I always feel excited whenever I watch K-dramas with best friends-to-lovers story line. I know it’s a pretty old trope, but when done right, it’s a one heck of fun ride. I know this week’s Grumpy Flashback had mixed reactions from fans, especially that it’s a remake of a popular Taiwanese drama. I know some didn’t like it, especially those who loved the original version so much. But I’m happy to share that I belong to those who liked the remake, not because it’s perfect, but because it’s simple for my taste. I don’t really set high expectations whenever I watch remakes because I always believe that nothing beats the original material when it comes to art.
As mentioned earlier, The Time I’ve Loved You (also known as The Time We Were Not in Love or My Time With You) was based on the hit 2011 T-drama In Time With You. The Korean version starred A-list actress Ha Ji-won and model-turned-actor Lee Jin-wook, and aired in 2015 on SBS.
The remake was generally a fun watch despite the plot holes. It was enough to take us into the journey of two long time friends who were transitioning from being “just friends” to becoming each other’s soulmates. Choi Won (Lee Jin-wook) have always loved his best friend Oh Hana (Ha Ji-won), but due to a tragic past, he chose not to confess his love for her and just stayed by her side as the ever dependable knight-in-shining armor. I really liked how Won and Hana’s relationship was portrayed in such a way that everyone will root for them to end up together. Even with the mix of second leads, Yoon Kyung-sang and Cho Soo-hyun, their strong friendship (and blossoming romance) only strengthened.
Grumpy tidbit: INFINITE’s L (Kim Myung-soo) also had an extended cameo in the drama as a marketing intern who used Hana to advance a full-time position in the company. Quite cute for a sly kid, this one.
I must admit though that it took time for me to get used to Ha Ji-won’s Hana. We all love Ha Ji-won, but Hana was not her best. Her niche was strong, independent women who can easily live life without a partner. And seeing her act cute just to portray Hana was something fresh for me as her audience, but I appreciate her effort in making the character relatable.
The most memorable strength of the drama was the couple’s evolution from having a platonic friendship – those moments whenever Won always root for Hana to overcome yet another heartbreak, or whenever they share their respective dreams and fears at their secret hideout.
If you’re looking for a slice-of-life series with a promising OTP to root for, The Time I’ve Loved You could be a good watch. It’s nothing complicated, and even though it’s frustrating to see the hero keep his feelings a secret at first, the reward at the end would be worth it.
[Credit: All photos and GIFs used in this blog belong to SBS’ The Time I’ve Loved You]
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