dangermousie: (DGCH by syliasyliasylia)
[personal profile] dangermousie
I am so irritated with Korean version of Hana Yori Dango at the moment.

It's a living proof of a mess you get when you put together:

a. excellent cast
b. huge budget
c. a messy, nonsensical, illogical script.

Seriously, wtf, Korea? K-Hanadan was at its best in the beginning, when it followed the manga closely. The more and more it departed from it, the less logical sense it made and the more I had to handwave things. At this point, not only is it nowhere near dethroning Meteor Garden or the jdrama from their 'favorite adaptations' places, it's making less sense than an average well-written kdrama.

You do not have to slavishly follow the manga. But then you have to make sure you have a good script which makes its own internal coherent sense - with character progressions, logical segways, developments that make sense. Oh, and if you at least try to be true to the spirit of the original story, that also helps. Look at the Japanese Hanadan - it's the perfect example. It didn't choose to go the literally faithful adaptation road of the awesome Meteor Garden, but it remained true to the spirit of the story and the characters - Matsujun's Domyouji and Mao's Makino are, in essense, very much like their manga counterparts. Jandi and Jun Pyo are miles away. Not only that, but even if they reorganized the events significantly, it made both character progression sense, a la the manga, and also, even more importantly, internal coherent sense. When I watched e.g. Hanadan2, I never either wondered WTF they were doing what they were doing, or switched ships because the canon ship made no sense.

And that's another complaint: the characters. Manga Makino is one of the most awesome heroines out there: strong, unyielding, unmopey, fiercely energetic, impossible to bully. Inoue Mao in the jdrama portrays it perfectly. And Barbie Hsu in the twdrama kicks it up a notch even more. Those are some fearsome ladies. And then we have Jandi. Whose toughness in the earlier eps has gone away entirely - who cannot say boo to the mean girls, let alone Darth Mama, who needs constant ridiculous rescuing (from a pool two feet deep!), who is mopey, weepy, and listless. She is lame and weak compared even to an good kdrama heroine (Chunhyang or Yu Rin or Ma Ja would wipe the floor with her in two seconds), not to mention the original source. Heck, even an average kdrama heroine (heroine of Who Are You or Which Star Are You From), not one with unusual amounts of spunk, could take her.

Also, Jun Pyo. We got rid of most of Domyouji's distinctive traits - the hugely troubling and uncontrolled violence. The dimness. Total unwaivering refusal to let go of Makino (in Hanadan2 I bought it barely, because it was brief, super-hard, and rather justified). He's become yet another tall, hot, and troubled kdrama hero. And the worst part? Unlike in twdrama and jdrama, he's had no learning curve about becoming human, he didn't have to work hard and hard and harder to get the girl to change her opinion - the bullying doesn't seem to matter, Jandi falls into his lap fairly quick.

Etcetcetc. I could rant for hours.

But one last comment - it took my reading people's posts to realize that the fiancee in a modest swimsuit hugging Jun Pyo from the back in the pool is the kdrama's equivalent of the seduction scene in the manga. WTF? I don't expect them to follow the manga and the twdrama and show her straddling him half-naked on the bed, but even the jdrama, much much more prudish though it was, had her on top of him in a bed. This pool thing is a seduction scene? Ahahahahahaaaa. LOL. Yeah.

Korea, you can adopt manga excellently well and make a great teen drama - see Goong! So WTF?

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November 2012

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