A Decent Rom Com with an Awful Title

 

awrbirth

Beyond this point here lies possible spoilers through episode 6 of A Witches Romance.  I have tried to keep it to a minimum.  This is NOT a recap but a commentary on what I think of it so far, and what is working, or not, and a small comparison to the T Drama regarding some character development simply to discuss the positives and negatives of the drama.

Six episodes in, and I’m going to come out of lurk mode and gave A Witches Romance a thumbs up.  I was going to wait until the half way mark at epi 8, but what the hell.

I’ll cover the bad and then the good.

 

The Bad, but really just mostly annoying compared to most K dramas,  even though it’s important:

First,  we have to address this is a Korean version of the Taiwanese Drama, My Queen (2009).  It is hard to not have comparisons.  My comparisons fall more towards character development than anything.  I’m not going to talk about cast members, I’m talking about drama content, and mostly about the lead female character.

 

wrpoolI said I was not going to TALK about cast members.   Just keeping it real and not being hypocritical, ya know?  The pretty is part of the k drama happy making.

 

The lead female character,  Ban Ji-yeon,   is a reporter with a competitive streak.

 

awrcharm

-It’s trying hard not to be sexist, but with the title, there is no where to go with that.  It automatically demonizes the driven career woman.  The problem is, this female lead character is competent, assertive, but the writing is failing to show that she is ambitious and driven.

We have to back up to the original T-drama character, where she IS  an ambitious and driven reporter.  Her co-workers think she is a pain, and there is competition, but they do not hate her.  At no point in the original is the female lead character specifically arrogant or bitchy power tripping.  She’s single-minded in her job, and she’s self centered and does not care about social graces, but she’s not hated.  She has issues and keeps people at a distance because she chose to pursue her career.  She does have trust issues.  Oooh a character with baggage.   This is where the T drama is superior, they keep her trust issues about relationships, her personal life.

However, the Korean version sets up that she is perceived as a bitch in the workplace from JUST THE TITLE.  Thanks, that’s a big giant fail.  You, know, it’s totally okay to have a ambitious, competent, successful strong female character that takes no shit.  Period. No need to add but  her coworkers think she is power tripping and demanding and bossy and her coworkers dislike her but she’s really just being like that because she keeps people at a distance because she got left at altar.  Oh, right, we have to make it about a man in all aspects of her life.  The K drama makes her more of a Team leader, a manager, and less of an actually  hands on in the trenches reporter.

The first story she is pursuing:  The K drama changed a lot with the characters involved,  and made it all about the lead female character pursuing justice on a personal level.  This hamstringed the original intent of the plot, which was to establish the lead female character yes, had a moral integrity, but also that she was ambition and driven to expose the truth and get the story, not just for justice but because it was her job and she was always competing for a better story to further her career.

So clift notes version, the  K drama downplays her career ambitions, which is disappointing.

That’s the bad.

awrhairmuss

 

Now the good.

The K Drama has stayed inline with the orginal concept that the lead female character is stuck in her personal life not moving forward because of her heartbreak.      She is tough on the outside, but she does have her vulnerabilities, and she hides her softer side.  The T Drama isolates her more.   She is not a complete emotional cripple, she has a life and friends, but of course, in K Drama, you must have a man to exist, and she’s just cut herself off from considering men.

awrgigdanceAfter work stress release.  You are doing it right.

awrboobiesguyHer Mom makes her go out on blind dates, poor thing.  Good call on bouncing on this one.

The characters are all great, they are fun to watch.   The lead characters have been allowed to develop an actual rapport and relationship in a fluid manner, it’s rom com contrived forced proximity, but it’s not completely silly, however it does place her as a damsel in distress a bit.  The  K drama has done a better job portraying connections and friendship.

The Korean drama is “fixing” some of the problems of the T drama:  it’s not as choppy, it’s moving at a much easier flow and pace.  They introduced the old love line much earlier.  That was a huge problem with the T drama-it was the WTF part of the drama, this past boyfriend just randomly shows well into second half of the series run and chaos and angst ensue.

The rom and com is being done well.  The com is great and the rom is not typical symbolic pure love.  They acknowledge the sexual attraction.  These characters are not pure  innocents with no sex drive stuff that would never happen with adults.

It’s refreshing to see a rom com couple actually touch each other and act as if they actually know each other lol.

The supporting characters are great, and that’s important too.   Both characters have people in their lives, and friends.

awrfriendsJi-yeon’s bestie and her spouse.

awryongThe guy  bestie, or as Ji-yeon calls him, Wilted Spinach-face.

awrspinich

The story is sticking pretty close to the original.  What they have changed has tweaked it for the better other than what is mentioned as crits.

 

Other:  The Age Difference:  Big change from the original.

8 years  (she’s 33, he’s 25)  in the T Drama.   Not even an eye blink for many western people now a days, but still a gender role thing in many Asian cultures.   She was grown up, he was very much a kid.  There was very much more an earthier sexual dynamic  over anything else, they become friends, and care about each other, but it’s  a lot about hormones and”falling in love” despite everything,  not so much developing a relationship.

14 years (she’s 39, he’s 25) in the K Drama.   There is a definite power imbalance, time of life, career, everything.   He’s a more mature character than the T Drama version. But he’s not the wise and insufferable know it all  all knowing Sweet Potato from I Need Romance 3.   He’s simply just more polished that the T version, and a student of human nature, because he lives by providing service to others, and it is part of his nature to look out for others.  The K version has done a much better job of  developing that part of the male lead character, and showing it’s not ALL about caring about her.  He has a tendency to take care of people.  These 2 characters actually like and respect each other, and actually have some commonalities, and a friendship.  This is where the K Drama is doing it right, much more character development all around for most of the characters.

awrbb

 

 

awraegyoHer imagination in full gear-she imagines she is going on trial for pedi-ahjumma-ness.   I love the pilgrim collar, nice touch lol.

I am really hoping this drama stays consistently good and enjoyable.  We are getting ready to hit the angst part, and I’m a little worried, because it’s really early to hit that, and we  may end up with a circular plot for a LOT of episodes.

 

 

 

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Caitlyn Burton
    May 08, 2014 @ 23:15:15

    I’m going to download this once it’s finished and then watch it then. You make me look forward to it!

    Reply

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