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[Theme of the Month] Adaptations

When I was a wee stroopwafel, I remember dramas being a near-constant presence in my house. Back then, watching dramas meant popping down to the Korean video store, renting some VHS tapes, and gathering around the family TV. My mother and grandmother favored sageuks and daily dramas so it wasn’t until I was a bit older that I discovered there was a whole world of other genres out there.

My first drama discovery was the old hit, Boys Over Flowers. While it wasn’t exactly a perfect drama, the show gave us Lee Min-ho, that crazy perm, and “almost paaaaaradise,” so it’ll always occupy a special place in my heart.

Boys Over Flowers was famously adapted from the Japanese drama, Hana Yori Dango and once you start to watch K-dramas, you’ll see that adaptations abound. This month, let’s talk about our favorite (and least favorite) drama adaptations.

Which adaptations made you squee with joy at their perfection? Which adaptations made you rage and weep because they couldn’t hold a candle to the originals? Are you a strict originalist or do you prefer an adaptation to add a little something unique?

 
To submit:

  • Email your submissions to [email protected] If you have a registered Dramabeans account, include your handle so we can link to it.
  • Include at least 1 image, though more is preferred.
  • Suggested length: Between 500 and 1,000 words.
  • Deadline: We will post these on a rolling basis, so we’re taking submissions now. We will cut off accepting submissions on March 26. If you miss this month, join us for a new theme next month!

 
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Least favorite: Criminal Minds (that I can recall - there may be a lot of selective amnesia going on)

Most favorite: Mother
2nd place: Queen's Classroom
3rd place: Queen of Office

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Mother was amazing. Reading about where the Japanese version finished, I thought the ending of the Korean version was so much more satisfying.

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yes sadly, I'd have to agree with Criminal Minds too >.< I'm a fan of the American version and of course it's not fair to compare ... but couldn't quite get behind the Korean version in the end πŸ™

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Criminal Minds - Criminally Boring and a terrible waste of Son Hyun Joo and Moon Chae Won.

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Ohhh, Queen of Office is good, then, Lord Cobol? I've been meaning to watch it!

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Better than Criminal Minds :)
Not top 10 material.

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I hope someone write about Mother!

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Favorite adaptations:
1. Mother (the perfect drama!)
2. The Smile in your eyes (only because SIG killed me with his acting!)

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Omg, TSHLYEπŸ’” My fav adaptation. They all did a great job but SIG got us speechless.

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Yeah, I watched all versions of Hana Yori Dango - Japanese, Taiwanese and Korean. It would be fun to see how a writer would tackle other adaptations like: To the Beautiful You (which also has 3 versions), The Liar and His Lover, and many others adapted from manga anime and manwha webtoon/comic like Bridal Mask and Liar Game.

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There is a mainland Chinese version of Hana Yori Dango now.

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Yup, I've also seen it, too.

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There are 9 official adaptions of Hana Yori Dango... not that anybody asked and not that this comment isn't 20 days old but anyway

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Life on Mars! I haven't seen the original, but LoM K-version was great!

I liked Hana Yori Dango more than Boy's over Flowers.

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Life on Mars Korea is PERFECT! I like it better than the UK version.

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1000 times better than the US version

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Haven't watched any other versions either.. but am 100% confident that the Korean version must be the BEST! it was one of the best dramas ever.

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Playful Kiss, anyone?

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They have the most number of adaptations. Beside the manga and anime, like new adaptation come every 2 or 3 years. Like japan has 2 versions (1996 and 2013/2014), taiwan also has 2 (2005/2007 and 2016) korean and thailand. And they apparently have 3 live action movie.

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I first saw this in the Taiwanese version. Good if a little over the top at times.

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Least favorite - Moon Lovers- Scarlet Heart Ryeo

Most favorite- Misaeng

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I didn't watch most of the originals which kdramas adapted from except Moon Lovers. Ruo Xi was center of the Bu Bu Jing Xin but in Moon Lovers, Hae Soo was so bad, she was mostly just a prop or plot device.

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I've never seen or read the original source. But my favorite is Misaeng. It captured the essence of everyday life, unlike anything i've seen before. The tone, the subtle acting, the emotions, all thanks to the amazing hands of its director, Kim Won Seok.

I guess unsuccessful adaptation for me would be Cheese in the Trap, only because there's so much drama behind the scenes, it forgot to do what it's supposed to accomplish.

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Cheese in the Trap memory still pains me..
It was sooo good in the beginning then it went downhill and some more :'(

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CITT still haunts me. It's the kind that you find yourself at random moments of the suddenly blurting out, "but what exactly did all go wrong?! How? HOW?!!"

It's was such a sensitive drama, balancing quite a number of genres at once, so any slight imbalance was immediately glaring....*sigh* the one that got away

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Playful kiss was my first drama, and I watched it BECAUSE it was an adaptation of a manga I had read. I like this theme, thanks @stroopwafel ^_^

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If @isthatacorner doesn't write about the It Started With a Kiss adaptations, I will be disappointed.

Maybe we should team up isa. We could do a series examining specific characters.

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Weren't you going to write a thesis about Life on Mars version? Or did I just dream that?

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Thought about it, but didn’t do it

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WE SHOULD DO THAT LETS MAKE THAT HAPPEN.
I read the theme of the month and laughed out like Kiera Knightley in my least favorite pride and prejudice adaptation (when she sees pemberley for the first time).

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Thank you! I feel like there is few out there who have the same opinion as me.

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My favorite remakes:
Life on Mars, The Smile Has Left Your Eyes, Mother

My favorite adaptations:
Along with the Gods, What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim

Worse adaptation ever: Cheese In The *f’ing* Trap

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I can’t read Korean novels so the only adaptations I could judge are the translated webtoons.

Good adaptations I haven’t read original: Misaeng

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'F*cking Trap' is right! Still bitter!

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Gu jun pyo made me open this postπŸ˜€πŸ˜€

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I know, right? I'm here for the exact same reason BoFFβ™₯

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My favorite remake : Life of Mars, Mother, To the beautiful you, Boys over flowers.
My favorite adaptation : My I'd is a Gangnam beauty, What's wrong with secretary Kim, Coffee prince, Sensory couple.
The Worst adaptation: Cheese in trap series.

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Got to add The Good Wife to the list of good/great adaptations.

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This takes me back to how I started watching dramas for the first time!

I love anime/manga and I realised there was an live action of itazura na kiss (ISWAK) and it just led me into meteor garden, miss no good, smiling pasta then back to jdramas and then into Kdramas.

Itazura na kiss wasn't my favourite anime,so I didn't have high hopes about the live action.
But I adored how Joe played Naoki and gave the character little nuances to show he wasn't such a jerk & Ariel is so charming to watch on screen, I couldn't help but fall in love with this adaptation, love in Tokyo, kiss me thai...

I would love to see a show inspired by Shakespeare or Austen, I think that would be a delight to watch! How it could be pulled off , I'm not entirely sure...

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Favourite adaptations : nodame cantibile, full house thai, ISWAK 1&2, my id is gangnam beauty, my little princess. 1% of anything.

Worst adaptations:
The beauty inside (I feel ''woman in the mirror" would have been a better title and it being referred to as inspired by the movie not a remake)

I can't remember any of the othersπŸ˜‚

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If American teen movies can pull off Shakespeare and Austen well (10 Things I Hate About You, Clueless) then surely Kdrama can do it? Speaking of Clueless - and the fact that it's my favourite Austen novel - I think Emma would make a great Kdrama.

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It's a crime no one's mentioned Matrimonial Chaos.

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I may somehow or another spend my life writing and rewriting this very theme over and over and over again. There are rants on my wall from no less than 4 different adaptations of ISWAK.

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By category:

Webtoon:

Favourite - My ID is Gangnam Beauty πŸ₯° This drama made me read the webtoon. I love the both versions. I do prefer Mirae in the drama though. She's got the lowest self esteem, but she knows how to say no and how to get herself out of a situation she's not comfortable in. ie. When sunbae asked her out on a date, Mirae in the drama prepped herself to say no, whereas in the webtoon, even though she didn't like sunbae, she wanted to take him up on the offer. </3
Worst - Orange Marmalade. Loved the manhwa. Drama - uhm just no.

Manhwa/Manhwa

Favourite - City Hunter - I didn't finish the manga. I`m not really into shounen manga to begin with, so it didn't interest me. But Lee Min Ho and Park Min Young made the characters alive, and really, throw me in some rom story, I`ll bite. 😏
Worst - Goong. NO! Why. TT_____TT Goong is my all time favourite manhwa. I have all the books up on my shelf. I mean sure the manhwa has its fair share of frustrating plot, but all I remember from Ep 1 was falling asleep 10 mins in TT___TT

Drama - well this could be manga adaptation too but since another Asian dramas adapted these first before Korean did, I`ll have it under drama...
Favourite - Boys Over Flowers - PFFFTTTTTT. I know it's one hot mess, but it doesn't matter how many adaptations I saw, I`ll always have this love and hate for Tsukasa and Tsukushi's toxic relationship. Plus this drama introduced me to the god Lee Min Ho, and legit went crazy over oppa for years....... When is he coming back from the army?????
Worst - Fated to Love You - uhmmmm not really the worst, it just wasn't an easy watch as the writing was bad, but I loved seeing Jang Nara and Jang Hyuk together again in a drama. They really hard carried this drama. ALSO! the OST was the best - Ailee's voice tends to break me. Anyways I just liked the Taiwanese drama better. It had more ummmf to the story even though the K-drama was more modern.

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I just finished the drama "My ID is Gangnam Beauty" which is based off the Webtoon of the same name. WOW. It's such a great adaptation. It's like the characters walked right off the Webtoon. Of course, there were changes (mainly with the minor characters) but I think they kept the essence of it.

I'm kinda scared to finish "Cheese in the Trap" because I heard all the horrible reviews.

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Almost paaaaaaaradiiiiiiiiise for me too XD

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Are we allowed to write about our everlasting love for Meteor Garden? @egads @kimbapnoona @giegie @jenmole @bammsie

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I mean, our head overlord wrote about it once.. I’m not sure if it meets the requirements but I’d still love to read any piece of writing that comes out of watching the show!

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Lol who is our head overload and why haven't I seen it?

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XD (I meant Javabeans, back when she posted on all the different versions of HanaDan.)

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Thank you, @mary! And *adds another kick for good measure*

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http://www.dramabeans.com/2018/09/to-all-the-flower-boys-ive-loved-before/

*kicks Real Life in the nuts* HURRY AND GIVE OUR OVERLORDS BACK, YOU MEANIE!!!

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I thought the same but Idk how many times I can write about MG before someone sets a hitman onto me...

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Not having seen the originals I can highly recommend both LIFE ON MARS and SUITS.
Of the 3 dramas I have seen Park Hyung-sik in (HWARANG, SWDBS and SUITS) his portrayal of Go Yeon-woo in SUITS was for me his best performance.

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It's quite a vast theme between manga/manhwa/webtoon, book, remake... It's hard because some of them I know the original story and for some, I know only the remakes/adaptations.

The ones I didn't like : Nodame Cantabile, Suits, Criminal Minds, To the Beautiful You, Boys over Flowers, Fated to Love You, Liar Game, City Hunter, The Time We Were Not In Love, Playful Kiss.

The one I liked : The Good Wife, Life on Mars, Cheese in the Trap, The Smile That Has Left you Eyes, Solomon's Perjury, My ID Gangnam.

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OH I HAVE SO MANY OPINIONS

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LOL

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Solomon's Perjury was breathtaking and it just makes you love court dramas while dealing with some really heavy topics in Korea

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