"A LOVE SO BEAUTIFUL": A Comparison BETWEEN THE KOREAN AND CHINESE VERSIONS
Jan 31, 2021
The Korean remake of the Chinese drama A Love So Beautiful is currently airing on Netflix and KakaoM simultaneously three times a week. The story follows a couple of teenagers and their time in high school. There is also a time jump from their school days to when they’re all grownup and adults. But the main story follows Shin Sol-i (So Joo-yeon) and her requited love with Cha Heon (Kim Yo-han). The Chinese drama follows Chen Xiaoxi (Shen Yue) and Jiang Chen (Hu Yitian)’s love story. The main leads are neighbours who live in the same apartment. The female lead has been in love with the male lead for a while but confesses her feelings at the beginning of the series.
The show follows the pair and their friends as they go through their high school years and all the drama that goes with being in high school. The story then jumps forward as they leave school and enter university and then eventually become working adults.
While the storyline between the Korean and Chinese versions are pretty similar, some noticeable changes have been made. The best version change is that the male lead, Cha Heon in the Korean version is much nicer than Jiang Chen in the Chinese version. While both the leads do like the female leads, in the Chinese version it’s oftentimes shown when the female lead isn’t on the camera. In the Korean version, Cha Heon is less meaner and much nicer to Shin Sol-i throughout the drama.
In both versions, the female lead is not the best at school. She is most interested in drawing and following the male lead around. But in the Chinese version, the male lead is a lot meaner to her about this. While in the Korean version, he is still mean about this - it comes off more as teasing than being particularly nasty.
Cha Heon also shows his feelings a lot sooner in the drama than Jiang Chen. He easily gets jealous of Woo Dae-seong (Yeo Hoe-hyun), a swimmer who is open with his feelings for Shin Sol-i. While the Chinese drama showed that Jiang Chen did like Chen Xiaoxi as well through the cute little epilogues at the end of each episode, Cha Heon is a lot more open that he cares for Shin Sol-i.
But in both dramas, they did a really good job with the casting. The characters really portray high school students and their experiences very accurately even though many of them are in their late twenties. It shows the trials and difficulties that young adults go through and how they navigate this.
While the main focus of the show is on the romance between the two leads, both the Chinese and Korean dramas also show the meaningful friendships between the characters which is actually one of the highlights of the show.
I can’t wait to see how the Korean version depicts the characters when they are in university and after that - especially as the Chinese drama shows how they all remain friends even once they’ve “grown up."
Written by Fatima
Fatima Moosa is a writer from South Africa. When she isn’t doing her regular job of working as a journalist, she can be found binge-watching Korean dramas and catching up on all the latest content from her favourite K-pop groups.