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Our love-hate relationship with drama remakes and adaptations

“They’re remaking another drama?” *Boo, hiss, wails.* I’m pretty sure that’s a familiar script for most of us who’ve been following dramaland for a while, and one that’s cropped up with particular frequency in recent months and years.

Adaptations and remakes are nothing new—people will retell new versions of old stories until the end of time—but the recent surge has spurred increased talk about the trend. I find it interesting to note the tenor of the commentary, because even though the fan voice tends to be united (in dismay, most often), the broader public response encompasses a pretty wide range.

I don’t have a singular stance that applies across the board—say, for instance, “remakes are the devil”—but there are enough issues in play that I think the topic merits its own discussion, separate from recaps and narrative-focused commentaries. So I won’t be making a central argument here (sorry, high school essay-writing lessons), because I don’t know that I feel one thing about this. Rather, I want to open the conversation and maybe see where it leads us. I guess I should warn you up-front that rambling is afoot, but you probably already know to expect that of me. No apologies!

(I realize that remakes and adaptations aren’t interchangeable terms, and I don’t want to lump everything into one catch-all pot: The manhwa-into-drama adaptation, for instance, is different from the cross-national drama remake, which is different from the movie-to-drama reboot, and so forth. These projects encounter a similar set of complications and pitfalls, so for the purposes of this discussion I’m often talking about them within the same overall context. But we’ll distinguish when necessary.)

Why can’t anybody leave a good thing alone? is the prevailing cry whenever another property gets snatched up for remaking, and it’s a knee-jerk reaction that seems both completely understandable and sadly futile. I feel that chagrin myself whenever Hollywood, for instance, takes something I love—something with nuance and character—and then proceeds to suck out its soul to replace it with empty gloss. (See: Il Mare (The Lake House) or My Sassy Girl or Oldboy. Or scratch that; don’t see them. And I’m more nervous than optimistic for upcoming drama remakes of Nine and You From Another Star; Good Doctor is less worrisome, mostly because I care less about that show but also because it’s a concept that I think would find a ready home in CBS’s medical-procedural stable.)

On the other hand, the Korean industry is just as often the perpetrator, and in those cases I try to keep an open mind that perhaps the end result will be worth the attempt, or that this latest version may even contribute something new to the dialogue. It probably has more to do with the fact that we cover Korean dramas here and not Hollywood ones, and I aim to keep hope alive as long as possible if only for my own mental well-being. (Who needs to introduce stress before it’s necessary? At least hope is its own reward.)

There are concrete reasons for producers finding the remake/adaptation an attractive option, and longtime drama fans are probably aware that the relationship between business and creativity doesn’t always tilt the way we want it to. (Okay, fine, it never tilts the way I want it to! But until I am a multimillionaire with money to spend on funding drama productions, I just have to accept certain bitter realities.) Remakes have built-in name recognition, and are much easier to launch than an original series that must be planned and produced from scratch. Personally I’d like to tell broadcasters to suck it up and just do the work—because I don’t care if it’s hard, I care if it’s good—but again, my unfortunate lack of millions is really getting in the way here.

I’d also like to put aside, for the moment, the broad lamentation regarding the dearth of original ideas. It’s not that the complaint isn’t valid, but I think we all agree that fresh stories are always desirable, and that more of those in dramaland would be nice. Nobody’s arguing for fewer original dramas! But it’s a preaching-to-the-choir sort of speech, of the kind the choir makes while beating a dead horse into a bloody pulp. There’s also the point one could make about there being no new stories under the sun, and if we’re taking that kind of absolutism to its extreme (i.e., retelling old stories is bad and therefore pointless), then perhaps we should all just curl up at home with our battered copies of Aeschylus, because once a story has been told, it must never be told again. *Hiss* *Shrivels from the sun*

The thing that makes adaptations and remakes both challenging and fascinating is: They serve two masters. One is the existing fanbase, whom you do not want to betray, while the other is the broader mainstream audience, whom you do not want to alienate by serving a small niche of insiders at the expense of new viewers. This is a tricky balance to strike and, as we know, not often done well.

The double-edged sword is especially keen when we’re talking about hot properties like Hana Yori Dango (Boys Over Flowers) or Nodame Cantabile (Cantabile Tomorrow), whose heightened profiles create immediate interest that is nearly impossible for a brand-new show to match. Not without substantial effort and cash, at least. It’s that same interest that makes backlash especially scathing, however, if/when fandoms aren’t pleased. And once you get one Boys Over Flowers breaking out and becoming a smash hit, everybody’s clamoring to get the next one, and then we just end up with a river of tears cried by sad manga lovers.

This is something we don’t necessarily see with adaptations like Three Musketeers or Surplus Princess, which almost don’t feel like adaptations because they’re based on well-known classics and thus are granted more latitude. But they, like the other dramas mentioned here, are doing the same job of taking K-drama twists to make things their own. (Maybe we can look to that as support for the argument that more freedom in interpretation yields better results. A shame that producers aren’t often granted that freedom, though!) Fated To Love You also had a funny trajectory in that the Taiwanese original was wildly popular at home and throughout Asia, and then the Korean remake was successfully exported and enjoyed a fresh wave of popularity in China and Taiwan. But that’s the anomaly.

It’s enough to make you wonder whether it’s better being an adaptation of an original property that wasn’t that popular, which mitigates the potential feeling of betrayal. Pretty Man and Tamra the Island were both manhwas that had smallish niche audiences, so when both dramas underperformed (Tamra because of low ratings despite a cult following, Pretty Man because it was a mess), they receded quietly, without incurring the level of netizen scorn reserved for more high-profile projects. The bigger the target, the harder they fall. (Other adaptations that came and went quietly: Birdie Buddy, Nail Shop Paris, Her Lovely Heels, Strike Love, A Man Called God, My Fair Lady (Take Care of the Lady), Mary Stayed Out All Night, and Hot-blooded Salesman, among more.)

This is also why, despite the impression that it’s easier to write a remake than an entirely new drama, that’s only true from one angle. New dramas aren’t hamstrung by the same expectations and prejudices that these remakes are, which are as much a handicap as they are a helpful guide. Dramas that try to make everybody happy may instead end up making nobody happy.

Because really, the baggage can be paralyzing, and choosing to honor that over a new vision could very well sound your death knell. Consider the drama that’s a so faithful and afraid of stepping out of line that it presents a story with exactly zero surprises. Yawn and yawner.

This is one aspect I find very enjoyable about Cantabile Tomorrow, because it’s just different enough that I appreciate where they’re trying to stretch a bit; the K-drama hews closely enough to Nodame Cantabile’s storyline to feel like an adaptation, but it’s thoughtful about where it chooses to deviate. The hero role of Yoo-jin is like Chiaki, for instance, but the overall flavor of the character feels like something Joo-won has created on his own. I have seen comments that Yoo-jin isn’t cold or harsh enough, and that because Tamaki Hiroshi played him more aloof, Yoo-jin is therefore wrong. I agree that Yoo-jin is the gentler version, but surely both actors still register on the “cold, gruff” spectrum of standoffish heroes, so neither interpretation strikes me as wrong. They’re two ways to interpret what the manga created, and frankly, I love that we have both.

Hana Yori Dango/Boys Over Flowers is another example where the heroes were clearly from the same mold—haughty, imperious, in desperate need of some humbling—but diverged in key ways, and I was also happy to have both portrayals to watch. (I do have to say that the heroines were unequivocally better in the Japanese dramas, though.)

I frequently see the argument “This didn’t happen in the novel/manhwa/anime, therefore the drama is wrong” leveled against a show as though the act of deviating automatically invalidates the choice. A bad choice is a bad choice, but let’s not assume that different necessitates bad. In this regard I find the intensity of the criticism against Cantabile Tomorrow surprising; to me, it’s a light, good-natured show that’s doing a pretty good job as a drama and as a remake, albeit with flaws in both areas. What I find odd is the way in which these remake debates can go askew and even revise history, misrepresenting the original dramas as infallible masterpieces and the remakes as worthless drivel. I have trouble accepting such blanket arguments. I found Hana Yori Dango superior to Boys Over Flowers in most ways, but man if Boys Over Flowers didn’t have a strange manic pull that sucked me in, in a way I didn’t feel with the J-drama. Being better in most things didn’t make it better in all things.

Nodame Cantabile is a case where I’ll actually argue pretty strenuously that the Korean version is improving on the execution in many ways, and feels more emotionally resonant than the Japanese drama did (for me! I speak for myself!)—the J-drama was fully enjoyable and I daresay nobody tops Ueno Juri as the heroine, but I thought it emotionally lightweight and very, very slapsticky. The Korean version is held back somewhat significantly by Nae-il being less relatable than Nodame, but I also think Yoo-jin and the side characters are doing it more for me here (okay, Mine is a draw with Il-lac). At first I’d wanted to cry at the thought of losing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 as Yoo-jin’s solo, until I heard the Grieg and felt the show had done the work to make the selection thematically relevant—it’s powerful, sweeping, and intense, which is reflected in Nae-il’s tumultuous response to it. And while the S Orchestra’s rendition of “Rhapsody in Blue” was inspired in the original, I thought the “Mambo” perhaps even a cut above as a representation of the orchestra’s character—all fast, crowd-pleasing fun.

All of which I say not to convince you to agree with me, but to present the argument that older isn’t automatically better. And that a new adaptation necessitates some new interpretation, no matter how familiar the story. And that a new version can sometimes build upon the older to draw out and improve upon the basis. I love the story of Nodame, but I wanted to feel more emotionally drawn into the world—and that’s what Cantabile Tomorrow gives me (even if I have to put up with some additions that I dislike, such as the teacher drama). Ultimately isn’t this a win-win?

Even so, let’s suppose for a moment that a remake is indisputably worse than the original—can we still agree that harping is an activity we’d like to see cease? Consider a scenario where you go to a party in a good mood, only to run into a guest who follows you from room to room pursuing an argument:

“The party I went to yesterday was better.”
“That’s nice.”
“It had better food than this one. Better music too.”
“Okay.”
“It was better in every way.”
“So I hear.”
“I don’t even know why they bothered throwing this party.”
“I’m going to go over here now.”
“I’ll follow you, so that I can tell you more about all the ways in which the other party was better.”

Murder ensues.

It’s a curious exercise to watch the response to Cantabile unfold simultaneously with the response to Liar Game, because I’ve seen the original(s) for one and not the other. Hearing remarks that the original Liar Game is better is intriguing because I’m enjoying the K-drama wholly, and the possibility of a better version makes me curious—but it doesn’t make me like the K-drama any less. What’s the purpose in insulting one drama to elevate another? Ultimately my conclusion is the same: That I enjoy these K-dramas as K-dramas, and what I know of the world outside of those 60-minute episodes is incidental to how I feel about the show itself.

It’s why I’d argue that the mainstream television audience ought to always be the production’s priority over adherence to the original story, because in adapting this idea for this particular medium, you’d better make sure you serve this medium. If the remake makes an effort to find its own voice, at least it can stand on its own feet even if the fanbase hurls epithets and exits in droves (…though let’s be honest, sometimes it’s more like exiting in drove).

Because what worked in a different medium—or a different time, or a different cultural context—may not work in the here and now, so a remake does in fact necessitate deviation. A beat-for-beat remake, snatched from one time and plonked down in another, starts feeling like some hybrid monster, ill at ease in its own skin. Some dramas stand the test of time because we’re able to view them through the lens of nostalgia, or history; if you took Autumn Fairy Tale and set it in the present day, we’d have a lot less patience for what are now trite misunderstandings and melodramatic twists, even when those are the same moments that gripped our hearts and made us cry back in the day. It’s the misstep I felt with Strike Love, the 2009 baseball drama based on a 1986 manhwa that felt like it had been lifted wholesale from that time. It felt dated, as though nothing about it had been updated to reflect the new milieu.

To look at the issue from another perspective, it’s another interesting exercise to juxtapose these cases of criticized adaptations with those that surpassed their source material. Gaksital may have had its fans when it was a black-and-white manhwa, but the drama brought new dimension to the birth of a dark national hero and made us feel the range of emotions in hi-def, full-colored glory. Coffee Prince was a fluffy romance novel before a thoughtful PD transformed it into something modern, sentimental, and insightful. The drama version of Sungkyunkwan Scandal, based on a novel, took a familiar cross-dressing reverse-harem premise and elevated it with smart casting, adorable chemistry, and sharp directing choices. And The Moon That Embraces the Sun, for all its simplistic melodrama, was a juggernaut of a show that far exceeded the popularity of its novel inspiration.

City Hunter is an example of a K-drama that was really only an adaptation in concept—it was loosely based on the manga, but reset the scene, added a different backstory, reshaped the characters, and turned into a prequel, so that the end result resembled almost nothing of the original save for the title. But it succeeded by being a damn entertaining drama, regardless of its origins, and in my book that puts the drama into the plus column. Since I wasn’t much of a fan of the original to begin with, to me the 2011 K-drama was even an improvement on the source material (…though perhaps diehards of the 1980s manga might have a different argument to make).

These cases are much better, I think, than the flipside where a property is so intent on preserving the original that it forgets to be a drama. Because then you’ve failed before you’ve begun. (Other adapted dramas that were arguably as or more successful as TV shows: Painter of the Wind, The Return of Iljimae, Full House, Goong, Gourmet, Capital Scandal, and the big one these days, Misaeng.)

Speaking of which, Misaeng is currently positioned to become the next pop-culture sensation, and for good reason: It’s smart, it’s thoughtful, its portrayal of what it’s like to work in modern Korea is so keen as to be painful. It captures a zeitgeist that started with its webtoon, which was a sensation in its own right and has now reached bestseller status. What I find fascinating is how the drama production managed to capture the soul of the webtoon so accurately in such a different medium, which speaks to the consummate skill of its director. In Misaeng’s case, the spirit of the original has been transferred without necessarily copying everything frame by frame.

And really the secret to success, for Misaeng specifically and for remakes in general, lies chiefly in the execution—more than casting or content, say, or buzz or faithfulness to an original idea. You only need to look at cases like Faith versus Dr. Jin to see how two very similar concepts (so similar as to incur legal battles) could produce two such disparate shows. Witch’s Romance produced a surprisingly charming remake earlier this year despite being a super-obvious story with no huge surprises, buoyed by its writing and pacing and charismatic leads. On the other end of the spectrum, Level 7 Civil Servant’s spy-meets-spy romance gave rise to one zippy, fun movie and one drama about which we will never speak again.

So maybe what it all boils down to is the most obvious statement of all, which I feel silly saying plainly for its obviousness: Don’t underestimate the power of a good story (or your viewers’ intelligence), and the question of who said it first becomes less important than the fact that you’re entertained—and we’re all really here for the entertainment, aren’t we? Make good dramas, and the audiences will respond. If you build it, they will come.

Images used, in order: Misaeng, Three Musketeers, Cantabile Tomorrow, You From Another Star, Nine, Boys Over Flowers, Sungkyunkwan Scandal, Tamra the Island, Surplus Princess, Cantabile Tomorrow, Cantabile Tomorrow, Liar Game, City Hunter, Gaksital, Dr. Frost, Fated To Love You, Misaeng

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K-drama cantabile fail because nodame is fujoshi with music talent not a weirdo. K-drama liar game fail because they forget the basic theme, the crazy battle of strategy manipulating other people, with grave effect for who loss the game.

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I'm guessing you didn't read the article past the title.

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My thoughts exactly.

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i just had to laugh at this because your guess was probably right. lol

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and speaking of remakes, if anyone here is a watcher of Thai dramas, i give up on those remakes!

do they have to make a remake EVERY TIME they have a young fresh face?? this is so annoying to me about Thai dramas! most of their dramas are on their THIRD remake!! INSIDE the country, not outside! for example, A was in this drama, now B comes along and is in the remake of A's drama. Now, there's young fresh faced C who's going to remake the drama that B remade from A's drama! I swear, do those Thai writers have no fresh ideas? STOP LETTING SOME 19 year old play a 30 something just for your remake!!

Sorry, I just had to vent about Thai remakes because we're on the subject of remakes.

I loved the remake of FATED TO LOVE YOU. It seems these days, nothing is matching up to my love of t [Read more]

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that's their culture there. Why do you even bother? And besides, they have remakes for korean dramas which were quite decent. There are also other Thai dramas which are more decent than any other dramas. You can check on Hormones The Series if you want some fresh teen drama from Thailand.

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Haha, the irony of seeing this as the first comment after I have just finished reading the whole article.

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Oh God, ikr?

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Haha.. That's really funny !!
Btw I felt what JB talk about consider a scenario where you go to a party in a good mood, only to run into a guest who follows you from room to room pursuing an argument,etc etc.. That's what exactly what I felt everytime I go to read the recaps of CT.. :)

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My thoughts exactly! It's like about a third (or more) of the comments on each recap of CT have people comparing and arguing about the original and the remake.

I think it would be better to enjoy and take what you can get. And I personally like CT very much, no matter how it deviates from the original, because even though it's a remake it IS a separate drama. It's better to sit back and enjoy the fun than to nitpick.

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Yup! I often feel the same reading the comments on the recaps of Liar Game.

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Sigh. Did you even read the article?

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I have only seen the kdrama versions of nodame and liar game, and think that they are both very entertaining. They stand on their own merits.

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@Rh ohhh so you're THAT guest from that party jb set as an example eh?

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LOL.

guess so. but @Rh, try following other person when you whining 'bout the party, i believe JB is not a good choice here,haha..

anyway, really like this post from JB.
I've been wondering when will DB 'explain' the whole 'chaos' on the comment section surrounding CT, 'coz for me it was just so confusing when i see people keep saying negative things about a drama in a comment section of the mentioned drama (i was like, okay, you've said it 1001 times, but these people here just want to enjoy it, so could you please blurt your negativity elsewhere?).

that been said, i hope DB will stay as a place for us raving (and ranting) about k-drama, i love you all beanies, but for some of you (who is like the guest JB mentioned) i better put a straight face when i say my love, haha..

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hahaha, my thought for K-Liar Game exactly the same. Similar with this was the Genius Game S2.

What makes me worried about NC they just arrangements everything to make a new song. flow, timing, even the notes.
For example, I like Rhapsody in Blue becoz its in acoustic-jazz version. Nodame and piano class included and play pianika. in Mambo, Nodame just played intro and that's it. like in J-drama.
Maybe they forgot to make music consultant and music division work together?

It's really love and hate. I decided to depend into recaps until drama finished was to lessen my worries. I still have hopes.

Fighting kdrama!

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You must be a lot of fun at parties.

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This post being the first perfectly proves Javabeans' post. It is an interesting thing to contemplate because I don't think it's something with can answer with "that's right" or "that's wrong".

I usually go for dramas with original stories but that's becoming less and less available. I don't usually watch remakes specially when

-Completely satisfied with the original (Nodame Cantabile)
-Did not stand the story itself of the original (Hana yori dango)

However I've seen all versions of Itazura na kiss because even though ISWAK was addictive there was always something missing. Watching other remakes may cover the missing part but lacks elsewhere but in general the story is just guilty pleasure that I fall for EVERY TIME.

To the Beautiful You is the a drama that shows the what giv [Read more]

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you don't understand, do you?

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I find that this year's remakes have been very good overall. In fact, I can't think of a single one that has really been atrocious. And to be honest though, most of the remakes this year (except for Three Musketeers), I haven't really seen the original so that help out a lot in not having any preconceived notions. It does peak my interest though in seeing the original so I can make the comparison. It's definitely easier to remake something that hasn't been on TV/film yet since you only have to worry about staying faithful to the story and characters instead of comparing actor's talents (i.e. SEK and Ueno Juri).

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Thanks. I do not have any opinion on this adaptation/at all except that when i enjoyed the drama i'd give the original a try. Anyway, will this be a chapter in your new book?

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I frequently see the argument “This didn’t happen in the novel/manhwa/anime, therefore the drama is wrong"

I'll cop to often being that person in regards to novel adaptations. But it's always been my stance that the novel is better than any adaptation to begin with*, so seeing directors make ridiculous, unnecessary changes makes my blood boil. (*with one or two rare exceptions.)

Often, US remakes completely miss the mark (US Coupling ::spits::, we shall speak of it no more!) Sometimes they work - The Office was great in both incarnations - but often, the industry sees only the popularity, and misses out on why it was popular.

I don't mind adaptations if they keep the soul of the story intact - Apocalypse Now was a fantastic adaptation [Read more]

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Exactly. Lile what is the purpose of calling it liar game when you twisted everything , while we are at it why not give it a totally new name?.

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Oh dear I thought the ratings were good? Was planning to watch it later, I don't mind a change in the setting, its the type of remake where if they don't change anything form the J-version it would be really predictable and boring....

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Liar Game is a good drama. I'm speaking as an addicted fan who read the manga. However, it *does* have some major differences from the original (whether it's the j-drama or manga). If you're okay with that, you may just find it a fun ride, like me.

At any rate, I'm getting tired of people comparing the different versions and complaining about the differences they see. It feels like they're beating a dead horse at this point. That person who follows you from party to party, complaining how that party doesn't match up to this one? That analogy fits perfectly with how I feel about Liar Game.

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I am with you, I HATE big deviations form the source material for remakes (not adaptations, I have little against adaptations) also make my blood boil, better to just call it something else in the end...

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I HATE big deviations form the source material

I was particularly thinking of the character assassination of Faramir in the film version of The Two Towers. It made a huge thematic change, and there really was not a good reason to alter Tolkien's original narrative (unlike, for example, the film's change of Glorfindel to Arwen on the way to Rivendell - because the shortened format meant there was a need to pare down to essential characters.)

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Oh god yes re: Faramir! He was my favorite character from the books and I was so looking forward to his onscreen adaptation. I was/am still a bitter fangirl. At least in the extended version, his character was adapted better.

#JusticeforFaramir

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::fistbump:: I read LotR when I was 13, and fell desperately for Faramir. I was so looking forward to the movie version. I left "Two Towers" very dissatisfied. (But all was forgiven because they got The Coming of the Rohirrim perfect. "Ride, ride to Gondor!")

I may still be a little obsessed with this trilogy.

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OMG me too, am a LOTR's fanatic and couldn't believe what they did to Faramir foe absolutely NO reason!! #justiceforfaramir indeed. I can swe why the Tolkien family are not on speaking terms with Jackson. That being said I was just so happy to have thw story told via a new medium even if it lost the nuance of the written material and made unnecessary plot addition's and removals a little too many times

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That being said I was just so happy to have thw story told via a new medium even if it lost the nuance of the written material

Oh, don't get me wrong - I adore the trilogy (except for those specific bits in Two Towers); it was like seeing my imagination painted directly on the screen. The casting was brilliant, the set pieces were perfect, and I cried with joy when I saw Galadriel's temptation scene.

Of course I have things I wish they'd left in - the scouring of the Shire, and Sam's prayer to Elbereth in the caves - and things I wish they'd added, while they were about it (actual shieldmaidens at Helm's Deep), but on the whole, I still regard it in starry-eyed wonder. :) It's not as good as the books, of course (and it's about time for my every-five-yea [Read more]

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the Jdrama versions of hana yori dango, nodame cantabile, and liar game are sort of female centric series...

the Kdrama remakes made it all about the first male lead, then the second male lead... and then reducing the female lead to a ragdoll that the two male leads will fight over. basically the kdrama romance love triangle treatment... and basically all other kdrama in existence.

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Couldn't agree more and basically one of my major problems when it comes to Korean remakes of female-centric dramas/manga/books that I love. I just know that the female character that I adore will be sacrificed so that the male characters will shine more.

I feel that, for some reason, many females in Korean dramas are always defined by their significant other. I find the imbalance in character development disheartening, because it implies many things on their outlook of what a woman is.

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The US adaptation of Coupling was a crime against humanity. lool
I usually have an issue with novels being adapted into movies also but i am always willing to give them a chance.

The whining about jdramas/tdramas being adapted to kdramas has reached unprecedented levels and i just don't understand why. I always advocate, give it a chance! Then you can complain.
But keep in mind, an adaptation isn't and shouldn't be a straight copy. So be prepared to have some things change.
FTLY for instance was a successful adaptation but i cant help wondering how better it could have been if they had changed some major (okay 1) major detail.
Then there is Liar Game (kver) which is absolutely thrilling. I see complaints it's not as thrilling as the jdoorama but, remember the korean audience is [Read more]

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But keep in mind, an adaptation isn’t and shouldn’t be a straight copy.

There's no way you could make a straight copy from novel to screen, because the novel gives the reader insights that have to be communicated differently to the viewer.

Sometimes, an adaptation of a novel will even add value to the novel (I'm thinking of the "No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" series, which improved the novels for me, because McCall-Smith's prose is so very spare.)

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I would have really agreed with your point about Korean viewers and Japanese viewers are different if the ratings of the dramas you mentioned were good, 'Cantabile Tomorrow' and 'Liar Game' have been flopping pretty badly in ratings, I don't have any complaints about CT because I didn't care much or have watched the full original Jversion, but, Liar Game is what I'm pissed about because I think they could have made that drama a hit if they had followed the same Jdrama path, as soon as they made Liar Game a reality show the drama turned fluffy in an instant, I stopped visiting the recap page recently because of the same reasons Javabeans laid out, that I might sound like a broken record to the ifans who're actually enjoying it, but this article being the place to vent your frustrations or o [Read more]

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Sorry I forgot to mention who I was replying to, I was replying to @tee.

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I laughed at your 'Coupling' & ' The Office' comment because that's exactly how I feel about them.

Your novels-always-better-than-adaptation-(with 1-2 rare exceptions)-comment lets me scratch my head, though.
I love books, too. But I also love movies & TV (incl. adaptions). I'm happy like little child under the Christmas tree if a favorite book of mine is adapted to the screen. Isn't it a pleasure to see the chracters and their world come alive? Even if it has to be different from the books? To know more people will have the chance to meet them on screen?

Vice versa, I go and buy a book if a movie has captured my interest (for beeing good or even bad) to see how the original author created the story. Like I did the other day for 'Gone Girl'. Both mediums can be very entert [Read more]

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Therefore, I don’t understand absolute comments of book lovers who condemn movie/TV adaptions in general.

Oh, I'm not saying adaptations are bad or worthless...just that the book is better. :) (Cause books are always better. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

My middle child makes a habit of watching film adaptations first before he reads the book, so that he can actually enjoy the film (otherwise, he'll be constantly comparing one to the other.) On the other hand, I often will take a pass on a film adaptation of a novel I'm particularly fond of, as it will never measure up to the images of it in my head. :)

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Isn’t it a pleasure to see the chracters and their world come alive? Even if it has to be different from the books?

Well, not if they're too different. There comes a point where they might as well have just not even called it an adaptation (::"The Seeker", I'm looking right at you::)

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The point of this article is everyone has different prefference.. Everyone have to respect it ! So why the fans of the original always chasing us ( who love the remake ) room to room only to pursuing arguments how bad the remake and how good the original over and over.. We do already know what you like from earlier.. that make us feel stressed and tired.. Why they don't want to leave us enjoy the remake ?

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Lol.. that is their purpose. To make sure you are unable to enjoy the remake. Hahaha.
However for me, no matter what they say, I will still enjoy the drama if I think it is enjoyable. Good drama is still good drama no matter what others said.

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Coupling US version was awful. Just terrible

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I love checking out remakes. J drama, Tdramas and k dramas have different tones and way of execution. Sometimes even the language adds to that nuance and feel of a drama. I'm partial to kdramas since I like the general tone that I get from kdramas.
I like to check out cross cultural remakes to see the varying interpretation of the same material.

I agree with you javabeans that sometimes we see a drama to be way better than it really is because of the nostalgia we attached to it. So its easy to belong to a fanbase and see a remake as lesser in quality and easily dissed it because we have upheld the original in a higher pedestal, not because its leaps and bounds better but because of the nostalgia we attached to it. For example, I love meteor garden because it was the first asian drama [Read more]

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In Time with You and Autumn concerto are two of my fave Tdramas along with FTLY. I am okay with the FTLY korean version but the Taiwan version is still my fave.
and i'd be scared to watch the Korean version of ITWY and autumn concerto cause the original was just perfect for me, and can't think of any better way to do it. If ever they re-do it, I think I will pass.

the adaptation to kdrama I wanna see is a manga I watched years ago, Honey Hunt. I gave me so much frustration and I think it was not continued but the story was all makjang. But it would be interesting how they will have the story move...
another would be La Corda D' Oro... I love love love tha manga and anime. would be awesome to see a live action version, whether Jdorama, Kdrama or Tdrama

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I second La Corda D'Oro for a kdrama live action.

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Oh, La Corda D'oro would be perfect in K-drama. It is full of youth life, sweet memories and handsome male characters. I like it \(^.^)/!

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I second a remake of In Time With You! It was so touching!!!

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Thirding La Cordo D'oro adaption. I don't think I've ever seen a Korean reverse harem drama, but I'd love to see it. Plus, Corda D'Oro is what got me to like classical music~ to this day Ave Maria is still my favorite classical composition. *is hit with a wave of nolstalgia*

I would also love to see a Skip Beat as a Korean or Japanese drama. (The Taiwanese version is an abomination that I will not speak about.) Or that they'll continue the anime version at least...

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I am dying for a second season of anime version of skip beat!!

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Dropped in to say Thank You to all those in the thread who recommended the T drama / In time with you. Loved it so much!!

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I think Korea could do great things with Autumn's Concerto. I only watched the first episode but it seemed super melodramatic and Korea has melo down to a science.

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It would be interesting to see a k version of Autumn Concerto, because finally, the lead will not die from cancer.

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Autumn Concerto reminds me a lot of kdrama material. I don't know if the story brings anything new to the table in Korea (like Witch's Romance and FTLY) but it is a good story nonetheless.

As for ITWY... It can certainly be redone, but here the two main actors and director made this show unique for me, just like the Jangs and the writer for FTLY gave the show their own unique flavor. If it is redone, I'd expect it to be a slightly different show albeit following the same story.

These two are among my favorite Taiwanese dramas too, ones that I have more feelings for than FTLY or My Queen and would be more wary if a remake will do it justice. I really like the Korean FTLY reinterpretation of the characters.

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Wonderful article!

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Yes. I agree. :))) An excellent breakdown of my own confused feelings about remakes and adaptations.

I've been on both sides of the "fandom":
- a crabby fan of the originals who hate the adaptation, and
- a new fan of the adaptation who has not heard of the original.

If anything, the more "heated" discussions lately just made me realize how important it is to respect someone's drama tastes. Because it could just as easily be me being harangued to stop liking something.

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Where's the like button when you need it?
Anyway, ITA!

Also thanks javabeans for the article, well-written and insightful as usual!

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+ 2.

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It probably boils down to the fact that they cater to different audiences. It took a while for me to get used to the humor and anime-ish feel (note: Ouran High school,nodame,unobore deka and so on) in Japanese dramas. Maybe it's just me, but when I like a drama ,I'm glad when it's re-made cause I get to watch it again !

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,I’m glad when it’s re-made cause I get to watch it again

I dunno - sometimes it's altered so much that it loses what I loved about the original (I'm thinking of the US adaptation of Life on Mars, which completely missed the tone and characterization of the original. It wasn't a bad show, but it didn't grab my heart the way the BBC original did.)

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I have to agree. I am all for adaptations and remakes - a good story is a good story, after all - and I really, really like it when an adaptation puts a new spin or adds nuance that was lacking in the original.
But if you are going to deviate from the main premise of the story, then please, don't even call it an adaptation. For example, I think I would have enjoyed the Korean version of Nodame Cantabile if a) I wouldn't have known about the jdorama or b) they had distanced themselves more from the previous version. It is just enough alike, yet lacking, to disappoint me (especially the cavalier treatment of the music and musicianship in general, which really annoys).

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i agree. nae il's cantabile or cantabile tomorrow at least changed the title somewhat (because it's a name) from nodame cantabile.

but liar game got the same title when it could have at least tried to make a slight change like liar game show or something.

same with fated to love you, they could have gone with destined to be together or something like that.

but i prefer different titles, that would definitely make it seem different enough. and you, as a viewer, don't get reminded of the other drama/manga/novel, etc.

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Love this article. Hope to see more op-ed pieces like this in the future, JB :)

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Hope to see more op-ed pieces like this in the future

Me, too!! :)

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Me three!!

(though I can only imagine the amount of hours it took you to write this and have it ready-to-publish!)

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i'd have to disagree though because javabeans didn't even attempt to be objective enough, and instead painted people on the other fence (opposite from her point of view) as petty and unreasonable, and all those undesirable things that a normal human being wouldn't want to be associated with.

many people are unhappy for a lot of legitimate reasons. they don't want a carbon copy, that was not the issue. they want producers who make an adaptation that retains the essence of what makes the drama.

in sean's documentary hallyuwood (that javabeans promoted here somewhere before), that you can see here - http://youtu.be/n5Z42r2UHno

the president of group 8 production company (that produced boys over flowers, and cantabile tomorrow) [Read more]

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It's an "op-ed" piece, as in "opinion editorial" piece. An op-ed is never objective. It's subjective; presenting the writer's opinion.

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Look I get it ! There are legitimate reasons to be unhappy and be disappointed and bitter.

I havent even heard of Nodame Cantabile before the remake news came on. And I don't know classical music, not one bit. So I went in absolutely fresh into the k version and first two episodes had me enthralled !
I mean it ! It was absolutely enchanting! There were moments when music was playing that I know I was making no moment at all, so captivated and into the world. And that feeling I haven't felt in a kdrama. Maybe that's got to be because of me listening to classical music for first time !

And I agree that the later episodes are not up to the first two, because I am hungry for more music and I didn't get it ! And with all the hate I saw about it, I did go to check couple of episodes of [Read more]

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I'd rather root for the version I'm watching at that moment. Watching remakes leads to the inevitable comparison between the original and the remake and one of them will always fall short. Right now I'm enjoying Liar Game and I see complaints in the comments box that the K-version is not delivering and it makes me more determined to not watch the J-version; I already think the K-version is as good as it will ever be and I see no reason to make unnecessary comparisons.

The J-version of Nodame Cantabille was well done and when I watched it I wished it was a K-version. The Drama gods answered my wish and I've been regretting ever since. I haven't watched the K-version enough to judge it but maybe it came at the wrong time for me. I'll put it on my drama list that has dramas that require me [Read more]

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Nodame Cantabile was the first Jdrama i watched specifically for the purpose of prepping to watch Cantabile Tomorrow. I have to say I was totally in love with the original going into the remake, that it was hard not to compare the two. However, as I followed the Cantabile Tomorrow, I find myself drawn so much more to its characters. The setups for the conflicts seem so much fuller that I feel their full impact. And Joo Won's Chiaki is different enough that he merits a different set of love and adoration. It won't hurt to love 2 Chiakis, right?

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Haha.. I have exactly the same experience as you. I have known about Nodame Cantabile, because my friends and I are classical music fans, and quite a few of them loved Nodame Cantabile. I never got interested to watch it until I heard that a K-drama was being made and I fell in love with the original.

So far, Joo won has been doing an amazing job as Yoo-jin. I was watching Tomorrow Cantabile casually until episodes 7 and 8 came around and knocked my socks off. I love it that they've managed to keep what was most important in the story, that is the growth of the hero and heroine, yet tell it in such an effective, and equally heart-rending way.

I definitely agree with Javabeans that I will miss some of the music from the original. It still pains me that Beethoven's Pathetique will be l [Read more]

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Exactly my thoughts! I too watched (marathoned, actually) Nodame Cantabile to prep myself in order to watch and enjoy/criticize the kdrama. I loved Chiaki (Tamaki Hiroshi, in particular) so much that I would kiss the screen whenever he would do something squeeworthy. I became a true follower of Ueno Juri, Tamaki Hiroshi and Eita's dramas. And after prepping myself, arming myself with the jdrama, I was like "bring it on!" to the kdrama and was ready to criticize and ridicule it. But I couldn't do it. The kdrama actors drawed me in, and I'm a crazy lunatic waiting to see what happens next. I visit soompi and comment about Joo Won being Sex On Legs. I just can't get enough of it. And I agree that while jdramas are all about slapstick comedy, kdramas are all about heart.

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I watched the j-drama version of Nodame for the first time last summer, and I'm currently enjoying every episode of the k-version. While I agree with the comments praising Joo Won's acting, so far I'm not seeing eye-to-eye with JB about finding the k-drama more emotionally resonant. (For me, anyway.) I feel like the k-drama has attempted to differentiate itself from the Japanese version by focusing on Yoo Jin and the wacky side characters--rather than Nae-il--to such an extent that it frequently feels like "Nodame Cantabile: Chiaki's Story".

This is kind of a stretch, but when I watch 'Cantabile Tomorrow' I'm reminded of the many "Pride and Prejudice" retellings that re-write the novel from Darcy's POV. I will always, always read those (I own, like, six of them), but they still f [Read more]

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Agree, that's the main problem I have with Cantabile Tomorrow. Although it's told from Chiaki's perspective, the heart of the show will always be Nodame. And when I have a less than stellar Nodame, it translates to my love for the drama.

I may love Joo Won and all the other side characters, but I'm at a point where I don't see why Chiaki and Nodame should be together.

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To be fair, I quite like the actress who plays Nae-il; I just don't think she's getting enough to do. The show keeps TELLING us she's this magical musician who inspires everyone around her, but they don't SHOW enough of it. That's why I'm interested in this discussion of the value of remakes: I really feel like a sizable portion of my affection for this version is coming from my love for the story in its previous adaptations.

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Best part of this write up, the description of j-nodame fans. I liked j-nodame enough (not a huge fan, but I was entertained), I dropped k-nodame for personal reasons. However, the relentless scorn and nonsensical hatred for even the most insignificant of differences by j-nodame fans have left such a bitter taste that I might end up hating the show for their childish attitude alone. I've read infinite comments that surpassed the ridiculous into the hilariously delusional, taking the j-nodame into Magnificent Ouvre d'Art status that it doesn't deserve at all.

It can be a remake, an adaptation, or an original idea. The important thing is to get a good drama, that's all that matters to me.

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I respectfully disagree with you.I am not a fan of Japanese drama version Nodame (I'm a fan of the anime) but I found the objection of the commentators in the thread of K-Nodame pretty valid and to the point (I followed the recap for the first three episodes.Don't know if fans became unreasonable later on.

Now I can give many arguments in support of why drama versions of Nodame(both Korean and Japanese) and Korean Liar Game don't appeal to me but other remakes like Fated to Love You worked for me and adoptions like Three Musketeers and Misaeng intrigued me, but in the end isn't it just a matter of taste?

I've seen you expressing your disappointment in you recaps when fans rejected K-Nodame and recently there have been quite a few posts where it seemed you've tried to justify your fo [Read more]

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Sorry this was Not meant to be a reply but a separate comment!

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"People have different opinion.It doesn’t mean the arguments put forward by those who don’t like the drama are right and by those who do are wrong and vise versa."

and

"Having said that, if I don’t like a drama, I’d personally drop it as soon as I feel my distaste for it is not going to change in the future…instead of complaining about it in every episode recap.There’s no point going into a drama thread and ruin the fun of those who are enjoying it."

well said...but unfortunately, it didn't happen that way.

I have read Dramabeans for years although I lurked silently most of the time. Never have I seen such hateful and illogical comments dished upon one drama like Cantabile Tomorrow. If javabeans have not come out to urge for less bashing, I think Cantabile Tomorrow [Read more]

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I believe Heirs and Lie to Me had similar scorn dished out by DB readers... to the annoyance of many who liked them, they also complained about party killing mood. So this is not new....

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Ah sorry my mistake then. I didn't like Heirs so I didn't hang around to read. But yeah, every time someone brings up Heirs for no reason, it's troll alert.

If you don't like a drama, just drop it. Even if not immediately, and you hang around a bit. you don't have to keep bashing it. Maybe there is always this thing about making others see and agree with your views even if they don't want to.

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I enjoyed both the Japanese and the Korean versions, and I definitely agree that it is frustrating how some fans will feel the need to bash the K-version, because it deviates from the original or is not as good as the original, etc.

I love that the K-version is trying to be a work of its own, so borrowing from the much-loved material, while taking liberties to make the drama unique in its own ways. For me, that is perfectly ok and even welcome, because who wants to see a Korean adaptation that is EXACTLY like the Japanese, scene for scene?

It would be great if more viewers of the K-version could keep an open mind and judge the K-drama on its own merits.

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not really sure why you think the Jdramas original versions (hana yori Dango 2005, nodame cantabile 2006, liar game 2007) are dated when Jdrama fans have no trouble rewatching it, and new Jdrama fans still enjoy watching it for the first time now in 2014.

then again, it is probably just objectivity coming into play... personally, I can watch Jdramas - any genre, any plot, any cast - and come out of it enjoying it. production and script are really good, and there's definitely variety.

for Kdramas, it is enough to read the drama recaps for me... I have to struggle to finish an entire Kdrama series because I have to like both the cast and the plot. otherwise it's a no go definitely.

Kdrama remakes are so different from the original, and though it may not be worse since there are peop [Read more]

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My theory with Korea's Heirs (and Boys Over Flowers) is this... There are enough delusional fangirls out there who will disregard ridiculous plot and bad dialog if you give them enough EYE CANDY. lol

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Soooo on point..

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So WHY you are trying so hard to make us who love the remake to believe that what you think is better.. And chasing us room to room to make us believe that the remake is bad even we still enjoy the remake... The point is you must more respect to everyone prefference !!

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Unlike you, I can't watch Jdramas. A couple of friends recommended me some and I just couldn't get past first episode on many of them. I finished Nodame Cantabile only because I planned to watch Cantabile Tomorrow so I wanted to know the story. I tried Liar Game J version also because I wanted to watch the K version and I could not even get past the first 10 mins.

I don't get the nuances or the 'message' that J dramas mean to convey. I cannot even relate to them. Since I finished watching Nodame Cantabile, I can say I did not get the raves about the production or music either. It was a fun and breezy ride, that's about all.

Does this mean J dramas are bad and K dramas are good? Or vice versa? I think we should just all accept that every one has their own personal preference and they [Read more]

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I don't think Taiwanese dramas have as many international fans or sites dedicated to them. Everyone generally holds that Meteor Garden was the best version for e.g. but I have hardly ever seen it brought up in discussions.

I live in Asia and I would say that heaps of dramas barely make it to English sites. I think its partly because the Chinese and Japanese markets are sufficient for them whereas there is a definite K push for markets, they are quickest with subs, friendly pricing, streaming etc.

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I have been a korean drama watcher and addicted to it since 15 years ago. I started with Korean dramas and love the classic and believe they created a great drama, but later on Japanese manage to capture my heart more and make me finished the dramas and korean made me drop their dramas. Japanese has heart, and nuance that is very subtle and original. Heart-tugging story that not all dramatic watcher love to see. That one of stark differences I can say.

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I don't know how to feel about this article but I get the message you want to say. I have been an avid reader and follower for almost 10 years or more and I feel your writing is the best out there however I beg to differ on this matter.

I have nothing against adaptation and I didn't follow or say anything regarding the discussion of the following. It just me silently watched or dropped whatever my heart felt.

I totally disagree when the commenters or you said that Nodame's in Japanese version not that strong of emotional growth.

What make I loved Nodame Cantabille the original is the sincerity, nuance, subtle emotional growth and massive heart.

I watched Korean with no expectations and am ok with whatever differences since I'm no musical genius, I laughed and awe-struck with b [Read more]

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Ditto!

I agree with you.

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It's a pattern with me usually, I watch a J drama or T drama and wish for a kdrama remake of it but most often than not I end up not watching (sometimes hating it even ) .. Case in point BOF (though I never wished for a remake in this case). I was a big fan of the original Hana Yori Dango and the hype over BOF made me watch it . Ten episodes down the line, I felt a blood boiling repulsion towards it, it was inexplicable. The slightest changes to the original bothered me. Eventually I gave up and resigned to the fact that I have way less tolerance to see a remake.

I broke this rule of not watching a remake when I started with Tomorrow Cantabile (really liked the original) because it had Joo won and I adored him so much in almost everything especially Gaksital. The heroine though bothere [Read more]

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I understand your feeling with Nodame's character in korean version.

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So glad this is a topic of discussion, but at the same time it makes me wary of the diehard fans and anti-fans that are going to rush to this board.

I loved the Japanese Nodame and i'm really enjoying the Korean version as well (though i fully acknowledge that both have their flaws, as well as why they are good in their own way). I wish people would just sit back and enjoy it rather than nitpick and everything, its terrible because when they do that it ruins the experience for the rest of us as well.

Remakes and adaptions are always a big thing, just like how Hollywood loves their sequels, franchises and book/comic adaptions. Its going to generate a hoard of fans and buzz even if the actual execution is terrible. But if the execution is decent or even remotely good, then it will blo [Read more]

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Agree! You should start watching Misaeng. I mean it. The characters, the story and the actors are really good there.

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I second the recommendation!! This show is just so wonderful - Siwan has been a great find for me! I adoooooree and feel very protective towards his Geu-rae!! ❤❤❤

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"I wish people would just sit back and enjoy it rather than nitpick and everything…" Agreed.

I've watched a lot of remakes and what I've found is that they mostly stay true to the original story and in the end, that's the thing that keeps me coming back. Regardless of whether it's the Taiwanese, Japanese or Korean version, I love the story behind Hana Yori Dango/Boys Over Flowers/Meteor Garden and because I do, I've seen all three versions multiple times. By the same token, I tried watching Liar Game and the story didn't appeal to me, whether it was the Japanese or Korean version.

I enjoy remakes because it's seeing a different take on that story I love and there are elements I like and dislike. I think the key is for people to step back and realize that regardless of whate [Read more]

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For me, it depends on who is remaking the original and choosing a writer who can capture the essence of the original and give it a fresh twist. But in the end, I guess the final verdict is with the audience. I have nothing against most K-drama remakes since they derive from mostly mangas or animes or J-drama, and I don't watch enough of these (I wonder what'll happen if they do an adaptation of Vampire Knight or something). I tend to agree with JB; sometimes Japanese dramas is more slapstick eg. Hana Kimi, Nodame Cantabile so they don't have enough emotional impact for me, whereas you know that K-dramas tend to go for the emotional bits even if it's a comedic drama at first. I'd say that this is what K-dramas have that attracts audiences worldwide (besides hot guys and pretty boys): the ab [Read more]

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i think you have a very limited exposure to japanese dramas if you think they are slapstick as a whole.

a certain section of it is more slapstick, definitely, like the ones you enumerated, hana kimi and nodame cantabile. but these are the japanese dramas based on mangas, and has an ensemble cast and are targeted and are popular to a select audience. i like these kind of dramas but maybe the comedy are difficult for others to get into.

there are melodramas like the 1 litre no namida (1 liter of tears) that i haven't watched, since i don't like melodramas so i can't really offer much info on it. i have watched the 1 liter of tears movie (and the taiyou no uta, etc) though.

there are crime procedural dramas, and the profession of the main character varies from the typical police dete [Read more]

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I just want to second what Jessica said.

Honestly, if you dig into J-dramas, the type of dramas offered are much more diverse than k-dramas. Slapstick is just one genre – on the end of one extreme. The other end, I'd say, is slice-of-life, which K-drama just about never does.

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@ jessica - haha, very true - there's a jdrama about almost every profession under the sun, even tax collectors (Golden Pig/Ougon no Buta)!

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this. i can relate to j-dramas much better because of it.

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word. i love J-Drama exactly for this very reason. diverse. dont get me wrong, I love K-Drama too, but K-Drama often very much seasonal, thus it can be very cliches. but i love it still.

anyway, @kyl you should try to watch more J-Dramas. it has all kinds of genre in it and i believe that is what K-Drama is lacking.

these are among my faces SPEC, Rookies, Mr. Brain, JIN, Hotaru no Hikari, Hungry!, Boku no Ita Jikan, BOSS, Border, Bitter Blood, Hero, Code Blue, Ryusei no Kizuna, Zenkai Girl, Priceless!, Change and more actually *too many to list*. they range from mystery, sci-fi, family, school, politic and more. what i love most is that they contains many life and moral values in it. give it a try. J-Drama episode is relatively shorter, each episode around 45 mins.

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I usually don't watch remakes if I've watched/read the original material because I find it boring watching when I already know the story. The exception was City Hunter, which I loved probably because it was nothing like the manga. In fact I'm not sure why they bothered to call it "City Hunter".

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I have a sister who I persuaded to watch Cantabile Tomorrow, both of us having watched the japanese version and loved its slapstick comedy. She went into the first episode cringing and kept saying she didn't like any of it and that the jap ver. was wayyy better, which I thought was terribly unfair.

The problem with people watching remakes are their expectations. Once they've locked their minds onto the original version, that stubbornness just makes it harder to accept anything new. I liked both Cantabiles (while I never was a fan of Joo Won), just because they both have their respective charm. I see no problems with the cinematography, acting, sets, music etc. so it all comes down to preference on adaptations.

MY problem with loads of drama watchers are that they have this nagging [Read more]

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LOL the concept of 'legitimacy' is pretty subjective.Plus would you accept even if there were legitimate reasons? From your comment you seem to have the per-conceived notion all those who don't like the remake are stubborn and crazy fans of the original!

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Haha I guess 'legit' sounds terribly subjective doesn't it? What I meant was that reasons such as 'I don't like how the actor looks like to begin with/ It's not following the original/ It can't rival with the original' aren't very good reasons to not watch a remade drama in the first place.

I don't have a pre-conceived notion that those who don't like remakes are stubborn and crazy of the original, I don't know how in the world you came to that conclusion from what I wrote. All I was saying is that people have expectations for remakes, but loads of them go into it without an open mind.

I'm a die-hard fan of Nodame, not to mention other mangas/manhwas which have been remade, but I like loads of remakes, and have good reasons as to why I don't like the other half. Of course I'd accept [Read more]

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My rule of thumb is.. I always watch at least 2 to 4 episodes of a drama before deciding to bail or keep going because some dramas are just slow in character development or are still trying to find their rhythm. Case in point, I watched Kings2Heart and I absolutely hated the first few episodes coz Lee Sung Gi was such an ass in the beginning. But after 4 episodes, it got really good and I ended up loving the drama.

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Second everything you said! Especially about Kversion's Cantabile haha, cos I'm not a fan of Joo Won (nothing crazy) before this but I actually really liked his Chiaki portrayal from the first episode. And yup, everything you said *nods*

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Wow, insightful article. Japanese Manga/Anime was the gateway drug leading to me becoming addicted to Korean TV/Movies. So I have read (and watched) J-toons, but (confession) I have not seen a J-movie.

My take? If it is well written, well cast, and well acted I don't care if it is a remake OR an original. (Aren't all movies somebody's work on paper first?)

If I loved the original and somebody makes a good K-version. I'll watch it. If I loved the original and somebody makes a crap K-version knock off, (hoping for success just by name recognition) I'll hate it. (And dump it after a few episodes.)

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i agree. i don't mind adaptations and remakes but it has to be well-written, at the very least.

i mean, i expect a drama to be well-written in the first place. that's important.

if it is an adaptation and/or remake, with an available source material, there's even more expectation and demand that it should be well-written because there's already a format you can base on and improve upon.

what does it mean to be well-written?
well, you write a drama first and add the product placement later. if that's not possible, at least attempt to make the ads less obvious and not the whole point of the episode (directly staring and pointing at you subway episode of tomorrow cantabile).
you write characters with solid backgrounds, not someone who changes/acts/chooses one way or another just to [Read more]

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Thanks javabean. Great article !

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okay, here's my take on why, when you love something, seeing it remade gets your hackles up. it's like if you watched a drama and loved it to bits, and then they decided to re-air it, and you were so excited and sat down eagerly to watch it, and everything's going swimmingly and you're mired in nostalgia - and then suddenly, she's not wearing the clothes she was wearing the first time. and suddenly his character does something that he would NEVER have done the first time. and, wait - that scene did not happen the first time!!! WHAT IS HAPPENING IT'S JUST A TINY THING BUT EVERYTHING FEELS WRONG WRONG WRONG.

because you're watching a remake with your head somewhat inside the original, it's like someone decided to fuck with something you loved.

that said, it 100% depends on the executio [Read more]

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Any thing is better than Boys over flowers
And shitty hunter an improvement of Ryo Saeba City Hunter? Nikki Larson? AigOooooooo

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Thanks for your post javabeans. I have known of the manga and Japanese drama adaptation of Nodame Cantabile for a while now but some reason or other have neither read it nor watched it. So when Cantabile Tomorrow arrived I was quite enthusiastic, being a former (pretty crappy) piano player myself, I was ready for some classical music in my K-drama life. I have to say I really enjoyed the first two episodes. For me, the characters were fresh, different, strange, and I wanted to follow their journey.
So when I began reading some very harsh criticisms of the show in comparison to the manga/ J-drama I was devastated, and had doubts about whether I should continue watching. Was it really that awful?? I regret reading those comments now and I still don't understand why they influenced me so mu [Read more]

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MISAENG IS BRUTALLY FANTASTIC.
CASE CLOSED.

<3

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That it is. I have no knowledge of the webtoon (though I may search it out later), but the show is fantastic (and very often difficult to watch.)

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YES and i love all the characters so much especially Chief Oh.

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I'm liking Misaeng so frigging much.

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When Geu-rae sheds that lone tear in E7... my reaction was visceral to it!! *tears up again*

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Misaeng has been in the back of my mind, but I haven't felt the real urge to see it. After reading this thread though, I think I'll have to give it a chance real soon.

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What bothers me is that they haven't made an english translation for the webtoon. I'm dying to read it.

I feel as though I'm not a genuine fan since i haven't read that comic. *dies a little inside* but I suppose many of the fans haven't read it yet?...... at the least the ones who don't live in Korea :(

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Misaeng already break the 5% rating. One of the best drama this year. Misaeng Fighting!!!!!

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I was so happy when i saw the ratings, totally deserved. It's the first TvN hit drama since Emergency Couple right?

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I'm think High School King of Savvy was a modest hit (between 2-3 %) but nothing like Misaengs numbers.

I for one, wouldn't mind reaching Answer Me 94 numbers. because I really love when the most popular something is also the best, (Only example I can think of is the Host at the top spot of box office grosses)

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High school King of Savvy is still one of my favs, the show was good for the heart. Sure, it deserves more attention and appreciation but the noise but rather satisfactory, I'd rather it didn't go unnoticed.

Perhaps, it's one of the reasons why I'm becoming a TvN fan. Their shows are quite set apart from what's usually seen in kdrama, the execution even is fantastic- plus the cast aren't as popular as one would expect them to be, which is good.

It's drama but the actors/character's potrayal often feels genuine. Misaeng's one of the best series I've seen so far as I am quite picky with the shows I watch. The beauty and profound elements reminds of japanese drama, but this one is less dark and much more elevating. It makes empathise with the character, because it reminds you of yourse [Read more]

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I second that, it is such a brilliant show, one of the best this year

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I don't mind remakes, sometimes I even tend to enjoy the remake just as much or even more then the original.
I quite preferred the supporting characters in the kdrama adaptation of haken no hinkaku compared to the original.
Something that surprised me in the beginning was just how much Japanese popular culture was adapted especially considering that it was banned in SKorea until recently.

Talking about Nodame I was very carefully optimistic, not a fan of Joo Won but I adore SEK so I was psyched when she was cast as Nodame/Nae Il but somehow I'm not connecting to the kdrama version as I did with the original. I guess I just fell in love with the Jdorama characters (Mine <3 because I adore Eita and I'm so happy that he's become so successful)
BOF was horrendous, HYD was ac [Read more]

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First Hanakimi is far better than the second version. From the drama, many back -then- not- so- famous actors turned into popular actors. The jokes are also very funny.

BOF Korean version could have lead a different ending with Jan Di and other guy. They had better screen presence together.

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It's easier said than done, but I feel that if we go into any drama, we need to take it on it's own merits first and give every drama a fair chance, before we compare.

For the greatest possibility of enjoyment of any show, it is best (although not easy) to put aside as much prejudice, pre-conceptions and expectations as possible.

Rather than give up a show before it ends, I'd like to give it a fighting chance to see if in the end I actually enjoyed it. Then whether it was better or worse or just different from the previous/original will matter less because I actually had a good time. If it was lousy, then it was lousy whether or not it is comparably bad or good.

To give the producers their due, not all are out only to make a quick buck, but many really do want to entertain, to ple [Read more]

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ohh yay I've been wanting to talk about this but not enough to brave angry die-hards. I keep reading comments like "Korean writers ran out of ideas" (and often accusations of plagiarism in regard to any non-asian books/movies/ et. all which while I get it *looking at you king's face* strike me wrong because umm duh an industry this big is gonna have to go through the right channels!) I was definitely thinking the same, that there is nothing new under the sun so the way some people talk we might as well not make anything (esp when it comes to romance because boy meets girl is the same pattern every time, even if you substitute it for boy meets boy or girl meets alien).

I'm learning first hand that adaptions do not necessarily make writing any easier; it is in a sense to just start from s [Read more]

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Yes, I'm not sure what the problem is. If you don't like a remake, DON'T WATCH IT, and for the love of all that is good, please stop commenting, episode after episode. JB's annoying party guest scenario is spot on.

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MTE i stop reading the comments here (of Liar Game and Cantabile Tomorrow) because of this, it sucks all the fun.

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Maybe I should do that too.

I love reading comments at dramabeans because it is so entertaining for me to read what other viewers have to say, and most of the time, it is a place where I find insightful comments with constructive criticism.

Cantabile Tomorrow's comments section is just depressing, and I sometimes get the feeling that some people are watching the drama just to find fault with it!

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Is there a Hollywood version of "Oldboy" and of "My Sassy Girl?" JB did not give any titles, so I was wondering about that (like "The Lake House" for "Il Mare", for example).

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The title for Oldboy is the same. Spike Lee directed. I think My Sassy Girl's title is the same too but I'm not sure.

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Oh OK, and thanks!

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Also, JB mentioned this, " Fated To Love You also had a funny trajectory in that the Chinese drama was wildly popular at home, and then the Korean remake was successfully exported back to China, where it enjoyed a fresh wave of popularity."

Did FTLY have a Chinese version? I thought that until the K. version came out, the only other version was Taiwanese?

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I think it might have been a slip of the tongue or different political view of Taiwan. The Taiwanese version was popular in china...

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I see... Thank you!

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Oh no, that was entirely my error, I meant nothing political by it! I completely respect the differences between Taiwanese and Chinese dramas; I've fixed the article!

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I thought so ;-)

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OK, I see...

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