I am sure many of you are aware that last week saw the premiere of the first episode of the jdrama Ikemen Desu Ne
, the Japanese remake of the mania kdrama You're Beautiful
I was very curious to check it out and tonight, seeing that CH subs are not done yet, and I am too brain-dead for anything that requires any concentration, seemed like a good time.
Shocking verdict: I like it!
Let me put this in context - unlike most of the the English-speaking online kdrama fandom, I was not in love with YAB. I started out adoring it, it is true. But as it progressed, I realized that there never was going to be more character development or plot progression that we saw at the start and all the flaws I found so interesting in anticipation of how they would get addressed, never will be. And then, with the bitterness of a disappointed love, my love turned into loathing. I ended the drama thoroughly
disliking it. Fandom wars around that time didn't help, I confess, and I have mellowed about it since. As of now, I regard it as a well-made and cute drama for which I am much too old to be a target audience, a sort of live-action shoujo, which had an awesome soundtrack and a great performance by Jang Geun Seok, who held that drama together and made me watch much longer than I otherwise would have. It was the beginning of the end of my love affair with Hong Sisters...
Anyway, since I didn't like YAB, the thought of the remake didn't feel me with horror (the way jdrama remake of Mawang did. Mawang is my favorite drama of all time, so any remake felt sacrilegious). I didn't think it could be ruined, frankly.
And one ep in, I am enjoying it hugely (then, granted, I adored YAB in the beginning too).
(1) The jdrama is a lot less OTT and a lot more low-key, which I like. My adoration of KO 3an Guo notwithstanding, OTT and I don't really go well together. A lot of humor that didn't work for me has been taken out even if the concept is still funny - a nun cross-dressing as a boy to join an idol group.
(2) I really like the actress who plays Minam (I am going to use Korean version names because those are the ones I know). Unlike Park Shin Hye's over-the-top naivete (I love PSH but the way the role was done, nobody could have saved it), she just seems sweet.
(3) Whoever plays Tae Kyung is nowhere nearly as good as JGS but I like him OK.
(4) I always thought both Shin Woo and Jeremy were wooden pretty decor so I don't care what they do with them there.
(5) This is going to be half the length of the kdrama and honestly, YAB story could stand to be severely chopped down.
(6) I know what to expect - fun and cuteness and no brain whatsoever and problematic gender takes, so I am more accepting of it.
(7) I am just more tolerant of shallowness (emotional and narrative) and kookiness/shoujoness in jdramas for some reason.
So, overall verdict - objectively it's nowhere near as good as YAB but subjectively I like it better. I will keep up with it.