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我不喜欢这世界,我只喜欢你 is one of my all-time favorite c-novels, so how could I not watch the drama adaption? Plus, the lead is Janice Wu, and her smile is one of the most adorable things. So.

I’m stupid attached to the original novel title, and was really sad about the drama cutting out the “But… But I don’t like the entire world, I only like you” line!!! It was everything!!!!! “Le Coup De Foudre,” in light of that, is pretty cute – a thunderbolt, literally, or, figuratively, love at first sight – but, seeing as the entire story was about gradual feelings and growing up and growing together, it didn’t seem to fit as well?

And in a similar vein, whilst the drama kept the main cast the same as that of the novel, the drama became really tragic. Both follows, in the most general of terms, the MC’s journey from childhood to adulthood, and her concurrent relationship with her crazy-smart childhood desk-mate, YM, who eventually becomes her husband. The book dealt with some heavy stuff, namely the MC’s insecurities and the childhood incidents that lent a hand to some of them, but the MC’s cheerful, forward-facing personality brightened things up and lent a strong note of hope to it. The book touches briefly on the MC’s father, but never goes into quite so much heartbreaking detail, focusing instead on the family the MC has in her hard-working mother and silly, doting brother. The drama adds it’s own spin to this frame: instead of the MC having back issues because of a spinal surgery due to scoliosis, the MC’s surgery was prompted because she had an abusive, alcoholic father, who went too far one night. Instead of a silly older brother, GC is a slightly older twin in the same class, who’s still a little silly, but now a lot girl-crazy. The drama introduces a new character to the MC’s family: their friendly local policeman, who falls in love with the MC and becomes their fiercely protective, equally silly step-father. The MC’s recollections in the novel were colored by a hope and cheer you only gain in hindsight; the drama untangles the scenes in the moment, and takes on a far more somber tone, especially given it’s new additions, focusing far more on the MC’s tragic family occurrences and her perceived shortcomings. Neither is better than the other – though I have to say, in my own biased opinion, that I drastically preferred the novel’s choices – it’s just interesting to note how different interpretations of the same character can change the story so dramatically.

As it often happens with any adaption, there were some things I wasn’t… on board with, however. The biggest being: HWY’s personality changed so much? She went from outrageous and silly in the novels to whiny and irrational in the drama, which I really didn’t like because she was such a headstrong and fun person in the novels. I’m glad they kept the sneaker wedding gift scene though! HWY’s relationship with the MC was one of the most precious parts of the novel, and I’m glad the drama was able to retain some of that.

ALSO. Ugh. The reason for YM and the MC’s cold war during their university years? It made sense in the novel – YM confessed to her, in his own quiet way, but the MC wasn’t on his wavelength. They missed each other, and, caught up in their own things, ended up drifting apart for a few years, only to find their way back to each other once they were older, more sure of themselves. At the core of the novel was the MC’s reflection of herself, and a youth she characterized with sharp edges, edges that she said she had to learn to smooth herself before she was ready for a relationship like the one she had with YM, so it made sense. The drama, however, blew it up: YM kept pressuring the MC to study abroad with her, despite her not having the grades or the financial means. The former, she can change, but the latter proves a struggle. This, atop the other drama-exclusive elements added to the MC’s story – her father, her step-father, and her family situation – shoves a barrier between YM and the MC, at least in her eyes, cumulating in the MC standing outside the restaurant YM asked her to meet him in, but unable to go inside, plagued by thoughts of not being “good enough.” It places YM as forceful, the polar opposite of understanding, and irrational; it places the MC as timid and insecure. But these problems are never addressed later, merely magically fixed and shoved aside. It’s an element purely devised for the drama and, in the process, destroys the author’s original intentions in tying together central themes of her story. Yes, I had strong feelings about this – thanks for coming to my TED Talk.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the addition of YM’s childhood friend, but I liked how she and the MC became friends – the barbecue scene in which she admits that she’s never really had that sort of friendship, after which the MC’s first reaction is to call HWY so all three of them can become friends, following which they hype each other up and decide to drunkenly ring up their S/Os and air out all their grievances, while the other two offer drunken support in the background, was the funniest thing, but also super sweet – and after a while, her personality was pretty endearing? Cute. I can’t relate to her rich people struggles but I could appreciate her views and efforts. And, holy shit, the actress was so pretty??? And super expressive????? I can’t believe it’s only her first drama.

But the SIBLING RELATIONSHIP!!! (Although, and this is going to go off on a tangent real quickly, but I’m always amazed by sibling relationship portrayals in dramas, novels, and the like? My brother and I are close, but not like the MC and GC are – which is to say, we’re really fucking weird. Making-faces-across-the-table, strange-noises-instead-of-proper-greetings, ridiculous-fight-stances-at-completely-random-times, sports-style-commentary-while-shoving-responsibilities-on-the-other kind of really fucking weird.) This was one of the only things I think the drama managed to preserve, from the novel, in its entirety: the MC’s relationship with GC, and their bickering but entirely supportive and ever-dependable relationship, from childhood to adulthood. There are friends, there are significant others, there are parents, there are relatives, and there are siblings, and each relationship operates and acts slightly different from the next, which is a nuance I think the drama was really good at expressing.

I also love how they tried to include as many small tidbits as possible, though! Like the saxophone scene! And the feasibility report/PPT scene! The first half of the drama was particularly somber at times, and the little tidbits, whilst giving us a glimpse into the characters’ daily lives, and presenting little rays of hope for a light at the end of the struggle, managed to balance things out.

All in all? Le Coup de Foudre was a pretty good drama. I really liked the chosen actors and actresses, and the portrayed relationships, and outside the contexts of the novel, the storyline, though it leaned heavily into drama and melancholy, was solid. Compared to the original novel, 我不喜欢这世界,我只喜欢你, it couldn’t quite hold up, but we can’t always have it all.

(Someday, I will write a Short and Concise Blog Post, but clearly today is not that day. Thank you for making it down this far <3 Do let me know what you thought if you’ve seen Le Coup de Foudre – isn’t Janice Wu adorable??? – and/or let me know of your c-drama recs! I’m always on the lookout for a c-drama with a cute romance^^)

Let’s talk about another guilty pleasure of mine: asian drama. I was actually going to write this post a looong time ago, but then I kept getting sidetracked^^;; I came up with a list of my favorite dramas, but then I’d remember another drama not on the list that I liked, and then another, and then of course I had to re-watch the dramas to see which one I liked better… and then a couple weeks slipped by. Oops? So I decided that, instead of an all-time-best list, I’d just make one never-ending list and add to it every once in a while, because there are so many great dramas and it’s impossible to just choose a few. In no particular order, here are the first five!

锦绣未央 [The Princess Weiyoung]

This one’s basically a gift to your eyeballs. The costumes, the music, the editing, the background… everything is gorgeous and meticulously planned. The gorgeous setting helped the plot seem sprawling and effortless and augh this was so, so beautiful. And the characters! Tiffany Tang is one of my favorite actresses, and I love the chemistry she had with Luo Jin, as well as the close-knit relationships between her character and many of both her family and “family” members! Drama aside, it was very heartwarming to see. It’s worth pointing out though that this follows the novel extremely, incredibly loosely – I wouldn’t recommend watching if you expect the drama to be exactly like the novel. But if you’re looking for gorgeous visuals and a headstrong lead and incredible chemistry between an equally talented actor and actress, I’d highly recommend this drama!

태양의 후예 [Descendants of the Sun]

I’m never going to make an asian drama list and not include this drama – it strikes a perfect balance between action and romance and cheese and sweetness, and the concept is different and really interesting. I don’t know why but it took me a few tries to get into this drama, but I’m so glad I did finish it because it was so good *O* I especially liked the second couple’s story /ducks pleasedon’tkillme/. HEARTSTRINGS ARE TUGGED. And the easy, sweet, and caring relationships between all the characters, despite their situations, were really enjoyable to watch. I loved the action scenes, the bantering scenes, the sweeter scenes… this is such a good show^^

역도요정 김복주 [Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Soo]

This is one of those dramas where the main leads just make the entire show, you know? The story’s meh and skimps out on addressing the real issues, but I loved how refreshing and genuine and solid of a relationship KBJ and JJH had. It was a little silly, a little awkward, but it was so nice to watch. Between strangers-to-lovers and friends-to-lovers, I’d pick the latter any day, and Weightlifting Fairy had one of the best relationship portrayals I’ve seen on screen: supportive, warm, and trusting. They’re so precious ;__;

微微一笑很倾城 [Love O2O]

This is one of those dramas I can watch over and over again. I actually read the novel first, and it remains one of my favorite books, and I loved the drama as well. I loved the concept, and how scenes were split between the online game and real life. I love my historical drama, but I also love my modern-day drama, and this just struck the perfect balance! The friend, family, and love relationships were so cute and never ceased to put a smile on my face. And the relationship between Wei Wei and Xiao Nai! I loved how, instead of your typical romcom when it’s the two romantic leads getting into a misunderstanding, in this drama the two romantic leads are on the same side, and in a misunderstanding with someone else. The scene on the basketball court was particularly memorable, where one of the side characters is surprised that Xiao Nai didn’t doubt Wei Wei, and he replies with “why should I doubt my girlfriend?” Hearts. Fluttering.

힘쎈여자 도봉순 [Strong Woman Do Bong Soon]

The plot definitely isn’t as tight as it could’ve been, and the mystery and crime aspects not blended with the romance and comedy as well as it could’ve been, but somehow despite the flaws, I thought this was a really nice drama just the same. It’s one of those shows to watch when you want to see something cute and with a happy ending, you know? One of those ones where you can count on funny scenes and cute romance and good defeating evil. The leads are cute as fuck – I really liked Park Bo Young, Park Hyung Shik, and Ji Soo (though, isn’t it time he got something other than the third wheel role?^^;;;). I’d really recommend if you’re just in the mood for something fun! Especially that last episode. I can admit to watching and re-watching it more than a few times.