FINALLY! I finished Jang Hyuk’s Fated to Love You yesterday. As much as I enjoyed the superb acting of the talented actor and his lead actress, Jang Nara, I’m not sure I thoroughly enjoyed the drama in terms of script.
Firstly, the drama is a remake of a 2008 Taiwanese drama of the same name. The Korean version was made in 2014. The story focuses on the lead couple, Lee Gun (Jang Hyuk) and Kim Mi Young/Ellie Kim (Jang Nara), who end up having a one night stand due to a twist of fate, with Mi Young getting pregnant with Gun’s child. Mi Young is this submissive, almost child-like young woman who is unable to land with a solid job because of her personality type where she always settles for less. Lee Gun, on the other hand, is a descendant of a royal family, a chaebol who is the CEO of the family business, but unable to settle with his long term girlfriend who is a professional ballerina who is always busy with her performances. As a result, it is only coincidence that Gun and Mi Young end up spending a night together in a state of drunkenness which they are oblivious to the next morning. Once Mi Young confirms she’s pregnant, she’s forced to marry Gun for the sake of the unborn baby by both her mother and Gun’s grandmother.
With such a premise, we got a lot of emotional dialogues and deep conversations about love and loyalty throughout the drama. A marriage based solely on bearing responsibility for a child was proven to be a a grave indecision, as well as being loveless. The drama stressed a lot on the need for love in marriages and how loyalty is not the only thing needed for marital success. Nonetheless, the drama was clearly drawn out as two completely different shows which were a mishmash in one show, with the first one handling the matter much more sensitively with the latter half being cruel as cruel can be.
The biggest positives were the acting of Jang Hyuk and Jang Nara which was a treat to sit through, followed by the amazing use of metaphors in the show. The scriptwriter stuck to the smallest of references in the beginning till the very end, helping attach greater meaning to actions. However, I am thoroughly sick and tired of the tropes involving noble idiocy and amnesia in Korean dramas. How much longer are these shows going to rely on these issues as plot devices? There were so many other aspects that could have been mined for adding depth to the plot but they had to go the makjang route, which is overdone now.
Lastly, I was sold on Jang Hyuk’s by his Beautiful Mind role, and so going back in time to watch this was a treat. He was a different kind of handsome in it and I was pleased to see him play such a romantic lead. It’s sad that he has crossed the age of being the romantic lead but I would love to see him in another romance because he was just amazing to look at with the handsome face, brilliant acting and a warmth I haven’t seen in other male actors. Next up: Voice, here I come.