This is a thắm thiết comedy that stays pure to lớn its genre. It’s stupidly, adorably romantic & really, really funny. It has the same zany humor, in many respects, as The Greatest Love và The Master’s Sun (though not quite as great as either). In other words, there’s one weirdo and one normal person trying to lớn figure out how khổng lồ navigate life with weirdo in tow. The weirdo in Fated to lớn Love You is the male lead, played by Jang Hyuk.

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Try to lớn make it through the opening scene of this drama… which is incredibly awkward và the reason I turned off this show the first time I tried khổng lồ watch it several years ago. Let us all collectively wipe the shampoo commercial from our memories. It serves its purpose for introducing the character, his abs, his bizarre personality, and the hàng hóa that made his family fortune, but it’s just… awkward. The pacing is off. It actually made me feel uncomfortable – both times I watched it. BUT… stick khổng lồ it. If you do, you will be richly rewarded with screwball comedy & a refreshingly different (and simple) romance.

Overall Rating – 8.5/10. Cheesy, adorable rom com.

Spoilers Follow

I know this was a Taiwanese drama first, but I haven’t gotten into T-Dramas… or Chinese dramas or even Japanese dramas… though I may eventually. At the moment, I’m too enamored by the sound of the Korean language lớn deviate from my particular fandom. So there are no references or comparisons in this reviews to the other version.

Let’s just start with Jang Hyuk… “THE TEETH” as I call him. In this series, he sports the exact same haircut that the second male lead had in The Secret Garden. The cousin. Remember him? The washed up pop star? He was hysterical in The Secret Garden and Jang Hyuk is hysterical in this show.


Seriously, what kind of shampoo are these dudes using, cause I’m super jealous of how amazing their hair is. I still hold firmly khổng lồ my belief that all handsome Korean actors should all be forced to grow out their hair long enough for a high ponytail in at least one drama. They pull it off.

Jang Hyuk plays the over-thirty, never married, heir to a family dynasty. He has this startling loud laugh that he uses when he’s nervous, or when he’s trying khổng lồ get attention, or when he’s basically needing a few extra seconds to come up with a response. He is a showboat và tends lớn steal the microphone, both proverbially and literally. People don’t really lượt thích him but they begrudgingly respect him. He’s not a playboy rich heir but an active figure in the family business, going to lớn work each day and steering the direction of his company.

(what did I say about the high pony tail?)

He’s so freakin’ weird! & everyone thinks so. In some shows, characters act flagrantly bizarre và everyone around them just plays it off as if that is somehow the acceptably weird behavior of the rich. Not in this show. His coworkers, his family, strangers on the street… everyone thinks he’s strange. “That laugh…?” They mutter. “At first, I thought he was a lunatic… but he’s actually quite nice.” Watch the facial expressions of the people around him when he starts acting crazy… they look as baffled as we are, as viewers. “What’s happening? Is this really happening? WTF?”

I have only seen Jang Hyuk in the historical dramas Slave Hunters and in Tree With Deep Roots. In both he played this tortured, serious brooding character that lurked around with a doomed fate, so this is my first time seeing him in a modern show. I had no idea he could be funny.

Cause he is. He’s really, really funny. To play someone who’s basically a buffoon yet utterly endearing, you have khổng lồ have a certain je ne sais quoi. I didn’t think Jang Hyuk had it. I’ve certainly never seen it before. But lo & behold… the man delivers. I liked him by the end of episode one and was ready to lớn marry him by the kết thúc of episode two.

“Do you take this buffoon khổng lồ be your lawfully wedded weirdo?” – “I DO!”

Another thing I liked about his character was that he wasn’t a huge jerk. He didn’t run around talking about how everyone else was below him. How they didn’t deserve his company or affection. How rich he was. How amazing he was. He’s actually a pretty humble millionaire, by K-drama standards. In business, he can be cut throat, but personally he’s a pretty nice guy. Sure, there are a few episodes in the beginning where he’s treating our female lead lượt thích a leper, but you can tell his own behavior bothers him. The man was conflicted.

So let’s talk about the conflict. AKA, the plot. It’s quite simple (okay, there MAY be some amnesia thrown in, but whatever… clearly everyone suffers from brain trauma in K-world, that is a given). Our lead male is hopelessly in love with his girlfriend of six years. She’s a ballerina who has been touring abroad but she’s about to come home. Our lead male plans khổng lồ propose khổng lồ her và spends the entirety of the first episode planning an elaborate, lãng mạn proposal scenario. Except everything goes wrong. She gets suddenly called back to lớn New York, landing the lead in a ballet production. He gets drugged and ends up sleeping with another woman… who ends up pregnant. Even though this woman is a total stranger to lớn him và he’s desperately in love with someone else, he agrees khổng lồ marry her.

It’s a simple plot and it works perfectly. Because you can’t fault a man for still being in love with someone else. His struggle to do the right thing, by both women, is so heartbreaking and emotionally charged you never really fault him for his struggle. The ballerina basically twirls off stage for the first half of the show, leaving us with the main couple… our heir and our doormat.

Here’s our xinh đẹp couple sharing morning sickness together. Gahhhhhh, so cute.

Let’s talk about the doormat. People refer khổng lồ her as a post-it. Useful but disposable. She refers to herself that way, poor gal. Our male lead calls her “the snail,” first as an insult and then as a term of endearment. Jang Na-Ra was perfectly cast in this role. She’s tiny. So, so tiny. Her diminutive physical appearance, her soft whispered voice, and her huge anime eyes behind those thin rimmed glasses all create this adorably pathetic yet lovable girl that you’re rooting for day one. This is my first time seeing this actress và I loved her.

Again, I felt the rom com mold was broken a bit by this character. Even when she’s “transformed” into Cinderella, so to speak, with the traditional expensive makeovers, she’s still this mousy little thing with a bowed head. She’s nice, accommodating, & used khổng lồ coming in last. She’s not a martyr, though. You don’t feel overly sorry for her. She doesn’t have a tragic backstory, she doesn’t live in poverty, she isn’t desperate or broken by the world. There’s no huge obstacle she must overcome or secret khổng lồ her past that must be revealed. The usual drama devices are abandoned here. She’s got a loving family and a decent job và self respect. She just gets swept aside in life. Until she meets our male lead.

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I loved them together immediately. When they woke up in each other’s arms in episode two, both thinking they were in bed with someone else while their drug addled brains (she was drugged too) make sense of their surroundings, I was smitten. They were so freakin’ dễ thương together. It was lượt thích getting a sneak preview of the happy ending.

The romance is awesome. Cause they’re friends, really. He likes her & she likes him. There is no animosity between them. There is just this awkward situation. Okay, our male lead does freak out for a few episodes but that quickly blows over to strange acceptance. Followed by karaoke.

You get the feeling that someone has been looking out for our male heir his entire life. His family, his secretary. But he’s never had to take care of anything before. He finds that he’s pretty good at it. Our doormat makes him feel needed. Their romance is quiet, creeping in through small exchanges & tiny gestures. It brought out the sleeping school girl in me, to lớn be sure… I was literally smiling và gasping and gushing when these two started lớn realize their feelings for each other. Oh my gosh, when they start “platonically” sharing a bed? One of the most memorably adorable romance scenes of all time. Those matching pajamas alone…

His girlfriend, the ballerina, is the exact opposite of our female lead, played by Wang Ji-Won. She’s fiercely independent, strong willed, và driven. She’s also largely forgettable.

Choi Jin Hyuk plays the equally forgettable second male lead. He’s searching for a long lost sister, or something. & preposterously ends up being mistaken for a priest by our female lead… cause… okay. But in reality he’s just a modern designer… and not quite a second love interest of our female lead or second female lead, because of the whole sister angle. He really wasn’t in the show much, and every time he was he was overshadowed by our male lead. I wasn’t impressed. He neither added khổng lồ nor really distracted from the plot.

He also had the same expression in almost every scene. He was blank-faced scenery. & did anyone else think his voice is well suited for anime? He may not be the best actor, but his voice could easily be a leading role in Japanese animation.

There are a nice handful of supporting roles that are filled with quality actors. The moms on both sides, the sister, the friends, the families. They’re all quirky và funny and showroom to the story. Oh my gosh, that secretary! He was outstanding…

Basically, there are two parts khổng lồ this story. Part One – accidental one night stand leads forced marriage leads lớn unlikely but unforgettable romance. This is roughly the first half of the show. The funny, rom/com half.

Part Two I will now refer to as…. Three years later, our lead characters get new hairdos và torture each other for a while.

Seriously, his hair is like a secondary character in this show.

Basically, stuff happens in the middle of the show that separates our perfect pairing. Time has gone by & they’ve both grown up a bit more. Jang Hyuk now looks foxy with a styled crew cut and Jang Na-Ra has found some henna dye and tương tác lenses. Oh, and she’s an artist now… & having a solo exhibit at a gallery. I liked her coffee mug sketches, but am just not the biggest fan hâm mộ of her paintings. Apparently the real artist, Youk Shim Won, is very popular in Korea. But… Korean style is always questionable so let’s just suspend belief và go with the flow.

Randomly, the second male lead, who spent the first half of the show treating Jang Na-Ra’s character like a little sister, now seems to have decided to be a love interest. I guess? It’s vague and not very romantic. Even the character seems lớn realize it’s not very romantic. I actually think he’s still in “big brother” mode and believes he’s taking care of our female lead by now acting as her thắm thiết partner. There isn’t much more to it than that – & it’s just a convenient plot device lớn offer a little conflict lớn our leading lovers.

Second female lead, our invisible ballerina, is now an invisible teacher. Poor kid. I felt sorry for her the entire show. I mean… she really did get the short over of the stick here. I felt lượt thích Wang Ji-Won might have more to bring khổng lồ the drama table… she just wasn’t given much room to bởi anything of significance in this drama. I would like to see her in something else… maybe with more lines. The IDEA of this character was more powerful than the actual character. This makes sense if you’ve watched it. All those couples pictures… all those trang chủ movies… all the weight of that six year relationship hanging over our lead couple made for excellent drama throughout the show. What was & what might have been were much more powerful than what was happening in the present moment for our ballerina.

Our two main lovers must come back together – which is exactly what happens. Doormat has a little more spunk, but not a lot more (which was believable và I appreciated them not giving her an entirely new personality with her red hair). Weirdo is slightly less weird but still as awkward as ever. There’s an illness lớn be overcome. There’s an obligatory “nursing you back to lớn health” scene. Warm compresses lớn the forehead equal true love, ya know. They have to lớn shuffle through your basic misunderstandings, miscommunication, suppressed emotions, và confessions before laying all their cards out on the table for each other again.

In K-Dramas, there is no better place khổng lồ unexpectedly declare you feelings than in front of a room full of strangers at a press conference. Cause international business isn’t as important as your heart, damn it.

And it’s fun khổng lồ watch…. If not a little too slow for my taste. Part One had great pacing but Part Two tended to lớn meander around. They could have cut five or six entire episodes from this show without loosing anything, but that can be said of almost every drama I have ever watched. I only found myself itching to fast forward a few times throughout the entire series, which is rare.

I really enjoyed this show, even though it dragged itself around towards the end. It was basically light-hearted, funny & romantic. Highly recommended if you need a break from melodramas and overly emotional plotlines. If you just want khổng lồ relax with a great Cinderella/Frog Prince story, this is your ticket.

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TL;DR? Just absolutely wonderful. Full of lots of tears and laughter và romance, this drama has something for any romance enthusiast. 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 lượt thích 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, & 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 khổng lồ my growing dropped list. & thank god for that! I started it up for the fourth time, and this time I made it to lớn 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 lớn work his way into my heart, & I was absolutely hooked. That annoying laugh? I was now looking forward to lớn it. His weird behavior? Suddenly romantic. It was like a switch had flipped, và there was no turning back. I hope you forgive all of that insane rambling! I swear, I vày have a point! Three of my other Kdrama friends had also started và 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 lớn encourage lớn 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 & definitely a little self-serving. Kim mày Young is the exact opposite, known as the post-it girl because she is easy to get rid of & she admittedly has no backbone or ability lớn say no. They are as different as night và day, và 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 và changing. This drama was sad at times, and I will admit lớn a couple scenes that had me bawling lượt thích a baby. But even through all of the tears, it is absolutely worth it. If you"ve made it all the way lớn the kết thúc 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 lớn make an absolutely unforgettable story.

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