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U.S. remaking My Name Is Kim Sam-soon

My Name Is Kim Sam-soon (aka My Lovely Sam-soon), the super-popular 2005 drama that made Kim Sun-ah and Hyun Bin into household names, is being given the Hollywood treatment and remade as a U.S. television series. Hopefully Sam-soon will meet with better success as a remake than other Hollywoodified versions like My Sassy Girl and Il Mare (as The Lake House).

NBC will be producing the series as a prime-time drama, casting has been completed, with the script is in the revision process. Production is scheduled to begin early next year.

A few notes on the U.S. television process: just because a drama has entered production does NOT mean, as it does in Korea, that it will definitely air. The pilot will need to be shot, after which point the network can decide whether or not to order more episodes. If it dies in that stage, we’ll never see it, and if it proceeds, it will usually be given an initial 13-episode order, or half a season. (If the ratings are good, the back 9 episodes will usually be ordered to finish out the season. If ratings are bad, the series may be canceled at any point, whether or not all the produced episodes have been aired. There’s always a small chance that the drama will be picked up to series but canceled before any episodes air.)

Also, I actually heard about this a few months ago (in an unofficial capacity), and if the people involved in this remake are who I think they are, there’s a chance this series may turn out decently well. Also, considering that Samsoon was compared a lot to Bridget Jones’s Diary, the inherent premise of the series is one that translates well to Western audiences.

Via Break News

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"NBC will be producing the series as a prime-time drama, casting has been completed"

Do you know who it will be?

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So exciting! KSS is my favorite Korean Drama! I'm so excited now. I hope they don't mess it up. ;-)
Javabeans, Do u know who they've cast?

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Who could they get to play the impossibly handsome foreign trained doctor? Hmmnnn

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Oh no!
I hope this is gonna be good :-p

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I do not have my hopes up for this... But do you know what the American title will be yet? But one good thing is that there i a good variety of actor and actresses. Who knows though....

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i really liked the original, they might screw it up. if it does do well, the storyline will probably be stretched out to fit how many eps they order. with time like with many tv shows in America they usually lose their quality. the thing i love the most about Korean dramas is that they end, & you don't have to wait a year or 10 years for it.

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I am not sure I want to taint my SamSoon memory. I am curious as to who will be casted

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Man... it's probably totally horrible and wrong to say, but I barely remember what MNIKSS is about. I clearly need to rewatch. All I remember is pastries, romance, a really hot scene involving a piano, wanting to lose weight, something about a dog, not liking JRW... just generally bits and pieces.

The lasting impression was that it's about realistic romance with someone who is imperfect and over 30? I seriously can't remember.

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Again and again. I wonder if Korea ever feels taken advantage of by these remakes?

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"But do you know what the American title will be yet?"

My Name is Margaret Cho, B****!! ;)

The basic dynamic between Sam Soon and Sam Shik won't survive through remake. American tastes for comedies are growing dryer, and usually American rom-com TV has characters showing self-awareness of the absurdity of the situation. At least, they verbalize a lot of their differences, and both sides seem pretty reasonable. None of that reflects our lovely couple, which upon a literal translation would seem childish and silly. But then again, people liked Ally McBeal . . .

It would like doing a Korean remake of Saved by the Bell. Who would play Screech? Tablo?

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it's like Ugly Betty, every major market gets to have their go at it (!)

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Eh. Hollywood remakes seem to always suck. They're also remaking A Tale of Two SIsters (Moon Geun Young & Im Soo Jung) into a ghost horror flick - The Unvited. Can't comment on ATOTS though, since I have yet to finish it - once I get someone to watch it with me.

Plus, who could they have possibly casted to capture Sam Soon's charm or Sam Shik's heart-throbbing steamy hotness?

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I hadn't heard this but for some reason I'm not surprised at all. I'm not really that excited about it though. The show reverberates so well not only because it was a great show but it only lasted for that year. It sticks with us better that way. If we (the U.S.) do it and it's successful it'll last 20,000 seasons!! We'll have to see who is cast. Maybe I'll change my mind then.

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I may actually watch regular network TV again.

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NBC? They haven't exactly been having many long running shows lately.

But MNKSS is like Bridget Jone's Diary (from what I hear) so there might be some hope.

I'll be keeping an eye out for the pilot 8D

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I am for sure excited about this news and I hope they will cast really good actors. This will probably will put me back watching regular American TV.
Thanks Javabeans! ^.~

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i've been waiting for hollywood to start remaking dramas. we bastardize korean films all the time. why not start killing dramas, too? i hope this doesnt suck. i hope this doesnt suck. i hope this doesnt suck. (maybe if i repeat that enough times, it really wont suck.)

im kind of wondering how theyre gonna go about it. i mean...its 16 episodes. more american shows will have 21-24 episodes, and multiple seasons. i also wonder how close they'll stay to the original. will it be like the movies we remake, that more or less stay true to the original but change a few things for culture-ish purposes? or like how we make books into television shows/movies that deviate from the plot....alot

"This will probably will put me back watching regular American TV."
meee toooo

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Noooooooo.................

I'm in the group that hopes this doesn't come out. One of the unique aspects of the series as compared to say the Bridget Jones Diary is the whole dynamic of Korean culture and all of the idiosyncrasies that go along with it. I can't see how the new series would really be able to capture that if it's based on American culture.

Here's hoping they leave a good thing alone!

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"i also wonder how close they’ll stay to the original. "

Probably not a lot. The situation itself is a Cinderella fantasy, which doesn't translate too well in a snarky American dramedy. Even when I started watching Korean romantic comedies, it look a long time to adjust to the idioms (i.e. why is the male character always yelling at the poor girl? how is a woman crying in the bathroom funny? what's so bad with being single at 30?) It won't take if in the American version, you'd have the male character throwing anger fits and punching walls. But, then again, it won't take well either if 80% of Our Lovely Couple is conveyed via glib one-liners.

Irony gets in the way.

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@ ji

> the thing i love the most about Korean dramas is that they end,
> & you don’t have to wait a year or 10 years for it.

kekeke :) Exactly!

I simply don't have time to invest the next decade of my life into a series.

I've stopped watching American series because they always destroy the characters that I grow to like. They make them change personalities all of a sudden, simply because they need to stretch it out.

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I do not like the idea at all! Because I know that they will not stay close to the original version! Even if there is a basic storyline, it's two different cultures meaning different mentality! I will probably watch the first episode and see if it's worth watching! The only good American show worth watching is Pushing Daisies and they're about to cancel it! Americans do not have any taste at all! What happen to the days when T.V used to teach us something? Now All we see if sex, sex, sex that is why i've shed myself away from American shows

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What, no, WHY?!!!

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Hope it's better than the flipino version which was really bad.

Seems like copying famous korean shows is the thing to do these days.

Does that mean the hallyu wave has hit America bigtime?

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i think the korean culture was what made MNIKSS so great- you know, with the parents overly involved in their adult kids lives, the arranged dating (remember that dude who went on arranged date with samsoon like 3 times-each time sam shik interrupted), how it's a bad thing to not be married by 30, toilet paper humor (which in the US is okay for american pie films but not seen much in primetime tv), etc. MNIKSS went against certain conventions in korea and broke stereotypes- that's what made it so amazing. The korean viewers and those who have an inkling of what korean culture is like were pleasantly surprised by a strong-minded, loud heroine and women felt a bit more empowered by the drama-especially in a culture where women are a bit marginalized.

The US had already done similar stuff for its own culture- it would be a bit repetitive to talk about a loud, brash old maid who seek to find love and to feel love for herself.

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You know what...? I'm starting to like hollywood remakes after a few primetime shows lately. I don't usually watch primetime except for a few smatterings, but I've seen a few lately, and one or two's been remade or adapted. And they're good

Faithful adaptation's out the window considering MNIKSS is not well-known to the average Western audience, and America's way of making shows and the remakes' faithfulness record . However, they often have a similar themes and tones while bringing something new. So I'm actually pretty hopeful about this.

Crossing fingers Sam Soon will be just as awesome as she is in the Kdrama.

(Also, shout-out to Bridget Jones, which I love. Ironically, it was MNIKSS that brought me to Bridget Jones, not the other way around.)

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I'm not holding my breath. I could sit through MNIKSS, but I wouldn't be able to do it if it ran indefinitely. There's only so much sappiness I can take.

The only show on American tv that I adore is House. Everything else pretty much sucks.

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"I’m starting to like hollywood remakes after a few primetime shows lately."

It's really common to see remakes. Office was a pretty good remake. Life on Mars looks like a pretty good remake. Neither rivals the depth and characterization of the originals, but they're still good on their own right.

"you know, with the parents overly involved in their adult kids lives, the arranged dating (remember that dude who went on arranged date with samsoon like 3 times-each time sam shik interrupted), how it’s a bad thing to not be married by 30, toilet paper humor (which in the US is okay for american pie films but not seen much in primetime tv), etc."

Yup. All of it would just illicit a "huh? that's not funny" from most American viewers. Also, 30-year old singlehood does not have the same insinuations as they do in Asia (though if you're of that age, I'm sure you'll hear a lot from your Asian mom about wanting grandkids already. :D ) I remember watching 9 End 2 Outs (which is a good show) and thinking that this might seem insightful to a 20-year old viewer, but for me a lot of it doesn't really play true.

A great remake was Betty La Fea (which has been remade so many times in so many countries that I'm still surprised we haven't see a K-drama version yet )). Telanovela humor is pretty dang broad and silly, but the American remake dialed all that down and reworked the humor into a smart, original comedy with as good a depiction of a middle class Chicano family as there's been on network TV.

"Guy A or B" dramedies were more popular in the late 90s, early 00s. It would be kind of a throwback to Ally McBeal, Felicity, etc.

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A few people already mentioned this, but I like Korean (and Japanese) dramas because they are made with an end in sight. They're made with a pre-planned plot whereas American dramas are started with a general premise but they typically run around in circles and end up extremely boring after the first season.

Of course there are exceptions (BSG!) but I can unfortunately see this drama taking the general idea of MNIKSS but going somewhere like Ugly Betty with it.

Needless to say I will watch out for it and I hope it turns out to be good.

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Noooooooooo, not again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I love MNIKSS and this is the only drama that I can never forget, don`t ruin it!

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i dont think American interest will stay long... make it iinto a MOVIE would probably make more sense than a drama... American taste are just so different from Asians.... because ratings are the prime determinant of a show's cancellation... it could attract say 300K audience, but would NBC think thats enough??

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I think that movies and shows are made with their culture.

Like the My Sassy Girl remake.
It didn't work out because in the original, the whole "do you wanna die?" thing was part of korean culture. It wasn't even part of the American version and it was probably the best part of the movie.

I hope Samsoon'll be good.
But they're going to have to change it around a lot.
I think it'll be totally different when it premieres.

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When I first heard about it yesterday, i became sad than happy.
Yes I'm proud of my Lovely Suna and i'm proud that my all time favorite drama was getting this much of attention...
But i guess i was so traumatized with how the Philippine remake of MNIKSS turned out... that's why i'm really sad. Though of course Philippine production is no match to hollywood production, but look at what they did to Sassy Girl and the rest of their remakes (not just Korean movies).
I haven't seen a remake that's good enough.
And I couldn't agree more with everyone. MNIKSS was excellent as it is because of the culture intertwined along the storyline. No one can capture the essence of MNIKSS.
I just hope that this remake will at least give more justice to mnikss than what the philippines did.
and still very very sad... just like what WeSupportObama said, i don't want to taint my memory of mnikss... not again (after the disastrous philippine remake)....
well anyway... i always have my mnikss dvd that i can always rewatch at anytime. when my heart was broken with the philippine remake, i just re-watched mnikss and re-live the precious samsoon-samshik moments happily.

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ahhh really? a network here in the philippines made it too. no offense to those who like it. i dont like it as much i found it quite bad.. but thats just me.... well yeah.. well im hoping they can carry this off like when they redid ugly betty from the spanish soap.. betty la fea..

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"A few people already mentioned this, but I like Korean (and Japanese) dramas because they are made with an end in sight." --- one of the reasons why i love asian dramas! I don't have the attention span or the dedication to follow a show year after year. And the American tv shows always seem to end on a low note- because you know they're ending because viewer interest has flagged and the network doesn't plan on picking it up again. So far Bones- a show which I LOVED in the beginning- is starting to go downhill for me-which is why i'm feeling sad and bitter lately.

@belleza- you've got a great point there with Betty La Fea/Ugly Betty. They really did something original and amazing with it. I love how Betty and Daniel are just partners/buddies.

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You know, I'm going to remain optimistic. It's a two edged sword because I DESPERATELY want to share things like KSS with my friends and family, but (I'll be honest) they're lazy and dislike reading subtitles. Even if you take away all of the fantastic "Korea-ness" that makes KSS so enjoyable, it's still a great story. Simple, but great.

I started watching the American version of "Life on Mars" this year with GREAT trepidation. The original show/drama is in my top 5 favorites. Absolutely fantastic. But what makes the American version, for me, watchable, is that the producers kept the heart of the story, but changed the rest. At heart it's a story about a seriously confused (and possibly insane) man, and how he deals with his unusual situation. The dynamics in the American version are entirely different from the British, and the culture references are different. They've taken the ideas from the original, but made the rest American. They're not trying to be the original, if anything they simply want to pay homage to it.

I just hope the producers can do something similar for KSS. Americans would LIKE a funny dramedy like KSS. It just needs to be relatable, and not trying to be the original.

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javabeans... i want to keep your words as a ray of hope. "and if the people involved in this remake are who I think they are, there’s a chance this series may turn out decently well" - that is the only thing that keeps my spirits high...
keeping my fingers crossed together with everyone who loves MNIKSS.

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While there are definitely things that just wont be translatable into US culture (like mat-seon for example - it took me, a non-Korean, a very long time to understand what it is), my main concern is not the storyline translation aspect of the remake. Because age-related anxiety, romantic issues, family troubles, falling for inappropriate/unexpected people, professional problems - these were (IMO) the main themes of KSS, and this is translatable/identifiable in any culture. Instead, my main concern is how American TV is so....slick and over the top, and that will really jar with what KSS was trying to express. Although from reading above, I know that some of you are Ugly Betty fans, that was a classic example of what I dont like about American television. Because Betty wasnt supposed to be your typical pretty-girl lead, they had to swing to the other extreme and make her wear clothes that you'd really be hard-pressed to find any young girl living in New York city owning, let alone wearing to work. The storyline couldnt be developed slowly to show that Daniel, initially an arrogant superficial wastrel, learned to appreciate his work and his family and look past the superficial to learn to trust and like Betty. Instead, we had to fast forward through their relationship development so that we could skip to the bigger stories - Corporate Scandal, Murder, A Man coming back from the Dead....as a Woman, Faked Pregnancy!!!! Sex and the City, another favorite (including one of mine) was about a woman of that "certain age" trying to find love and happiness in NYC - it just so happened her wardrobe cost more than most people's yearly salaries, her friends were glamorous successful professionals, and the men she dated were likely all ranked in Forbes. Unlike these sort of shows - and even other kdramas - KSS didnt rely on the flashy or dramatic to progress the story. I mean sure, the initial premise is a little silly, but once we get past our plot device, its pretty realistic - KSS was not a stereotypically attractive (no Gucci) OR unattractive woman (no crocheted poncho) . Her best friends were not a Upper East Side socialite and a PR agent for one of the country's biggest breakout acting stars - they were her divorced sister and widowed mother. When she went on dates, she wasnt throwing witty one-liners around and oozing sex appeal - instead she was giggling inanely, faking a sweet demeanor, cracking silly jokes. She was embarrassing, aggressive, uncultured - she was also hardworking, passionate and loving. I know so many non-Koreans who fell in love with KSS - its because going beyond cultural and language boundaries, KSS was someone we understood and identified with so well. I really wonder if American TV can produce a character like that...

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"I think that movies and shows are made with their culture.

Like the My Sassy Girl remake."

I feel that sentiment is a little overstated (why don't people complain about Korean remakes of Japanese dramas/films?!?), but the problem with redoing My Sassy Girl is that Hollywood (as opposed to American independent) doesn't really do pure whimsical comedies well. They hired the right director, but the script tries to substantiate their relationship and her "sassiness." Imagine a modern American comedy without any snark. That is why we haven't yet seen a remake of, say, Amelie.

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@Liv

While I agree that over the top slick dramas/comedies have been the trend of recent, that's not always been the case, and there ARE some shows now that don't follow this. "Chuck" on NBC might be a decent example. The premise of the show is completely over the top (more so than KSS)--a regular Joe gets the government's computer stuck in his head, but the way the production company has created the characters is fairly realistic. The lead couple is also contract dating, and has slowly fallen in love with each other. Chuck at first fell for the girl's looks, but immediately realized that she's just as lost and confused as the rest of us. Their friends are a little eccentric, but at the heart they're normal. There's been (thus far) no Earth-shattering drama ruining their friendships. It's great.

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"Because Betty wasnt supposed to be your typical pretty-girl lead, they had to swing to the other extreme and make her wear clothes that you’d really be hard-pressed to find any young girl living in New York city owning, let alone wearing to work."

Yeaaaahh . . but Betty's clothing style was itself pretty dang close to Betty La Fea. I just thought it was pretty neat how well they blended the original Telanovela's "Fea" elements opposite "Devil Wears Prada" alpha female tropes.

"Because age-related anxiety, romantic issues, family troubles, falling for inappropriate/unexpected people, professional problems - these were (IMO) the main themes of KSS, and this is translatable/identifiable in any culture."

I think the problem is that in American TV, those topics are done well mostly in the dramedy format, not in the broader screwball stuff usually associated with the sitcom format. I could see Sam Soon being retooled into Ally McBeal 2.0, but more likely it'll be like New Adventures of Old Christine. Either way, it just wouldn't be the same. The brave way to go would be to do Sam Soon/Sam Shik semi-seriously and turn it into Once and Again for the "older woman/younger man" dynamic.

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@ Tired and Hungry (really I am!):

I agree with your opinion.
In fact, I stopped watching the shows Americans, because I was tired of scripts, many of which are frankly very superficial, sustained indefinitely without head or tail.
My mind has simply refused to continue a similar torture.

P.s. Thanks to the reporting of "Pushing Daisies."
I read the story and it seems interesting.
I will try the episodes and I watch them with great curiosity.

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Oh, dramabeans...have you notices that the Philippines had also remade the MNIKSS? and My Girl?

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This is interesting because our professor just mentioned this (and he had no idea really what it was, but called it a Korean Ugly Betty) ahahha. Now this is in Hong Kong, and I'm from America, so the way he outlined the premise was a bit simplistic, but it could be taken that way.

I don't think it'll have the charm of the original, but if they keep pastries and people who can act in it, I'll survive.

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Can't wait to see it!

You guys think she will reveal the cast?

I'm gonna google it now.

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I have seen nothing good come of remakes of this show, so I am saying this now, if they don't do it well I am hoping it fails.

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Wow...! It was sort of a failure remake here in the Philippines (it was ok except it turned very slapstick at some point) so I hope Americans would not make that mistake.

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Okay, I got a little excited and decided to search for any additional info on this. Unfortunately I didn't find anything new and it doesn't seem that a pilot has been ordered as of yet by NBC according to this list on the Hollywood Reporter Pilot Log. I really want to know what they do with this series. What made it so awesome to me was the cultural differences and how KSS persevered.

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I just hope they do a good job with the re-make, considering the re-make version of My Sassy Girl and Il Mare (Lake House) didn't do too well at all.

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I love this drama. I hope the remake won't disappoint me or I'll be sad.

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MNIKSS was remade here in the Philippines. Many people loved it but as a fan, I did not like it. The comedy was too slapstick, typical of any Filipino drama. You may read the summaries at http://www.hallyudorama.com.

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