Warning: This is a parody article for entertainment purposes only.
Do not attempt this at home!
Light spoilers on Secret Garden.
No spoilers on other dramas/movies, info based on synopsis.
As we’re starting a brand-new year, it’s time to reflect on the previous year and celebrate the new one. People around the world celebrate new years differently according to their culture. Making a New Year’s resolution is a tradition in which a person resolves to change an undesired trait or behavior, accomplish a personal goal, or otherwise improve their life at the start of a new year. You don’t always do this only during the beginning of January, it can be on a religious new year, holiday, your birthday, anniversary, or other important life events.
You have made a resolution every new year, or on an important event, for the betterment of your life, but you failed. In fact, a study found that within those who made common New Year’s resolutions (e.g. weight loss, exercise programs, quitting smoking), only half were likely to succeed (source: Wikipedia). So,
What If …
You can get hold of somebody or something that supernaturally can swap your body with someone else, a person you want to be? Either someone richer, younger, older, prettier, smarter, successful, more popular, etc. Would you take the chance?
Before you take the plunge to move into someone else’s body, I listed some scenarios from 10 body-swapping dramas and a movie on MDL for you to consider. These examples were chosen only for body-swapping/soul switching between two people, not body borrowing. Body borrowing is when only Party A’s soul goes into Party B’s body, but Party A’s body and Party B’s soul are inactive. In my opinion, although it’s funny to watch, body borrowing is a creepy phenomenon to experience. Can you imagine your soul wakes up in someone’s body who is either comatose or dead, for example like in Mr. Queen (2020), its predecessor Go Princess, Go! (2015), or The Eternal Love series? You ought to have some suspicions: One, how did the other party die or end up in a coma? And two, where the heck is your body?
I have seen all dramas and movie listed below. In each show, two parties are switching bodies and we see the challenges they face adjusting to their new bodies and lifestyles. You may find some scenarios fit your current situation you want to change. To make my attempt looking for matching dramas easier, I searched for the highest ranking body-swapping dramas. The list was taken on December 25, 2021. As a disclaimer, when you read this article, you will see a slightly different drama, rank, or rating on the list because of the time span from article editing to publishing date. Some dramas, although the ratings seem low, are actually underrated or under-the-radar hidden gems! So let’s find out what they are and how the scenarios may be similar to your life!
Secret Trick While Bodies Switch / Leh Lub Salub Rarng (2017)
Country: Thailand | Genres: Action, Comedy, Romance, Drama, Fantasy | Episodes: 10 |
Duration: 1 hr. 50 min. | Rating: 7.7/10 | Trailer: Channel3Thailand
>>>> Actress >>>>
<<<<< Police Captain <<<<<
Meet two high-profile characters who are far from their public images. Petra Pawadee (Yaya Urassaya Sperbund) is a famous actress, not only in Thailand, but internationally. Besides gorgeous, she appears sweet and friendly. However, Petra is arrogant, rude, and looks down on people who work with her. Ramin (Nadech Kugimiya), a special unit captain, is hailed as a savior with a selfless heart, and a real hero for saving people. In reality, he is self-centered and a playboy. Heaven punishes them for their sins by switching their souls.
Since I believe that you, the readers, are not arrogant or players (but not actors or special unit officers either, lol), you may think this body swap scenario is not applicable for you. But imagine you have a high-profile job like Petra’s that requires you to appear perfect in front of the camera. Or you may have a behind-the-scene job like Ramin’s that is stressful and dangerous, yet cannot be shown off in front of people. Then, as a celebrity, you want to live low-key out of public scrutiny. Or, on the contrary, you want your heroic deeds to be seen in public. So this body-swap may be a good choice!
Country: Japan | Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Political | Episodes: 8 |
Duration: 49 min. | Rating: 7.7/10 | Where to watch: Netflix
>>>> Prime Minister >>>>
<<<<< Student Son <<<<<
Muto Taizan (Endo Kenichi) is the current Prime Minister of Japan. Sho (Suda Masaki) is his son, a lazy and average grade university student whom his dad deemed as useless. Unexpectedly, they swap bodies.
If you work as a policymaker, either a politician or a higher level company executive, then this body-swap scenario may be for you. As the Prime Minister, Muto Taizan is able to see how laws made by the cabinet affect the public, so will you when you choose this body swap. On the contrary, you, as an ordinary citizen, may be fed up with the politics and have some suggestions for the betterment of people. Swapping bodies with a lawmaker gives you a chance to bring fresh and authentic ideas to the table of real law-makers of your country!
Don Quixote (2011)
Country: Japan | Genres: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy | Episodes: 11 | Duration: 45 min. |
Rating: 7.9/10 | Trailer: Youtube
>>>>> Mafia Boss >>>>>
<<<<< Social Worker <<<<<
Shirota Masataka (Matsuda Shota) is a timid and soft-hearted social worker at a children’s welfare center. On the contrary, Sabashima Jin (Takahashi Katsumi) is a tough and heartless yakuza (Japanese mafia) boss. These two lead completely different lives, but one day, their souls are suddenly switched. Shirota applies mafia principles in dealing with abused children’s cases. Though the children like him, his colleagues see him as trouble.
If you’re in an emotionally exhausting and dangerous job, like a social worker, you might want to try body swapping with a mafia boss. No need to fear danger of being attacked while still having to be polite with the attackers. Just send your gang members to deal with them. Yes, the gangster job is far more dangerous, but at least you’re surrounded by your lackeys. And if you’re a mafia boss, or work in a physically dangerous job, you may want to feel more at peace working a not-too dangerous job as a social worker. You’re still at risk of being attacked, but you already know how to deal with vicious clients!
Switch of Fate / Keun Ruk Salub Chata (2021)
Country: Thailand | Genres: Mystery, Romance, Family, Fantasy | Episodes: 16 |
Duration: 1 hr. 30 min. | Rating: 7.9/10 | Trailer: Facebook | Where to watch: WeTV
>>>>> Actor >>>>>
<<<<< Pilot <<<<<
Wat (Alek Teeradetch Metawarayut) is a washed-up actor who’s waiting for a turnaround in his career. He is dating a struggling model named Ginney (Namtarn Pichukkana Wongsarattanasin). Tet (Krating Khunnarong Pratesrat) is a junior pilot with a rising career to be a senior pilot. He is engaged and about to get married to a doctor named Kulanji (Bua Nalinthip Sakulongumpai). But on a fateful accident, the bodies of Wat and Tet have switched. As Tet and Wat have totally different occupations, how will they handle the situation? Will Ginney and Kulanji notice the truth?
Probably you’re not an actor like Wat, but you are struggling in your job because it’s highly competitive, and you’re no longer favorable. With the career struggle comes the messy life, too. You’re craving a job that is more stable and higher paid, like being a pilot. Or, you live a stable life and you work a high-paying job, but things get boring. You work behind the scenes, like a pilot behind the cockpit door. You want some more public exposure at your job, to show off how good-looking you are. Like being an actor.
Two Cops (2017)
Country: South Korea | Genres: Mystery, Comedy, Romance, Supernatural | Episodes: 32 |
Duration: 35 min. | Rating: 7.9/10 | Trailer: Viki | Where to watch: Viki
>>>>> Detective >>>>>
<<<<< Con-Artist <<<<<
While trying to catch a killer suspect, Cha Dong Tak (Jo Jung Suk), a justice-loving detective from Violent Crimes Unit, runs into Kong Soo Chang (Kim Seon Ho), a pickpocket and a con man, and they switched bodies. Together with reporter Song Ji Ahn (Lee Hye Ri), this mismatched duo still has an unsolved crime case to deal with.
You may be a cop, or have a job that holds justice. However, you may be unfamiliar with the situation on the other side of your job environment. In this case, as a detective, Dong Tak doesn’t understand the life of the unfortunate, like Soo Chang. How did he become a pickpocket? The latter may become a petty criminal for survival, and hate cops. The funny thing about this drama is that cops and thugs have to work together. You may hate cops or anyone who has a job that holds power to uphold justice. But if you switch with someone like that, you maybe understand the job responsibility the other party bears.
Country: Japan | Genres: Youth, Drama, Scifi, Supernatural | Episodes: 6 |
Duration: 40 min. | Rating: 7.9/10 | Trailer: Youtube | Where to watch; Netflix
>>>>> Unpopular >>>>>
<<<<< Popular <<<<<
Kohinata Ayumi (Kiyohara Kaya), a popular high-schooler, gets a mysterious call from her classmate Umine Zenko (Tomita Miu), who says she will commit suicide. Ayumi passes out when she witnesses Zenko jumping from a building. The next thing she knows, Ayumi wakes up in a hospital, but in Zenko’s body, and her body’s new owner has no intention of switching back.
Have you ever envied someone because he/she is more popular or favorable than you? In your family, there is the golden child (which is not you). During your school years, there is always someone else who is the most popular in your circle of friends, class, school, club, etc. Have you ever been like Zenko who wants to be popular? Or in the other way, you are a popular person, so popular that you’re either forced to look good or behave properly, or you lose your privacy? You yearn to live free as a nobody, and avoid publicity and harassment.
Spring Turns to Spring (2019)
Country: South Korea | Genres: Friendship, Business, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy | Episodes: 32 |
Duration: 35 min. | Rating: 7.9/10 | Trailer: Viki Global TV | Where to watch: Kocowa, Viki
>>>>> Career Woman >>>>>
<<<<< Housewife <<<<<
Kim Bo Mi (Lee Yoo Ri) is an ambitious news anchor. She wants to climb her career ladder to the top. Lee Bom (Uhm Ji Won) is a veteran actress who is married to a politician. Her acting career reaches a plateau and her popularity has slowly gone down. She focuses only on taking care of her family. The two suddenly bump into each other, and their lives get twisted. They discover each other’s lives on a new level that unlocks many mysteries ahead.
You work hard for your job, and you have an ambition to climb the career ladder to the top, like Bo Mi. However, you long a peaceful life of having a family and don’t have to struggle so much being a career person. Or, on the contrary, you worked hard in the past and had a great career. However, since you got married (with or not with a politician, lol), you settled with your life being a stay-at-home spouse. You long to go back to the spotlight of your previous career.
Heaven and Hell: Two Psychos / Tengoku to Jigoku: Psychona Futari (2021)
Country: Japan | Genres: Mystery, Comedy, Drama, Supernatural | Episodes: 10 |
Duration: 54 min. | Rating: 8.2/10 | Trailer: TBS
>>>>> Detective >>>>>
<<<<< Suspect <<<<<
Mochizuki Ayako (Ayase Haruka) is a hard worker and justice-loving detective, but lacks flexibility. While investigating a murder case, she has suspicion in Hidaka Haruto (Takahashi Issei). Hidaka Haruto is a chemistry researcher and also runs his own chemical company. Right before Mochizuki Ayako arrests him, their bodies are switched.
Your job requires you to do some investigations, and you run out of ideas to get results. However, the case you’re working on right now is important, and your further career promotion depends on it. Wouldn’t it be nice if you can swap bodies with people who are the object of your investigation, so you’ll find some evidence they’re hiding, or can understand their criminal minds. On the other hand, have you ever been accused of doing something bad? Even if not as serious as a crime and no investigation followed. No matter how hard you try to convince them of your innocence, you’re still under scrutiny. If you can swap bodies with the investigator or someone in charge, you would be able to clear yourself from the accusation against you.
Note: I’m not spoiling whether Haruto is innocent or not, this is your scenario.
Secret Garden (2010)
Country: South Korea | Genres: Comedy, Romance, Melodrama, Supernatural | Episodes: 20 |
Duration: 1 hr. 5 min. | Rating: 8.3/10 | Trailer: Youtube |
Where to watch: WeTV, Viki, Amazon Prime Video, Kocowa
>>>>> CEO >>>>>
<<<<< Stuntwoman <<<<<
Kim Joo Won (Hyun Bin) is a rich CEO of a high-end department store. While trying to resolve a scandal revolving his singer cousin, Joo Won meets Gil Ra Im (Ha Ji Won), a poor but hardworking stunt woman who dreams of becoming a martial arts director. A strange sequence of events results in them swapping bodies.
So, you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth, like Joo Won. You can get as much education or change career as often as you want with your parent’s money. Your job and career are given to you. Yet, there is something lacking in your life. You’re wondering about the opposite side of your world. How do people work, strive, and thrive for their living? Or, you may be like Ra Im, who is poor but has found work she loves to do. However, the job is dangerous, and the pay doesn’t reflect how risky the nature of the job is. Don’t you want to feel how it is being a boss, sitting on that big chair, putting your legs on the office desk, and just signing documents?
The Day of Becoming You (2021)
Country: China | Genres: Friendship, Comedy, Romance, Supernatural | Episodes: 26 |
Duration: 45 min. | Rating: 8.5/10 | Trailer: iQiyi | Where to watch: iQiyi
>>>>> Idol >>>>>
<<<<< Reporter <<<<<
Celebrity Jiang Yi (Zhang Xin Cheng) is a cold leader of a popular boy band. Meanwhile, Yu Sheng Sheng (Liang Jie) is an entertainment reporter who keeps running up against a stone wall at work. They share the same birthday. An accident results in the two exchanging bodies on their birthday. The sudden change catches them off guard, and they only have each other to turn to for support.
Like Jiang Yi, you may have earned the fame of being a celebrity. But, you kinda regret it because it takes away your privacy. You wish you can do regular things average people do, without worry about being stalked. You realize people around you can be fake, and your fans can be your anti-fans, if little things of your life or performance went wrong. Conversely, you are like Sheng Sheng, who works around the entertainment circle, yet you’re a nobody. The hunt for juicy news on celebrities is highly competitive, and you feel like the work is challenging. Since your work scope is celebrities, you envy them a little and wonder how being a celebrity is like. When a lot of doors open for you easily, and you get first class treatment. Thinking of the day of becoming a celebrity with body swapping?
Daddy You, Daughter Me (2017)
Country: South Korea | Genres: Comedy, Family, Supernatural | Duration: 1 hr. 55 min. |
Rating: 7.8/10 | Trailer: Viu Philippines | Where to watch: Netflix
>>>>> Daddy >>>>>
<<<<< Daughter <<<<<
Won Sang Tae (Yoon Je Moon) has worked as a section chief for years and never had a promotion. He has a teenage daughter, Do Yeon (Jung So Min), a high schooler who doesn’t like studying. Instead, she’s more interested in boys. The day comes for Sang Tae to receive a promotion, as well as Do Yeon to go on her first date. It’s also the same date when father and daughter suddenly change bodies.
Finally, you are interested in trying this unconventional new year resolution idea, but in the end, you’re still afraid to try body-swapping. For a first-timer, perhaps you feel safe to do it with your family member, not a stranger. Great idea! If you are a parent who envies the vibrant youth of your child, you can swap bodies with your son/daughter and enjoy a carefree life. If you are a child who is tired of being treated like a little kid, you can swap bodies with your parent and earn money without having to beg your parents for more school allowance. You have a chance to nag your child (parent), too!
You’re most likely to experience body-swap when …
Visiting exotic places, meeting strangers, trying new dishes/drinks, buying curios, receiving mysterious gifts, seeing omens, power outages, strange natural phenomena, etc.
Plus some magic!
Thank you for reading and good luck with your life-changing resolution!
Acknowledgement and credits: Thank you to the editors who edited this article. I do not own any of the images; credits go to their respective owners. Feature image source. Other images are from drama/movie posters and stills. GIFs are self-made from Secret Garden drama scenes.