This post is two weeks overdue! A new kind of post that I’m experimenting with by inviting different bloggers to do a round table of a drama they are all familiar with/watching, and The Time I’ve Loved You, remake of Taiwanese hit drama In Time With You, seems like the best choice. For the first round table we have Keane and Hess from our own blog, Kat from Dramapot and misscupcakees from A Fairytale World. Join in the fun and let us know what you think. The plan is to have a round table at the mid-point of the drama and one for the finale.
FORMAT: The person asking the question has her name attached at the end of the sentence.
PRE-SHOW VIEWING QUESTIONS:
1) How are you expecting the Korean adaptation to turn out in comparison to the TW version?
misscupcakees – Pre: Going into remakes, I never expect it to be a carbon copy of the original, just as I did for TTWWNIL but I do expect it to be similar to the original, especially if they take it to call themselves a remake. For certain there will be tweaks here that will take TTWWNIL away from ITWY but I really really hope that the drama does ITWY justice.
Post: To be honest, I am a little let down by TTWWNIL. It’s a nice remake but I feel like it has lost the heart that was ITWY. It doesn’t quite have the fluffy, heart-tugging essence that ITWY was chock full and I feel like a lot of this has to do with TTWWNIL trying to change too much of the drama that was ITWY. If I were to look at this as a standalone drama, I would be really satisfied with it but it billed itself as a remake and with that, it set itself a benchmark to meet but it didn’t quite meet that benchmark. Of course, we’re only one week in so anything can happen with the subsequent weeks.
Hess: I’m expecting the Korean version to dramatize the series, ditching the slice of life tone of the original. Slice of life means more realistic but also less captivating. I think it’ll be switched up to appeal to Korean audiences. And from the first 2 episodes, I can already see a lot of little things injected in for dramatic effect. Plus a lot of Ha Na’s actions and expressions are over exaggerated for effect as well. In addition, so far TTILY doesn’t have the depth that ITWY had. Things are lighter and fluffier in the Korean version. However, I think the K-version is doing a great job so far of sticking to the original but doing it in its own flavor.
Kat: Different? I seriously don’t know what to think and I’d hate to be one of those people who pick through all the things in the Korean version that are different to the original. At least I’d try not to anyway. If they make positive changes though, that’s always welcomed.
Keane: When it comes to remakes, I want to say I keep an optimistic outlook at the chance. It’s only natural for me to want something made anew to be better. Better as in, better chemistry between the casting, or better soundtrack. I just want a story to tap into my soul and make me feel vulnerable. Now remakes, I wish the succeeding storyline can amplify the good ol’ feels I initially fell in love with. In recent though, I’ve had a few disappointments when Korea decides to pick up on Tdramas. Knowingly, the K-version can revamp the older original for the better but they don’t, makes it a huge disappointment, especially when the original story gets reduced to a minimum of sixteen episodes not like twenty-something long ones. On a lighter note, there have been good remakes too, so it’s a chance I’m willing to invest in. There’s hope.
2) Are you satisfied with the casting?
misscupcakees – Pre: Casting wise, I am very happy. I really like the cast, and really, what is there not to love?
Post: Yupp, still adoring the cast! Ha Ji Won and Lee Jin Wook have a really nice chemistry together! I love them on-screen together. The supporting cast is also coming together quite nicely and I like how the entire cast seems to just work with one another.
Hess: I know everyone loves HJW and a big part of the interest in the drama is because of her. But I’ve never been a big fan of her. Plus all of her previous roles have been short haired, tough, tomboys. And while CYQ is very tough, she’s also very feminine. I had doubts about how well HJW can portray the character. After watching I realize that HJW has no problems pulling off a feminine character. And I shouldn’t have been worrying whether or not HJW can pull off CYQ, because the actual role that she’s playing is a lot different from CYQ.
Before the drama premiered, I was more satisfied with LJW’s casting than HJW despite the fact that I’d never actually seen him in anything. But they just gave off a similar feeling in terms of their visuals, and he and Bolin had played the same character in the movie Miss Granny before. Although I did consider whether or not LJW was too good looking to play LDR. After watching, I was even more satisfied. And again, turned out that it didn’t actually matter if LJW can pull off a role like LDR because his character ended up barely being anything like LDR’s.
Kat: I’m pretty much a K-drama noob (probably worst than that) but just from the posters, I think Ha Ji Won is really pretty and most people are fairly happy with this casting, so that’s a positive. Lee Jin Wook though… is not my type. Eck. Not a good start. I saw his poster and immediately thought of Mag Hsu (the writer of the TW version) – she thought Bolin was way too cute to play Li Da Ren. When she was writing the script, she was thinking of someone more mature and dependable looking – think Eason Chan. I think Lee Jin Wook fits what Mag originally envisioned! Is that a good or bad thing?
Keane: Pre-show, I was satisfied at the selection if we’re just talking about OTP. Then, after watching the first two episodes, I can’t cheer on for our leading female. I only want to continue watching this remake for Lee Jin Wook’s character. I’ll stop here, I don’t want to open a can of worms about the supporting cast in the remake just yet.
3) Team Korea VS. Team Taiwan. Who’s gonna dominate?
misscupcakees – Pre: I think both dramas stand well as a standalone drama. The Korean version, being a remake, is inevitable for it to get compared to the Taiwanese version and I’m here doing do some comparison! I’m biased. I absolutely adored ITWY and I don’t think any remake will be able to achieve the beauty that ITWY was able to. Though, it is merely my subjective opinion, hehe.
Post: I think both dramas dominate differently, each with their own filming and production style catered to suit their own country. Though, I think deep down my heart tells me no remake can better the TW-version. There’s a saying that the original is always best and I think that may be the case here. The TW-version was really well thought-out and executed is a way that I don’t think Korean dramas can do. At the end of the day though, we have different opinions and what’s better for one person might not necessarily be better for the other.
Hess: In terms of popularity, Korea might dominate because, well it’s Korea. And all things Korean are still the trend across Asia. After watching the first 2 episodes though, I’m not sure it has the magic formula to become as big of a huge success as ITWY. But it’s still too early for a final verdict. And as far as who’s gonna dominate in terms of my personal favorite, I’m staying loyal to Taiwan. ITWY just had something special to it, from the way it was filmed, to the dialogue, , to the realness of the characters and the relationships. So far TTILY is good, but it doesn’t have that X factor that makes it as one of my all-time favorite.
Kat: As much as I loved the TW version, it wasn’t perfect so there’s room for the Korean version to make something better. I don’t know, I have such a strong Bolin bias though it sets a really high bar for me. I need to stop thinking of this as a “ITWY remake” and just watch for what it is. As I’ve learnt many times in the past, keep expectations low and you might be surprised lol.
Keane: I have duplicate turmoils like all you ladies in terms to my own question. LOL! I had to marathon the Taiwanese version just to rediscover why I liked it so much in the first place to prep for this discussion. Doing so, I think y’all can guess I’m gonna pick Team Taiwan. Bias plays a huge factor in this decision, however if I have to boil down to it, it’s a gut feeling. Which version draws a greater attraction physically and emotionally overall. It’s still early in the game to make a final pick between teams for me. I want to give the Korean remake more of a fair chance to win me over. So, I’ll wait for their story to develop. The worst part is waiting every week for the remake episodes to release. If I wasn’t a participant in this Round Table, then I’d wait for the whole show to be over and marathon it at one go.
POST-SHOW VIEWING QUESTIONS:
4) How long do you think it’ll take for Choi Won to confess in comparison to Li Da Ren? (Hess)
misscupcakees: Personally, I feel that Choi Won is not the Korean version of Li Da Ren but rather a different character altogether. Won doesn’t sport the characteristics that made Li Da Ren a household name. Won is more of your typical K-drama character and his personality gears more towards that. Da Ren was much more reserved in expressing his feelings for You Qing as he was very careful with their friendship. One of the biggest differences between Da Ren and Won is that Won is a much more assertive guy whereas Da Ren is much more reserved. Won is not afraid to step his foot out and throw a punch whereas this is something that Da Ren would not ever do without first contemplating about it.
Also, Won explicitly told Ha Na that he would not love her, twice, and although this might just merely be stemming from the basis of their close friendship, this is already hinting at signs that he has some sort of romantic feelings for Ha Na. Maybe I’m just over analysing this :/, but one thing that I can bet on is that it will not take Won nearly as long to confess.
Hess: I think considering that this is a K-drama, things will progress faster. I’d imagine that Korean audiences would get impatient waiting as long as it took LDR to make a move. As much as I love ITWY, I can also understand people’s frustration with the slow moving love line. I bet this was part of the reasoning for changing Choi Won’s character to be more forward and assertive.
Kat: I’m hoping they made him more assertive so he will confess earlier? Like at least 2 episodes before the end?
Keane: After watching two episodes in, I have really low-low expectations now since the time lapse is convoluted in comparison to its original. I have to confess, I’ve already watched up to episode 06 and the show is hinting a confession soon, but you never know, there may be a twist. I’d like this remake to keep that epic confession in order and do justice to its original story development. So, please, leave the confession for later and not show too early.
5) For future episodes, what aspects of the original would you like to see brought over to the K-version? And what aspects of the original would you want them to change? (Hess)
misscupcakees: I find myself really missing the family relationships that were prevalent in the TW-version! I really enjoyed how Mama Li’s love relationship was written into the plot. It would be really nice to see that incorporated here too. Another thing that I really enjoyed from the TW-version was the narrations by You Qing that made it easier to understand You Qing’s character. It would be really nice to see that incorporated here. Also, I would really love to see a Li Tao Tao character here but I guess we have to make do with Won’s cousin Mi Hyang.
Hmmm, changes, hmmm. I really enjoyed all aspects of the original and there’s not much that I would change. It is perfect the way it is. However, if I really had to choose something, I would say the pacing. There were times when it progressed a bit too slowly and thus became draggy, especially towards the end.
Hess: The biggest thing that I want to see happen in future episodes is the development of the relationship between the main characters and their family/co-workers/friends. ITWY did a great job with this, and they started right from episode 1. Things didn’t solely revolve around the two main characters. The side relationships were just as much a part of the drama as the love line imo.
I loved the original drama and I can’t think of anything I’d want to see changed. Whatever the K-adaptation changes, I’m up for keeping an I’ll watch with an open mind though. Just because I liked the original doesn’t mean that change doesn’t is necessarily have to mean bad just because I liked the original. It just means that it’s different.
Kat: I loved so many things about ITWY but some key aspects I can think of is definitely both leads’ relationships with their family, colleagues and classmates. In ITWY, these ‘side’ relationships were not just time fillers, they add depth to the overall story as we get to know more about the leads.
As for which aspects of the original they should change – definitely less mopey male lead. He was all emo and sad for a few episodes which was the most frustrating part of the story. Oh, and that scene where he removes her makeup. I don’t know about you but I find that more weird than sweet.
Keane: I totally agree with you ladies in all aspects voiced so far crossing over to this K-version. It’s a unanimous vote. It’s a great feeling to recognize I’m not the only one who enjoyed ITWY’s many layers of relationship dynamics. I felt the same towards Taiwan’s version of Fated to Love You and fell in love with their relationship dynamics there too. The K-version to that didn’t flourish all those bonding circles. I do hope the K-production learned from that failure and progressively implement these bonds in TTWWNIL.
What would I want the K-version to change about the original? Well, I got what I want and actually a bit more than I truly wanted. Is to see a less reserved Li Da Ren being a bit more assertive, but I think I got more than I bargained for in Choi Won. Won is all smells of manly musk at times, whereas Da Ren to me always smelled like baby powder.
I want to remind y’all how romantic Henry’s and Lala’s marriage proposal effected You Qing’s and Li Wei’s stale relationship. How their proposal catalyze You Qing and Li Wei into marriage. Plus, this opened a can of worms between You Qing’s and Da Ren’s separation. However, the Korean adaptation tainted Ho Joon’s and Min Ji’s relationship into a shotgun wedding and we’re barely finishing episode 06. Are you concerned how the convoluted time lapse in the Korean version will effect the storyline? (Keane)
misscupcakees: I actually forgot how Henry and Lala’s relationship played out so I had to go back and re-watch snippets of the original. It seems that in the original, Henry and Lala have a mutual friendship with You Qing while here Ha Na and Ho Joon did not end their relationship on a good note. It seems that here, Ha Na’s relationship with Ho Joon only served to catapult her to move on with her life where as in the ITWY, the relationship that You Qing had with Henry really allowed her to question her own life and her personality. I really liked that Henry played an important role in You Qing’s life rather than just serve as one of her past boyfriends.
Hess: I was initially after episode 1. And since I’m doing recaps, I was made hyper aware of how many times they switched between past and present. I would say that maybe it’s because there’s a longer history between the leads in the K-version, so that might explain why they need more flashbacks. But actually in episode 2, I didn’t find it to be an issue anymore. Thoroughly enjoyed the flashbacks and how the plot unfolded.
Kat: Maybe not so much the time lapse, I guess I see Ho Joon just as another one of Ha Na’s failed boyfriends. (Like a morphed version of Ding Li Wei + Henry).
Keane: I don’t get it why the K-version have to make us hate any of the characters in the remake. I really liked all the characters in the T-version, yes, even Li Wei. At first, I was “diehard fan to its original story” concerned, but now, I let that go being absent from the show for two weeks and having caught up to this point. Like I said, I may have had an epiphany moment and just lowered my expectations after finishing first week’s broadcast. It helps me adjust better that their soundtrack is awesome.^ ^ Y’all know me and my music interest.
7) Are Joo Ho Joon and Yoon Min Ji likable characters? (Keane)
Hess: Yoon Min Ji seems reasonable enough to me. She and Ha Na were able to have a very civil conversation at the wedding where theyand cleared up their misunderstandings. And I can understand the conclusion she jumped to when she saw the commotion outside. Ho Joon, on the other hand, is an extremely unlikable and one dimensional character. I’m sure that the writers have something up their sleeve in terms of a plot device to keep things moving. What I’m more worried about as far as Ho Joon and Min Ji being less likable is that it means we won’t be seeing as meaningful interactions between Ha Na and her co-workers as CYQ had with hers.
Kat: Ho Joon and Min Ji are definitely NOT likeable, maybe Min Ji has room for improvement but then I’m not holding my breath. What I’m really sad about though, is I liked Henry and Lala in ITWY. Henry really represented why You Qing’s previous relationships didn’t work out. *coughDaRencough* While Lala, You Qing and Vivi Lee’s character formed an odd bond and I loved that scene where they had hot pot together.
misscupcakees: We’re only two episodes in and from what we have learnt so far Ho Joon is a douche bag. I mean, he cheated on Ha Na the whole time he was with her and then broke up with her on her birthday. What kind of guy does that? That douche bag deserves to be kicked. Twice. Or even more than that for breaking Ha Na’s heart so cruelly! Min Ji didn’t do anything wrong and I think she is like a likeable character. It’d be nice if she had a friendship with Ha Na like Lala did with You Qing.
The original premise (best friends becoming something more) is not new. 8) What do you think are the essential elements of ITWY which must be in the Korean version to make it a ‘remake’? (If that’s what we’re calling it.) (Kat)
misscupcakees: For me, a drama only really needs two essential elements – plot and characters. Without these two elements, the drama would be one without a backbone. To be a “remake”, TTWWNIL would at the very least need to take these two elements in and follow along with these two elements and not stray too far away from the original premise as this will take it to be a standalone drama rather than a “remake”. TTWWNIL seems to be following along the plot that was ITWY but I am finding problems with the Ha Na and Won who have personalities that aren’t nearly as close to their counterparts. You Qing and Da Ren had really dominant personalities whereas Ha Na and Won have those personalities but toned down quite a bit. I think TTWWNIL would stand better as a “remake” should Ha Na and Won have personalities that more closely align to You Qing and Da Ren. In saying so, I do think TTWWNIL is a remake of ITWY. It has the essential elements of ITWY even if they might not all be there and it is trying to follow along with ITWY. I think that is enough to warrant it as a remake.
Hess: Wow this is a deep question. I think what needs to be there, besides the idea of best friends becoming lovers, is the essence of the Taiwanese drama title, 我可能不會愛你. Where the male lead doesn’t want to fall for the girl or doesn’t think he would fall for her, and he tells her this early on. So they develop their relationship telling their brains that it’s impossible for anything to happen but in their hearts they both harbor feelings.
Kat: I started thinking about this as I was watching episode 1. I expected changes but it slowly dawned on me that the personalities of the both leads was what was the essential part of ITWY for me. Their relationship worked because You Qing was so strong and Da Ren was the opposite. Making Ha Na all cute and pouty felt so out of place. The other element was probably the life observations, quotes etc. Not necessarily a copy of ‘Signs of a mature woman’ but maybe some other reflection on being a woman in her (almost) mid 30s. I’m hoping they’re onto something with that one-eyed fish poetry Choi Won has in his room. Just something that distinguishes itself from your run of the mill plot driven drama, to something that tries to make you think.
Keane: Gees, now lemme see. I say the essential elements would have to be how well the leads’ personalities complement one another and how the bonding between relationships write up in cohesiveness. I really want this K-version to “remake” most if not all the respectable/strong bonding circles like its original.
In episode 2, Choi Won’s colleagues described him as ‘cynical and cold’ (Viki’s translation) – 9) Do you think the writers are trying some sort of gender reversal by making the male more assertive (and Ha Na less aggressive as a result) because it was the reason why a lot of people disliked You Qing… or is it a cultural thing…(or other reasons)? (Kat)
misscupcakees: I don’t think I would describe Won as cynical and cold per se, as he seems to be quite a warm character and easy to get along with. I find him to be subtle in a way that is openhearted and self-aware, aware of the fact that deep down in his heart he has some feelings for Ha Na. I don’t think the drama is attempting gender reversal as such. However, I do think the writers are trying to do some sort manipulating with Ha Na to make her a less headstrong, less aggressive character and make her into a more likeable Korean female lead. Like I mentioned in one of my previous answers, this is really emphasized on the scene with the customer storming in demanding for a refund. You Qing and Ha Na handled the situation in very different ways with Ha Na taking the softer approach while You Qing took the more aggressive approach. I think this writing of Ha Na is more for drama reasons than for cultural reasons.
Hess: I think they changed the characters for the purpose of catering to the Korean audience. First being that a more assertive male and a less stubborn female allows for things to develop more quickly. Korean dramas tend to be fast paced and full of drama and excitement. K-audiences are probably accustomed to it, and anything that doesn’t hit that standard might have a hard time capturing their attention. Aside from that, I think the personality changes make them more appealing characters to Korean audiences as well. I’ve heard how gendered stereotypes run especially strong in Korean society. I think such a strong female character and such a passive male character might not be as appealing to K-audiences.
Kat: See I don’t know, hence why I asked lol. I suspect it’s a cultural thing, but I’m no expert.
Keane: Well, first and foremost, I don’t trust all what Viki translates. LOL! I see these terms tossed to the crowd as dialog fillers. My favorable response would be that these colleagues don’t truly know Choi Won as well as Oh Ha Na does. It’s a mute point. As long as the leads’ personalities complement each other and project that on my telly I don’t mind the role reversals.
10) How did you find Oh Ha Na and Choi Won’s personalities in comparison to Cheng You Qing and Li Da Ren’s personalities? (misscupcakees)
misscupcakees: I find Ha Na and Won’s personalities pales in comparison to You Qing and Da Ren’s! You Qing and Da Ren have much more bold personalities while Ha Na and Won’s personalities are much more toned down. In the scene with the furious customer storming in and demanding for a refund, You Qing talked back to the customer while Ha Na, in comparison, took the more subtle approach to coax the customer. I think this scene really demonstrated the difference in personalities between You Qing and Ha Na. You Qing has a very stubborn and headstrong personality that I don’t see from Ha Na which is such a shame because that personality was what really the reason that brought her together with Da Ren a he is the only one who can handle her hot-temper. Won is a lot more assertive than Da Ren whereas Da Ren is much more reserved. I think Won is already well aware of his feelings for Ha Na but just chooses not to confess to it in case he lose the extensive friendship he has with Ha Na. In respective, the friendship between Ha Na and Won is longer than the friendship between Da Ren and You Qing but it doesn’t feel that way because Ha Na and Won have less dominant personalities, and are thus more aware about their growing relationship.
Hess: I loved CYQ’s personality. She’s strong and confident, almost to a fault, but at the same time she’s lovable and easy to root for. She has strong opinions at work, but is well liked and highly respected by her co-workers. You can tell how much she loves those around her because she’s always taking the time to be there for her friends and family. Even for someone like Lala who she might not have cared much for at first. This type of female lead is not common in Asian dramas, and it was refreshing to see something so different. The changes that are made to Oh Ha Na’s character make her a lot less unique in drama land. She still retains most of CYQ’s traits, but they’re all very watered down. I find her a less likable because she doesn’t seem as capable and plus the whole aegyo bit is not my cup of tea.
Choi Won is almost the complete opposite of LDR. They only share the same job and the fact that they’ve both secretly loved their best friends for years. LDR was so selfless and his pining for CYQ was a lot more palpable. On the other hand, Choi Won is more assertive and he’s a lot better at burying his feelings away. But both characters are very likable. And even though he differs more from LDR than Ha Na does to CYQ, I actually like Choi Won more than Ha Na.
Kat: I feel like I’m grasping at straws thinking that Ha Na and Choi Won were based on You Qing and Da Ren. In one scene, Ha Na described herself as too strong willed, too good at her job (something along those lines), these were You Qing’s qualities and so far I’m not seeing any of it in Ha Na. She acts way too cute (at least they toned it down in episode 2), the pouting! Nooooo. Plus the way she handles herself at work is not giving me the ‘I can do this so much better than you.’ vibes.
As for Choi Won, he’s kinda nice but not the doormat Da Ren was. (Maybe this is a good thing.) The way he handled that passenger! So NOT Da Ren. Not to mention the way he proclaims he will never love Ha Na, twice. Whilst Da Ren said it with a (big) splash of self doubt and looked like he wanted to take it back straight away, Choi Won said it so matter-of-factly it’s borderline cruel.
Keane: I’ll speak of their pairing personalities. I think both versions have their own uniqueness going in. What I’ve seen so far, I like what I see in the K-version because the leads complement each other well. (I’m stating this while cheating a bit, having seen up to ep.06 being the last correspondent in this Round Table.) Miladies before me already dissected their individual personalities so I need no repeats. I don’t need to remind you twice how well T-version’s pairing rounds out. We all had that moment where we hoped the reel couple became a real couple. I don’t wanna hope that for the K-version but an illusion of sorts would help this remake in many ways for the better.
11) In ITWY, the leads were high-school-rivals-turned-bffl while here they are childhood bffl. How do you think this will impact on their relationship development? (misscupcakees)
misscupcakees: This is one of the biggest changes between the two dramas and I think this will have a huge affect on Ha Na and Won’s relationship. Personally, I feel that despite Ha Na and Won’s extensive relationship, there is room for romance whereas with You Qing and Da Ren, because their friendship came about through their rivalry, there is less room for romance to surface, which is why they are able to keep such an extensive friendship. As Ha Na and Won have always been on friendly terms with each other, I think it will be easier for their romance to surface and easier for them to fall into romance.
Hess: I think compared to LDR, Choi Won might be even more protective of his friendship with Ha Na. And that’s because they’ve been close for a longer period of time compared to LDR and CYQ. Additionally, Won doesn’t have as strong of a relationship with his family (from what we’ve seen so far), so it might make him even more emotionally dependent on Ha Na’s friendship. But I think it’s balanced out by Won’s more aggressive personality. And again, I ultimately I think the Korean production team plan on moving the plot along faster than in ITWY.
Kat: Right now, I’m thinking this change is not very significant, and probably necessary if they are making Ha Na less competitive than You Qing. That was always an aspect of ITWY I wondered – how did You Qing and Da Ren became so close as they were rivals at first. They didn’t really show it and I guess it makes more sense to have them as childhood friends. Not sure if they will show them in their even younger days, but maybe it means they can focus more on the present.
Keane: I agree with Kat it being not so significant. I don’t want to start over-analyzing this. I feel if both pairings went through the right amount of milestones together, supported one another through their rough patches and splendid events, then all those accounts to their solid bond. It’s a bond at some point in life we all wish for, to find someone who fills up your sentences. A person who knows what you mean with one look/gesture. A person who distinguishes your mood with the many different smiles you put on, or the many face masks you carry on. It’s finding that one person who’s willing to listen to all your genius and stupidity, who’ve seen all your beauty and ugliness, and given you peace of mind unconditionally. Both pairings have these qualities. We all just have to be patient to discover them or rediscover them in the meanwhile.
Is this drama YOUR cup of tea?