Breaking news! The popular 2011 drama In Time With You, starring Ariel Lin and Bolin Chen has been verified for a Kdrama remake! There isn’t much news yet regarding casting (or even rumours of favourites), but the drama will be produced by I Will Media, and written by the same writer who wrote Full House and Attic Cat.
I can’t say I’m an expert on her work (I’ve only seen Full House), but from what I remember it was a co-habitation goofy cotton candy rom com that made me laugh and giggle way back when I watched it. Which is fine and dandy, except the reason why I, and so many others, love In Time with You so much is because it’s a drama that developed the relationship of two 30-somethings in such a poignant, realistic way. Sure, there was angst, and sure, there was cute fluff, but it was portrayed in a way that seemed so real and heartfelt that I honestly had a hard time separating the actors from their characters at times.
I can understand why I Will Media is jumping on the remake bandwagon – all the kdrama remakes this year of both tw dramas (Witch’s Romance, Fated to Love You) and j dramas (Cantabile Tomorrow, Liar Game) have been extremely popular. I tuned in off and on to Fated to Love You, and avidly watched Liar Game while it was airing. From what I’ve seen (and what the ladies over at Dramabeans have also suggested) is that drama remakes that have a huge cult following that get a lot of press before they air don’t tend to be as good, or do as well. I also think part of the reason for the success of these remakes were that all of them were remaking older dramas. Witch’s Romance was based on My Queen (2009), Fated to Love You was based on the tw drama of the same name from 2008, the first installment of Liar Game came out in 2007, and Nodame Cantabile aired the earliest in 2006. I think it’s safe to argue that all of these dramas could have benefited from a shiny new packaging and alternative take, since 5-8 years had passed for all of them.
This brings me to my first issue with the remake of In Time With You. The drama aired in 2011, and had some pretty spiffy outfits/filming quality (I remember drooling over You Qing’s outfits). There won’t be a huge improvement on that front, and it’s still pretty fresh in a lot of fans minds as one of the best, if not the best, taiwanese drama they’ve seen. My second hesitation with the remake is that while the actors were gorgeous in their own right, what really made the drama was their skill at conveying the ease and warmth that their two characters had for one another. Kdramaland has a bad track record of picking looks over skill (sorry idols), and I would hate to see ITWY suffer from that fate. I should offer a disclaimer that I do like some idol actors, but I don’t want anyone less than a seasoned veteran actor touching ITWY. My third and last hesitation is that Director Winnie, who directed ITWY, knew how to let the scenes speak for themselves without throwing in unnecessary conflict. We saw many more poignant shots of the characters looking at one another and just being plain old cute, than the old “we just had a cute moment time to throw everything off the deep end to keep the audience on their toes”. Even Fated to Love You, which had a tried and tested winning original drama script, threw in amnesia to spice things up (which I really detested, although it was the best amnesia trope I’ve seen).
Will I be tuning in to the remake? Absolutely. I’ll give In Time With You a chance, and try to give it the benefit of the doubt. Will I be comparing it to the original? Definitely. It can’t be helped. I’ll try my best, but as stated previously, this remakes got a big uphill battle in my opinion. I’ll be posting about the casting rumours when they start!