I’m still scratching my head about Korea’s remake of My Queen, the popular TW-drama that was good but not great enough to really deserve the story getting retold in the upcoming tvN drama Witch’s Romance. I suppose if you told me that Koreans weren’t going to watch the original with subs and needed a K-version to check out the story, then I might think it a good enough reason for a remake. But ultimately My Queen comes off as a TW-drama borrowing successful K-drama formulas and hitting a line drive due to picking two good acting leads with great chemistry plus tossing in a fantastic second male lead that was strong enough on his own merits. There was a snappy execution and a boppy story line, nothing too memorable other than I enjoyed it when I watched it.
I also get this niggling sensation that there are so many similar noona-dongsaeng romances out there, for example the successful but romantically cold noona and the free spirited proactive dongsaeng in I Need Romance 3 feels like a carbon copy of what I see that. Nevertheless the promos for this drama have been totally charming and that wins points with me. Re-doing something isn’t a crime and if the result is entertaining and unique then it’s worth the effort. I’m leaning towards checking it out, and turning off my familiarity with My Queen so that I can check out WR on its own merits. The first teasers were cute but nothing to write home about but I quite like this first long preview which shows that leads Uhm Jung Hwa and Park Seo Joon indeed have bucket loads of chemistry and great comedic timing to boot. The colorful promos have been eye-catching and a great kick start to the Spring drama season.
I’m a bit peeved with the title of Witch’s Romance which is rather bland and getting easy knocks on the image of a successful career woman with romantic scars who now eschews romance as a “witch”. The TW-drama original title was pretty creative 敗犬女王 (Bai Quan Nu Wang) which translates literally into Defeated Dog Queen. The term 敗犬 means defeated dog and is actually an old-school slang to refer to someone who is defeated, like two dogs in a fight and the defeated one slinks away with their tail between their legs. In this current generation 敗犬 added a meaning that originated in Japan to refer to a woman over thirty who wasn’t married, stemming from a novel that referred to a successful but unmarried career woman as a defeated dog for ultimately not having found a happy personal life in marriage. So the Taiwan drama title calls the leading lady the Queen of the Defeated Dogs which means she is both powerful in her success as an over thirty woman but ultimately a loser in love. That was the central issue being plumbed in the drama and I hope Witch’s Romance does a good job exploring the same complicated questions.
Second teaser for Witch’s Romance:
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