So Korea’s NODAME CANTABILE finally got its dream Noda Megumi after what seemed to be a complicated courtship that played out like a drama itself. I haven’t watched any of Shim Eun-kyung’s work but I have read glowing reviews about her from my blogger friends who watch more films and dramas than me. And when they say she’s the perfect fit for Nodame, I believe them.
Now all KBS has to do is give justice to the original work.
Remakes are par for the course for successful films or dramas. But it amuses me that many Korean remakes are more famous than their original ones. A perfect example: BOYS OVER FLOWERS.
I don’t know whether to be amused or offended when people say “that Japanese remake of BOF”. Uh, the original material, HANA YORI DANGO (or “boys over flowers”) was the manga (1992-2003), which was turned into a film (1995) whose cast included Fujiki Naohito as Hanazawa Rui, then the anime (1997). The first drama based on it was Taiwan’s METEOR GARDEN (2001) and Japan followed suit with HANA YORI DANGO (2005). So if we’re talking of remakes, it might be more accurate to say that even the Japanese drama was a remake of the Taiwan version, better known among fans as MG and HYD or Hanadan.
If it’s any consolation, no one would take the Korean version of NODAME CANTABILE, called CANTABILE ROMANCE (that sounds ominously disastrous but this post is not about the plot), as the original what with the hoohah that preceded the casting and filming. Unless of course Korean drama fans live in a cave or in a universe where the only dramas that exist in the world are, well, K-dramas.
I can let pass the utter cluelessness of some K-drama fans but I cannot tolerate the snobbery sometimes, especially when they dismiss Japanese, Chinese or Taiwanese dramas as too boring. But I guess it also boils down to accessibility, not so much on material.
While there has been a dearth of late of really good Taiwanese dramas (I don’t know anything about Chinese/mainland dramas to comment on them), the Japanese regularly produce really good dramas that offer more diverse, experimental plots. The thing is, subbing Japanese dramas take longer time than Korean ones, most probably because there is a smaller community and pool of volunteer subbers. Sometimes it takes forever for an episode to be subbed that you eventually lose interest. I know because it always happens to me.
So yes, it all boils down to accessibility. Many are more familiar with Korean dramas because it’s easy to find subbed episodes and there are a lot of bloggers who do recaps. I can’t say the same for Japanese/Taiwanese/Chinese dramas although I’m lucky to know some of those who do.
Aside from the lack of volunteer subbers, it may also have something to do with raw files of Japanese dramas being hard to get or the long arm of Japan’s copyright laws preventing streaming sites from hosting them. So maybe I shouldn’t mind that people know Jun-pyo more than Domyouji, although it’s their loss.
For sure, Korea is not the only one remaking dramas originally done by its Asian neighbors. Many Korean dramas have been remade too but since this post is on Korean drama remakes, then let’s see what are the other known ones aside from BOF and NODAME:
FATED TO LOVE YOU (Jang Hyuk & Jang Nara) – remake of Taiwan drama with Ethan Ruan and Qiao En
TO THE BEAUTIFUL YOU (a bunch of idols) – remake of Taiwan’s HANA KIMI with Ella Chen, Wu Chun and Jiro Wang; and Japan’s with Horikita Maki, Oguri Shun and Ikuta Toma
PLAYFUL KISS (Kim Hyun-joong) – remake of Taiwan’s IT STARTED WITH A KISS with Ariel Lin and Joe Cheng; and Japan’s ITAZURA NA KISS
WITCH’S ROMANCE – remake of Taiwan’s MY QUEEN with Ethan Ruan and Cheryl Yang
With Shim Eun-kyung on board now, I hope that Korea’s version of NODAME will give justice to the original material. And not turn out to be like this:
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