Drama

Remake Dreams – When You Want Your Favorite Shows Remade Into Kdramas!

Lately, I’ve been in a drama slump. It’s been more than a year and tbh, dramas just lost their pzazz. 

Don’t get me wrong, I still think Kdramas are the best story-wise, quality-wise and acting-wise, but they are stuck in their own loop of never-ending wash, rinse and repeat stories, they keep making the same clichés with different actors (sometimes the same actors in the same plots). I did venture out to other Asian dramas and now I’m even back to US shows because I really wanted a change.

One thing I’d love to see Koreans adapt is the 30-minute sitcom format. Sometimes I just want a simple fun laugh, and these days, I have to say US shows are way too in your face with their jokes that I don’t find them funny, so I really think Korea’s sense of humor would do great with that.

This article is like a guideline for Kdrama writers, I don’t want them to “copy” the Western style or koreanize these stories, but I want them to step out of the box and try new things. (By koeranize I mean using their basic cliches).

I also really wanted to collab with other writers so here we have Cate, Anushka, and Who cares.

The following are some of our favorite stories!

XingBack

Skip Beat

My favorite manga and the reason I discovered Asian dramas~ I just love and adore Kyoko but this manga is such an anti cliché that it’d be a great lesson to Kdrama writers. This already had a Taiwanese version and I’d say at least enough time has passed to get better CGI for the mini Kyokos. xD

Beside the comedy, the story revolves around showbiz and it’s a really nice behind the scenes on how it all works.  It would be better cut into seasons since one of the main elements is showing the characters through their journey with each drama choice and casting struggles.

Even with the awkward age gap, the story isn’t really “romance”, it took almost 10 years for their first kiss.

Kyoko is 16 and Ren is 20 when the story starts but just like the live action, they could easily make her over 18 to reduce part of the awkwardness that wouldn’t carry well in a drama.

Kim Jae Wok and Lee Jae Wook would fit Ren, or Rowoon but like throw away all his UWU. Physically too, Rowoon fits more as a Ren.

But I already had my heart set on Kim Da Mi as Kyoko and I don’t want to create a confusing age gap. Ren is older than Kyoko, but since I put Lee Jae Wook as Logan below, I’ll choose Rowoon minus the UWU as Ren.

For Sho, I think Xiaojun or Kim Dong Han, he needs to be sloppy yet look extremely confident and cold on stage, and he needs to have enough charisma to be a solo artist.

Stephanie Lee would be a good fit for Moko, I don’t care for age anymore. xD

Though if it was a fantasy casting with no age consideration, I’d recast Siwon because he was legit the perfect Ren, and Donghae as Sho as well.

Veronica Mars

Ignoring the last season (yes I’m still bitter), the concept of a sassy teen detective that’s just too nosy with a soft marshmallow heart and the best part? The main character is a girl. This also had a love triangle, a few of them actually, and maybe that’s also an anti cliché, to put the ML in 3 different triangles as the seasons go by. ;p

I really think Kdramas need to learn how to make the FL able to stand on her own, against her own demons, against the rich people, against the villains and she never needed to depend on the guys, though she was hardly strong and she always had breakdowns. 

Lol, I almost want to cast Kim Da Mi again, she really fits that sassy teen vibe. Though I can see Jung Ho Yeon as Veronica, one of V’s strong points beside her sassy attitude was her punk fashion, she didn’t try hard but she always had that edginess in her aura, and no matter the age, Jung Ho Yeon fits that vibe.

This is hard, I can’t help but think of Lee Jae Wook for Logan. xD Logan, especially young Logan, was skinny, sloppy and way too conceited so that I never liked him until old Logan came out. Now that was great character growth, but anyway, that annoying vulnerable jerk vibe that was witty enough to bicker back and forth with V fits with Lee Jae Wook, and also Jisoo in his Sassy Go Go days but Jisoo was a puppy while Lee Jae Wook is sharp.

It’s funny but Seo Ji Hoon actually looks like Duncan. For Wallace, I really want someone who’s sweet, like Noh Jong Hyun or Ahn Ji Ho.

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist

This is like a clever modern excuse of a musical and I’m all for it! Now with the original, I’d say I’m not 100 % familiar with all of the songs but imagine Kpop, OSTs, ballads and even Kr&b and Krock! I’d loooove to see that. The story is too simple, and they even have the love triangle Kdramas love, though at least in Kdramas they won’t make her go back and forth between the leads, that’s the only thing I hate about it, tbh. I’d have preferred if she was single trying to find love instead of being in a messy triangle between her friends, but at least she’s in her late 20s with a leading position in her workplace and she’s independent with a great family and friend circle.

Since it is my personal casting, I want to have Seulgi act, she has the charisma and the voice and I really want to see her as an actor. I’m going to continue my fangirling cast list and say Chen and Park Chan Yeol as Max and Simon, respectively.

Max is the “childhood friend/boy next door” and that’s how I always see Chen, and Simon is the tall, mature and handsome coworker, and I want to see Chanyeol pull that off.

And I’ll cast Lee Kwang Soo as her brother, just because I can. xD There are many more people in the cast list since the show also revolves around Zoey‘s family and work which is a sweet slice of life move.

Maid Sama

This is the best out of the cliché “poor girl/rich guy” and the “embarrassing secret that leads into bribery”, I think I only watched the anime then continued from the manga but even the ending was perfect. The characters were really great and they were such a cute couple!

The problem of wanting manga adaptations is to cast actual teens, I can’t think of anyone that’s still in their teen years!

I’d cast teen Jung Eu Ji in this just because she fits the image, with teen Woo Do Hwan ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°). Thhenn teen Nam Joo Hyuk as her athletic childhood friend that loved to eat, and well, if there was ever a 4th “lead”, maybe Seo Kang Joon as that one jerk guy.

Burden Of Truth

Before this, I thought I hated the law genre but as I watched this I realized, Kdramas are HORRIBLE at that genre because they always repeat the same thing over and over. They’d have the FL or ML with a falsely accused family member, or a dead family member and they want revenge… In BOT, season 2, the sister does get falsely accused but they handled it differently, and that’s the point, change is good.

The FL was also the “cold reserved” type that’d usually be given to the ML but their ML wasn’t the opposite of being the poor sweetheart type. They even had a baby and that also gave such a new depth that I appreciated.

I was going to cast Yoo Teo but the 10-year age gap is too much for now, so I chose my Choi Si Won. He can’t rock a suit and not get casted as a lawyer. OR Song Jae Rim!

And of course, my girl Seo Yae Ji gives off the vibe for of smart, elegant and confident mixed with Heo Joon Ho as her dad and let’s say Kim Sae Ron as her sister.

Pride & Prejudice

This is a tale as old as time -rich guy poor girl- and something Koreans love but with a twist. The rich guy wasn’t really a total jerk per say, he was shy and prejudiced against, while the FL wasn’t sad and unfortunate, she was smart, elegant, a little sassy and prideful, and both of them make such a great combo.
At first I only came to know of this because it was on tv, but it kept repeating on and on so that when I finally paid attention I was so in love I not only watched this version several times, I watched ALL of the versions, even the parody-like spinoff. I read the book a few times, too, Korean’s need to learn of this balance. 

I really want Kim Tae Ri and Byun Yo Han here, unlike their Mr Sunshine characters (though they feel similar), Lizzy was more emotionally driven and outspoken and since P&P was not a war drama, she wasn’t a “fighter”. Mr Darcy too was more calm and “arrogant”, so I’d love to see those two reenact that.

Though, I could also see Siwon as a Mr Darcy, especially since he’s stuck with typecasting, a role like Mr Darcy can shine light on his versetalities as an actor.

For Byun Yo Han, he needs to have a beard/long hair, but for Siwon, only fluffy long hair will do. I wasn’t a fan of Jane and Mr Bingley, but Han Ji Eun has the softness of Jane and – I wanted to say Seo Kang Joon but I don’t want to type cast – breaking Jang Ki Yong from his dark type cast to get a more naive personality seems fun.

Foreign Exchange

Another story from my childhood. I can’t really remember anything beside the portal that connected two kids from Australia and Ireland, so the two kids just go to another country and go back home after the day ends.

I might’ve not even watched any of it, but that portal thing seemed cool.

This remake won’t really follow the story much beside the portal. I want it to connect Korea and Thailand just because I want to add Aokbab Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying, and then I randomly chose my favs. Also, it fits that Ten is Thai and he knows Korean so he’d help Aokbab

The romance here will follow Kim Se Jeong and Ten, and Kim Ji Soo and Aokbab, just for the drama of star-crossed lovers.

Cate

The Girl in the Wall

Middle school the worst years of life

This story is about a group of wealthy high school students that are held hostage at a popular student’s birthday party. I think this story is an interesting prompt for a Korean drama or movie.
Part of what I enjoy about this book is how it talks about social circles, ostracism, and mental health. Another thing I love is how the characters go through tunnels in the walls of the house to hide from the people that are holding the students hostage. I think it would be interesting to see how these tunnels could work in a traditional Korean home (Hanok 한옥).
This is a story about a troubled middle schooler who decides that he is going to try and break every single rule in his school’s rule book.
On the surface level this may seem to be a silly story for pre-teens, but it’s much more than that. This book talks about bullying, the struggles of single parenting, juvenile delinquency and more.

 Another Cinderella Story

Sweet Home

This is a Disney Channel Original Movie that is a modern adaptation of the classic Cinderella story. So naturally, the story follows the classic Cinderella plot line. The female lead is in disguise dancing with the male lead, but then she has to leave early and drops her  iPod on the way out. The male lead finds it and decides to search for the owner so he can find his mystery girl.
OKAY! So hear me out on this, I know that there are a lot of K-drama watchers that already love the current adaptation, but as a fan of the webtoon I was extremely disappointed by the Netflix adaptation. There are many things I would like to change about it. For example, I would like to completely get rid of the character Seo Yi-kyung, who isn’t in the original webtoon, and instead make the drama go exactly how the webtoon goes. There are a few more things I would change about the current adaptation, but that would be going into too much detail, so maybe one day I’ll write a separate article about all my ideas.

Anushka

Notting Hill

Star Trek 

Yes, I’m bringing classics as they have their own charm. Who doesn’t like fairy tales? (Maybe some, but talking about the majority.)

A love story between a movie superstar and an ordinary bookshop owner. It’s very predictable, much cliché, and having many coincidences and the full dose of fluff, but it’s irresistible cotton candy that won’t fail to bring a smile to your face. 

The story being unrealistic is on the positive side of it being the synopsis of the drama. The leads are polar opposites to each other in both background and personalities, but something still makes them like each other. For all its cheesiness, Notting Hill delivers a very great deal of pleasure.

Another classic and here comes one of my most favorite genres, Sci-Fi having space in it. I love space-related stuff, hehe. But this is the thing I have rarely seen in K-dramaland, they almost have nothing about it. And I think this is worth experimenting with.

In the 23rd Century, Captain James T. Kirk and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise explores the galaxy and defends the United Federation of Planets. This is the main concept of the story.

Well, talking about the graphics as they play the main role when it comes to space though ‘Space Sweepers’ failed for me in terms of story and logic but they did a pretty decent job when it comes to CGI and graphics so I don’t think it would be a hurdle. I really love bromances in K-dramas and who won’t say Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock don’t have it, plus the story/plot itself has dramatization in it… and having many interesting missions and adventures, it would be great to see as a drama.

Gently Falls the Bakula

What is more important: a successful career or a happy marriage?

‘Gently Falls the Bakula’ is a novel written by Sudha Murty. Having a simple story, it actually revolves around many things and succeeds to convey all emotions in the right way. It has strong lead characters. It keeps you glued to the plot.

Being a female-centered story, it revolves mostly around the female lead character, who is extremely talented and very smart from the school-age. She had many chances to be successful but she decides to sacrifice her career to support her other half… but she realises she lost herself in this path. This is the story of a marriage that loses its way as ambition and self-interest take their toll. Unlike other love stories, this story tells us the problems and difficulties faced by a couple after marriage.

This is one of my favorite books, I can imagine this being the story of an inspirational K-drama that will teach you self-worth and how loving and being yourself is important to live a satisfying life: With Kim Sun Ah and Hyun Bin as the leads.

Home Alone

It’s my childhood favorite movie that I grew up watching zillions of times. With Kim Kang Hoon as Kevin and Kim Ha Neul as his mom.

XingBack: Since I’ve seen this myself as well, I feel like Kwangsoo would fit as Marv Murchins  and Jo Jae Yoon as Harry Lime.

Crisis

3 Idiots

It’s a medical thriller novel written by Robin Cook, having amazing twists, turns, and surprises. The story has that charm to engage you in it, it does leave many clues to solve the mystery from the start but you won’t get it till the end, and it’s a brilliant fact about it.
I think K-dramas are doing pretty well with thrillers and with the medical genre these days as I’ve enjoyed many of them. Having suspense, a bit of drama, intelligent but realistic (who feel like human) leads, and the biggest twist that blow your mind, the novel has much potential to become a very successful K-drama, having the strength to keep you at the edge of your seat, wanting more till the end. 

Who doesn’t love 3 idiots?

What’s your dream? are you satisfied with what you’re doing? Are you a student? If yes, then are you learning just to get marks or you are actually enjoying the whole process? Is study all about competition, marks… a rat race? Or is it a journey that actually teaches us something? Something that’ll make our future happy and satisfied and not just about fulfilling needs.

In terms of friendship, romance, and comedy, it’s never let me down but at the same time, it’s thought-provoking, insightful, appealing, and amusing. It has the charm to make you laugh but also think hard about many things. Many problems that we think aren’t important, we end up ignoring… which results in a lot of trouble.

After entering the world of Kdramas I started to notice many common things between Korean and Indian culture, and a looot of pressure on students is one of them, especially parents’ expectations of their children. 3 Idiots talks about the education system, the flaws, cons in it which results in depression among many students. It’s about dreams: chasing them, finding the true meaning of life but at the same time enjoying it fully. It’s rare to find dramas that talk about the education system with a realistic approach, it’s rather a fluff or makjang… maybe that’s why it’ll be a breath of fresh air.

A Walk to Remember

Adapted from the novel written by Nicholas Sparks having the same title.

This story revolves around two teenagers, being each other’s first love. Seems like a cute, sweet, fluffy story at the first glance, but then you realize it’s not at all just a regular rom-com, it’s more than that. As the title suggests, ‘A Walk to Remember’ it’s a memorable journey that brings more than just entertainment, a lesson: “Without suffering there would be no compassion.”

You get to experience a very lovable female lead character, the ML being a jerk in the first place (well you know it’s a very common trope in dramas) you encounter his major personality development and then he becomes one of your favorite characters, a big twist in the middle of the story plus romance as the main genre. Having all these things together, what it needs most is the portrayal of all emotions, and K-dramas are perfect in the execution when it comes to touching and heartfelt stories. Yes, I need its remake! Jung So Min as the FL and Lee Do Hyun as the ML, and Ahn Nae Sang as her father.

Mr. & Mrs. Smith

Married couple both unaware of each other’s hidden identities…

What happens when these two assassins working for rival corps have the same target to assassinate? When they get busted, other than killing each other, there’s no option. Then the cat and mouse game starts.

I’m a sucker for the hidden identity trope, with action being the icing on the cake. I wouldn’t mind a little humor splattered in this type of setting.

XingBack: Anushka added Lee Joon Hyuk as the the ML so I thought what better action hero FL than Jun Ji Hyun~

Who cares

All The Bright Places

“All the Bright Places” is a novel which constantly explores life and death and it shows  how valid life is.

The story is about two struggling teenagers who develop an unlikely relationship in a moving exploration of grief, suicide and young love. FL is coming to terms with a past tragedy and ML is battling with his mental health. 

Adapted from the novel, a movie was made with the same title “All the bright places” but the movie represented an incomplete message and ML’s character was completely rushed, too, which was quite disappointing and unsatisfying for me.

Impressed by his acting in Extracurricular I would pick Kim Dong Hee for the role of  Finch. I want to watch more of his works. For Violet, I choose Kim Sae Ron. For Finch’s sister, Kate Finch, I picked Choi Sung Eun and for Finch’s father, I pick  Seo Sang Won.

I sold my life for ten thousand yen per year

I read this manga recently and it was really short but impactful and thought-provoking. This is the type of story where you can look at what the protagonist did and learn from it. The depiction of the cruel world we live in is one of the best. It shows how easily we can get caught up in the hope that something good will happen to us at some point in our lives. Through this, we can also learn about the hidden thoughts of those surrounding us.
 
The ML’s way of thinking is pretty unique. I loved the FL’s character too. They  really had great character development by the end.
I think this can be a great life lesson to all the viewers if this ever gets a remake.

For Kusunoki, I would pick Lee Shin YoungHe caught my eye in Crash Landing On You, he is talented and I think he has potential to pull off this character well. Kim So Hyun is one of my ultimate favorite young actresses so for the role of Miyagi I choose her.

Kim Hye Yoon as Kusunoki’s childhood friend, Himen. Kim Hye Yoon suits the description of the character well in my opinion, that’s why I choose her. Kim Kwang Gyu as substitute observer, not the main character but I picked him just to have some comedic relief.

Chhichhore

Thanks to Bollywood, I’m also a little filmy person. Bollywood movies these days are really illogical and beyond science but still, there are some realistic and relatable movies left, one of them being “Chhichhore”.

The movie is a nostalgia ride that takes place in the 1990s, a carefree college era which shaped lifelong bonds and life lessons. Stress and overwhelming anxiety is a reality for many students. Doubting your potential  because of unsatisfied grades is extremely common. The movie has a relevant message on the inherent attitude towards academic success and failure which is relatable to a lot of  young people. I want K-drama writers to write more relatable school/university dramas and not always cliché “two popular boys fighting over a girl” school dramas.

The OG actor has a special place in my heart, that’s why I couldn’t think of any actor for his character, Anirudh, but maybe Choi Woo Shik can  play the role well. For the FL, Maya, I choose IU. Also for Lee Woo Je as Gurmeet Singh Dhillon.  

The remake might possibly not have the same vibes of the OG version but I really hope South Korea starts making relatable movies/dramas more.

I Had The Same Dream Again

“What is happiness?”, a question with infinite answers. 

The story follows Nanaka as she tries to find the meaning of happiness after her teacher asks her to find the answer to a homework question. 

The manga may be simple but is still a pleasant read, it is not only about what happiness means to one but also the dreams which couldn’t be fulfilled. 

For Nanaka, I choose Park So Yi and  for Grandma Kim Young Ok-ssi, no reasons, she is just my favourite halmeoni in dramaland. And for the high school girl I choose Lee Re and the unhappy woman in her 20’s – 30’s to be Go Yoon Jung.

Overall, I feel like this is a problem everywhere to be honest. I’ve been binging American romcoms and it’s so funny how copy paste they all are, even their “strong female characters” are always just so jaded, angry, noir and love self destruction, though that’s a rant for another time.

Basically, each country’s production follows the same patterns. Is it because they think it’s the “hit formula” people love to watch so they don’t want to challenge it, or maybe they’re lazy and scared…

Like Squid Game became such a hit, but was it worth the hype, no. But it felt different as a Korean production, it wasn’t crybaby FL/rich ML that saves the day, it wasn’t corrupt company’s power struggles and it wasn’t revenge, which are the dominant themes in Kdramas. It was an ironic view on “society” and social imbalance, it was a silly kids game to the death, it was new. Do I want more Squid Game? Nope. Was their “big reveal” new and unpredictable? Also no. Why am I still talking about it? Because it was different.

And long, long story short, that’s the point of this article. Some stories have elements that’d be good for Kdramas, diversity is good, breaking away from the box is good, and best of all, some stories deserve more recognition and POVs.

This is the first collab I initiated and it was hard, we’re all on different schedules so it’s been around 9 months since we started, and I hate being bossy but it was fun having more than one perspective and each member brought in a fresh outlook that’s different than my own, though I’ve seen some of them myself and others I’m actually intrigued by even the original work.


Credits: credit goes to original owners, pictures found around Google with recrops and some reedits to fit the layout.

Edited by: devitto (1st editor), SumiTheCat (2nd editor)


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