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Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Time I've Loved You Episode 1-2 Summary and First Impression

Drama: The Time I've Loved You (너를 사랑한 시간) aka. The Time We Were Not in Love
Airs: Sat & Sun
Episodes: 16

The story opens on the day of our heroine Oh Ha Na's 30th birthday. Fully expecting a proposal from her boyfriend, Ha Na receives a nasty surprise when her boyfriend informs her that he is getting married to a much younger woman from Ha Na's office. 
Drinking her sorrow away, Ha Na accuses her best friend (our hero, Lee Jin Wook) of placing a curse. In a flash back we see that Ha Na and Jin Wook has been neighbors since they were young. As the leader of the girls in her class, Ha Na leads the girls in all sorts of challenges against the boys which is led by Jin Wook. Despite their "rivalry", Jin Wook takes great care of Ha Na and the two has remained friends even after their school years.  
Surprising Ha Na by showing up at her ex's wedding, Jin Wook is determined to support Ha Na during what promises to be a difficult event for her. Putting on her most mature face, Ha Na successfully leaves a cool image for the bride... only to have the whole thing spoiled when Jin Wook punches the groom out for saying bad things about Ha Na. 

As angry as Ha Na is at Jin Wook for making her into a jealous ex-girlfriend in front of her whole company, Ha Na and Jin Wook is soon drinking together at their favorite rooftop. Making a bet together, our two leads decides that whoever gets married first will be able to get a large sum of money from the other party. 
Thinking of the bet, Ha Na is upset when she realizes she really doesn't have any good candidate around her to date. The only one that seems to fit all of Ha Na's ideal is Jin Wook but unfortunately Jin Wook himself has already cut off all of the possibilities.

In a flash back we see Ha Na rushing eagerly to Jin Wook in the pouring rain to congratulate him for being voted as the most popular guy at their school. Not caring about how soaked he is getting in the rain, Jin Wook stares at Ha Na and tells her "I will never love you." This is the curse Ha Na was talking about when she was drunk. Ha Na thinks Jin Wook's declaration has become a curse that even influence the men in her life. 
After being pleasantly surprised that his work day schedule has all the sudden been cancelled, the first person Jin Wook think of is Ha Na. Rushing out into the rain to go buy some spicy fried chicken that Ha Na likes, Jin Wook is stopped by a co-worker who obviously likes him. 

In the mean time, deciding to brave the rain after watching her ex-boyfriend sweetly escorting his new wife to his car, Ha Na is surprised when a young man who she is training at work showed up with an umbrella. 

First Impression & Comparison to T-Drama's In Time With You (Ep. 1&2)
I actually didn't watch In Time With You before even though it was super popular in Taiwan. Funny enough, after watching K-version The Time I've Loved You it actually made me go back and watch the Taiwanese's original version. Let's do a quick comparison of the leads which should be easy since my curiosity of how the two differed was the whole reason I watched the T-version. 
I really like Ha Ji Won and I think she is doing a great job in this particular show, but as far as the heroine's character goes, I find Ariel Lin's character a whole lot more intriguing. Ha Ji Won's character is kinda your standard K-drama heroine who is pretty tough on the outside but gets all soft when it comes to love. Ariel Lin's heroine however, has a steel and stubbornness beneath her personality at all times but one could see that she gets hurt just like everyone else even if she doesn't allow it to stop her.
As far as the hero goes I like both versions. Lee Jin Wook's character is portrayed as almost stiff at work while Bolin Chen's hero feels more like he wears a mask unless the heroine is around. Both concept works for me but I do think Bolin Chen's version allows me as the viewer see the depth of his feelings for the heroine a lot easier.
The T-version wins the second female lead casting hands down. The second female lead is suppose to be a complete opposite of our heroine, a much young girl who is soft and forthright. I can see the K-version is trying to follow through with that particular concept but I am afraid the K-version just comes off more manipulating than innocent.
These guys are actually not the second male leads, since that particular jerky guy is not even out yet. However, I think in this casting the K-version wins over the T-version so much that I am almost willing to just ignore all the other casting short comings. This particular character is our heroine's co-worker who is much younger than her and makes her heart beat wildly even as she chides herself for doing so. In the T-version I really couldn't see the attraction there and feels that the heroine would be dating a high schooler with this particular character. However, in the K-version, L (the actor) has so much chemistry with Ha Ji Won that I really wish we could forget the whole script and just go with a noona romance instead.
Here are some of the things that are missing from the K-version that I really liked in the T-version. The T-version did an awesome job at portraying the commanding presence our heroine had since her school days and I also really loved the boys vs girls rivalry portion of the show. That's not to say the K-version didn't have the school portion but I think the T-version was able to show case the heroine's personality much better.

One of the reason why I liked the T-version's heroine better can be summed up by the birthday present the hero gave to her: Looking at the lion head with a huge square orange mane, the heroine asks "What's this? A cat trapped in tofu?" Smiling at the heroine, the hero asks "Don't you think this lion is a lot like you? A lion who is so unique that he different from everyone else. But, unwilling to compromise, he fights for any wrongs he sees." That, pretty much sums up the heroine's character and Ariel Lin does a great job playing that particular character. In comparison, while Ha Ji Won's character is pretty spunky I do like the fire in Ariel Lin's character better. 
Another great little story that is missing from the K-version is a small stage show that both leads went and saw in the first two episodes. A man sits alone on a teeter totter and narrates letters from a life time of writing to a woman since they were both young. The letters takes us through the school life tiffs to loneliness of their adulthood until it ends in sobs as the man writes the very last letter to the woman who has already died a year ago. Seemingly a mirror to our two leads story and maybe a reflection of what their future might be if the don't cherish what they have, this little stage play had me in sobs as well. 
All in all, judging by the first two episodes I liked the T-version better since it was great at using little details to reinforce how important the two leads are to each other. (Example: The heroine always narrates in a voice over addressing the hero, kinda giving you the feeling that he is the one she talks to whenever she wonders about something even if it's just in her head. The hero in the mean time sees the heroine's reflection in his co-worker who just expressed an interest in him giving you the impression he really only sees the heroine.) 

However, if one just purely judge The Time I've Loved You as a stand alone K-drama, then I do think the first two episodes were quite promising and given T-Drama's track record of getting draggy towards the end, I think the K-version is still a pretty good bet. Now, if the drama gods would hear my secret desire then this show would just become a noona romance between Ha Ji Won and L.   

1 comment:

  1. In Time With You is one of my favourite T-dramas so I have been curious since the day they announced this remake how it will turn out and who will be playing Cheng You Qing and Li Da Ren. Having watched the two episodes I think they have chosen the right people. Ha Ji Won and Lee Jin Wook have chemistry and they kind of give off the same vibe that Ariel Lin and Chen Bo Lin do. Although I personally think You Qing could be a little too strong-willed sometimes I also prefer this personality over Ha Na's because it shows how compatible the leads are. You Qing is like I said before strong-willed and stubborn, "the dominant one" in their relationship while Da Ren is kind and gentle, he is the one who gives in and can "put up" with her temper, so they balance each other. As for the 2nd leads I also think the Taiwanese version made a better choice I don't like how the 2nd male lead is about 10 years younger than HJW in real-life and the 2nd lead actress does look a bit too mature for her age although so far I think her character isn't as annoying as Andrea Chen's Maggie.