This drama is a story of an ordinary girl, Mi Yeong, who has neither outstanding looks, prestigious college degree, nor any other charming qualities, facing her whole life abruptly changing when love comes knocking at her door. While on vacation, she accidentally happens to spend one night with an unknown rich man and even gets pregnant from that night. Through this incident, her life is never the same, and this fateful encounter brings love that transforms this not-so-special girl to an attractive, charming lady.
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I will admit something here. I dropped this drama three times! The first time, I barely lasted 20 seconds, so maybe that doesn't count. The second time I made it a whole 5 minutes, and the third time I made it to 10. I just could not stand the lead actor. He was weird, and that laugh was so awkward, but not quite in a good way like Dokko Jin from The Greatest Love. I thought there was no way I'd watch it.
But then something really awesome happened. One of my drama besties started texting me about how amazing her new drama was, and how much chemistry the lead couple had. I scoffed when she told me it was FTLY. So I decided it would get one more shot from me before being relegated to my growing dropped list.
And thank god for that! I started it up for the fourth time, and this time I made it to when the leads met. And then I was 6 episodes in before I even realized what was happening. This weird, annoying character had somehow managed to work his way into my heart, and I was absolutely hooked. That annoying laugh? I was now looking forward to it. His weird behavior? Suddenly romantic. It was like a switch had flipped, and there was no turning back.
I hope you forgive all of that insane rambling! I swear, I do have a point! Three of my other Kdrama friends had also started and dropped this drama after the first few minutes, thinking it wasn't going to be up their alley. That makes me think there might be even more of you out there who are hesitant about this drama, and I really, really want to encourage to give it a shot!
Lee Gun is a caustic, lovable jerk. He is the quintessential CEO character, a little brash with people outside of his circle and definitely a little self-serving. Kim Mi Young is the exact opposite, known as the post-it girl because she is easy to get rid of and she admittedly has no backbone or ability to say no. They are as different as night and day, and yet when they come together they are the absolute best versions of each other.
In terms of character growth, this show is the absolute best. I don't think a single character made it through this show without maturing and changing. This drama was sad at times, and I will admit to a couple scenes that had me bawling like a baby. But even through all of the tears, it is absolutely worth it.
If you've made it all the way to the end of this inane review, I hope that you will consider giving FTLY a shot. The romance, the story line, the characters, all of it combines to make an absolutely unforgettable story.
Fated to Love You answers this question with a decisive Yes.
Let's have a look at this plot. Aside from it being a remake of a popular Taiwanese drama, this is a collection of old clichés: doormat girl meets obnoxious rich guy, an incident of some sort occurs and compels them to live under the same roof, meddling – and maddening – relatives, random humour, misunderstandings, birth secrets, the 'other girl' and the 'other guy', all spiced up with a lot of noble idiocy (although this might be one of the few cases when the noble act is frustrating but comprehensible). It's not hard to see why I treaded on this very makjang field on tiptoe.
Therefore, my overall 9 has to be ascribed entirely to the impeccable acting and one of the best thought of OST of songs I've come across. Try out the first 10 minutes of this show, and you'll have no doubts the whole thing is going to be played on style, rather than plot substance. The performance of the whole cast is brilliant, but the two leads manage to outshine everything and everyone.
What could have resulted in two trite, annoying characters in lesser hands, becomes one of the best matched couple in melo/romantic comedy. Even when their plot-line drags – and it does, here and there – they are both able to sustain the silence and make it resound.
Jang Hyuk… wow, the man can act. Yes, I suppose this is a very superfluous statement for the many of you who know him, but this is my first time and I was enchanted. The character he creates here has no grey areas: Gun is so over the line he goes from hysterically funny to heartbreaking in the space of a few minutes. At times the two aspects are interwoven, and the viewer gets glimpses of his pain through his laughter. But his best trait in my opinion is that he doesn't give a dry fig about what people think of him: he goes on doing what he believes is right in the craziest of manners.
It doesn't hurt that the actor is seriously hot. Seriously. When he cuts his hair – this is not considered a spoiler, is it? - I was so distracted here and there I forgot to watch the drama and just watched him.
This said, Jang Na Ra is downright brilliant. For the first time in my drama addicted life, I loved a 'weak' heroine. There's a special quality about the rendition of her character that turns her weakness into strength, and her compliance into endearing sweetness. One can see why Gun falls in love with her, because the viewer experiences the same. Possibly, we all know from the start that Kim Mi Young will eventually change, and yet she keeps her true, generous nature intact. With her beautiful, huge eyes she speaks volumes and her chemistry with Jang Hyuk on screen is tangible.
Notable mention for Song Ok Sook, aka Mi Young's mother. I enjoyed every minute of her antics and rejoiced in her relationship with both her daughter and her son in law.
I already mentioned the music. As a rule, I only like instrumental pieces in dramas. I'm making an exception here not only because the songs are beautiful, but because each piece is chosen with the utmost care, emphasising in turn the fun, the suffering, the romance, the absurd. Isn't this what an Ost should do? Perfect score from me.
Because I believe the plot to be absolutely secondary in this drama, I'm sure it lends itself very well to future re-watching.