So I’m taking a break from posting the OST of It’s Okay to Not Be Okay mostly because I’m still waiting for official videos of my favorite songs to be released 😋. Instead, I’m comparing and contrasting a drama and its remakes, the Taiwanese drama Fated to Love You (2008).
I’ve watched all four remakes of it (well, I’m in the process of watching the latest one now), so I thought I’d give my opinion of it. The Taiwanese drama was very popular at the time and starred big names Joe Chen and Ethan Juan. The success of it lead to more episodes then originally planned, which unfortunately lead to a bloated and more convoluted storyline in the last 3rd of the drama. Without further introduction, let’s start this matchup!
Fated to Love You (2008)
Synopsis: A really unfashionable working class girl Chen Xin Yi has the desire to tie down her handsome boyfriend to be with her. Due to certain reasons, her boyfriend gets her to go on a love cruise and she started to ponder on how to lose her virginity and tie down her boyfriend. Xin Yi ended up taking cold medicine which made her drowsy and went into Ji Cun Xi’s room. Cun Xi is the sole male heir to his family’s company and has been in love with his girlfriend, Anna, for a long time. He planned to propose to Anna on the boat but she didn’t turn up on the cruise. An island owner added drugs into Cun Xi’s drink and Cun Xi became disorientated and returned to his own room. Xin Yi and Cun Xi end up having a one night stand. Xin Yi later finds out that she’s pregnant and Cun Xi’s grandmother forces them to get married. Will a couple forced to marry for the sake of their unborn child find love with each other?
With an awesome soundtrack, wonderful female actress and real character growth in the plot, Fated to Love You (2008) did a number of things right, including the sizzling chemistry between the leads. Unfortunately, some of your interest will probably wander later on in the drama, as they added episodes because of its popularity. So yeah, the plotline could have been much tighter and shorter. But Joe Chen as the female lead is truly wonderful here and I also loved her family, her mom and the grandma too. Ethan Juan isn’t a great actor here, but he has great chemisty with Joe. 24 episodes, 1 hr 30mins each.
So Korea is the first to remake it, basically a copy of the plot, except they do add their own Korean touches. Jang Hyuk as the male lead is basically gives this role this crazed energy (think Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean). It doesn’t really work as romance, but it is great comedy and so I would say this drama almost works better as a comedy than a romance. Jang Na Ra is the meek girl lead and I liked what she did with the role. This drama also added a few scenes between the leads, changed the actions of the 2nd female lead slightly to make her more sympathetic and also got rid of some of the minor plot points. There was one big change in the plot. See below!
Major plot spoiler (highlight to view).
One thing they added was making our male lead played by Jang Hyuk have a tragic illness, it was really lame and did little but to waste time. And yes, it was a happy ending, but still that stupid last minute illness was really unnecessary. I really can’t understand what was the thinking behind it, we don’t have enough angst, so let’s add our male lead dying? Ridiculous!
Overall, I liked it, not loved, but there were moments that worked really well. 20 episodes, 1 hr each
Now we finally get to the Thailand remake of Fated to Love You (2014), and this is based more on the Korean version then the Taiwanese version, lol. The remake starred Esther Supreeleela and Bie Sukrit and both did a good job together. They totally toned down the wackiness of Jang Hyuk’s portrayal of the male lead, Bie basically plays him as the romantic male lead, not the comic male lead. They also don’t bother with the major Korean added plot device I spoke about before. While I find this remake acceptable, it doesn’t really do much to change things up or enhance the story/characters. 17 episodes, 1hr each
You Are My Destiny (2020)
Now on to the Japanese version, which at 10 episodes of 30 mins each, is by far the shortest of them. This dorama starred Takimoto Miori and Kizu Takumi, and while I thought Takimoto Miori did a good job as the female lead, I was not at all impressed by the male lead, who comes off as meaner and more cruel then in the previous versions. Perhaps it’s because this was shortened so much, they cut out a lot of the scenes and made other scenes shorter, there was less chance to build a positive rapport between the leads and give the hero chances to grovel he badly needed. Again, this seemed to be based more on the Korean remake then the original version, and obviously a number of scenes were dropped. There were also some big changes here. 10 episodes, 30min each. MAJOR SPOILER AHEAD! Highlight to view.
There are some rumors going around that there is to be a 2nd season, which we need because the remake basically stopped at a crucial point.
When the heroine goes off to another place and comes back more mature, and confident in herself, this remake stopped right as she was leaving. So it basically was an open ending.
You Are My Destiny (2020)
Next, we have the Chinese remake which just finished airing on June 23. I haven’t watched all of it yet, but the main couple is played by Xing Zhao Lin and Liang Jie who garnered fans as the main couple in The Eternal Love (2017) and its sequels. This drama looks like it will have pretty significant tweaking from the original. They’ve added more scenes and background info on the heroine and her relationship with her mom, got rid of her sisters. Changes I like. The only thing I don’t think works that well is the main couple. Maybe I’ll change my mind later on, but for now, I don’t find either of the pair’s acting to be great. This version probably has the weakest actors outside of Japanese version where I didn’t think the hero was all that great actingwise. I am still watching this, 6 episodes in so this is a very preliminary review. 36 episodes, 45 mins each.