"Fated to Love You" is a modern day Cinderella with more depth and a prince who is dashing because of how well he treats his princess. He can't protect her from everything, but the protection and support he does give bolsters her and gives her strength to go out on her own. She in turn softens his heart and shows him what true kindness is, giving him the strength and will go protect her.
There has been no doubt, for some episodes now, that Geon and Mi-young are attracted to each other and enjoy being together. They have married, but have faced many obstacles, not least of which is Se-ra, his beloved ex-girlfriend who doesn't yet know she's an ex-girlfriend. She finds out about Geon's marriage this episode, which keeps this plot developing at a quick and satisfying pace. Up until now, Se-ra has been a character who was talked about more than she appeared on screen. Wang Ji-won does a magnificent job of pulling Se-ra out of the woodwork and turning her into a flesh and blood character who is easy to relate to and to like despite the fact that she is Mi-young's rival.
Se-ra's reappearance forces Mi-young and Geon to deal the problem that she poses. Mi-young chooses to hide their relationship to prevent Geon from hurting, but that only prolongs the inevitable. Her kindness, and Geon's loyalty, drive him towards honesty that is brutally raw in the telling. I applaud these actors for transitioning in and out of this heavy material so naturally and portraying it powerfully. Like Jang Nara had a winning presence in the earlier episodes, Jang Hyuk now shines. There was one moment in particular where he laughs over the irony of Se-ra finally returning to him only to have him be unavailable - then he begins to sob. It was so skillfully done that is speaks of Jang's years of experience bolstered by raw talent.
Not only do the characters have to deal with their small circle of personal relationships, but with money and affluence comes the interest and malice of others. Mi-young experiences nasty rumors about their marriage and how invasive and hurtful gossip and the the press can be. She is ill-equipped to deal with the invasion as she has spent most of her life under the radar and overlooked by others. What makes her such a wonderful female lead is that she runs away, and then realizes she needs to learn to get back on her feet, and she does. It's an uphill battle that she is willing to fight for her baby. Maybe one day she'll fight it for herself as well.
Like Mi-young helped Geon through the early stages of their unexpected pregnancy, Geon now helps Mi-young wander through the minefield of being part of a wealthy family. What makes him a Prince Charming is how he treats her, and looks at her, and cherishes her. He's a romantic lead at his best. Despite all the very real and frightening happenings around them, Geon finds time to make her feel special and that strikes a chord. He also thanks her for waiting for him to deal with his relationship with Se-ra, reciprocating the many, many times she has thanked him for doing right by her. He's a modern day fairy tale prince come true.
"Fated to Love You" gets better with each passing episode. It's a rare remake in that it is just as winning as the original as well as making good use of each trope it puts into play.
Written by: Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'
Journalist, drama lover, and foodie, Lisa enjoys exploring Korea, speaking the language, and soaking in all that dramaland has to offer. Her Korean husband laughs that she knows more than he ever will about dramas and K-pop. Lisa Espinosa can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Fated to Love You" Episode 8"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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