LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT
Fated To Love You: Episodes 1-2
It had been with great trepidation and concern that I approached this Korean remake of one of my favorite Taiwanese dramas. This is a drama with episodes I still watch sometimes and an OST that is a permanent fixture in my iPod. I have watched Jang Hyuk in the past, but didn’t consider myself a fan, and though I quite find Jang Nara cute, she wasn’t one who stayed in my radar at all times. So it was completely without expectation that I clicked to watch the first two episodes. Worst decision ever.
I loved them so much I was reminded of why I have sworn off watching a kdrama as it’s airing. I am now chomping at the bits to get to the third episode. I am now worried. Worried that it might lose its light touch. Which means that I am now INVESTED. With so many things on my plate, I can’t be invested. There are just too many dramas to watch, and two stories to be written. But invested, I am.
I will not be recapping the drama, as the recaps on Dramabeans are an excellent resource for that. What I will be doing is sharing why the drama has captured my interest, and hopefully for those of you who have a craving for a rom-com, maybe pique your interest as well, so that we can all enjoy this drama together. Because I am in it for the long haul.
Jang Hyuk is doing an exemplary job as Lee Gun, a character who perhaps if handled by a less talented actor, had the possibility of turning cartoonish. But JH handles his portrayal with nuance, giving him enough uniqueness to be quirky, but still with a depth that gives him the layers that he needs for development and an arc. He was so over the top in the first episode, but the second episode gave him so much heart. By the end of episode 2, we learn that he not only is an arrogant chaebol (which he is), but he is also a man with a past, which includes losing his parents at a young age, and waiting for his girlfriend for years. This gives him a story, and a basis for how he acts now and how he will progress as the story goes along. Lee Gun is a man who has the ability and the opportunity to grow and become even better, since the foundation is already there. He doesn’t come from an irredeemable place, and I love the way Jang Hyuk portrays him.
Jang Nara is her usual winning and adorable self, giving Kim Mi Young the vulnerability and softness that she needs to make us understand where her character is in her life. Kim Mi Young may be a woman used to being ignored and being used, but she doesn’t use it an an excuse to feel victimized. She accepts it as it is, which is perhaps, the saddest thing of all. She may be a post it girl, but she still strives to be the best post it girl. This is a woman worthy of love, and worthy of finding out just how valuable she is. Just like post its… just like most things that we need but don’t always notice are vital, she herself needs to see that there is value in being who she is and no one else. I kid you not when I say that I was crying right along with her when she was clutching her cheap earrings, insisting that they matter if for no other reason than that they are hers. In Episode 2 she showed us that she is not as spineless or meek as she looks… she is a woman who will fight back when push comes to shove, and will stand up for the things that are important to her.
Their interactions were sweet, and maybe not laden with explosive chemistry, but one that comes from a place of shared emotion, and comraderie. They both understand loneliness. They both know what it’s like to be pushed aside. It was during these interactions that we may have seen glimpses of the best part of themselves, he with his generosity (despite his obvious suspicious nature) in giving her the opportunity to see who she could be when he himself was going through a tough time, and she with her innocence and faith in telling him that though things don’t quite end up perfectly, that it doesn’t lessen its authenticity or meaning. They both have a lot to learn from and teach each other, and that in itself makes their pairing a compelling one.
If Episode 1 showed us who they are, Episode 2 showed us who they could be together. It makes me sublimely happy and mad that I am this excited for a new episode to air (I anticipate lots of lecturing from my PD). It feels good to fall in love with a drama again, after the viewing slump I’ve been in, so I will sit back and enjoy the ride.
Don’t disappoint me, Show. I am in no mood to write any more fanfics.
For my fellow original Fated to Love You fans, here’s one of my faves from its OST. ENJOY!