Fated to Love You: Me Likey!

Well this is a shocker! I’m sitting here absolutely giddy in love with Fated to Love You.

I was wary bout this one for obvious reasons, but see what happens when a show exceeds your expectations? You get me writing a very fangirly first impressions post, which I almost never do. The first impressions part I mean. I fangirl all the time!

First, let’s talk about this creature here.

Fated to Love You Ep1

I was looking forward to a certain level of ham and slapstick from what I’d seen from the teasers, but I certainly did not expect the show to zealously devote itself to making Lee Geon look as ridiculous as possible.

I mean, look at him! He’s freakin’ absurd.

Fated to Love You Ep1

AND I LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF IT. That maniacal cackle? That’s a kind of defensive, self-aggrandizing tic?  GIMME.

He’s a send-up of every jerky chaebol asshat ever, and I’m so thrilled that Jang Hyuk is completely game. He’s a marvellously physical actor and he just throws his entire body into Lee Geon–part flailing buffoon, part dandy stud.

Fated to Love You Ep1

(More on his body later, ahem.)

But then the jerky asshat isn’t quite the jerk at all. For one, he’s completely, and rather sweetly, in love!

Sure he’s a ruthless businessman, but he also loves honestly and whole-heartedly. Which means he isn’t the centre of his universe and can step outside of himself, and is able to express feelings besides petty tantrums. You know, like a real person.

Yes, a real person.

And then there’s my precious, precious Mi Young, who I want to scoop up and squish and give all the things.

Fated to Love You Ep 1

I want to shower Jang Nara with rose petals for giving her a sense of…authenticity. (Which interestingly, is a quality that Lee Geon sees and appreciates in Mi Young).

I wasn’t that impressed with Jang Nara when I last saw her in School 2013, but she’s a total delight here. Her delicate face trembles with fragility, and so do her hands in that inevitable “oettoke” moment. She’s mousy but not unassertive, and she’s not a generic brand of doormat. You know the type–all quirks, no substance.

[spoilers!]

Fated to Love You Ep 2

The script has thankfully given Jang Nara something to work with. It’s given Mi Young hurts but also anger. When she tells the real jerk of these episodes (surprise, it’s not the chaebol!) to get out of the hotel room which she paid for, she’s really reclaiming her heart and her self-hood. She might let herself be taken advantage of professionally, but not so when it comes to love. She’s not spineless at all, this one.

And then that wonderful exchange between Lee Geon and Mi Young after that silly poker game, which turns the whole preceding make-over sequence on it’s head.

Fated to Love You Ep 2

Usually make-overs are treated like Candy has struck the lottery, but not here. It’s totally false and rings hollow because it had nothing to with her, and everything to do with Geon projecting his own sadness at being abandoned. Which she exposes and makes him feel sorry for:

Watching him kneel in front of money,

Not him, but I was pitiful. He’s a bad person, it’s true.

But my feelings for him were real. Truth shouldn’t become useless.

And look, she’s not her glammed up self when she says this, which feels right considering she’s talking about truths.

And the fact that her grace made him cop to his pain and weakness? That willingness to acknowledge the ugly truth about both their feelings? Gah!

And then there’s the recognition of their shared hurts, sealed by their exchange of curios and their real names. D’awwwwww!

And that slight look of wistfulness on both their faces as they part, as if to say, oh that was an odd and unexpected and totally lovely encounter, wasn’t it?

Fated to Love You Ep 2

See, this is a surprising amount of sensitivity sandwiched between the screwball. For another example, look no further than episode 2’s wonderful sex sequence.

Yes, there’s an AWESOME montage of them making rice-cakes that’s none-too-subtle code for banging…

Fated to Love You Ep 2

Fated to Love You Ep 2

Fated to Love You Ep 2

I die just thinking about it!

But there’s also the rather wondrous little bed scene that comes just before.

Let’s get the icky context out of the way first: they’ve both been drugged, and they both think they’re with someone else. And while that can present a boatload of problematic consent issues, the sex here is a loving encounter that both enjoy.

It’s all in the details, see.

He reaches for her and enfolds her in his arms. He caresses her shoulder fondly, soothingly.

Fated to Love You Ep 2

With her face burrowed into his chest, her hands travel up his bare back and rest on his face.

Fated to Love You Ep 2

He breathes her in, nuzzling her hair.

Fated to Love You Ep 2 Fated to Love You Ep 2

His leg moves under the sheets, then his hand finally clasps hers.

Fated to Love YouIt’s shockingly tender. And their touching feels tangible and real, made vivid in it’s simplicity. It’s refreshingly free from any glossy fakery and the usual K-drama prudery.

And I MELTED BIG TIME.

This is far from the drunken tryst that I’d thought it would be. It speaks volumes too of Gun’s genuine love for Sera. And she wakes up pleased as pie.

[end spoilers!]

And so kudos to Lee Dong Yoon-PD! I luff you already!

And then there’s the nudge-nudge wink-wink at Lee Geon’s body, like here, where his schlong has been obscured by a large erect lamp: Fated to Love You ep 2

People openly admire his various parts:

Fated to Love You

…and are horrified by them too.

Fated to Love You ep 2

So yes, I love the show’s frank playfulness about sex and bodies. (I wonder if it’s because it’s an adaptation from the Taiwanese drama?).

And if I haven’t been clear, I love the comedy. And also if I haven’t said it plainly, I freaking adore the two Jangs who make all this work.

And I’m eager to see how Mr DJ aka Gumihot Choi Jin Hyuk fits into the picture, and for Sera’s and Geon’s relationship to be explored. I’m hopeful that the show keeps up this awesome balance of madcap OTT tomfoolery and genuine, meaningful connections, at least before the inevitable angst comes along.

So yep, I’m sold on this one. I’m all in!

Fated to Love You Ep 1

 

 

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46 thoughts on “Fated to Love You: Me Likey!

  1. I’m in love with your post. You have such a way with words and a great sensitivity. You are even making me notice things I didn’t. I too only expected this to be slapstick mindless fun but oh surprise they are giving us characters with depth that we can connect with?I really do hope they keep it up!

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    • Shucks, thanks dear! I was thinking today that I would be really heartbroken if the show goes off the rails, coz I luff my two Jangs so so much! And I hv no business calling them “my” but I WANT THEM. I want to scoop them up and carry them in my pocket with me everywhere I go, and pat Geon on his head and play with Mi Young’s curls like a little girl.

      I’m actually afraid at how thrilled I am with this show coz yunno the inevitable come down is round the corner.

      I just read Head’s recap on DB and it’s funny she had a somewhat different take on the make-over, but I can see how that works too. I’m thrilled she & gummi are doing this one, I love their recaps :).

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      • I also find them so freakin adorbs! Somebody needs to make me little Geon and Mi Young dolls so I can play with and have them go kissy kissy (lol! ok Im a weirdo!) I feel the same fear. It’s only ep2, and original male lead was a major pain in the ass douchebag (according to ppl) and they might take my Geon and douchefy him after making us love him! and he might make our Mi Young cry! and then we’ll have to hate him! Noooo drama noooo, don’t do this!!!! On the other hand, these writers and PD seem both sensitive and with a wacky cool sense of humor so, I shall trust (not that we have a choice lol)

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      • Yep, we don’t have a choice since it sounds like we’re both in this for the long haul! I’ve tried to avoid reading or visiting places where I might get spoiled so I dunno much bout Geon, but major douchebagery is not unexpected. What to do? We can love and hate him at the same time 😉

        But I happened to read a HUGE ASS SPOILER on twitter (like, why the FOOOK to people do that?? She has 800+ followers, and you’d think it would occur to her that not all of them appreciate a freakin’ spoiler where they LEAST expect it. I expect to be spoiled if I was at a forum, or a blog or a recap, but twitter for the most part, is the least spoiler-rific zone man). So I’ve muted her ;P.

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  2. Your review is fantastic. My impression was the same as yours, but you verbalize it much better than I do. I especially love this excerpt from your post “He’s a marvelously physical actor and he just throws his entire body into Lee Geon–part flailing buffoon, part dandy stud.” That is a fantastic observation and a very accurate one. I also noticed the nice homage to his “schlong” with the lamp perfectly encasing it. That cracked me up and also caused my eyebrows to raise in surprise.. and delight! Too funny. Great show.. and not only because I’m a super fan. I think everyone in this is great. It’s funny, sweet and wonderful. I’m really enjoying it.

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    • Kakakaka I really facepalmed at all the er schlong appreciation. And I just remembered that the model in the first ep counts the number of ab packs! HAHAH. And Mi Young thinks to herself how “fit” his chest is in the morning *GUFFAW*. I’m started to think it’s all on purpose just to embarrass the poor guy!

      Well, you know more bout acting than I do since you actually act, so I’m happy that it’s not just me being erm too interested in his bod! But I’ve always thought that of him, and since he’s athletic, it makes sense that he just seems super duper comfortable and aware of his body and has a very physical presence. The only other actor I can think of like that is Gong Yoo who is extremely athletic too.

      Or it could be maybe these two are just actors I like and I pay way more attention to them than I should 😛

      Thanks for the kind comments too :). Yay for an awesome show that inspires the words!

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      • It’s funny cause Jang Hyuk seems like quite a humble person and doesn’t really like exposing his body, but he’ll do just about anything if he believes it’s true to his character. I love that about him. He commits fully to his role.

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    • Aww thanks for the kind words! Yes, he is isn’t he? His enthusiasm and energy shines through. Kinda reminds me of Lee Jun Ki in that way 🙂

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  3. Amazing points here! I so agree with everything you said! My two most favourite things so far are- our main couple seems so real, like real people with feelings and capability of reacting like normal people to things that happened to them. Especially Mi Young. She is not our typical heroine, not at all. I watched the episodes yesterday and today I started thinking about them again and realised that what made her different was the fact that she seems mature!! She expressed her feelings, she was not spineless, I just loved her! And the second thing is that overall the writes seems to take cliché aspects of k-dramas and presenting them as they should be presented- funny, mature, and nicely balanced.
    These episodes were a great way to end my k-drama dryness of months!
    (ps sorry if my comment aqnd english don’t make any sense, it seems I have forgotten how to write comments that make sense!haha..)

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    • BRIGHTFOTINI YOU’RE BACK!! And your English is just fine and makes perfect sense! Am thrilled to hear frm you and that you’re watching dramas again! YAY! How have you been?

      Yes I do love MY too, probably more than Geon which is I suppose inevitable since she’s plain adorable. And I so agree that she handled her hurt and pain maturely. Yes yes yes, a great balanced start to what’s hopefully going to be a gem 🙂

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      • I’m fine!! Real life just keeps me kind of busy and for some reason I didn’t feel like watching TV series in general not just k-dramas. But as we all know it’s so easy to get back on track of watching dramas! Haha..
        Let’s hope this one will be good and adorable and plain great!!

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  4. YES yes yes. Everything Ms. Dee said and more. Ep 1 drew me in with the wacky but I had my reservations about yet ANOTHER chaebol and candy k-drama. Then ep 2 happened, and even though I knew, I KNEW jerk lawyer was going to get his comeuppance I was on the edge of my seat for the entire scene, and riding the FTLY train all the way to through that meaningful and honest conversation at the end. I haven’t been this engaged for a long while. 🙂 Normally I’m fidgety and telling myself NOT to click on the FFWD button, but for ep 2 I sat with my mouth open and a silly smile on my face the whole time.

    Re: spoilery with the T-Drama version. Yup I have to avoid it too. I didn’t watch that one and the Soompi forum is full of it. I want to start a version of the drama thread that expressly bars all comparison with the T-Drama version. Wonder if the admin peeps will allow that.

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  5. Pingback: Nodame Cantabile Casting Bombshell & Other News: OCDrama Digest 4th – 7th July 2014 | obsessive compulsive (k)drama-watching disorder
  6. DDee, now I’m having second thoughts, what if people think our blog is not really a neutral space? I mean, it is dedicated to Jang Hyuk after all. I kind of want everyone to feel they can say whatever they want, obviously with respect. Hmm, well, let’s try it until we find a better solution. It might just be a few of us discussing anyway but yayyyy! I’m looking forward to it

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    • Maybe you can say explain like we welcome everyone but we want discussions to be limited to this version so that we can get the most out of it? Besides there’s a space where people are free to compare at the soompi thread and DB, this is for folks who want to avoid spoilers and want to discuss this one on it’s own merits? Or something along those lines?

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  7. Pingback: Fated to love you Ep 1 – Thoughts and discussion | Stuck on Hyuk
  8. Hey Dee, just discovered your blog today. I love this recap. That bed scene was surprisingly sincere and touching. It was my best scene in that episode. I am obsessed with this drama i am afraid. love it!!

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    • Welcome to the blog! I love the show too, and that bed scene was super sweet wasn’t it. The show is going swimmingly so far and way above my expectations. It’s moving into some treacherous waters so fingers crossed it stays the course :). Thanks for reading!

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  9. ..what can i say?….i love this Korean version so much!…so in love with Jang Hyuk, he always make me laugh every time i watch the episodes…This drama gives me a very diverse Jang Hyuk…surprisingly he can do comedy…i have seen a couple of movies of him and i’ve seen his sageuk one as Chuno…you wouldn’t realize that it’s Jang Hyuk doing rom-com and his cackling will make you crazy that you wouldn’t want to miss an episode….I also love the team-up of Jang couple…Jang Nara has a very pretty innocent face that goes with her character as a post-it girl Mi-Young ..

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    • Aren’t the two Jangs wonderful? I knew that Jang Hyuk has the chops to do alot so I wasn’t surprised at the comedy, but what gets me are the subtler emotional moments where he casts a look or says a line in a gentle undertone. So good! And Jang Nara is PERFECTION. She wins all the things! I luv her and I luv them together. I love this show!!

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