K-Drama Rewind: Fated To Love You

Even though this was a Taiwanese drama remake, it’s arguably one of the best romantic comedies in K-dramaland. Fated To Love You aired on MBC in 2014 for 20 episodes. Its best asset was the iconic team-up of the eccentric but good-hearted chaebol hero Lee Gon (Jang Hyuk) and timid corporate slave Kim Mi-young (Jang Nara). A lot of foreshadowing and meta moments filled this well-loved series.

Lee Gon was a haircare business magnate who was the last bloodline of the Lee family. His ancestors never exceeded the young adult life because of either an accident or an existing hereditary illness that had since been passed on to their younger generations. Even Gon’s appa and harabeoji failed to reach their midlife so there’s so much pressure for Gon to produce an heir, not only for the conglomerate but also for their own family to continue to exist.

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What I liked about his character, aside from being an oddball, was his good heart. Gon was not your despicable rich kid who’s living in his own privileged bubble. He might be a weirdo but he genuinely cared for other people. He also did his best to keep his promises. Of course, it’s not K-drama if someone didn’t harbor any ill feelings from the past, so he’s the one with the tragic background in this story. All his life he thought his dad left them for a woman. He grew up hating him, which is why he also had commitment issues with other people.

Gon’s life changed forever after he met Kim Mi-young,  an average office girl working at a law firm. Thankfully this was not a rich man-meets-poor girl-type of situation because Gon’s family was actually fond of Mi-young. Another strength of this drama was the way Mi-young handled her heartbreaks. Every single time she was confronted by life’s hurdle, she emerged into a stronger, much better version of herself.

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Snail Couple🐌 

Gon and Mi-young’s accidental hook-up was the main trigger in the story. Mi-young got pregnant and this forced them to get married because it’s what the elders wanted. Even though they started out as strangers tying the knot unexpectedly, they eventually learned to genuinely care for each other. Of course, it also helped that they’re living together because they got to know each other better without the prying eyes of the universe.

Gon’s dedication to Mi-young in the first part of the series. From being the cold husband to the sweetest baby daddy, it was such a fun watch to see Jang Hyuk being so thoughtful to Jang Nara. He was in it for the long run, and he would not waste his time playing bachelor games with anyone else. Mi-young, on the other hand, was the best momma-to-be! I really admired her commitment for her baby and on how she coped up with her own loss. As I’d said, the drama’s OTP was its best asset – iconic and pure.

Gon and Se-ra

I have to admit I used to really pitied Gon’s real girlfriend, Kang Se-ra (Wang Ji-won). She was an internationally known prima ballerina with so much potential. Of course, it’s a shame if she chose love over her career. When you’re in a healthy relationship, why would you choose anyway? She had a boyfriend who loved her dearly and a promising job offer in New York. It’s not like a life and death situation where she had to give up either one, right? But damn, she’s betrayed by her life choices. It’s so bitter that she had lost both.

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If it’s not for that unfortunate incident in Macau, her relationship with Gon would’ve been staying strong. Like I said, I pitied her at first because it’s nobody’s fault. They’re just victims of their own life choices. But as the drama went on, Se-ra’s character arc also went down the spiral. From being the “original” girl to the “willing mistress” to the “bitter ex,” I hated how she manipulated the OTP’s agonizing break-up in the latter part of the series. She contributed a lot to Min-young’s despair because of all her lies.

Long lost siblings

It’s one of those dramas where the second lead characters are also interconnected, not just because of the main leads, but also by blood. I figured it out early on in the drama about the birth secret trope, and this was why Daniel Pitt (Choi Jin-hyuk) never really stood a chance to me from the start. I saw him as Mi-young’s big brother and not as a potential love interest. The drama even attempted to confuse the viewers at first about Daniel’s real sister by also naming her Kim Mi-young. Towards the end of the series, I liked how Daniel and Se-ra found each other as friends who carry the same burden of unrequited love. Them being siblings was just icing on the cake.

Grumpy tidbit: Did you know that this was one of Choi Woo-shik’s early works? He appeared as Lee Yong, Lee Gon’s half-brother.

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Gon and Mi-young’s Eomma

Perhaps my favorite relationship in this series was that of Gon and his mother-in-law (Song Ok-sook). Although one could say that Gon went through the eye of the needle to get to the good side of Mi-young’s mom, he made sure that he was a deserving son. One moment that I liked about their relationship was when Yong and Manager Tak (Choi Dae-chul) brought some sweets and gifts to cheer Gon up but he refused them and headed to Mi-young’s mom’s restaurant. Even though Gon and Mi-young broke up, he was still visiting his mother-in-law’s restaurant to eat her food. He was still on good terms with her after everything that happened between them. Gon literally gained a new family that would treat him as a real son. It was one of the strong points of the drama.

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GRUMPY ALLEY

It’s time to look back at the most memorable moments of the drama:

  • Gon’s cringe-y shampoo commercial (I had to pause for a while and rethink my choice if I could continue watching the drama because of this scene lol)

  • Jang Na-ra being sandwiched by Jang Hyuk and Choi Jin-hyuk

  • Mi-young and Gon’s double morning sickness (how adorable is that!!!!)

  • Swoon-worthy fireworks display

  • Hilarious pre-natal seminar for the awfully awkward Gon and Mi-young

  • I was actually annoyed during this “break-up” nonsense but Jang Hyuk and Jang Nara really brought their A-game in this scene

  • Public confession + kiss at Lee Gon’s press conference

  • And lastly, my most favorite of all – Gon’s video to himself about his memory loss

The drama was not perfect, though I believe that it almost was if not for some dragging parts towards the end. Jang Hyuk really aced his role here. I didn’t want to dwell on the bad parts because it was a really fun watch overall. It’s one of the best works of both Jang Nara and Jang Hyuk. Their chemistry is still unrivaled from their Bright Girl days until now.

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