won), a ballerina with a shining career in front of her in New York City. The one person whose story hasn’t been tied in with the whole arc yet is Daniel (Choi Jin Hyuk); We know he’s looking for his sister but he hasn’t really interacted with our leads yet in a meaningful way.

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A failed trip with a potential boyfriend (for Mi Young) and a failed proposal (for Lee Gun) brings these two leads closer together. Actually, it’s more of a laced drink with sexual enhancements and a drowsy mix-up of hotel rooms, plus an amazing one night stand, that really brings them together. (Seriously, who grabs a freaking bottle of Perrier from a public hotel fountain to drink water from? Writer, that was when I was most disappointed in you.)

Lee Gun helps Mi Young get revenge on her potential boyfriend by giving her the makeover of her life and then winning millions in Texas Hold’em from that jerk. The two commiserate over broken hearts, but Lee Gun kindly tells her to get her confidence back up. “Mi Young” is a common name only because a lot of people like that name. Instead of feeling like a nobody she should feel loved. It’s during this moment that I really enjoyed the drama a bit more because Jang Hyuk wasn’t shouting or drawling in such an exaggerated way. He was just, normal. And it was sweet.

I liked the first two episodes, but I don’t know if I’ll end up watching beyond episode 2. Again, it definitely feels repetitive for me. While I know that the drama will be more “Korean” and could even be, dare I say, better than the Taiwanese one, the only reason for me to continue watching is because of the actors. It’s really what would make the difference because otherwise I’ll have no attachment to the drama and would keep comparing it to the original (which would be unfair to this drama). And I have to admit that I don’t love the actors that much. Jang Hyuk is great, but he’s not someone I will watch every drama for. Jang Na Ra is sweet, but she’s not an actress I really care for. This could be the drama where I fall in love with them, but then I would rather have watched them with a different story. (Aaand cue suggestions to watch Bright Girl’s Success…) I might come back if say, It’s Okay That’s Love doesn’t pan out for me. I just started that drama and kinda enjoying it.

Fated to Love You is cute, enjoyable, crazy, and comedic, and had the most unbelievable first week ever.

Aaand, that’s all I’ll say for now.

 

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