This picture pretty sums up this kooky, adorable drama! It's the first time I've watched a drama while it aired in the country, and it was not fun waiting with everyone else. Although, it was probably healthier as I wasn't inclined to binge watch. Anyhow, "Fated to Love You" or "You Are My Destiny" or "운명처럼 널 사랑해" was originally a Taiwanese drama, also called "Fated to Love You." It was one of the few T-dramas I watched all of without getting bored, so I was pretty excited when I found out it was going to get a makeover with the Korean version (i.e. bigger budget, better clothes, better sets). I remember a few things about the T-version:
- The, uh, love scene was actually quite steamy for an Asian drama. Like, I blushed.
- The mid-series scene that moves the plot from Act 1 to Act 2 had me crying a little bit. Okay, like a lot. Actually a lot of Act 1 had me feeling really sorry for the main girl.
- The ending was hilarious.
- Actually besides the dramatic parts, the drama was the definition of hilarious and kooky.
- The second guy had some major flow (and by flow, I mean hair).
With this in mind, I found myself loving the Korean version more! Probably because it had a bit quicker of a pace, and the actors who played the leads were just so good. Here's the basic summary: Kim Mi Young (Jang Na Ra) is the definition of a doormat or, as she puts it, a post-it note. People use and ask her for everything from getting coffee to picking up dry cleaning and more, even though this is not her job. She never says no. Never. Ever. She has a best friend at the office, Jeon Ji Yeon (Park Hee Bon) who constantly laments her pushover tendencies and fruitlessly tries to encourage her to stand up for herself. She also has a family on an island made up of her mother (Song Ok Sook) and her two older sisters a pregnant Kim Mi Ja (Lee Mi) and Kim Mi Sook (Han Kyu). On the flip side, our romantic hero is Lee Gun (Jang Hyuk) who is both the heir to a hair product company and the descendant of the Jeonju Lee clan, a family plagued by losing their male heirs to Huntington's disease in their mid-thirties (a.k.a Lee Gun's age). There is pressure from the elders of the clan, his grandmother (Park Won Sook), and the threat of his half-brother, Lee Yong (Choi Woo Shik), and his father's former mistress (Na Young Hee). Gun assures all sides that he does have plans to marry as his long time girlfriend and love of his life, Kang Se Ra (Wang Ji Won of "I Need Romance 3)), is finally returning to Korea from dancing ballet in New York City after failing to get a lead roll.
The two worlds collide when both Gun and Mi Young happen to be at the same resort in Macau in rooms that end in 9 and 6. Gun is there with plans to propose to Se Ra, who ditches him last minute for a callback, and Mi Young has won a free trip through a raffle at work. The soap factory owners from Mi Young's hometown are in Macau to drug Gun into sleeping with a hired escort and take photos of him in compromising positions so he won't tear down the island's main source of income. Things flip when Mi Young accidentally (and in a highly unlikely scenario) drinks the drug meant for Gun and winds up in his room when the 9 flips to a 6, and she fails to recognize the difference in her drugged stupor. The owners manage to still drug Gun when they pretend to be masseurs. They two sleep together, Gun thinking Mi Young is Se Ra, and Mi Young thinking Gun is her new boyfriend (who wound up using Mi Young for this trip). Things get really crazy when it turns out Mi Young is pregnant. From her first time. Which she doesn't remember.
This drama is all kinds of sweet, sad, and perfectly acted. The side stories are even hilariously cute (like Lee Yong and Jeon Ji Yeon ending up together!), and the two leads have incredible chemistry. I won't give away the ending, but let me just say for a long time I saw this story ending completely happy or completely sad or completely bittersweet, and I hated that I had to wait to find out! This is the first Korean drama that I actually cried watching! Of all the sad plot lines in K-dramas, I didn't shed a tear or even feel real sorrow until I watched Jang Nara. Definitely, definitely watch this. I didn't even really get to mention the fact that Choi Jin Hyuk (my favorite from "I Need Romance") as Daniel Pitt, is the second lead who is a neighborhood oppa to Mi Young and in eternal search for his long lost little sister, also named Kim Mi Young. Ah! This drama is just too good not to watch!